Reflections on Loss of a Beloved Farm Dog

Reader Contribution by Mary Powell and Barnyard Weed Warriors
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Allie by Elaine O’Brien

September 4, 2019 will be a day I dread from now on.  That was the day I took my beloved Miss Allie, to the vet for the last time.  My Mom’s dog, Happy also took that last ride to the vet that day as well.  Both old girls were arthritic and were having more health issues that couldn’t be medicated, so the decision was made and I took them to get their ‘vaccinations’.  I was with both as they breathed their last, speaking to them, telling them I loved them and that they were good girls.

I got Miss Allie as a freebee, three days after her second birthday.  A friend gave her to me, papers and all.  This dog taught me how to command her by doing things that got me to respond to how she wanted me to tell her what to do.  and was so in tuned to me that sometimes I thought she could read my mind.

Allie at 4 weeks

Allie with Joy and Jinx

Miss Allie had two litters of pups, after I was pestered to get her bred.  She had ten pups and I kept one from each litter, Jinx is 8 and Joy is 6.  Joy has had two litters of puppies and Miss Allie spent her last months correcting the pups if they got too close to her or bumped her.  Fly loved to tease Allie, which always made me laugh.  Allie knew that pup was sassing her and in a way, enjoyed the ‘lip’.  Tucker was more scared of the old dog and kept his distance but he has a lot of Allie’s ways in him, that quiet demeanor, wise eyes and an old soul.  I look at these young dogs and see a family that has so much of the old dog in them that every time I look at them, I will grin, remembering the old girl.

All dogs are special in their own way.  Miss Allie was a clown, giving silly smiles to beg for food.  She was a quiet worker that was serious about making livestock go where they were supposed to go.  She will greatly missed.

The following is a poem I wrote over a year ago, about my Border Collies, so Tucker wasn’t even born then, but he might get a verse added on to the poem, later.

Border Collies

By Mary Powell

Get around them I said and she flew out of sight;

A black and white streak that ran into the night.

The goats had escaped and all scattered,

But with Jinx in control, she’d catch them no matter. 

Speed like the lightning, skill beyond measure

I smiled with pride at my wonderful treasure.

She stopped their escape and gathered them in,

Sat beside me, looked up and grinned.

No greater value, no better friend.

 

I can’t brag enough about my border collies,

They are worth more than gold and all the world’s coffee.

They constantly await my command or a pet,

Are they my life?  That you can bet!

 

Jinx’s sister is Joy, another true treasure,

She works much slower but it getting much better.

Jinx uses speed and pressure to herd,

Joy uses her eyes and barks not a word.

Together they gather the herd back home

And together they help me wherever we roam.

The old dog sits back and watches it all,

Miss Allie the dog who started it all.

This old girl her days are short but her memories and love will forever fill my heart.

 

The puppy that follows Joy and Jinx,

She’s the next generation and knows how to wink!

Fly is her name,

She has a great future!

Her daddy is a champion and he is a good teacher!

 

What would I do without my Border Collies?

I’d dread to think of that by golly!


Mary Powell is a goat rental business owner and agricultural educator with more than 27 years’ experience working on ranches, farms and feedyards. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Kansas State University with an emphasis in Livestock Production Management. Follow Mary and her many misadventures with the goats on Facebook at Barnyard Weed Warriors and Ash Grove Goat Ranch or on her  website.  If you have questions for her about her goats or Border Collies, email Mary at barnyardweedwarriors@yahoo.com.

FARM DOGS

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