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2008 Farm Dog Awards

by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-11-12 18:48

Harvest is finished and the dogs deserve recognition for their achievements.

date: 2008-11-12 (3266 days ago)

dogs: Dexter, Dobky, GP, Huntley, Sarge/Bob/Calder, T-bone/Tiburon/Tibby

Harvest is a month of waking early, driving to the farm, hauling loads of grain all day, and returning late at night. It takes a lot out of the people involved but it's also a challenge for the dogs who accompany us. The dogs get many opportunities to travel in various vehicles, run off-lead, and meet other people and dogs while investigating endless new smells. The dogs are also expected to be able to go from full-out running in the field or pulling a scooter on the road between fields to relaxing in a truck without disturbing the driver. The demands expose strengths and weaknesses of each dog.

All of the dogs have been a joy at the farm this year. Their presence is a complication but it also reduces the stress of harvest. They truly "pay their way" as it's farm income that pays for the care of the dogs. Here is a small recognition of some of these wonderful farm dogs.

Most Improved: Dexter p1020871 Dexter had a rough time at the farm at first. He broke a nail getting into the semi, he would pull like crazy on lead in the fields, he wouldn't get in or out of any of the vehicles without force... By the end of harvest I frequently let Dex run off-lead, he was leaping into and out of the Jeep and trucks, and he was a delightful companion. It's been very satisfying to see him go from being frustrated to being happy and confident in this environment.
Most Enthusiastic: Bob p1020833 Bob and Morgan jumped out of an open window in the semi to catch a rabbit. I was in the combine when Kitty called to tell me and by the time I ran back to them they were playing "tug" with the rabbit. (No, I didn't get a photo of it.) Bob managed to break two of his toes in the process and is wearing a splint for a few weeks.
Best Truck Imitator: GP p1040342 GP looks a lot like the semi: white with some black spots, burly and stout. He was a wonderful companion inside it also. I enjoyed having GP nuzzle alongside of me while we waited for loads.
Most Poised: T-bone p1040373 T-bone literally came straight from the shelter to the farm and he was always alert yet relaxed there. He did well on- and off-lead, out in the fields and inside the trucks.
Mr. Congeniality: Huntley p1020859 Like T-bone, Huntley came to the farm straight from the shelter. Huntley, however, immediately joined six of our house dogs for the ride home. Although he did not return to the farm, he showed a remarkable ability to get along well with others there.
Mr. Farm Dog 2008: Dobky p1020825 Dobky was quite a surprise on the farm. He has been so timid at the house but he blossomed at the farm. He fit right in with the other dogs in the semi but he was also happy to accompany me in the other trucks on his own. He always settled right into his seat and never complained, often snuggling his head against my thigh without being the slightest bit disturbed when I'd poke him while shifting. I quickly dispensed with using a lead for Dobky both at the farm and at the grain elevators; although he became more adventurous he would always stay nearby and return to me. Dobky has been extremely timid about getting into and especially out of vehicles since I got him but he now jumps in and out of the grain trucks with minor trepidation. If I notice that he's unsure I just place my hand lightly on his head and he immediately relaxes and moves confidently.

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