My Dog Cisco: A Day In The Life Of A Retired Farming Dog
Yes, you read that right. I'm a farming dog, not a farmer's dog. Well I suppose technically I'm both. Or rather I was. I'm an old lady now and despite my desire to continue helping with the field work and chasing off the wild critters my people insist I just live a life of leisure these days.
I know lots of farm dogs but none so special as me. After all, while many get to ride around in pickups and such, I actually rode in tractors and combines helping my human do actual farming. My human quit farming awhile back but still does some hay acres yet. Now that I'm retired (because my hips can't take it anymore) I spend much of my time just napping in sunny spots until I get to go out for walks and chores. Though I do still go with my human when he checks the hay to decide if it's ready for baling. We check it by eating a little. Yup both of us. And that is why I'm a farmer dog and special.
How Cisco Came To Be In Our Lives
Cisco was abandoned on the side of the road as a puppy with her littermates. The vet guessed she was born at the start of the new year which makes her a millennium puppy. She is a Golden Retriever/Collie cross. She looks like a Golden when next to one, but then put her next to a collie and you can see that influence as well. Since I had just opened a new business when we adopted her, Mike spent a great deal of time with her and took her everywhere including in the farm machinery.
Cisco really loved farming. Whenever Mike would come in for lunch or take a break, she'd run around a bit outside to do her business and then climb back in and sit it the seat until Mike returned. Now that she's older she no longer gets to go along. Whenever he gets out the tractor for hay or to remove snow in the winter, she stares longing out after him. She's too big too carry up into the cabin and her hips won't let her climb in without help. So it's best she not. But still a little heartbreaking.
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
A Little About One Of Cisco's Humans
Mona Majorowicz of WIld Faces Gallery
My name is Mona Majorowicz I am a professional artist who has been making my living selling my work for some time now. I am an animal artist, (meaning I paint critters) who works primarily in Oil Pastel or Water Soluble Pencil.
I own and operate Wild Faces Gallery with my husband Mike in a small rural town in Iowa. There we sell my original artwork and prints, as well as do quality custom framing and offer Giclee printing for other artists as well as for ourselves. I have over 20 years experience in the art and framing industry, both as a business owner and as a working artist.
I write a regular column for Apples 'N Oats (an equestrian magazine) about painting horses. If you would like to see real life photos of Catch, or want to follow the painting's progress (with full story) from start to finish please visit my blog, Fur In The Paint
Animals are my passion and art is how I chose to express it.
Cisco In Her Prime
How Cisco Came Into Our Lives.
She Found Us.
Mike and I were returning from somewhere and heading back to the farm. We noticed an incredibly fuzzy puppy in the ditch about 1/4 mile from home. Our neighbor had just lost her dog from old age and we thought perhaps someone had gotten her a new puppy which had wandered off. So we stopped there first and no it wasn't her pup. As we were pulling out of her driveway pondering what to do about the little waif, the puppy had followed us and was sitting in the middle of her lane, staring at us. So I got out and picked her up. She was incredible heavy.
We took her home and fed her. Our dog Brutus was an old man and not at all fond of this new little scrappy thing. Cisco emulated everything Brutus did. If he picked up a stick and carried it around. She found herself a stick and carried it around. It was incredibly endearing. I was not in the market for another dog. I had just opened my gallery and I had no free time whatsoever $6. But with the assurance of my husband that he would help, we decided to keep her.
It was later that we found out someone dumped a whole litter of puppies on the highway a few miles from us. It still makes me angry to think of it, but ever so grateful to have her blessing our lives.
I realise this would have been a good place to insert an adorable puppy photo, but we never took one. As I said with the gallery I'd no time to think about anything else. I really wish I had though. She was so cute.
We named her Cisco after a Star Trek character. Also we initally thought she was a male. She had so much hair and we just didn't look until after we named her.
So now let's move on to a day in the life of Cisco, the retired farmer dog.
My Day Begins With Doing Barn Cat Chores - It's my job to lead them to the barn sort of pied-piper like.
My main task is to help lead the barn cats to the barn so my human can walk without tripping over them. For some reason they like me. I don't know why because I barely tolerate them.
Sometimes all I want is a moment to myself for a little privacy; you know? Barn cats are definitely not my favorite thing.
All of our barn cats love her. She really dislikes cats but tolerates them because she must. When we put her out to do her business often she'll lay down by the door waiting for us to let her back in the house. On cooler days I have seen her with cats curled up next to her as well as on top of her. But as soon I open the door, she pops up scattering cats and with a "So Long Suckers" expression on her face, happily tramples over them to get inside.
Cisco Is Queen Of The Barn Cats
Then We Go To The Gallery - Going For Rides Is My Favorite Thing.
It's Sunday and Mike is gone for the weekend so mom takes me to the gallery with her. This does not often happen because I'm very hairy. Also I scare some people because I'm so big. But I'm very sweet, they just don't know it.
Waiting Patiently While Mom Works - While Budda The Gallery Cat Keeps An Eye On Me
Budda is perhaps the only cat in my world that does not like me. One might say he barely tolerates me. Budda thinks I'm the anti-Budda. You know like from an alternate or parallel universe. He knows I exist because his humans come to work (his universe) smelling of me. But he firmly believes that laws of physics demand that our universes should never meet. Yet occasionally they do.
Mom takes a break to give me a scratch and a hug. Hugs are my favorite thing.
Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.
- Bonnie Wilcox '
At The End Of Every Day We Go For A Long Walk - Going For Walks Is My Favorite Thing.
We walk anywhere from 1-2 miles a day depending on the weather. This helps keep mom from getting fat (and me too.) My job is to walk way ahead and scare up any birds, deer or raging killer bunnies that might be hiding and ready to pounce on my human. I love chasing bunnies. Chasing bunnies is my favorite thing.
It's harvest time now so it takes longer for me to walk my human than usual. Whenever a car, truck, tractor or combine comes thundering down the road. I must return to my mom and we go to the side of the road where I sit until the vehicle has long passed. Harvest time is definitely not one of my favorite things.
Getting Brushed - Getting Brushed Is NOT My favorite Thing.
The Kind Of Dog Biscuits I Love
I tolerate brushing like I do cats. But if I'm good, I get a biscuit when I'm done.
Cisco is double coated which means she's is incredibly hairy. She is actually at her sleekest here as she sheds out in the Fall. She grows a new thick coats as soon as the temperatures start falling. This means no matter how often she gets brushed, she is always shedding hair.
Biscuits Are My Favorite Thing
Cisco's 'Not Favorite' Things
Time For A Little Nap
At the end of a long day it feels good just to crash out for awhile. Mom is otherwise entertained with reading, TV or playing on the computer. So I think I'll just take a little nap and perhaps dream of snow and the upcoming winter.
Playing In Snow Is My Favorite Thing
Cisco's Favorite Things
Going For Rides
Going For Walks
Playing In The Snow
Cisco Is Now 15 Years Old And Still Going Strong
Cisco was a millennium puppy which means her birthday is easy to remember. She is now almost (a few weeks to go as I write this) 15 years old making her rather ancient for such a large dog.
She needs help climbing stairs but other than that is a happy healthy senior. Our walks are around the acreage instead of miles down a country road. She is still queen of the barn cats and the sweetest dog I've ever known.
I give her glucosamine for her hips and a baby asparin daily. Having a degree in veterinary technology means that I am rather strict when it comes to diet but now I tend to spoil her with treats quite a bit more than I did in her youth.
I truly love my girl and every winter I say a little prayer asking God for one more year.
So far so good. :)
Glucosamine For Your Dog's Joint Health
We give Cisco a couple of tablets a day and have noticed a marked improvement in her mobility and just getting up off the floor. I definitely recommend them for anyone with a dog who suffers from aching and stiff joints.