What Does a Farm Dog Do All Day?

Farm dogs are always on duty. At least, our farm dog thinks she is.

One day, after a layer of new snow, I looked out the window over the backyard. This panorama (click to make it larger) shows the enthusiasm our loyal puppy has for protecting her family against…well, I’m not sure what.

Below is my best guess on the thoughts of our sweet, but non-useful dog as she patrolled the backyard.

That is an interesting smell.
So is that.
What is over there?
Or rabbit. I’ll chase it anyway.
What is over here?
Have I smelled that yet?
Hmm, I think it smells different over there.
No, it does not, but I better check all these spots again.
Oh look! What is over there?
Is that a squirrel?
Did I forget to smell one of these?
I wonder if the humans put some new dog food out yet.
Is there a squirrel over there?
I better check.
It might be hiding behind this.
Oooh, what is over there? ….


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at http://aldersonangus.wordpress.com.
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2 Responses to What Does a Farm Dog Do All Day?

  1. redvalley says:

    I loved this photo, Jill. One of my favorite things to do after a fresh snowfall is to observe the animal tracks that are left. We don’t have a dog to keep the wildlife at bay, so the tracks are a wild combination of different sizes, shapes, and distance between steps (or hops, in the case of rabbits…and we are overrun by by the bunnies!).

    • jheem says:

      You are so observant and a person that obviously enjoys the world around her. I do like going out to our trees and seeing which critters are around and how many. This past year, we finally saw pheasants again after a few years of them being gone. Of course, we have plenty of those rabbits too.

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