Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Loyalty, devotion, trust

I stopped and picked up a couple bales of straw yesterday, and cleaned out the barn, and limed, and added a bale.  Looks good.  There is wetness that comes in near the door and windows, so I am trying to be smart in how I spread the straw.  Sheep are good.  This new shipment of hay is not as nice as the other stuff (no alfalfa) so the sheep are a little annoyed at me ;)

As I walked down the stairs after dropping the hay/straw, Dan came with me, but no Joe.  I realized that Joe had not done the stairs, and since they are open, they can be scary.  I had to teach Danny this, and now it was time to teach Joe.  First, Joe had to over come coming into the dark hallway.  He was scared, but I knelt down and have him a few pieces of cookies, as he came closer.  Once he mastered this hallway (which is dark and has some planks that make noise), we sat there, and I caressed him and told what a GOOD BOY!!!! he was.  This seemed to make the most difference... Then, I backed up and sat at the top of the steps and leaned into him with my face, and repeated it, and he was nervous; he was crying, but he stayed close to me.  Now, Joey is vocal (every morning he yodels at me as I get ready), so the crying was not un-expected.   Then, I went down one step.  I had a piece of baling twine on his collar, not to make him come forward, but to not let him back up.  Anyway, I continued until we got down the stairs.  He did this all for me, for the trust and devotion to me.  I can't tell you how proud I was of him.  Then, we had to go up, which is just as scary.... We mastered both, and now he goes up and down no problem.  This was not a long time effort, just concerted by both of us.  Things like this are what make having dogs, so worth it; their loyalty and devotion, and trust.

After that lesson, I did chores.  I tried to walk the dogs in the snow, but got only 1/3 of the way, and realized it was too deep.  Way too deep.  This is some winter, let me tell you.  I think it's actually normal, we were spoiled last year.

Today, I plan to get the oil changed in the car, and that's pretty much the only difference from usual..

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