Tuesday, May 13, 2014
As many of you know, my dear friend Stephanie Marohn (animal healer and caretaker of many) has moved her sanctuary to eastern California, near Sheep Town (yes, that is the name of the town--the sheep run free through the town and have their own shepherd who cares for their needs). Stephanie uses her own kundalini energies (or the cosmic energies that come through her) to heal animals and to support those in her retreat center. She caters to large farm animals (such as sheep, donkeys, and miniature horses) and has quite a collection at present.
Recently, a tragedy occurred when a mountain lion got into the pen at night and killed one of the sheep. This event caused Stephanie to take the advice of the locals and procure two dogs as guardians of the flock. Here is her account of bringing the puppies back home: (In case you are wondering what this account is doing on a kundalini site, it behooves us to remember that kundalini is in fact the life force itself and runs through our animal friends as well as humans.)
Stephanie Marohn's Blog MESSAGES FROM THE SANCTUARY
Posted on May 9, 2014 by Stephanie Marohn
Merlion and Daisy
I was not expecting the next arrivals on the sanctuary to be dogs, but the killing of Aurora the sheep by a mountain lion brought about this event. Nor would I have thought I’d ever have outdoor dogs (dogs share houses!), but the tragedy called for some new thinking. It turns out many people up here in the foothills have guardian dogs to protect their sheep and goats, and to do the job right the dogs need to live with their charges. Daisy and Merlion, who are from the same litter, are a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd cross, two of the most common livestock guardian breeds.
I was struck from the first by how positive they are. They go happily through their days, taking all the changes in stride. On the ride home from the ranch where they were born, just a few miles from me, they were a little nervous at first, but then Daisy put her paws
on my shoulder and tucked her head into my neck, and all was well. I drove with one arm around her, marveling at this rapid bonding. When I got out of the truck to open the gate at home, they stood on the seat, wagging their tails. No sooner were they out of the truck, then they were trotting along at my heels. Clearly, they didn’t need to learn that I was their person!
Daisy’s name arrived long before she did. On the day after the mountain lion tragedy, I was standing in the porch area of the barn, putting dinner hay in the feeder for the donkeys. I had just decided that I would get a guardian dog. Suddenly, the name “Daisy” came into my head, almost like a physical flash. Sylphide, who was standing in front of me, startled backward, as though she had seen the flash. I laughed and said, “Yes, isn’t it amazing, Sylphide? We’re getting a dog and I think her name is Daisy.”
When I met the puppies at the ranch, two ran up to me immediately, the only black-faced ones in the group. I asked the one on the left, “Are you Daisy?”
I got a big yes, along with a beaming puppy smile. Her brother’s name did not emerge until a few days after they took up residence on the sanctuary. The name Merlion is a variation of Merlin that means “falcon”—I take it as a good sign that his name has “lion” in it too, both animal totem protection and acknowledgment that we (including mountain lions) are all connected.
I decided to get two instead of one from the eight-puppy litter (it was hard to leave the other six behind!) because Daisy and Merlion seemed to operate as a unit, Daisy was one of only two females in the litter and I wanted a female (figuring she would be more nurturing toward the sheep), I couldn’t imagine keeping one puppy on her own in the barn at night (which is what I was told to do to foster the dog’s bonding with the sheep), and I try to give everyone on the sanctuary a member of their own species as companion. I am so glad I got two, for all those reasons and also because I could never have met the puppies’ wrestling and playing needs!
After a week of encounters in various degrees of closeness, we are gradually settling into the new family arrangement (I’ve had to adjust too, with much animal juggling required). Now Merlion invites the horses to play by grabbing at their tails. So far they haven’t taken him up on his invitation, but I can imagine when he is full size that he and Perseus, who have similarly boisterous temperaments, will have grand romps together.
Beau is leading the sheep in investigating the dogs. Yesterday was an adjustment marker as Beau sniffed at the two puppies napping and they stayed stretched out and simply let him explore.
Daisy and Merlion will go a long way toward protecting the sheep from predators (I have told the donkeys the dogs will be their assistants, which seems to be assuaging their ambivalence about dogs as family members), but I am moving forward on having a 10-foot security fence installed around the barn so the animals don’t have to be shut in stalls at night. I am also clearing brush to remove possible hiding places. Meanwhile, Daisy and Merlion are growing up.