Posts Tagged ‘cattle dogs’

During our recent summer hiatus (more on that later!) we had the fab opportunity to do a story on Punk Cater for AQHA Journal magazine… Punk & his wife Rita live in the Lonestar State and are perhaps best known for training great cutting horses—It must be in the family genes, cause Punk, his dad, John, and his brother, Roy are all in the National Cutting Horse Hall of Fame. Even Punk’s daughter, Cassye, is in the youth HOF!

The family also raises great dogs–one of our fav breeds, the Catahoula Leopard Dog, along with Fila Brasileiros and Black Mouth Curs. As you can imagine, Cooper was all ears to hear that! Punk told us the Fila is from Brazil, and very rare here in the States. All 3 breeds are renown for their bravery and smarts, and are used on the ranch to work cattle. The Carters crossbreed the Fila and the Catahoula for their own breed: the Filahoula! A brand new litter had just arrived when we spoke…

The Carters are a terrific couple, with what you might call an ‘open door’ policy at the ranch—they’re always welcoming young people from around the planet–Australia to Slovenia to South Africa–to learn about horsemanship and life on their Texas ranch. What great ambassadors! We sure enjoyed meeting them–to read their story, check out the AQHA Journal‘s August 2010 issue, and click here to visit their website. Cooper says, “A wag of the tail to the Carters!”

Punk & Rita Carter

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In our household, having a good vet is a necessity like, well, “… like having a frisbee break on a sunny afternoon!” Cooper says…

or, Swirl adds, “… having dandelion chain woven by woodland fairies, magically appear around your neck!”

But having an extraordinary vet, now that is something really special! And Dr. Don Berdan of Cascade Vet Clinic in Wenatchee, Washington, is extraordinary. We feel so fortunate to know him…

This week, the good vet is retiring after 37 years, to head down some new trails with his family and friends–both 2-legged and 4! Even though we’ve been gone from beautiful Central Washington for a couple of years, we’ve still considered Dr. Don our vet, and know how much everyone will miss his kind, kind heart and amazing healing powers.

He kept our Mr Fox healthy and hale throughout his senior years–and going strong and smiling until he was nearly 18!

And he helped Banner stay happy and on the job (working horses, of courses!).

We thank Dr. Don for helping our 4-legged family members live longer, healthier lives! And we wish him joy in his new journey—exciting adventures–and

Happy Trails, ’til we meet again!

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While she tolerated Cooper from an aloof distance, Banner was never certain that they were of the same species. He was, to her, a puff of fluff. She approached life with a white hot intensity and endless energy. Banner was a warrior working dog.

Once, she was invited to visit a noted trainer of herding dogs, a towering old gentleman who squinted his eyes as he looked her over, hand on his chin. Wordlessly, he sent her off across his fields, where she passed pens of increasingly larger animals to herd: ducks, small goats, larger (& beautiful) Nubian goats, sheep…

The Australian Kelpie went quickly, silently, stealthily, as if drawn by an invisible string between her and a huge, stately ram with curling horns. Then she dropped to the ground to ‘hold’ him. The old man shook his head, “Strong!” was all he said.

Banner’s life was herding her horses, rain or shine, and she  did it very very well. When horses worked in the round pen, it was always under her watchful eye.

Banner loved her job, her horses, her people & on occasion, even Cooper. Life was a sun dazzled field of sweet grass filled with horses. Her natural instincts amazed us. Her energy and stamina humbled us. She taught us the meaning of ‘work ethic.’ She shared her joy. For Ban, every day was a great day to be alive!

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Nor does anyone who ever owned a dog need to be told the sound a man makes as he bends over a dog that has been his for many years….  Eric Knight

Ol’ Jack was a working ranch dog, who knew the quiet rhythm and the intricate dance of gathering cows and calves. In the years we were their neighbors, we never saw Les and Lorraine drive by in their truck without Ol’ Jack riding lookout on the front seat between them. Theirs is surely one of the most beautiful and historic ranches on the planet, tucked into a canyon named for the call that quail make, ‘na-ha-hum, na-ha-hum.’

Of course, Ol’ Jack helped Les with other chores, too, like gathering firewood for long winters, cutting and baling hay, or repairing their 100-year-old log cabin.

Sometimes, clever little field mice made chores much more interesting!

Ol’ Jack was always on the job. There was much to do, accompanying Les and Lorraine on their rounds and working the picturesque Eagle Rock Ranch. Whether it was 20-degrees or 120-degrees, Ol’ Jack was tireless. We’re proud that such a noble dog was our friend.

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