Yesterday was Nokie's 10th birthday! She is my Great Pyranees guard dog and she's a big girl who weighs in at 125 lbs. Even though she is advancing in years, she still has the heart and soul of a pup. We adopted her from the Great Pyranees Rescue Society 4 years ago. Nokie and I have learned a lot about each other since she came to live here. I had lots of ideas of keeping her outside to guard the sheep.... she had lots of ideas of sleeping on the sofa in the house! She was raised a "city-dog" so she had never seen a sheep or a goat until she came to live on our little farm. It turned out that she didn't like the sheep very much. She found they were easily intimidated so she had fun chasing them around and around their pen. I had to remind her that her duty was to guard the sheep and not to herd them! When she got bored with the sheep, she just sat and barked. Needless to say, the neighbors were not too happy about the barking. So I decided to put her in with the goats. The goats were not intimidated at all... as a matter of fact, the first thing they did was knock Nokie down! They were not going to put up with any nonsense from a dog! And a curious thing happened....Nokie loves the goats. She loves to go down to the goat pen with me to feed them. She will lay right down amongst them. She follows them around. She drinks out of their water bucket. She has tried to lick them a time or two. And true to her guardian personality, she is very protective of them. If Ken or I try to catch one of the goats, she will position herself in between us and the goat so we can not get close. She has found her purpose in life.
Nokie and I understand each other a lot better now. She knows she can not bark incessantly without a reason (rule #1: only bark at the "bad guys") and she needs to be kind to the goats (rule #2: no chasing the goats) (rule #3: no nipping at them). I know I can't make a city-dog sleep outside all night....she has a sofa to sleep on in my breezeway and a dog biscuit every morning.
Happy Birthday, Big Girl!!!
P.S. As you can tell from her photo, she is not fond of having her picture taken!