Monday, March 14, 2016

A Dog is Man's Best Friend?

This post is inspired by a prompt from Reflections of a Mother's Heart
The prompt was ""What was the name of your favorite pet? Why was it your favorite?"

I'm not what you would call a pet lover. Folks have always thought this odd since I grew up on a farm. The thing is, you are just more likely to find me sitting in the free stall barn with a cow than rolling in the grass with the dog. I didn't mind them being around, but they needed to serve more of a purpose than just being there. The funny thing is .. dogs and cats seem to love me. Whenever I go where there are pets, the animal is all over me. What's with that? Maybe, they are just trying to be my friend.

We did have lots of cats and dogs around the farm. At one time we counted 17 cats. But most of them were too wild to get near, but they certainly did their job well. That is ... pest control!

As for dogs, for some reason people thought our farm was a good place to drop off their unwanted puppies. Cosmo and Henry were two of these. Cosmo was a small wiener type dog. He had a scar on his side where apparently he had been hit by a car. We had to take care not to touch the area because it still caused him pain. He was nice to have around, but I really don't remember much else about him.

Most of the dogs that came to the farm attached themselves to my brother, Alex. He was truly the one the dogs loved. There was  a German Shepherd we named Henry. He was Alex's protector. I don't think he ever left Alex's side. No one could mess with Alex without Henry coming to his defense. Once Dad was disciplining Alex and Henry would have nothing of that. He began to growl at Dad to the point that Dad had to stop.

My sister, Kandy and brother, Alex
 with "Bonnie" who followed Jack.

We had to leave Henry behind when we moved to Wisconsin, but we decided that we did need to have a dog for handling the cattle so we purchased a pup, a border collie.  Again, Jack became a permanent appendage for Alex. I recall a time that Alex and I were chasing one another around the barn. .. Just in fun. Jack was running along with us. Alex ran through the milk house door and I followed. As I went through the door, I fell straight to the floor. 

Thinking my foot got caught in the door, I turned to find Jack  holding my leg! He was protecting Alex from me! Fortunately, it was winter and I was dressed in a snow suit. Jack's teeth only went through the fabric but not my skin. If I recall, the same thing happened to our sister, Marcy ... only it was summer time. I think that ended with a tetanus shot and a few stitches.

As I mentioned, I really had no use for the dogs until one rainy day when I had to go down to the pasture and bring the cattle up for milking. I called Jack and we headed down to the pasture. 

Before long, Jack disappeared and I was fit to be tied. This proved that having the dog around was of no use. I was grumbling to myself as I walked down the path until I looked up and here came the cows. Jack had run ahead and brought the cattle up and I was saved many steps. This gave me a great appreciation for the dog. He indeed proved his usefulness that day.

"Best Friends"
My youngest brother, LeAdam with Bonnie
Jack with with us for many years. After he left, we got a new pup, Bonnie. She was around mostly during my college years, so I didn't know her too well. There are many more stories about the Dawson dogs floating around. Maybe my siblings will share some in the comments below [Hint Hint].

 Now-a-days, I'm still not wild about having a pet dog, but in all truthfulness, I think I have a spot in my heart for them. I certainly appreciate that pets serve their purpose for many people. I have friends that would be so lost without their pets and I know that their pets are a true blessing to them. 

I've always enjoyed this poem by Jimmy Stewart about his dog named Beau.



  1. Mandy, I had never heard that poem by Jimmy Stewart. Thanks for sharing. I loved it! You had quite a time with dogs, didn't you? I had a puppy once who stuck by me. He would growl at my brothers if they even pretended they were going to hurt me. :) I enjoyed your post very much. :) Blessings!

  2. Hey Mandy, We had a family dog named Frisky who woke me one night in the middle of the night to let me know my oldest son was having a hard time breathing (asthma attack). She was the boys protector,friend and confidant. She even called me Moma. I sure miss her even though I have several dogs now. Frisky was a pound rescue mutt but most of all she was a member of our family for 16 years. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  3. I had a family dog named Banjo. We were not raised on a farm though. I love your pictures and stories of farm life. :)

  4. I had a few pet dogs growing up, but the most awesome one our family ever had was the German Shepherd we got when our girls were 11 and 12. Clancy would walk them the 1/2 mile to school, turn around and run home and jump into her pen! She was the most awesome pet ever!

  5. This made me smile. We didn't have dogs at home, but we did have dogs on the farm. This summer my aunt and uncle got a new puppy. Kotee has been quite the dog to watch.


Loving reading your comments.