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Saturday, September 25 2010


This is the reason I sleep at night. (or don't, depending upon how much she barks!)

This is also the reason I sleep at night.

Together they are a formidable team.

Much has been written about Briar and her value on the farm, but I rarely sing the praises of poor little Ranger, my Blue Heeler. Friends and family members will argue that Blue Heeler has very little to praise, but I'm here to stand up for him and argue his case. You see, they don't like Blue Heeler because, unlike most dogs, . . . Blue Heeler cannot be bought.

He cannot be bribed, cajoled, reasoned with, or paid to look the other way.  His world is black and white - you either live here, or you don't, end of discussion. Please keep in mind that my mother has lived next door for the ENTIRE three years of his existence, and Son lived in the house with him for two years of his existence, but alas, rules are rules, and as far as Blue Heeler is concerned, if you are not Mommy or Daddy, then you are evil and will undoubtedly steal all the silverware (or at least the paper plates) during your visit. He is, in short, a deranged psychopath.

But quite frankly, there is a time and a place for a psychopath. If we lived along the border, I'd have a pack of thirty little blue psycho dogs since friends there report that they cannot even ride horses along the fence line without being in pairs and carrying firearms. They are literally at a war with the drug cartels that cross their ranch land to run narcotics into the U.S.

As it is, crime here tends to slosh over from the shadow of the city.  Each year I see more and more evidence that the world I live in at work is following me home. And as the crime slowly creeps our direction, I have a greater appreciation for my little blue psycho and am now his biggest fan.  Actually, I'm his only fan. Other Half gave up on him some time ago.

 But each time he makes some disparaging remark about Blue Heeler, I hasten to point out that HE, (not ME!) brought this little pyschotic creature home. While I tend to research and agonize over the best puppy to fit our household, Other Half lets caution fly and hopes for the best.  In the case of Blue Heeler, he needed a cow dog. He went to an old childhood friend that raised cow dogs who had a litter of pups. While they cussed and discussed current events, he leaned across the back fence, pointed at Ranger, and said, and I quote, "I'll take THAT one."  (He . . . never. . . touched . . . the . . . dog!)

I was aghast.  But . . . it was HIS dog, and I would never stand between a man and his dog. So we brought the terrified little fruitcake home and over time, the Stockholm syndrome took over, and he quit trying to run away and accepted us as his family. We started him on billy goats and he was soon a decent little helper on the farm.  He moved to penned cattle where he was also a nice little helper . . . as long . . . as you didn't get excited and yell at him.  (Read: Birth of a Cow Dog )


You see . . .    Blue Heeler is a sensitive soul. As I have explained to Other Half many times, "Ranger knows what's in your heart."  If you are angry, he knows it. If you scream at him for chasing cattle past the gate, he will throw up his little paws like Nathan Hale in "The Bird Cage" and wail, "Well!  I can't do ANYTHING right!  No one loves me! Pen 'em yer own damned self then!" 

And he runs out of the pen. This never fails to ignite Other Half who is a country boy and not given to cajoling and building up the self-esteem of a working dog when he's standing in a muddy cow pen.

And so Blue Heeler comes to Momma, who hugs him and makes him feel special again. I have come to appreciate Ranger, not for his working skills, but for his steadfast devotion to family.  He loves his pack.  As fruity as he is, he will risk death, dismemberment, and electric fences to protect his family.  When Briar was zapped by the hotwire, Blue Heeler jumped not one, but two fences, to rescue her. He was zapped twice but he came to lick her face and make sure his giant friend was okay.  (read: Justice? )

Last month when Border Collie was absolutely freaking because I was trying to pull a tick from between her toes, he leaped onto the bed to lick her face, and comfort her. (We have since addressed the "don't play with my toes" issue and she's much better now.)

Several times a day he cleans the eyes and ears of Ancient Blind Bloodhound. It makes me smile as I watch his obessive devotion to his pack. More and more, I see Ranger not as a Mad Hatter, but as a crazy Greek Mother, protecting his family and giving the "evil eye" to anyone who dares threaten them.

So when Other Half is not home, and Blue Heeler crawls into bed with Lily and me, I can sleep soundly, knowing that I am protected by the best little blue psycho in Texas.



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
I also like blue psycho dogs. Mine is a little more manageable, but only due to a LOT of management by me. And he is a blue dog, too!
Posted by Sue on 09/25/2010 - 12:00 PM
One of my dogs is a Cattle Dog cross. Luckily the other half is a sensible GSD. She shows her cattle dog side readily, but I can count on the GSD side to awaken when necessary. She is my shadow and my protector. She also minds me, but only because in her heart, she has no other choice. She switches between 'personality' traits as able as Sally Field in Sybil. I'm glad you understand Ranger's soul. My Mandy, gets her feelings hurt very easily too.
Posted by CeeCee on 09/25/2010 - 02:33 PM
Farmer, I just love your blog!! You never fail to bring sweet tears to my eyes. My mom and I read it daily. She said that she emails/comments to you often. My Uncle (and Aunt) are the ranchers that you and husband got Cowdog from. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I adore your blog and that I have a doggie-crush on Briar, she's my favorite. Hope your day is magical! Smiles, Gin
Posted by Ginny on 09/25/2010 - 04:44 PM
Ohmygosh! How sweet! Thank you! Tell your uncle that Cowdog sleeps in the bed with hubby when I'm not there! His back isn't that great so we don't really work cattle with him, but he's got a great gig as a "truck dog!" He insists on riding the mule out to feed the cattle and the whole time he will snap! snap! snap! over your shoulder at everything that you pass! (silly dog)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 09/25/2010 - 06:31 PM
True devotion. It is simply wonderful. I have an Aussie like that, and couldn't love it more.
Posted by Danielle on 09/26/2010 - 03:07 PM
He has a bit of Dingo in his background so the story goes. I personaly don't trust them. Only bites (sharp nips) have been from a heeler. One let me drive my motor bike onto a property but he was not going to let me leave. When they work the cattle they are really efficient. Dog of choice for the tradies and their work trucks.
Posted by Liz on 09/29/2010 - 02:02 AM

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