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My Dog Cisco: A Day In The Life Of A Retired Farming Dog

Updated on November 29, 2014

Meet Cisco!

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.


Me demonstarting at Side Street Gallery
Me demonstarting at Side Street Gallery

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

Cisco In Her Prime
Cisco In Her Prime
Cisco resting
Cisco resting

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.

Cisco Says

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

Cisco Is Queen Of The Barn Cats
Cisco Is Queen Of The Barn Cats

Then We Go To The Gallery - Going For Rides Is My Favorite Thing.

Cisco Says

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

Cisco Says

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.

Mom takes a break to give me a scratch and a hug. Hugs are my favorite thing.
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.

Cisco Says

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.

Cisco getting Brushed
Cisco getting Brushed

Cisco Says

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

Biscuits Are My Favorite Thing
Biscuits Are My Favorite Thing

Cisco's 'Not Favorite' Things

Barn Cats

Being Brushed

Harvest Time

Time For A Little Nap

Cisco Taking a break after a long day
Cisco Taking a break after a long day

Cisco Says

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

Playing In Snow Is My Favorite Thing
Playing In Snow Is My Favorite Thing

Cisco's Favorite Things

Going For Rides


Going For Walks

Chasing Bunnies


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.

Cisco and I would love to hear from you.

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    • suepogson profile image


      5 years ago

      That was a lovely read - thank you. I loved the multiple favourite things.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      6 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I loved reading Cisco's story. Wonderful photos too! You make a great pair.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Your Cisco reminds me a lot of my Suzy. You are really blessed to still have Cisco around. This is a great story. Thank you for sharing your pet.


    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      7 years ago

      Great page about Cisco!

      My life would not be the same without my dogs :)

    • smithlights profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens! I loved reading all about Cisco!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Cisco has such a great story to tell, thanks for sharing!! What a great life to live, being a farming dog :)

    • Philippians468 profile image


      8 years ago

      thank you Cisco. there's much we can learn from you and we appreciate you! cheers

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You're beautiful, Cisco. I loved reading about you and I'm glad you found such a nice family to love!

    • norma-holt profile image


      8 years ago

      Gorgeous dog and now *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Angel Blessings for Dogs on Squidoo

    • awakeningwellness profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey Cisco you look like a sweet girl and I would love to pet you if only you would get closer. :)

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      8 years ago

      I was so thrilled when I saw this listed in the forum to benefit BuckHawk Center. I recognized it from the SquidPaws contest and loved it then! OK, now I love it even more, if that's possible. Thank you and an extra bisquit to Cisco just because!

    • WildFacesGallery profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Iowa

      @darciefrench lm: No painting of Cisco here. I looked to see if I have a typo or something. I don't usually paint dogs. I did my own 3 greyhounds many years ago but have not done any since.

      Thanks for the kind words. Cisco and I appreciate it. :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      This is just so sweet...perfect with my morning coffee.

    • Shibamom LM profile image

      Shibamom LM 

      8 years ago

      Tess loved hearing about Cisco's life - I think she's a little jealous of the farm and all.

    • pkmcruk profile image


      8 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Absolutely wonderful and the painting of Cisco - well truly amazing and you are very talented

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Psst, Cisco, you are just the cat's meow! LOL I just dropped by to say thank you for supporting BuckHawk and ask mom to give you a big ole hug, an ear scratchie and maybe a few belly rubs!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      8 years ago

      I did a double take on your painting of Cisco- it looked so much like a photograph. Totally thrilled by your art- and very nice to meet Cisco too -:)

    • srosauer profile image


      8 years ago

      What a wonderful story about Cisco. She and my dog, Porter, would get along famously :)

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 

      8 years ago from Lancaster PA

      Cisco is a real beauty, and so is this lens. Smart, too!! Shelooks like my Golden Retriever, Ulysses!!

    • Rita-K profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great loving sweet wonderful handsome dog who puts up with so many cats! He has definitely made into heaven!

    • missbat profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your day with us, Cisco!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      What a great companion! Love the photos, especially the one of Cisco with all the barn kitties. My Sassy grew up on a farm (found her when she was just a puppy, roaming the woods) and used to love to do the chores with me, making the rounds every morning and evening. She's no longer a farm dog (and I'm no longer a farm girl), but I know she remembers those days. When we horse-sit for a friend, she gets so excited when we go to the barn.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A great story about Cisco. The pictures are wonderful.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Cisco is magnificent! Love the lens too! fave, fan, lensrolled to all my animal lenses. Good luck in the contest and congrats on being nominated.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 

      8 years ago

      Aww, she's so cute!

    • The-Java-Gal profile image


      8 years ago

      Loved reading about Cisco's farming activities. Such a smart girl! And it is amazing how she looks like both collie and golden retriever.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image


      8 years ago

      Too precious!! ~Giving Cisco a Hug~

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 

      8 years ago

      I'm going to have to come out there and visit Cisco and Buddha. :) She does look like a collie in that second to last photo of her.

    • VladimirCat profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      High Paw to you Cisco! That might even be me in the photo of the barn cat following you, not that I follow anyone. I'm a born leader and so are you

    • freyalou profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great story and a great dog! I enjoyed getting to meet her.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      8 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      It was fun to meet Cisco - thanks for sharing a day in her life. Congrats on being selected as a finalist in the SquidPaws Quest.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      8 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      It's obvious that Cisco is a very special part of your life. A lovely story told in a delightful way. Good luck in the contest. This is very deserving of an award.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      8 years ago from Western Mass

      congrats on being a finalist in the quest for dog owners!

    • kare2share profile image


      8 years ago

      What a sweet story! The part about the barn cats is especially funny. Congrats on making the finals for the SquidPaws Quest. Niko Niko feels honored to be nominated next to a dog as great as Cisco!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congrats on being a finalist in the SquidPaws Contest. I enjoyed learning about Cisco and seeing the great pictures. Your art work is beautiful.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      8 years ago

      Cisco is a great dog! I'll have to show her to Montana. Congrats on making the finals for the Squidpaw contest. Montana made it, too and he sends a big woof of congrats of his own.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image


      8 years ago

      Cisco is beautiful! You're right she does share a familiarity with my Yarrow :) She reminds me of our previous dog Misty too. What a lovely story, so glad you found her. And gorgeous pics too! Congrats on making the SquidPaws finals

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      Cisco is beautiful and fabulous! Congratulations on making the finalists in the SquidPaws Dog Day Afternoon Quest. You have been blessed in more ways than one :)

    • eccles1 profile image


      8 years ago

      the pictures of 'Cisco Is Queen Of The Barn Cats' is amazing ! what great pictures! I am happy you took Cisco home with you what a blessing you are to her.. but as we dog lovers know they are a blessing to us

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      awwww cute cisco you are so cute my daughter can't stop saying awwwwwwww

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a sweet story & Cisco is such a lovely girl. You've both been blessed with each other's love. God Bless!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      It sounds like Cisco was one puppy you were meant to have. Lovely story and interesting to note that the glucosamine tablets are helping with her mobility.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      8 years ago

      I loved reading about Cisco and your images are great. My favorite is the one from your gallery with Budda. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

    • WildFacesGallery profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Iowa

      @Othercatt: How awesome that a dog lens got blessed by someone going by the name Othercat. Cisco and I thank you! :D

    • Othercatt profile image


      8 years ago

      You know what's funny? When I saw her name I immediately thought of Captain Cisco. lol. This is a great story. Blessed....


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