Goodbye to Tzadi, as well. . . .
In the fall of 2009, after Brad's death, Tzadi went missing. She was not sick. We searched and searched but were unable to find her alive or dead.
Tzadi was known around the neighborhood and by the local policewoman, so her disappearance was strange--pure speculation on my part suspects that her disappearance was connected to the theft of one of BMCA alpacas. Although the theft was investigated, it was not solved (however, in the spring of 2011, rain run-off in our summer pasture in the forest exposed the shallow grave of the missing alpaca, along with an arrow!) A young man who lived close to the farm was overheard saying that he had shot an alpaca. If Tzadi had found the missing alpaca, dead, she would not have left it. I'll never know what happened to her.
Tzadi was extra special. I tend not to be a "dog person," but I loved Tzadi and I can truthfully say that she loved me too. One day Brad and I took her with us on a mushroom hunt with a group of friends from my church. One of the women had a dog with her that, as we approached, seemed to run at me. Tzadi immediately went into protection mode!
Tzadi learned the word "baby." When Brad first got some baby chicks and turkeys, he kept the crated up until they were big enough to let out. He would carry the crate outside and open the door and let them wander around in the yard until evening set in. Tzadi went crazy at first--trying to round them up and get them back into the crate. Eventually, she would just lay nearby and keep an eye on them. The two turkeys were fascinated with Tzadi's whiskers--they would go up and try to pull at them--she would just lift her head higher and higher. I can't find a copy, but I remember a picture Brad took of one of the young turkeys sitting on Tzadi's head!
Brad used to host school and pre-school children on the farm to visit the alpacas and chickens and "Chicken-Noodle-Soup." One afternoon, a rather large group of mothers and young children were visiting and had the run of the place during their picnic. When the group when to leave, they noticed that one little girl was missing. Brad said to Tzadi, "Where's the baby?" Tzadi led Brad to the little girl, who had wandered a bit away and feel asleep in the grass!
One afternoon, Tzadi "forced" Brad to a spot on the farm where he found a young fawn. Brad put Tzadi in the house and actually came to my house, hoping the fawn and its mother would be reunited. When he returned home, along with me, we saw that a doe had been hit by a car on the road. Probably the mother. So we took the fawn in the house and warmed some milk and finally got it to drink using the finger from a rubber glove.
We were warned (by ID wildlife folks) that the fawn would likely not live. But neither Brad nor Tzadi were willing to let that happen. Every few hours, Brad would get up to warm the milk and go outside to feed the fawn. Many times, he had to be "led" to the fawn by Tzadi--it was hard to see at night with its protective coloring! The fawn grew and bonded with Tzadi. One morning when Brad went out to feed the fawn, he found it lying beside Tzadi in her bed on the front porch!
When Tzadi would walk around, the fawn would follow it, calling to her. But the fawn (nicknamed Venison) kept growing. There was no way Brad could have a tame buck on the property. He managed to contact someone who rescued wildlife and was able to give Venizon a new home.
Tzadi is an Anatolian Shepherd.
Tzadi guarding the alpacas
Tzadi and "Venison"