A Dog’s Life This dynamic canine duo bring joy to their humans.
One is large and the other is small, but both dogs are sized just right for this farm family.
Our papillon, Tattoo, turned 15 in August. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure three years ago, but he is still going strong and loves the farm dog life. When I had more time to ride horses, he loved to ride with me. Last year I traded a horse for an old Gator; I drive Tattoo around the farm so he can keep an eye on me and be the farm supervisor. Depending on the weather, I park Tattoo in the shade or sun and we herd horses, which he really enjoys. In the fall I drive the auger wagon tractor, unloading the combine and loading the semis. Tattoo has a bed in the tractor and he keeps watch from there. When we’re unloading the combine on the go, and we near the end rows and the rabbits come running out—boy, does he want to get them! Tattoo is the boss and he keeps Max, our 7-year-old German shepherd, in line. Max loves everyone, especially children, and he greets people with a wag of the tail or a kiss. He has his Canine Good Citizen certificate and soon I hope to have him certified as a therapy dog so we can visit schools and hospitals. We recently purchased a Can-Am UTV, and Max is sure we bought it for him. He rides along with John, my husband, to scout crops, check irrigation systems and do general maintenance. Max adores water, so we have a wading pool for him, and we take him to the lake or a creek whenever possible. He even likes to help wash equipment—as long as he gets sprayed. One day when Max was a puppy, I was in the house and kept hearing a weird sound. I went out to investigate and found him tugging on a hose, trying to get it to work. In the winter, he comes in with icicles hanging on him and seems to think nothing of it. Max will retrieve just about anything, especially giant sticks. He and Tattoo travel with us often, and we’ve brought sticks home from numerous states because Max gets upset if we leave them behind. Our boys appreciate seeing new things, so we visit a lot of places. They help us slow down and enjoy life.