|Photo by Daniel at Vi'Skaly's|
Our personal story in regards to Great Pyrenees started in the Sierra mountains in California when we lived in the the middle of the forest in Mariposa not far from Yosemite National Park. We lived there with four horses, some Pygmy Goats, a turkey by the name of Veronica, a large flock of chickens and also a flock of Guinea fowl, six cats and two or sometimes three dogs. not to mention the deer and the squirrels and a large flock of peafowl.
|The little house in the forest|
|Yosemite "A Magical Place"|
Along with our more or less domesticated family members we lived with bobcats, coyotes, black bear, mountain lions, raccoons, fox, just to mention a few of those wild critters living in the forest all around us.
|We fed our chickens. Then everyone in the neighborhood came to feast.|
When we first moved to the mountains we brought our two rather cityfied cats, rescued from the University of California at Davis' hog barn, and two dogs, Silas the Deer Hound and Chico, David's "little" Rottweiler. Then it did not take long for our family to grow.
|I counted over 35 Pea Fowl at our place at one time.|
|They started having their babies at our place.|
|They were magnificent.|
|A couple of pea chicks. We had them well trained.|
|Guinea Fowl chased away the coyotes.|
|These guys came to have their babies.|
|These cuties found the sunflower seeds.|
When Chico and Silas had gone on to the great big "dog park in the sky" we considered living without dogs. Heck, that did not work for long, simply it was not "normal" for us. We had many incidents when we lost chickens as well as Guineas to fox, bobcat and coyote so we started looking into what kind of dog would best suit our situation with all those animals. Chico had also been known to "snitch" a chicken now and then, being absolutely unable to not "play" with them if they ended up on the "wrong" side of the fence. I would be horrified when we came home to a pile of feathers and an obviously "guilty looking" Chico!
We considered several of the flock protecting breeds! Maremmas, Akbash, Komodors, Anatolians, etc. Talked to breeders and read books and reports trying to learn as much as we could about the different personality traits, various maturity levels and on and on before we finally settled for Great Pyrenees. Contacted and spoke, what must have seemed endlessly, to Brigitte Doxtator of Oneida Acres in Michigan.
|Rontu, in need of a good brushing!|
|Rontu and kitty Diffy were buds.|
|"Boxer" found us at the Feed Store on Road 426 !|
|Our horses loved the forest.|
|Saga and Rontu. Our family also loved the mountains.|
She is a truly devoted and knowledgeable breeder of Great Pyr's and she guided us through this process with patience like Job's! We ended up with a pair of her dogs and named them Una and Rontu and as they say "the rest is history"! Once Una and Rontu became responsible adults we never lost a bird. The Peafowl smart as they were knew to come and have their babies at our place, realizing somehow that it was a safe haven.
There is nothing like a Pyrenees. These gentle giants are hard to resist. We used to say that we wanted to try every single breed of dog, full well knowing ones life just is not long enough to be able to accomplish that goal, but we have given it a good go. We have lived with several wonderful breeds of dogs over the years.
Now stuck on Great Pyr's. This Love Story to be continued! So as to not make this "chapter" so long your eyes will fall out, feast instead on some of Davids pictures............ and our story about the delightful and amazing new relationship with Ingela, Pernilla and Daniel at Kennel VI'SKALY'S will follow. There is a lot to tell!