Now just a month later little Val is proving himself to be a better family member than I could have even imagined in my wildest dreams. Clearly an outdoor dog, he has no interest in coming inside, happy to sleep in good weather on the deck beside my kitchen door. If the weather is bad, he enjoys his comfortable bachelor pad which we set up for him in the nearby garage. With a thick but fine coat, he is immune to cold weather and has a built in mosquito block for summertime although we will certainly give him medicine to protect from heartworms. Hot weather doesn't bother the breed too much; they just stay out of the sun during the heat of the day.
When I go outside to perform my barn chores twice daily, Val treks along beside me, always wagging his tail with a slight pant and smiling eyes. He learned quickly that the horses when running can be dangerous and he stations himself just inside the barn quietly watching until they are turned out after feeding time.
Just like his Uncle Kaz, our Great Dane, Val loves to play with Molly, our jack rat Terrier. While Molly at first got the best of him, as he grows he is starting to exert himself, but always in a playful way. I notice that Molly is beginning to wonder why her new found friend is growing so fast. One look at his huge paws gives a pretty good hint. It is estimated that he will be 160 lbs when fully grown.
The key to having a wonderful family member with a dog of this breed is to get him while a pup and let him grow up with their surroundings. By doing this, they develop into a guardian of the flock which is what they were bred for. The flocks consists of all our other animals here at the Ark, and by all of them I include we two legged ones as well. Val is developing a guardian instinct which is what we want.
Coyotes and other predator varmints will give wide berth to the farm knowing that this guy is always vigilant outside. And if he ever needs backup, Kaz is always ready to come out and join him in a show of force. Both dogs are wonderful and add much to the personality and style of our Living Ark. And as for his budding relationship with Molly, who will soon be greatly outsized, just take a look at the picture below.
Don't ever say that a wide variety of animals, from horses, dogs, cats, birds and even a little ferret can't live in harmony together. Oh, they rough house a bit sometimes but in the end they enjoy each other and we enjoy having them around as well.
God bless the animals, a wonderful gift from God and to our new little, soon to be big guy, Val, welcome to the Ark.
If you like this, you will enjoy the stories about all of our wonderful animals here at the Ark. Here's the link: www.outskirtspress.com/honeyweshouldaboughttheark. The book is available through this link from Amazon.com, B&N.com and on Kindle and Nook. All true stories with a touch of the Christian spirit.