80 – Livestock Guardian Dogs

Predator losses in 2018 were pretty extreme. We had a mountain lion destroy a new chicken coop and eat nine birds while stressing and injuring several others. Fox and skunks got to 19 of our meat birds while on pasture throughout the season.

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Livestock guardian dogs were always part of the plan, and it was time. Our very good friends and neighbors had a litter of 9 Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shephard mix puppies from 2 experienced working dog parents. We had always loved our neighbor’s dogs, Stella and Bosco, and had secretly hoped there would someday be a litter. Yes, puppies complicate things in the beginning but once trained, we’d feel better about being gone knowing they are there to keep undesirable visitors away. Amy and I were in Texas for our daughter’s wedding the day they were born, but as soon as we arrived home, we went right over so Gus could pick me as his new daddy.

Amy took her time, and after weeks of watching them grow and interact, she picked the biggest dickhead of the bunch. This little furball would drag all the other puppies around by their tales and terrorize the bunch of them anytime she was awake. Ironically, Gus and Maggie palled around together, not knowing they would spend the rest of their lives by each other’s side. They would be old enough to come home around the time our granddaughter was to be born, so we made them a comfy home as we were heading into the coldest part of winter.

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