Kavi & Lili Dogs Playing in the Snow
I wouldn’t want to farm without dogs. I wouldn’t want to homestead without them. Not only are they our extended senses, our eyes, ears and noses, but they do a lot of work around the place. They certainly earn their share of the harvest.
Twice today the finisher pigs in the north field did a break out. We need to build a better gate – the current one is just some plywood. The second time was about 8 pm. It was dark. The dogs had sounded the Pig Out! alarm. The dogs have a special bark for that – shorter and sharper.
Holly went out with a flashlight to investigate and found about twenty finisher pigs milling about up the driveway towards the whey tanks and tiny cottage. Longson, the extra boar was with them. As Holly put it, “Man is he big in the dark!” His name is indicative of his form. At first she had thought he was one of the big boars from the south herd and she tried to keep him out. Fortunately he’s a gentle boy – but still very big.
Holly went to the north field gate and stood there with a flashlight waving as Cinnamon and Kavi brought the pigs back down the mountain and put them in. Holly job was simply closing the gate after each batch. Without the dogs’ assistance it would have been a real stress – and we might not even have known the pigs were out for a long time. With the dogs to do the herding the pigs were back in their field, jiggitty-jig. Praise the Dogs!
Now we just need gates the dogs can easily operate… I’ve worked up designs. They are eager to learn. This fall I’ve been teaching Cinnamon how to open the front driveway gate when we arrive in the van. He taught Kavi. Now when we get home they ask from their side of they gate if they can open it. I give the sign and they stand up, place their fore paws on the upper rail and push the gate open as they walk forward on their hind legs. The chain latch though is a bit of a trick for him so I have to plan ahead right now, leaving the hook off. After that I’ll have to teach them to close the gates when they’re done.
Tuesday-Wednesday Outdoors: 28°F/-4°F 2″ Snow, Sunny
Farm House: 58°F/46°F Work shed & old house doorways sealed for winter
Tiny Cottage Eye Level: 51°F/39°F Bathtub forms finished, wired, tub floor poured
Roof Below Foil: 29°F/29°F
Roof Above Foil: 27°F/27°F