LGD's - Guardian Action


L to R: Whiskey, Lady, Diesel, Glory, Oakley
 It’s rare that we get to watch the guardian dogs in action because seldom does it occur that wildlife (except for birds) is in the vicinity at the same time we are with the flock. This morning was one of those rare times, and it was a grey, cloudy morning so I didn’t take my camera out with me. The above photo is from the day before.

The five guardian dogs of the main pack were hanging around the flock. I had just finished rolling out a bale and I was collecting twines when one dog alerted with a short, sharp bark, like a question. Then another bark.

A few more yips, followed by a couple deep barks as the two Anatolians alerted (as did I). Then four dogs were up and trotting, tails high, emitting excited yips and squeaks as they picked up speed and excitement. They were just like the stock dogs when they’re trying to catch a rabbit and are oh, so close.

Four dogs fanned out and crested the first hill. They spread further apart, their yips fading as they ran. They went into a hollow and each took a path through or around the brush at the bottom, crossing the fence line still buried in snow. There I lost sight of them.

Oakley remained with the flock. I wasn’t surprised that Oakley hung back (often one dog does), I was more surprised that Lady went. I have never seen this dog away from the sheep. I was curious how long she would be gone for.

Oakley sat straight and tall, fully alert. He kept barking with small, quick barks, like he was either encouraging or asking what’s happening.

I could see Diesel heading up the next hillside but nothing else. To my eyes and ears there was nothing alarming on the horizon, nothing else moving.

A few minutes later Lady returned. She trotted right into and through the flock, making her rounds. Oakley was quiet now, but remained sitting, watching.

Out on the horizon, about a quarter mile away, three shapes traveled the hilltop, starting and stopping, heads down sniffing, turning back and going forward again. Soon they disappeared. There wasn’t any telling how long the dogs would be gone for and I didn’t wish to hang around that long on pasture this morning. There was no immediate threat and I trusted the dogs would look after things, ... that they already had.



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