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Sharon's Natural Gardens

Freeda the Farm Dog

I never have been a dog person… always preferred horses then cats in that order, BUT I do love all critters. We always had a family dog, but mostly labs. I think it is important for children to learn to be with animals and to get used to dogs when they are young. It is sad when they are afraid of them. There are a lot of dogs in the world and mans relationship with dogs as well as farm animals and pets goes back to the beginning.

Our yellow lab passed away and we did not get another dog for a while. After my husband passed, my daughter said I should get a dog to keep me company. I looked in the shelters and only found little dogs and pit bulls, neither of which were right for me. I looked at the price tag of pedigree dogs and wondered.

Finally, I placed my order with “God”–the Higher Power–whatever you want to call it. I asked for a female dog, a larger dog. It must be free and come to me without any effort. 6 months passed. One day, I was getting a load of bamboo from a house that was being sold. I stopped by Greenbranch Farm on my way home to tell them about the free bamboo grove down the road for farm projects . There was a mother dog in the yard and Ted asked me if I wanted to see the pups. I said yes and he took me in to see them in the heated barn. I asked if he was selling them and he said he was giving them to good homes. I asked to be put on the list of people wanting one. When they were ready, I went with a friend who knew dogs, to pick a pup. She and I both agreed on the pup and it was the pup that came to me. I took her home and began the training process, even though I need nothing about training dogs.

Freeda the dog on our long biodynamic field

Freeda the dog on our long biodynamic field

I have never had a dog so smart. She is a cross between a border collie and shepherd–a Belgian Malinois. I really think I got the best dog of the litter. She learned to stay on the grass and not go in the garden. She also learned to stay out of the road and on our property and come when I called, as well as proper behavior in the house. She never goes on furniture or eats anything unless I give it to her. She even takes it to her special rug to eat it. She is an excellent watch dog. Strangers would think twice about getting out of a car but once introduced she wants all the love she can get.

She is not perfect. She is obsessed with herding. She loves chasing and circling the horses they put their ears back and threaten to kick but never do. She gets in front of them when they are thundering in to get their evening grain and spins in circles in front of them to try to stop them. I managed to break a finger holding on to her collar to try to stop this behavior. She is getting better at listening to me. She loves being with all the animals and wears circles around chicken tractors and the stable. She loves to run and runs around the house as her exercise track.

I hope to catch her on video with a game she plays with the Delaware rooster. she gets too close to him and his flock of hens and he chases her. Boy that rooster can run fast. Freeda is faster and she circles around and gets him again till he is too worn out to chase her. She plays the same game with the cats. She is however very gentle. She would not even kill a mouse and I do not have to worry about her killing–even a baby chick.

I took her to the farmers market when she was a pup and taught her to lead, to sit, heel and stay . She even went of a week long trip to Wisconsin in November with me and we slept together to stay warm in my cold camper.

I truly feel loved and blessed to have her in my life. Thank you God and Greenbranch Farm.

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