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Meet The Evening Song Family

Star and Remy


Get to Know Our Dogs

On our small hobby farm in northern Illinois, we have found that English Shepherds are the perfect complement to the historic breeds and buildings which make up Dykstra's Farm.  Our first English Shepherd Taffy is all that we hoped she would be...  farm manager, family dog, companion, able to chase coyotes off but also to gently mother the tiniest babies.  We have kept Taffy's daughter Star who is a wonderful family and farm dog (while being sure not to take over her mother's top-dog status).  Also our male ES Remy, who is my trusty sidekick, is the gentle side to moving pregnant hogs, the more easy-going side to the group of female ES here.  We have small herds of sheep and goats, small breeds of hogs, and poultry.  The dogs here know their jobs and know what belongs, without needing to be too controlling or "gritty" in their daily routines.  If something is out of order, they will let me know.  If rats or possums are coming onto the property, they will hunt and root them out.  When eagles or hawks (or even crows and vultures) decide that they want to soar over our small farm, the dogs are on alert until the airspace is "ours" again.  Our English Shepherds add joy to every day, and enrich our lives, even where there is not a lot of work to do.  We can't imagine life here, without them!

Working the Farm with Four English Shepherds

My 4 ES are happy on our 2 acre hobby farm. We do chores together, they sleep on the floor inside while I am on the computer or doing other jobs, we go back outside together, they get to play at moving the sheep (they actually CAN move them, but the sheep come for feed so it's not necessary). The dogs know when something is out of place. They take great joy in moving escapee piglets back to the pen with mama. They chase stray cats away, hunt mice and rats and chipmunks, watch over the meat chickens if they wander out of the designated area. Do I have enough work for 4 ES on 2 acres? No. But all are happy and well adjusted, and able to do the work when I ask them to. Remy is an expert at chasing crows and eagles out of our airspace. He can also gently move a pregnant sow into the barn for farrowing. Taffy is great at rodent control and at greeting people who come to visit. She has also climbed trees to check for the possum who was there once, 7 years ago. Star had her litter of puppies and came outside to notice that her daughter was riling up the sheep rather than moving them. With newborn puppies in the house, Star bustled in and moved the sheep to where I wanted them. And Trixie is learning the ropes and finding where she fits in also. They are happy being with us. They are happy doing any work there is to do. We perimeter-check several times a day, even if it's only to walk the fenceline. But when coyotes are outside at night, the dogs will literally explode out the back door and sound like a galloping herd of horses, in their desire to warn the coyotes not to breach our little property." I would add... Each dog finds where they belong and where they matter. The farm would just not be the same without the presence of these beautiful English Shepherds.

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