Dugur, our Livestock Guardian Dog or LGD, caught mid-shake…
That is our Dugur dog, he takes his job seriously. Even when he appears to be asleep, if something suspicious happens he is up and going quicker than a flash. Today he is busy patrolling the pasture, keeping the sheep and chickens safe…
Not only is a wonderful Livestock Guardian but a part of the family…
Nurture Photography Challenge – a seasonal photo challenge series chock full of tips and tutorials, inspiring weekly prompts, personal feedback and encouragement. This week’s theme is White/Minimalism.
And since I missed last weeks Alphabe-Thursday…. S is for Spay (and neuter) your pets. Last week my son and I took a trip to another Icelandic Sheep breeders farm to pick up two more ewes and to exchange one of our rams for one her rams. We also went to pick out a Pyrenees or Akbash guard dog. You see Twila, bless her heart, picked up and found homes for over 30 Pyr/Akbash dogs. A lady had picked up a couple Pyrs and Akbash dogs to protect her flock of sheep and was under the impression that only the alpha male and female would breed…well 30 puppies later she had a serious problem. Most of these dogs had very little human contact, where thin and all sorts of problems. Twila knew we had children so she picked out 3 of gentlest guys for us to look at and see if we would give one a try.
Twila had picked out 2 Akbash and a Pyrenees for us to look at. She told us before we even saw the dogs she knew which one we would choose. And she was right, this guy was scared but friendly from the get-go. It was quite a sad and maddening thing to see these poor dogs quivering in fear. We had quite a time trying to get him from the stable where he was temporarily housed to the back of our pick-up, but with much patience and coaxing, Thor made it.
Now for a few pictures of our travels up to Twila’s. Did I mention she lives many miles back on a single lane logging road, out in the middle of no-where, off-grid? The last time we were up there we were certain we must be lost and were going to be pulling into some militia hide-out, in the middle of winter. This time I felt a bit more confident about where we were heading but had to do the driving, which I hate doing. The road was muddy and a bit slippery in place and very bumpy. So bumpy in-fact we broke our rack and had to stop and repair it…
We made it home very late that night, so we unloaded the ram and the ewes and left Thor in the back of the pick-up, safe and secure. The next day we introduced him to Dugur and the ewes. It wasn’t until he jumped out of the back and stood next to Dugur did I realize just how big Thor was..
Dugur weighs in at 110 lbs, not a small guy. I have no idea what Thor weighs but he’s big! Dugur and Thor had a few very minor altercations and seemed to settle into the role of Thor being the alpha with Dugur as his side-kick. Thor was very relaxed around the sheep and the chickens, thank Heaven, we were unsure how he would be with the winged critters.
Thor was pretty bashful the first couple of days, hiding out in the sheds. But he is gradually warming up to us and is proving that these dogs are wonderful! Such a testament to the breed.
The ewes are settling in well too!
Thor waits for me by the gate, in the morning. He loves to be scratched and loved on. He jumps back and cowers when the gate clanks or if you have a shovel or pitchfork.
We’ve slowly introduced the kids to him and he seems really happy around them.
Please remember if you are looking to add a Pyrenees or Akbash to your family, consider adoption. There are literally hundreds of these beautiful dogs in shelters across the nation waiting for homes. Please look here…
if you are considering a livestock guardian dog or a 4-legged friend. And please spay or neuter your pets.
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We are about a week out from seeing our first lambs arrive. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I am feeling. I think this season is one of my favorites, ranking up there with all major holidays. 😉
This fall we imported semen from Iceland to inseminate some of the ewes with. I am not sure how successful we were but we definitely had a couple catch, which is very exciting!
It was quite funny watching Esja interact with this hen. She would let the hen pick little pieces of hay off of her and wag her tail the whole time. 🙂
Dugur made sure everyone was behaving themselves and would come and check things out every couple of minutes…
I love the pattern of the Silver Laced Wyandotte! So dainty looking.
Lukka is another ewe in the AI group. We are hoping she caught with a Grabotni straw.
Dyr, the ewe matriarch decided to stick her head in and see what I was up to.
Uma is another ewe that looks like she caught with AI. Yeah!
Pretty Sybil was taking a bit of a rest…
Druna is expecting her first lamb this spring.
Esja, is another hopeful…in the AI category. She looks as if she could be carrying Bogi babies!
The rain started up so these two took shelter and I took that as my cue to head back to the house!
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With 6 working dogs our farm is a busy, bustling place.
This past week has been an interesting one for the dogs. We ended up taking Bellah and Dugur into the vet for their health checks and updates on rabies, etc. Big, tough Dugur is quite the wimp while riding in the van the 15 minutes to the vets office. He quivers and shakes and looks quite pitiful. Then we get to the vets office and he feels the need to pee all over everything IN the building claiming the whole building for himself! They both looked great and Dugur weighed in at 105 lbs! This week Vaka and Frank get the privileged of going on a little van ride. :0)
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