Sirius Sidewalk Slab Signature

New Sidewalk and Front Steps

These are the new front steps and sidewalk leading up from the inspector’s slab at our butcher shop. This sidewalk got poured at the same time we did the FCB last week.

For now there are steps leading up to the front door from the sidewalk. In the future the earth level will rise to better fit the butcher shop fill the front area as we put in an earth-air heat exchanger. The inspector’s slab will form the base of the heat exchanger which will let us temper the incoming fresh air for the building. The air will be drawn in using the stack effect in the tower that will go above the abattoir.

The hose on the steps is for watering the fresh concrete. Hope is the water master. She makes several times a day rounds to each of the concrete pours to keep the fresh concrete wet. Concrete is a curing process, not a drying process, and as such does best if it is kept moist for a minimum of a week and even up to a month after the pour. A touch of rain helps as does the insulation that covers most of our concrete.

Serious Sirius’s Sidewalk Slab Signature

Sirius, one of our livestock guardian dogs came up to me after I got done floating the sidewalk slab smooth. He pointed at it and looked at me questioningly. I said, “Wet cement. No touch.”

Sirius looked at me and stepped back, saying “Sure thing boss.”

I turned away and by the time I looked back there was a neat handprint in the fresh concrete. He signed it. A smooth, soft concrete slab is just so tempting…

Outdoors: 76°F/62°F Sunny, Cloudy, 1/2″ Rain – Perfect Weather
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/64°F

Daily Spark: Do not try and bend the government for that is impossible. Merely understand that the government is already bent.

Aye, I know, I know, it’s concrete, not cement… Slip of the tongue when we spoke! :)

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Sirius Sidewalk Slab Signature

  1. David M. M. says:

    Walter I do a minicourse on tracking for kids and that is no dog print. Either Siris has a bushy tailed buddy hiding in the brush or he’s a wolf. Given how your dogs look I would not be surprised. What does surprise me is that you are able to train them to guard your animals as I had always been told that wolves were untrainable.

    • We don’t know their exact breeding. We know they probably have a pinch of Black Laborador and a pinch of German Shepherd in them as we were told that Sheba, the mate of Coy who was our foundation sire, was a mix of those two. Sheba was back in the late 1980s(?). Coy had simply shown up one day and said he was going to work here and then someone gave us Sheba later. He looked the same as the dogs you see now but he was red. Sheba someone gave to us because they couldn’t keep her and she looked like a black German Shepherd. Other females of unknown and sometimes unspecified origins joined our pack over the decades. Tika looked just like Lili but was even whiter – whiter than snow. All of them have the same look, the same natural inclination to be farmers, ranchers, herders and guardians. Once in a while we get a half giant, like Hagrid who was male or Kita who was female, but most of the males are around 80 to 100 lbs and the females around 65 to 80 lbs. Hagrid, Reemus and Baloo, all in the big range, all also have heavier jaws although still within the same long pointy muzzle range of the others.

      That sounds a bit like we just randomly take dogs in to our farm and any dog can do the job but there is actually a strong selective pressure going on. Neither is true. Over the decades we have had a lot of people dump a lot of dogs on us, in addition to the ones we’ve accepted like Molly, Sheba and Tika. Something like 99% of the dumped dogs go to animal control, to the pound. It is a very rare dog that has the physical traits, intelligence, instincts and more to be a working farm dog. Unfortunately you can’t just drop a dog on the farm and expect it to know what to do. Being raised in the pack on the farm certainly helps and dogs that were house raised generally missed out on the learning at the right age. A very, very small number of dogs have come in to our pack over many decades but most of the dogs you see in the photos are generations deep into our pack.

      Why do people dump dogs here? Probably because they see a farm and think we’ll take care of their pets, give them a retirement, etc. After all, what’s one more they must reason. What they don’t realize is that our guardian dogs are more likely to view a strange animal as a threat and drive it off or kill it. Same goes for cats, rabbits and other pets that people dump. Additionally, even those who don’t meet that fate are probably killed by the local coyotes, fishercats, cougar, hawks or other predators since pets don’t know about surviving in the wild. If they survive the predators then they more than likely die of starvation like the remains of the cat Ben found last year – winter especially is harsh in our climate. This is reality. It is harsh.

      The lesson is please find real homes or take animals to the shelter if you can’t care for them. Please don’t dump them on back roads or at the driveways of local farms. Sorry if this post got a little sidetracked – it was not aimed at anyone, just a reminder of reality.

      For more pictures of the dogs that work on our farm see this search pattern.

  2. David B. says:

    David M. M.

    How can you tell a wolf print from a dog print? I do think Walter’s dogs look very wolf-like, beautiful.


  3. Alexia says:

    You can’t for sure tell a dog from a wolf track because dogs and wolves are the same species and there is so much cross over. Most domestic dogs tend to have rounder palm pads than wolves. German Shepherds and a lot of big guardian dogs are closer to wolves and have tracks that look similar to wolves. Having seen your dogs in other photos and heard the stories of them I’m not surprised that Sirius tested the sidewalk. He’s a smart pup. I bet he wanted to know why you said no touch so he touched it and found it sticky so he didn’t go further. Just a test.

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