Yesterday evening, Rhiannon and I were outside doing barn chores; feeding & watering the goats & chickens & new chicks. Pan is still behind the house, so he gets his grain ration after we do those chores. We weren't quite finished taking care of everyone when Paul came home.
A few minutes later, I heard Pan make the strangest bleating sound, almost like a kid goat. I figured that Paul was down there with him & he was getting cranky that Paul didn't have grain for him. Then I heard it again, and went across the upper goat pen so I could see him. He didn't look like he was caught in anything, or in any pain as he was pacing and jumping around (hungry dance), so I quickly finished chores, grabbed Rhiannon and went to check on Pan. On our way down there I noticed Paul wasn't with him. As we were walking down to Pan, Paul came out and I asked him if he knew what was wrong with Pan. He thought that maybe he was just getting cranky because one of does being in heat.
Well, we all get down there and I hear the bleating again, but I can now see it's not coming from Pan. Harley had a small deer down on the ground inside the back goat pen and was basically chewing it to death. The kid bleating sound was a deer bleating sound. Man, was I pissed. So Paul put the deer out of it's misery and we skipped our normal family dinner (don't worry, Rhiannon ate!) to hastily butcher a deer. Fun filled evenings we have here, hugh?
Ok, I know Harley is a dog, and dogs hunt (although a German Shepherd was originally bred to be a sheep dog, am I not correct?????), but this is really getting to be a problem. He's already caused the unwanted / unplanned butchering of Nettie's two doelings earlier this summer and now he's taken down a deer that was in the back goat pen.
I know that we should really have a more secure goat area so the kid goats can't get out of the pen (or Harley in the pen) but I guess I was really hoping that he would be a good farm / livestock dog. But it's more than obvious that he absolutely cannot be trusted with the goats.
And guess what else? In the middle of typing my dog-complaing blog post, I got a call that Harley & Moonshine are up the road about a mile, wandering around.
I know I shouldn't be complaining. These events could have been preventable; well, maybe not the deer event, but the goat kid attacks and dog wanderings. I should really be more diligent on keeping Moonshine on a tie-out as she is the reason that Harley wanders. As soon as Moonshine takes off, Harley is right behind her. Although I'm still a bit hesitant to keep her on a tie-out as she would be pretty much vulnurable to any attack from Harley. Not that I think he'd attack her, but I didn't think our other dog (who is no longer with us) would either, and Moonshine was badly chewed up because of it. I tried keeping Moonshine in the goat pens, but she's small enough to slip through the cattle panels. We have a 4' x 12' dog kennel (that is normally used for growing out the Cornish X's), but I don't really want to have to keep her in a kennel. Fencing in the front yard is just not going to happen.
So, what's a country dog owner to do? Just let them roam like everyone else and hope nothing bad happens to them? Even if nothing bad were to happen to them, I just don't like the idea of wandering dogs; out in the country or not. We got a shock collar for Harley, and it works, as long as you catch him in the act. We looked into the invisible fence, but it would be almost impossible to dig a trench around the front yard without renting a mechanical trencher (cha-ching!) because of all the rocks.
Well, I suppose I'm done with my rambling for today. Sorry it was such a crummy post. But it's farm life here at Krazo Acres and I wouldn't want you guys thinking it was all fluffy baby chick and homesteading paradise here.
PS - For those lovely bloggers who have recently bestowed upon me a certain award, don't worry, I didn't forget.....just need to think of some blogs that you guys haven't already nominated!