I want to write down this funny little story about our LGD’s before I forget about it. Last Sunday when we came home from the goat show in Greeley we were greeted by two unexpected things: One was Pluto with his face and mouth full of porcupine quills, which I was able to remove with a bit of patience and a pair of pliers (hopefully he learned a valuable lesson!). The other was a pure white dove. I saw it hanging around on the hillside behind our house and when I approached it, it only walked away just out of reach. It was clearly domestic but I was surprised my dogs had allowed it to hang around. Pluto is notorious for chasing crows and magpies and has even killed a few of them. When I tried to catch the bird it flew up to the roof of our house, but an hour later it was back down in our backyard. Every time I went outside the bird was there and one or both of the dogs was guarding it.
The bird was still there the next day and the dogs were still standing guard so I went out with a bed sheet and caught it. I was afraid it wasn’t getting enough to eat or drink on that barren slope so I put it on our back patio and gave it grain and water. It ate and drank before going back out into the yard where it hung out near Pluto. We had a hellacious wind on Monday night and I was sure the bird would be gone by next morning, but it was still there. It was not until we had five cars full of noisy homeschoolers over to our house later Tuesday morning that the bird finally disappeared along with Pluto, who hightailed it to an undisclosed location the second those rowdy kids stepped out of their vehicles. Pluto eventually came back an hour or so after the crowds left, but the white dove hasn’t returned. Some folks have told me it was probably released at a memorial service. I have not ceased to be amazed at the instincts of these amazing dogs. How do they know that a creature is domesticated and needs to be protected? They would not have allowed a wild bird to hang around like that, and they certainly wouldn’t have guarded it.