Faithful FriendsPosted Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 6:20 PM
One of our most faithful friends are dogs and our family had quite a few memorable ones growing up.
The first big dog that I can remember was Mike. He was an Husky-Chow mix. Mike was a protector and my sister's best friend. We never worried about snakes when he was around. It only took one panicked call from a kid and he would come running. After several moments of barking and circling, he would grab the snake and toss it into the air. This was his special treat to himself, tossing a snake into the air. However, on one particular occasion, he got a little too enthusiastic and the snake landed on his back.
The next dog that was so memorable was Runt. He was so tiny that he fit into the palm of your hand. Our neighbors had 20 plus dogs that summer and he was the smallest of a litter. Runt was so tiny, that when you gave him a bowl of milk to drink, he would be drinking and peeing at the same time. He grew up to be a wonderful cow dog with his own special style of herding by grabbing a cow's tail and holding on. A cow would end up dragging him for for a small distance before he would finally let go.
My special friend growing up was Mitzi, she was a yappy little Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix. Mitzi rode horses, went camping and cornered rabbits. Her favorite thing to do was go with my mom when she went irrigating. She would get so excited that she would jump high into the air and make a fast run up the hill and back. My sister and I shared a bed with Mitzi and she hogged all of the covers. One time, Mitzi jumped into a box of puppies and wouldn't let the mama back in. Mitzi lived a long life and died at the age of 16.
We are dire need of those faithful friends. Instead, we see junkyard dogs that have not been fed by their owners. They are pulling at their chains and wreaking havoc to any passerby who happens to come into range.
The scariest dogs are the dogs who run in packs. Their mentality is to hunt, maim or kill. No peaceable solution is available to stem the numbers of these packs.
Every day, we see evidence of that pack mentality. People turn on each other even if they had been your friend an hour before. They sense the slowest and weakest and attack without reservation.
It is our stewardship to be a responsible owner to a dog. They should not be beaten, baited or starved. In addition, we are responsible for the safety of our families and we must stem the tide of dog packs that are roaming the countryside threatening our loved ones and livestock.
In this country, we are in dire need of a Guardian like our Mike and a cow dog with a sense of Responsibility like Runt. And the icing on the cake would be a dog like Mitzi who loved life and lived it to the fullest.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.