Some of you know about the new puppy we got . . . well, she isn’t new now. Maggie Mae is almost a year old now; we got her last October, and she is easily the best dog I’ve ever owned. I absolutely love that dog, and there is no hyperbole in that statement at all.
Maggie is a Northwest Farm Terrier, a fairly new breed, about 30 years in the making, a cross between an Airedale and some other type of terrier. She weighs about fifty-two pounds, and her breed is bred for herding on farms.
Now I knew that going in, but there is a huge gap, sometimes, between knowing something and KNOWING something. I had to see it to fully appreciate it.
Out on the farm where the majority of our 100+ plus chickens are located, there are also peacocks and guinea fowl. They are great birds to watch, but they also have no boundaries, so they are constantly eating the chicken food we leave out for our birds. Now I love all manner of living things, but I’ve got a problem with spending money feeding those winged bandits.
It took us about two days to train Maggie that peacocks were unwanted in the chicken area, and the word “train” is used liberally. We pointed at a peacock, told Maggie to “get it,” and within two days she would chase the peacocks out of Chicken Town.
Same thing with the guinea fowl. Maggie sees one of them, instantly goes into her crouch, and slowly herds them out of the chicken fenced area. Once they leave the fenced area Maggie leaves them alone. It’s really pretty remarkable to watch and remarkable to think about, that somewhere in her DNA is a herding instinct. Mind you, she never hurts the birds. She just scoots them out of the chicken area and then sits back waiting for the next intruder.
Three weeks after training her to do that, there are no peacocks or guinea fowl in the immediate vicinity. The dog established territory, the birds learned, and all is well in my world.
Best dog I’ve ever had. She and I are going to grow old together, and that thought gives me great comfort.
Tiny house update . . . We are also thinking of a yurt. Actually I like the yurt idea more. Maybe I have some Mongolian in me?
I finished the big chicken coop and started in on, and finished, a smaller version…a studio as opposed to a two-bedroom…Chicken Town is taking shape, thank you very much.
I’m really not sure how many chickens we have. Over one-hundred for sure. Some of the new ones out at the farm are into hiding their eggs now. Every day is an egg hunt for me, roaming around looking for the prizes. I’m sure the chickens are laughing while I search. Silly human!
And wouldn’t you know it, Maggie knows how to hunt for eggs. She will find one, put it softly in her mouth, and bring it to me all proud-like, wagging her tail . . . she literally learned from watching me collect eggs. Remarkable . . . what a dog!
Raspberry Season Has Arrived!