The Daemon Sisters - 8 months
Two thirty-five AM, and I realized in hapless slumber that I was STILL hearing Callisto, the eight month old on "Night Time Duty" with the, now hiding in the shed, flock. Yawn, roll over, grudgingly get up, peer out the window.
"OOpssala, not only is it white but there are drifts against the horse barn doors and it's coming down thickly. Could hear Callisto's voice. Sounded quite hoarse. Also, I could tell that she was going in different directions and quite furious with something. So, I put on the foul weather gear, grabbed the big flashlight, wrapped my face in the woolie, and ....and "OOPSALA" the door won't open outwards ....push, shove, pull, push, and I'm out.
Searched the barking and long before I got there, the Big White Dog knew somehow I was approaching from a few hundred feet away and in a driving snowstorm, AT NIGHT! Amazing little furry Kuvasz. I paid her the required "greeting token", kept in LARGE quantities in my right hand pocket. She looked franticly at me, dashed back to the lambing paddock gate, then back to me. Generally a repeat of the night a few weeks ago when the bobcat was in the paddock and outside the ewe-lamb barn. "Naaa" , I thought, "Bobcats are smarter than to come out in this weather". No bobcat. According to the patternless tracks, only Callisto had been running to and fro.
Then I heard a branch break up in the forest. Weight of the very wet snow on probably dead limbs. Callisto was screaming around, lunging and biting at the snowflakes in the strong beam of light from the flashlight. She'd bark, jump and bite. The she'd growl at the forest, then back to the snowflakes. I figured that Callisto knew the whole pastures' pattern had changed and knew it wasn't right. I had a very difficult time extracting her from her guard duty. I took her into the horse barn. Poor thing was coated with the wet snow. Mind you, she didn't seem cold or even the least bit bothered by the snow on here. She just needed to get back out and attack all those white alien interlopers in HER pasture.
But, once in the horse barn, she quickly ran up one side of he stalls and down the other. I saw her look at each horse, leap up at a few, not trying to bite, and then back to me. She presses against me whenever she comes near. So, I got her a nice ration of kibble, brushed the wetness from her coat and gave her a straw bed to lie down on. She started munching away, but continually looking back to the stable of horse faces, now staring at me .."Well, do we get a late night snack too?" Emphatic NO. As I had done just that at eleven PM, suspecting bad weather. Fat little critters anyway.
Robert Denlinger - 2/18/98
In my never-ending saga of trying to tame/train my, now 8 mo. old, Kuvasok, I've discovered they get email from David Copperfield! (magician)
Remember, I (try to) keep them separated. That is, one is out, while the other is (un)securely locked away in a 12 by 12 pen The pen has three gates, and walls that are five and a half feet tall. There is a sheep manger, six feet long, therein. It's about 4 feet tall. The gates are seven bar, bull gates. I had to cover these with a woven wire mesh.
Last week, I discovered that Callisto was escaping the pen. She usually went to the sheep, but in so doing, found her sister Capella on duty. From there on, it was shear pandemonium. Two white comets streaking around the pasture, into the water and mud.
So, being fairly clever, I deduced from the white hair on the woven wire that had been SHREDDED, that I needed to REALLY wire these things on. So I fixed that avenue of escape forever. (?) A couple of days ago, I noticed two white UFO's buzzing the pasture. A call to NORAD proved nothing was sighted on radar. Hummmm. I saddled the steed I use for "rapid deployment" and warped down to investigate. Yup. Callie and Pella were at it. Muddy to the hilt and now gleefully chasing the tail of the horse I was on. Really! Jump -- ZING ---Swish ----jump ---SNAP ---ZINGGGG ---"Geeze, I'm outta here!",as I gave the customary "Get the heck outta here now!!" squeeze to Corey.
But Corey has been used to "herding" Capella back to the flock. She's somewhat bad about staying a couple of hours and trying to sneak back to her sister. So, as such, Corey wouldn't hear of leaving. He had two targets to "cut out". I hung on. Not much else to do. Pella got the idea as she always does when Corey follows her every evasion tactic. She headed back to the flock. Callisto (Callie) tried to follow Capella (Pella). Corey knew better. I hung on tighter. Callie got the tail. I looked. "Wow, this is funnnnnnn" she mumbled. Corey wouldn't be outdone. He spun on the hinds and threw hooves. Callie headed for the barn. "Good Idea, before I fall off", I thought.
Back at the shed, I inspected the pen. Hummm, wire panels still on. No white hair. Hummmm? So I put Callie back in the pen. "Musta been a fluke", I pondered it awhile. Went into the roundpen to work with a mustang.
A while later, I happened to be facing the sheep pen outer wall. Two dark eyes were offset by a white muzzle and face, peering over the wall at me. It didn't look right. "Hummm, she's not THAT tall". So I averted the gaze and seemed to be working with Nevada. Then I saw two front paws and the cute face.
SHE's IN THE MANGER !! So, not being as dumb as the manger, I moved it to the only inside wall, namely the outside of the horse barn wall. Smart me. She was jumping into the manger, then climbing over the wall. Well, I certainly fixed THAT escape route FOREVER!!! (?)
This afternoon, late, I was feeding a bit early. I was across a paddock at the lambing area. The same place Callie had twice run off a bobcat. I had the corn, two border collies and a white Demon named Capella, the daytime flockguard. So, lets see: Ned, that's one, Queen, that's two, Pella, that's three, Callie, uhhh FOUR ?? CALLIE?? I really, honestly, truly, had to stop and count white things. YUP, by golly, there's two Kuvaszok here. YIKES!!!!!!
So, I went back later to figure this one out. Judging from the telltale hair, Callie climbed into the manger again. And sprung across a four foot gap and over the gate. Seems she usually is the one that goes to feed the late afternoon feeding, before actual darkness falls. I had pre-empted the changeover and fed early. "Not without ME you won't!!!", she gasped. YIKES!!!!
So, I moved the manger to Reno, Nevada. I'm just not going to feed the sheep. That will certainly solve the problem of escape. FOREVER. (???)
This evening, at dusk, Callie was staring at the horses. They had made their sojourn to the gates. They want in for evening grain. Queeup, the lead mustang, was having to "re-organize" the lineup. There's a "pecking order" that MUST be followed, religiously. He had to get a little more tough with a new filly. His method is to swing his tail end around, stomp a hind foot, raise a hind foot, then rapidly back up. The message is very very clear. "I will kick the snot out of you with both back feet at the same time, UNLES you move NOW, cretin!". I have seen him carry through. Now, and for the FIRST time ever, Callie decided she didn't like the aggression. She growled and stood up. Then she approached the two with her tail curled and barked. "Imagine that", I thought. "I may not have to worry about any more escape attempts!!". See, mustangs make short order of anything that challenges then. Especially DOGS ---read that wolves and coyotes in their mind.
BUT WAIT ---what's this??? Both horses went their own ways. Queeup gave a head twist and head down look to Callisto. Callie stared him down and both seemed to depart as if nothing was wrong. Now, if I could just keep her and feed her, in one place ......
Robert Denlinger - 2/20/98
Yesterday, for the 'nth time, I picked up trash from the three trash cans. replaced it in the can and replaced the lids. I'd been getting rather unhappy with the sheep foraging in the trash cans. This in spite of the cans being situated so they "cannot" tip over. Right! Every time I do this, the next AM one or all is over and the trash is collected at the "toys r us" pile where Callisto/Capella places their "collectables".
Then I figured it out. At night Callisto is out searching for anything that doesn't look like it belongs where it is. She collects a few tokens and takes them to her pile. Well, I guess, once the sheep had overturned the "Cannot be overturned" cans, thus spreading garbage, Callie figured a lack of trash on the ground was "Not Correct". So it is SHE that is doing it (I saw her last night!!!) Very adept, she is. Wrests the lids off "One, Two, Three". Then grabs the cans and yanks them over the chain. "There, THAT looks better now! Hummmm, what's this here? I'll just collect that while I'm at this business!!"
A PAIN?? I am heading for some big LGD shows. Giving up the flockguard stuff. Callie and Pella are BLACK/Brown Kuvasokies from the mud.
A bigger PAIN?? Pella is in the expecting pen. One VERY large horny Hampshire as a mate. Haven't been able to feed any Kuv's in there as the sheep find the food, no matter the device. So I placed Pella in a lambing jug this early dark AM. Clever me. Then I gave her a bowl of yummy brown crud crumbles. Next I went in the adjacent large flock overnight pen, seeing about hay. Heard the distinctive sounds of crumbles on a plastic stock bowl. Like the sound when the ewes are stealing the LGD food. "AHA!! I'll show that Hamp!!", I ran, tripped over Tony the VERY large Ram. Heck, it's dark and gooey in there.
Got over to the five foot divider to look. Capella was "nosing" to food OUT OF THE BOWL, and over thru the lambing panel, TO THE darn HAMP!!!
Robert Denlinger - 2/23/00
I have a couple of 8 month Kuvasok daemon termites. Nothing on the farm is sacred. I do notice they prefer anything that has been laid down, which isn't normally in that exact place, as measured with the finest NORAD GPS system. Wellllll, heck, I can't afford one of those gismos, but the Kuv's are direct linked and have a digital display that comes up on the inside of their eyes, unseen be humans I'd imagine. Well, they remove Lambs ear tags, and the ears sometimes. When I set a saddle down and have to do something hurriedly, they help me, if they are around, by removing it to "their" secret pile place. Also they remove anything that floats down the river, if they can get to it. Consequently I have a huge pile of driftwood awaiting a summer Bar-BQ. Shoes, floating diapers that eastern kentuckians are famous for throwing in rivers and sundry parts of deer. In fact, anything that isn't were it was the first time they laid eyes on it, say for purposes of continental drift and plate tectonics, they move to their cache.