The farm would not be complete without our wonderful dogs. In September 2009. we lost our 10 and a half year old German Shepherd, Storm. He was one of our children, our protector, our best friend, and our helper. Storm lived according to a code we could only hope to aspire to. Yet, though he had an intrinsic sense of right and wrong, he’d never judge us, only love and protect us.
We picked Storm up from Ponelli’s Atlantic Canine Training Center in April 1999. Cold and wet from his dunking bath right before we arrived, you’d never have guessed he would be the powerhouse who kept us feeling safe for just over 10 years. Tom Ponelli scoffed at the blanket I wrapped Storm in to bring him home. They bred and trained K-9 dogs, you know.
Over the years, though, Storm became our very best friend and the shock and sadness at losing him suddenly in September 2009 has weighed heavy in our hearts and lives. There is a big whole where Storm once lived.
That being said, we now have two German Shepherd dogs on the farm. Jet is a 9 month old beauty who was bred by our neighbor. She is precocious and energetic – and absolutely beautiful. Her bright eyes warn us when there is trouble, or when she is in a playful mood and ready to jump on us. She is a joy and helps us with tasks like laundry and caring for the chickens. She also knows how to open the door to let herself in.
Not long after Storm’s death, we really needed to visit Atlantic Canine Training Center again. We could not believe there was an available litter related to Storm. Oskar is Storm’s great-nephew. He is 6 months old and smart as a whip. We barely have to train with Oskar – he understands what we want him to do with barely even a word. The resemblance to Storm is uncanny.
The dogs are the Dharma on our farm. With the children grown and on their own, we really rely on the dogs for companionship, protection, and help around the farm.