Journee has always been a lover of animals and large dogs are her favorite.
When we moved to property we told her she could eventually have a dog of her own. When the timing was right, she was able to adopt an American Bulldog her uncle had bred.
Zelda. Princess Zelda, to be exact, was a sweet and very pretty bulldog. Journee and Zelda had a fabulous bond and Zelda loved going everywhere with her. She loved car rides and trips to the store and the bank.
Zelda was also one heck of a great livestock guardian dog. She could tear up a coyote and keep all sorts of predators at bay. She was quick and aggressive when she needed to be.
Well, I had two of my ewes escape fencing one afternoon. They managed to crawl under the barbed wire that fences the back paddock on the far end of the property. We noticed the sheep missing after seeing them earlier that morning.
The only thing on the other side of that fence is the railroad tracks. Devin walked a good way down the track and found the body of one sheep dead on the tracks.
These tracks are no stranger to dead animals, as there were bodies of raccoons and opossums along the same stretch of tracks. In fact, tragically a teen was hit in the same area a couple of years ago.
We didn't search any further for the 2nd ewe, assuming she was dragged further down by the train. We also left the carcass on the tracks because about 30 vultures had been eating away at all of the dead animals. We left feeling somewhat discouraged to lose two valuable ewes, but wiser too. The sheep will no longer be fenced in that paddock again.
The next day started out like any other. The bulldogs were turned out and we started chores. I took 3 of the girls to get haircuts and then we came home for lunch.
Journee arrived shortly after with some school friends. She was looking for Zelda, who was usually waiting for her at the drive.
We searched and called, but Zelda was no where to be found. Journee knew in her gut something was very wrong.
Devin walked down the tracks, to the same spot, and found Zelda had been hit by a train as well.
We assume she was eating sheep carcass and was hit.
Just like that, she was gone.
We were all sad, and I still cry if I stop and think too much about the sweet dog. She was just a few weeks shy of her 7th birthday.
Journee has since found a new outlet to get her large dog fix. She has always wanted to learn K-9 search and rescue. She has joined a local group and has started studying for the exams.
She has also found a top notch breeder locally of German Shepherds. She placed a deposit on a puppy last week. So now she can follow a new path, and we can all begin to heal.
RIP Princess Zelda