We have a new farm dog, Tilly. Like all of our dogs and cats, she is a rescue. She is under a year old, female and seems to be a mix of chow, some sort of shepherd (sheltie, Aussie, Shetland sheepdog?) and perhaps golden retriever or maybe beagle (or maybe both). She is what we used to call a Heinz 57.
She arrived on the farm on Sunday afternoon after a phone call from our buddy Rockhead asking if he could bring this dog to our farm. He said he was at Marge and Gary Glaser's house (Marge has been a staunch and very long time supporter of us Boldarians and is in the process of building one of the most incredible houses I have ever seen. Gerhy and Gaudy, I think, would like the place), scouting rocks and clay for the house project and this dog wanders into their lives. Mark (Rockhead) could not take her as he lives in a house full of animals (dogs, foxes, owls, opossums and other wildlife-his SO is a wildlife rehabilitator, among other things and has made it clear that no one brings more dogs into the house as they have several). Marge didn't want her so the two of them thought that we might take her.
Seeing as how we have needed a dog since Betty bought the farm back in August of 2010 we said yes. And thus this medium sized yippy dog arrived at our farm. Yes yippy as this is what she does when she is nervous or excited or wants someone to toss a frisbee. She and Nate got a long very well from the start. The cats were not at all happy with this change in our lives but once they found out she was not going to kill them they were kind of okay with the idea, though they both lived up stairs for a day until Tuttle could no longer stand being away from us and came downstairs and braved the new dog.
Tilly was into chasing Tuttle until Tuttle became a ball of fur claws and hissing teeth and let her know in no uncertain terms he does not want her to touch him much less get up in his face. Now she keeps a respectful distance and has learned we do not want her to chase him through the house (though I have noticed he is beginning to encourage that behavior and seeing as how they are about the same age I suspect within a few days they will be fast friends and playmates).
Tilly loves playing frisbee and is one of those dogs that will leap high into the air to catch the disk. She bonded quickly with the Nylabone® Frisbee® we have had for over 5 years and that none of our dogs have had much interest in playing with in the past. Arlo when he was younger like playing Frisbee® but as he got older he lost interest (and his sight. There might be a connection there, hmmm) and Nate, Dani and Betty had zero interest in the thing. So it is all for Tilly.
A short Video of Tilly (at this point she had no name) meeting her new best friend, the Nylabone® Frisbee®
As I mentioned, Tilly has some sort of shepherd in her and she has already exhibited a strong desire to herd. I have never owned a herder but I know they are valuable on the farm especially if one has livestock. Perhaps we will get her some sheep in the future but for now she will have to be content with herding cats.
We have been impressed with how quickly she picks up on things. She learned her name in about 2 minutes. She has already learned not to jump on us (most the time-it took Nate's hip dysplasia to get him to quit jumping and Betty had not learned this at the time of her death, despite months of lessons and telling her/showing her "down" hundreds of times a day).
I have a feeling Tilly will make an excellent farm dog