Sunday, August 2, 2009

Really scary Saturday

Background: five or six weeks ago, some lowlife dropped six small puppies at the end of our neighbor’s driveway: three Beagle mixes and three pups that appear to be a cross of Dachshund and Beagle. Our neighbor is diabetic and on disability, so with his own dog to provide for, the puppies were way too much. He easily placed two of the Doxie mixes, then no one seemed to need pups. So, being soft hearted (or maybe soft headed) and despite already being an eight-dog family, last month we agreed to take the last of the Doxie mixes, a charmer our neighbor called Fred.

Fast forward to the present. I’m housetraining Fred, so when indoors and unsupervised, he bunks in a puppy crate alongside Mopple’s crate. As a result, they’ve become good pals. So much so that Fred spends his outside time lounging alongside Mopple’s fence when Mopple is in the outdoor pen.

So on Saturday morning, after feeding animals, milking the goats and depositing Mopple in the pen for the day, John and I headed off to the grocery store for grub.

It was time for Mopple’s bottle when we got home, so I heated his milk and took it out to him. He usually meets me at the gate ravenously (or so he says) hungry. This time he didn’t. As I opened the gate, Fred raced out of the Port-a-Hut. What? How did he get in there? And where is Mopple? I rushed to the Port-a-Hut to see. Fred had cornered him and bitten him several times and Mopple was in shock.

I rushed to the house with Mopple: he had a small nick behind one ear and superficial bites on both shoulders. The injuries weren’t much but his shocky condition scared me—a lot. I gave him Reiki (I’m a Reiki practitioner) and held him on my lap while John dabbed his injuries with emu oil. Gradually over the next few hours he recovered.

Today he was spronking around the yard, good as new but I kept him indoors except for exercise periods lest flies bother his wounds.

And where did Fred get in? The tiniest hole where a goat had bashed the fence. It’s fixed now but I’ll be watching closely when Mopple goes out again. My poor little guy!

This is why dogs, except for LGDs, should never be trusted with sheep and goats. Even though Fred and Mopple are buddies, no doubt when Fred got in the pen, Mopple ran, and to any dog running sheep and goats are prey.

Mopple is okay but what if we hadn’t come home when we did? Never take dogs for granted. Unsupervised dogs, even sweet, household pets that think they are only playing can easily kill or maim a goat or sheep.

1 comment:

  1. I should add that Fred is fine with our adult sheep and goats, largely because they're so much bigger than he is. And early on they informed him that they wouldn't take his guff. He's a good puppy; he simply reacted as nearly all dogs do when exposed to 'prey'.