…That's what owners of our old fashioned farm collie puppies say. We love the way our farm dogs think, work and nurture!
Aiden is registered as a Scotch Collie with OTSC.
Aiden – a tricolor male, collie/english shepherd cross, was bred by Cartangel Farm in Arkansas. We- especially our mom- count our lucky stars to have him in our lives and on our small hill farm.
He has been magnificent in every ‘good farm dog’ area- guardian, herding, hunting, protecting, nurturing…and being a loyal, dependable pet and “Ranch Security”.
Stories of amazing ‘Lassie like’ things that Aiden has done are so many we have forgotten most of them.
He has protected young children and young pups, ducklings and chicks from copperheads and black rat snakes, and killed many, many possums, a weasel, and coons. He can and will track down a marauding fox, but it is his daughter Eva, who really excels at tracking and rodent hunting. He will chase off any animal on our land unless he is first introduced…and then he guards them.
He tolerates stranger, puppies, kittens, cats and bad, pain inflicting babies, magnificently. But hates the UPS truck, and squirrels, ever since he saw them stealing the kids hard picked, barn stored walnuts.
We are the only sheep owners around who have not lost any sheep on our place to coyotes. He patrols the fences.
In his younger days, he was a great herding help- even- before we noticed, almost- cutting our milk cow out of the neighbors huge herd when she went ‘visiting’- much to her chagrin and our amusement. He doesn’t like any of those neighbor cows pushing on the fence or talking to ‘his’ charges. He will move the encroaching cows back into their pastures and turn around when the job is done and they are well away from the now sagging fencelines.
He never chases or harries an animal for fun. He is efficent and prompt when asked to help round up chickens, and he holds them down with his paw when requested. He warned us by barking like crazy the day our woodfurnace boiler busted. Lots of other times he protected or warned us of something dangerous or different.
And we just enjoy him. An inside/outside dog. The kids have even hitched he and the other dogs up to sleds, to get pulled up the hill.
Stories of Aiden-( Written by Brina)
One of Aiden’s first jobs was to chase the deer out of the yard and garden every morning, his other jobs included but not limited to – Herding the Chickens back into the pen, keeping an eye on the kids, a companion to his masters, moving cows back into the pasture, making sure the hawks didn’t touch the poultry, killing varmints (like snakes, rabbits, moles, rats, squirrels, and opossums, etc.), and guarding the home from strangers, and mark/secure the property.
When Aiden was still a young pup and slept inside, I can remember coyotes coming right up to the back of the house and they’d howl under my window. Back then seeing a coyote out in the field every other day, was a normal occurrence. On a walk down our country road we saw a dead coyote hung up on a fence post. Aiden sniffed it and growled. Mom pet Aiden and told him how he must grow up to keep those varmints off the property.
As Aiden grew he made a daily routine to go all around our farm marking his scent and checking if any critters had crossed the fence line. And as our exploring/walking range broadened so did Aiden’s route and grounds to guard or so he thought. 🙂 Our neighbors let us go wherever we’d like and told us great stories of the “old days” and because we walked in our neighbors pastures and forests Aiden would guard mark the ones closest to the house. Aiden has run off numerous Coyotes, wild/feral cats, and foxes, and he has killed plenty of raccoons, opossums, rabbits, rats, squirrels, and snakes.
I can remember Aiden would always have a new trophy for us every morning. Sometimes it was a rabbit, a squirrel, coon, or opossum, and one time Aiden came back from the woods behind the barn carrying a mouth full of coons. He lined out each one of the 4 babies and the mother on the front porch for us. He was so proud of his work. We love him for all the incredible work he does, his loyalty, and love, thanks to him we didn’t loose much poultry.
Back when we had our milk cow Molly I remember that she would just love to go sweet talk with the neighbors beef cattle, she was always looking for a way out to join them. A little to often we had to bring her home form the neighbor’s pasture. There where yearlings, full grown bulls and cows, so mom didn’t want us kids going out alone to get Molly back, so we’d wait till dad got home. We all took turns with the chores and whoever was in charge of the molly would tether her out in the yard. When we did go fetch molly from the beef herd we ALWAYS took our trusty farm dog Aiden. He could turn a charging bull, or drive off the herd from following us home. One time in particular in which Aiden showed true intelligence is when my older sister Tali was told to tether molly, But tali forgot and soon enough Molly was with a group of bulls and steers. Us kids were all playing together outside in the evening sun when Tali spotted Molly out in the front field. She groaned “oh no, what do I do?” She decided to go out and get molly before mom would find out. She made each of us promise to not tell. Tali called for Aiden and headed down the hill. The rest of us kept on playing, every now and then I’d glance back to see tali’s progress, and every time I looked molly was in the middle of the herd. Aiden split the cows and Tali would dive into grab molly’s halter, but each time the sea of cows would swallow molly up again. They swung their heads at tali. Tali was hot and tired, she turned to come home when the herd gave in to chase her, I don’t know if Tali would’ve made it out alive had she not climbed the corn crib feeder. She scrambled up and called for help. Now Aiden had been trained to drive, turn, and push cows but nothing fancy. I quit playing the game and turned my attention to Tali as I watched in amazement at what Aiden did. Without command or training Aiden singled Molly out and brought her home and then he RETURNED to the field to rescue tali who was still perched up high on the feeder. Aiden broke the angry mob of cows and escorted tali home, keeping all the cows at bay. I ran down to meet the triumphant heroes and together we walked to the barn locking molly in her stall. We both pet Aiden telling him what a SMART, GOOD BOY he was. Tali was so excited and pleased about Aiden rescuing her that she even told mom about Aiden’s great behavior. Mom was too happy about Aiden to punish tali for letting molly get out. We had a picnic later that evening. 🙂
More to come!