Tuesday, June 13, 2023


Fred came to live with Vicki and I (and cats, goats, steers) in January of 2022. In the last post, I described his genetics, but specifically he's half Great Pyrenes, 23.3% Australian Shepherd, 17.3% Border Collie, 9.4% Miniature/MAS-type Australian Shepherd.

He's probably around 100 lbs and strong. He has forced adaptations one after another. He was probably a little over a year old, maybe 15-16 months when I got him. On day one he got my butter from the counter. Adaptation #1, butter goes up into the cabinet. If it's on the counter, it's probably going to be his.

Then there was extensive poop eating. Then there was the car chasing. Every time he encountered a new kind of livestock he would try to play with it and then bark at it when that didn't happen. My neighbors have horses, pigs, sheep, and chickens. They have a beautiful pair of Pyrenes sisters as guard dogs for the sheep. Every one of them has been barked at extensively. Luckily my neighbors on both sides are very patient. And Fred doesn't chase. When he first got here he barked at my steers. He barked at my goats when they came along. 

Ever since the morning when he chased off the lion, his urge to be protector has surged. 

The day before yesterday I needed to go into Salida for some things. When I got home he'd tried to dig his way out above the dog door. I hadn't finished up the job, and you could see daylight through a small gap. He opened up a hole in drywall that was 18 inches wide and close to 10 inches tall. Big mess, but also a sign of change. In the 18 months he's been here, he's been locked into the house when I leave because he'll try to follow me otherwise. Now he's lost his tolerance for that.

Yesterday I had to go into town again (to buy a set of tires, ugh). While I was gone he pulled the trim off the latch side of my door, dug for while, then figured out how to unlock it. He got out. 

About 45 minutes before I got home there was a big thunderstorm. He was out, and close lightning strikes made him bolt. A neighbor came to the house with his four wheeler from a mile up the road to tell me Fred was up there. While we were talking I saw Fred running for home. The scared dog ran right into the house and up to the bedroom to sulk on the bed.

So, he's forcing another adaptation. I don't think I'll be able to lock him in for any reason. Which means I'll have to teach him to not follow me when I leave.

Such a wonderful friend. And such an incredible pain in my ass.

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