My Livestock Guardian Dog

Since I’ve been “poorly” my livestock guardian dog has been very worried. She guards me most of the time, and if I hurt, she will try to climb on top of me. She’s developed a new behavior — one is very charming. She “sits pretty” directly in front of me, then wraps her front legs around my knees in a hug and looks up at me with all the love in the world in her eyes.

I was awakened a little while ago (it’s 3:30 am) with pain and decided “Ef it. I’m just getting up.” I made chamomile tea (yeah, me, I did that). Bear was immediately concerned. “What? She’s up? She’s dressed?The routine is broken! Something’s very wrong! What can I do for her?”

As this thing I’m allegedly supposed to have is stress related, it’s good to have a dog like her since her big gift to the farm is her ability to calm nervous and stupid animals. If I were to get — as I’ve gotten — just a tiny shred of a farm, I’m glad it’s Bear. She might belong out there on this hills with hundreds of sheep on this -4 degree night (-20 C), but I’m so glad she’s here with me, and I get to be the forlorn creature to receive her care. It actually DOES help. ❀


P.S. I’m vastly better today. I think what happened is oneΒ variety of flu attacked my body at the same time another variety of flu was on its way out. The second wouldn’t have been so long lasting, painful or virulent if I hadn’t already been sick and my immune system drained. Thank you all again for your kind wishes and concern.


27 thoughts on “My Livestock Guardian Dog

    • I’m amazed a lot of the time, Helen. Here’s my dog who has the innate ability to calm animals and here I am needing calming. She’s pretty incredible. I actually ended up going back to bed and sleeping and I owe some of that to her ministrations, I think. πŸ™‚ Good dog!

    • I was at the doc yesterday and she made a tentative diagnosis and referred me to a specialist. Most likely its a condition that’s somewhat common among “older ladies” (who knew what ‘older ladies’ had to deal with?) but a specialist has to give me an endoscopic exam. She thinks it’s interstitial cystitis which is just an uncomfortable “syndrome” that can flare up once and never return, or come back or… So, there’s nothing I can do now except find a specialist and make an appointment and hope when the time comes to go there, I feel a little better than I do now. So it’s good for me that Bear’s “job” in life is calming things down. πŸ™‚

      • Well, I hope when you make an appointment that you feel wretched so the doc can give you a good and accurate diagnosis. Yes, this is what friends are for… πŸ™‚ “Older ladies”…. sheesh. So one else but us gets these things?!

      • I’ve learned differently. It’s not “older ladies” at all. Mrs. Anglo-Swiss dealt with it until she was 50. One of my friends here — a girl in her 20s — suffered with it since jr high. And I don’t have it. All the symptoms are gone. I’m sure the flu collided with an intestinal virus and I was just way too vulnerable so it lasted a long time. Scary and painful, but nothing. I’m still getting a thorough physical, though.

  1. Martha, you need to take a hint from Bear and get yourself to a doctor or a hospital, ASAP! Bear knows; animals can sense this kind of thing. New Year’s weekend will be a madhouse for hospitals, and they’ll likely be understaffed that weekends anyway. This is a small window of opportunity. Please get help. ❀

    • I was at the doc yesterday, Susannah. She made a tentative diagnosis and is sending me to a specialist. Her diagnosis makes sense, but that doesn’t fix anything. And, if she’s right (and we hope so) this could be a lifelong condition or one that comes and goes. It’s not dangerous or life threatening. It’s just really uncomfortable.

      I’ll be working on that today, I guess. I’m also going to set myself up for a physical.

      • Oops, sorry, I forgot you had seen a doctor. I hope that, if you have to have this condition, it’s the come-and-go kind. I’ve used cranberry juice for cystitis, and it’s amazing how quickly and easily it can work. Good luck to you!!

      • I don’t think it’s cystitis. I feel 85% better today. I think I got the flu and while I was run down, I got slammed with an intestinal bug that was much worse than it would have been under normal circumstances. It’s been awful — an scary — but today I’m more or less back to my normal self and even took the dogs for a ramble. I WISH we could pull a finger and get a clear print out of what’s going on in our selves. I appreciate your concern a lot. I’ve also been amazed at how many people have dealt with cystitis! And there’s a generational break between older and younger for remedies. Older — cranberry juice. Younger — Baking soda in water. I will be buying cranberry juice, cystitis or not. I think it would be good to build up that line of defense after the war I’ve been through. ❀

  2. When I was having the heart attack, I laid down on the floor and my Touch laid down beside me and put her head on my chest. I knew she was trying to help.

    • ❀ Who knows what effect that had on your chances of survival at that moment. Maybe it helped. When I got up this morning and opened my bedroom door (it goes into the living room) they were all waiting to see. So I sat down and hugged all of them. If they could just drive!

      • She knew that, I bet. She knew you would do your best and she would, too. I admire dogs very much. I’ve had 30+ over the course of my adult life and they are really remarkable creatures. Long ago — when my hip went bad — I had an intense anxiety attack (fear caused by pain and uncertainty) and my husky, Cheyenne, came running into my room where I was lying on my bed trying to relax and freaking out. She jumped up on top of me and just stared at me with those blue eyes. It was as if (in her mind) I was freezing in a snowdrift and she had to keep me alive. When I felt better, she just jumped down and went outside. She was a crazy wild thing…

      • God was strolling through the Garden of Eden one day and happened to run into Adam.
        “How’s it going Adam?”
        “Okay, but I get lonely.”
        “I can see where that would be the case.”
        “I was thinking about some companionship. You know, someone who would love me unconditionally and help me through life.”
        “That sounds good. What did you have in mind?”
        “I was thinking of an Irish Setter.”
        “Oh, Adam, an Irish Setter would cost you an arm and a leg.”
        “Oh. Well, what can I get for a rib?”

  3. I suffered from cystitis from the age of about 18 until I was 50 and still have a remote attack now and again. It stopped because I had a big operation and frankly speaking, it changed my lower anatomy to the extent that the coli bacteria stayed where they should. I cannot replace a specialist but one big tip I can give you, if you are suffering pain, and that can be very painful, just half a glass of cranberry juice daily, that is all. I do not know what sort of cranberry juice you get in the states, but I can buy it quite thick and I now feel fine. I might get an isolated attack once a year, but very mild and nothing to worry about. It is not life threatening, but I love the way the male doctors tell you this, because they probably have not suffered as we women do (although men can get it as well). Drink enough daily and try the cranberry juice, it really helps.

    • Thank you. I appreciate the suggestion and I will try it. Cranberry juice is an easy thing to get ahold of. It struck me last night that if that is what’s going on, and there is no cure, I should just figure out how to deal with it right now. Still see the specialist, of course, but if that’s my story, it’s my story.

  4. That’s really sweet. Our dogs get very worried when anything changes … if we are up too early, too late, or stay in the bathroom too long. Gibbs especially gets quite agitated. He needs to have us in sight. They make an exception for a few hours of sleep time, but that’s it. Otherwise, they want to know where we are and preferably, be no further than half a room a way. Or less. Lots less πŸ™‚ I think they like us.

    Feel better. Try. Bear is worried!

    • I am better. Now I’m reasonably sure that I got the flu and while I was trying to recover, I got slammed with an intestinal virus while I was physically debilitated so it was a lot worse and stranger than it would have been on its own. Today’s been the best day in two weeks, so we’ll see. πŸ™‚ Your dogs LOVE you.

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