Atia of the Julii .....


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I am seeking gentle ground where the cows may calve, later on. Unfortunately, we suspect the cougar frequents this area also, from time to time.  There are several rock outcroppings and good places for her to hide.  Water is nearby up here.  Atia is working her way a little farther from me.  This has happened before.  When she gets too far, I hide and wait. The few times I have done this, within 5 minutes she mysteriously finds me.

This is the first "official" day that I take Atia through the forest where I plan to immediately start woven-wire fencing.  A few years ago I used two different Kuvasz, one at a time,  to stay with me outside all fencing. Bear and Bailey would walk around, high and low.  However, each would come back an just lay down in the forest, enjoy the shade, and watch for creatures or threats.  Sometimes one of them would jump up and investigate something. Each would return. They were each a year and a half old, maybe a couple months more. Their chores here were separated by a couple years. Here,  we see Atia investigating as we head out. Previously,  I have taken Atia through here about ten times.

I guess that about 5 to 7 minutes passed and,  as you see, here comes a good Atia, looking in on my welfare. Remember,  there are no fences out here.  She can go, to my left, and wind up on the road where the gravel trucks speed by. It is downhill a ways. Home is up and right-rear.

Atia gets a little farther still. She is about to go around the cliff.  I will stand here and make no sounds.

We work north into less frequented areas of the farm. It's eerily quiet. I like it. As I watch Atia, I see she is paying attention.

We went around the corner ... she was farther away ... then she came back to check on me ... much faster than before.  So I was thinking she was worried I am such a dolt and that I need checking on more frequently. Good, so far.

I'm working on keeping up.  She's moving at a reasonable pace.  I can't complain.  Though, at this point,  I truly am paying attention to footing ... for example, do I see Cougar markings? Coyotes Marked ? Copperhead snakes? Golden Spanish doubloons?

She and I start working the rock outcroppings. Footing is not all that good. Well, HER footing is marvelous. I meant my footing requires attention on my part.


And now a message from the PolitBuro as we await more pictures.

Well, I look around and Atia is out of sight.  Per my training rules. I go to ground and make no sound. It is up to the student to realise the mistake.  Hell,  she's proven this a total of four times now. So I am reasonable in assuming Atia will notice the mistake and hurry back to protect me.

Right? Not-So-Much.. As this self-portrait shows, I am waiting, and waiting. in fact, I waited 20 minutes. Once in a forest, my German Counterpart, Günter would t tell me because I was "family", he'd land the helicopter, wait a BIG 60 seconds, then leave and I would have to navigate back on my own, on the ground. So, 20 minutes for a smart Russian LGD ought to be reasonable here in the US. Well,  she never arrived. I left. The Great Pyrenees picked me up about 200 yards to my upper right, (from my perspective) Can't fool a Pyr .. no sir-ree ...They made a helluva ruckus.  I'd thought that ought to be enough to pull Atia back in. It didn't. And don't assume she knew they were about 500 yards away ... from where I am sitting, if I really needed help, I'd be history. This was a Hard-Failure and logged as such.

Atia arrived at the garage an additional 20 minutes later. I was in the shower. There was no reason to search, it's a very large area which looks strikingly similar to what you just walked through with me.  Anyway, foot soldiers need showers. Right? We'll try the lesson again tomorrow.

2nd Lesson

I noticed Atia was quite interested in something on the ground.  Personally, I have seen a lot of Black Snakes right around this meadow, when I was fencing.  They are friendly and slither right up beside me to talk.  Or so it seems. Anyway, if a Black Snake is around, there are no Copperheads as they kill them! Makes them my good friend! Anyway, here she finds a friendly terrapin We leave it undisturbed. He pokes his head out a couple times to see if we left. ... we leave !

This afternoon we start out as normal.  We go the opposite direction just to keep her from expecting certain routes.  This is the upper meadow.


So, make a sharp, but quiet,  exit to the left and try to find a good place to hide. This is my auto-timer 'self-portrait' . I waited here for about 7 minutes ... very still ! Eventually I had to issue a recall whisper for Atia. And ...

Northwards. And Atia is getting much farther from me. Soon enough,  I lose her in the thickets.


So the Ovcharka Miss and I re-gain the trail ... if you or I may call this a trail. Well, actually, this IS a marginally used deer trail. Sorry for all the rear-end shots of Atia.  However,  being LGD, and especially Ovcharka, this little lady insists on leading the way, for safety sake.  OK by me. Well, as long as she pays attention to where I am making the turns ..

Within a half-minute the little wretch appears!!! Looking straight at me. Some of you will undoubtedly say that Atia was just that far away the whole time.  I seriously doubt this as I was unable to hear her movement in the thickets. Though I may concede the fact she was not "That" far from me and "could" have protected me ??? Maybe. Though frankly I doubt she was very close-by

... and she turns happily around to come close to me. Of course I hug and thank her heartily ... sort-of a reward I guess you'd say.  But in my mind, I am saying "If you don't want to keep getting nagged by me to come and get a hug, then bloody-well stay by my blinkin' side (or in front).

As we move, eventually she gets too far away. I issue a mild and whispered rebuff and...


as you may detect by her tongue hanging out, we've been out here a while and it's hot and humid.  Atia stays nearby,  seemingly happy about that,  for the rest of the way home. This walkabout went far better. We'll give her a "C", average ... just fine .

Hard to see her in these colours isn't it? Gotta love the markings !


3rd Lesson

The answer was "Left" and she went that way. I like the interest she takes in seeing who's been on our trail overnight.

ATIA: "Ok Boss,  which way, uphill or to the left around the ridge?" ... she's getting too smart !


So, I issue a mild and quiet recall.  Here she happily runs back to see what the heck I want.

Atia is, again,  getting ahead of me as she takes total interest in the "Identify Smells"  aspect of the walk in the forest.

I've not paid particular attention to the path we were taking.  Well, OK,  this path was overgrown and I was watching footing.  And I was noting that Atia was looking back to check on me ... nice turn of events in training ... I remark to myself.  And I see it's getting darker as we go into a chasm between two ridge lines. Actually, I now realised where we were heading and I am thankful she's decided to keep me in her sights.

We round another bend and find more rock-face areas to explore.  Now I notice Atia is remaining a little closer as we move.


Well, she led us right to the edge of the "Known" world for Badger's area.  We are going to be laying field-fence thru this stuff when I figure out the course.  And that's why the two of us are making daily recon runs through the area.  I let her make all the decisions of trail from the time we left the "Lions Den" . So, Atia is a good Navigator, I see.

Ah yes ... the area I think is occasionally by the Cougar for a den.  Atia seems unbothered,  though also she seems that it's time to depart this area.  I got that impression by watching that Atia neither sprinted to smell the dark are there.  But rather she "Noted" it obviously.  Then she turned rather casually to me and insisted we go back along the trail from whence we came. So, testing this, I called her back to me.  Atia came over; got her obligatory tail-rub.  Then she turned and tried again to lead me out. And, once again I turned around walked a few steps closer the dark area and called Atia.  Without a single hesitation she came over to me.  Atia was not tense. But she was perplexed why the heck I wanted to stand right here.   I decided the weak hunch I had was more than enough reason to follow her out of the area.  As we went,  and as we climbed rather steep inclines, Atia made Traverse actions up the steep sides. I mean, it was soil and leaves , not rocks .. but it was a curiously HUMAN trait, ... a trait of someone who does a lot of scrambling on mountain sides. I'd not seen the LGD's do this. Rather they go straight up such inclines.  Frankly,  it was a lot smarter to left and right and left and right as we went up about a 50 foot incline.  Once again I noted how clever the big girl is.

That's Agrippa.  He's the son of Bandit & Lilly. He resembles Bandit and has Bandit's traits. Kuvasz. Whereas Cato, his brother, resembles Lilly and has her GP traits. Go figure!  In any event,  Atia and I finished our reconnaissance run. Atia gets a strong grade of "B" for today. She did quite nicely.

Here we are walking home and on the "State Park Road".  That little trail leads up to the current LGD Hooch.  It was the Lambing Barn.  However, I put two bars across each entrance.  This means the LGD's crawl under it and the Sheep can not get in.  I am still having trouble with one wether who rams into unsuspecting LGD's.  Lilly was limping in the hip area the last few days. Eventually I'll figure out who it is and he'll be a weeks worth of dinner for the LGD's up here. Anyway,, I had the idea I was being watched. Really! As I looked up the trail, I saw who was watching.  The next picture is the telephoto of that hunch.


Hey, who knows. The fact is the kitten needs to stay in the house with us as the outside is too cold and too difficult to tend to a ten day old orphan. Atia may or may not also be in the house ... if she grabs the kitten and before I break her knee caps with the baseball bat, then send her to Corsica, I needs she understand clearly that this is a baby ...


Early November  2009: My take on a little remedial training for Atia. For whatever unknown reason, the least of which I care anyway, Atia grabbed this kitten from Mary's hands as Mary nursed the abandoned ten day old with a Kitten-Bottle.  So, here I am doing my best "Ed Deline" ... "Ya wanna mess wid my kids? Ya mess with da Family.  So fahgedaboutdit"


Here's "Drahma",  Atia's full sister,  with Kittens at Yelena's farm.  This is taken the same day.  Hmmm, do sibling Ovcharki communicate via ESP? Hmmmm, maybe so!

So, a few nights later ... Atia actually stole the kitten from Sabrina. Oh, we didn't get a picture of that one. But later on, she's laying there watching the kitten. Today, Atia's sister Drahma was doing exactly the some thing, several States away!  Isn't that strange? Or is it. Maybe Sisters think alike at the same moment?


Atia remains a while then asks to go back outside. Only later on, she asks to come back in and check on her new charges. .. Hey,  se that rung under them? It's 100% wool from our sheep.  I wove the danged thing ! Go Figure! Me, work? Nah ...

And the next night we see Atia making routine patrols,  only when she's in the house,  to check on Baby-X.


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