parker is such a good boy. seeing him give her such a gentle lick almost brought tears to my eyes. so sweet.
I guess I get to show off my 'farm' dogs too. Janice Joplin, call name JJ came from an English shepherd rescue in Joplin, Missouri hence the name. when I played my Janice Joplin cd's in the car taking my granddaughter to school she would say please nana turn her off, she makes my ears bleed. no accounting for taste... JJ is now 2 1/2 years old and has pretty much come into her own. I've never had a dog that notices every little thing and immediately knows when something just isn't right. loyal, loving, smart and brave. she is the dog that won't let anyone or anything in my yard until I say its ok. she wants so bad to be able to herd the goats and sheep for me but I won't let her, don't want to get that started. might be hard to stop. she sleeps in the house on a mat at the foot of my bed at night and is out most of the day keeping a watch over everything. I love her dearly. I know beyond a doubt that I would have stepped on that copperhead this morning if she hadn't jumped in front of me barking.
next is my Emily Elizabeth, call name emma or emma dean if i'm yelling at here. she was also a rescue but she came from a horrible place and life while JJ at least had people who were nice to her. emma is what I lovingly call a mutt puppy. her mother was a carrin terrier and her dad was a cross between a pug and a beagle. I got her just before I started travel nursing and she has been my constant companion since. I brought her home as a 5 week old pup and I had a pair of anatoilan shepherds at the time who helped me raise her. when they barked at something back in the woods she would run out right in front of them barking to chase off bad things. she always had them behind her and she grew up thinking she was just as big and bad as they were. nothing scares her around here. she has that terrier tenacity, is the best mouse and rat dog I've ever seen. she will track my every foot step, I've tried hiding from her just to see if she can find me and she uses that beagle nose to get me every time. she taught JJ how to kill an opossum and anything else that doesn't belong. the only thing she has that is pug like is her smile, those little bottom teeth stick out when she grins. I have told people before that she was a slut because she'd let any one pet her. has never met a stranger, loves one and all. before I got JJ the only way I knew that someone was coming to the door was that emma would start wagging her tail. never a bark just a wag. I always call her my prepper puppy because she will store things all around the house for later. one time she hid about 18 fresh eggs that I had left in a little bucket on the floor. I found them between couch pillows, in my bed, in the dirty cloths basket, in one of my shoes. I found eggs around here for a week. the amazing thing is that she never broke one egg. she also hid a box of dog treats, took months to find all of them. she's a hoot to say the least. she is getting pretty gray in the face now but she is still as spunky as ever.
JJ is a cutie, and so fierce! What a valuable dog to have on the farm! Emma is just plain gorgeous. What a looker she is! It's so funny that she played the Easter Bunny on you. That's two wonderful dogs that you have. Whatever would we do without our dogs?
Beautiful dogs, all!!! I love a good ol' mix breed farm dog...indispensable on the farm for so many reasons. I know folks love the LGDs for their many qualities and I do too, but for sheer versatility, the average farm dog can stand up to that quality on his own varied traits.
I've had dogs that could track a deer blood trail for us, move cattle(being a Lab, that was surprising), find meat rabbits that had escaped the cage and go on point to show us where, guard the home and family, bring me things I needed, worry about the chickens and sheep and let me know when they were lambing or in trouble, hunt and kill rabbits, give the cats affection when I didn't have the time, and give the kids a friend when no one else will listen, keep the homestead safe from big predators, kill the mice, rats and moles, while still companionable enough to take to parades, ride in the car, visit people, go to town, give love to the nursing home folks and just be an all around cuddle bug.
poor emma, when she was a youngster everyone told me she was the ugliest dog around and truth be told she did have a face that only a mother could love but that big happy personality of hers won everyone over. she is a much loved gal. and she is a hard worker around here. JJ is my major protector. nothing can come around here with out her knowing it and telling. she listens to me and obeys immediately where emma may take a while to decide listen. a good farm dog is worth its weight in gold.
Finally seeing the end of Ben's end of summer blow out, a few tags here and there but he's mostly sleek once again. For a LGD breed, his sheds are not a bit bad compared to a pure GP.
He's been patrolling well, even keeping the deer out of the yard, though he doesn't bark at them...a quiet woof and running in their direction seems to do the trick. I did lose a juvenile chick in the past few days, but don't know when or how...that's unusual here, especially with Ben so death on aerial preds, so not sure what happened.
Now comes the good season for farm dogs....deer season, with all the offal, bones and meat scraps they can eat. Apples are in abundance this year, so all the apples they can eat, along with garden canning scraps, which they love.
Then comes chicken butchering, so more lovely bits like heads, feet, organs, and bones.
All of that gets them fat and sleek for winter, the only time I let the dogs put on a noticeable layer of fat.
I'll lay down a layer of lime all around the central area of their living space to deter the fall flea hatch, which usually comes along with fall rains. Doing that this spring really eliminated our flea problem here, for both dogs and cats.
Pretty soon it will be time to refresh dog house hay for winter sleeping. Ben doesn't like a dog house, so he likes to sleep amidst hay bales in the spare coop...Jake has taken to sleeping there with him unless it's teens below zero, then he heads to his very snug quarters built off the back of the main coop.
Jake sleeping at the doorway of the spare coop ...
Polly left us yesterday September 22, 2017. We are heart broken.
I stopped in Shepherd, Texas one afternoon in 2007 for gas. I went inside to pay for it and the ladies working there were making a FREE DOG poster. There was a picture of a blue merle Australian Shepherd, laying on the floor, looking at the camera. And her eyes were looking right at me from that picture. My finger went down on the picture, "Tell me about this dog!"
One of the lady's MIL had the dog. She was just too much dog, too active for the 82 year old lady and she wanted to find a good home for her. I called my husband and told him about the dog. "NO! NO! NO HELL NO! We don't need another dog!" I let him rant for a moment then said, "But her eyes are talking to me! And she is beautiful." He sighed, already beaten and he knew it and said to go see the dog.
I called the lady with the dog and went to her house. Her name was Billie. Billie had wanted a small lap dog and sent her daughter in law (that worked at the gas station/store) to a well known pet store chain in Houston to adopt her one. Billie's DIL saw Polly, it was her last day before being euthanized, so she adopted Polly instead of a small lap dog. Polly had been found wandering around after Hurricane Rita and was estimated to be 6 months old. A 6 month old Australian Shepherd was no lap dog, but Billie was as tenderhearted as her DIL, so she kept her for 2 years, hoping that Polly would settle down. Polly was a ricochet rabbit, boing! boing! boing! running and playing. In the meanwhile, Billie had got a small lap dog and wanted to find Polly a good home.
When I walked in, Polly came straight to me and sat down. Billie was amazed, saying, "She never does that!" As Billie and I talked, Polly stayed at my side. Billie decided that I would be a good Mommy for Polly and said I could take her, but that she didn't like men, she was afraid of them. I said that we could work on that and promised a good home for Polly. I looked down at Polly and told her, "If you want to go home with me, go say goodbye." Polly got right up, walked to Billie, got petted and she came back to me. When I got home with her, this "afraid of men" dog bounded in the house and right up in my husband's lap, delighted to see him. Polly was home.
Polly was sweet dog, she loved us and we loved her. She made instant friends with Danny, our black Lab. She was my constant companion, making every step I did. She must have been kicked and mistreated before Billie adopted her, for a mere touch sent Polly on her feet, escaping from danger, before realizing it was me or DH. She laid in the kitchen floor watching me cook supper and I tried stepping over her, but she did her panic jump, scrambling out of the way. It took several years for her to get over that so I could step over her without her reacting.
Our daughter and son in law had a baby girl and when she started crawling, she made a bee line for Polly. Polly sat still, letting the baby maul her. The baby laced tiny fingers in that luxuriant fur and used Polly to pull up and stand. Polly never flinched, even when handfuls of fur got yanked out. She was so patient.
Everybody loved Polly. Our son in law tried repeatedly to talk us out of Polly, but nothing doing. Polly wasn't my dog, she didn't belong to me. I was her human, I belonged to her. She was utterly devoted to me, she loved me so much, it was humbling. What did I do to deserve so much love?
Our grand daughter would come spend the weekend with us and Polly was always in the middle of what ever we were doing.
Our Grand Daughter loved watching Doc McStuffins on the Disney channel and got a Doc McStuffins doctor kit for Christmas. Polly was her willing patient.
She got her shots.
Her blood pressure was checked.
Polly was the perfect dog for a little girl.
When we went to see them for the weekend, we always took Polly with us. She knew when we got to Jacksonville and would start barking at us. Just past Jacksonville was Love's Lookout, a park and rest stop. We always stopped there for a potty break and she loved to go sniff around. One weekend, we decided to go to Tyler to eat with our DD and family before we went home. It was hot weather and we couldn't leave Polly in the truck. They were coming to see us the following weekend, so we left Polly there. She was in a panic all week, they had to keep a very close eye on her so she didn't get away trying to find me. We never did that again.
My Mom had a stroke at 88 years of age. She went from an active and independent lifestyle to unable to do the things she enjoyed. She had to sell her home and move in with us. We did all we could to make her feel loved and needed, but it was Polly that gave Mom something to live for. Mom fell and fractured her pelvis and it was back to rehab for her. The day I got her out of the hospital and settled her in a room in rehab, I went home and got Polly. Polly knew she was needed and jumped in Mom's bed for special hugs.
Polly made it her job to love Mom and keep her engaged. She nuzzled Mom, lifting her arm or hand, saying, "Pet me!" And Mom did, stroking Polly's soft fur over and over. Mom wasn't even a dog person, but she loved Polly.
On 9-23-2014, we closed on a doublewide on 8 acres just 7 miles from our daughter, her husband and our precious grand daughter. Mom was in steady decline and we made the difficult decision to put her in assisted living. I ran back and forth between our old house and new house, working on the new house. I painted, pulled up carpet and vinyl, laying new flooring and getting it ready for us to move. Polly went with me.
On 2-11-2015 we welcomed our second grand daughter's birth. Three days later we were moving. Our son is a crane operator and travels the country, working. His job had ended and he came to help us move. He left the door of the U-Haul open and Polly jumped in. She wouldn't get out. She had a pretty good idea where we were going and she was making sure that we didn't leave her behind.
Polly was a city dog. When the grass was wet with dew or rain, she walked down the sidewalk to the gutter and down the gutter to a suitable spot to potty. Then she would edge over on the grass, do her business and run back to the house. Once inside, she licked her dainty white paws clean, wiping her ears like a cat. How would she take country life? She plunged right in. On 2-23-2015, nine days after moving, it snowed. Polly, Parker, and Trip the puppy, reveled in the snow, playing. She came back to the house, wet, dirty, and happy.
It wasn't long before Grand Daughter #2 was crawling to Polly, yanking wads of fur and pulling up, standing next to the dog with love in her heart and patience for babies.
Whatever we did on our farm, Polly was part of it. We bought sheep, we added pigs and she took it all in stride. She followed the tractor, she watched us build things, she helped in the garden, she was always with us. She chased rabbits, rolled in the dirt, ate chicken poop and June bugs and had a good life.
On September 1, 2016 we were blessed with another Grand Daughter. We moved here because we were missing watching our #1 Grand Daughter grow up and now we have 3 Grand Daughters! Life is good. And yes, Grand Daughter #3 just recently crawled to Polly and pulled up on her.
Polly is woven in the threads of the tapestry of our lives. She slept on the floor next to my side of the bed since I brought her home. She followed me to the bathroom. She followed me from room to room as I did laundry, cooked our meals, cleaned the house, bringing to life the old expression, "Dogging my every footstep."
Grand Daughter #3 pulling up, using Polly to steady herself.
What a good dog.
Yesterday we were gone all morning. When we got home, we let Polly and Parker out and I went to gather eggs. I brought them in the house and went back outside. Polly was laying in the dirt, jerking spasmodically and I knew immediately she was dying. I screamed for my husband and he came running to find me sprawled in the dirt, holding Polly's head and crying. She was gasping for breath, drooling and her eyes were jerking wildly. We didn't know if she would be like this for minutes, hours or days. Not wanting her to suffer, we put her in the back seat, in my lap and DH drive us to the vet to put her down. She died before we got there.
We went home and placed her in a wagon, to pull it to where we were going to bury her. Trip started nuzzling Polly. Parker came up and Trip growledat him. We were not prepared for Trip's behavior. He nose bumped Polly over and over, trying to rouse his friend. He bumped her harder. He pulled her fur with his teeth. He nudged her leg, raising it up. This caused the water works to flow, both of us bawling our eyes out.
I petted Trip trying to help him understand and let Parker come up to say goodbye. We walked away to get shovels and Trip stayed next to Polly.
We pulled the wagon to where we were going to bury Polly and Trip guarded his friend.
Our neighbor Robert came over and finished digging the hole, then covered her up. He loved her too. My husband said a prayer. We went to the house but Trip stayed by Polly's grave a long time.
The intuitiveness of Trip just blew us away. He gave us licks and hugs. He showed a love for Polly that we just weren't expecting. He tried to comfort us in our grief and tears.
Goodbye Polly. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being so patient with our grand babies. Thank you for the love you showed to my Mom when she needed it most. Thank you for the hugs, thank you for the gentle nudges, wanting us to pet you. Thank you for being a damn good dog. We love you and we miss you.