Sunday, October 17, 2010
We drove a long and amazing road... and came to a mystical place with Giant Guardians and fluffy sheep. While we grabbed half wild pups from under the outbuilding...we learned many facts on the amazing Livestock Guardian Dog, the Great Pyrenees. While we told him we had our own LGD at home, I admitted that mine had good qualities in keeping the coyotes out of the yard...but she was also a Greeter at the gate (the Lassie dog in her), without being very menacing. We love our Tess and thats that!
We had several pups in a horse trailer to choose from and while deciding, the mother of the pups came around the corner of the barn. She was carrying something of a fresh kill to her pups. It was a prairie dog......one thing we did notice was while there was dog food for the pups there were all sorts of LARGE bones, the kind with hooves still attached. These Mommas take care of their own it looked. We were pretty shocked at how like a Mother lion these dogs were, but after watching for sometime, it was understood that these dogs were Stock Guard dogs who were nearly totally self sufficient. Pretty tough dogs. Now understand these dogs don't kill the livestock, this was all from the dead animal pile that these types of places have....he ran around 1500 head of cattle also.
I understood from the rancher's viewpoint, that the key to keeping them protectors was to not interact very much with them (his opinion and I appreciate that)....Well......that's just not going to happen, but I kept it to myself and just simply smiled at my daughter. To each his own, but I did note how well those sheep stayed close to the 7 dogs out in the field he showed us. He was quite proud of his Guard dogs...and it was quite understandable. The largest male dog looked like a lion out in the field...ENORMOUS!!
While we were grabbing puppies, we put them in a horse trailer so I could actually make my decision. I picked up the second largest pup first, and he demonstrated very soft eyes.....I like that.
I picked up the LARGEST pup and thought, I want "big" though..and put him down to see him walk. He had a slow sort of skulking look and not those big soft eyes. Then back again to the second largest....and while he looked with those big gentle eyes...he wagged his tail. Done deal and home "Atticus" came!
He slept the entire way. When we got home, I milked the goats while he sat by and watched and had his first dish of warm fresh goats milk. He ate his puppy chow with gusto and I put him in a pen with adjoining fence that he can go in and out to visit with the goats for now. He sniffed the goats and seemed very at ease with them. It was the goats who gave him the official snort and every single one of them stood and stared without blinking in his direction. He was unaffected and snuggled in a corner right at home. I think we chose Good!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tomorrow we are going to the outback country of northern SD. The ranch that raises the Great Pyrenees, uses them on their 25,000 acre place for sheep patrol. I have visited a great deal with the owner and it really sounds like their place is all business....I think they have 10 Pyrenees and each one of them guards their own flocks. Sounds incredible doesn't it? The pup we are picking out is 8 weeks old and I am told they are all the Badger marked Pyrenees.
Question is...HOW do I just pick one and not come home with all 6 that they have to choose from??? Boy is this going to take alot of self control.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A day trip to the Badlands of SD in the Fall is spectacular. We are always wishing we went alot more after we get there.....its gorgeous country. With finding some pretty good finds (agates in the rock beds)...we also spotted alot of living breathing ones.
If anyone wants a guided tour...give me a call...I can show you the sites while I get to do one of my favorite things....a little rock hunting!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Every year for the last (knock on wood) 7 years...I and family or friends...head to MN for my yearly Cancer Check. I really should start calling it Cancer Awareness check, because while time moves on in everyday life...I really forget about the word. That is until I head to Mayo and see all sorts of people doctoring and in all sorts of conditions. I always get a wake-up call and as it gets to be year after year, I worry a little harder when it approaches. Has to be old age!! I am getting very good at worry! All tests were great and no sign of any reoccurence. But....while I still waited at home for the results of the Pap test, I didn't give it another thought until...
Dr leaves the message on the phone...call me in the morning. So I did. He wasn't available and receptionist said nurse can give me the reports. So I visited with his nurse. She wouldn't give me any info and said I needed to talk to the Dr. My crazy side of my mind went into major overdrive for the rest of the day until he called .....around noon the next day.
Seriously had my funeral planned and how I would tackle it for now and who I would give animals too and how to go about it....YEESCH!!!
When the doctor finally called, he asked how the rest of my trip was....fine I said...and silence....then he asked if I got to see the vibrant colors this year....of course...and silence..finally...he gave me my results. Negative...but always...always...he wanted me to be on guard! (he really is a good Dr and becoming quite a friend) I told him he made me suffer and he said..to always keep in touch with the fact that I did HAVE Cancer and that I really shouldn't let my guard down. I get it...but from now on...he has my cell number for getting in touch!