Ranchers best friend: the cow dog
If a dog loves you, you know it! There is no question that the dog wants to be around you--they run and jump to be with you. Also, dogs can serve a purpose--especially on a cattle ranch. Our first dog's name was Ellie Mae and she was an Australian Red Heeler cross. We don't know who her papa was, but we suspect a Blue Tick Hound! That didn't deter her from being the best buddy I had for 14 years. She was our first child, and welcomed each of the next human children with abandon...she loved them! She loved to ride in the pick up with me to check pastures, kept me company while I heat checked heifers, and helped me round up and sort thousands of cattle through the years. Ellie Mae was special. As she aged, her muzzle became white, her red coat grew coarser and she walked with a limp. When she passed away, I was deeply saddened, but I knew I needed another dog.
Finally, along came Roo. She is an Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler cross and she is adorable! When we first got her she was a mere ball of fluff! The gal I bought her from had a big litter of beautiful pups, and it was hard selecting just one. My daughter and I enjoyed playing with them all and finally picked out the cutest little female fluff-ball. We brought her home and she immediately became the family baby. Since the kids are now teens, they all decided to help name my pup--and we finally settled on "Roo" since the breed originated in Australia, I guess.
Roo is a delight! She is about a year old now and is a sweet natured, silly dog who vocalizes all the time! Not just barking--Roo "talks" with us and she seems to understand! Unfortunately, I don't think I've done a very good job of working with her to learn how to work cattle, as she doesn't seem to understand that she needs to herd the cattle, instead of play with them. Roo has developed the habit of kissing the cows, instead of heeling them. Check out the video below.
So I'm not sure Roo will be the cowdog that I hoped for, but she is an excellent companion who obviously loves my kids and loves cows. I guess that is enough for me. She's my buddy and likes to snuggle up next to my leg to snooze as we drive through the pasture to check cattle. Yep, I'm a dog person--I need that snuggle!