Nuns raising pups: Adorable residents of the Khareba Convent
13 March, 2015
Nuns raising pups: Adorable residents of the Khareba Convent
Khareba nunnery, which is located in the town of Kareli, Shida Kartli region, is famous for its amazing Caucasian Shepherd puppies. So, in order to see and photograph the adorable creatures, we took a little journey. Georgian Journal’s reporters were warmly received and hosted by the nuns who reside there. Thanks to them we discovered plenty of interesting things about the famous dog breed.

"The Caucasian Shepherd is an ancient breed of dog; it does not need special training in
order to do its job well. It is a guard dog by nature. It will never stand on two feet or fetch its master candy as the German Shepherd does. It is too proud and arrogant to perform such simple tasks."


At present, the monastery has five dogs, three of them puppies named Balu, Adeli and Pepo. Two other dogs are Loka-Puta, the mother of the puppies, and Basa, the eldest sister among the siblings.
The monastery hosts the tomb of Mariam Batonishvili, the daughter of the powerful Georgian King Erekle II. It was built in 1850. The nuns settled down here a year and a half ago when living quarters were constructed near the church.
One cannot pass by the yard of the monastery without stopping and gazing at these amazing creatures for a while or at least without a smile of adoration. The first thing that comes to mind upon seeing Caucasian Shepherd puppies is cotton candy. Their resemblance to big fluffy cotton balls would be uncanny if not for their sharp teeth.

"Sometimes people raise them in strict conditions in order to stir aggression in them; this is a big mistake. The Caucasian Shepherd’s nature is already quite severe, so, on the contrary, these dogs should be treated with friendliness and warmth to keep their character moderate."

According to sister Manana, the primary trainer and caretaker of the dogs, she brought Loka-Futa to the monastery two and a half years ago. Since then, the life of nuns has changed entirely. Futa has won two dog exhibitions, just like her parents.who won many awards. Currently the nuns are planning to exhibit Futa’s puppies at the International Dogs Exhibition, which will take place in March.geotv.ge
Caucasian Shepherds stand out from other dogs due to their distinct character, bravery and kindness. These dogs possess a very gruff and harsh nature, but if they are brought up in a warm environment among people, their character softens and they become the best companions of humans.
“Sometimes people raise them in strict conditions in order to stir aggression in them; this is a big mistake. The Caucasian Shepherd’s nature is already quite severe, so, on the contrary, these dogs should be treated with friendliness and warmth to keep their character moderate.
“The Caucasian Shepherd is an ancient breed of dog; it does not need special training in order to do its job well. It is a guard dog by nature. It will never stand on two feet or fetch its master candy as the German Shepherd does. It is too proud and arrogant to perform such simple tasks. This dog knows its function very well and does its job perfectly. Georgian Shepherds have been guarding livestock and protecting its masters for centuries,” says Mother Superior Barbare.
As we were informed by the nuns, these dogs were initially called Georgian Shepherds but due to certain circumstances they were dubbed Caucasian Shepherds, which stuck. Nevertheless, Georgia remains their ancestral land. There are many cases of Armenia and Azerbaijan claiming that this breed of dog belongs to them, but such claims are false.

"Whenever I feel bad, they feel it too and try to comfort me by licking and caressing me. They make me feel happy and, as a result, I immediately get rid of bad thoughts. It is strange, but these tough dogs are in fact very sensitive and easily offended. For instance, if I don’t take them for a walk they become sad and just lie on the ground for the entire day."

All the dogs at the monastery have their official documents that prove their Georgian origin. It should be mentioned that many Georgian monasteries where Georgian Shepherds are kept play a big role in preserving this magnificent and ancient breed.
geotv.geSister Manana told us that she did not have any specific experience initially, but just observing the dogs and communicating with them has given her a lot of insight into their behavior and nature.
“Whenever I feel bad, they feel it too and try to comfort me by licking and caressing me. They make me feel happy and, as a result, I immediately get rid of bad thoughts. It is strange, but these tough dogs are in fact very sensitive and easily offended. For instance, if I don’t take them for a walk they become sad and just lie on the ground for the entire day,” says sister Manana.
At the moment she is busy bringing up Balu, a male puppy, which is going to become a guard dog for Kareli’s Saint Giorgi Mtatsmindeli Gymnasium. The gymnasium’s rector, Archimandrite Stepane Korinteli, considers it very important for children to learn to appreciate and communicate with these fantastic animals. “The Georgian Shepherd stands out with its intellect, courageousness and strength. But the most important thing is that it is capable of self - sacrifice for a human being’s sake,” said Archimandrite Stepane.
According to the priest, besides Balu, he is also expecting a leopard cub as a gift. He is planning to keep them both in the gymnasium’s yard. If it really happens, it will be interesting to see whether these two dangerous animals will find common ground.
geotv.ge

geotv.ge

Author: Lika Chigladze

Related stories:

Adorable Caucasian Shepherd pups sheltered in Georgian monastery

Khareba monastery's little guardians - Nuns raising pups

Print
Other Stories
Tbilisi Takes Third Place in The Category of Cost-Effectivness-FDI
Famous British edition FDI Intelligence which provides up to date reviews of investment and economic development in different European cities and regions has published a ranking of 2020/21
CNN Offers 10 Of The Most Dreamiest Places in Georgia
Without a doubt, CNN's famous travel series will give you the most truthful advice on which you can count on
Radisson Collection Tsinandali Complex Among the 45 Best Hotels
The hotel located in the village Tsinandali was named among the 45 best hotels in Paris
From Thailand With Love
“Coming to Georgia wasn’t an accident”
"There was a "ME" before Georgia and another one after."-Foreigners about Georgia
"We've never seen people describing their country with as much passion and excitement as you two are doing it. What a great thing to do!"
British edition about Kvareli's football pitch
The British edition, The Sun Dream Team, published a photo of the pitch located in Kvareli
Tbilisi winning Rynair's Instagram voting as the best 2020 destination
"We just crowned Tbilisi as Ryanair’s 2020 destination face-off winner in our Stories"
The Real History of Tbilisi
Little do people know about the real history of Georgia's capital city Tbilisi.
"Georgians will extend their arm for a friendly handshake"-Ryanair
The Irish budget airline Ryanair publishes an article about the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi. The title says it all- "The Enchanting City of Tbilisi."
The Transcaucasian Trail in Georgia
The Transcaucasian Trail- a world-class, long-distance hiking trail, more than 3,000km in length following the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains and connecting roughly two dozen national parks and protected areas in the region.
"Home for the homeless"-BBC about Tskaltubo sanatoriums
BBC publishes a documentary about Tskaltubo's sanatoriums located in the West part of Georgia.
Georgia reaches a record number of visitors
In January 2020, a record number of international travelers visited Georgia.
Abastumani resort brought to life
The observatory renovations are completed in Abastumani resort, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure reports.
Georgia sets a new record by exporting of 94 million bottles of wine
Georgia has exported around 94 million bottles (0.75 L) of wine in 53 countries in 2019, which is by 9% more compared to 2018.
Georgia in winter – a new holiday experience
Spring, summer and autumn, these are the main tourist seasons in Georgia. But have you ever thought about visiting in winter and hit the ski slope?
Sakartvelo TOP-1 – Why is Georgia number 1 for the Belarusian photographer?
Georgia among Georgians is called Sakartvelo. This is the name how the Belarusian tourist calls this country.
“Georgian people welcome a guest as an angel” – personal experience of resigned US soldier in Georgia
Georgia has become an inspiration for many people, from politicians to writers and singers. The latest, for who Georgia has tuned into country of new discoveries is a former US soldier... This is what he tells Georgian Journal.
Tbilisi selected as Best European Destinations 2020 contestant
Tbilisi has been selected as a contestant for the Best European Destinations 2020 competition, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said at the municipal government meeting.
Georgia celebrates National Flag Day
Today on the 14th of January Georgia celebrates National Flag Day.
Number of international visitors to Georgia surge in 2019
Over 9 million international visits, 5 million tourist visits were made to Georgia in 2019.
Unique Qvevri-made whisky by Alexander Distillery
Whisky is a strong alcoholic beverage, an aromatic drink, which is made from fermented grain mash in oak barrels.
Forbidden Christmas, repressed Santa Clause and Christmas trees from gloomy 90s of Georgia
In the past, Christmas trees in Georgia used to be decorated with religious ornaments and accessories as an indication of the holy-day.
Gona – little Switzerland in Racha, Georgia
Gona is a small village in Oni Municipality, in the region of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti.
Five Things About Kartuli That’ll Make You Say “Vaime!”
Home to a history that spans millennia and one of the world’s most diverse (and delicious!) cuisines, Georgia’s got a lot to brag about.
Four seasons are not enough! - Well known campaign takes new turn
The online campaign #spendyoursummeringeorgia was extended to four seasons. And it will keep growing, as Keta Goletiani, one of the founders explains.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
24.02.2020
25.02.2020
USD
1
USD
2.8299
2.8299
EUR
1
EUR
3.0571
3.0571
GBP
1
GBP
3.6537
3.6537
RUB
100
RUB
4.3980
4.3980