Friday, February 14, 2014

The Replacements, Part III

Between what was going on with our livestock guardian dog situation, and Rohana's goat questions, the two of us had been chatting quite a bit over the course of several months.  So I was aware that Mroot, Mini's dam, had been bred in December and that she was expecting a litter in February.  And we knew when she had her litter that there were plenty of females available.  Andy and I had discussed whether we would go ahead and get a puppy from this litter in addition to keeping Cassie, or if we would wait another couple of years before getting another LGD so that the older dog would be able to help train the younger dog, and that there would be more space between the two age wise so we wouldn't be dealing with two older dogs at the same time.  When we decided that Cassie wasn't going to stay, we knew that we needed to find the time (in the middle of kidding season, no less), to take a little road trip to pick out our new puppy.  It felt right going back to the breed we knew something about, and getting a little sister of Mini's seemed like a good call as well.

I have never had a puppy who was less than five months old.  This was not by design, life just happened to turn out that way, which is not unusual when a couple of your dogs have come from rescue, and your first dog was a year old when you were born.  Not having had a really young puppy before, I was not altogether prepared for the intense amount of cuteness involved in a two month old.  That soft little belly! The puppy breath! It was almost overwhelming.

We spent the whole drive home trying to come up with Armenian or other European names as a tribute to her country of origin, and settled on Anush (which can also be spelled Anoush, and is pronounced AH-noosh), which means "sweet", and seemed fitting as she was born on Valentine's Day.  While she is sweet, if we'd had a few months to get to know her, we might have gone with Exuberant as that describes her very well.

*Looks up Armenian word for's Hord...nope, that would not have been her name after all.*

Someone was not quite as happy about the puppy on her first day home.

Lalalala I refuse to acknowledge the existence of any so-called puppy
Nope, no puppy in this direction either.

 The puppy, on the other hand, thought Stella was fantastic.

Imma be just like you when I grow up!

See! I'm doing it now!
Stella seemed a bit annoyed with the attention from Anush.  It could have been that she was just annoyed that there was yet another new dog here, though since we have had her, she had dealt with the arrival and departure of six other dogs.  It could have been that she just didn't believe this one would be staying for long and didn't want to bother getting to know her.

After about 48 hours of either pretending the puppy didn't exist, or, if she did exist, that she was annoying, we finally saw:

Woot! Stella inviting Anush to play!

We were back to having dogs that got along, and who could exercise with each other twice a day.  The nice thing about getting Anush so young was that the goats did not feel intimidated by the new dog, and let her know that she was to respect them.  Being young during kidding season was also good for us because there's a bit less shaping that you need to do, and less trouble they can get in.  We mainly tried to let her know that she didn't need to be around people ALL the time, and that when we say "Go On!", we mean that she needs to give us our space.

Anush is definitely quite different than her sister.  Where Mini looked worried all the time, Anush is alert, but confident that should anything come up, she'll handle it, no worries mate!  When greeting her at the gate, she will often get all four feet quite far off the ground, so excited is she to see you.  When I would get upset with Mini, she would stay far away from me until I had calmed down, but Anush will still come to me with "I'm sorry!" written all over her face.  Mini would hang out for a couple of minutes and then wander off to keep an eye on things.  Anush wants to sit on my feet and slide over onto her back for a belly rub.  I'm pretty sure she would crawl into my clothes if I let her, but still manages to keep her eye on everything.  We know we've had mountain lions in the area and coyotes, and they appear to be uninterested in coming onto our farm.  She doesn't bark as much to hear her own voice, which is really nice.

We're pretty sure this one is here to stay.


Farmer Barb said...

I believe I would drive to the moon for a puppy like that!

Sarah said...

It was pretty difficult to not bring her in the house for 24/7 snuggles!