On September 9, 2019, our little English Shepherd, Cheyenne was born! The product of two, gorgeous, doting parents, she was privileged to spend the first eight weeks of her life in the home of a wonderful family who raises well-mannered, healthy, and intelligent human companions. (See Town and Country’s ES website here.)
After much anticipation, and weekly communication with the owner of the dogs, Phil, our granddaughter, Selena, and I, visited the home to see the litter of puppies in person. They were five-weeks old and starting to show their distinct personalities.
ALL seven of the puppies were adorable, but we knew we wanted a female, so that narrowed it down to a choice of three. After chatting with the breeder about the difference in personalities, we decided on the plumpest, laziest, easy-going pup… “Bethel”, whom we later changed to “Miss Cheyenne”.
We were told by Carisa, the lady of the house, that the English Shepherd breed can have a high desire to herd or they can be less eager to chase and herd children and animals. We wanted a pup with less herding instinct which would make it easier on the trails when we crossed paths with deer and other animals. We also have our grandchildren at our house frequently and didn’t want the puppy, (later, full-grown dog), chasing and nipping at the kids’ heels. Our newest traveling companion should be smart as a whip, obedient to commands, have a quieter disposition and also be tolerant of strangers and other animals. A tall order we admitted, but these were the attributes that we desired in our future North American wilderness traveling companion.
Cheyenne has been with us now for two months and we could not be happier with the choice we made! She has learned how to “sit”, “lay down”, and “stay” on command and we have been training her to “heel”. Play biting was the biggest issue we’ve had with her. She immediately saw Phil as the “Alpha” and wouldn’t try biting him, but would act more aggressively towards myself and the grandchildren. It took a few weeks of disciplining, but she has gotten much better.
Last week, on Christmas Day, we had an unusually warm winter day and the sun came out warming the air to over 50 degrees! I had been down, bedridden with a terrible chest cold, complete with fever, chills, and horrible headache. Phil wanted to get me outside and into the fresh air, knowing that I would feel SO much better out in the woods. He built a campfire, set me up with a rocker recliner and piled on the blankets. Phil, the dogs and I, sat outside, absorbing the peaceful, healing properties of fresh air and sunshine the entire afternoon, and even watched the sunset filter it’s deep red, ambient colors through the trees. It was an amazing day!!
As the sun sank further into the western horizon, and the light was quickly fading, we heard quite a commotion coming towards us! Four deer broke out into the clearing and I was ready to call Cheyenne back if she took chase. She had been listening intently to the racket they caused, stirring up dried leaves, snapping downed-branches under their hooves. Our other dog is deaf and lay next to my chair, oblivious to all of the excitement.
The lead doe was down-wind of us, so she couldn’t pick up our scent and came stomping towards us. Cheyenne gave a half-hearted “woof”. We reacted by commanding in a low, firm tone, “No”, and the deer commenced to high-tail it out of there! Our pup started to run towards them but abruptly stopped after we yelled “NO!” She sat by my chair and watched the four deer as they pranced away, white tails waving in the fading light. They stopped some distance away and looked back at us. Cheyenne never moved an inch. Phil and I looked at each other and laughed out of sheer elation! YES!! Our pup was everything we’d asked for and we could NOT be happier. 😀
After we get through the “puppy stage”, it will be interesting to see the changes that occur to our Cheyenne, both physically and behaviorally. We’re looking forward to the adventures we will share with our four-legged friend. So excited!! 😀
More puppy tales to come… stay tuned! 🙂