Molly the Good News Dog


Molly with meat

This is Molly. She is the newest addition to our pack of dogs. The others are all livestock guardian herding dogs (LGHDs) who protect and herd our pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks and geese. Molly is showing potential and may get there in time. I did not expect that. I took her in because she needed a home. It was either here or the local shelter and given her advanced age (9 years) I feared what they would do with her.

This is one of those good news, bad news stories, sort of like the guy falling out of the airplane…

A friend of ours had the good fortune to come down with a very bad case of pneumonia this winter.

  • The bad news is it almost killed him.
  • The good news is he went to the hospital.
  • The bad news is they had to operate.
  • The good news is they cured him of the pneumonia.
  • The bad news is on the way out they discovered he had lung cancer.
  • The good news is it is very small, in the early stages and they are pretty sure he’ll live.
  • The bad news is he can’t live out in his cabin in the woods anymore this winter while he heals.
  • The good news is some friends took him in at their place.
  • The bad news is they didn’t have room for all of his four dogs.
  • The good news is we were able to take Molly.

They’ve had a good news, bad news winter but they are both alive. Life can be like that. I’ll think of Molly as a good news dog.

Since Molly has never done livestock herding, not been exposed to the animals and is older I did not have much expectation of her. That may change. She is showing interest in the animals, not in killing them. A very positive sign. She has taken on a guardian role for our homestead. She is taking her cues from our other dogs. She’s very bright and picks things up quickly. The other dog’s don’t want her around the livestock, yet, they block and place themselves between her and the pigs. They have accepted her into the pack. I succeeded in training Killer Kita so perhaps in not too long Molly will be a working dog too, earning her living on the farm. Molly already pays attention, she did from the start, and that is a mile ahead of where I started with Kita.

Coincidentally, two days after Molly arrived someone else who was sick called needing to find a home for his three huskies. It’s been a rough winter – I know a lot of people who’ve been seriously ill this year. Not everyone made it and the cold is not over yet. Winter is the trial by ice.

Outdoors: 39°F/12°F Overcast
Farm House: 43°F/37°F
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/59°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Molly the Good News Dog

  1. Walter, what the heck are you feeding that dog. It doesn’t look like rice and soybean concentrate? Only joking – but it brings to mind a recent conversation with our vet after telling her we were planning on feeding our dog meat from the local butcher. Beef on the hoof prices are so low here that it is cheaper to buy an animal on the hoof than the same amount of cans or dried stuff. And reading what is in canned animal food makes me shudder. What are you feeding your dogs?

  2. Pablo says:

    Molly sure is a good looking dog. Her face seems so serious.

  3. Art, mostly our dogs eat meat, either in the form of meat from our herds or pests and predators they catch around the farm. See this article about Feeding Big Dogs. They thrive on it.

    Occasionally I’ve had to buy commercial dog food but I don’t like to. I worry about what is in it, especially after the multiple melamine out of China scares that we’ve had in recent years. As you note, the lower priced meat is actually cheaper than commercial dog food which has little meat in it and is mostly indigestible.

    What she has her claws wrapped around there in the photo is a meaty knuckle of pork.

    Pablo, she does look rather serious there. I think she might be worried that I’ll take the pork bone from her. Not my intent, I was just stealing a photo. She does have a wonderful smile and when she’s excited she dances with her front feet.

  4. Thanks for the info Walt. Your comments on my blog really helped cement the idea in our minds to get rid of the canned stuff and start feeding the dog(s) real meat. The canned stuff is just scary. I am sure we will always have some “cereal” around but we are considering another freezer for pet food. Of course for a large part of the winter months November – March we can use good old mother nature to keep the stuff frozen – especially after I modify the freezer.

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