Sunday, January 11, 2009

Farm Dogs

When we bought this farm in 2004 the farmer was retiring to town. He asked if we could keep his dog until he got a fence built. Sure, no problem, we will take good care of her. She was quite a famous dog in their family and this community anyhow.

A few weeks go by and he stops in one day and told me he wasn't allowed to build a fence and of course she was an outdoor dog on the farm here. He looked at her and then looked at me and said you talk to her just like I do. Could she stay here?

By that time she was about my best buddy, old Trixy. Trixy was Phil's black lab he had bought as a puppy and she had always lived here. She was had a great demeanor, loved corn, followed you everywhere and would walk behind the tractor or combine. We truly became good friends.

She was getting quite feeble in her old age last year and finally I found her on her doggy pillow on the side porch one morning. She had passed away in her sleep.

I called my tile man and he came over and dug a big hole for her in the back yard. She was a BIG dog. It's always a sad time when a pet dies, different than people but very sad.

LuAnn and I vowed we would not get a pup during the winter and would get one next spring. She wanted one like Alex, that special dog of hers that made the move to Ohio in 2001. Alex was a best friend too, a golden or yellow lab from a litter of black labs. He died before we moved in 2004 so Trixy was a welcome site to the new farm. She knew this place like the back of her paws. You know dogs, they lick their paws clean and she loved to do that.

I was given a trained police German Shepherd a long time ago because the man couldn't keep her in town and we lived in the country. Silver was the smartest dog I ever met and would rival Rin Tin Tin. So I have always been a little partial to Shepherds but love labs, too.

Last night after visiting Becky, Will and Liam, we stopped for gas in Clarksville. There was a rough looking character with a beautiful black German Shepherd sitting in the front seat. I said boy I would like to have a dog like that and he said my daughter has 3 left. He talked about their parents, $800 registered stock with straight backs, not the hip problems some Shepherd lines have. Somehow I knew right then we had found our new dog.

LuAnn kept asking me when I was going to call so I called the girl after lunch. She had two black Shepherds and one sable Shepherd left. We went down to see them and I could tell LuAnn liked that dog and I did too. She got it out and and we watched it run and how it acted then we both held it and talked to it and knew it would be our new dog, Sable. We asked her to keep it a week so we could get a crate to crate train it.

So next week we start that ordeal of training a pup to be a farm dog. We want Sable to be a good watch dog and a friend to us, our kids, grandkids, friends and neighbors. I know she can do it if we take the time to do it right. It should be an exciting end of winter and start of spring!

I will bet you have stories and pictures of your dog, too. I would love to hear and see them.

Have a great week, I know I am planning on one.

Ed Winkle

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