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Great Pyrenees Puppy Love
I got Great Pyrenees Puppy Love bad and it is soooo good. I even spent two hours reading a dog training book by Adam Katz, for goodness sake! That is a first: training myself to train my dog.
Adam gave us Winston (photo at bottom), arguably the most adorable dog on the planet, when we lived in Costa Rica. Although, Samson and Delilah are movin' right on up that ladder. Are they cute or what???
Why A Great Pyrenees Puppy? And why TWO?
Because we don't do anything half-assed? Because we are crazy? Because we like great big 70-140 lb dogs who eat 2% of their body weight every day more than we like money? No. Here's why:
Last December, a month after we moved to the farm, the neighbor's three silver wolf-looking dogs came over, chased down our chickens and killed two of the last four. That was a really stressful day. You could hear the chickens screaming in the distance, brush being thrashed, dogs barking. Then no chickens screaming...
Mo and I were running after the sounds through the (impenetrable) brush. The picture shows the start of about an acre of brush to the bottom of the hill. I couldn't get through it and was frickin' hysterical, yelling and crying and so, so angry.
Mo persevered -- he's young and strong -- and eventually found both chickens. One dead, one barely alive to die the next day.
That was really rough. I'm not attached to my chickens but that was just an awful way to go. They were liv
ing such happy carefree lives, free ranging, loving the woods behind the house... then BOOM: terror and death on four legs. I'd never even seen those dogs before this day!
I hate those dogs now. If they come around, I tear out the door of my house yelling like a crazy woman and throw rocks at them. They don't like me either.
When we first came back to the states, we had talked about getting a dog and decided against until we were seriously settled. It's harder to move with dogs and our future is less than certain. Even after this episode, getting a dog didn't occur to any of us. In fact, there were way too many dogs around here as far as we were concerned!
Then on Facebook that night, a woman in one of my groups posted pictures of little white balls of fur. The description went something like this:
"Hey, everyone, the puppies are ready to find new homes! One girl and three boys left of the litter. In case you don't know it, Great Pyrenees are working farm guard dogs -- they look after your chickens and animals. They even guard my kids when they go outside to play! These guys have the "skywatcher" gene which means they keep an eye out for hawks. They will kill any predators while being extremely gentle and careful of your livestock. We have turkeys, chickens and peacocks on our farm, all safe as can be! A Great Pyrenees puppy will be a great addition!"
Ok, that was so creepily on target. Did she somehow know about my day? I immediately wanted a Great Pyrenees puppy, even though I'd never heard of them before! Badly wanted one. They were so cute and we were getting new chickens in the spring... After today, we were looking at either building a fence fortress or teaching me how to shoot, shovel and shut up. (Grrrr.) But I calmed down and the yearning passed.
Till the next day, when I was talking to Linda Stone, a local dairy farmer. Somehow we got onto ch Ok, is that eerie or what? (If you don't think it's eerie or prophetic, please don't tell me, ok?) Hal and I went right over and got Sam and Dee. Just another one of those Hal-n-Sal spur-of-the-moment reckless decisions we make with alarming regularity. Like, "Hey, let's move to Costa Rica for a year!"ickens and I told her what happened the day before. She said [I swear I'm not making this up], "You need a couple of Great Pyrenees."
Or, "Hey, let's farm!"
Yeah, we live on a farm now. This we actually did on purpose. Sort of. We live in Kentucky now, we know the S's gonna HTF sooner or later. We big-time heart the idea of being self-sustaining.
And, let's face it, the big money years when we bought airplanes and houses are gone.
Funny that, actually. Our friendly IRS agent called and suggested that we get back into real estate so we could make the big bucks which we'd hand over to him. Isn't that hysterical? Only an IRS agent would make that suggestion out loud. Hal was like, "Work my ass off 24/7 in a falling market so I could pay YOU? What's in it for me?" The agent didn't have an answer.
If we're going to work until we die, we're working outside, for ourselves, with animals, growing food. You still only get one life so far, right? Talk about lucky!
New blog name: "Old Farts Homestead"
Just kidding... although it's kinda catchy. Here's the funny thing: we aren't the world's oldest first time farmers! I know this because last November, I went to the ACRES USA conference in Louisville to help my friend Max Kane man his FarmMatch.com booth. ACRES USA is an annual conference centered around organic farming practices. It was very cool! Discovered lots of great products, tons of new ideas and met LOTS of first time farmers. Plenty of them were at least as old as me. Some even as old as HAL! Whoa, right?
Let's face it, we all gotta eat and if we have working limbs, we might as well raise and grow our own food. Farming is the new web design. (Does anyone but me get that joke?)
So brace yourselves. Old farts homesteading coming your way. This could be quite entertaining because we know nothing about farming and think we can learn everything from books. We shall see, eh?
Here's the Sam and Dee slideshow -- fall in love! (Click here to see bigger.)
Mo and Winston in Costa Rica...