Monday, May 01, 2006

Two Beauties - Maddie and Pele Grace

Great Pyrenees or Pyrenean Mountain Dogs
Euzkotar Taylor Made For Love VA CGC 3/4/90 to 11/28/2003
Euzkotar Love's Ring Fire VE CGC 3/4/90 - 8/23/2003

Maddie came to stay with me several times when her human family went on vacation. Here is a story that became my tribute to this wonderful dog.
This morning I let Maddie out to splash in the ponds and get covered in mud as is her routine here (and not allowed at home). She did not come in when I called her for breakfast - definitely unusual. But I could hear her barking her presence to the world, so I wasn't concerned.

When I went out to feed the sheep, Maddie was in the loafing shed - vigilantly guarding one yearling doe (who didn't belong there), one ewe, and one newborn lamb. She wasn't disturbing the pair, wasn't trying to take over the lamb (a common problem with new guardians), she was just guarding. Then she would go out onto the bridge, bark a warning, and return. During the time I was feeding she did one full round of the field, a solid bark down the creek, and ended up back in with the new family. Looking very, very happy.

My dogs are much more casual these days about lambs. Drew was lounging on the hill that overlooks the entire sheep area, and Natasha was out patrolling the fence line. I think that as the oldest dog Maddie gets to call the shots on where her presence is needed.

Maddie is 8 years old, the mother of two litters. One of her pups was the 1996 and 1997 top winning Pyrenean in Finland, and a house and yard dog. A pup from her second litter is a full time Alpaca guardian in Alaska.

The first time I saw Maddie was in a show ring, at my first show. She is, however, from solid working lines. Maddie herself has several working 1/2 sibs. One of her mother's sisters guarded llamas until she died at the age of 12. Others worked in varying environments. Her mother's sire was not only a show champion and producer of champions, but had any number of pups who guarded successfully on both small family farms and large open range situations.

I would gladly take this show dog, house pet, and brood bitch as a working dog to protect my flock. Her instincts are obviously very much intact, she knows a job when she sees one, and does it. She can, and has, done it all.

No comments: