Farm Dog

july2016When I adopted my sweet pup nearly 8 years ago, I had no idea exactly how much joy and laughter she would add to my life. A delightful mix of cocker spaniel and dachshund, she gained the best traits of both breeds. She has proven herself to be a wonderful stalker of the urban wildlife that abounds in our neighborhood, chasing squirrels and bunnies with equal ferocity.

When I began to seriously consider adding chickens to my family, I wasn’t overly concerned by the pup’s reaction. After all, she’s cool watching birds from the back porch. I knew there would be a few training challenges, and its been rather hilarious to help her adjust.

I’ll never forget the first evening. The brooder box sat on the kitchen table, red light from the heat lamp filled my small home, and the incessant cheeping of four 3-day old chicks nearly drove my sweet girl mad. She woke me with her whining and hopped into bed throughout the night – something she never does!

The move to the coop helped tremendously. The first few days my pup would run straight to the coop, running circles around it, barking, and attempting to bite through the fencing. The squawking and wing flapping was nerve racking until the chicks figured out they just needed to run upstairs and hush.

It didn’t take long for my sweet girl to morph into chicken protectress. She gives the coop a passing glance as we walk to the vegetable garden, making sure all is well. Her favorite perch is in the middle of the yard – a full 360 degree view to guard our perimeter. She’s the perfect farm dog for my urban space, fully capable of doing the work of a dog much larger. That makes the occasional DQ pup cup a well earned snack in my book!

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