guardian dog & guardian gates

indiana joan is our new livestock guardian. i guess, more like potential livestock guardian as she is only six-weeks old. that might seem a little young to be leaving mama yet, but that's what is typically suggested for working dogs to bond with their protectorate.

her upbringing will be so very different than any other dogs we've own before. she is a working dog.  her primary purpose is to fiercely guard both the property, our family & all of our livestock ranging from the tiniest chick to our two-thousand pound horse.  she is nocturnal and will take down anything from a rat to a bear to a person with bad intentions. as such we have to treat her differently right from the start. she never comes into the house & will never leave the property. she is not my running partner & will not be joining us on long horse back rides. we have to teach her where home is and what the boundaries look like so we don't encourage wandering but rather a very loyal homebody. from day one, she sleeps out with the livestock not her friends. any posturing, pestering or playing with us or the livestock is strictly discouraged. she is to ignore the livestock completely. she can never become too over familiar with what she is protecting, or she will end up killing it.

as i have been studying this new world of bringing up a world class guardian, it has got me thinking about my guardianship. little things that i have let within my boundaries. postured and played with negativity & selfish indulgence, gotten way too familiar with complaining and bitter diatribes. i've let little mice & seemingly small vermin scamper in, simply because no alarm was raised about them being in my garden. maybe because those little rascals have burrowed deep down into lots of gardens & didn't seem that out of place. in fact, they're commonplace & they've opened the gate to bigger uglier pretators without me even noticing.

in order to be a good guardian, indie has to know what belongs to us & what does not. what she's responsible for & what animals are intruders. she primarily learns this by exposure to what belongs to the farm, the spirit & the smell of it. she has to know what she's for, before she can know what she's against.

i know i have fought hard for my revelation of faith & confession but i suddenly find myself having become too over familiar with such prize processions, not valued their guardian qualities as i should have. gotten lazy about my borders and my mouth has become like an unguarded, overflowing gate. and i can feel it. after a not so uplifting conversation or after i've allowed my mind to wander negatively into something, i feel all slimy. like i was promised one thing & then was robbed when i wasn't looking. all those negative thoughts, promising to make me feel better. promising justice & then stealing my peace. my faith. my joy.

big paws to grow into
i want to take my guardianship seriously. know my gates & borders well. not leaving my post or becoming relaxed no matter the context. no sleeping on the job. for i'm sure we all know how hard we've fought for the gems we now hold and not worth sacrificing to old-run-of-the-mill apathy of in the time of peace.

indie's paws are huge even though she is currently quite small. but she will grow into them & her working role & so will i.      

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