I watch a lot of animal planet, dog whisperer, National Geographic, survival and nature television shows. In fact, if I watch TV, it is probably going to be a show related to animals, and most likely wild animals or dog related.
Here in Pittsboro we have several birds. Just this week I saw an owl. We also have a variety of hawks flying overhead daily. At night you can see bats. Just a few miles away at Jordan Lake there are Bald Eagles. Our dogs have never, ever paid attention to the birds, until yesterday. I will try to get a video of this in the future if I get the chance. Aura was looking up into the air at some black vultures flying by, and “chasing them” barking wildly.
Black vultures typically eat deceased animals, but make no mistake, they DO eat small and helpless animals, rodents, and I suspect that vultures eat puppies.
Aura’s instincts have always been spot on. Stranger in the driveway? She’ll be barking furiously, and they won’t dare get out of their car. Random 5yr old girl giving her a hug at the playground via headlock? A-ok.
When the puppies were born, she pushed them right out. She immediately licked off their nose and mouth so that they could breathe, then chewed through the umbilical cord, severing it. Then she’d lick them to dry them off and eat the placenta and lie still. The puppies instincts are amazing, too. They are born blind, deaf, and move like turtles, with their nose in the air, sniffing for milk. They make their way over to Aura’s nipples where they can drink milk, and obtain body heat. Newborn puppies can not maintain their own body heat. Anyways, they have amazing instincts.
I’ve never even seen Aura look up before, but this week she has been extra aggressive towards the vultures. The vultures are very high in the air and I’ve never seen them in the trees stalking the puppies and I have no reason to think they’d swoop down and eat a puppy, but Aura tells me otherwise.
This all said, when the pups go out, we go out with them.
This little rant does little to no justice to the amazing instincts of the German Shepherd Dog. I just wanted to mention it. They are very intelligent animals.
photo credit John Schwarz