The Project and the Drawings

Not long after Polar Bear Yeti T. Dog came to live with me and my other two dogs, Dusty T. and Mindy T. Dog, I began looking around for information about livestock guardian dogs. What had I brought into my world? Bear wasn’t like other dogs I’d lived with. I wanted to know more. I “Googled” Livestock Guardian Dogs and then, learning Bear is an Akbash dog, I Googled the breed. Everything said “Not good for small houses and yards. Need to roam.” Well, Bear was living in a small house with small yard. I figured I could help her roam. “Must socialize to people.” I could do that.

Unexpectedly, I stumbled on a blog written by Sharon O’Toole, a rancher in southwestern Wyoming. She and her husband have several thousand sheep and hundreds of cows, all guarded scrupulously by Akbash and Akbash mix dogs and organized by a troop of border collies.

Sharon is a fine writer and a journalist besides being a rancher. In the fullness of time, and reading her blog for all these years, we have gotten to kind of know each other in the cyber way that has been enhanced by Covid. We became friends on Facebook. She approached me a few months back to see if I wanted to illustrate the project she was working on and I did. That’s what all the ink drawings are for.

I really like her deadlines. “Well, lambing starts in April,” which means, “It would be good to have all the drawings by then.”

It’s been a fun and challenging project for me, and I haven’t always been successful, which is OK. I’m not sure when the project will be done and published, but I think before the end of May/first of June. Generally, it’s a small book about the beautiful valley in which she lives, the Little Snake River Valley. To see something of her life and this lovely place check out her blog, Ladder Ranch.

27 thoughts on “The Project and the Drawings

  1. When I started my blog I definitely had not expected all the wonderful connections that I have made. It has certainly made the world a smaller place!

  2. What a great project! I once dreamt of being a rancher in Wyoming or Montana, or anywhere West. I will check out Sharon’s work. What an amazing connection. I’m happy ALL of us get to benefit from this project. And here’s some hearts just for “talking dogs” as always 💚💛🧡.

  3. Such a beautiful and expressive drawing. I really like it and now am curious as to how it/they will illustrate the book. Oh, the connections we make out here in cyber land…and where they can lead. ❤️

  4. I went to her blog and am now a subscriber… Sheep! One of the few farm animals that I really like! I love the illustrations and hope the book is a success…

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