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Dykstra's Blacksheep Taffy

Date of Birth:

June 3rd, 2014

A Bit About Taffy

There is a background story that might be a little bit entertaining...  


We moved to our farm in 2010 and had looked at possible farm dog breeds.  In suburbia, we always went to the shelter and chose a cute puppy, but this was going to be a dog with a specific job to do, and it couldn't be left just to chance.


English Shepherds seemed to be a good fit once we had discovered a breed description, so I joined a couple of Yahoo groups, and read every email that came to my inbox.  A couple of breeders stood out in their common sense approach and wisdom, and one was The Crafty Shepherdess.


Enter Facebook, and the ES groups, and I wasn't reading the Yahoo group emails quite so much.  This cute puppy was posted, and something about her expression made us come back to the pic again and again.  I sent in our little sales-pitch on why we could be the right home for Cindy Lou, but honestly didn't expect to hear back.  The distance was too far...  There were other more qualified candidates...  We were sure that we'd keep looking and there were cute puppies being posted, but...there was just something about Cindy Lou.


A few weeks later, I think it was Elaine that called us, and asked a little more about our farm.  Wonder of wonders, Cindy Lou was still available and might be a good match for us!  And a trip across the country by Tish to visit family on the East Coast might make it possible for us to have her.  The name sounded familiar, but I was too excited to really think it through.


On a Sunday morning, we met Tish (who I've since fondy called "The Puppy Fairy"), somewhere southwest of Chicago.  We uncharacteristically dropped church plans and ignored the extra farm chores and just got in the car and drove because THAT WAS THE DAY, and met Tish and the pup.


After we met, after Cindy Lou was definitely ours, Tish handed me the health-care card and there was a stamp:  The Crafty Shepherdess.  I blurted out "YOU'RE the Crafty Shepherdess!"  I don't know if Tish remembers, but I still smile when I think of how it all worked out.  Going back to the Yahoo groups, Tish and Elaine were the two breeders who had stood out in the many, many emails, and I hadn't consciously even kept track of who I was talking to on Facebook.


Cindy Lou became Dykstra's Blacksheep Taffy, officially the dog owned by my son, but really my right-hand helper on our little farm. She herded my dairy cow and steer with glee and determination, especially loving it when the steer would decide not to come in when called, and she could dash after him and nip at his heels until he trotted into the pen where his mother was already munching her grain.  Taffy has gone head to head with a Southdown ram who didn't want to stand down (and yet he DID in the face of a furious little blonde whirlwind), and she does not let my goat herd-queen get away with anything.  She bossed the husky around when he didn’t follow the rules.  One time she single-handedly ran off coyotes that had dug under our pasture fence (I didn't realize they were inside the pasture!)  But she must have been a fierce and angry menace to them, because they were left outside of the fence, glaring at her from the safety of the cornfield.


Taffy is always watching to see what is out of place.  She could have been placed on and thrived on a much larger farm with an experienced farmer, but somehow she was chosen for us, and is just perfect. I am pretty sure that when our kids (and now grandkids) think back on memories of our little farm, Taffy will be a dog to remember.  She was likely the first English Shepherd of many for us, but will always be special to me, no matter how many other special dogs grace our little hobby farm.


Thanks, Tish, for a dog that has lived up to everything we read and impressed us even more!


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