Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lucky Buddy Bear, Ace Cattle Dog

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (1) - FarmgirlFare.com

It's hard to believe that our beloved Lucky Buddy Bear turned eleven years old this month. He's been suffering from some age-related hormone issues (aren't we all?) that we're still trying to get figured out, and he is slowly losing his eyesight, but for the most part he's doing well. The vet couldn't believe how good his teeth looked.

Bear is half English Shepherd and half Australian Shepherd, which are both excellent stock dog breeds. When Bear was still a little cub, we bought a book called something like How To Train Your Stock Dog Even if He's Smarter than You Are. After reading the first couple of chapters we gave the book to Bear.

It has been so amazing to see the natural instincts our different farm dogs possess. Bear simply knows what to do, just like Daisy and Marta, our two livestock guardian dogs, know to protect their flock. Two different types of dogs, two completely different jobs. And then of course there's Beagle Bert. Nobody had to teach him to head off after a rabbit.

Even though Bear has never been formally trained as a stock dog, he does remarkably well. He helps with everything from rounding up chickens and herding sheep to keeping the donkeys (and sheep) from attacking you when you're holding the treat bucket. He's also an excellent guard dog, often staying up all night warning off coyotes and monsters.

He's far from perfect (probably because we never trained him), and there have been plenty of times over the years when he's done exactly the opposite of what we wanted him to, but he's always been more of a help than a hindrance. And what a big personality. I can't imagine the last eleven years without him.

Despite having no experience with cows except for being around the freezer steers we raise two at a time every few years, Bear was in top form recently when a hungry mama and three bad little calves escaped from the neighbor's pasture into our (obviously much tastier) hayfield.

15 more photos below. . .

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (2) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (3) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (4) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (5) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (6) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (7) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (8) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (9) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (10) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (11) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (12) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (13) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (14) - FarmgirlFare.com

Lucky Buddy Bear, ace cattle dog (15) - FarmgirlFare.com


Lucky Buddy Bear (I couldn't decide which name to pick so I just gave him all three) has a great life here on the farm. He smiles more than any dog I've ever known, and he loves to work. But sometimes you can tell he's a little bored. He really loves his sheep (especially the lambs), but I think he secretly wishes we had about 5,000 head of cattle.

Bert, on the other hand, has decided he's going to stick with tracking rabbits.

Want a look back at Bear? He's been a big part of this blog!

© FarmgirlFare.com, the fearless foodie farm blog where these photos aren't that great because it was dusk and they were taken while I was driving (and then I accidentally changed the image size setting on the camera partway through the series), but to me they are priceless, especially since I swear Bear posed for a couple of the action shots.

13 comments:

  1. Lucky Buddy Bear is one cute guy...as well as being an ace cattle dog! Bert did a good job of just being in the photos!

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  2. BEEEAR!! Oh man, do I ever love this dog. From afar, alas. I could certainly have used his help over the years with our own recalcitrant sheep.

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  3. Lucky Buddy Bear (so *that's* how he got his name) has the best smile EVER. I love him. Then there's the rolling around in the grass~ that's what gets me smiling. Love all your farmily!

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  4. Our animal companions need better food when they are elderly. I knew my 16 year old cat would not see another year unless I found a non commercial diet for him. You might check out the website of holistic veternarian Dr. Lisa Pierson.

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  5. Precious, precious, precious. Glad he's doing well and hope you can get the hormone thing figured out. They certainly do steal our hearts, don't they? Beautiful friend!

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  6. Good dog, Lucky Buddy Bear, good dog!! Love the pictures of him rolling in the grass and smiling, such a happy dog! :)

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  7. Such a good boy! Thanks for making my cooold Friday a little warmer, Susan and LBB! (And Bert!)

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  8. I've mentioned a couple of times how Lucky Buddy Bear reminds me strongly of my own Saedy Bear. We did finally lose her a little over a year ago at the venerable age of 14 (not bad for a 70 lb dog, but I wish it could have been longer). She, too, had some vision problems as she aged; we don't know why, but the lenses in her eyes just...slipped out of place (luxation, I think they called it).

    It meant that she had some vision, but it was blurry, and was really sensitive to light changes. That was, in fact, our first clue that something was wrong: she would leave the porch as if to play, but stop when she got into the light, and back up until she was in the dark again. We got her some Doggles so she could still go outside and play.

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  9. Such a good dog bear, that guy - scaring off the monsters and such. It's such a fine pleasure to watch a dog perform his job so naturally and automatically - stock dog or otherwise.

    Though it would appear that Jada is more of a generalized predator with no built in specificity since girlfriend will just chase down and destroy whatever four legged thing moves ever so slightly.

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  10. Belated Happy Birthday to Lucky Buddy Bear. I always enjoy seeing his "smile"- he makes me smile.

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  11. Aaaaww! He does have a beautiful smile! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  12. He's so helpful and handsome! I love seeing him in your blog posts. Nice to learn how he got his triple name. Happy Birthday Lucky Buddy Bear!

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  13. What a handsome fella! We could have used Lucky Buddy Bear's talents here in our suburban New England neighborhood, where we had a fugitive 700 lb black heifer that was on the lam for 9 months, living in a small wooded swamp/salt marsh half a mile from our house. It managed to hook up with a troupe of deer, sleeping by day and traveling by night, and eluded the authorities all that time despite reports of a large black cow crossing the street! Eventually a local animal rescue group was able to bait and capture the heifer and he is retired on a local farm, so the story has a happy ending. Still, if you saw the size of the area he was hiding out in, surrounded by houses and a busy beach area, you would be astonished!

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