Dog Tales from
...a letter from Norm Andrews
(originally printed in the March/April 2003 Aussie Times)
I received a letter from Norm Andrews, a farmer in Nebraska who runs 150 cow/calf pairs. He has a dog of my breeding, Slash V Andrew's Red Chickaspike OTDc. (You can see more about Spike on his page).
This letter is a cattleman talking to other cattlemen, really...about a dog that he loves and that has made a difference in the day-to-day efficiency on his place. Norm is not a dog trainer and his focus is not on trialling or competing. His focus is on his livelihood, and the dog has made a difference.
--Terry Martin, Slash V Australian Shepherds
Dear Terry and Steve,
I have tons of things to get done, but stopped to write a note with the pictures of Spike. The first shot the shutter stuck on the camera and then worked good after that. On this day I had a camera and kept things simple, gave a command and tried to snap the picture. These are all that I took, none sorted out and no way for you to prove that I didn’t give the command that I wrote here.
The following notes and pictures would be the way I think a clinic or demonstration for cattlemen should go...
...Maybe nobody else does this the way I do. I really don’t have good enough control to be a successful trialler, but my dog is trained, my cows are trained, and I run 150 cow/calf pairs, background my calves, and have no hired help. My kids are grown and my wife teaches school and when I yelled at her like I do my dog she used to go to the house in tears. My neighbor points out that my wife had a better house to go to than Spike who has an old freezer with a hole cut in it for a house, but he stays and is a willing worker. I would not say the training I gave him is good or right, it’s just what it is.
May all of your customers be lucky enough to have a dog half as good as Spike to love them and work for them. And, may all of your dogs be lucky enough to be loved at least half as much as Spike is.