Flicker’s Lair Blog

A home for Spirit

by Heidi on January 20th, 2010
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We have come to the very sad realization that the best option for our dogs is to find a new home for Spirit. This is pretty much the last thing we wanted, we wanted to be able to make everything work and not have to put her through another change. But as the song goes “you can’t always get what you wa-ant”!

The problem is that Willow and Spirit hate each other, everything was fine then one day they just suddenly started fighting. Fortunately we were both there and Steve was able to pull them apart. We were very careful after that, only having them out together supervised. But then about a week later, I had just clipped Willow back on her cable, when they started again. I was eventually able to pull Spirit off and shut her out of the barn. But it scared me silly.

Thankfully, neither dog sustained any injury from the fights. And so I wonder if perhaps they really were out to kill each other. We have had advice that they need to resolve their hierarchy and it’s possible we are making it worse by intervening to soon. But we really don’t feel that we are experienced enough to know when to draw the line and the last thing we want is for either of them to get hurt.

Spirit is an excellent guardian, she really loves her sheep, and adjusts to her space and flock very quickly. She is an affectionate, friendly girl who is always pleased to see you.

She and Aspen get along fine, and she does seem to enjoy his company when she gets the chance. We are looking for a working home for her, she loves her flock too much to be idling indoors.

We are really sad to be doing this, but we realize that we simply don’t have the experience or confidence to resolve this situation.

I love to know what you think so please rate my post or leave me a comment. If you really liked this post maybe you would consider sharing it. Thank you.

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  1. Obviously this isn’t an option or you would be doing it, but it seems like Willow is the one who needs a new home. Spirit is doing her job well AND gets along with Aspen; two big plusses in my book!

    Comment by Michelle — January 20, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  2. I hope Spirit finds a new home! It’s a shame it didn’t work out!

    Comment by Emily — January 20, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  3. @Michelle – yes practicality says Willow should be the one we are looking for a home for, and we have talked about it. But when it comes down to it Willow has been part of our family since she was a puppy, and any failings she has are mostly because of our lacking. And where as Spirit and Aspen get along, Aspen and Willow love each other, and take so much joy from just being together.

    Comment by Heidi — January 21, 2010 @ 11:27 am

  4. What a beautiful dog and such a shame she has to move on yet again….I wouldnt give my Maremma away for anything..I do hope spirit finds a loving happy home ..It breaks my heart to see dogs shifted from home to home…Not fair at all..Sorry if I come across as a little harsh but I am very hung go about it…All the best and please hug that beautiful dog for me ciao lesleigh

    Comment by Lesleigh — January 21, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  5. @Lesleigh – I agree with you! I wish there was a way we could make it work for her here. We love her and are only looking to rehome her because it is the only way we know to keep her safe.

    Comment by Heidi — January 21, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

  6. Where in Ontario are you. I live in Michigan. I have a male maremma about 1 1/2 years old. We have a 200 acre working farm. Is she registered and how much do you want for her. She is beautiful in her photo. Thank you Connie

    Comment by connie — January 21, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  7. Hi Heidi – let me talk to Kevin.

    Comment by Tammy — January 29, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  8. I do wish i were closer to you. I’d sure give her a good home with my sheep. Dang.

    Comment by terrisa — January 29, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  9. How far is Spirit from Central Washington, we have a boarder collie that doesn’t get it, and llamas that do a good job with the goats, but need a dog that will be there for the shetland sheep we have. Wonder if we can make a connection?

    Comment by Lynn — January 31, 2010 @ 1:00 am

  10. @Lynn – we’re in Ottawa, I am not sure how it would be possible to get her to you.

    @Connie – I emailed you directly.

    Comment by Heidi — February 1, 2010 @ 9:56 am

  11. Hello Heidi, I currently live in Ottawa and am setting up my farm 45 minutes East of here. I’m looking for a Maremma to guard my sheep and have seen your situation with Spirit. Have you found a home for her yet? If not I would love to give her a home with me on my farm. She would be guarding a quartet (soon to be more) of Shetlands. Please let me know what you think!

    Comment by Meagan — February 13, 2010 @ 10:22 am

  12. [...] Picture of Spirit is from Heidi’s blog post about her. [...]

    Pingback by Excitement and a new guardian dog | Happy Panda Rainbow Farm — February 21, 2010 @ 11:37 am

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