Wednesday, January 27, 2016


It is at times like this that I miss my dogs.  For 25 years I had an Australian Shepherd to trip over.  First it was a cast off, Silly.  Then I bought a preplanned well bred dog from Texas aptly named Tex.  He ended up with cancer in his hip and at age 12 I had to put him down.  It was already 1 1/2 yrs. ago but it seems like yesterday.

After I had gotten Tex I had gotten another rescue, Ty.  He was the homeliest most ill built Aussie but smart as a whip and a mind of his own.  The biggest problem with him aside his roaming ways which out here isn't a big deal since our closest neighbor is 1/2 mile away, was his heavy coat.  He was impossible to keep brushed out as burdocks and stickers was what he liked to travel through.  And despite tick medication and collars and I apparently not finding every deer tick, he ended up with Lymes and Anaplasmosis at the same time.  He didn't recover from the Anaplasmosis.  I was heart broken and guilty and just decided no more dogs.

Well, a customer on mail route asked me if I'd be interested in a cattle dog pup.  I surprised myself by asking him about the dogs.  He has the nicest and smart cattle dogs that are friendly and well mannered.  A lot of them around here I wouldn't trust with a 10 foot pole.  Is it poor breeding or poor upbringing (I highly suspect the latter)?

I do not want a dog I cannot trust to be loose on the farm and around people.  I have a friend who has one she has to put into a horse stall when she leaves town as she doesn't trust it to not go after the person farm sitting.  She understands the dog can be a problem and isn't afraid to admit it.  If I had a nickel for every time someone tells me their dog won't bite I'd be rich.  As a mail carrier dog bites are the #1 threat on the job.  I have been around dogs, I have been bitten by dogs.  I can read them pretty well and old Fluffy snarling and snapping at me may not bite you (or surprisingly may but you know it isn't the dog's fault, so n so made them mad or whatever excuse they use) but my gut says otherwise.  I will not have a dog like that if at all possible.

This is one reason I haven't gotten a dog as I know what the first two years are like with socializing and training and molding that dog into a fine canine citizen.  I could take my dogs anywhere and never had to worry if someone wanted to pet them.  It is a good feeling to know I was promoting the Australian Shepherd in the best light but it didn't happen by magic.  There was hours of work, sweat and yes, tears of frustration.

I  surprised myself by saying keep me informed as yes I am interested.

One thing about cattle dogs is they are short coated.  Something I can feel I can take better care of.  Also since Ty's passing there have been alternative treatments for ticks.  But just the idea I can comb through a short coated smaller dog easier makes me feel better.

I would like a dog I can use on the cattle.  My dogs have saved me miles of footwork when it comes to the cows.

Anyway, this is one of the portraits of my dogs I have done.  I haven't finished the one of Tex yet and it sits 3/4 the way done waiting for the right time.  It still miss him, esp. every time I take a walk.  Losing a dog is difficult yet a necessary part of the experience.  And chances are this next dog, if he or she comes, will be my last.

This post is linked to Treasure Hunt Thursday.


  1. Thanks for stopping by to visit.

    I understand. I was a City Carrier for years. Had more trouble with the tiny dogs than the large ones. Our rule, if your dog is out, no mail delivery period. You never know what the dogs may perceive as a threat.

    The key is training and socialization. We have a mixed farm team here: Pit, Border Collie, Jack/Rat. Cairn and two herding mixes. It works. Our dogs here are socialized with each animal and eat with the cats and chickens. They can pick strange cattle from the herd. They perform countless other duties and are a vital part of the farm.

    As in everything there is good and bad. Sometimes there is nothing to "fix" a damaged dog.

    Have a very blessed weekend.

  2. Thank you. I wish you great luck with the dogs. Just let them see your heart and you can see theirs and their intent.

    Have a great weekend.