On Canine Time
Hit paws whenever you need a break!
It’s okay to find change overwhelming. Take all the time you need to adjust. Don’t worry about how fast or slow everyone else seems to go; progress at any pace is enough. — Veli
Here’s What’s Happening at Good Spirits Farm
It’s been almost exactly three months since Veli joined our farm, so I thought it might be time for an update. For new readers: Veli is a 3-year-old Anatolian shepherd whose old owners fell on hard times and needed to sell their farm, all their sheep, and sadly, their dog too. A lovely friend picked her up from Virginia and brought her here to guard our flock.
There’s a 3-3-3 rule in rehoming dogs that’s turned out to be shockingly true for Veli. The first three days on our farm she didn’t make a peep. (Guardian dogs are known for being big barkers, it’s how they warn coyotes to stay away.) She was clearly in shock about her giant life change. At three weeks, she was starting to settle in. However, she was also testing boundaries and still dealing with a ton of separation anxiety. During these weeks, Veli would dig out of any enclosure we put her in, and actually chewed/muscled her way out of a metal crate—all in an attempt to get back to me. But: She had also clearly never been inside before, and found THAT extremely stressful too. She didn’t want to be inside, but also didn’t want to be away from me. Honestly, these few weeks were really trying!
I started taking her running to get some of her energy out, and doubled down on how much time I spent working with her each day.
And: Chris and I both just kind of accepted that she needed time. Every day I’d take her out to sit with the sheep and cows, in hopes of bonding her with them. But, honestly, it just felt a bit useless. She only had eyes for me—and wouldn’t let me out of her sight. Of course, coyotes are not a threat to me!
Today, as we approach her three-month mark, Veli is finally starting to settle in. She is now happy to go and watch the sheep all day. I’ve been slowly giving her evening shifts, and I think she may be ready to stay out with the sheep all night soon, too. Around 9 p.m. yesterday evening, I went out to relieve her from her evening shift and she was barking her head off at *insert something unseen but very scary here* while sitting right next to our herd. That’s exactly what we want her to do. Good girl, Veli.
In other news: More snow is coming. The chickens have just forgiven me for last week’s snow!
Tomorrow will be spent prepping - staging hay out in the fields to keep critters fed and filling water troughs so we don’t have to rely on frozen hoses. Then I’ll probably make a tray of mac and cheese, cruise through a seed catalog, and think thoughts of spring.
What I Loved This Week
By now, I am sure you all have already seen this video, but just in case you haven’t, look at this sweet Anatolian pup in training!