A Wonderful Pain in the Tail


I resigned from teaching in February of 2013, to stay home and help on the ranch. I had taken a leave of absence the year before to see if my mind could handle not teaching. There is something about teaching that enables your mind to always grow.  New challenges and learning from the students keeps my mind busy and active  I know it sounds weird but if I’m not doing something my brain aches.  I feel like I have to learn something new all the time and challenge myself.

Well I found that with ranching there was lots for me to learn and time to begin new hobbies. Oh and also the fact that I needed to be the taxi for my growing kids.   At times I wish I was teaching, I think life was less hectic then. But kids will grow, and need taken to various activities and if I was teaching, well they wouldn’t get to go.

We raise red angus cattle and use border collie dogs to help with just about every aspect of life on the ranch. We had three awesome dogs. They worked great. However when we moved cows it seems I was always left with no dog, because they are extremely loyal to my husband. Yes, he can tell them to stay or even just leave one. But the moment they hear a command he gives ton another dog, they too must go over to show themselves, how dare they be left with this boring lady.   So alas I am always alone and darn it sometimes you need a dog to get those cattle moving.

In November of 2012, I flat decided I was getting a dog. Not just any border would do, I wanted a registered red and white. So I found Abingdon Border Collies out of Oregon. I ordered my little Jipsey and she flew into Casper.

At three months old she is working with no fear.   Now that’s great. However she is my puppy. That means special treatment. Yes, she sleeps in our bed. Oh, she is bathed often and really doesn’t care for the delightful scent of oatmeal that her doggie shampoo gives her. But she gets it anyway.

She has had her moments in training. Her first big trailing of yearlings she just didn’t know where to be so she chased yearlings till she ended up right in the middle and then was so mesmerized by all the yearlings around her, she just laid down. Yep, smack dab in the middle. When those of us on horseback got to her, she was wide eyed and just lost. It was the funniest thing. Of course she hadn’t really mastered commands, so getting her back to me wasn’t going to happen.

She also has a passion for chasing anything near the house. She must be watched like a hawk. My husband came in a couple of weeks ago carrying fencing stretchers and told me “your dog is tied up outside, you have two gates to fix. “. Yes, my sweet dog chased our long horns and the kids cow calf pairs from 4-H through two pastures. She can definitely cause a wreck.

Well yesterday we moved 200+ pair on the mountain and she did a darn good job. We had some really snotty mommas who were not real excited to have this dog chasing them. They took her more than I can count, but Jipsey just circled around and put them into the herd. The more she works, the more she is coming into her own. Plus she stays with me and that is the best.

She is the sweetest little thing, and a very aggressive working dog. However like all dogs sometimes she is just a pain in the tail.