Valiant Great Pyrenees Nominated for Dog of the Year Award

A courageous Great Pyrenees named Casper has been nominated for the prestigious “Dog of the Year” competition after gaining attention last year for defending a flock of sheep from a pack of coyotes.
Casper stands as one of the top five finalists in the American Farm Bureau’s “Farm Dog of the Year: People’s Choice Pup” contest, according to Cyndie Shearing, spokesperson for the American Farm Bureau. Voting for the award, which is open to the public on the Farm Bureau’s website, will conclude on December 20.
Explaining the significance of the People’s Choice Pup contest, Shearing highlighted its celebration of farm dogs and their pivotal roles in supporting farmers and ranchers across the nation in producing food for families and their pets.
John Wierwille, Casper’s owner from Decatur, Georgia, described the 3-year-old Great Pyrenees as a dog fond of hamburgers, excelling in patrolling and safeguarding. Wierwille emphasized Casper’s substantial size, strength, intelligence, and affectionate nature towards both his human family and the sheep he protects.
Despite Casper’s occasional escapades from his enclosure due to his preference for hunting threats, Wierwille underscored his dog’s extraordinary dedication to guarding the flock.
Casper gained worldwide attention last November for his heroic act when, alongside his mate Daisy, he confronted a group of coyotes while watching over the sheep near the Wierwilles’ residence. The confrontation escalated, with Casper engaging the coyotes in a two-day battle, single-handedly taking down multiple attackers to protect the flock.
Wierwille recounted finding eight coyote bodies after the encounter, highlighting Casper’s evident physical and mental strain from the prolonged fight. Casper required more than six weeks of recovery, including emergency care at LifeLine Animal Clinic, where he received exceptional treatment from Dr. Susan Brosman and her team.
Expressing gratitude for the clinic’s support, Wierwille mentioned that all donations and awards would go to LifeLine, acknowledging their crucial role in Casper’s recovery.
Wierwille’s family believes that Casper’s selfless dedication to protecting the animals he guards makes him a deserving candidate for the award. If Casper secures the victory, Wierwille plans to commemorate the achievement with a plaque in Casper’s dog house, add some “bling” to his collar, and treat him to his favorite Wendy’s hamburgers.
The competition includes four other remarkable dogs: Trip, a Border Collie from Ohio; Margo, a Rottweiler from Indiana; Morgan, a Bernese Mountain Dog from Idaho; and Cinco, a Border Collie from Utah. Each has their unique story and contribution to farm life.
Voting for the People’s Choice Pup is ongoing on the Farm Bureau’s website, and the winner will be announced at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in January 2024, receiving a cash prize of $1,000. While these finalists didn’t advance in the overall Farm Dog of the Year contest, Shearing mentioned their compelling and intriguing stories.

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