They accompany me wherever I go. if it is a long walk though the woods, like today, where I carried the chain saw to cut down a tree that had fallen on the fence, they are there. They might not be right by my side, but they are close enough that if a wild animal came near, they would scare it off. I am never afraid.
The first dogs of the farm are no longer here, unfortunately, except Sofi, my daughter's dog, who went home and is back again, while she is Australia.
I started with my old border collie Josie, who was 14 then. She was my best dog ever for so many reasons and it was hard to see her get old. When she became terribly incontinent, she could not longer even come in the house, I gave her up for a better resting place. Anna and Joseph were the rough (Lassie) collies, but they did not last long. There was no fence and the neighbours across the highway had female dogs that were not spayed. First Anna got hit and then a few months later, Joseph did too. There was another half Maremma, Pete, that also disappeared and I never did discover what happened to him. I always suspected the neighbour shot him, though I will never know.
Robbie, the new border collie came, then Ofcharka, the big black livestock guardian dog. He was a black ball of fluff when I got him at 10 weeks old, a very different dog from any I owned. Oh yeah, Harley came before him, but Harley was rescued from a guy who did not want him anymore and said he would just shoot him. Harley is a great dog and I am so glad I got him. He was my first big dog, but Ofcharka is bigger and Joe and his brother Mike are bigger yet. After Ofcharka, I got two female pups who were half starved and small for their age, not fed and abused. I hoped they would stay with the sheep, but part of their abuse history was being hurt to stay in the sheep pen, so they were terrified of staying there. So, Mike and Joe, two brothers, came later, with the hope they would stay with the sheep. They do quite well and and as they are getting mature now, at 2, they are more bonded to their flock than ever. They actually go out with the sheep to pasture and sleep with the sheep too, but they do come home during the day to nap if all is quiet. I wish they would sleep near the sheep.
So, now the farm has 8 dogs, two border collies and 6 livestock guardian dogs. These dogs put smiles on my face every day and I love each one for the unique qualities they possess. Jenna smiles, big curled lip smiles. Jade is shy and will never ever trust men. She and Jenna were abused by a man who wore a cap. Ofcharka sings. He actually makes incredible singing sounds when he is excited, like when I come home after being away from the farm. Harley comes up behind me through my legs and stays there. That is so sweet. Mike is one big goof. He lifts his head when he walks and sometimes runs into things. Mike runs and grabs Joe's tail and holds it like an elephant pack holding the other elephant's tail in front of them. Mike is quite sensitive and does not like loud noises or he will run and hide. And then there is Robbie. He is 4 and is still crazy, as crazy as any hyper border collie can be. Josie was that way until she was 5, so there is hope for Robbie yet. And little Sofi, well she barks at rocks.
My companions make my days brighter, my sleep sounder and my happiness complete. I love those dogs!