todd 2

Everyone who met him said “he’s the luckiest dog in the world”. I agree, what dog wouldn’t enjoy the freedom of farm life? But once upon a time things weren’t so peachy for Todd. Four years ago I was in Tehachapi, CA making a special about animal hoarders for Animal Planet. Todd (the name he came with) was among 300 other dogs crammed together in the same house. Specifically he was in a 6′ x 12′ cage with about 8 Great Pyrenese Mountain Dogs. Giants weighing 85-120lbs! Lets just say Todd at his boney 28lbs had no rank. He stayed safe by never competing for food and curling up in a tight ball in the corner. The hoarder, Kimi, had dogs crammed all over the place -bedrooms, bathrooms and this group of dogs lived on the her front porch. The only shelter was this makeshift dog house which he wasn’t about to risk going into. The nights got pretty cold up there so he slept on the roof of that house absorbing what heat he could from the giants below. It was a pretty unhealthy situation.

His eyes are what captivated me first. Second, he was the only dog in that whole insane asylum not barking his head off. Third, when I picked him up, I could hold him like an infant on his back and he would just stare into my eyes without blinking. His eyes were crossed… a sign of nutrient deficiency.

It was not easy but I convinced Kimi to part with Todd.

During his time at Apricot Lane he shared the spotlight with over 650 farm animals. As best we know he had a great relationship with all of the critters big and small with the exception of the occasional rabbit in the garden and a black stray cat. He even outranked the 6 giant dogs that guard our sheep who, as fate would have it, happen to be Great Pyrenese Mountain dogs. His world got a whole lot bigger, his status a bit higher. He had at least 4 soft cozy beds and lived inside the main house… with just Molly and me. Molly, a chef, prepared each of his meals… so yeah, he had a private chef focusing on his nutrients. His eyes no longer crossed.

On Saturday August 1st, 2015 our intensely loyal sidekick decided he was ready to go, returning to the magical winds from which he was born.

He was so many things to so many people. He profoundly redirected Molly’s and my life. No words can describe the gratitude we feel for this. Goodbye for now Todd, even though you are gone… that mysteriously empathic, loving part of you remains on the farm.


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