Sep 23, 2017 | Serra's Story

On the run this morning, we went by about 20 feet from the llamas in the pasture. He was going to ignore them, but they drifted closer and he drifted through the fence and started for them. There was no barking this time – his barking seems to be mostly a response to surprise so far – and he came right away when I called him. I also noticed that Darkwing Duck, who has a lot of experience guarding sheep from marauding dogs, didn’t bother standing between “his” herd and the fence today, so while Spider’s getting used to llamas, Duck is getting used to Spider. This is good news on both fronts – an adult Giant Schnauzer could kill a llama without a great deal of difficulty, and I know a teenage llama who killed an adult Great Pyrenees. Life will be better if they’re friends, especially since I plan on having Code pulling me in a sulky while Spider pulls my grandsons in another one.

One of Ron’s colleagues came by this afternoon for a chat, and brought his wife and two kids to meet llamas and dogs (this happens quite a lot, but it was Spider’s first meeting of strangers in his parlour).

The kids – 5 and (9?) – were very well-behaved. I brought Syn in first to do her tricks, then put her out and brought in Spider to be petted and admired. And they wanted to meet the “baby”. So I put Stitch back out and brought in Monstero. Looking back, I should have left Stitch in the room to let Spider know everything was proceeding normally.

He was Not Impressed with people in his house. At least his front end wasn’t. His back end stayed thrilled. Not scary at all – a 45-pound large black dog leaping at you for hugs and kisses with his back end while his front end uses the Man Voice to tell you to get the heck out of his house. Of course *I* could see his tail, but they couldn’t, and I’m not about to let any puppy no matter how small leap on people, let alone children, so I dragged him over to a chair, sat down and shoved a bit of wiener in his mouth in between barks. That caused some consternation as he tried to decide between wiener! people! wiener! people! After a few seconds he was able to sit and calm down to a burf between wieners. Another few seconds and his inner Giant Schnauzer gave up and sat making eye contact with me and ignoring the people. After that he did some nice downs and I finally took him out of the room.

Not a bad session altogether, but I can do better. Next time I’ll let him watch the people come in, feeding him for looking at them so he doesn’t have the surprise to goose his bark into operation. I’ll have to set this up with a known adult so they can say hello and give him some treats before I ask him to settle down on the floor at my feet.