To most dogs, a chicken is food.

Not to a livestock guardian dog (LGD), however. These unique beings have accepted the covenant of watching over flocks and herds. They are the protectors of what others would kill — of what they, themselves, have been designed by nature and evolution to eat for sustenance.

They will literally die for the life of the beings they have chosen to protect.

Today, the world seems to want to curse farmers for everything and especially how they treat the animals headed to the tables of the world. But farmers are like the LGD, they will lay down their lives for their charges — and many times they do. Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Spend a few minutes around a power-take-off (PTO) run farm implement and you’ll see how easy it is to lose an arm or a life.

Just like an LGD, farmers care deeply and instinctually about their livestock. Every farmer I know makes sure their stock is cared for before their own families and definitely before themselves.

Just like Arcanine the LGD in the photo, they watch over their charges, relentlessly dedicated to their survival.