Nellie saved my bacon!
I took Nellie in when her original owners could no longer keep her. She had been raised on a small farm with minimal livestock, but she had always been serious about her job. She came to me confused and unhappy about leaving her original home. She was young - she'd adapt, right? She was 3 years old when I got her and she was my first LGD.
I could tell she was uncomfortable for the first few weeks so she stayed in the yard so she could get to know her people a little better. In hind-sight, she probably would have adapted better if I'd placed her right out with the goats and chickens. But, this worked.
About six months after her arrival and several months after she'd been trusted with all the livestock my husband brought home two feral hogs. They were about 40 lbs at the time. We fed them out for around four months before one of them came down with pneumonia. They were pretty large by then - probably at least two hundred lbs.
They were housed in a pen made of hog panels with a small shelter. The pig was so sick that I could step over the hog panels and give it a shot and it would never move or attempt to escape the injections. I did this twice a day for several days and I could see that the pig was improving.
Nellie went to the pen with me everyday. She would sit right outside the fence and wait for me to come out. About a week into the treatment the pig was almost back to normal. I had to use a hog-holders with a noose on the end in order to hold him and be able to give his last injection. I got the hog-holder noose in the pigs mouth and as he backed away and felt the pressure he started to squeal - loudly! I was trying to get close enough to give him his shot when the other pig decided I was killing his brother. He was in the far corner of the pen but as soon as the squealing started he came thundering towards me, grunting and huffing as he came. I knew this was bad...really bad.
Like a big white tornado Nellie came over the hog panel fence like it didn't even exist. She got in front of the pig that was charging me and tried to deflect him. He bowled her over and kept on coming at me. She quickly regained her feet and got in front of him again. This time, for the very first time ever, she used her teeth. She grabbed that pig by the nose and held on for all she was worth. He rolled her over again. By that time I had finished the injection on the sick pig and I was high-tailing it towards the fence.
She and I jumped the hog panels at the same time. She probably saved me from serious injury if not worse. We both came out of it relatively unscathed, but the look she gave me was priceless. I knew she was fussing at me and telling me how dumb I was and how lucky I was that she was there to take care of me.