As many of you can probably tell my recent posts over the last few weeks have mostly focused on Sherman.
There’s a reason for that.
Sherman’s getting grey hair!
I noticed it a few weeks ago.
I thought he had some dust on his mush and I went to wipe it away and it didn’t come off.
I tried again.
It was still there.
I yelled for my husband.
“Look at what’s on his mush!” I yelled.
“Slobber?” my husband replied.
“No! I think it’s grey hair!” I yelled.
“All I see is a slobber.” he said.
“I still don’t see it.” he said.
The kids didn’t see it either when I yelled for them to come take a look.
I guess it’s only something that a mom can see.
Anyway it was devastating to me.
Sherman is going to be six in November.
A giant breed, such as the Newfoundland, is considered a senior at age seven, sometimes even earlier. Because of their size they age much quicker than most average sized dogs. Newfoundlands have a life expectancy of 8-10 years, but many also live well past that.
I plan on having my Newfs around for the long haul.
And when I say haul, I mean haul, like as in “Sherman is going to haul a load of firewood.”
Yup. That’s right, it’s time for Sherman to start another chapter in his life as a working dog.
The grey hair isn’t going to magically disappear, even if I use a brown Sharpie to color over it, so I have no other option than to bring in the wagon.
Having the dogs do carting or drafting as it is called, has been something that I have always wanted to do with them and since time is not on my side here, there is no better time than the present to have him work like his breed was intended to.
Sherman is still in great shape and certainly has the potential to haul. A draft dog does not pull his load, he pushes the harness with his chest, pushing the harness forward, and the harness and traces pull the load.
Sherman is not hooked up to the traces here but I hope it gives you the idea of him pushing the harness forward with his chest and transferring the weight to the traces, which pull the load.
My husband is in the process of modifying a red wagon into a cart that is easier for him to maneuver. All we need is some bigger wheels and a breaking mechanism and then Sherman will be working! In the meantime I am getting him familiar with the idea of the wagon and the harness.
While you won’t see us in any drafting competitions or pulling massive loads, it is my hope that by winter Sherman will be hauling a few pieces of firewood from the backyard to the fireplace to keep us warm in the winter!
Maybe, if Gracie can stay little forever, he will be able to haul her too.