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Posts Tagged ‘working dogs’

Kudos are in order: our friend Shari and her superstar Australian Kelpie Ozzie won “High scoring started dog” and “High Scoring Combined Other Breed” at the Australian Shepherd Club herding trial in Arlington, Washington last weekend! Shari tells us, “Ozzie was a Champion this weekend in Herding and handled & penned the most skittish sheep I’ve ever seen!” The great Ozzie is already an agility champion, and herding is just her latest challenge—“We’re hooked!” Shari adds.

Shari & her husband William also owned the unforgettable Australian Kelpie Nick Nick, one of our all-time favorite canines, and a champion both in the arena and in our hearts.

Here’s a photo of Ozzie when she was just starting her herding career — nothing quite like that Kelpie intensity!

Congrats, Ozzie & Shari!!!!!!!     xoxoxoxo  Cooper & Swirl

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With word that a late winter snow was forecast, we went to our local co-op feed store to stock up on critter supplies, and much to our delight the manager Jeffrey had his #1 helper at work–his fabulous Golden Retriever, Scooter. That dog takes his job seriously, meeting & greeting with boundless goodwill and a dazzling smile.

Scooter didn’t even object when we asked if he’d pose on a bale of hay (we’ll take a ton, Mr. Salesman Scoot, you’ve sold us!)… even tho that domain in usually reserved for the barn cat.

Scooter joined Jeff over 4 years ago, when he was just a wee pup, and co-op customers have watched as the lanky Golden Boy has grown up and up and up (“He’s a tall glass of water!” Cooper says). When Jeff’s at his computer, Scooter takes a well-deserved break in the their office.

Our friend Scooter epitomizes all that is good & great about Golden Retrievers… their loyalty to family, the enthusiasm they shower on their friends (BTW which is everyone!), and their kind & generous natures. Swirl wasn’t with us at the co-op, but if she had been, we could imagine a conversation between our pert Miss and that dashing Scooter, much like the one between Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in the classic movie, Charade:

Swirl: “Do you know what’s wrong with you, Scooter?”

Scooter, suavely: “No, what?!”

Swirl, demurely: “Absolutely nothing.”

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We were so amazed by Wayne’s pix of his Rottweiler Merlin herding sheep, that we had to share his you tube video of Merlin in his first experience herding lambs. Wayne tells us that they’re a bit more ‘squirrelly’ than older sheep, but young Merlin handles them like a pro. Note the way he circled back to round-up a straggler!

Cooper says, “Good Boy! Really Good Boy!”

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Recently, we had the good fortune to meet horseman and American Quarter Horse Association show judge, Bill Enk & his wife, Colleen, who have a passion for Vizsla dogs. Bill told us that the breed originated in Hungary, where they are valued sporting dogs and family companions. They’re smart, sensitive and extremely loyal.

Bill also appreciates that Vizslas don’t chase horses, which is a necessity on a ranch. “But,” he adds, “they’re fearless and really bond with their people.” And–Cooper reminds us– “…he says they’re sometimes called ‘Velcro dogs’ cause they stick with you! Good Dogs, those Vizslas!” Bill and Colleen are pictured here with Mabel, the fourth Vizsla to join their family.

Bill’s one busy cowboy, serving on AQHA’s judges committee and working as director of judges for the National Reined Cowhorse Association, as well as judging for  several other associations, including the NRHA, NSBA and  and NCHA. He’s spent his life working in the horse business–something he really loves–and his integrity and passion for horses inspire us, too.

To read more about Bill, check out the Quarter Chat feature in November’s issue of the AQHA Journal –that’s one great mag!

Thanks to Janet E. Rossi Photography for the great pix!

(She’s on Facebook at janet.rossi)

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Nearly 100 years ago, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and Brit Robert Falcon Scott raced to the South Pole, with much of their burden shouldered by brave sledge dogs. Thanks to U.S. Air Force Col. Ronald J. Smith, the former commander of Operation Deep Freeze which supports Antarctic research, names of those heroic dogs–like Helge and Urroa–will mark points on the aeronautical charts used every day by pilots navigating between New Zealand and Antarctica. The Colonel wanted recognition of the important canine role (& in most cases, their ultimate sacrifice) in exploration of the most southern continent.

Cooper says, “Thanks, Colonel Smith! Those great dogs gave their all.”

Check out an entire article on this honor, from the Sept. 28, 2010 New York Times.

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Yesterday, when we mentioned the Catahoula Leopard Dogs that Punk and Rita Carter raise, some of our friends told us that they weren’t familiar with the breed. We are, because of one very special girl…

We first met her when she was barely more than a pup, living at a remote mountain lodge near Leavenworth, Washington. She immediately became a member of our family. Originally called Mud Puddles because her coloration looked like, well, a muddy puddle, the owners of the lodge had renamed her Miss Maud Puddles… “Far more suitable for such a lovely girl!” Cooper says.

In winter’s snow and summer’s heat, she showed us the way on mountain trails. Maudi was the best, the bravest, the kindest, the strongest… words fail to adequately describe all that she was, and all that she meant to us.

Maudi was our Catahoula Leopard Dog, supreme.

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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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