A few months back, I wrote about our new puppy in “A fair to middling farm dog is hard to find” (http://lrumler.bangordailynews.com/a-fair-to-middling-farm-dog-is-hard-to-find/). I’m here to update you on the progress we have made so far with the dog.
Zuzu is just over a year old now and is getting- let’s just call it robust. She is a Bernese Mountain Dog, so she isn’t exactly a svelt dog. I’m not sure how much she weighs exactly, it is impolite to ask a lady their weight I am told and whenever we go to the vet’s office Zuzu lets them know that she doesn’t feel that her weight is any of their business. She fights getting on the scale and inevitably they give up. She’s incredibly strong physically (her breed was known for pulling carts and are capable of pulling ten times their body weight). Mentally, well, she means well.
She has become a great companion and is by our side all the time. She is friendly to strangers and the good people at Paris Farmer’s Union. She is also incredibly helpful when it comes to doing chores: whether it is chasing the chickens, walking in front of our feet when we are working in the woodlot, chewing holes in the drywall to more adequately ventilate the house, and digging holes in the freshly planted garlic patch.
She has also developed skills that are genuinely helpful. The other day, my wife was working from home. There was a fire in the woodstove, and Zuzu was napping at her feet. The chickens were out pecking scratch from the snow. My wife caught a blur coming from the sky out of the corner of her eye. There was a poof of feathers and the chickens started squawking. Zuzu was at the door before my wife could figure out what had just happened. She opened the door and saw a hawk. Zuzu ran and chased the hawk into a lower branch of the big maple. Zuzu kept barking until the hawk flew away. The chicken was okay, although a bit more threadbare.
She may never be the perfect dog. Her obedience may always leave a bit to desire. All of that said, I think we’ll keep her at least a little bit longer.