after much procrastination we’ve finally taken the plunge & the Ffarm now has yet another animal group added to the menagerie – & that’s under the heading, ‘canine’. However, it’s not the Kelpie puppy we went to see yesterday, lovely though he was; instead, we have a beautiful fawn Greenland Dog, named Nosnibor Frostbite Nanuk (what a mouthful!), or simply Nanuk, for ‘short’.
We’d originally travelled the 2-hour journey from Haverfordwest (where we collected a huge box of mouthwateringly lean, succulent pork leg joints, chops, ribs, & sausages from Porky Pig’s ‘conversion’, two weeks ago – plus a bag of ears thrown in for our prospective doggy ‘new arrival’!) to Abertillery, with the intention of looking at another promising doggy prospect – an eight-month-old chocolate-coloured Alaskan Malamute (matching the goats very well, in fact!); however, he was extremely large, extremely boisterous….& extremely keen to use his teeth in ‘play’. Whilst we felt we could train him out of continually jumping up & planting his huge paws firmly on the shoulders of the nearest person (he was taller than Tony on his hind legs), it would have been too much of a risk to have a such a large dog on the Ffarm that had not been taught that boisterous mouthing (virtual biting, to be honest) is a big ‘NO’ – it would put our livestock at too much risk. Nanuk is a fair bit smaller; & although she also jumps up an awful lot – & pulls heavily on the lead – we fully appreciate it will probably take longer with her to break these habits as she’s almost two years old & subsequently is a bit more set in her ways. But she has a very sweet nature, & has been well behaved around the previous owners’ four-year-old twin boys (one of whom, sadly, has autism); so hopefully we will be able to persuade Nanuk out of her bad habits & into some good ones! She’s clearly been given tons of love, but no discipline; which in a dog of any size, large OR small, just isn’t right – or indeed fair on the dog, as they enjoy a far easier life once they have clear boundaries & a defined pack hierarchy. So we’ve immediately started to set some simple ground rules, straight away – for Nanuk’s sake. Luckily she travelled quietly in the back of the car on the way home (which is a blessing as the previous owners did not take her anywhere, other than opening the back garden gate & letting her out onto the mountain behind the house to play with her other doggy friends). At the moment she’s tucked up in a large, comfortable crate on a soft, warm bed in the living room with a full bowl of water & plenty of toys to keep her occupied. At least this way she can observe all the new things going on around her in her own space – plus the cats can also get used to her; which might take a while, I suspect…..
…..Meanwhile, worrying news on the FMD score this afternoon, with another suspect case reported over the Welsh border at a slaughterhouse near Merthyr Tydfil. And yet there’s been a further relaxation of the livestock transport restrictions. Surely it’s still far too early days to be taking such a step? I appreciate that businesses may be feeling the ‘pinch’ – however, what is worse? – a few more days’ restraint to be ‘on the safe side’, or the possibility of wider-scale slaughter because of over-hasty decision-making??