Monthly Archives: June 2019
Many of you have followed Missy the Wonderdog‘s adventures on FB for over a decade.
Cow dog, business dog, chicken herder extraordinaire, teacher, companion, playmate,
garden guard, doorstop, protector.
(she is also the reason Big Papa’s favorite truck sounds like being in a wind tunnel)
Missy was our rescue pup. She was actually being born as her mama was being rescued from a puppy mill that had gotten out of hand.
Big Papa said NO DOGS IN THE HOUSE.
And then she turned those great big brown eyes on him and it became “Only in the mud room.” Pretty soon she had commandeered a spot by the wood burner and Big Papa would play dolly with her. When spring came, she was given a deluxe dog house outside complete with mobile fur coats (cats) to keep her warm on cool days.
Missy was supposed to be a cattle dog. And she was… She would drink from bottles just like the calves, she would eat hay and grain just like the big Girlz, slept in the roundy-rounds with calves, she played with all the cows and followed them everywhere. She even swam from time to time in the watering trough. Missy could help herd the cows. Right up until a gate or barn door was open. And then she would go sit in the opening, barring them from entrance!
So- technically she was a cattle-dog. Just not the way Big Papa wanted.
Eventually Missy learned to ride the 4-wheeler to better chase her Girlz and bring them treats. She loved the wind in her hair!
Missy also became the unofficial spokes-dog for ShopSmallSaturday championing small
Now- back to the Not-in-the-house thing….. Missy was a smart girl. She knew exactly when Big Papa left the yard. And as soon as his truck cleared the tree row, she would be at the door. I am a sucker for a cute face, so I would let her in.
And on the days she was in the house I would sweep and mop to hide the evidence. Bless the day my mother-in-law called and told me to get a Swiffer!! So much faster and easier!! Thankfully I was also starting get grey hairs about this time, so sometimes Big Papa would spy some fur I overlooked and I would say “Ohhhh! Must have been mine!”
Mostly I liked having her IN the house on the nights Big Papa worked away from the farm. She always made me feel safe.
One time, Big Papa came back home shortly after leaving… as he was parking I was literally dragging Missy the Wonderdog out the other door! Almost busted!!
Missy wasn’t supposed to ride in the car either. There may or may not have been an incident with Lilly the Lab and his favorite pickup years before that made him forever bar me from doggie rides in the car.
Eventually though, Missy won and commandeered a spot in the old farm truck and would help me drive from field to field.
Missy the Wonderdog became part of the family. A constant companion, always happy to just sit nearby and offer us wags and smiles.
Over the years the kidd-o’s accused me of treating her better than I treated them. (SHE never talked back or held her hand out and was always happy)
This year Missy slowed down. We’d go for walks and she’d stop and rest. I thought it was
because she was a little on the fluffy side after retiring from full time cow and chicken herding. As it turned out, she had the cancer.
For love of us, Missy the Wonderdog concealed her pain and discomfort for a long time.
The decision to let her cross the rainbow bridge was a heart wrenching one. It was decided that we would let her be until she was no longer able to be a dog but before she couldn’t do her job anymore. Missy kept her Doggie Dignity. As long as she was still walking out to the coop for a daily chicken head count (we no longer had cattle at this point) all was good. One day, she looked at me and let me know in her own way that it was time.
We had made arrangements with our vet to come to the house to help Missy cross the Rainbow Bridge painlessly and in comfort, surrounded by her friends (cats and chickens) and family (Big Papa and I ). Holding on to her Dolly and snuggled on her favorite blankie with us petting and crooning to her, she slipped away to a better place.
We know without a shadow of doubt that D’art, Mosely, Lilly-puttin, Bambii the Amazing Albino Elk and her favorite Girlz -Barbie and Rusty were waiting to walk her across.
I was working in the garden the next afternoon (-one of her favorite places to hang out in the summer) feeling incredibly sorry myself, when I heard a very faint, muffled barking. I knew in that instance Missy the Wonderdog was letting me know she arrived safely on the other side and is still watching over me from afar.
“And when my time on earth is done,
And at heaven’s gate I’m near,
I don’t want any harps or horns,
Just … happy barks to hear.”