Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mutton Mowers

Okay, maybe that's too graphic. How about Wooly Weeders or Weed Warriors? Anyway, I'm not sure there is anyplace in the U.S., with the possible exception of Hawaii, where coyotes have not carved out a niche for themselves. With the exception of RATS, I can't think of a more adaptable animal off the top of my head. Rural Iowa is definitely Coyote Country. I seldom see them but I hear them howling at night quite often, particularly in the spring. With our close proximity to the Lake Miami Wildlife Management Area, Coyotes are an inevitable part of living here. They play a role in controlling the population of rodents of all types, and are a part of the ecosystem here. They are welcome to all the rabbits, squirrels, mice, moles, voles, and chipmunks they can catch and carry away. What they are not welcome to is my little sheep. Livestock animals, particulary small livestock, are the low-hanging fruit of the food chain. In order to avoid having my sheep become the main course for a pack of coyotes, I need to protect them. Which brings me to...

Sophia! She's a female Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog. I got the call today that she is ready to go to her new home and guard her sheep. She's currently in Rescue in Council Bluffs, Iowa, guarding goats. She will be making her way to Bluff Creek Vineyards sometime the week following the arrival of the sheep. She's a beautiful young female and should fit in well here. She's been in rescue for several months, after being found running along I-80 west of Des Moines. She has been evaluated in terms of her willingness and ability to guard livestock and has passed the test with flying colors. I'm really looking forward to getting her here and adjusted to her flock and new family. I'll be a lot less nervous knowing she's out there keeping an eye on things.

I still have a bit of work to do to get things ready for Sophia and the sheep, and that will be accomplished by the end of this weekend. I need my fence to be pretty bomb proof, as I will need to keep Sophia in, and all manner of unwanted guests OUT! I'll post more pictures when I get them.


  1. beautiful dog. love the site. looking forward to keeping up with you. cler

  2. I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for Southern Missouri to pick up the sheep. I should be home my mid afternoon on Saturday. The Great Pyrenees Rescue people will be delivering Sophia sometime early next week. Should be an exciting week.