to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Meet Beau and Sadie - The Two New Great Pyrenees Guard Pups

I've had quite a few dogs in my life. I grew up with dogs in our house and over the years, Mark and I have had our fair share - Haida, Kelso, Paisley, Devon, Phoebe, Ness, Winston, Archie and Kate. These days, we choose working dogs - those canines who have been bred to have a job and help out on a farm. Border Collies take care of the herding. Great Pyrenees guard the sheep from the predators. I can't imagine even being able to sheep farm without a good dog or two or four or five. Dogs cover ground at amazing speed - they know their job - whether herding or guarding. As a sheep farmer, you come to rely on your dogs like family. And they are our family for sure. Our dogs rarely ever let us down, once they are out of the pup stage and know their role here at the farm. 

Sadly, two weeks ago, we lost Winston, our 4 year old Great Pyrenees Livestock Guard Dog to bone cancer. We knew there was not much to be done about his short life. No matter how much it pained me to think about life on the farm without Winston, I knew I had to think about replacing him. Knowing that it wouldn't take the coyotes long to figure out that Winston was ailing and gone, I started a search for another Great Pyrenees pup. We love the breed, the gentleness, the deep bark and their instinct to protect our sheep. Because we have frequent visitors here at our farm, we wanted to know that we could trust the dog. Luckily, I found a litter of pups at a sheep farm about a half hour from us and we were first on the list for a new pup. 

Off we went to visit Huckowicz Farm Suffolks in late August. The Great Pyrenees pups were in a barn with their sheep and alpacas. We met their Mom and Dad - Buddy and Abby - and chose not one but two pups. I couldn't bear the the thought of one little pup out in the field with the sheep in the wide open spaces since I didn't know how long Winston would be with us. 

Meet Beau and Sadie - the two new Livestock Guard Dog (LGD) Great Pyrenees pups. They are totally lovable balls of white fluffy fur. 

Beau and Sadie met Winston and lived with him for a couple weeks. Our vet Amy said she is sure he passed on his wisdom to them. Here's hoping they do their job as they grow into it. It has been a bit easier losing Winston with the distraction of puppies. Not that they will totally replace him. They will have their own personality that we will learn to love too. 

Sadie is smart as a whip and I'm sure will be the trouble maker and instigator. Her brown patches will fade as she grows.

I see a bit of Winston's personality in Beau - he is slower to move and not quite as rambunctious. His gray markings will probably remain as he grows older. 

It will take several months for the puppies to grow into their job. Right now we are trying to keep them safe and out of trouble. They are getting used to our family, the other dogs, and the sheep. 

Thank you everyone for the incredibly kind comments you left upon Winston's passing. We all read each and every one and appreciate your thoughts and sympathy. You guys are wonderful. 


karen green said...

They are beautiful.

Suzi Barnes said...

Very cute Pups! I'm sure Winston clued them in on their new responsibilities and told them they will have a very good life on the farm.

Anonymous said...

Awesome...really happy for you. It's really interesting reading about their essential role on your farm.

Thought of you too recently while reading Mary Jane's Farm @ the bookstore here in central Maine.

Ann from Maine

Jennifer Kortfelt said...

I love reading about your farm and life, the good and the sad. Thanks so much for sharing. Your new "staff" are adorable. - Jennifer

Auntie Shan said...

Well they're both just too CUTE! :-D

BTW, is it just me, or does Beau look a bit like Beau Bridges..?

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

It's so hard when we lose them, but because we need to replace them, there's not much time to linger in grief. You are right, they all have their individual personalities and these two will hopefully work as hard as Winston did and be just as sweet. (Our old guy is having healthissues now and I think we'll need to start looking for another in the next month or so.)

Jim & Nancy said...

Smiles with our morning coffee !

henrietta (aka ani aka zani) said...

May Winston's spirit whisper to Sadie and Beau as they follow his path through the fields.

mn_bird said...

I am still so sorry about Winston. He was such a gentle giant to people and it sounds as though he was great at his job. It must have been hard to add puppies at the same time you knew you were going to lose your buddy. I hope that you and puppies are adjusting to all of the changes.


fracksmom said...

so happy you were able to get two more. I pray they live long and happy lives.

Jules Means said...

Awww glad to hear Winston was able to mentor these two before he had to go. They are such beautiful dogs. All the best to your lovely farm family. ;)

Robin V said...

I was so sad to read of Winston's death. Seeing these two pups gives me a smile. I'm glad you have them around.

Cathy G. said...

New life. New hope. God bless. These pups are precious. Best wishes to you and your wonderful family.

Take care,

Cathy Gronewold

Midnite Baker said...

Oh, what cutties!!.. I'm sure Winston approved of these two taking over his job. The newbies have big shoes to fill and looks like they will do a fine job. Take Care, M

knitski said...

So sorry to hear about Winston! Also so dang hard to loose a wonderful animal. I always feel that working animals have a special bound with their humans. Glad to see the new pups and I am sure Winston will be guiding them along as they grow up.

Val said...

Brilliant ...I'm so pleased for you all, they look like they'll be a fun handful.

Susan said...

Good Morning, Thanks for the puppy follow-up. I too, was so sad about Winston. I also, have been "through" many amazing dogs over the last (60!) years. When GOD takes one home, it just makes a spot in our family to invite another special fur-face into our life. So encouraging to see all the comments and know of all the wonderful folks out there!!

Anonymous said...

~ How sweet that the new pups were able to meet & play with Winston.
Best to all on the Farm.
Shell ~