Friday, September 12, 2008

Millie's Big Day

Millie the rescue Pyr was not an immediate success as a working dog. I ran out of training time long before she ran out of enthusiasm for the chase. She has been living in a large field next to the hoof stock. She has chased down and killed 3 chickens during her stay here.  I did not have high hopes for her working future.

One evening several weeks ago I heard cheeping as I was feeding Millie. The cheeps were definitely coming from somewhere in her territory. Oh no, I thought - one of my chicks wandered in and got stuck down there in the dark. 

The next morning as I was feeding Millie I saw momma peahen and her 4 chicks wandering up the hill, followed by a peacock. Oh no. Not chicks, peafowl. Oh no. 

But the peafowl have survived, and I've seen them several times in Millie's territory. She seems to ignore them. Good dog. Odd, since I've watched her chase chickens. But encouraging - perhaps there's hope for her working career.

Tonight as I was feeding the hoof stock, I heard a goat's mournful cry. That sound is unmistakable. I had a goat caught in the fence at the back of the paddock. I took the hay in to the sheep, and walked to the back fence. There was Millie, thrilled to see me, next to my silly Nubian whose head was stuck on Millie's side of the fence. Millie was beside herself with joy and pride. She had stayed by this goat, protecting her, not harming her. She was rightfully proud of herself, and delighted to get my praise. She knew she'd done well, and was totally thrilled about it.

I guess this means back to training, and getting Millie in with the sheep. I don't think she'll ever be completely trustworthy with chickens, but she seems to want to have the company of my four-footed crew.  I love these dogs. Millie is so very pleased with herself, eager to be praised, and eager to perform her ancient tasks. Her youthful enthusiasm, lack of any kind of training for her first 1-1/2 years have led to confusion, but I think she's getting it figured out.

1 comment:

Semavi Lady said...

I loved being able to look back on Millie's labels and watch her progress. The label thing is just super! :)

Go Millie! :)