Thursday, October 13, 2011

We Need Your Help with......

(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!


The last time I had a naming contest was for a white rooster. It was quite a hoot. You can read that post here and here.

109 comments:

Sarah said...

Awwwwww! We're on a Great Puppy Hunt ourselves. I wish we had the space for a great herd dog like these. My uncle had a pair of German Shepherds years ago named Smith and Wesson. They were supposed to be vicious guard dogs, but they were big babies.

Nichole said...

What a handsome pair! I think they are Bo and Luke. :)

Bonnie said...

Call one J.S. and the other Bach, in honor of the composer of "Sheep May Safely Graze."

Or, Johann and Sebastian.

Sally said...

Ooooh, I love naming pets! Since they're big and white, how about Moby and Dick?

Rae said...

Probably been done before, but how about Starsky and Hutch? :) Though I do love the Smith and Wesson option above! Wyatt and Doc is another.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I am greatly influenced by the dog books I read as a child. How about Lad a Dog and Bruce? The other one was Big Red but you can't call a white dog Big Red unless you have a strong sense of humor.

Connie said...

My first thought...Truman and Lincoln!

Katie said...

What fun! I recently heard about a man who had the first name of "General" and I just loved it, so I have been obsessed with naming our next dog General. This opens up lots of military related names, which might be appropriate for these dogs with jobs! General, Sergeant, Colonel, Major, Captain . . . Best of luck with the new puppies!

Ruby said...

I am thinking Royalty. Like Duke William and Prince Harry. Or a historical figure.

But I gotta love the Smith and Wesson theme. I also like Butch and Sundance, Wyatt and Doc.

So what about Capone and Hoffa?

Enough. I am still about royalty.

Ruby (aka Rav:MzCruse)

Jessica L'Heureux, la tricoteuse heureuse said...

Ohhhhh! I miss mine. I had two Great Pyres. JeanClaude & Henri - french of course ;)

These beauties look like Jacque and Eugene to me, but without seeing personalities... names can be so wrong.

Enjoy them. The breed is amazing with children and fantastic at guarding all they claim to own. They can be gentle giants and amazingly fierce all in one breath.

sandi said...

I think they look like Chewie and Solo, for Chewbaca and Han Solo, the companions and protectors of the hero in the Star Wars saga.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I like Bonnie's suggestion! But others are good too - in fact, Archie and Harry sound fine to me.

I've wondered how guard dogs avoid conflicts with herd dogs. Don't they see herding as a threat to the flock, mistaking it for a predatory move?
-- Gretchen

Cate said...

They look like great dogs! A nice addition to your brood. Paired names that come to mind:

The lions in front of the NY Public Library are named Patience and Fortitude. Could be Pat and Fort for short.

There's D'Arcy and Bingley from Pride and Prejudice.

Vincent (or Vince) and Theo, after the Van Gogh brothers.

Romulus and Remus from mythology.

Since you like to cook, Parsley and Basil, or [insert your two favorite spices here].

Anne said...

How about Mutt and Jeff?...I know they aren't "mutts" but it souldns kind of cute

Anne said...

oops...that would be "sounds"

Margo said...

How about Harley and Davidson, Harley and Honda, Titan and Thor or Apollo and Zeus?

Anna said...

We had a Great Pyrenees to guard our farm when I was a child. I loved that dog! He was an awesome guard dog but loved us kids. Our dog came with the name, "Joe."

I like Magnus and Knut for your dogs. Such POWERFUL names for powerful dogs.

Erin said...

Hmm...being a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I first thought of Frodo and Sam.
Or, if you are a history buff, you could go with Lewis and Clark.
Have fun naming them!

Jani said...

I love Lewis & Clark - was going to suggest Starsky & Hutch 'til I saw it was already here . . . maybe too obvious? Except Julia will probably have no idea who they are!

Another thought (also along the 'protection' theme) is Mulder & Scully - one of my favorite TV crime-fighting duos.

Savannagal said...

I actually think Archie and Harry are great names. I like Henry too. Two sylable names roll off the tongue calling an animal. Other names like Duke and Butch are great too, but they just don't roll the same way. Good luck.

Alicia Hunsicker said...

How about some Greek and Roman God names.......
Zeus and Apollo (father and son)
or Romulus and Remus (Brothers)

or just inspired by them....

Zeus, Titan, Thor, or Odin

Can't wait to meet them..xo~Alicia

Megs said...

From some of my favorite books--
Lenny and George from Of Mice and Men
Dwalin and Balin from The Hobbit
Alec and Mac or Mac and Jem from Louisa May Alcott's, Eight Cousins.

Anonymous said...

I like Archie and Harry, but maybe Spike and Killer instead?

Megan said...

Major and Minor after Canis Major and Canis Minor, Orion the Hunter's hunting dogs in the sky?

If you are at all Harry Potter fans, maybe Hagrid and Fang?

mitchowl said...

Oscar and Ernie. I've always wanted to name dogs with these two names. They're beautiful, by the way.

Be said...

Beautiful, beautiful boys!

Another mythological reference (you also would have heard the names in the Sting song "Wrapped Around Your Finger.")

Scylla and Charybdis - the sea monster and whirlpool that Hercules and his crew had to pass between to get to his ultimate destination.

Being between "Scylla and Charybdis" is kind of like being between "the devil and the deep blue sea" or "a rock and a hard place"...maybe just the place you want the coyotes to be?

Good luck!

Jolene said...

Thinking movie tough guys here. What about John & Clint (or Wayne & Eastwood)?

Manise said...

Perhaps Magnus and Drudik to honor a great wheelmaker in our spinning community?

Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

Butch and Sundance. And our local authorities are kind of clueless about what does and does not live around here.

S said...

Fozzie and Harry?

Paula said...

I like your original idea. Makes them more part of the family even though they are working dogs.

Ruth Ann said...

Clint and Rowdy, for Clint Eastwood and the character he played (Rowdy Yates) on the old TV western Rawhide.

Nero and Archie, for the great detective and his legman, in Rex Stout's mysteries.

Auntie Shan said...

My "Rule of Thumb" -- Always stick to your 1st choice!

Archi[BALD] & Harry are Fine! - Trust in Your Daughter's instincts on this.

Besides, with "People" names, perhaps You can deduct them on Your Taxes!? ;-]

They are cute...

Cathy said...

Beautiful dogs! We saw a pair guarding llamas on a small operation in TN...they do their best work at night protecting their charges. There are some great suggestions already, but how about Batman and Robin??

Jess W. said...

These two make quite a pair! I think they definite lend themselves to famous duo names such as:

Calvin and Hobbes
Luke and Hans
Bert and Ernie
Butch and Sundance
Sherlock and Watson
Timon and Pumbaa
Garfield and Odie
Fred and Barney
Kaffe and Brandon :-)
Rocky and Bullwinkle

bren_na said...

Knitterly theme: DK and Sport

Becky said...

With me it always comes back to ice cream. How about Ben & Jerry?

I follow another blog and they have the same guard dogs. In case you don't follow, check out this blog,
http://www.farmgirlfare.com/

Good luck with the training.

anna k. said...

What about
Pyrra and Neese?
Silly I know, but it seems to suit
Good luck with these gorgeous pups
Anna

Robin Allen said...

I'm with other posters who suggested Zeus and Apollo. Those were the names of the Doberman guard dogs on Magnum PI that Higgins would let loose on intruders to the estate. "The Lads" he called them.

Others that come to mind:
Cable and Gauge
Pick and Throw
King and Kong
George and Ringo

Leslie said...

Being a great fan of the Magliozzi Brothers (Click & Clack of Car Talk on NPR) my first choice would be Tom & Ray.

BUT If you're thinking of perhaps adding to the guard dogs if these work out well, how about starting with John & Paul?? You could then add George & Ringo, perhaps following them with Simon & Garfunkle.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

You have lots of great choices here!
I'm surprised I don't see more knitterly names. I'll offer Knit and Purl.

kim

Turtle said...

lol, how cute! my first thought was Moe & Curly but that's not very masculine or protective is it... my favorites would come from To Kill a Mockingbird. Like Scout and Jem, or Finch and Boo. Have fun!

Dogs are not cheap nowadays. Hubby got me a new baby after ours passed for my birthday. It was that or i kept texting him pics of baby ducks n chicks from the farm supply :) I hope they help with the livestock.

Cinnamon said...

Barnum and Bailey? JP and Morgan (and that way if you get a third dog you can name him Chase)? Simon and Garfunkel (probably too hard to yell that last one)? Holmes and Watson? Or since they're guard dogs how about Clark (superman) and Bruce (batman)? Okay, I'm out of ideas...

Turtle said...

(i picked up your Dog in Sheeps Clothing Sweater pattern.. Great for xmas gifts and thought it was appropriate to the occassion!

dottykatz said...

I saw lots of good names in the comments and someone already listed mine: Odin and Thor. Those are very manly names. Good luck to you all! Such pretty puppies.

Kelly said...

This is great. I'm thinking Zeus and Thor. Actually, my friend has a Great Pyrennes named Zeus and one named Zardoz.

trixiebacon said...

Two mountains in the Pyrenean range are Aneto and Carlit.

Hope your plans with the dogs work out.

Murla Leahy said...

In honor (and variation) of that most famous little shepherdess, how about Beau and Pete?

Julia (mb at diegesis dot net) said...

How about Woodrow and Wilson (Woody and Will for short)? or, since they're huge and white, how about McKinley and Shasta (after the mountains)?

emxlenie said...

I think this is an awesome idea. props to julia!

I think you should name the dogs isaac and moses lol both sheperds. i couldn't think of any other good sheperd names that were guys.

FW said...

What a good idea! Do the names have to match? If not I'll suggest Atticus (Finch) from To Kill a Mockingbird and Kirk (James Tiberius) from Star Trek. Both defended the weak, albeit in vastly different ways and settings. Between the two of them, they would have had all the bases covered!

Karin said...

Great looking puppies! How about Hugo and Dumas? Or Zola and Voltaire, after the French writers, of course! ;)

Laura said...

What fun, what about Bear and Bo.

Lisa in western MA said...

They're beautiful! How about Leo and Rex?

LQuick said...

Jacob (Jake) and (Ed)Ward,
Heathcliff and Edgar
Harley and Davidson
Frick and Frack

Can you imagine yelling for the dogs over the moor -- HEATHCLIFF!!! I can see the men in the white coats already :-)

Montana Wildflower said...

Caesar and Brutus.


We have a GP as well. We named him Lazarus. He will be two in November and is he ever protective of our kids! We've taken him on camping trips with members of a muzzle loading group we are part of, and no one can get near our girls ages 3 and 14 mos when he is around. He's not at all vicious, but he is formidable and intimidating to those he doesn't know.

Enjoy them!

T xxx said...

How about Winston and Churchill. There's a great protector if there ever was one.

http://sheepyhollow.wordpress.com said...

Bo, our Great Pyreneese, age 12, went to doggie heaven this past summer. He was great! We're in the process of adopting a 2-year old Great Pyreneese from a MI animal rescue agency (whew!). Her name is 'Thunder'. I thought if we get another dog, her/his name will be 'Lightning'.

How about Cain & Able? Or, Amos & Andy?

Warm wishes!

Vermont Designs said...

They look like Harry & Archie to me! Go for it. Shelagh.

Ashley said...

What about Jean Luc and Riker!? If they kept the universe safe, maybe they could keep the sheep safe too!

Partly Cloudy Knitter said...

How about Kit and Kaboodle (which could answer to Kab)? I like one syllable names for my pups. Have fun with those guys!

Anonymous said...

Since it's October, and they're white dogs....how about Casper and Boo?

Loco Lindy said...

You may have some challenges with these guys, but it won't be long before you're wondering how you ever went all these years without them! Ours allow me to sleep at night as they protect our alpacas and sheep. Sorry, no name suggestions!

phaedra96 said...

I was going to suggest checking into a rescue. If I had the room and fencing, I would sooo have another Great Pyr. Loved ours--Wagner was the first, and then Conrad(Con) and Galahad(Lad). Con went to another family. No matter what you name them; they will be wonderful guardians. Wag used to sit out at the corner of the yard all night-woofing at the coyotes. His bark was so deep!

Reneelynn said...

I think Max and Henry. They sure are cute.

Auntea said...

What fun reading all the suggestions. Mine is "Huck" & "Finn".

Anonymous said...

Another suggestion inspired by a funny little book "The Bachelor Brothers'Bed and Breakfast "author ? the brothers were named Homer and Virgil .

Anonymous said...

How about Reggie (for "Regent") and Eddie (means "protector of prosperity.)

Lori in Texas said...

My grandparents had a sheep ranch and farm and raised Great Pyrenees dogs to guard the sheep. We were allowed to play with the puppies, but not when they grew up a bit, because they were working dogs and not pets. My grandmother always named some from each generation Rose and Snow. Not very creative, but there you go. I prefer something like Fez and Fedora. Enjoy then, they are lovely dogs.

mzkynd said...

What gorgeous dogs, so many good name choices I sam not gonna throw any more into the mix, though my vote would be for Chewie and Solo :=)

Kathy at Knitting Off The Grid said...

Hi Kristin,
They're adorable! I was thinking that they should be named after a famous duo and that their job of "shooing" away the predators should be somehow incorporated into the names.

How about Simon and "Shooster!"

fracksmom said...

LOL Frack thinks you should name them Frick and Frack. after the famous Swedish ice skating team.

Since they are to guard the sheep, David and Saul come to mind.

No prize needed knowing the name was one one chosen should be enough for the winner.

CTJen said...

They are so cute! How DO you train dogs to be guard dogs? Or do their instincts take over? I was thinking something heroic and epic:

Thor and Odin

Technically these two gods are father and son, but I think it works for two brothers too.

Kay said...

Stan and Ollie!

Lorraine said...

What great suggestions for such cute pups.

We once had brother/sister cats named
Tiger and Lily. I called "Tiger Lily"!

My favorite of the names suggested is Holmes and Watson.

CatherineinFrance said...

here in the Pyrenees the big watch dog (those you bought) is called a patou (like tattoo with a short oo) and the little Pyrenees sheperd dog is called a labrit (that would be labree for an English-speaking person). So I suggest Patou and Labrit. The patous keep bears and stray dogs at bay and there should be no problems with coyotes.

Elaine said...

My choice is Pyres and Renny. They are just too adorable. We have one who lives next door to us and he begs for biscuits every day after many big barks. I am such a dog/animal person and I feel badly about your losses. You know you can spin their fur too!
eblim01@yahoo.com

Beach lythe said...

How about Aslan and Emeth from The Chronicles of Narni? Or Jack is an awesome name. My fluffy cat was named after my granddad. I've wanted to get Jack a kitten named rabbit so I could call JackRabbit to get them in!!!

penelope10 said...

Bill and Ben, the herding men.

Anonymous said...

Alex - as in Alexander the Great and Andre - for Andre the giant. Those sweet puppies do get big! But I like Archie and Harry a lot. Hope they keep the predators at bay.
Melissa M

Anonymous said...

Skittles (from SSK) and Toggle (from K2TOG)

AllisonInPhilly said...

Ross and Angus. But really, your original names have that lovely story to go with! I hope that the flock losses abate.
Best!

Laura T said...

How about Ranger and Max? Great looking dogs- I'm sure they will be a fine addition to your family:)
LauraT

LeslieB said...

Masculine, strong names - Zeus and Hercules. Can't get much stronger than that.
They are gorgeous, by the way.

knitski said...

We have an unusual dog that is half Weimaraner and Turkish Akbash. I have never heard of this breed before Sadie arrived into our lives. I understand they are related or in the same group as your new dogs. If you haven't considered an Akbash I would look into them as they are truly a livestock guardian dog and I would even consider having a full blooded Akbash.

Susan Holmquist said...

Kristin - you will fall in love with this breed as we have. We adopted our boy at 12 weeks from a local shelter.

They are a fiercely loyal breed and will guard your household under all conditions.

My votes for names are: Boulder & Bennington (Benny for short)

Susan Holmquist (Marsha Pratt's sister)

Debra K. said...

Gorgeous boys! You've got some really good suggestions, including your original names. I like Duke and Earl, as well as Thor and Odin.

Tricia Neron said...

They are so adorable, the first names that come to mind are Hanz & Franz big burly muscle heads (Saturday Nite Live) Or if Julia is a Harry Potter fan how about Harry & Ron or Tom & Jerry.

Good Luck

Sharon said...

After reading all the lovely comments about this breed I would offer "Loyal" and "True". A gentle reminder each time you spoke to them of the part they play in your daily efforts.

Anonymous said...

Tom, Dick (and the next one Harry)

Jan said...

Winston & Franklin? I've been told by my Aunt (the dog trainer) that a dog's name needs a hard consonant, so it is easier to call. I don't know if it is easier for the dog or the human, but I do it. Your new farm members are very handsome.

Cynthia said...

What a great, age-old solution to an age-old problem - I hope these handsome boys keep the wolves at bay.

How about going the Classical route: Hector and Hannibal were two great military heroes.

Anonymous said...

super brothers MARIO and LUIGI ??

Green Mountain Realty said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles on the farm. Hopefully the new additions will help protect the sheep and other animals.

Amy S. said...

Of the choices already mentioned I like Patience and Fortitude (Pat and Fort) or Zeus and Thor. For HP fans, what about Fred and George?

Tonia said...

I'm not sure why my google is eating my post...
They are such cute boys. I'm suggesting Gunnar & Rocco since General Sherman lives at my house :)

Mary Beth said...

Cloudy and Sky!

Angela said...

Our two big dogs are Beau & Bailey, so I'm partial.

Anja said...

For me they are:

Odo and Titus

Not easy to translate, my dictionary says :
Odo - The master of the estate
Titus - The honoured, full of fire

Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland von
Anja

Anonymous said...

What beautiful animals they are!

From the annals of Christianity:

Moses - after the intrepid leader and prophet who led the oppressed and beleaguered Israelites to safety and freedom in the Promised Land.

&

Michael - the patron saint and archangel who did battle (successfully) with evil. He's also the patron saint of firefighters, policemen, and all in authority. Can't go wrong here!

NY Mom

LeslieB said...

another suggestion, more kniterly - Cardi and Polo - for cardigan andpullover!

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

Two more names to consider
Frick and Frack
Pork and Chop

Leslie said...

Oh! I had another thought -- of course it's from Click & Clack -- The lawfirm name -- Boyd, Dewey, Cheatham & Howe. Four good names singly and a riot if you get 4 and call them all at the same time.

Stinchy said...

I suggest Phinneus (great fun to call out across the field, especially if you go up on the last syllable) and Max.

Manise said...

Or Finn and Tuna!

Jessica said...

Yay Pyrs!!!

Watson and Crick, Tesla and Edison... all the creatures in my house (including my Pyr) are named after sciency things...

My grandmother's farm dogs are named Buddy and Holly :)

katiegirl said...

How about Atlas and Thor?

Anonymous said...

Ralph and Norton ,after the old show "the Honeymooners

Sabrina said...

Great idea Julia!

My vote is for:

Jack & Major

Strong, authoritative, and easy to call across a field.

Sabrina