Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Farm Dog

The Farm Dog

Those who own dogs or are owned by dogs (ha) as pets "only" often have a hard time understanding the role of the farm dog.

Farmers are sometimes accused of not caring properly for our farm dogs because they aren't indoors or inside traditional dog type fences.

While I disagree, I understand that many pets owners do not understand the difference in a working dog role and a pet role.

Dogs can be neglected if living inside or living outside. Where they live is NOT the determining factor.

My farm dogs work. They generally work outside in summer and winter.

I respect them. I love them. They serve a purpose and receive a wage, too.

Our two farm dogs patrol our home yard and barn yard all night. We have never lost a goat or a calf to a predator, and we have only rarely missed a chicken. We know the moment anyone considers coming up our drive.

I respect these dogs.

They work and serve a great purpose here for us. In return, they get all the food they wish, health care, pats, scratches, love, several porches and a barn to rest in.

Yes, sometimes they barge in and jump on the couch, but they work, and they always want back out to protect their entire home when the sun goes down.

Sure, if you show up - they may jump on you as muddy messes and be carrying a deer leg they found in the woods. . .and that idea may make you cringe, but I assure you. . .they are quite happy.

Yes, their purpose is more defined than the lazy dogs that live inside all day and all night with climate control. I have those, too.

But you know what, they seem to take great pride in their labor. They take it very seriously.

And I take it seriously, as well. Do not limit them by assuming they can only be companions. Do not limit my affection because I allow them to fill a needed role. My farm dogs can do so much more than live as lap dogs. They protect my horses, chickens, goats and home. Their job is honorable and so needed.

And I remember that:

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" John 15:13

We know these dogs take their job to that extent across the county.

For me, those who wish their purpose was smaller, more sheltered devalue their true worth.

They are honorable working dogs.

I am reminded of it now as Maggie is in a precarious place after defending this place against a predator.

My little Rescue girl. . . a farm dog. . .not a lap dog, not a leisurely couch pup. . .she is an honorable working dog.




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LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington