Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vet check

I took Sovalye to the vet this afternoon. It was completely uneventful. The vet was initially a little nervous about dealing with him, but I told her that he has always ignored whatever was done to him at the vet office. He doesn't even seem to notice when they draw blood, so taking his temperature should be simple enough. It was. In the end, she was petting him and telling him what a good boy he was, and she signed the form declaring him free of rabies. We talked more about what led to Margaret being bit, and she said it sounded like something had "scared the life out of him."

We've been leaving the back door of the barn open, so that he can go into the pasture if he wants, but there is no pressure for him to go or to stay longer than he feels safe. I've noticed that he has been going out more each day and staying a little longer. Initially, he would only follow us out and then follow us back into the barn. Yesterday he even ran into the pasture with the goats -- he's refused to go into that pasture for about six weeks -- and he treed a small varmint. It was gray and had the front teeth of a beaver, but it had inch-long claws that wrapped around the branch it was hanging onto, so I can't figure out what it was. I've googled pictures of beavers and badgers, and it doesn't fit either one completely. If Katherine were home, I'm sure she would have figured it out for me.

We really can't justify putting him down. After responding to questions about her face a couple times, Margaret's answer was, "I got in a fight with a dog." She knows that he would not have bitten her if she'd paid attention when he put on the brakes and then when he growled the first time. This has been an amazing learning experience for all of us, and it's taught us a lot about trust -- which goes both ways -- but I have another appointment today, so I'll have to write about that tomorrow.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm so glad you found a reasonable vet, AND that Sovalye is regaining some confidence. Perhaps with the llamas to help alert to danger, he can be an integral part of the team again. I hope so!

Tammy W. said...

Hi Deborah - I've been following your blog about the troubles with your LGD this summer. I must say - we've also had problems with some predators this year - and now our dog doesn't want to leave the barn either. Since she is 16 years old, we are not pushing her. Time may start to ease your dogs fears. I wish your daughter a speedy recovery - and I hope that your predator problems will

Nancy K. said...

I'm happy for you that things seem to be working out! I hope that Sovalye continues to regain his confidence and that Margaret heals quickly. I have great respect for your ability to use reason and self control under horribly trying circumstances...

I wish you ALL a speedy recovery!

Have there been any more signs of predator problems? I sure think you guys are due for a break!! You remain in my prayers...

Deborah said...

Margaret is doing well. She actually refused to let me milk yesterday morning, because she said I'm too slow, and she was in a hurry!

The coyotes are nowhere to be seen, but we have seen a fox, and someone told us that we probably have an owl. We found a duck with its head ripped off, which he said is a common method of killing for owls. Actually, I know we have owls in the woods. I used to love the who-ing at night. Now it makes me worry because that man said he saw one rip a head off a cat.


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