RIP Bobbie Sue. You were a good Farm Dog.

Bobbie Sue, chicken guardian dog
Bobbie Sue 2005 – 2018. Loyal Farm Hand, Driveway Escort, Chicken Guardian.

Bobbie Sue was a dog we got as a pound puppy from a shelter in Harrison, Arkansas during our first year here at Wild Ozark. She had probably been abused or severely neglected before she went to the rescue. She wouldn’t come out of her crate for days when we brought her home.

When she did come out, she was very shy and didn’t want to interact much with her new family but she warmed up to us soon enough. While she was still a puppy I wanted her to learn how to guard our chickens to keep them safe from predators. She wasn’t very good at that at first.

She killed a few of them, chased them around with much zeal and fervor. In the meantime, she foraged for grub worms and preferred that to dog food. In time she learned that killing the chickens wasn’t the goal.

In the thirteen years she’s been with us, she’s been an excellent chicken guardian and companion to our other dogs and us. But her favorite role was “driveway escort”.

I didn’t know when I first got her that there are two kinds of cow dogs. I knew she was a cow dog of some sort, most likely Australian Shepherd mixed with something else, maybe Catahoula. When working with the horses, she always got right up in front of them, yapping and taunting them, and she had a propensity for “leading” cars up and down the driveway.

I found out soon enough that there are “header” dogs as well as “healers”. She was a header.

She was a good farm dog and I’m glad she’s no longer suffering. These last weeks have been hard on her.


About Wild Ozark
Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Mostly we grow rocks. I use those rocks and some of the herbs to make earth pigments and watercolor paints. We also grow native clay that I use for making my Fairy Swing Mushrooms. And then there are the trees. We grow lots of trees. My husband uses some for his woodworking and some for our Burnt Kettle Shagbark Hickory Syrup, but for the most part they stand around creating good air, shade, & habitat for the ginseng nursery.
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About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. You can find my art on display and for sale at the Kingston Square Arts shop in Kingston, Arkansas. It's a tiny little town and a bit off the path to anywhere at all, but a wonderful ride out to a most beautiful part of our state. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making arts & crafty things, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

2 thoughts on “RIP Bobbie Sue. You were a good Farm Dog.

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  1. It’s hard to lose a companion. My grandparents always had a dog on the farm, but a working dog is very different from just a pet. They valued and cared about the various dogs, but the dog didn’t come into the yard and wasn’t fed special food, but leftovers from dinner. Nothing of the pampered pet dogs on a farm. The contrast is always interesting to me. I think the farm dog has a good life because it has a purpose and something to do, which many pets don’t, especially those whose owners don’t train them or give them something to do by working with the dogs. Just my two cents and observations, though. 🙂

    janet

    1. Our dogs are a kind of combination pet and farm dog, but mostly farm dogs. I give them treats and pet them and love them immensely, but they’re definitely not pampered except for having hay put in their houses and getting leftovers. Out here, dogs without purpose seem to get into a lot of trouble, so that’s always something to keep in mind when choosing the breed to take home. Labs would never work because they just can’t be trained not to chase chickens. Had a similar problem with a dachshund once, too.