Twelve years ago, a year after saying good bye to our former dog, Bernice (our matriarch Llama) would communicate with Nancy (our animal communicator) about the fact that a dog will be coming to me. It would be the male runt of the litter.

A week later, I received a call from a family member letting me know that a friends dog had a litter of puppies; 8 to choose from. She was going to get one and that it was probably time I too. I asked if there was a runt and if so a male; the answer Yes. I made an appointment to visit and pick up in a few days.

Upon arrival, I met the pups mother (a sweet border collie cross). As I began walking away with my new puppy, something made me ask where the rest of the puppies were? Apparently, all of the other pups were quickly picked up by eager owners the day before—“except”, as the owner said “this last one” Peering into the pen, I noticed the last pup, cringed in the corner; being left alone with no other bunk mates. Without hesitation, I reached down, picked her up, put each of the pups in their own jacket pocket and headed home with Shilo and Sheba.

Sheeba and Shilo first night home.
Shilo & Sheeba – Day One

There would be lots more communications with Nancy and Chris (now two animal communicators) throughout the years concerning behavioral issues, their roles on the farm, general physical check-ins etc.…. Each year bringing new knowledge and experiences that only animals can provide.

Shilo and Sheba were both very selective as to who they liked and didn’t like. Sheba shying away from kids and Shilo having his guard up most times. He also had issues with people who walked by the farm without acknowledging him; apparently, he had a huge ego as well.

He has been a grumpy old man right from the start; bringing joy to a handful of fans with his talkative reaction to being seen, petted and even fed weekly breakfast by some.

Saying good bye to farm friends is never easy; especially when they leave unexpectedly. However, he left in the same way he came being loved and patiently learning and teaching us something every step of the way.

He is buried in the medicine garden alongside the stinging nettles patch. I felt that it was the plant that identified him best. Annoying and sometimes painful when you first encounter it, but then nourishing and very loving when you know how to approach it.

Good bye old friend.