Ellie is the one dog that can stand up to our big draft horses and move them. They don't like dogs but they have come to respect her and accept her presence. They've gotten out more times than I care to admit and it would be very easy for them to just get to the road and be gone. The dogs always let us know if they get out but she is the one who can help move them.
She is also invaluable with the poultry. She is forever rounding them up and putting them away. This morning she barked at the door and when I went to see what she wanted she was doing the Lassie "follow me" thing. You know, bark and start running then look back to see if I'm coming, then come back and dance around like "come on, Mom, I gotta show you something". Took her about 4 times before I realized what she wanted. We headed of to the barn where she showed me that our mama hen (with 2 babies) had found her way into the turkey's pen and the babies were getting beat up. They were too young to fly and get away and the mama was trying to lead them out but couldn't. I thought it was neat that she recognized that they didn't belong there and was trying to help. We herded them back to their part of the barn with Judah coming in handy to catch those very fast little chicks by stepping on them. He is quick!July 24, 2002,
This next and related story is about Judah and I wish I had a picture to go with it, but it happened at night. This same turkey hen is extremely friendly and will leave the barn to come up to the house for a visit. The other day she brought along one of my younger poults (different breed) that she had taken under her wing. We shooed them back to the barn and put the poult back in its pen. That night the dogs were barking like crazy at something. I went out to check, but could find nothing wrong. Judah was on alert and patroling the pasture so I went to bed. Well, next morning I was missing a poult. A search turned up nothing so I assumed that it got out and something got it (maybe the thing the dogs were worried about the night before?). I was bummed, these are a rare heritage breed turkey and I hated to lose one.
Well last night, before retiring I heard chirping outside. Judah was in the front yard with something. I went out and he had brought me the missing poult! A bit slobbered and cold and weak but otherwise fine. It had been missing for going on two days and it appeared to have come from across the road. I put it in a cage with food, water and a heat lamp and went to bed hoping it would make it. This morning, it was fine. Apparently, a couple of the poults have figured out how to get out of their pen because Judah and Ellie found another one this morning. I'll have to fix the pen....Amy