Friday, January 11, 2013

Where Does it Go?

 It’s hard to believe another year is now history. Where does the time go?

2012 was full of exciting new happenings and painful feelings, too. As we reached the one year mark of our beloved Eoin’s death, the grief still felt very fresh. Some months later, we finally feel the painful grip on our hearts lessening. Thinking about him is still almost a daily occurrence, but we can at least look at pictures without ending up in tears, not every time anyway. A dog that special will never be forgotten… so many fond memories are stored in our heart.

We celebrated the arrival of lots of baby animals this spring. The most momentous newcomers were our first litter of Naturally Reared English Shepherd puppies! What an incredible experience!!! We anticipated lots of work, which it was; and lots of fun, which it was; but the degree of sadness saying goodbye to each puppy was a surprise. These precious babies snuggled their way into our hearts immediately. We enjoyed every single solitary moment raising them! Observing their development was fascinating. Seeing the difference Natural Rearing made was educational. Giving them a solid foundation of health and socialization on which to build was rewarding. Realizing a long-held dream… that of sending into the world Puppies from our own line of Naturally Reared English Shepherds was truly humbling.

Knowing each Puppy went to a family who would carry on Natural Rearing and where they would have happy lives filled with love and adventure was incredibly satisfying. Though it was daunting we enjoyed the process of getting to know all the applicants, their hopes and dreams for their own English Shepherd and helping more folks learn about and embrace Natural Rearing. Makes us sort of wish we had had more Puppies to go around!

While most folks who had been waiting for a Naturally Reared English Shepherd Puppy from us finally had the opportunity to welcome a wee one into their home, due to varied circumstances others weren’t as fortunate. We were so happy with the Liam/Greer cross, a repeat breeding is definitely in the future. Exactly when that will be is another story. Raising puppies in a fifth-wheel travel trailer is not something we wish to do over! Thankfully there were only five pups! Most likely 2014 will be the next litter.

Raising the progeny of our own dogs is unlike any other dog experience! Young Fahey is so very special to us! Keeping him was due in part to the loss of Eóin. We so wanted to see his offspring and keep one, but we were cruelly robbed of that chance. Also, we really need two dogs on our ranch. It’s fact. We know all too well that something could happen to one. This breed is very social and pack-oriented. We never want to see one of our precious companions fall into a depression like Greer did when Eóin died, or be as vulnerable in keeping watch over us all. Thusly our decision to keep a Pup from this litter was influenced. Having witnessed Fahey come into this world (and even helping a little with breaking the birth sack open since as firstborn Greer was a bit unsure of what to do with the “thing”!) we know each other extremely well. There is a deeper understanding and level of communication with him; the vocalizations, the expression in his eyes, the body language. Or perhaps it’s just the way he is. In any case, we are so glad we kept him! He is growing up to be quite an all-around farm dog.