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Monday, December 22, 2014

The Head Mistress in training

Today the weather is wonderful–arm and mainly sun. To be honest, I had a tish of a hangover after we stayed up late with friends celebrating the Solstice. The best way for me to deal with a hangover is to work outside, so the universe played along with me.

I need to really get the flock together with the White Dogs, in earnest. Benedetto is very calm around everyone, he is more mature than Marcella that way. But Marcella is doing well. She still has a tendency to chase if animals start running. So I hung out doing chores in barnyard and kept the flock in with the dogs. Soon I'll start leaving them together all the time.

I sat with her a lot and when she was calm around the flock I praised her. I walked about the barnyard and anytime she put her head down to begin what looked like a chase, she was scolded, and then praised the second she stopped. Nobody's pregnant this year so I don't have to worry about mamas being chased. I still have some work to do with fence repair before I trust her and Benedetto in the bottom field. Benedetto found a hole to get through Old Barn, and he really had a good run about yesterday and this morning. Marcella went with him. I need to relax about this, it is what i want him to do, but not yet. One more month and I'll feel better. There is still one side of our acreage with ways for animals to escape, and we plan to fence that this coming year. I mainly worry he might go somewhere and chase a cat, and get shot. So I was just really pleased he came back after his long run. And Marcella comes back sooner since she is more bonded with the barnyard. Once he's more bonded with flock, I'm hoping I'll relax.

One of Marcella's habits since a pup-and I've heard of other Maremma's doing this- is she sits in the middle of the hay pile at feeding. Sometimes she even eats some hay. I just love that. She is such a wonderful dog.