Shepherd Yourself Into Something Cozy
You deserve all of life’s soft things. You are worthy of comfort, of belly rubs, of attention, care, and time. Bark in the face of anyone who tells you otherwise. — Veli, who discovered beds this week after several weeks of sleeping bed-adjacent:
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
It’s been 14 years since I last trained a dog, and wow, I forgot how much work it is! Veli has developed some separation anxiety, which, honestly, is not surprising. She’s gotten very bonded to me, and considering she was ripped from the home she grew up in, spent a few weeks in a kennel, and then finally ended up here, I am sure she’s feeling a little unstable. We’re working on giving her confidence and hoping in time she feels safe here.
While I did a ton of reading on getting Veli to be gentle with the cows and sheep, very little of what I read dealt with an issue I never even saw coming: My cows and sheep are not being good to her. The cows have been especially problematic—they’ll head butt her if I’m not closely watching. And it makes sense, coyotes are preditors to calves, so mama cows are naturally wary of dogs. Unfortunately, it’s going to take more work than I was expecting to get Veli safely and happily guarding them, but we’ll get there. I’ve been taking her out for supervised, on-leash visits, and we’ll continue that, but I also think I am going to make her a little pen that is close—but not too close—to the stock, so she can spend more time near them in a safe and low-stress way. I’m also going to get the cows used to being fed every time Veli is near—so they hopefully equate her with only good things!
Given all the work I’m putting into training Veli, I think I have to let my dreams of spring lambs go. I only have two ewes who are old enough to breed. My other three ewes were born this year, and they’re technically old enough to get pregnant, but too young to safely deliver. If I buy a ram, I’ll need to separate the older ewes and run two herds of sheep on opposite sides of the farm (rams can seemingly get through ANY fence) for about a month while the ram does his thing. I just don’t see where in my schedule I’d find the time to make this happen. Sometimes that’s just life on a farm—you cannot do it all.
Here’s What I Loved This Week
This news report from a turkey farm, which made me laugh and laugh and laugh. My turkeys are JUST like this. They’re truly the silliest birds!