Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maddux Growing Pains and a Steaming Pile of Compost....

We have written a lot about Maddux in the past and how wonderful he truly is, but there are some growing pains we are trying to work through. I guess with all LGD puppies, you have that time of goofiness and mischievousness. Sometimes I feel it will never go away, but then you see a sign of brilliance.

The first few days of having Maddux out at the farm were pretty good. No casualties, just the now and again playing spurt and bouncing around that scared the chickens and ducks under the eggmobile. Then last week I walked up to the eggmobile, at dusk, to lock down the chickens and he was lying by a chicken that had its wing pulled off.  He looked very sad and was kind of moaning, lying beside the chicken. I took it as a play date that went bad. I rolled him over, grabbed his scruff and sharply said "no" with the dead chicken in my hand. It seemed he got it and I took the chicken to the livestock compost pile and left.

Two nights later, Nicole went to the farm to get the chickens up for the night when it had happened again. This time, he proceeded to try and eat his mistake. Nicole, being half my size, proceeded to roll Maddux over, grab his scruff and sharply said "no". It hurts losing chickens, but this is the price of puppyhood. He'll grow out of it.

It has been four days since these two incidents and no problems yet. He is almost six months old and has started to stay out at the farm day and night. We were told by Liz at Nature's Harmony, where we got him, that these things are bound to happen through the puppy stage. They were right. If I have to worry about a casualty here and there while he is still a puppy - as much as I hate it - I guess not having him would be a lot worse.

He is showing improvement, though. We have seen some very good signs of guardianship that have made us proud over the last few days - barking at strangers, noises coming from the woods, at hawks and cars coming down the drive. He has this deep barrel bark that could stop someone in their tracks. It doesn't hurt that he is nearly the size of a pony and he is still growing.

Compost heating up....

During the Sunday workshop, we built three compost bins and filled them with some stinky goodness. Well, those bad boys are heating up and steam was rolling off this morning. What a beautiful sight! We will need to build one more bin on each side in a few days to turn the compost over and may even expand it a bit.

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