Monday, December 19, 2011


After much deliberation, talk of mules, llamas, and livestock guardians, and the husband's long, cold night on coyote watch, we adopted Max from the local Humane Society. He was not the prettiest. He was not the biggest. He was not the most intimidating. We chose him because he has experience living with livestock according to notes left by his previous owner. Max was surrendered to the Humane Society because he was too energetic for the older dog in their household. He is only one year old.

My aversion to getting a dog for the ranch was that I figured a dog could just as well eat the farmy animals as much as a coyote could. We met Max on Friday. His reaction to us was to immediately bound up to my husband and hug him. Not good dog manners, but pretty darn to the point. He hugged me too.

We spent a little time walking and playing with him and asked to place him on hold until the following day to think on it. He's not any kind of purebred livestock guardian. He was listed as a Sable Red German Shepherd mix. Judging by the spots on his tongue, he's part Chow as well. And probably part other things. It was a risk to expect him to be a guardian. I read up on German Shepherds and found mixed opinions on whether they are suitable livestock guardians. But then again, my plan isn't to have Max live in the goat or sheep pens or to hang out directly with the hens.

So I slept on the decision and decided it didn't feel wrong to go get him.

The kids and I picked Max up on Saturday and took him to his new home: Mojo's old cage where the first known chicken murder by coyotes occured. Now, Max is guarding. Eventually, when we know we can totally trust him (he's proven pretty livestock friendly so far) he'll have the run of the place.

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