Thursday, November 05, 2015

Puppies, A Routine + Save The Date!

First off - More exciting news from the farm today. At least for me. We are throwing an "Open House/Open Farm" two day event. We are just in the planning stages but I'm joining together with a couple of local friends to do this thing. I'm a bit scared and trepidatious but we are giving it a go. Julia is convinced noone will come. I hope she is wrong.

Dates: December 5/6, 2015

Mark your calendar, get in your car, come to the farm, buy some art, books, pottery, + ethnic textiles and jewelry. Visit the sheep and the puppies. Buy some lamb for a special holiday meal. 
How does that sound? 
More on the event coming soon. 
Here are the directions to our farm if you are curious.

Oh boy - Autumn is almost over here. The leaves are pretty much on the ground and the architecture of the trees is back in the landscape. Today is an incredibly foggy and misty and drizzly day and although it is warm, I can't even see the sheep out in the pasture. 

Yesterday though - it was incredibly gorgeous. Sunny and in the 70's. I took the opportunity to be outside a bit and it was glorious. It is part of the daily routine here to take the puppies Beau and Sadie and the Border Collies Ness and Kate for a walk in the orchard. This is part of the training process for the Gt Pyrenees Livestock Guard Dogs (LGD for short). We walk the perimeter of the fences so they know what they "own" and need to protect. 

The puppies are growing like weeds. They are in the teenage stage. You can see their muscles growing under their saggy skin. They are fast, curious, and are loving eating disgusting things. Typical farm dogs. 

There are some patches of moss at the bottom of one of the pastures. 

It grows in large drifts and Beau and Sadie rush to it, lie down on it and roll around on it. So cute. They know every patch of it in the pasture. It must be like a giant mattress for them.

People have asked me about the training of the LGD's. Besides the walking the fencelines, there isn't much training involved - except for trying to keep them from jumping which is a losing battle right now. Their instincts are amazing. They already know their territory. I suppose they smell Winston's trails and scent. Maybe he is guiding them as they take over his job and territory. Although we have had them fenced in, trying to keep them safe, they have now learned how to climb out of the picket fence (Gt Pyrs are climbers if you can believe it). There is no keeping them in. When we wake up in the morning, they are usually out in the sheep pasture sniffing around and eating poop. 

The two personalities of these puppies is starting to come out. Beau is more attentive to me and reminds me of Winston. He is a little slower and will actually look at me if I call him. Sadie on the other hand is all business, up to her own antics and could care less about me. 

Sadie venturing off on her own
Beau has the sweetest face and look
Kate and Ness, the Border Collies, want nothing to do with the puppies. Ness is frequently nipping at the puppies, helping her retain her top dog position in the pack. Kate is frequently gone now - doing chores with The Farmer. Her sheep herding skills are really improving and she is being a real help. Nessie just can't keep up anymore. We can't remember how old she is but she has got to be at least 10 and she has worked very hard. She has earned her position on the comfy couch. 

For a month or so, we have only had 6 sheep in the pastures at our house. And then there were 5, and then 4, and then 3. The coyotes were eating well when Winston was not feeling well. We haven't lost a sheep in about a month - do not know if the coyotes have moved on to someone else's animals or if it is because the puppies are here. This week we moved 16 ewes back and we'll see what happens. 

I love having them back because it makes the pastures more alive and makes this place feel more like the farm it is. The rest of the ewes and rams are still grazing in other locations but it will be over soon. Winter will come, the grass will stop growing and they will go back to their winter barn and we will wait for lambs in January. 


The puppies were raised in a barn with sheep. When the sheep arrived, they were not the least bit interested in chasing. They just kind of settled in with them although I'm not sure the sheep were too comfortable with the new puppies. Their enthusiasm is boundless as captured in these two photos. I wish I could bottle it. 


We all are settling in as a newly minted farm family. Our farm dogs are such a part of our lives. We all have a job to do and it feels great that Beau and Sadie seem to already know their position and job here at the farm. Winston must have had a good talk with them before he left them. 


Unknown said...

If I lived closer, I would definitely come to your open house. Have a good time!

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

We have a new Great Pyr puppy who is becoming acclimated to our farm. He's 14 weeks old now and appears to be getting the idea. Last week he cried after me, every time I saw him, but this week he goes back to his goat buddies without a whimper (so relieved!). I love this breed and how they do their job! Wish I lived close enough to come to your open house and farm day. Maybe someday .....

Mary Kate Witry said...

I am so sad that I do not live close enough or I would be there is a heartbeat.
Sending good thoughts your way . . . I suspect you will be flooded with happy knitters and crafters. (and lamb fans!)
Mary Kate

Charlene said...

Thank you for the lovely post and images. Love hearing about the dogs and sheep.

Appreciate the time you put into keeping us informed of your farm.


Robin said...

If I was closer, I would come to your event. It sounds like a lot of fun!!

Unknown said...

I would love to visit your farm but I live in northern MI. This blog post is delightful - I love seeing and reading about your dogs.

Michele in Maine said...

I'm sure it will be a grand success!
I'm glad the puppies are settling in well; dear Winston has left a wonderful legacy and big paws to fill!

bookagent said...

Oh I wish I could attend your open house!! I am too far away though. Thanks for the pictures and stories about the puppies, they are beautiful animals. Loving dogs but only having them as pets it is wonderful to see your working dogs in action. So glad everyone is settling in nicely.

NotThatKindOfFarmer said...

Love those puppies.!!
Very beautiful article by the way.!!
Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

~ hi Kristin,

What a great idea ~ Arts Open Farmhouse !!
Alas, I'm in WI. :(
I wish I could come. I'll have to enjoy yours through photos.
Will you consider having an online sale after the Farm Open House, for those of us that are far, far, away? I'd love to see the ethnic textiles. I know that would be a lot of extra work . . . I'm having my own Knits Open House in December. Nice that you are having several artists join you.
Congrats on being in Yankee Magazine. :)
Shell ~

Mary Thon said...

Kristin- I discovered you in Yankee this morning, and immediately went to your website and subscribed to your blog. I am going to do everything I can to make it to your open house. When people ask me what I would be doing if I could, the first thing I say is, "living on a small farm with sheep and goats and chickens, doing my art.". I paint furniture, rocks, really anything that sits still long enough, even sometimes on a canvas if its all I have.
Your home and all of the things you said about color and comfort and design resonated with me very much. I'm still trying to bring along my husband in the design and colors of our house, but it's coming along.
thanks for sharing your art and I hope to see you at the open house.
Mary Thon- Richmond, VT

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