As you'll know, we now use horses and sheep as an integral part of growing our nut crops. If you've visited, you almost certainly know we also have dogs. The dogs are here to protect the sheep; and horses- and cats, and children.
We have had three; all neutered rescue shepherd mixes. Saturday night, however- Daisy, half working collie, half German shepherd - did not come home. She was very friendly with strangers, incredibly healthy and energetic, and not a wanderer. Normally our 3 dogs will be seen together; so when we had only two at sundown- I was worried.
At 4 AM, I was up. No Daisy. So I went out looking, taking Theodore, our oldest dog along- and asking him to "Find Daisy. Where's Daisy?" Until sunrise, he led me over very rough parts of the farm- a good two miles- but eventually it became a circle; and no Daisy.
Much of the rest of the day was spent searching also, on foot, from the tractor, calling neighbors and the sheriff. Not a trace.
We lost a dog this way once before; it's never easy; but Daisy is harder; she's been an important part of the farm and family, for a long time. We loved her. She loved us. And she told us so constantly.
That direct look might be interpreted as a threat from a strange dog, but here it's just absolute focused attention - "Yes? What are we doing next?"
A few years ago, she had a pet cat. Really. She'd carry the cat around the farm, in her mouth. The cat - came to Daisy, to be carried.
This isn't her pet, but another. They're sleeping on a raw Icelandic fleece; one that got too old and feltcd to sell- except maybe for dog beds. This one has been under the house for 4 years now- warm when wet; dries out fine- felts a little more each time they sleep on it...
I made this movie to illustrate that yes- dogs like and eat pecans. One after another. Mostly, we let them; it's pay for the work they do. But- the movie also illustrates why it was hard to catch a good photograph of Daisy. Once she saw you were focused on her - she would drop everything she was doing, and come- as close as she could. Sitting for portraits wasn't her thing; I had to sneak them in.
A piece of us is missing. I notice constantly. And our team of dogs is now much less effective; she played an important part in motivating them all.
I could go on and on- as most folks who have had canine family could also. But this is enough.