Category Archives: Popular Herding Dogs of Central Texas

She Was, a Lady

Lady: Border collie:  March, 1998 to June 3,2014      She belonged to my son, Danny. She lived to be near him and to ride in the truck.  Lady's story begins below Lady: Border collie: March,1998 to June 3,2014 Lady was my son’s dog. She lived to be near him and to ride in the truck. Here she is looking down the lane as Danny drives away. I’ll write Lady’s story, in segments. If you are not a pet person then pass on by. I’m not a writer. I once read that if one is going to write, it should be in one’s own voice. I’m still in the process of re-doing parts of my initial writing effort. When I wrote this in WP I could not get the italics to work in the proper places so I wrote it all in italics. It was my mouse (I need a muse)  that was amiss.

Part 1 “She Was, a Lady.”

Early one morning in 1998 or 1999, DP went out to his red “92” 4×4 Chevy truck to retrieve his cell phone. Dressed in casual garb of faded starched jeans, a denim shirt and, Roper boots he had not bothered to grab a jacket or wear a cap.

The cold and damp March morning air was laden with a foggy mist. “Yea, he thought, the weather feels just like my brain.”  It was not yet spring. He was glad that maybe winter was nearing an end. He shivered a bit as he walked to the driver’s side of Ole Red. Standing there he began ruminating on a relationship that had ended.  His mother was right about many things, but he was not one who would ever admit that, “Mama often know best.”

Making matters worse was the prospect of no jobs- no money. This time of year was worrisome. Income tax time was about a month away and people held back on extra spending for their home or property. No calls had come in for bids on any custom ornamental iron jobs for the past two days. March and April were slow months which meant that he had to be extra frugal. He and his ex girlfriend often argued about money. She liked to go out and be a part of the local nightlife. She loved to dance to country music and much to his chagrin, she could “drink him under the table.” They argued about that too. Too much beer and she flirted with the guys in the bars. Too much beer and twice she had become an embarrassment. Those times she was more than three sheets in the wind. Too drunk to drive to her house, he and a buddy drove her home, placed her on the den sofa, locked the door behind them and left her to sober up. He wondered how in the world he had let her into his life. She worked for an insurance company but spent all her money on clothes and her fancy car. He thought that just maybe she was an alcoholic or maybe not. DP was a man who was always giving folks the benefit of the doubt.  But he knew his mother thought differently. “You’re too good-hearted for your own good and in all the wrong places” How many times had he heard those words and how many times had he been warned? “Why, did I not listen to my mother? “ His now ex-girlfriend left him for greener pastures. Those were her words, “Greener pastures!” Somehow the words didn’t seem to hurt.

He felt devoid of any feelings that morning. “Oh, I’m just ticked. But I feel empty and in a bottomless pit. Anyhow, I’m glad and relieved our relationship ended.” Before opening the truck door, he made a cursory survey of his tree-lined three acres and noticed that he had forgotten to close the sliding iron gate. He unlocked the door to his truck, reached for his cell phone, took a few steps back to slam the truck door and, then felt something brush against his jeans. Quickly he looked down. Sitting near one boot was a waif dressed in a long black fur coat, with grayish brown trimming around the collar and down the front of its chest.  Stunned for a few moments, he muttered, “What in the world? A dog?” It was a pitiful thing with sad, dark brown eyes that seemed to plead, “Please don’t make me leave. I’ve come a long way. I’m tired and very hungry.” He continued to stand and stare and think. “I bet that once upon a time it was real pretty. It has long jet black fur. Maybe that dingy collar is really white. Its ears fold over at the tips. It looks a bit scared but not bad. Wonder where it came from? Now what I am going to do with this dog?  I know that I’ve not seen it across the road or in the general area.” Finally with cell phone in his hand, he quickly dialed a number for an answer to his dilemma. “Mama, some stray dog came from out of no where and must have slept under my truck last night. I found it when I went to get my phone. It looks awfully dirty and skinny. Its coat is matted with pieces of sticks and burs. What should I do with it?” Mama did not hesitate to answer and gave her son instructions. “Take off your belt and put it around the dog’s neck. Lead it into your office and throw one of your old sleeping bags on the floor. You know you have a couple in the storage room. No dog in distress is going to hurt your precious old sleeping bags.  Get a couple of eggs, bread and milk and, stir that all together and pour into a hot cast iron skillet that you’ve coated with Crisco. Stir it until the egg mixture looks done. It’ll give the dog quick energy until I can get there with some canned and dry dog food. We’ll need to take it to Dr. what’s his name, for a microchip scan. I’ll bring a stack of the past two months of newspapers that I’ve saved for recycling. We can look in the lost and found ads. It might have an owner. However, it could be a dog dumped miles from your house. It clearly is a lost dog. Funny that it found its way to you.”

Yea, Mama thinks it’s funny. I’m not laughing and I don’t want the responsibility of a dog. I’ve not had a dog in a long time. Andy was my last dog and that was a long time ago.”  If only I’d closed my gate last night….” Within a few minutes, he had put his belt around the skinny neck of the waif, led it inside and placed a dusty sleeping bag on the floor. Without any coaxing, it plopped down on the bag with a soft groaning sound. He watched the dog for a moment as it moved its muzzle back and forth on the bed. He could see the dog was watching him as much as he was watching it. He took a few steps back to get a better look as the little dog’s eyes followed his every move. “I reckon when it’s cleaned up and has gained a few pounds, it’ll be a good-looking dog. It seems really glad it’s out of the damp cold. Dang, I think those eyes are talking to me.  Huh! I don’t even know if it’s a male or female. What am I thinking? I’ll have to find a home for it if there’s no owner.”  

He was unaware that his mother was smiling and thinking, “Lord, thank you for sending the dog. It’s just what my son needs. He sounded angry and I know that he doesn’t want a dog.  This will help get his mind off that break-up even if it’s a brief reprieve. Maybe the dog doesn’t belong to anyone. And, I seriously doubt that it has an owner. That much I know. People dump their pets when they become too much trouble or they just don’t want them anymore. I’m glad it’s a dog and not some ding-a-ling woman like the last one whose elevator did not go all the way to the top and was detrimental to his ego. She secretly referred to her son’s latest ex-girlfriend as the “gold-duster in conversations she had with her husband about their son’s choice of girlfriends. Mama cringed as she had visions of the Gold duster who always seemed to have every finger of both hands, sans her thumbs, adorned with a gold ring. “Gee monyetti! That girl could put some alcohol away. I know she wasn’t good for my son. I don’t think she cared one iota for him. How in the world did that co-dependent relationship survive that long?” As mama drove the 12 miles to her son’s house she thought that it’s a lucky Friday. It was the beginning of her two days off. And, just maybe a new beginning for her son. Today she had the time and energy to help her son or was it the dog she would be helping or, both?

To be continued.

Please do not copy my work and no rebloging.  Property of Yvonne Daniel

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Do You Allow Your Dog/s to Sniff the Ground When Outdoors?

 
 

Rocket on his way to find another pace to sniff

 

Rocket having fun sniffing
Rocket. Must have found an enticing scent
Rocket found a “lovely” scent
Rocket enjoying a good sniff

   

Several weeks ago I read that we, dog owners should allow out pet/s to enjoy themselves more- such as sniffing for all the various scents that our dog/s love. I thought that was rather odd since I just have never given sniffing much thought other than to watch my dogs have fun with their nose to the ground.   

I read this on an Internet site and their were some comments from readers that, we do not allow our pets much freedom and fun. According to the article, it was the writer’s opinion that sniffing is one huge pleasurable activity in which our dogs should be given more time to engage in and thus have more fun.  

For some dogs such as the Beagle and other hunting breeds one would think that the dog would constantly have its nose to the ground or concrete- whatever the case might be. I think most dogs- no matter the breed love to sniff.  

The comments went on to cats where some individuals believed that they were depriving their pet of the wonderment of the great outdoors. I, for one believe that is taking the subject of deprivation to whole new level. Several commenters said they had begun letting their cat go outdoors.  Guilt was the deciding factor. Apparently these people did not even begin to realize the perils of letting their cat roam around at will. From experience, I can tell you that many eons ago, my husband would let any cat go out the door that wanted out.  I then would chase the cat and bring it back inside. Sad, but true, I “lost” several cats to coyotes and two that were killed by cars.  I was finally able to add an addition to the back of the house with a large wire run and have not lost any cats since. My husband did not approve of the addition but I paid for all of it myself.   

I do not understand the justification for letting an animal roam which can not think for itself anymore than a toddler has the ability to realize all of the inherent dangers of what is lurking at just about every corner. I compare free ranging cats to letting your small child play unattended which could result in the child being kidnapped, killed, or run over by a car. Same thing goes for pet owners who let their dog  “potty” anywhere in the neighborhood or cat owners who have never considered the fact that your neighbors might just not like having a cat use their flower bed as a litter box or have paw prints that can clearly be seen going across the hood of their car.  

 I strayed from the original topic- sorry for the digression. I’ll stop with the lecture and get on with the sniffing thing. I am very lucky to live on an acre in the city. Our property was purchased many years ago when there was no one around. Now we are surrounded by homes but our acre is fenced and gated so I can let my dogs run, play, and sniff about every 2 hours or so during the day. I just happened to take some photos of Rocket my old Border Collie as he sniffed his way across our yard one day.  

Post and photography Yvonne Daniel   

   

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The Australian Cattle Dog (AKA: Red or Blue Heeler) August 3, 2011 12:30am

Zoey: Australian Cattle Dog

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Zoey: " I've got the stick. They can't catch me now."

Zoey: ” I’ve got the stick. They can’t catch me now.”

Australian Cattel Dog puppy: Zoey" four months old trying to catch the older dogs

Australian Cattel Dog puppy: Zoey” four months old trying to catch the older dogs

The three popular herding breeds where I live are the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog (or blue or red heeler as they are called by some people).

Down in Australia, the early pioneers of the 1880s developed a breed that could endure the harsh environment of Queensland, Australia. A dog was needed that was smart and could instinctively herd with little training. Several breeds were used to develop this dog. So the settlers used the blue merle Collie, Dingo, Dalmation, black and tan Kelpie and some people believe that a little bit of Bull Terrier was also added. The Dalmation gene is also present. pies, from what I have read and observed, are born white.  

These dogs are compact, robust, muscled, agile, extremely intelligent, and easy to train. With an owner that understands this dog’s needs, he can be a master of just about any job. This breed is suited for herding, agility, frisbee, retrieving, and performing tricks. He is a rapid learner and it is believed that this dog can think for himself. Initially many people docked the tail-  now most people leave the tail long. Now and then a puppy will be born with a stumpy tail. This breed has a smooth, short double coat with an undercoat that is very dense. The cattle dog is known as a heavy shedder and needs a good combing and brushing at least weekly.

It is a dog that  MUST HAVE A JOB OR LOTS AND LOTS OF EXERCISE. It is not a dog for an apartment unless you can provide ample exercise. The dog should receive early socialization with other dogs, animals, and people. He can easily become dominant if the owner is not strong and able to be the pack leader. It is a dog that will bond with its owner and will make an excellent watch dog. I can not stress enough that early socialization is a must, for this breed can become dog and people aggressive.

If you want a dog to just be a pet and one to accompany you for jogging , hiking, etc, then do not obtain a dog from a working line of Australian Cattle Dogs. This is a fun breed to own but you must do your part to keep him happy, non destructive, and well balanced.

Some last words of advise. Be wise. Do your home work. Beware and check out the breeder’s property to make sure it is not a puppy mill. Never buy a puppy unless you can see the breeder’s property and breeding facilities. Last but not least- look for a puppy or adult dog  at your city animal shelter and save a life. You’ll be glad you did. </span

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