🐾Farm Reality: A Day in the Life and a Tale of Dedication 🐾🚜

Get ready for a genuine farm story, no filters here—just the unvarnished reality of a livestock farmer's day. It might be a bit of a downer, but it's all in a day's work. As farmers say, "If you've got livestock, you got dead stock." It might sound harsh, but I'm here to share the true essence of farming.

This story spotlights one of our unsung heroes, Rita, our Livestock Guardian Dog. A few days ago, while putting hay out for our newer group of Ewes, I noticed one girl not showing any interest in eating. It's a perk of a small farm—you catch these things when you're hands-on every day. This particular ewe wasn't a surprise; we expected her to struggle. When we bought this group, I didn't thoroughly check her over. The first time we handled them at our farm, I knew she wouldn't be a good breeding ewe. Skinny and with a shortness of breath, likely due to pneumonia as a lamb, her lungs wouldn't fully recover. So, we decided to let her live out her days with her friends, without the burden of breeding.

Fast forward to evening chores. Lily and I, our house dog, headed to the barn as usual. Strangely, we weren't greeted by Rita. After a while, her barks echoed outside the barn. Normally, she'd return after a coyote perimeter walk, but this time was different. Investigating, I found Rita diligently guarding a now-deceased ewe from her flock. It's an expected instinctual behavior for a livestock guardian dog—sitting with a sick or lame ewe to protect it. It always amazes me. Zero training, just a deep bond with the flock.

I praised Rita, and she released the ewe to my care, joining Lily for a moment of play. As I removed the ewe from the pasture and returned to the barn, Rita, sensing my departure, immediately came back and sat beside the ewe. Here, I witnessed a side of Rita that I rarely see, and neither does Lily. Lily came over to sniff the ewe, and Rita, about three times Lily's size, assertively removed Lily from the area with a growl and a non-penetrating grab on her neck. It happened fast, and soon, Rita and Lily resumed their playful antics.

Witnessing Rita's dedication was a proud moment. Her late-night barks bring me peace, even if our neighbors might think otherwise—no complaints so far, fingers crossed!

Thank you for being part of our journey.

Farmer Rod
🐾Farm Reality: A Day in the Life and a Tale of Dedication 🐾🚜
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