Sunday, August 05, 2012

Accidental addition

We fell into a new adventure today. Jim and I went out to feed the dogs and check the sheep. We'd just settled all the adult dogs in with separate piles or bowls of food and decided to take a few treats to the burros, which we're in the middle of the herd, in the meadow. When we started into the meadow, we saw a small animal just above the sheep, on the ditch bank. I thought it was a small dog, perhaps a herding dog that was following one of the ranch hands as he irrigated. The animal looked at us briefly before dropping out of sight.

While I visited with the burros, Jim and Hud walked across the meadow and to the ditch bank. Within about a minute I saw Jim turn back toward me with a small animal tucked into the crook of his arm. I asked, "What is that?" to which he replied, "Your new dog."

When I walked up to meet the tired little pup, he wagged his tail, seeming to know me at a first look. Yup, he was mine.

One of the female guardians had given birth to a litter of pups at the ranch, but during the day she sometimes comes out to my herd and joins in guardian duties. At some unknown point in time, this small pup had apparently walked in the dry irrigation ditch for more than a mile before finding my herd. He'd been lost from his mother and litter mates for days, and was skinny and weak at this point. Jim got the pup to drink some water before we got in the truck to turn for home, and then fed him a little dry dog food since we had some on hand in the truck.

Since Pete and I share guardian dogs at various times, and since we are close friends and business partners, I knew he would not be surprised that we decided to take the rescued pup home to get him on the mend instead of returning him to his litter mates. This just seemed meant to be. I know both the pup's parents, and have decided that since he's such a tiny, weak thing, we'll give him a name to live up to.
Meet Khan:
Khan may be small, but he really loves the sheep. We've moved him into the kennel with two bum lambs at the house.
For that, Hud is thankful. When Khan was in the house getting pampered this afternoon, Hud was not happy.
It will be a pleasure to watch this tough, independent-minded guardian grow to be a protective defender of the herd.


Cowgirl Red said...

Keep us posted on Khan. I'm so happy you found him. What a cute story idea for kids. Terah

Kris said...

I love it! The very best critters I have ever partnered with are ones that chose me. I have been rescued many times.

Kris said...

All my best partner critters chose me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that pup really looks "Anatolian"! Is he part?...L.B.

Gil said...

Cat, great new addition to the pack. When the sheep are in the mountains, how often is the flock visited and if days pass between visits, how are the dogs fed? Gil

Cat Urbigkit said...

The herds that are on mountain grazing allotments are fed by the herders who live with them, so it's every day. My sheep are on private property in the foothills, so I see my dogs every day, or at the most every two days (ranch hands will be around at different times, but they are not supposed to feed my dogs). I have a stock trailer parked in the center of the pasture that always has full food bowls inside, so the dogs can take turns going there at their leisure. If I honk the horn, they come running.
And Lane, you are right about the Anatolian look, although at this point in the hoopla over defining guardian dog breeds, we just call them shepherd dogs of Turkey (which would include dogs called Anatolians, Akbash, Kangal, etc.).

Losech said...

Handsome pup! I love that type of guardian like the Kangal and Anatolian. Can't wait to see this guy grow up.

Steve Bodio said...

Cat-- any idea why this came in a different font?

Cat Urbigkit said...

Steve, I have no clue!