Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Head Mistress in training

I underestimated the sheer pleasure of watching this dog in action. Even at two months, her instincts to sit back and observe are keen, and each day I see more signs of her intellect as a guard. Smart as a whip, the breeder told me,

"If a Marema wants to get from one pasture to another for good reason, it will get there."

On day two she had made a tunnel out of her safety pen, which allowed her to share the larger stall with Moose and Goose. While this complicates this early stage of her career here-for me, not her-it is interesting to watch.

Today was a big morning for her, and the main flock. I didn't think it wise to train her on the pregnant ewes-only because stressed pregnant ewes is not good, and they are a week or so from lambing. So this morning I have the main flock out in the barnyard, amongst the Misfits, and Marcella. The sheep are less hesitant around her, and what is interesting is she does not take chase, she sits back and observes.

She is still a pup though, showing off a stick to Moose, then chasing him-a behavior I will not encourage, and gave her a strong, "No chase!" which had her drop to the ground- excellent reaction!

And the Bottomtums were let out of their pond area. I wanted to see how she handled chickens, since their wings are not clipped. The ducks came with clipped wings, and Priscilla can hold her own, but is old, so I wasn't comfortable letting them out yet.

If you are having Marcella overload, I guess I could apologize. But it is a wonderful relationship forming, me and her. Life is complicated right now because of her-the feeding regime with the goats and pigs is hard enough, separating out who eats and who only gets hay- and now with Marcella, it is over the moon hard. She can not be amongst them, as Ernest and Rosie can get rough- or specifically Rosie the resident grumpologist. And I don't feel comfortable having the llama in her midst during feeding, so he and Scooby Keith go to the orchard. It all requires lots of buckets, shooing goats about and then about again, grabbing Marcella and containing her while someone eats, etc. I've also discovered she loves the barn cat feed which can't hurt her, but the cat haven for breakfast is no more.

Do you like these posts? Please consider pledging to the current Kickstarter campaign-only 30 days left to birth the new book! My writing and art keep the farm afloat, and help maintain the Misfits. Thank you.


Lisa Griffen said...

No such thing as overload with this little lady!

blissfulsally said...

Oh, so much work and what joy to share her growing up. I love how intently she watches. She is a beauty!

pencilfox said...

smart and beautiful.
excellent combination.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you found the perfect guard for the misfit clan. How beautiful she is....xox

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~