Sap Season

Our sap buckets are starting to fill up, slowly. We’ll have a good day like yesterday, where it was running hard and fast, and then it’ll be a day like today, with nary a drip. We could boil now, but will probably wait a couple more days, which is good because we aren’t quite ready.

Going for a walk Last year, I had all the puppies to keep me company while I boiled. We took them out into the woods to collect sap. They entertained me by swimming in melting snow puddles. They napped on rocks and pieces of wood all around me. I got to spend a lot of time playing with puppies last year. What a hardship!

All five I guess I’ll just have to make do with these puppies! Oh, what another hardship. They are such good company for me. Buffy and Faith are just past a year old and maturing nicely, but they still need lots of work on things like impulse control. I’m really enjoying them all, and the pack dynamics. Disa is definitely top dog, so the more I teach her what I want, the better the entire pack is.

One of the trickiest things is keeping them all properly fed. The Pyrs eat very irregularly. Some days, there’s nothing I can tempt them with, and then they’ll have days when they are ravenous. Some spot in the middle and I feed them too much and they start guarding food instead of eating food. I don’t have time for dogs to spend that energy on something stupid and noisy. So I’ll remove the food and give it back to the dog later, as a reward for something good.

They also take their food EVERYWHERE to eat. If I make a designated eating area, one of them will decide to guard that spot and not let the other dogs eat. It’s better for them to spread out, but it makes knowing what’s been left and how hungry they are hard to know.

And they all bury stuff! Sometimes it’s just a game between them all to find buried treasures and steal it. They get such a guilty yet proud look on their face.

The Pyrs mostly sleep during the day, though. We hear them out and barking many times during the night, from all sides of the house. They are busy girls. I heard coyotes last night, as well as fireworks and snowmobiles. Any day now and the bears are going to come out of hibernation. Two years ago, before the Pyrs, a bear ripped the door off of the chicken coop.

We have so many more birds this year. We kept 31 Midget White hens instead of last year’s 8. We have 14 ducks, and the Chanteclers. We have 11 geese instead of 8, and so many Icelandic chickens. I don’t worry about them at all with the Pyrs around. No one is messing with their birds.

I guess that’s how I’ve come to the conclusion that five dogs is a good number of dogs. The vet told me yesterday that there is a 6 month old Pyr in the area at a shelter and needs a home. Unfortunately, I think I have the right number of dogs and need to get Buffy and Faith a year older before we do anything else. Pass the word around, though. I’m going to tell one person I know who is thinking about a Pyr but let’s help this girl.

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