William and Donald enjoying their morning alfalfa together.

Donald is a young St. Croix hair sheep, playful and friendly.  William, a retired thoroughbred jumper, has the nickname “The Philosopher.” He often considers the world before responding to it–a jay perched in the apple tree, a deer grazing the pasture, the neighbor’s barking dog. We also call him “Captain Fiddlelips” because he can open any door, any gate with his velvety lips.  If I’m late getting home from work, he lets himself into the barn to go to bed.

In autumn when coyotes crawl under the fence and trot across the paddock to eat fallen apples, Donald stands under William’s belly to watch them. William is Donald’s safety, his point of reference.

Donald experienced his first snow a few days ago.  He frisked and gamboled, tossed his head and chased me around the paddock.  We had a good game of tag.  He’s naturally polled, so horns are not a concern.  He does have a tough head, though, as my dog Argos discovered.

Argos and Donald had a game of chase on. It was all good fun until Donald headbutted Argos in the ribs.  Argos yelped and now keeps a comfortable distance from Donald.

Occasionally, when William becomes a bit too pushy, shoving Donald this way and that, Donald will stand on his hind legs and give William a headbutt on the kisser.  Seems to set things square between them.  Little Donald is coming into his own this winter.

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One Response to

  1. Darcy Dorwart says:

    I just finished your book, “Part Wild” . I have never read a book that so speaks to my soul. The responsibility we all must shoulder, when it comes to animals, lives, the wild. Your unflagging responsibility to your dogs, to your wolf dog … You are an inspiration. Thank you for teaching me. Like ripples in water, I plan to give your book to as many people who will take it, and to pass your knowledge to even more. Thank you for having the courage to write your story. I will never, …for all the rest of the days I have with my Welsh Terrier, take for granted one kiss, one snuggle, one head on my lap, one curl up against my back… I will be grateful, because of you, because of your book. Thank you.

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