Celebrate Country Canines
The life of a country dog is one to be envied - at least by town breeds.
If dogs were people, I figure country canines would be the Huck Finns of that world.
Remember how Tom Sawyer envied Huck’s lack of adult supervision? That’s probably how a town dog would feel about a country dog’s freedom to chase rabbits through the woods, dig for gophers in the alfalfa field or take a swim in a farm pond. Like Huck, country dogs mostly live outdoors, sleep when they want, supplement their diets with a tasty gopher now and then, and seldom suffer the indignity of being taken to the groomer for a bath and a trim. And don’t even think about asking a country dog to walk on a leash.
Country dogs tend to be brave, loyal, eager to please, and they are generally friendly once they’ve met you. And even though some country dogs may appear to spend their days sleeping, never make the mistake of assuming a country dog asleep under a shade tree is a lazy good-for-nothing mutt. That’s just a disguise. The truth is, most country dogs hold down multiple jobs, providing around-the-clock security for the house and grounds, helping to herd livestock and often serving as babysitters for the smallest members of the family.
When you live in the country, an outdoor dog is probably the best investment in security you’ll ever make. A barking dog lets you know the minute a salesman, stranger or neighbor pulls into your driveway. And when you’re fast asleep at night, a country dog is your first line of defense against tractor rustlers, cows on the loose, teenagers in your watermelon patch or raccoons in the sweet corn. Country dogs believe they have an exclusive contract to provide security for your home and family. If I was in charge of Homeland Security, I’d issue every country dog in the nation a badge and a paycheck.
If you keep livestock, a country dog can be your best hired hand – especially if she has some Corgi or Aussie blood in her veins. When I was a youngster, we had a mixed-breed shepherd named Bobby who delighted in bringing the cows in from the pasture for the evening milking. He helped round up steers in the feedlot, kept a watchful eye on the spring calves and even kept the bull in line. The only time Bobby’s natural herding instinct proved to be less of an asset was when he spent his idle hours rounding up the chickens.
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