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.
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
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. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.