The Daemon sisters - 10-12 months
Kuv pup warns of horse problem
Hello listers. Irrespective of Callisto's miscreant behaviors, she warned me last night about Rosie being "cast".
I dunno why Rosie has a penchant for rolling over the wrong way, sometimes, and always once at least, when she is in foal, but anyway, she did it again last night at one in the morning. YAWN. I caused it, I'm sure. See, the past few nights, I have assisted in lambing till two AM; I have assisted in scaring off or eliminating predators from the lambing barn, all with the "help" and "alert" of Callisto, the 11 month old Kuvasz pup I'm not supposed to have or be training. Anyway, I said at turn in time, something like, "Ah, great, nothing to lamb tonight, so a full nights sleep". See how I caused Rosie to get stuck against the far wall??? Huh? See?
Usually I hear the incessant banging, something akin to "S" waves in seismology. Usually. I have a monitor in the barn. Callisto's barking awoke me. THEN I heard the "S" waves. Out I went. Callisto greeted me before I got off the landing. How in the name of Esterhaze, she can know I am coming out, baffles me. She was hyper, jumping up at my face and trying to take me out there. She led me all the way to Rosie's stall and went in to smell her. Rosie just rolled her eyes. I guess she thanked her.
This would be way off topic to describe how in the heck I get more than a ton of draft horse in a position to get up, while keeping her from straining and losing the colt inside her. Thus I will spare you the details. It's probably more traumatic for me. See, I really love Rosie, we're buddies. She works her little heart out for me on the farm and is ever so patient and careful around me. And this is the key to a good team when I am crawling all over her attempting to get her out of the mess. One, and one only, set of thrashing legs, with bones and hooves that big, would certainly send me to the boot hill complex. But she's patient, and trusting.
Callisto waited patiently in the stall, UNTILL Rosie started the final "Get up" motion. That was too much for the pup and she leaped out of the stall. Rosie is fine. She always gets a "calm down" treat after these encounters. Hummmmmm, I wonder if she ... Nahhhh! But it sure wears me out. Callisto walked me back to the gate.
Robert Denlinger - June 3, 1998 First the kitten thing. I was in the breezeway, with a training horse that I really didn't want to let go of just at the moment. Capella, fresh on duty, bounced into the grain room, where the new kittens were. In an instant she had, first one, then another out into the breezeway. Then she picked one of the two up, in her mouth and began tossing it and rolling it in her mouth.
She looked playful, but how am I to tell what these 500 pound, lightening fast, daemons will do? I was mortified. I couldn't yell her down, as I didn't need the green horse to worry with my tone and posture. So there I stood, 10 feet away, unable to think of what to do before Capella devoured the meat. Frustrating.
But the turn of events was gratifying. She was only playing with them, they were not "mewing" in anguish. Capella placed one on the ground and picked up the other. Then she cleaned them both thoroughly. The kittens mothers were lazily watching from about 3 feet away. Well, if they werenít bothered, why should I be?
Callisto, evening LGD, always comes and smells them, but doesn't play with them. Let's see, what else? Oh, on the early morning of the 25th, and right when I normally come out to feed, both Kuvs were acting up. As I went to the horse barn, Callisto seemed eager to "get me in there". Ruby, a Percheron mare, had delivered a shining new filly colt, perhaps an hour earlier, and a week sooner than I had planned. (So much for planning) Callisto was beside herself to get into the stall and "greet" the newborn, 200 pound filly. We "two" went in and I got on my knees to pet the new arrival and begin "Imprint Training". Callisto began licking the wet filly all over. Ruby, normally people timid and aggressive when she needs to be, lowered her head to the filly and watched Callisto clean her new daughter.
Later, Capella went through the same routine. She burst out of her X-Pen when I changed her with Callisto. Capella ran straight to Ruby's stall and dug under the gate to get in before I arrived. Then Capella went through the cleaning routine as her sister had previously done. For the next few days, Capella would "camp out" next to the stall. She would object if I tried to send her off to guard the mob in the field, usually sneaking back by a surreptitious route. If any BC's or other horses approached the stall, Capella would let them know that it was "off limits". In fact, she hovered over me, hawk like, when ever I went in there. Geeze, whose horse is this anyway?
A couple of days ago, I let the mare and new colt go into the foaling paddock ..AKA lambing paddock ... Capella was right there with them and stayed nearby. A picture of this is on my "Foal page". It seems that the LGD's have a keen interest in newborn life, wishing to nurture them. If this is so, it is a trait that MUST be maintained when both breeding for the working LGD's and when breed standards are considered.
Robert Denlinger - June 12, 1998
An Aside: A cute little story from a couple of days ago will display their ability to observe and integrate some thoughts. Mary was sitting in the "sled". It has one foot sideboards and is, at the floor, about 10 inches from the ground. She had all the kittens in there to both contain them and allow them some sunlight. She was feeding them "yummy" kitten chow that both Mommy Cats were wild about. Mary was having quite a time keeping one of the mommies from pushing the kittens away from the chow. Again and again, Mary pushed the Cat away. Then she allowed the ravenous kittens to eat. Capella was sitting, head looking into the sled floor, watching the story. Then after a few minutes, Capella, ever so gently, grabbed the CATS tail and restrained her from "stealing" anymore food from HER (Capella's) kittens. Hummm. Makes you wonder just how smart these lovely little witches are, doesn't it?
Robert Denlinger - June 10, 1998
I thought I would ask, again, IF these blasted LGD 12 month old puppies will ever stop testing me. For several days now, Capella has shapeshifted out of the nets, where the sheep are grazing, over a half mile away. Not really certain how it happens, I suspect the gate.
In the past two weeks the farm has had two 200 pound colts born. The Kuv pups are intent on licking and cleaning them. As well as, guarding them. Thus, Capella will escape the netting and come back, ultimately to check up on "her" colts. Then, having done that, she finds where the BC's are sleeping and joins them. Until I find her and chase her butt back to the sheep. But, alas, she sneaks right back.
Now what the heck good does an expensive LGD do, you know, the "independent" kind that we "all" want to have, that has her own agenda?? In the past two weeks these darn Kuvasz have just taken over and guard what they want and where they want. This won't work.
Today, a long story, Phoebe fell into or jumped into, the river. A large quick storm hit us at 0400 today, thus the river is fast and rising. Well, Rosie, her 2200 pound mother jumped right down the ten foot embankment and went for the filly. I followed. Gosh it's cold. I won't bore you with the details of the horsemanship required to rescue a colt thatís a couple of days old. But while I was swimming around with her, I noticed Capella had jumped in with us. Cute. Who the heck is guarding my darn sheep. I sent her out by growling at her. SOME pictures were taken You will only see the obvious Kuvasz, along the banks. But to you seasoned LGD working dog owners, you may notice Capella's intent following of the situation. So maybe if she had remained in the paddock with the mare and colt, Phoebe would not have fallen in. In the other hand, Capella and Callisto are water babies and maybe Capella thought Phoebe was also. See the pictures if you wish. See Capella's hide, tanned and wall mounted soon.
Robert Denlinger - June 11, 1998
Geeze, just when I thought I was ahead of the surprises these Kuvasok dish out, Callisto got me again. Yesterday, with the new filly colt was a zoo. Capella was fine, however.
This morning I was returning from early (foggy) feeding the horses and noticed the main little mob wasn't around the barn as usual in the pre-dawn hours. Neither was Callisto, due, now, to be switched with Capella. So, a little investigation revealed they were a ways away, in and out of my vision through the fog. I noticed Callisto was closely following a ewe, not harassing her but smelling her rear end. The ewe must have been a yearling, as she seemed to be slightly trying to get away from the "wolf"..
I went inside. Came out in maybe, 20 minutes. Enough light was available despite the fog. The flock was returning, along with Callisto. Never did figure what she was doing. Nor with whom. But a scan of the clover field did make me squint several times. I thought I saw "white" where it should be green. Fog is a trickster on my eyes. As is growing years.
But I didn't see it, or couldn't locate where I thought I saw it, so went on to the barn. Fiddled around trying to placate hungry broodmares and then went for some coffee. Got the brew and heard Callisto barking her "Hey master, come here and look" bark. At least I THINK that's what it means. She was laying on a "higher" ground along the "sort-of" access road from barn to house. "Odd", I thought. She's usually very spry and isn't prone to be in a fixed position in daylight. "Odd indeed".
Put the mug down. Went out. This "going out" always draws the eyes down the pastures. "What??", I said. But Karen says I said something else. I saw a BIG "white" out in the clover. It moved. It looked at the ground. I was straining the vision now. Then I saw a little "white". Nearly under, and in front of the BIG white. Callisto was still calling.
Obviously I figured it out or I wouldn't be doing what I do. Someone lambed out in the clover. You see, the darn "expensive" marking harness, a "cross you heart" or some fancy name, broke a plastic buckle. In fact, it broke three times over the season. Even though that nice sheep company that I continue to do biz with, DID sell me new buckles, I finally got a little unhappy with the "cost" + shipping and trashed the harness in a mild fit of rage. It now resides underneath a horseshoe on the harness room door. So, I have lost count of who was bred and when to expect lambs for the past three months. Maybe next season someone will make one that lasts ON MY FARM for a season. Not on theirs.
So out I went. Callisto was tickled I came. She ran ahead and took little Karen and me right to the ewe. Then Callisto ran about. Or she ran to another "little white". Whatever. It may be she was just running about. None the less, this ewe had had twins, separated by, oh I'd say, a hundred feet. The "lost one" was crying and stood up. I took a couple of pictures and they are in the LGD page on my experimental Web Page. So, you see, these pups work on their own agenda, guarding when and where they please. Usually it helps me. Sometimes it's a royal pain in the afterburner.
Robert Denlinger - June 12, 1998 Cissy asked: Once your guys understand their responsibilities, which they seem to now, what would be the down side of letting them decide what would be the best way to get the job done?
The operative concept, here, is ONCE they understand. Rather, I suggest IF they ever understand. We do have predation here. How can the Kuv's help "down there in the net" if they (or she) is back "over here" ? And to complicate matters, in regards to Capella, she will likely then remain goofing off sleeping in the harness room with the BC's the remainder of the day.
She always, as of late, seems to conveniently make her way back there. Perhaps the third time in a day I stick her back out with the sheep, she will tire of the process and remain out there. I realize she is smarter than me and is always testing my resolve. I should be able to decide if I want Capella a mile away or near the base. But, in fairness, she HAS "adopted" two filly colts, some kittens, some lambs, and her sister. All of which are scattered about. Now, Callisto, her sister, is another story. Remember, she is THE guardian of myself and the horses (general) PLUS some kittens, and two filly colts. But she's more interested in where I am about.