I can't believe I'm having to write another one of these posts. A few days ago I found that our oldest Great Pyrenees, Hannah, had died during the night, apparently in her sleep. She had not been acting sick, had been her usual sweet self and it was totally unexpected. We are so sad. She was one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Given the choice, she would have hung out with us all the time, but seemed to know she had to make an effort to guard the sheep. She was especially wonderful with the newborn lambs and I'll miss her even more when lambing starts this year.
Living on a farm and keeping livestock makes one extremely aware of the cycle of life and death. We all know it is a fact, but most of us don't experience death in a personal way very often. Because animals usually have a much shorter life span than humans, the whole process is sped up and, as their caretakers, we witness birth and death often. As so often happens here on the farm, within a few days of each other, we had the joyous birth of a much anticipated baby llama and the very sad and unexpected death of a cherished member of our farm family. It does seem to help the grieving process to have a new life to concentrate on or be distracted with, however you choose to look at it.
So now we've come to the place where we can think about finding another guardian for our animals. Holly has been especially diligent lately, spending nearly all her time staying very close to the sheep. Most mornings I find her stretched out sleeping among the pregnant ewes. She seems to know it is all her responsibility right now. When the time comes, she will serve as a mentor for the new dog, the same way Hannah did for her when she first came to live with us. I have been putting out the word that we are looking for another dog and we have a lead on one that we will go to meet this weekend. I feel strongly that the right dog will make herself (or himself) known to us when the time is right.