Kizy, a LGD, Livestock Guardian Dog
Kizy ( ?- July 15, 2016)
We got Kizy, our Great Pyr, in 2009 while out in Colorado. She was $50 off a Craig list ad. We were her third and final home. She has been a joy to have for years.
This huge puff ball of fur could have dragged me all over creation, but she was one of the most gentle dogs I have ever seen. I attached my lead around my waist and put the other end on her collar and she would walk at my side with the lead limp. She has always done that with me.
Don’t get me wrong…she was also stubborn as a mule!! I remember one day when she was sitting on our two seat settee in the cabin in Colorado, and she was taking up the ENTIRE settee…I told her to get down. She refused. I tried to push her down and she sat up and growled at me. I told her not to growl at me and pushed her again. She took my entire arm in her mouth and closed with pressure. She didn’t bite but she was telling me that she wasn’t moving. I, on the other hand, told her that she WAS moving, threw her down, yelled at her and tossed her butt out of the cabin. I didn’t speak to her for 2 solid weeks straight. I acted as if she didn’t even exist. She was crushed…..we talked at the end of the two weeks and it never happened again. Even up to the day that we had to lay her to rest, if I spoke of that day, she hung her head because she remembered well. But just to be clear, I did catch her on the new settee about a week or two before she passed. She saw me coming and hopped down as fast as possible as if to say you didn’t see me do that. So stubborn……
After moving to MI, I fell a couple of times from the kitchen down the two steps into the living room. The last time that happened, it was a complete fall, flat on my back, two steps down on the concrete. I was in so much pain I had my eyes shut, and was yelling. Charlie wanted to help me up but I said don’t move me. I had to let that pain subside a bit before I could even open my eyes, let alone move. When I was able to open my eyes, imagine my surprise to see Kizy’s concerned face about 1.5 inches from the end of my nose!! I wrapped my arms around her and pulled myself up off the floor with her help. I adore my border collies, but I could not have done that with one of them.
Kizy adored children. Even small afraid ones. Those were her favorites, and she was very gentle with them. The cats also fascinated her, the smaller the cat the more interest. It was her innate protection for anything small. That is part of being a LGD, Livestock Guardian Dog. She guarded our stock in CO even though she wasn’t bonded with stock like a LGD from birth. She guarded in the pens that surrounded the small livestock pens. She was a bit more bonded with humans than stock but since they were MY stock she guarded them with joy.
When Bj passed on in Colorado, I was heart broken and sitting in the barn yard. Kizy came to me and I wrapped myself around her and her fur and just sobbed. That happened a few years prior when Chaz’s Father passed and a few years before that when Chaz’s Mother passed. Each of these passings was super hard on me and sobbing in the barnyard wrapped around Kizy hugging her was one of the few things that helped. Every time one of those important people had passed, it worked out that Chaz was offshore. So Kizy was my furry Chaz to help me through it all.
After moving to MI, she retired to the house. Our pens were not set up in a fashion that she could roam around them, and she was getting old. We reckon she was about 3-3.5 years when we got her so at her passing last Friday, I do believe she was 10.5-11 years old. She had greatly gone down hill in the last six months with her hind quarters not getting proper brain stimuli and this was causing her great pain and making it difficult for her to control her feet to stand or walk. It was hard letting her go because even to the end she was worried about who would guard me. We lost Rowan about a month ago and he was another LGD that has always fixated on guarding me. She knows that Broch is the only LGD in the house left that guards me and he is only a year younger than her. But I assured her that Broch would protect me as well as our border collie Cinnamon, who has stepped up and taken her mother Abbey’s place as pack leader and lead guard border collie. Kizy saw the spot that was to be her final fur resting place and I asked her if she wanted me to plant flowers on her head like I did Abbey or on her heart like I did Rowan, and she laughed and said I could do what I wanted because she would just dig them up anyways. Defiant and stubborn to the end! You will be missed my darling puff ball….sniff.