They are just over two months old now, Joe and Mike. They are named after my uncles, whom I like(d) very much. My uncle Mike passed away long ago, but he was always a happy man and my uncle Joe is still going strong at near to ninety. The boys have changed a great deal since their arrival at only 5 weeks old. They came early because their mother was fatally struck by a car. By 5 weeks the pups were eating and drinking on their own and have never looked back. They are fed very little dog food, that is grain based food, and are fed basically all they want of raw meat and bones. This is important for large dogs. The lower protein of meat is the best food for the pups since they grow much more rapidly than small dogs and too much protein results in health problems in later life. The boys are both incredibly smart, a trait for Maremmas in general, and somewhat aloof, though when they see me they are wagging their tails happily and waiting to be petted. They both know how to sit and they now understand that they will not get attention unless they are in their pen where they are supposed to be. Being escape artists, they can easily find ways out of the pen with their lambs and they do, but they are scolded and quickly return home. Once they are home, they receive attention, but never out in the yard. They are venturing more and more with the adult sheep to which they have free access. That is where the female lambs they are with are destined and they will be promoted along with them. Currently they sleep with their lambs even though they have a dog house should they so choose. Occasionally they are too rough in play with the lambs, but they understand the word, "no" very well and stop immediately now to see what is next for them. A little encouragement for paying attention and they sit and evaluate with their little heads cocked from side to side. At this stage, their paws are huge and they are little white (sometimes) fluffballs who love play. They are being trained to stay with the sheep and not be part of the yard pack of dogs. So far so good and they are still absolutely adorable. Right?
Fluffy writes daily about the experiences on the farm and with the bed and breakfast patrons.