Dear Farm Journal,

We added another animal friend to Keewaydin’s cast of characters today, and this one is a doozy. We have been talking for awhile about bringing a livestock guardian dog to the farm to protect the chickens, gardens, and coming soon cows and sheep. We went about our search in typical fashion, through Craigslist. We found some Great Pyrenese puppies for sale in Illinois and contacted the family. We visited the puppies on our way to Colorado and went back today to meet the parents and see how they interacted with other animals on their farm. When we arrived, we found a colorful array of free range chickens and goats accompanied by a number of other dogs and cats getting along nicely. It was clear that these puppies were well socialized with other animals, and we wouldn’t have to worry about him chasing chickens. Rufus, Aurora, and I were all pretty well smitten with the entire scene. I asked Rufus if he had any questions for the owners and he said, “I’ve seen enough”. It was clear he had been broken down. With that, we brought our new puppy, Balio home to Keewaydin, not without a couple puking episodes on the 3 hour car ride home. Balio is Basque for valor: great courage in the face of danger. As an adult he will make an excellent guardian, weighing in at up to 160 pounds and standing 32 inches tall, but right now he is the cutest little fluff ball I have ever seen. I struggle to remind myself that he is a working dog…a full time outside dog. Wrestling with the idea of little Balio sleeping alone outside, Aurora and I pitched a tent and opted to spend a brisk night outdoors with our new outdoor dog.


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