Friday, November 02, 2012

Archie - Second Try

I'm re-posting the post from the stormy day (Monday) about Archie. When I was working on the post, Blogger was acting wonky but I kept on, thinking that it would be my last post for several days due to Sandy. Although the post appears on my computer and on others, it doesn't seem to be appearing everywhere. I am keeping the original post because of all the comments.

I don't know how to tell you all this but here goes..... We found Archie, one of our Great Pyrenees Guard Dogs, dead in the woods next to our neighbor's hay field a few weeks ago.  We don't know why he died and never will. We are sad beyond belief. His brother Winston is out of sorts as they have been together since birth. It is not easy to lose a dog, even if Archie had been here only a year.


The Guard Dogs live with our sheep, not in our house at night like our Border Collies. Their job is to keep the coyotes and whatever else lurks in the woods away from our sheep. Guard dogs are not pet dogs but they are farm dogs and members of our farm family. They have to be outside all day and night to keep the critters away. The breed is an ancient one, developed in Asia as livestock guardians and the instinct is keen. They aren't as socialized as our Border Collies but we do talk, walk and visit with them several times a day.

Here is a photo I found of them from last November when they were pups. Such beautiful creatures. 


We buried Archie in the sheep pasture in Bernardston where all The Farmer's family's farm dogs have been buried for decades. Very sad day. 

I struggle with introducing you all to our different animals constantly. Living on a farm, life is different than in the suburbs. Animals are born and pass on more often than most people's pets do. I don't post when we lose a sheep or chicken to a coyote or illness. Our sheep and chckens aren't pets. When I do name animals and introduce them to you, I realize it is dicey because stuff happens. Cats come and go, sheep and chickens meet untimely ends. It happens. But when a dog dies, it is sadder to me. I have always been a dog person and have loved everyone of them although Julia doesn't quite understand this and is quite jealous of every one of our dogs. I tried to keep myself disconnected from Archie and Winston because they aren't pets, they are here to do a job. But I can't help but be sad and cry some tears for this beautiful boy.

 

Winston is adjusting to life as our lone guard dog. He is lapping up my love every time I bring him his nightly kibble or take a walk in the field. We don't plan to get another guard dog at this point. Thank you for all your kind words and for understanding. I wish you all the best as everyone continues to recover from Sandy

19 comments:

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry. I understand what you mean about farm animals versus pets, but it's not easy to lose a dog - house or guard. He was a beautiful dog, and I'm glad to hear that Winston is adjusting as well.

Christina said...

Dear Kristin...I am so sorry about the loss of you beloved pup. We have a Great Pyrenees named Finnigan. They definitely are a wonderful breed of dog. Thank you for sharing farm life with us all.

Susan Holmquist said...

Oh, Kristin,

Our hearts go out to your family over the passing of Archie. Great Pyrenees are truly a special breed; we had our Boulder for 6 years, adopted from a local shelter, and although we didn't have sheep for him to guard, he fiercely guarded our home, our vehicles when he was riding in them, and us. We were so heartbroken when we discovered he had a sinus tumor that was incurable. He would have loved having a flock to guard as Archie did. I think it's because they are such an aloof breed, but so fiercely loyal to their family. You must know that Archie truly loved your family. Our thoughts are with you - our pain is still there after a year. Susan from Vermont (Marsha's sister)

Wicked Faerie Queen said...

That is so incredibly sad. We have a Great Pyrenees named Daisy and although we have a farm it is a hobby farm with no animals raised for meat. Daisy is my sweet darling girl and as big as a pony. I could not imagine losing her.

So sorry, I hope that Winston does not get lonely.

blessings and bliss
Sue

Auntie Shan said...

Thanks for the RE-post Kristin. I'm sure that it wasn't an "easy" thing to do.

And poor Winston, with no one to keep warm with or "talk" to...

:-[

Jenny said...

Oh Kristin! I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. A sudden loss [and so young] is never easily accepted, even if Archie was a working farm dog! I will miss him as part of 'our' blog farm family! Thanks for sharing.

Jen

Moz said...

I'm so sorry and sad for your loss. Dogs are very special little creatures who can feel our pain and joy and show it with their unconditional love. Be happy knowing he is in "happy hunting grounds". Hugz

Suzanne said...

Thanks for reposting. I am so sorry about Archie. Even though they are working dogs they are still part of the farm family. I've enjoyed your pictures of them. I hope Winston adjusts to being alone.

Michele in Maine said...

Losing a dog is so very hard. They are part of your farm family and were such a great pair. Winston will have to carry on. I'm sorry for you, Julia and the Farmer.

Graci said...

I am so sorry to hear about Archie, It is hard not to mourn the loss of an animal. He wasn't a house dog but you still love them just the same. I hope Winston is able to adjust without a lot of trouble.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

My daughter and her family live on a 65 acre farm and someone dumped a half Pyranees ( they named him Cowboy) --the vet said he was half Pyr. according to his unique feet) and we all love him--slightly aloof, dignified bearing. This summer he brought up a tiny puppy onto their deck that someone had dumped up by their gate. My daughter found the sibling puppy, already hit by a car on the road and dead. Cowboy continued to carry the puppy around in his mouth when they would take him out for potty breaks (he is a tiny yorkie poo). He sleeps in front of the chicken coops and has had some recent run ins with coyotes! They are thinking of getting another from a Pyranees rescue group.

Cherie M in Estes Park said...

Thank you, Kristin, for posting the wonderful photos of Archie and Winston. What a blessing for you to have had Archie in the family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reposting. Please don't hesitate to write about what life - and death - are really like on a working farm/ranch. Most people are so insulated from this part of life here on earth and we pay a price for it eventually. We need to know and understand, at least a bit, of this reality. I'm the granddaughter of ranchers in eastern Colorado and I am so thankful for the time I spent with my grandparents when I was young - butchering chickens, hogs and cows. This is REALITY.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Helzhart said...

Kristin, thanks for reposting as I had not gotten the original and didn't know what happened to Archie. As said before, I am so sorry for your loss and remember when you got the dogs. You write beautifully. I was raised in town and married a handsome Iowa farm boy so got to visit his family and be on a farm. I know your loss as I have lost several cats and a dog. God Bless your family and happy you are all safe. Helen

night owl said...

Aw...what a drag. So sorry to hear this news. My heart goes out to Winston and of course to you and your family. xxoo Jules

Chris said...

This is the 2nd post I have read about the passing of Archie and again have tears in my eyes. I understand about the passing of your farm animals, but I think it's good to let us know what life is really like on a farm. Sometimes I have this idea how wonderful it would be to live and work on a farm, but you let us know the realities of farm life. I still think a farm life would be great, but now understand a bit more of the realities of that life. Thanks Kristin for sharing your life with us.

phaedra96 said...

I am so sorry about Archie. The only thing I could think at the passing of our Lad....he was a good dog. What more can you say? It is so hard to see them go.

Beau said...

Blessings, Archie. You are loved and missed. Godspeed.

Nan

Ann said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry to hear this. I've never seen these majestic dogs till i read this blog. Sending empathy and the best for your surviving guy.