Sunday, April 11, 2010

Children's Book Monday

This is a Micah book. Through and through. Not only does he desperately want to have a dog of his own (already named Pilgrim!), but he is also brave, and gentle.

Brave Dogs, Gentle Dogs: How They Guard Sheep
by Cat Urbigkit

The irony of the author's name did not escape my eight-year-old... he laughed heartily and proceeded to tell every person in the family, individually, about how hilarious he found this fact! We think it is funny, too... and we love that Ms. Urbigkit, together with her husband and son, actually owns a flock of sheep and raises guardian dogs.

A guardian dog is not used to move or herd livestock- they simply stand guard, protecting their flock from predators. They actually receive very little training!

The photographs in this story are taken by the author, and the lovely, gentle pictures are of her own sheep and guardian dogs. We learned so many interesting facts through her picture-story; did you know that when guardian puppies are born, sheep's wool (fleece) is used for their bedding to keep them "warm and happy and to get them used to the smell of sheep"? After just a few weeks of lying with the wool, they are ready to meet their sheep.

The guardian pups soon learn that their sheep smell like the wool they've slept in, and they become very comfortable with their new charges. After much bonding together, and once the dog is old enough, it will most likely spend the rest of its life with one herd of sheep; some guardian dogs can even walk amongst other herds in search of its own, not becoming confused at all! Sleeping with the wool, bedding down with their flock once they are used to each other, and the bonding that occurs between the puppies and the sheep is the extent of the training the dogs receive!

We so enjoyed learning about how the the dogs, as puppies, will begin bedding down with the herd at night, and that soon enough, the sheep will even discipline the little pups when they misbehave! There are some adorable pictures of the animals' relationship- a sheep laying its chin on the dogs' back, or a guardian dog lying down among sweet little lambs; they are bumping and nosing him, and he is simply lying peacefully in their midst.

This is a beautiful picture story your children will pick up again and again- and you will love the gentle characteristics this book brings out in them, too. (My boys are currently training their stuffed dogs (and other animals) to be guardian dogs. And that makes me smile!)

Happy Reading!

8 fellow travelers shared:

Bekki said...

Poor boys...will their daddy ever agree to a DOG!? Or is it just he won't agree to a dressed up dog?
Tell Micah that R wants a(nother) dog, too. teehee

(I never read these but I saw the dog pic and the fact the Micah wants one - LOVE it. The name "Pilgrim" - perfection. Sometimes I sing to Dora, "Dora Williams is a pilgrim". It rhymes and don't try to convince me it doesn't!)

BTW: you looked pretty today.

Linda said...

It sounds lovely Elise. I couldn't help thinking about how Jesus cares for us and the way His "sheep" know Him.

Kathi said...

I just LOVE when the Kids "play" a book.

I'm certain Boys and Dogs just go together. Connor has wanted a Little Girl Beagle named Shiloh, or Hank, or Mudge for a Very Long Time :)

This book would have been a wonderful addition to the few weeks in school last year, that we studied Psalm 23. We used Keller's A Shepherd's Look at Psalm 23, and it was good as well.

Thank you for sharing Elise.


Cat Urbigkit said...

Thanks for posting such a nice review of my book - I'm so glad your boys are enjoying it. And I think Pilgrim is a great name for a dog!
I love watching how devoted our guardian dogs are to their charges. It's a beautiful relationship that is good for my human soul.

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

Thanks for sharing, Elise. I have some boys that love dogs and so I am sure that they would love this book.

Blessings, my friend!

Julie said...

Thanks so much for sharing these books weekly! We have found many treasures in your recommendations.

Anonymous said...

This is precious. I can't wait to get a copy to share with our oldest 3 (now all 3 will enjoy it:-)) I just know that you have seen "Stranger in the Woods" and "Lost in the Woods" so I won't even bother to type it. Mary Brooke in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

Ooops, you have (above).mb

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