Saturday, October 23, 2010


We have been a four dog family for many years. Last summer was very hard on us when Marvin was hit by the school bus and passed away. Within weeks, we took Maggie into the woods with us while we were getting firewood, and she ran off. She wasn't a fan of chainsaws, and I don't know whether it was the noise, or if she smelled something worth chasing, but she was gone. We never found her. Within a month, we lost two of our beloved pets.

They were more than pets and companions though. They were our security team- letting us know when something was amiss around the farm. Toe warmers at night. Guardians in the woods. Trail breakers in the snow. Things were just not right around here with one chained outside dog- Cindy will chase cars all the way home unless we keep her tied up. She's only allowed off chain on leash or in the house. And Ebony- our 6 year old lab- is a bit past her prime in running with my herd of kids. She's also terribly gun shy, which makes her unfit for many of our routine activities.

So the search for a new pup began last fall. It was a long search. In part, because I prefer a free mutt over an expensive pure bred. In part, because I prefer some lab in those mutts. In part, because I prefer females.

All winter long I searched for a puppy. I considered a couple of giveaway older dogs. But it seems in our area, there are fewer accidental breeders than there are folks willing to give them a new home. Every ad I answered had no females left. By spring I was willing to take either male or female. I get a bit nervous of bears in the spring. Finally, we found Waldo.

Waldo is a lab with a touch of husky. A couple of months later, we found Wonder. She's a lab/bouvier cross, with a bit of pit.

Waldo on his back, Wonder standing
They are a great addition to our family.  Both full of energy, great for the kids.  We've done cap gun training with them at feeding time, neither one is gun shy.  They both eagerly hunt mice, moles, voles, and any other little tresspassers on our land.  They stay close in the woods, but let us know when something's there.  They bark at strangers.  Waldo started hunting with me this fall.
Ebony sitting, Wonder beside
Everything was going great.  Except, Waldo is scrawny.  He's tall & lean.  Long bodied.  He eats a ton.  He's still growing.  And he's scrawny.  I thought it might be a good idea to keep him intact until he developed some muscle mass.  He reached 6 months, and I knew better.  I knew he needed to be fixed.  But I thought I could outsmart mother nature by keeping him chained up while Ebony & Cindy were in heat. 
Cindy with her puppies

Ebony's puppies
Some days I marvel at my own stupidity.

Thankfully we live in an area where there are fewer accidental breeders than there are folks willing to give them a new home.

Looks guilty, doesn't he?

1 comment:

  1. Cap gun training? Hmmm...does that keep them from being frightened of any loud noise? Now that I think of it, it seems that any dog needs to be unafraid of a gunshot so it could be a protector. So, how is best to train a dog with a capgun? I think this calls for a whole post.