And then you lose some….

There are such a lot of things that can, and often do go wrong on the land.

Farming is not for the risk averse. I am risk averse- I don’t know why I imagined I wouldn’t feel completely inept in the face of setbacks, the amazingly difficult-to-break-into-culture; the fluctuating weather cycle and seasonal wildness in the rainfall, heat and cold- there is no in between. Or the pain I feel with the loss of individual animals through misadventure(usually mine).  I have really had to look at strategies to ensure losses are minimised and animals are safe without 24 hour human supervision. I can’t cope when my mistakes cost my animals in any way. 

Why did I think I could rehouse a mature working bitch? Although I have owned her for nearly two years, she remained in Sydney with her breeder, working cattle and poultry.

I brought Donatella home on Saturday April 2, 2011-she is a 3 year old Maremma bitch, pure white, a big solid dog at 44 kgs. Her microchip number id 900006000021563 (it’s a challenge to find with her heavy coat, but is on her right hand side ribcage). Dona responds to her name, but as a working dog, has been minimally socialised. 

There is no sign of her. Dona disappeared from the house yard Tuesday night. (I think I may have been so sleep deprived I have been saying Monday- but it was actually Tuesday night she went missing)

I got home about 9.30pm and the house yard gate and the last gate at the back of the property were swinging open.
I don’t know what has happened, but Donatella was not here. While she is in training and bonding to us, she is wearing a training choker collar and has been kept chained in various spots close to the house (and walked on a lead multiple times a day). My son was home working at the front of the property cutting timber. Donatella was last walked and handled by him at 2pm.
My fear is that she may have been taken, but even if this is not the case and she has somehow snapped the chain she doesn’t know where she lives as yet.
Maremma are not ‘hunting’ dogs and will not harm farm stock.

Dona as an individual is very gentle. She is very nervous/hesitant around men- so please approach quietly/gently. Usually (but not always) maremma will bond to just a single human, (and unfortunately for me my missing Dona is, I believe, fretting for Cy-her breeder).

Most Maremma do not take directions from anyone, so they are not ‘pet’ or ‘go fetch’ dogs. This can be very frustrating, but is a natural response that allows these dogs to independently care for their flock and protect them against many dangers.

In the limited time I have had her she has been walking calmly on the lead and has been hand fed (literally every mouthful from my fingers) as part of her bonding retraining. Maremma are instinctively aloof and do not follow vocal commands-this is what makes them excellent stock guardians, but very frustrating to manage (and especially as she hasn’t bonded with our family as yet).
We have done significant searching, but because she is new to our family she will be nervous of being approached; and scared of the sound of the motorbike; and probably confused so she is more likely to just be lying low in scrub watching the world around her………
I have listed her on local forums, contacted all neighbouring properties the council and put out posters.
I have been calling out to Dona all along the roads-  but if she disturbed an intruder or has been taken, I just don’t know where she could end up.

Anyway we are hopeful we will be reunited with Dona

Please please PLEASE if you have any information, or see her please contact me or Yass Valley council 02 62261477 so we can arrange to bring her home.

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