Likely one of the strangest relationship we’ve had the pleasure of watching develop is the love affair between an elderly farm protector canine Gus and our little blind middle aged pony splash.
Its not that we haven’t seen dogs and horses form a bond, its just that their personalities are so different that we found their touching attraction amazing.
We put Gus back in with the livestock at the beginning of February when we spotted coyotes in the back field. We weren’t worried about the horses, we were concerned about our slow moving elderly goat Nelly.
From a distance Gus and Nelly the goat look very similar – and such is the disguise of the Kuvasz, so he blends in with the herd using trickery to convince the coyote that the livestock are unprotected and easy prey.
Like a land-shark Gus the Kuvasz moves through the herd to intercept the interloper before the coyote has a chance to get a meal.
Gus is a natural born killer – its not only his calling its been his career for thirteen years running. He’s vicious with strangers that aren’t counted as members of his flock and goes for the kill rather than the maim. That’s just what he’s been born to do. Profiling? Sure, but its deep in his DNA.
Splash is the kindest soul that lives on the farm. She’s soft and gentle and full of grateful love. She adores strangers and seeks out sweet affection. She’s fearful of the unfamiliar and turns to flight rather than fight, often to her detriment.
Splash is the earth and sunshine. Gus is the dark fire.
So, what did my eyes did see one bright morning as I surveyed my backyard? Fire and earth had come together and not scorched the ground.
The moment I did not capture was when they were sound asleep only feet from each other – both laying down in comfort. Happy in dreamland with the warmth of a body close by.
Even with death on our doorstep I could not stop my smile, my thrill or my delight. The murder and angel lay together in peace.
A knight has found his princess, a bodyguard found his charge and a protector had found his keep.
There are daily lessons that happen at the farm. Life lessons that would improve our quality of life, if we listened. From basic communications to extensively complex survival.
We don’t really know Gus’s exact age, but we do know he’s old. We don’t really know when he came up from Tennessee to Ontario, but we know he lived years in the elements – surviving and thriving to care for his sheep.
Gus has been with us nearly twice as long as we’ve had Splash and they both continue to amaze and surprise us with their love and devotion to each other and life.
Humans so quick to pass judgement, deem punishment and judge by appearances. We have so much to learn from the “lower species”.