chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

Meet our Dogs…

Posted by Jason on November 8, 2008

I pretty much have no way of making an introductory puppy post even half as cute as Kristen has. Check these links for pictures of Scout and Pepper. Yes, we treat our dogs like they’re our children, but not nearly as bad as some people. We refuse to dress our dogs up, we don’t feed them people food, and we DON’T let them sleep in bed with us. 

I absolutely love herding sheep with our pups. Scout isn’t ever going to be the greatest sheepdog that wins all kinds of trials and stuff, but Pepper might. I work with Scout, the hard-headed, independent one–takes one to know one, I guess. Kristen works Pepper. One thing that Scoutie-boy loves is to do chores. It’s almost as if he sees the utility in penning and sorting, as well as the inutility of doing the same AKC course over and over to prepare for a trial. I can’t wait till I have property and stock that have daily needs, and then Scout will really shine as the reliable, salty old farm dog! 

Out on the ranch, it’s pretty clear that dogs are dogs and people are/should be in charge. People scoff at those who coddle their precious “children” too much, and it really shows during trials, when working dogs excel and pets don’t quite perform. Pets who rule the house don’t listen when pressure and excitement is high out in the field…it’s painfully evident out at the ranch sometimes. If you must insist on treating your dog like a child–or even better than a child in some cases–please consider this:

As humans (speaking from limited experience as a human, here) one of the most important things for us to do in our short time on Earth is to discover our own personal purpose in life. You can use rhetoric like “finding God’s plan” or “tapping into your inner-being” or “doing the will of Allah.” It doesn’t really matter. All of us want to find what we were really born to do, and do that. AND we want that for our kids, right?

We humans, over the past couple centuries, have created just about every dog breed for a specific purpose. Very few breeds were meant just for our enjoyment. So, your dog’s purpose in life, God’s plan for it, Allah’s will, it’s inner pooch, is all about working for and serving YOU. The work that you choose to do with your dog should determine the breed of dog that you bring into your life. Does that mean you need to take up hunting once you buy a Golden Retriever pup? No, but if you’re not going to buy a shotgun as an accessory for your bird dog, you need to create a job for your dog that harnesses the traits that we humans have bred into that animal over hundreds of years. Teach it to fetch you a beer or something.

I grew up with a Golden, bless her heart, and she was a great pet. Did we do anything to help her find her doggy purpose in life? Not one bit: we kept her in a decent-sized backyard, fed her, and gave her love every day. That’s about it. It hurts my heart to think of how we failed our beloved Miss T, even though it was out of ignorance and not malice.

To me, it’s one of the most wonderful things to see any animal do what it was born and bred to do. Dogs are no exception. Please find some way to tap into your dog’s inner dog and let him/her work for you. Your life with your dog will be so much more fulfilling for both of you. I promise…take it from our two pound puppies who couldn’t find good homes–Scout lived in a shelter for half of his life, and Pepper was returned several times by different families who didn’t give her anything to do. Now they are herding machines that behave wonderfully in our home as well.

Scout and Me

Scout and Me


A job can be as simple as playing hide-and-seek with your dog, or as intense as buying a ranch with sheep and cattle. Check out dogplay.com for a brief and simple introduction into the activities that can become your dog’s “job,” even if it mostly seems like play! There’s tracking for scent-hounds and retrievers, lure courses for sight-hounds or any dog that chases stuff, herding for herding dogs, and agility(obstacle courses) for any breed.

Give your dog a job!!!


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