Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Guess We Owe Them A Steak...

We have our two LGD's in the "jungle" with 15 of our goats.

Most of the time, they can be seen (or rather, most of the time THAT they are seen...), they keep a watch over their herd from a discrete distance. Most of the time, they just sit and watch, taking turns napping.

During the day, anyway.

At night, they cruise the paddock, looking for outsiders. I have witnessed them chase off, threaten or munch - such evil dangers to their goats as; chickens, cats, Turkey Buzzards, squirrels, people, and rabbits.

I do know that we haven't lost a goat to predators since the LGD's have arrived.

This time of year, the cool, early mornings are reserved for play and the older dog teaching the younger dog. There have been several days when I look out to see them rolling in the grass or chasing one another around the trees.

Usually the goats try to avoid these spectacles....

Our goats are prone to getting up early, and heading out into the trees and creek bed to have a little greenery for breakfast. Later, when they spot me coming back from the barn, they race to the feeder to get their daily dose of grain. This is usually when the dogs just plain get out of the way.

Goats don't care who they step on on the way to food...

This morning, I headed out to milk at 7:20. The goats were still out in the trees, getting greens. All of a sudden, I heard Yani bark. Her bark was not high or urgent, but a low "WOOF!" that sounded like a Drill Instructor giving orders.

After three such barks, I saw movement in the trees. A few seconds later, the goats came marching out of the trees, with Shadow taking up the rear. They all stopped in a little clearing by our driveway and stared out towards the road. There was much snorting, spitting and stomping going on as they kept watch.

Shadow stood between them and the road, with his ears up and his long tail swooping slowly from side to side. He looked like he was ready to run at a seconds notice.

That's when I saw Yani running across the pasture along side the county road.
About 8 feet in front of her was a scraggly, mangy looking, Coyote, heading for the fence.

He was lucky that he was able to scramble up the corner on the first try - I seriously doubt Yani would have given him a second....

Yani stopped at the wire, while the Coyote headed out the drive and took off down the road to the north. She stared after him for a few seconds, then came bouncing down the fence line to greet the goats and Shadow.

It was a happy reunion. You could see the tension relax out of the goats (and the dogs), as things returned to normal.

I found it interesting how the two dogs worked together to solve a "critical" situation - and that the goats were more then willing to be herded out of the area when they knew something was amiss.

We brought home both of these dogs from a lady in Kansas. They have BOTH been a wonderful addition, and a joy to watch "work". We've decided that they are WELL worth 10 TIMES what we paid for them.

They might head butt the dogs occasionally, or try to steal their food, but when the going gets rough, the goats know which side their bread is buttered on...

They're glad to have them, too.

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