Overrun with beasties
- Dec 17, 2019
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Like I mentioned before, that looks like a good start, The sheep look very very healthy, Please continue taking care of them. And the coop looks sooo nice. keep it up.We built a small pen in the backyard and weaned the lambs 3 days ago. We put the lambs in Paris territory. For those who don't know Paris, her post is below.
We no longer live in town, having moved 160 miles to the Tyler area, on 8 acres. I have tried to put Paris in one of our pastures, but she dug out and wanted back in HER yard. We had fenced the back yard here and I guess she wanted to stay in a small area. Last time she went in heat, she went absolutely bonkers. She dug out of the back yard and tried to dig out of the front gate several times. She was leaving here. Fortunately, we came home and caught her before she ran off. Twice the neighbor caught her while we were gone. Once I walked to the road to get the mail and found her in the cow pasture across the road, going somewhere only she knew. We couldn't keep her in the yard, didn't want unknown puppies, so had to put her on a chain. That really enraged her. She destroyed her "cave" we had built for her out of OSB plywood. It was 3 sheets wide and had 3 sides, big enough to put her doghouse in and still have lots of room to dig holes to lay in. She tore off 2 sides of plywood and chewed big chunks out of what was left. Once when my husband went out to untangle her, she tried to bite him and he is her favorite person! She has never acted like this.
We then had to put up a hot wire to get her off the chain. Our neighbor, Robert came over to help my husband put it up. They turned it on and stepped out of the yard. Paris ran to the fence, to her favorite person and got zapped! She blamed my husband for it and turned into a snarling, vicious, angry dog. She thought HE did it to her! There was a piece of rebar lying on the ground and she grabbed it in her anger and threw it. Barking and snarling, she retreated to what is left of her cave and continued to snarl and bark. DH had no doubt that had he been standing IN the yard, she would have bit him. My husband waited a little while and went in the yard and "made up" to her. She forgave him and loved him.
So this is where we are. Paris was a problem dog from the start. She was happy in her yard at our former home. She seemed happy in the yard here and rejected several attempts to move her to one of the pastures here where she would have more room. She has been in heat many times, but never went crazy mad-dog wacko like she did this last time. When we got the ewes, I worked with her on a leash and finally let her off the leash. She promptly attacked the sheep. I caught her, dragged her off a ewe and put her in the back yard. I had to put Paris on hold as far as the sheep were concerned.
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So it is with apprehension that I approach Paris again as a sheep guardian. She is still sweet and loving to us, but what would she do with the lambs? She hasn't rushed snarling at the pen the lambs are in. So far, so good. She hasn't shown aggression towards them at all. So this evening, I put Paris on a leash and walked her in the lamb pen. They came up and sniffed her and she sniffed back. I let the lambs out and walked her around. My husband came out with ice water for us both, I took the leash off Paris and we sat in the shade to watch. Paris. Did. Nothing.
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The lambs grazed the back yard and Paris laid in a hole she dug, coming to us for petting and approval. We sat out there for a couple of hours. I put the lambs up and praised Paris for being a good dog. I will continue to do this, leaving them in "her" yard for longer and longer periods of time until I can leave them with her 24-7 and I really do believe she will be good with the lambs.
The real test will come when I open the back yard gate and let Paris and lambs join Trip and the ewes. Will Paris bond with the sheep? Will she see it as an opportunity to climb the fence, dig out and run off? Stay tuned for the rest of the story.