Our fine four-legged friends

By Caroline Jacobson
Northwest Field Representative

In my short tenure with NDFB, I’ve had a chance to explore country that I would have never been able or had reason to explore. In our great state, there exists quite a variety of farms and ranches. From humongous grain farms that have two combines parked in the shed, to the hobby ranch that has three cows in the backyard, I’ve found one common tie. And no, it is not the awesome Farm Bureau members who live there, but rather, their dogs.

After seeing them at 95 percent of the places I’ve visited, I don’t think I’m unique in my love for dogs. I’d be willing to bet many of you own them for this very reason, if not for the various other purposes they serve.

When trained well, they can be a useful tool. Maybe you utilize them to herd your livestock, or maybe you use them to alert you when visitors come in your yard. They might help you flush and retrieve birds in the fall, or just keep you company in the cab on those endless laps around the field. Whatever rationale a person uses to justify their four-legged friend, I think farm dogs are an integral part of any operation.

For some folks, a dog might not be a viable option, and that’s okay too. Personally, though, I feel very fortunate that I’ve had one around my whole life. I can’t imagine coming home and not seeing that tirelessly happy face and wet nose bounding right for me. I even went out to play a quick game of fetch prior to writing this, just for a little extra inspiration. Hopefully some of my corny ramblings rang true for you.

I look forward to meeting many more pups in my travels, and please, give Fido a scratch for me.

#NationalDogDay

I found out today via social media that it is National Dog Day. So of course a post went up on NDFB’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts because dogs are pretty much a  required farm critter! And, even though he isn’t a farm dog, I shared a photo of this guy…

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His name is Riley and he is an 8-year-old Springer Spaniel. He pretty much lives a cushy life. He visits the farm where I grew up from time to time and bugs the cats, but really, he’s just a big food-stealing, attention-demanding furball.

When I turn on the blow dryer to dry my hair in the morning, and he’s at my feet looking expectantly up at me, because ONCE I made the mistake of scratching his ears while the blow dryer was on.

He once boldly stole half a hamburger off the dining room table that my son had just warmed up for lunch. My son had forgotten to bring the ketchup with him so he went back into the kitchen to get it. The reason I say boldly is because the only thing dividing the kitchen from the dining room is a 3 foot tall counter.

For all his foibles, he really is a joy to have around. In a bad mood? His incessant need to be “loved” means if you are sitting on the couch, pouting, he’s going to jump up on the couch, and try sitting on your lap (all 48 pounds of him). It’s enough to make even the grumpiest curmudgeon smile.

In fact, when we were picking out the pup we thought would best fit our family and our lives (and would make a good hunting partner for the hubs) he came up to me. I picked him up and he immediately snuggled his nose in the crook of my neck. Yep. Hook. Line. And sinker. And he’s still got me wrapped around his paw 8 years later!

So, Riley, even though you can’t read this, and don’t really care, happy #NationalDogDay!