A couple from Pennsylvania visited my office to talk about adding on to their home.  They brought with them a beautiful, sweet-natured, English Setter that they had just gotten and who behaved so well in our office that I asked in passing where she was from.  It turns out she was from a pretty famous breeder called DeCoverly Kennels.  They also said there was a large male available.  I mentioned that to my wife and the next thing we knew we were on our way to Pennsylvania.  Gus gets along amazingly well with our other dogs, not too well with Chloe our cat, he doesn’t pay much attention to the sheep unless they get out of the pasture, and is ok with the chickens except when one escaped the pen.  Gus ran the chicken down, picked her up gently, and handed her over while only ruffling a few feathers.

Rosie, Gus, and Oliver

Rosie, Gus, and Oliver Getting Along Well

Chloe and Gus

Chloe and Gus Not Getting Along So Well

Gus and Chickens

Gus and Chickens

Gus Filling in as a Sheepdog After an Escape

Gus Filling in as a Sheepdog After an Escape

Gus Looking For Birds

Gus Looking For Birds

On a sad note, Poppy our skinny barn cat that we raised from a tiny kitten, disappeared a few weeks ago.  She had an identification chip, we contacted neighbors, put out posters, and blanketed social media, and lost animal sites to no avail.  Eventually, we put two and two together and think she may have been killed by a raccoon. At the same time she disappeared, we had several chickens who were killed in a way associated with raccoons.  Poppy’s way of meeting Chole, our other cat, as well as our dogs, was to immediately chase them around the house.  It was unclear whether she was being friendly or trying to pick a fight, but the result was that she dominated the other larger animals.  We fear she approached a big raccoon the same way and therefore met her match.  She is sorely missed.

Poppy in the Barn

Poppy in the Barn


Poppy the Foundling

Poppy the Foundling

Photos by Alicia Crisp and Jimmy Crisp




By Published On: October 2nd, 2021Categories: Miscellaneous10 Comments

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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  1. Pat O'Brien October 7, 2021 at 8:16 am

    We lost a barn cat the same way. Sad, but until then, though, he had a wonderful life doing what he loved outdoors.

  2. James Crisp October 7, 2021 at 8:28 am

    I agree. Poppy loved it in the barn. Until I read up on it, I never knew that raccoons would attack cats.

  3. Mary Diuglas October 7, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I am so sorry that you lost your beautiful Poppy. Her story breaks my heart.
    If you ever come down South, please let me know. I have so many cats and kittens at my office, and no one is interested in giving them a home.

  4. Shawn Hartley Hancock at Centerline Construction October 8, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Oh congratulations on getting Gus! Seeing your wonderful pictures brought me back to age 10 (I’m 63!) and the handsome and wonderful English Setter my siblings and I grew up with. We all still talk about him to this day — how noble he was with us rambunctious kids (always so gentle and so protective). We also had loads of other animals at our small farm — sheep, horse, chickens — and he was great with them, too. Good luck with Gus — and thanks for sharing your lovely pictures!!!!

  5. James Crisp October 8, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    It is amazing how animals can shape our lives when we are young and not so young!

  6. Chris November 4, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing about your new dog Gus! Much Joy ahead to you and your family with the new addition…. Hope Gus will get to occasionally visit with his sibling :) We also lost our beautiful, sweet Hampton a Maine Coon Cat years ago killed by a raccoon(s)…Our kitty always lounged around the house and would go out for awhile in the daytime…always sleep in the house at night…found him in a neighbors front yard…so sad.

  7. Dan Smith November 5, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Congratulations on your new English Setter! I especially like the first picture with Gus laying on the wooden floor. His eyes look so gentle.

    Can you tell me what the stain and finish is for that heart pine floor?

  8. James Crisp January 19, 2023 at 6:59 am

    Thanks. Please call the office for that color.

  9. James Crisp January 19, 2023 at 7:00 am

    Sorry for your loss.

  10. James Crisp January 19, 2023 at 7:00 am


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