Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Tail of Two Old Dogs

This is a story about two very different dogs. One started at a rural animal shelter and then to our farm. The other at a city shelter in Iowa, to an apartment in Wisconsin, to the sub-burbs of Illinois and finally to our farm in Wisconsin.

Misty, whom I refer to as "the super farm dog" has been grandpa's faithful farming companion for over 10 years now. She is a Border Collie mutt and loves nothing more than working! She is in her golden years now and has very few teeth, but that does not stop her from following every pass of the tractor or attacking every dirty rotten raccoon that comes lurching out from under the corn auger. Actually, the cause of her toothlessness is countless bouts with the aforementioned horrible little bandits. She's not much of a lover, but if a cow gets out her tail goes to wagging at the idea of getting to herd her. Misty is so geared to protect the farm that even on the most bitterly cold night she will not go into the garage to sleep. She must have a fear of missing some nigh time intruder from her front porch vantage. It's even hard to get a photograph of her because she must think us frivolous, up to something or maybe she just does not like that kind of attention.

Above are recent photo's of each dog doing what they do best.

Oliver on the other hand is really a pretty terrible farm dog. There's just no other way to put it. He somehow manages to scare the cows out of their pasture and causes steers to break fences just trying to get away from him. He tries to bark our kittens to death...those furry little monsters. He uses the same kitten tactic on raccoons. He must believe that the louder and longer he barks the "intruder" will somehow be deterred. Misty just stares at Oliver and we imagine her thinking something like..."what a stupid city dog." We thought Oliver would learn the ways of the farm dog once we moved, but he still has the idea that large trucks are to be chased and that tractors are the enemy. We have finally come to the conclusion that Oliver is a better indoor companion, footrest, friend for the girls to dress up than a farm dog...we'll leave that to Misty.

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