Some Memories of Faruk

We said goodbye to our sweet baby dog, Faruk, today. The cancer moved quickly and he was euthanized here on the ranch with us by his side. He now rests next to Ayla on the hill looking over our old house, his first home.

The guy was a lover, a most handsome dog, and had the softest ears. He would have been seven next week. Much too soon … this was the dog that was so strong and healthy we thought he’d live to be fourteen.

Here are some photos from his short time with us.

RIP, baby dog.

One-Hundred Ninety Pounds of Patience for 40 Pounds of Pestering

Zaman exhibits extreme patience with the puppy. Today I got a couple videos of them playing on goat beach, and one great photo (all below).

In one of the videos, Ayi is in the water trough playing before she attempts to bury her wet self under Zaman. Zaman sits there patiently with his paws crossed.

Ayi in the Goat Beach Water Trough
Zaman and Ayi Playing on Goat Beach
Sunday on Goat Beach



01/15/2022 Update: Faruk has at last started to move around and eat a little. Until this afternoon, he wouldn’t eat or drink or leave his hut. We brought him home Thursday morning. So good to see him want to do something. Vets said the prednisone will help him for a while. We just don’t know how long “a while” is. One day at a time.


Today we were told this beautiful, strong dog has aggressive, large-cell lymphoma. It is terminal.

He is currently at UC Davis Vet Hospital, and we will bring him home tomorrow with a short-term plan.

We will help him transition peacefully when it is time.

Farewell Belle

Our sweet Belle left for a new home today.

That was hard.

Heather was here with us. Heather was here when Belle was born, so it helped us close the circle.

Before she left, Belle and new puppy Ayi had some sweet moments today and here are a few in video and pictures.

Parting Kisses
Belle kicks up her heels before her long journey North
  • A puppy with her paw on a calf's head
  • a puppy and a calf laying together with puppy chewing on calf's ear
  • A Calf sleeping next to a puppy
  • Two men and a calf
  • a calf touches noses with a lady in a colorful stocking hat and rubber boots
  • A woman leading a calf with a rope past a barn
  • A calf nuzzling on hay in a livestock trailer
  • a man waving goodbye as a horse trailer pulls out of a driveway

Belle’s new home is up by the Oregon border not far from the Pacific Ocean. She had a long, six-to-seven hour journey ahead of her, but arrived safely. The new owners are getting a special heifer. They called her a “love bug”. Yes she is.

We bred and raised a real gem with her. Of course Lucy did the work of a champion.

We are hoping to AI Lucy again later this month with the same bull.

2022 Begins – Full House and Puppy Antics

The New Year holiday was filled with reunion of friends and of course, puppy antics.

Former WWOOFer Chris and his girlfriend Jo came from Brooklyn by way of Portland on their way to Berkeley. Longtime friend Matt took the train/bus up from San Francisco. Brenda and Holly joined in for the New Year’s Day feast. David smoked a turkey, and accompanied it with beans and potato salad. I fixed the spoon rolls. David made a New York style cheesecake for desert. Of course, almost all the food on the table, plus the wine, was grown or made here.

Matt and Brenda hadn’t seen each other in over 30 years — so joyous to see them with each other again.

It was also really fun to watch Chris and Jo, and Matt, spend so much time with the animals, to hang out with them, and to play a few games of 42. Looking forward to a repeat some day!

This house-full of guests often joined to watch 5:00 a.m. chores, as well has accompany dogs and goats to upper pasture. Lots of laughs on those hikes!

Here is a picture of feast day, and a couple videos of the dogs:

Left to right: David, Jo, Chris, Matt, Neil, Holly and Brenda
Video credit: Jo Eidman

Newest Addition Adjusting to Her New Home

On Christmas Day, we brought home our newest addition … an eight-week old Anatolian Shepherd Dog. We did decide to name her Ayi.

Quite a lot of howling and yapping the first few days (normal separation anxiety). We have to keep her safe from the goats, cow, and big dogs until they get used to her … so that means being contained in a safe place in the stable while unattended. Last night she was much better. Only a couple episodes of howling for 20 minutes or so.

The first of our animals to bond with her is Belle. One of the big dogs totally ignores her and went on a hunger strike for two days. Our eldest dog is curious, but probably dreading taking on a new charge with so much energy. He’ll come around. The goats are not yet comfortable with a new dog, and Lucy was furious, literally MAD COW. But she is coming around too. We expected this, but are very pleased with how the new puppy is behaving.

Here was the scene yesterday evening:

Two Bucks is Four Bucks for Christmas

Friends Mike and Jim arrived from Colorado to spend Christmas here on the ranch. So the buck count went up by two for five days. We are back down to two now — they left early this morning to get an early start on a long day of driving toward a southern route over the Sierra at Tehachapi. The northern routes are blocked. This is a risk of Christmas travel, so the plan is Thanksgiving next year!

It was a wet, rainy, cold five days. Perfect for indoor projects and some R&R. Jim knocked out about half the job of insulating the shop in a couple days. Mike slaved in the kitchen over a hot pot of cheese, stretching it into mozzarella. We feasted and laughed on Christmas Eve day — friend Roy was here too. On Christmas Day, we opened gifts. Then Neil and David went to pick up the new puppy. Mike and Jim visited former neighbors and good friends in Chico on Boxing Day.

There was a lot of time for reading, napping, playing pinochle and 42.

Good times with old friends are undoubtedly some of the great gifts of Christmas.

Here are some photos from over the last five days:

Cream Cheese

News headlines cry “cream cheese shortage for the holidays!”

So, what has David been doing? Yep. Making cream cheese. (I’m sure he’d want y’all to know he’s doing a heck of a lot more than making cream cheese … yes, much more)!

Anyway, making cream cheese was quite a process. He started with two gallons of whole milk from Lucy (including the cream). He poured that into a pot and stirred it for at least 30 minutes at 185 degrees. Then he cooled it to 110 degrees (still stirring). (This is when we yearn for one of those Harry Potter magic stirring things). Then he added .25 cups of kefir into seven quart jars, and added the 110-degree milk. Then he incubated the full jars at 110 degrees for 8-12 hours (until contents turned into yogurt). Then he poured the yogurt into a cloth straining bag, and let it hang until it drained — takes eight hours to drain unless the bag clogs — then the bag has to be cleaned to continue draining. Then he lightly salted it and let it drain for 4 more hours.

Voilà! Cream cheese.

Who needs the store! See ya, Kraft!

Here’s what the new cream cheese looked like coming out of the draining cloth … it is GOOOOD! He made about 24 oz of cream cheese from five of those seven quarts of yogurt.


We (and our animals) rely on our Anatolian Shepherd Dogs (ASDs) a lot. Our two boys are middle-aged already and it’s time to bring in the next apprentice/trainee.

Here is what she looks like (haven’t picked name yet):

We drove to Sonoma yesterday to see her. We need to pick her up next week sometime.

We typically pick a Turkish word for a name. This pup seems a bit like a little bear, so we are examining those options.

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