Our dogs are older now, they still work most nights but no more day shifts. The coyotes and foxes became aware of this before me and helped themselves to a number of birds in the morning hours when the dogs were asleep. This was a sure sign that it was time to bring in some younger dogs to carry the load. We found these girls nearby…think I will call this sweet pooch Isis.
Ideally, they will be trained by our older girls Lursa and B’Etor. We don’t live on an ideal farm though. I’ve made a lot of mistakes with dogs in the past and I pray I have learned enough not to make many more. Dogs are a lot like children, they both have this window of time when they are very young, when what they experience will shape how they behave from then on. They are not like memory sticks that can be erased and rewritten. During this period of time, only a few weeks for dogs, they can be influenced to bond with other animals they live with and remain loyal, defending them with their lives. This is not true of all dogs, just those that have been bread for this purpose for many hundreds of years. I love working dogs, they are amazing.
A child is even more malleable than a dog since they have no real instincts to draw on. For example, at a very early age a dog can, without any outside influence, feed itself and make a life, maybe even find a mate and reproduce. A child will die of starvation unless there is food in front of him to eat, he can look but not hunt. So the child is at the complete mercy of his mother for several years of his life; he has nothing else to draw on but what is placed in front of him. However, once I’ve trained my dog in error, it is not likely that I can undo it and reset him to that very early time when he could be retrained. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! This is true but I don’t think it has to apply to people. We are much more vulnerable to influence by forces around us than a dog, and it is true that we can’t erase our memory for reprogramming, and it is also true that we are not born with instincts to help guide us but we do have one thing, we are born knowing the difference between right and wrong and if we desire can choose to act with honor.