Guardian Great Pyrenees, Emily; Guild helps tornado clean-up of destroyed farm

7/9/11

I recently spun up some Emily-Pyr-yarn and knitted a small purse on a long string to donate to the NC Great Pyrenees Rescue group in Winston-Salem as a fund-raiser. I can’t say enough for Martha R. and her wonderful people. Emily is our second Pyr, so I speak from experience. A farm with sheep and goats volunteers space for Pyrs for a month or so after their basic medical and obedience training are complete, to sell to livestock owners, if they “have the genes.” Pyrs protect flocks from–in our neighborhood: packs of free-running neighborhood dogs (by numbers the greatest killer of livestock), coyotes, foxes, lynx, bobcat, the occasional black bear… Pyrs are gentle giants–but any four-footer encroaching on their turf would be better off slinking away. Emily morphs into a predator herself when there’s a potential invader outside her fence. I hope I never see her behavior if something got inside.

I haven’t told you about a spinning guild project–cleaning up Kelly C.’s tornado-destroyed sheep farm. You’ll see earlier tornado pictures from when I literally drove almost into the Raleigh one on 4/16. A few minutes earlier it had destroyed Kelly’s house and farm, barn and chicken coop lofted to the Land of Oz, as far as she can tell. A contractor, Steve Jolley, at my church, Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, decided to round up a work crew to build Kelly a shed to store her things until her poor old house can be destroyed and rebuilt. I’ll add a couple pictures here of the first and last work day. He expects 2 more Saturdays will complete it–roof shingles and siding, ramp and 6-foot wide door. Windows are already in. Another big wind storm ripped the tar paper from the roof and heavy rain has started the process of the collapse of the ceilings inside the house, and some of what had been dry is getting wet. Kelly’s livestock loss is one sheep and one chicken –miraculous when you see the scope of the disaster there. Since then, one cat wandered off and has not returned, and her old Aussie had various medical problems and had to be put down within the past month–painful losses. Hundreds of hours of volunteer labor have cleaned up most of the yard and some of the pasture, huge trees still lie across original fence lines, and new fence is going up around those obstacles. Kelly’s struggled to develop her farm over several years, and this has been a devastating situation for her. With a wide circle of friends, however, she’s coming back! Can’t keep a good woman down!

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