How we came to have a Guardian Dog
In November of 2010 our flock of 10 sheep was attacked by coyotes. We lost 5 sheep to that attack. We were faced with the problem of protecting the remaining 5. We could only expect that the coyotes would be back for the rest and could imagine no easy solution.
Our neighbors Henry and Priscilla Ireys kept guardian dogs to protect their herd of goats and generously offered to give us a pup from a litter that would be born in a few weeks. That is how Lyra became our first guardian of the flock. She was given to us as a pup in February of 2011. A cross between two breeds of livestock guardian dogs, Lyra’s father was a Karakachan, a breed that originated in Bulgaria, and her mother was an Italian breed called a Maremma.
From the beginning Lyra lived her life among the sheep, in the barn, and in the pasture. She was gentle and friendly but took her job of guarding the sheep very seriously. She did her job with grace and humor and we loved her very much.
In 2017, Lyra unexpectedly passed on from lymphoma. Fast and definite. A very sad time, and again, we had to face the reality of coyote protection.
Later that year Joe met Emily Hammond whose folks, the Groots of Sunrise Valley Farm, raise Karakachans and they had a litter due in January. Serendipity! We were ready for our new guardian of the flock. Named her Luna but call her Tuna or Looney Tunes. She is brown and white and we are happy to report, loves her job!