Tuesday, December 7, 2010

'Cause Christmas Can Be Every Day

When we first got Hank, I was very worried about what he would do once it got cold. We had been previously very well trained by every cat and dog on the farm. Heated beds are mandatory. Sleeping inside the kitchen is a given... Hank's job is to stay out with the sheep. No heated beds out there.

The first cold, snowy day I just knew he was going to be miserable, which would in turn make us miserable. I went out to the barn and couldn't find him. I looked in every possible sheltered spot. No Hank. And then I caught a glimpse of him - galloping around the paddocks, happy as a clam, completely oblivious to the weather. He loves the cold. Snow? Even better!

Lately I've been doing one last barn check before I go to bed. That started when Renny came and now has transferred to worrying about Esther in the cold. Last night was brutal. The walk to the barn almost hurt. I found Hank curled up in one of the outside run in stalls. Up high on the hill, near his sheep, but with a good view of everything. His favorite spot.

He came out to greet me and I noticed he'd made himself a little bed in one of the back corners. I grabbed a half a bale of straw and spread it out to give him a little more insulation. This morning I found a nice little round nest. I'd guess he did that by circling and circling until it suited him.

I'd had to run to the grocery to pick up a couple items this afternoon and got "suckered" by a dog bone display. Hank loves bones. He has stashes of bones (and other treasures) all over the farm. He know exactly where they are and he periodically moves them all around. One day you'll find a pile of treasures by a fence post; the next it might be out in the arena. I decided to surprise him.

I wish I'd thought to turn on the video camera. He was so excited!

He immediately had the perfect stash in mind, but unfortunately his bone wouldn't fit through his gate gap. It reminded me of that super cute commercial with the little terrier dog who's "troubled, troubled, troubled" about where to safely stash his bone. Can't remember what the ad is for, but love the dog and the perfect song accompanying his plight ;-).

Hope everyone is staying warm...and enjoying some holiday cheer!


Lori Skoog said...

Hank is such a good boy! Does he ever get to come out of the paddocks?

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

you are like me! i always check the babies in the barn before i go to bed. hank is such a wonderful and beauitful dog. do the pyr's have double coats? i was always afraid of heated beds in case of fire in our barn...maybe you could email me and tell me where you got hank. did you train him or did he guard naturally. was thinking of going to lex tomorrow but might wait till friday. stay warm!!!

Gayle said...

Every winter I worry about Daisy, but it seems she was bred for our minus temperatures. (About -10 at my house now; -22 in town). She does fine. Sometime I wonder if I should put a coat on her, but maybe that would be too uncomfortable? Any suggestions are welcome. She's just "out there" with some straw and a roof, but that is it. I don't even know what kind of sheep she is... we got her at a local sheep farm and I didn't think to ask. She was an abandoned bottle fed baby (the rest they have are wild raised for meat). She's not very friendly like your sheep, but she's a conversation piece and a pet. I don't even know how long she is supposed to live and I think this is our 3rd winter...maybe 4th. (My memory isn't what it used to be). Maybe you can view her photo at the bottom of my blog and give me your input.

Hank is awesome. I bet he would have saved my chickens this summer when the ravens attacked. And the stray dog. We now have coyotes (not that common) and a fox coming through, but the hens safely in the coop for the winter.

Pam said...

I love the Trouble Trouble Trouble commercial!
Our waterers have frozen solid, so I spent an hour hauling hot water and pouring into them yesterday so the sheep would have water. I finally got everything melted, called the sheep, they all came gamboling over, kicking snow everywhere and having the times of their lives, and completely ignored the water. Silly sheep. Must have been bone day yesterday-Salt got a leftover hambone from Heavenly Ham.

Tiggeriffic said...

The family behind us has 4 pieranease (spelled wrong) dogs. These dogs are so huge and so beautiful.. Sharon said they are so good at guarding her animals.
Hank is such a beautiful dog~! I loved the part where he found his bone in his bed.. Made my day this morning to wake up and see that you had written on your blog.
Have a great Wednesday~! ta ta for now from Iowa... 0 degrees this morning but sunny. Glad I only have wildbirds to feed and water.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Hank has free access to everything on the farm except the yard - so about 20 acres. However, he likes to monitor activity in the yard too so in the morning and night I open the gate, he runs out like a flash, takes about 5 minutes to check everything around the house, pee on some stuff, check the perimeter and then, like a flash, runs back to the barn and his sheep.

Most of his "ability" is natural, but we spent a good deal of time in the first several months keeping an eye on him and correcting any mistakes. He loves praise and appreciates being told he's doing a good job.

Alice said...

Hank is worth every bone you surprise him with! He does a job that others would not do as well or as cheerfully. Good job, Hank!

DayPhoto said...

I loved this post! You have such a love for all of your animals; it transfers to us in full-color.

I like you check everything before bed and then a couple of times during the night. It gets so cold out there. And ever since we have had the big predators I just feel better.


thecrazysheeplady said...

Hey Kritter Keeper - I can't find your email address. Send me a note at thecrazysheeplady at gmail dot com.

Nancy K. said...

I love how you love your animals.

Carolina Trekker said...

Good Night Hank. Sleep like a Bug in a Rug!!

flowerweaver said...

Glad to see Hank with his bone. Speaking of treats, check out Finley getting some sheep cookies:

Ed said...

LOL! Ya gotta love Hank the wonderdog, he needs a cape..:-)
p.s. he turns circles because one good turn deserves another..;-)

Christine said...

It drives me crazy that Willa stays out in the cold too, but it doesn't seem to phase her a bit. The other day I noticed she even had frost on her fur! We've tried giving her nests but she wants no part of it. She sometimes hangs out by the hay in the barn though. Her patrol path in the snow is pretty impressive. I can't imagine how many miles she travels in a night.

Bee Magic Chronicles for Kids said...

With windchill it was about -20 last night here in southern Ontario. In the subdivision I saw footprints in the snow - a stray cat. I hate it how people will drop off their pets around Christmas time. It saddening to think people could do that.
Then there's people like you, taking in Renny and giving extra straw to Hank.
You bring balance to the equasion.


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