Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Hard to believe...but they ARE "puppies."  Now, just shy of six months, they are delightful personalities, with big hearts and big bodies.  It's hard to picture a more loving animal than these.
This is Zurina.   She is the feisty one of the pair.  Always willing to engage in a boxing match, always tickled to send Apala rolling if she can manage to push her legs out from under her...

And this is Apala...the mellow one of the two.  She's also the anchor, less independent than Zurina, always checking with us on walks, making sure she's not too far away from us.  Zurina, on the other hand, is the explorer, ever wide-ranging, willing to take on the world.

Zurina is a water dog.  Apala only wades.  Both love a good boxing match anytime.  They are sisters...Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd crosses. 
And there, off in the distance is Jessie, leading the way.  She has recovered from her near fatal encounter with the heels of an Angus steer.  Now, she leads the pack as she walks, runs, even jumps a little.  She even retrieves the Frisbee, albeit slowly....and the "puppies" nearly twice her size, love her and respect her.  They know she's the Dowager of this farm!  When she barks at them warding off their "affections," they wag their tails and promptly hunker down.  They follow her lead, looking for rabbits, mice and deer-smells.    
They are ideal guard dogs:  loyal, easy-going temperament, strong, large, and loving.  They are not old enough to be independent yet.  So, at night, they are confined to a huge open-air shelter.  We don't want them engaged in defending against a bear (seen in the neighborhood) or a cougar (also seen) or coyotes (a permanent fixture here).  Until they are able to cope with danger, they are under our protection.  They are just reaching teenager levels of dog years.  So, any responsibilities belong to us.


  1. Beautiful dogs. These dogs have become popular in this area as coyotes have moved in and guarding livestock has become more important than herding livestock. Jim

  2. Same here, Jim. All manner of predators wanting to share in our bounty! So, these girls will form a toothy wall! Loved your car show! Neat stuff you're doing!


  3. Elora -- Oh my -- I love your new dogs. They are absolutely gorgeous. They look very similar to my big golden that I have pictured on my sidebar. Even their personalities sound like my golden -- loving and protective. They are fortunate to have you as their protectors while young. Keep us informed on there adventures. Great photos. -- barbara

  4. Elora, I, too, love your dogs, but even more I love discovering (this afternoon) that your are back with your wonderful blog. I love your photos, your farm adventures and your wonderful writing style. Thanks for returning. I missed you and wondered if you and MM were okay.
    Sounds like we need your guard dogs....we have lost 4 lambs in the past 8 days to coyotes. So sad. The Farmer's health is declining and we are having to consider how to cut back on the farming operation. Again a sad situation.
    I look forward to reading JOTOLR again!
    ARR in SW Virginia

  5. What beauties they are! I'm sure they'll be terrific herd guards.

  6. Barbara, I remember your lovely canine companion! These two do resemble Golden Retrievers, don't they! Thanks so much for your comments! Your blog the other day on your daughter was so wonderful. I love reading about her venture! I just wonder how she manages to keep all the dogs together!


    1. My daughter is often asked the question of how she keeps all the dogs together on the trail. From the start the dogs have treated her like the alpha dog of the pack -- following her lead along the whole trail. Why this happens is rather a mystery to me too. -- barbara

  7. ARR,

    How really sweet of you! I missed everyone, too!

    I apologize for flying low during those months. I enjoyed the role of activist for Occupy Wall Street for several weeks; then MM and I decided to start a neighborhood association as a way of bonding and bridging our community and looking out for the safety of all who live here. We're small, but we're growing. I'm starting a second blog with pictures and a few notes on what we are doing. One of our projects is an Archery range, along with a neighborhood park.

    I'm so glad to hear from you, dear lady! So sorry about the lambs--our challenges were the stray dogs and we lost many lambs and full grown sheep to them. Also, maybe simply cutting back the numbers on the sheep would reduce the work for you and your husband. And just remember: it's burdensome just as you're cresting the hill of lambing. Trouble is always, though, in finding someone to shear! And lambing out is always grueling. I believe Mother Earth News has my articles on lambing online. Go here:

    Again, thank you so much for your kind words! Elora

  8. Vicki,

    I love your choice of words: "terrific!" Absolutely. Teeth are growing fast! Able to inflict both terror and pain to all that dare! Well....not QUITE that "terrific...!"

  9. Your 'babies' do look lovely and perfect for their guarding roles. I'm so glad to hear that Jessie is on the mend. Look forward to seeing more pictures of all the dogs and your beautiful farm.