My signature line states "Living life through love and laughter". Let me tell you about part of the love to go along with the laughter.

When we moved to our home, we decided a Great Pyreneese dog would be a grand addition to our family. So over the past 23 years we have been blessed to have several of these dogs grace our family with their love and dedication to us as well as to the other "residents" of our farm.

But there is one that, for me, is a little extra special. Baracaas came to us as a pup 11 years ago. He resembled an overgrown cotton ball with extra fluff. He was all white and excessively fuzzy. You had to search for his eyes through the fuzz. I am not sure how he could see.

When I brought him home, I immediately put him in a pen with the baby goats. These were to be his "kids" to learn alongside. He was going to be their guardian. The next morning I went out to find him holding one by the throat. After a serious scolding, I put him back in the pen. I turned around, and he had the same kid again. Another serious scolding occurred, and I put him back in and watched. As he sat with his kids, the same kid walked over to him and placed his throat on Baracaas's mouth and pushed until he opened his mouth. In his 11 years he has never harmed a goat, but he has guarded them with every ounce of his being.

He loves children and the elderly. As big as his body is I'm not sure how it contains his even bigger heart. He has been to schools and nursing homes. He is worth his weight in gold.

He has spent his 11 years guarding us as well as his goats. He does not allow strangers to get close to any of us. He doesn't get aggressive, but he positions himself between us. He will accept a gentle pat from any stranger as long as they know where to stand. He has "taken out" coyotes a time or two as well as a few dogs that didn't belong.

When I went to feed him this morning, he had a look about him. I have seen him slow over the past 6 months. I crawled in the trailer with him (He likes to eat in the stock trailer.) and laid with him for a little bit. He just needed a hug I think, so I gave him several. I think I needed it, too. I'll admit I shed a few tears as I know his time left is short.

While this story is a shortened version of Baracaas's life, there is no way to put into words what this gentle giant has given us.

Sometimes we are blessed to have those animals come into our lives that teach us the love to go along with the laughter.