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Flo’s In Jail

December 29, 2009

Yes, it's true. Flo the Maremma is in jail, no bail allowed.

 

 Why, oh why, would I put the best guardian on the place in a 5 ft tall pen with goat mamas and babies?    

Because she’s in heat! I totally missed her heat cycle  last fall, so I was expecting her to cycle again in February. She’s four years old now, and I want to breed her, BUT… NOT… to the neighborhood dogs! So, she goes into the pen with the goats for the next 10 days to 2 weeks. She’s been confined for 2 days, and seems to be accepting her punishment with grace and dignity. Most livestock guardian dogs don’t like change, and Maremmas are no exception. However, Miss Florence is the most adaptable and easy-going of the whole bunch, so I am not surprised at her demeanor.    

Kira (r) stopped by during visiting hours.

 

We could not run sheep without the assistance of the Maremma LGDs (livestock guardian dogs). These dogs are with the stock 24 x 7, and they are constantly making decisions in our absence–assessing threats, warning away predators, and caring for any animals that need extra TLC. They are unique among dog breeds because they bond to the stock so closely–they actually perceive themselves as sheep (or goats, or chickens). So they are wired to fiercely protect their ‘tribe.’ Most of our Maremmas were originally imported from Italy, Flo’s parents included. I am looking to breed her to an Italian import, because we have a couple of dogs that are well-advanced in years, and we’ll need 2-3 years for the pups-to-be to mature into working replacements for the oldsters. While we’ll keep a couple of pups from the litter, we will place the rest of them into similar working homes as ours.    

If you’d like to learn more about the Cane di Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, check out Marco Petrella’s website: http://www.abruzzese.org/usa.htm. Flo’s daddy, Sisko, came to me as a pup in the fall of 2000 from Marco, and his site contains lots of pictures and information on the breed.
 
And since I was at the goat mama pen, it was a good time for a gratuitous ‘kid’ pic 🙂

Snickers and her buck kid, Twix, make a handsome, blue-eyed pair, don't you think?

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