Anyone who has been following Willow Creek Farm for a while knows about Tundra, our amazing farm dog. You also have heard me go on and on about how great he is. He truly is the most important animal on the property because he is the one protecting every other important thing on the property. Our backyard farm would not be as good as it is without him on duty. He has chased off innumerable predators, killed innumerable vermin, and saved our livestock over and over again. He is wonderful.
You can read more details about him in a post I did last year. Click here for that.
This morning I realized that there is another really important job he does that I didn’t tell you all about. We have elk and mule deer in abundance in our area. Barely a day goes by that a herd of one or the other doesn’t cross our property. The elk especially in this area are alarmingly unafraid of people and dogs. They are also keenly away of the fact that farm animals mean hay, and hay means a free and easy meal. They are totally happy to jump a fence and chase off horses, cattle, sheep, or goats from hay and eat it themselves. This is where Tundra comes in.
This morning I heard him alarm barking. I went to see what was going on. There was a herd of about 15 elk all right up against the fence checking out the sheep’s breakfast and trying to decide whether they were going to steal it or not. Tundra would run at them, low to the ground, ears back, snarling and barking. As he got near the fence they would run back several yards and look at him. He would pace the fence growling at them for a bit. Then he would go lay by the sheep, watching them. They would wait awhile, then slowly approach the fence again. Again he would charge the fence, ears back, all business. He was not going to tolerate them even thinking about taking HIS sheep’s hay. And he wasn’t even phased by the elk’s size. He didn’t care. He was not going to allow them in HIS barnyard. It was great! I verbally praised him and he trotted around with his head up a bit in a proud manner. Then he gave a few snarls to the elk to remind them he was still there and his owner was proud of the job he was doing.
I went back inside, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about them stealing the hay with Tundra on the job. He is truly invaluable.