Introducing Rowan

July 13, 2017

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This is one of the things I remember from when my daughters were newborns – being awake, unwillingly, at 3:00 a.m. and trying to shush a wide-awake and inexplicably crying newborn.  Wishing for all the world that babies were as easy to take care of as puppies.

Now my girls are seven and five, sleep through the night, and tend to their needs by themselves most of the time.  But yet, for the last few nights, there I was again.  Blearily awake in the early hours of the morning with a whining baby.  Bumbling through the darkened house.  Begging her to go potty out here and not in there.  Hoping  and praying that she’ll go right back to sleep when she’s done, so I can grab a few more blessed hours myself.

Granted, this baby is a puppy.  My wish of seven years ago come back to haunt me because, as it turns out, babies and puppies are both essentially the same level of hard at 3:00 in the morning.

Rowan

Rowanberry (Bubblegum) the Brave.

Just plain old Rowan, if we’re feeling casual.

Rowan is the newest addition to our family and our little farm-in-the-making.  She’s a Great Pyrenees/Maremma mix puppy; commonly known and referred to as an LGD or Livestock Guardian Dog.  Like their name implies, these are dogs whose purpose in life is to guard livestock.  It’s what they’ve been bred for and done successfully for thousands of years.

Right now we’re a bit thin in the livestock department (heck, we don’t even live on the farm yet!) but we know that one day we’ll have plenty of critters for her to guard.  More importantly, and the real reason we got her, is that we have a couple of free-range children.  These dogs are naturally protective of young creatures in general, and their family in particular.  Our hope is that with Rowan on guard, we’ll be able to worry less about coyotes and cougars and bears when the girls are out playing in the woods; and I’ll feel safer at night from two-legged intruders when Jasper’s away at work.

0713 rowan 2

We didn’t make the decision to get Rowan lightly.  In fact, we started talking about it back in January, and put a deposit on her months before she was even born.  I’ve researched the breed voraciously, and read all I can on training these kinds of dogs.  But still I’ve been a bundle of nerves the last week.

It’s been more than a decade since I last had to train a puppy, and I’ve never had this kind of dog.  Una and Juniper are both herding dogs, and thrive on having direction and being told what to do.  Rowan is different.  For thousands of years dogs of Rowan’s breed have been expected to think and act independently.  They have been turned out among their flock and left alone to guard and protect them.

I have to remember to keep that in mind while training her.  She’s a little more like a child that way than a dog.  I’ll teach her my rules and I’ll give her the best foundation I can.  But then the rest is up to her.

0713 rowan

We’ve only had her for five days, but Rowan is quickly picking up house-training and last night (despite the opening gambit of this post) she only had to go outside twice, giving me a solid five hours of sleep.  It was heaven.

She’s learned her name, and will come when called if I’m proffering the right treat.  She’s learning not to chase the chickens, and to walk on a leash.  She is not learning not to chase the cats; the cats, likewise, are not learning not to hiss at her every time they see her across the room.  She’s also not a big fan of riding in the car, which makes it hard to bring her to the farm with us.  We’ll keep trying though.

She likes to play tug of war and to nap next to us while we read.  She loves to play in the fields, and burrow under drying cut grass.  Avery and Iris throw the grass up like confetti and Rowan smiles with absolute glee as it rains down on her.

I can already tell she’s going to be a very good dog.

27 Comments

  • Ilze

    July 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Cutie! Car riding isn’t thing dogs like I guess! All my friends who have dogs say it’s stress for them!

  • Bumble When You Work – TyroCharm

    July 13, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    […] Sunshine A Bumblebee and a Coneflower My bumbling Friends – The Girl on a Journey Introducing Rowan – sprout & sprig Just Brittany Moments Gravity Check! The Consulting Writer Bumble like a…bee? Charmed Chaos […]

  • watchingthedaisies

    July 13, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    She is soo cute. 😊

  • eternalbloomfarm

    July 13, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Welcome Rowan! What a beautiful puppy. 💖😊

  • Fourth Generation Farmgirl

    July 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    What a sweetie!

    1. sproutandsprig

      July 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you!

  • oldhouseintheshires

    July 13, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Soooo cute! Hello Roman! 😍

  • oldhouseintheshires

    July 13, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    rowan…..autocorrect!

    1. sproutandsprig

      July 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      lol!

  • rabbitpatchdiary.com

    July 14, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Rowan is beautiful-I think you chose a wonderful breed. Best wishes!

    1. sproutandsprig

      July 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you! She’s a handful sometimes, but I think she’s going to be wonderful!

  • oldhouseintheshires

    July 14, 2017 at 6:47 am

    You are my blogcrush this week over at Lucyathome. X

    https://lucyathome.co.uk/blogcrush/blogcrush-week-22/

    1. sproutandsprig

      July 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Wow! Thank you! 🙂

  • bluestempond

    July 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Who doesn’t love puppies? She looks like a sweet white teddy bear.

    1. sproutandsprig

      July 14, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      She really does! And is sooo soft, too!

  • aprilmangrum82

    July 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    What a beautiful puppy

  • hjsburnett

    July 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Rowan is an awesome name!!! I know this because we named the pup we got at Christmas Rowan!!! Great minds think alike, right?

    She is beautiful!!!! I consider our dogs to be a part of the family! One of the best parts!!!

    #blogcrush

  • Robby

    July 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Too cute!

  • Melissa McLaughlin

    July 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Finding this post made me smile. Best wishes to sweet Rowan! Followed!

  • sbaskitchen

    July 16, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Rowan is absolutely adorable. What a beautiful addition to the family. Please give her a hug from me…

  • Wheniamagrownup

    July 16, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Wising you all the best with your new adventure.

  • Wendy

    July 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    How gorgeous is Rowan!I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dog like her before, so beautiful. I hope you are all enjoying life with your new addition xx #blogcrush

  • Spring Lake Homestead

    July 19, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    First of all, I LOVE that name…Rowanberry Bubblegum…I’m going to guess and say your girls had a hand in naming him?
    Second, we’ve been contemplating a dog for some time, and this just makes me want one more!

  • Butter’s mom

    July 23, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Loved this post…can totally relate to the up at night moments with the puppy. So sweet. Welcome to the family Rowanberry!

  • The Thrifty Campers

    August 8, 2017 at 3:26 am

    That night sky is breathtaking. Amazed at how much that photo captures the night. You also have super cute dogs:)

  • New Year, New Farm Goals – sprout & sprig

    December 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    […] we took our first big family vacation (to the Redwoods and Disneyland) and bought our first LGD, Rowan.  It was the year we all saw our first solar eclipse and the year that both of my girls went to […]

  • thegearguysblog

    January 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    OH my word what a cute puppy… I remember those days our baby is five now!!!!

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