Farm dogs ... working dogs.
Anybody who’s grown up or worked on a farm knows how invaluable a working dog is.
For years we were blessed with the absolute best livestock guard dog (LGD) and the smartest Rat ‘Terror,’ too ... at the same time. They were excellent canine companions (except after skunk hunting escapades), family guard dogs and thorough pest/predator management staff God ever created. No show dogs but undeniably irreplaceable.
He loved to cool off in the river
He was a lover, not a fighter
Ben was huge and his heart was, too. He was my best bud. ‘Terror’ Tammy was my feisty little rodent killer and Ben’s pseudo-mom. Ben ran with me while I rode my ATV through woods and up and down river banks. (I am that grandma in the song – “over the river and through the woods ...”!) Tammy never missed a ride and sat in front of me. That was such a treat for them because it was the only time I’d let them hunt squirrels. You know, they never caught one. It was the chase they loved!
Success & happy about it!
When at home, nobody, and I mean NO body, got out of their vehicle or came in my house without my telling Ben they were OK. Once Ben was relieved of his duty, Tammy took over. The house was her territory, and she kept many visitors on their toes.
A gentle giant of a friend once tried to enter the house while I was home alone. He grew up with my son and both dogs knew him for years. That wasn’t good enough for my unbiased guard. He grabbed Charlie in the seat of his overalls and pulled him off the front steps before I could intervene. It was too funny, but Charlie didn’t appreciate the torn seat in a perfectly good pair of overalls. Perfectly good after all!
In 2010, both of our beloved pooches passed away. That was a very tough year. I never wanted to experience that heartbreak again. But you know how dog people are. Once a dog ‘people,’ always a dog people.
It’s taken two livestock guard dogs of grander breeding and greater mass to replace our beloved Ben. Brenda, our abandoned coy/dog, has become the house guard dog. She’s much more loyal than the two LGDs so she’s the people guard, too. Cricket (hubby’s Rat Terrier – no terror in her except toward moles) joined our family a few years ago. But none of these pups became ‘mine.’
Our loyal, beautiful Coydog
I’ve known all along no dog could replace Tammy. So for three years I mourned my feisty best friend. Finally the time came to move on.
Doesn’t every ‘dog people’ need a PD?
Have you guessed yet what PD stands for? Maybe you have.
One day last June, I decided the time had come to “just get a puppy.” Many women (with empty nest syndrome) hear this phrase from well-meaning friends.
The night before she was to be delivered to the local animal shelter, I found her listing on a local Internet site. She was mine by the end of the work day. My PD is very small, black and blessed with a comic’s personality. She’s a Chorkie and that’s my new favorite designer breed. Now to find her a mate. I know somebody who wants a feisty PD like mine. That’s if I can let any of her pups go.
More of PD to come in the future.
My Puppy Dog!