(This post was Julia's idea!) You all know that we have a bit of trouble lately with lamb losses here at our farm. This is not an every day occurrence but it is a frequent one. We do not count how many lambs and sheep we lose to the local wildlife - that would be too depressing and we just aren't that organized nor do we (that would be me and he) want to think about it in numerical terms. We just "keep calm and carry on" as the sign says.
After a couple weeks of active research, we have a couple new members of our farmyard staff. Meet ? and ?
These two boys are 12 week old Great Pyrenees puppies weighing in at more than you want to know. Truth to tell, we probably need 4 more of these guys to protect all the grazing bands of sheep we have.
Me, I'm a dog person. Always have been, always will. But farm dogs are a little different than pets. They are very important working members of our farmyard. Our two Border Collies live to work but they are not guard dogs - they move the sheep where we need them to go. I have been advocating here at the kitchen table for a very long time that we need a guard canines to help us out. I know how smart they are. My Farmer has not been keen on a guard dog who might be trouble. Guess I can't blame him. But now, he has finally given in. We're giving Livestock Guardian Dogs a try. Our two boys are Great Pyrenees. We chose them because we could get them quickly and they were close. Perhaps not the best way to choose a guard dog but other phone calls led to dead ends. We are going to keep looking for others - perhaps more experienced, soon to be retired guard dogs.
? and ? are out in the sheep pasture in a calf hutch bedded down with straw as I type this. We've been paying a fair bit of attention to them today so they know who we are. We've introduced herding dogs Nessie and Phoebe too, not to mention the cats we could get to be friendly. We do not need to get too chummy with them - their job (which we are hoping is deeply instilled in their psyche) is to take care of our sheep and protect them from coyotes, bears, and whatever else lives near our farm. (There have been recent sightings of a wolf and cubs and a mountain lion although the authorities deny it.)
So here is where you come in. This was totally Julia's idea after I suggested the names of Harry and Archie for "the boys." (Arch was my dad who passed away in 2004 - he was a dog guy if there ever was one, and Harry is his brother who is now in his mid-80's).
Julia thinks we need to put it out to all of you.... Do you have an idea for names for our new guard dogs? Think strong, masculine, guardian type of personality. Think politics, world leaders, literature (remember - we're not too book-smart here!), actors, artists.... The names should work as a pair but be easy to call out across a field and not too long. Leave your dog names in the comments, if you are creative and want to have a little fun. We will pick the winner as a family. I have no idea what the prize is - that's how open this contest is! Nor when it closes. When we get a pair of names we like, maybe that is when we close it.
If you want to help us pay for these crazy expensive puppies - you can donate by clicking the button below.
If you want something for your "donation", hop on over to my Shop Page and buy a pattern or two. You will have a handknitting pattern to knit this winter and we will have some $ to help us pay for these (hopefully effective working guard dog Great Pyrenees) expensive puppies! Who knew? Trading knitting patterns for Great Pyrenees Guard Dogs? What a concept!
Thanks to our 13 year old daughter Julia for the idea! They do think different, don't they? I'm talking LGD and teenagers!