So I had this story I wanted to share, but then I realized it lacked a certain amount of context. The main character had not yet been introduced, nor any of the doubts and second-thoughts that would bring some depth of meaning to the resolution of the story.
So we go back six weeks or so ago, back to Tasha’s attack. My heifer was recovering, but I was shaken. And only days after the attack, while she was still limping and I was still rubbing her leg down with linament morning and evening and coaxing her to get up to keep the circulation going, a decision was made.
And I drove 180 miles to Olathe, KS to pick up a Great Pyrenees.
Because we needed a dog that slept in the pasture, not on the porch. That bonded with the livestock, not with me.
Now, I had looked at livestock guardian breeds before. I decided at the time that if I ever got one, it would be a Great Pyrenees, but I just didn’t want to deal with the wandering. At the time, we were having enough trouble keeping our stray-who-chose-us Luke on property. And while Luke seems to have finally accepted that the entire countryside is not his home, Great Pyrenees are known for their ever-expanding territories.
And we had other dogs.
But suddenly, as good as our dogs were, and as sure I was that they had stopped the attack against Tasha, they just didn’t seem large enough to deal with a predator that was willing to attack a cow.
And so I drove 180 miles to pick up a puppy. Who was given a bed in the barn and a pen in the pasture so that he could be moved with the cattle back and forth, yet be safe until they accepted him and stopped charging him every time he approached.
And there were so many doubts. Was a book and a dozen websites enough to train this dog and learn to manage him?
I had to give up Jake. My dog. And while I know he is doing well with his new family and I know I made the right decision for him and for our poultry, I still miss him. Because more than any of the others, he was my dog. Always at my feet or at my side or with his big head in my lap. He was my dog and I missed that.
After watching him go, I decided I might keep one of Faithfull’s puppies. It would be nice to keep one out of the litter, and it would be nice to have a dog that was just my dog.
But five dogs would be a bit much, so I knew this puppy from Kansas would replace that dog. Except that he wouldn’t be mine. He would be Tasha’s and Candy’s. And he wouldn’t come put his big head in my lap while I sat on the porch and looked at the cemetary. He wouldn’t even care.
But he would provide some safety for our heifers and hence some hope for the life we want to lead here.
My husband named him Flee, for “all coyotes shall flee at his very presence.” The kids just call him, “The General.”
As to the actual story I wanted to share, well, here it is: Restless.