When a livestock guardian dog dies too young
I shared this video on our social media in March, when we had to say goodbye to Houdini, or Houdi, our 5-year-old Akbash cross LGD. He was a godsend to our farm and will never be forgotten.
Houdi proved day in and day out that an LGD can have a strong bond with his shepherds and still lay down his life for his sheep. His amazing qualities, as well as his flaws, prompted me to follow the journey I’ve begun into LGDs and inspired the focus I now put on strong bonding with shepherd first, work second. I plan to write more about this. (You are also welcome to check out Farei Kennels, whose methods have helped me articulate why I do what I do with my LGDs.)
As a note, while I was keeping a close eye on Maya during her recovery from an eye injury, I didn’t ask her to do what she did — sit stoically next to me while I shared. She is an incredibly intuitive dog and always has been. This was no exception. I also didn’t ask Jael to enter center stage, but these dogs just seem to know what’s up. I don’t question it.