Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MaXitO the ReD BanDito

It is with heavy heart I write again about another one of our dogs. What are the odds we would lose 2 dogs in 4 days time?

Max was with us since we lived in Boulder. He was given to us by Mike's brother Bill to use as a cow dog. He was a red-healer mix and full of life. He loved to work cattle. He was aggressive with the fighting ol' witches and gentle with our kids. I grew quite close to Max... But for Mike, he is losing one of his right hand men. I can't even begin to count the hours the two of them have spent together, nor the miles they have gone.
Mike and Max headed to work!

Max and I riding on the sled (crazy dog)
Right before we left Helena, a cow got him down and broke his back leg. We thought this might be the demise of him, but he came back strong and returned to fighting cows. He was the mischief dog as well. He would act like he was taking off after something and get all the dogs riled up, then he would saunter back (grinning I am sure) while they tried to find what he was after.
We would get a kick out of his wily ways.

On Sunday Mike and I watched him walking through the trees by our house. I wish I would have known it was the last time I would see him. For days I have been waiting for his return, hoping that I would see him curled up in the flower planter he took over, or hear him whining, letting us know he wanted to go work cows. But he has not come home. He might still, we can hold onto hope. But he was almost 12 years old, we saw signs of his age, and he to mourned our Payson. So, again, I am writing about another dog...... But again, he was more than just a dog. He earned his keep.

He came home.....  8 days he was gone.... Who knows where.... We had given up hope, us of little faith....  We have had frigid, freezing weather with snow and all that.... Yet, the "terd" (Mikes word for him) came home ALIVE!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


**Cheryl (my mom) do not read!**

Just over 13 years ago, Mike and I took a trip to Utah.  While we were on this trip, Mike bought a truck (his dream truck, which he sold later to help pay for a surgery, but that is a story for another day).  While we were getting new tires put on the truck, I happened to be looking through the classifieds and came upon an ad for yellow lab puppies.  Mike had been telling me I could get a dog, so I jumped at the chance.  By that I mean I took advantage of the fact he was getting a new truck, so I should be able to get a new puppy!  Mike said go for it and I headed to Payson, Utah to pick out what would become the best $75.00 ever.  Mike about died when he found out I paid money for a DOG!  But he forgave me and soon fell in love as well.
Payson the winter after we got him!
Payson has been on every move with us, which has been quite a few.  He started in Lima, went to Dell, then Rexburg, onto Ovid, back to Lima, to Boulder, Clancy, Helena, and now Dupuyer.  He was a faithful dog right from the beginning.  He kept me company when Mike would work long hours.  When we moved to Rexburg I was 8 months pregnant and it was a hot August.  Payson and I spent hours by and in the river that our yard ran into.  I would park my plastic chair right in the depths of the water, right up to my chin, and he would swim around me fetching sticks.
When we moved to Ovid, I became fairly busy with a 1 year old and a new born, and Payson didn't get as much attention from me.  Mike hated the sad eyes he would get as he and Jiggs would load up to go to work.  It did not take long for him to succumb to those puppy dog eyes that I am sure Payson coined.  Hence, Payson became a cow dog.
When Payson barked, he meant business.  Mike and I can usually pay no mind to our other dogs barking, but the second Payson would give his deep, booming bark, we would jump and go see what the matter was.  It could be a mountain lion he was warning us about, a stranger that was prowling around, or a cow that was not where she was supposed to be.  When he was moving cows and would give that bark, he would almost create a stampede.
He was known to take a 2000lb bull on the fight down to the ground, hold calves down that had run through the fence until Mike could get around to them, and even let our kids ride him like a horse (he was their first pony).  He loved our kids.  He was so good to them, even when they would climb all over him.
He knew how to bask in the sunshine, usually sitting in a regal pose.  We would call him our sphinx the way he would always sit with his front legs crossed.  From the time he was a puppy, whenever I would sit by him, he would have to be touching me.  Usually this meant a paw on my hand, or foot, or leg.  He was never a needy dog, or a jealous dog, but he was a great dog.
13 years is a long time to have a dog in your life.  Especially for us.  In 13 years our lives have changed and grown, and he has been there through it all. He has changed as well.  The once bounding, vivacious puppy changed into a old, crippled, broken down dog.  It is hard to watch them get old.  When we moved here, I remember looking at him and saying, "Payson, this is your last move old man."  And it was....  Buried outside our home today, under a tree, is truly a close friend.  I know he was JUST a dog, but he was my dog....  And he will be missed so much..... Goodbye Old Man, I love you!
He always looked sad, but was truly happy....

At the elk ranch in Ovid, ID

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Ranch born and raised, we love the lifestyle that ranching offers. We also enjoy the oppurtunity of passing on the tradition to our four children.