David is a half Akbash and half Great Pyrenees Livestock guardian dog at Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Parkman, Wyoming. He lives with his human family and 7 other livestock guardian dogs ranging in age from 1 1/2 years to 13 1/2 years of age at the family ranch. David takes his job seriously and does an excellent job along with the other guardians of keeping the alpacas, horses, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and geese safe from predators. Mountain lions, eagles, hawks, and stray dogs are the main threats to the farm animals. Thanks to the guardians, not one farm animal has been lost to predation ever. David has a favorite past time…being a sled dog!
David with “his” alpacas. Here he checks in with the youngest herd member, LaRain. Photo credit: Mariann Foster David with his bonded mate and best friend, Tacoma resting with Joey the goose. Photo credit: Mariann Foster David watching over “his” horses. Photo credit: Mariann Foster
Born To Help
David also enjoys helping by pulling a sled. He helps pull firewood out of the Big Horn Mountains along with spring water for drinking and for the family’s tropical fish. Helping is something in David’s blood. His mother was Great Pyrenees and his father was Akbash. Both breeds have strong bonds with their family and their livestock. This type of dog is willing to lay down his or her life if he has to, in order to keep his family safe.
David waiting for his humans to finish filling jugs of mountain spring water. He will then pull the water out to their truck on the road. Photo credit: Mariann Foster
A Big Boy
When Mariann Foster picked David up from a Montana Sheep Ranch, he was 8 weeks old and weighed just 13.5 pounds. He was a big ball of fuzz and sweetness. David is now 2 1/2 years and weighs in at a muscular 157 pounds. The only thing bigger than his body is his big heart filled with love for his animal and human family.
Driving home with David a 13 1/2 pound puppy. Photo Credit: Mariann Foster A 2 1/2-year-old David as a fit 157 pounds with his specially made harness. He outgrew his XXXL harness. This one was made just for him by Adanac Sleds of Montana.
The Rest of The Family
Oh, and does the rest of the family like to pull too? Yes! Check out this photo of David’s sled dog family pulling out the family Christmas tree from the mountains. Lead Dog is Goliath, next in line are swing dogs, Esther and Ruthie, team dogs Samson and Solomon, and wheel dogs Tacoma and David (back right).
David (paws crossed, right) sitting around the tree that he and his family helped pull out of the mountains. Photo credit: Mariann Foster
Leading The Parade Of Lights
David got to escort one of his alpacas in Ranchester, Wyoming’s parade of lights this past Christmas. All of the guardians get to do special things, but David really loves truck rides so he was chosen to drive to the parade with his family. The fact that he was asked to lead the whole parade was a surprise. He did great and lit up the streets with his lights and his big smile.
Photo credit: Mariann Foster Photo credit: Mariann Foster
Taking Some Time Off To Go Sledding
David would be happy and fulfilled by guarding full time. But all work and no play can also make for some long days. People take off by participating in hobbies, sports and other ways of entertainment. Well, for David, he has recently found enjoyment in pulling his humans, a mother/daughter duo just for fun, on a kicksled. This past week, David found a whole new gear, as he pulled his mom through the Big Horn Mountains. He was so proud and happy. Check out the video below.
I hope this little story on David, brightened your day and inspired you to try out something new the way that David did. You never know what may be enjoyable until you give it a try. And don’t give up right away, as it may take a few times until you get the hang of a new hobby. When it all clicks together for you the way it did for David pulling his human mom as a sled dog, it will be worth the effort.
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