Friday, July 19, 2019

Old Friends And Family


"Hi, my name is Salt.  I don't know why I'm here. I miss my old farm and my old family.  I'd been there a long time, almost 14 years.  This farm is okay though.  At least there are sheep here.  The other flock dog is nice to me and I've known the shepherd since she came over to my old farm and picked up a lamb named Keebler."


Salt was one of the guardians at the "big farm", where the Final Frontier Farm mommas and babies live after they leave the lambing barn.  She worked there with Old Zee and Brick and the job they did there was epic...yet standard as good flock dogs go.  

Old Zee passed away last year.  The summer farm help ran over Brick a couple weeks ago.  Taking care of hundreds of lambs was a big job for three dogs.  It would be impossible for one very old one.  The scramble to find a replacement was on.  

Guardian dogs are bred to do a job and that job is what they want to do.  The instinct even in puppies is incredibly strong, but they need many months of on the job experience with guidance and supervision before they fully ready to work a big farm with freshly weaned lambs.  Kathy needed to quickly find an adult dog, not an easy task.

Her best option was a female with four puppies on her.  She could borrow the mother until she found something else, but the puppies would obviously come with her.   Putting two females together safely would have been incredibly hard.  A female with puppies...would have undoubtedly killed Salt.

Stella, at the "lambing farm", made it perfectly clear that Salt was not welcome there either. They know each other from some past incidents.  Those instincts that make them good guardians are the same instincts that get them into trouble sometimes.  Flock dogs can be complicated. 

Salt's only safe option would be living in a kennel run. Nobody wanted that.  Guardian dogs are bred to do a job and that job is what they want to do.  We offered to try her here.  Our farm is well fenced, Hank, a male, is as laid back as they come and there are sheep.  Several sheep she even already knew.

The first night was terrible.  She was horribly confused and upset.  I slept in the barn with her and neither of us got much sleep.  The next day she relaxed a little, but as evening came she got very agitated again.   Maybe she was thinking she needed to be out working her old farm. The stormy weather wasn't helping anything either.


As the days have progressed, she's seeming happier.  She likes the barn with the cool, dark feed and tack rooms.  Tim moved the trailer (aka spaceship) next to the barn, but she prefers to sleep out in the driveway under the truck.  She hasn't made any patrols yet that I'm aware of, but she does like hanging out with the sheep.  

Hank is fine :-). 



30 comments:

Karen at longwell said...

Yup. You and St. Tim are angels on this earth and you provide a bit of heaven for all animals. What a wonderful rescue story...

Benita said...

Bless her old doggie heart. At least she has found a great retirement home.

Henny Penny said...

Oh my gosh! Look at that face. She is beautiful! Glad she can be with you, on your farm. Hope she loves it there.

Alice said...

If she is gonna find peace and worthiness here on earth in her golden years, she will find it on your farm. You are such a sensitive steward. Not many shepherds would be having a sleepover in the barn with their new guest. Hope she settles into your farm family with little angst and a warm fuzzy feeling. 😊❤️🙏🏻

Sheepmom said...

Look at that old face!! Placing old dogs is hard, rehoming ancient LGDs is nearly impossible. You are working a miracle for her and she will have the best possible time left at your place. You are SO racking up good karma points! ;-)

katherine littrell said...

I didn't realize the complexities involved with guardian dogs. Thankful she has a chance with you. I'll be praying for her!!!

Jean said...

Welcome Salt - so glad you found a home with Sara and St Tim and Hank and the crew, and even some sheep you knew before. I know it has been a tough time for you, but trust me when I tell you that you have landed in a good place!

Sara & St Tim -- give extra love and hugs to Salt and Hank for me, and of course - Renny! Thank you for being such a good shepherd and steward of the land and all the animals

Hugs from rainy and WARM SE MN --

Linda said...

What Karen at longwell said ❤❤❤❤❤

Linda said...

I love reading your blog because your corner of the world is full of kindness and patience and knowledge. I started reading when Renny found you, and today it is Salt. Some animals win the lottery. Thank you so much.

Marcy said...

She is beautiful and so are you, both such generous souls. This story hits my mom’s story right now, 95 and moving from her lovely big home to a senior community, and not quite knowing how to move forward, but with slow acceptance. Animals and humans, both need compassion and you have loads of it. Very inspirational.

Cheryl West said...

So much sadness from your friends farm. Thanks to you and St.Tim for rescuing Salt and giving her a loving, peaceful home. I hope that she continues to settle in and feel more comfortable with all of you.

Jo said...

OMW Old Salt is in the best possible place. She has a lovely face and looks quite settled in the photo in the barn. Heartwarming rescue story.

-jane roth- said...

I am so very happy to hear Salt is settling in and will likely have a good home where she can do as much of her work as she is able. It sounds as if she is finding her places to be and learning her way around. I am concerned this weather will be hard on her.

Fingers and toes are crossed. So are legs and arms. You try spinning in that position!

Michelle said...

First of all, a 14-year-old Pyr??? She's immortal, you're an angel, and of course Tim has long been sainted. Faced with my own dogs' rapid decline right now I don't think my heart would be strong enough to take in another very old dog, but you've had more than your own share of loss, too. I don't know how you do it....

Far Side of Fifty said...

Salt has the perfect retirement home, so glad Hank is okay with an old pal. How wonderful that you have taken her in. Thank you! :)

Judy said...

People who rescue animals are angels on earth. Thanks for sharing Salt’s story with us. I sure hope that she takes to her new home, and realizes that she just won the lottery.

Take care,
Judy

Laura L. said...

Bless your hear Sara! I hope that things continue to work out and that Salt (great name) settles in for the rest of her life there. Sadly, I know someone who kept 2 females (an older & younger) together and it ended very badly. You have shown that there are options.

I need orange said...

Awww. Thank you for giving her a chance at Equinox. Good boy, Hank.

I bet you've already taken her on some boundary walks, so she can get to know her new place.

Change is hard, especially when you're old. Thank you for working to help her be comfortable with you.

She should talk to Frankie, and to Rocky. They'll let her know she's landed on her feet, and everything will be ok.

[tears]

Michelle said...

Bless you for taking in this dog.

LannieK said...

Oh Salt ~ You are a special girl indeed, how cool, you knew Keebs! The other reason you are SO special is where you are now. Yes, they have sheep, but more importantly you now live with the kindest, most caring, talented humans ever.
Lucky Salt! Relax and enjoy yourself. And get tho know those sheep, they are awesome! )))hugs(((

Grey Horse Matters said...

Salt looks like a sweetheart. I hope she settles in quickly. I’m sure you and Hank and the gang will help her relax and enjoy her new home. It’s a wonderful life you’re all going to give her and I’m sure she feels the love already. There should be more people like you and St.Tim.

sophy0075 said...

Oh, gosh. No wonder you hesitated to post.

I hope Salt will be happy at Equinox Farm. You certainly are doing everything possible to help her in her new to her locale. Perhaps she will strike up a friendship with a particular sheep (or chicken, or Frankie).

Shirley said...

Awwww poor ole dog, sad that she had to leave her familiar surroundings in her old age. But no better place for her retirement!

Anonymous said...

GOD Bless YOU and St Tim etc for taking Salt. Sitting her crying...as usual, I am such a sop....thinking of how confused she must be. Thank you for caring so much and for sleeping with her. I know how that is.
An-no-na-mus McKee

Terry and Linda said...

You are such a good soul, Sara. I'm glad she is there with you and Hank...I'm sure in time she can settle down and find her place (in her mind) and be most welcome to live there.

Lisa W said...

You and Tim do realize that as we all get older, we want to come live on YOUR farm, right?! I'm so glad that Salt is there and that all is working out. That first night is almost always a tough one, regardless of their age.

Goatldi said...

Bless you for giving this elder girl a new start. With 32 years of living with working guardians I know of what you speak. As a former Director Great Pyrenees Rescue of Nor Cal for 16 years I have seen this situation before. Thank you for making her final days quality days and she will settle in slowly. Well done !

Claire MW said...

What a difficult time for Salt, but I'm glad she's with you. I hope she settles in and finds her place soon.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I missed this post, and only saw it when someone sent it to me. I will have to catch up and read how it's all going - I do hope all is well.

Lisa Smith said...

Oh Sara, I just read Salt's story and all of the lovely, eloquent comments. What dear, sweet "salt of the earth" kind souls you and St. Tim truly are! Bless your heart for sleeping in the barn on that first difficult night. Thank you for sharing Salt with us; I so look forward to following her journey with all of you.

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