Well, appearances can be deceiving. We do indeed have a budding watchdog in the Happy Haus. I never dreamt when I got a Newf that a watchdog was in our future. I thought they were way too friendly to fill that role. But, as Katie matures she seems to be developing quite a keen intuition. She rarely barks, but when she does it is because something is out of the ordinary and she feels we need to pay attention.
Two weeks ago she barked an extremely loud bark at the kitchen window and then walked up to it and looked out. I was curious to see if there was anyone there, so I walked outside and discovered 2 people on the other side of our privacy fence. Katie couldn’t have seen them, but she knew from inside the kitchen that they were out there. They turned out to be people that were touring the vacant house next door which is for sale. She never barks at the neighbor who lives on the other side, but these people were not regulars.
The funniest example of this happened at home tonight. I took Katie and Scarlett on a 5 minute very slow walk because it is blazing hot here. (This is what I call a psyche out walk to trick them into thinking they have been walked) During our short absence Gary arrived home from the gym. We came in the back gate and Gary heard us so he started up the hill to meet us. Katie barked at him quite loudly (it wasn’t a I’m-happy-to-see-you bark) and started charging towards him. It was apparent that she thought a stranger was in our backyard and she was not about to cower in a corner. I was telling her “Katie it’s just Gary” but until she got close enough to smell him she could not be convinced. Upon close inspection she decided that yes indeed it was just her own dear old dad. She then immediately shifted from watchdog to a circling dancer of joy. I am guessing that she remembered that the house was empty when we left and then someone who didn’t belong there was in our yard. Hmm... I wonder what she would have done if it hadn’t been her Dad? She is such a sweet and friendly girl when we are out and about. It’s like she has never met a stranger. My guess is she would probably just check a stranger out, decide they were just fine and them honor them with a slimy kiss. Any volunteers to help me test this theory? :-)
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"Welcome home to the Happy Haus" is the greeting I used to receive from Gary when we arrived home from work each day. Gary and I brought our daughter Natalie home from China in November 2011 to live with us in our cozy cottage. In October of 2013, we unexpectedly lost Gary, our dear husband, father and friend.
Our family includes our two sweet Newfoundland dogs, Katie and Louie. Newfoundlands are working dogs, so we make sure our two always have a job to do. Katie and Louie are both certified therapy dogs and bring lots of joy to people who are in need of some Newfie love. They have also competed in Rally Obedience. Katie has earned a Rally Advanced title and Louie has earned a Rally Excellent title. In keeping with Newf tradition, Katie has become a proficient draft dog while Louie prefers practicing water rescue whenever he gets an opportunity. They are also both protectors of their little sister, Natalie.