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Field Stories

Every Dog Has A Story

Published on Monday, May 19, 2014

Every dog has a story. The majority of the farms I visit seem to have a farm dog. It seems like these dogs are usually a mixed breed. The more I think about it, I very rarely see a purebred version of man’s best friend. From my own experience, the more mixed the dog, the more brains God put in his head.

I imagine that the farm dog becomes like a fish over time. Fish keep growing larger and larger, and farm dogs keep getting smarter and smarter.

Our farm dog, Jake, came to us when he was eight weeks old. My three kids were young enough that to them, Jake had always been there. He was part of the family.


Jake was a mixed breed and the smartest dog I’d ever been around. We have three houses on the farm. To the kids and Jake, one house was home, the other was called Grandma’s and the third was just called the farm. There was about 1.5 miles from home to Grandma’s and the farm sat in between.

I remember how the kids would look at Jake and say, “Jake! Grandpa called. He wants to see you. GO TO THE FARM!” Upon hearing the phrase, “go to the farm”, Jake would take off! He knew where he was going.

He also loved to ride in the farm truck, in the combine, the tractor, and the car. Jake knew when he went to the farm, he and Grandpa were going to do something fun! The kids would say, “Jake! You want to go to Grandma’s?” Jake would start jumping, all fours off the ground, waiting for the command. “Go to Grandma’s!” Jake would take off. The kids would call the grandparents to tell them to watch for Jake. He would be there soon.

Jake lived to be 14 years old. The day he died was rough. There are many stories about Jake that I’ll never forget.

From my travels, there is one farm dog in particular, I’ll never forget. One day I pulled onto a dairy farm. I saw a massive German Shepherd mix. All I know was, he was big and mean and barking at me while he tugged on the log chain he was attached to. I was so busy worrying about that dog breaking the chain and eating me that when the farmer’s wife came to the door, it was too late to see the little “yip-yip” dog that weighed about 2 pounds.

All of a sudden, that little thing quickly ran around behind me, jumped and bit me in the hamstring! And the darn thing held on, breaking through the skin! He was just hanging there…ATTACHED! The farmer’s wife was yelling, “Kick him Ryan! Kick him!”

I couldn’t kick him! He was behind me.

She finally was able to detach him from my leg and I proceeded to calmly ask if her husband was around. That’s just another day in the life of a seed salesman ya’ see. I always have to look at it as every dog has a story. And that day…I think his story involved waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Dogs and the farm just seem to go together. Each time I pull into the next farm, I bend down to pet “the farm dog” and I wonder…what’s your story?

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Ryan McAllister
Ryan McAllister>

Ryan McAllister

Practical Farm Research Director at Beck's.

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Full biography

Practical Farm Research Director at Beck's.


1 comments on article "Field Stories"


7/24/2014 4:08 PM

Oh come on over copper don't bite ha ha

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