The Farm Puppy
So our lovely volunteer guard dog, which is called Tiger, is a mean (towards anyone she doesn’t like) and a rather protective dog who has taken to the volunteer program@BoTree Farm better than anyone.
She has literally a dog’s life on the farm in true Cambodian style.
If she wants food she has to learn to hunt and fend for herself and while scraps from her master are given they are few and far between.
So being a really clever dog she quickly caught on that keeping an eye on the volunteers was a sure way of keeping her belly full.🖕
Her daily work starts around 6-7 when she takes the short walk up to the house the volunteers live in and awaits their footsteps coming down the staircase.
She then escorts them down to the visitor centre where she allows them to pat her belly and maybe give her some leftovers from the previous nights’ dinner.
Hanging around all day she keeps an eye on any gullible visitors who may need to make a fuss of her and to inquire about food from the restaurant.
She pays close attention to these potential punters as she can then position herself close to their table and lay in view without making it too obvious.
Depending on the time the volunteer has been on the farm she may follow them up when they are giving a tour of the plantation.
(Mostly to keep an eye on the newer ones and to make sure they give a complete tour around the farm, she knows where you should go and will stand and look at you if you deviate off course!)
One or two tours per day are her average although she has been known to come on mine all day when I have been on my own.
(Maybe she thinks after a few in the morning I may slack off a bit in the afternoon😂)
Around 5 pm she stands on the step leading to the entrance and observes the cows as they slowly pass by on their way back to the shed for the night.
Making sure she barks enough if they should venture towards the lovely green plants surrounding the farm shop.
They sometimes try and push their luck but she always appears at the right time and gently but firmly gives them an incentive to mosey on past.
( showing her lovely bright white teeth seems to work😃)
Afterward, when the shop is closed and the visitors have gone, she can finally relax in the grass aside the lake, but never far away from the volunteers should they need her.
At night after snacking on any leftovers freely given by the volunteers she awaits their return to the sleeping house.
Where she heads off in front of us as the path that cuts the farmland in half is a crossing point at night for the odd snake.
She will slow down and raise her haunches if she senses anything before continuing on her way.
Once arrived she will wait for a few minutes until the volunteers have climbed the stairs to bed and lights go out, before heading back to the visitor centre and to keep an eye on the farm shop.
The arrival of her Puppy
Since the arrival of her one pup( the other died shortly after birth) he came along around February she has extra duties to perform like training him to relieve himself away from the decking around the shop.
Also having to explain how sharp his teeth are becoming with a gentle bite every now and then on his neck.
They play together for many hours before he usually finds somewhere cool to sleep (this he has mastered very well)
She has shown how truly an animal rears its own in a way I have never seen.
I think because of only having one puppy she has time to interact with him on a daily basis and keeping his learning and training constant is amazing to see.
She has even been known to rescue the odd flip flop he has wandered off with while the unsuspecting visitor is happy pepper shopping and leave it where the volunteers will find it.
However, she still has time for her daily chores and I feel sure at some point in the future she will encourage him to take a tour with the volunteers and keep an eye on them as they do their farm walks 🙂