Updated: May 22, 2019
My heart expanded 1000 fold when I met Gary.
I don’t have children. My nieces are the closest to having daughters as I will ever have & I treasure them as such, so when I say I love my dogs like my children, I mean it.
When he was only a few months old, but looked like a grown dog, our back gate blew open in a morning wind storm. He was exploring the back yard, so of course, out he went, into the unexplored woods. Acres and miles of woods. When I realized he got out, I panicked. I admit it completely. I ran full throttle barefoot into the woods in nothing but a nightgown howling his name. I was certain, so so certain that his big nose, that big Bloodhound nose would just carry him away & I would never see him again. Every book I read, every blog, every forum and person I talked to while researching Bloodhounds told me that - just give them a gap & they’re gone. You’ll lose them forever. They will track for miles and miles.
So after 20 mins of calling him and searching deeper into the woods, I sat down to cry on a log. I looked up after a few moments and there he was, happily trotting up to me, very proud of his adventure.
When he was a little bit bigger, I joined a Livestock Guardian Dog Facebook group. Though Gary wouldn’t be guarding our flock in the same way a true LGD would protect their herd, I was training him to be with our flock and understand they are part of the pack. He was brilliant with them. So gentle and curious, wanting to sniff them everywhere, then on to the next.
He was still young & though they were never unattended I worried he might bite or nibble in excitement, as he did with us. I asked for advice on the forum and was immediately rebuffed as being crazy to let him near chickens. He was a hunter and tracker, there was no way he could be trusted.
Gary is nearly 2 years old now & often naps in the shade of trees with the girls pecking at his lunch dish a few feet away. Not once has he pounced, snapped, bit or harmed a chicken. He is incredibly gentle with the babies on the farm, be they chicken, puppy, kitten or human. For all his goofy sweet ways, he is also a fierce defender of the homestead.
We couldn't be prouder of the big man he’s become.