Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cat Urbigkit's "Brave & Loyal"

Cat Urbigkit is an author and photographer of nonfiction books for both children and adults. She lives on a working sheep ranch in western Wyoming with her family and her livestock guardian animals, including guardian dogs and burros.

Urbigkit applied the “Page 99 Test” to her latest book, Brave and Loyal: An Illustrated Celebration of Livestock Guardian Dogs, and reported the following:
While most of Brave and Loyal tells the stories of livestock guardian dogs and their skills in protecting a weaker species, Page 99 sets the stage for our journeys across Europe to view working guardians and the environments in which they live. As Americans, we were struck by the differences in agricultural systems in Europe.

As page 99 of my book explains:
Although agricultural systems in Europe are much less efficient than similar systems in the United States, we found that difference to our liking, as the result is that more people are involved in, and employed by, agriculture. Rather than crop harvests involving large pieces of mechanical equipment, much of the harvest is conducted with smaller equipment and human labor. Much of the livestock production systems we observed were small subsistence operations. Local diets rely heavily on locally produced foods, especially milk and cheese products from sheep and goat production. The average citizen throughout the regions we visited is more familiar with food production and livestock grazing than most Americans. Most citizens had parents or grandparents recently involved in agricultural production. Society overall seemed to be more aware of pastoral lifestyles than the American public.
Although pastoralists around the globe have many things in common, their political and environmental climates are varied. One common denominator is that their livestock guardian dogs remain in place, doing the same job as they have done for thousands of years: The shepherd’s companion, and flock protector.
Learn more about Brave and Loyal: An Illustrated Celebration of Livestock Guardian Dogs and visit Cat Urbigkit’s Paradise Sheep website.

Coffee with a Canine: Cat Urbigkit & Rena.

Coffee with a Canine: Cat Urbigkit & Hud.

--Marshal Zeringue