Skip to main content
Farm Fresh Forensics
rss feedour twitterour facebook page
site map
Latest Posts

Farm Fresh Blog

Thursday, April 23 2015

The Farm Collie

A good dog is not defined by a rule book, a set of standards, or anyone else's opinion. I may cuss Trace and call him a Troll, but he is Other Half's little buddy and proof positive that if you give a good dog a job, and believe in him, good things will happen. Other Half takes that little dog everywhere with him, and like a sponge, Trace soaks up everything he sees. He has a doctorate's degree in watching Other Half.

This week the boys went to the ranch while I stayed home to tend the farm. Because we have the cattle locked away from the ranch house the wild oat grass was so tall it was over the dogs' heads. Other Half and Son spent a good bit of time mowing. There is plenty of grass on the rest of the ranch too, but this is "special" grass and the cattle would love nothing more than to get into it. We don't want them to discover it even exits, because if they do they will destroy fences to reach it, and then hang out around the house, no doubt damaging a $30,000 water retention system and scratching their asses on the window unit air conditioners. The very idea of losing 20,000 gallons of fresh water, or window units being ripped out by itchy, shedding cattle sends me over the edge, therefore, we are quite vigilant about closing all gates that might allow cows access to the ranch house.

Until yesterday . . .

Other Half drove the truck down in the meadow below the house. Since he was by himself, and the dogs aren't good at opening gates, and the cattle were nowhere to be seen, he assumed he could safely leave the gate opened so he could drive out later. After all, he wasn't going to be long.

He was down at the bottom of the pasture when he saw cattle emerging from the forest and trotting toward the gap in the fence. There was absolutely no way he could beat the cattle to the gate in a pickup truck. Other Half looked around for Trace but only saw Cowboy. Trace was nowhere to be seen. He cussed the dog for wandering off and went to stop the cows himself. As expected, they beat him to the gate. But unexpectedly, they didn't enter the gap. The whole group was crowded at the opening, but no one was brave enough to enter -

because there in the gap was a little red dog with piercing yellow eyes.

Trace had apparently assessed the situation as it was unfolding, raced away from the truck, ran 30 acres uphill, and then hooked it across the tree line to emerge at the gap before the cattle could arrive. And he did all this without Other Half even seeing him.

Once again I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have a good ranch dog. I'm not talking about a dog that sits in the kennel waiting for you to practice the sport of herding. I'm talking about a real ranch dog. I'm talking about a dog that sits in the truck and watches everything that goes on around him. Only when they know what is normal, can they know what is abnormal. These dogs aren't Lassie, and they aren't Rin Tin Tin, but they are highly intelligent and they've been bred to work closely with ranchers. Trace isn't exceptional, he's just a normal farm collie with little to no formal training. Imagine how handy dogs with formal training are if they get to go everywhere with you!

This week Other Half helped one of our neighbors get out of the mud and found himself driving the guy's tractor. He climbed up into the enclosed cab and discovered a Border Collie inside! Sister had been in the tractor with Richard. Sister is always by Richard's side. I don't think I've ever seen him without her. One of the reasons why these dogs are so handy is because like Sister and Trace, they are always there, watching, studying, and waiting - waiting to be needed. That's what sets the farm collie apart. A dog like that isn't created in a kennel. It's not created sitting at the house. It's created in the truck beside you.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 01:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
My favorite stories are of Border Collies figuring out the job for themselves. They are amazing dogs! Thanks for another great one.
Posted by Patty on 04/23/2015 - 08:05 PM
I love it when Trace proves his worth like this. Admit it, if it were Lily you would have mentioned that she is The Perfect Dog! I read your blog for the BC stories. Lily can keep the title of The Perfect Dog. I once called our former BC "The Perfect Dog" but my mother corrected me -- he was "The Perfect Kid"!! He obeyed all orders addressed to "Kids" before anyone else did. BCs are wonderful, intelligent family members.
Posted by Elissa on 04/25/2015 - 01:28 PM
Bb-b-b-but, Lily IS the Perfect Dog. Trace is a Troll. (evil grin) Truthfully, I shouldn't call him that as I'm a firm believer in speaking positive words - thus I have always called Lily perfect. LOL
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 04/27/2015 - 11:41 AM

Post comment
Email Address

(max 750 characters)
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.

Red Feather Ranch, Failte Gate Farm

© 2009-2019, Farm Fresh Forenics, Forensicfarmgirl, Failte Gate Farm, Red Feather Ranch All Rights Reserved.

rss feedour twitterour facebook page