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.