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Postby wildwoolyfarm » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:16 am


Well, shoot, I'm not sure whether I've done the image upload correctly or not. I wanted to show Alexia, a Maremma who has been with me for a year this week. I'd never adopted an adult dog, and wasn't sure what to expect. Alexia was born on a ranch in Idaho, USA and raised with sheep. She was purchased by a family to protect goats on their ranch in Washington. The family's life was upended by a catastrophic injury to the father in a fall from a ladder, and Alexia was put up for adoption. I saw her online, and was able to communicate with friends of the family, and their veterinarian, and Alexia sounded perfect for my small sheep farm. I committed to her sight unseen and she was transported to my home. She was a bit shy and reserved at first, but we had an instant rapport. I had very recently lost my beloved German Shepherd dog to a difficult illness, and Alexia had witnessed the accident and aftermath. I think we felt each other's sadness and loss, and found comfort in each other. She wasn't perfect, she'd chase at sheep occasionally. I'm not sure why, I think she has a bit higher prey drive than many LGDs; she hunts gophers and chases deer and small animals off the place, and she is a strong "resource guarder" and would make a game of placing a bone or chewy next to the sheep so they'd investigate, then roar and chase at them. But, she's much more biddable than expected, and had also had some professional obedience training, and was very responsive to verbal correction. I'm pleased to report that at the one year anniversary she really is near perfect. She doesn't chase at all and is a very reliable guardian and excellent companion. I've obtained another dog, an older male Maremma/Sarplaninac cross, and they are great pals. I was prompted to write this to tell what happened this evening. I have an eye disease and limited vision, and the days are getting so much shorter. I can't see at all in the dark. I got caught out on the farm in the dark this evening as I finished chores and hadn't left any lights on. Alexia often comes up beside me and pushes her head into my hand when we're walking, and I'd been playing around at teaching her a "take me home" command and letting me hold the hair on her shoulders so that she could function like a guide dog. She's been getting pretty good, and it was mostly in fun, but it sure paid off tonight. Although she was a bit hesitant, she led me carefully home, right to the right spot by the porch, through a couple of narrow gates, without me hitting anything. There was a bad moment when Soldier, the other dog, turned to chase at a car going by, but Alexia responded to my "Let's go home" request and off we went. Maremmas are very wonderful dogs, I don't think I'll ever be without one or two. Here are photos of her in case the Img upload didn't work. Thanks for reading :w ... eepdog-mix
Knee deep in sheep,

Rebecca Highlander
Wild Wooly Farm
Williams, Oregon ... 6941981146
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Re: Alexia

Postby maremmagirl » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:59 am

What a great story about 'taking me home', they are truly such amazing dogs!

The photo of Alexia came through just fine, she is very feminine.

Thanks for the update, I think you should keep working on that take me home command, what a great idea!

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