Goodbye Old Farm Dog

30 Apr

The life of a farm dog is an open prairie made for adventures, it’s chasing coyotes and nutria, it’s protecting your family and the farm. It rarely involves fences he can’t climb through or creeks he can’t swim across. It’s pick-up bed rides with the wind on his face. It’s about that look and excitement when your farmer throws down their tailgate and yells, “Load up Boy”. It’s about chasing field mice all harvest and laying in that hot summer sun. Being a farm dog is a no boundary, leash free kind of freedom that…unfortunately, just can’t last forever.

Because being a farm dog also means getting old in those same fields and across those same acres that you ran across all your life. It means waiting for help when that tailgate goes down, because your days of jumping have turned into getting lifted up to go for an occasional ride. It’s saying goodbye to the miles and hello to just a simple walk to the shop and back. And when even that got too tough, it’s trusting your farmer to know when it’s time to say goodbye.

I got Yukon when he was two years old, I was lucky to get to spend 12 of his 14 years as his farmer. For a long time he took care of me, for a long time I took care of him and for the whole time we were inseparable. A few days ago, he looked at me as he struggled to get up off his pillow. And this time, even for me, he just couldn’t do it. All those fields, all those runs, many days off on adventures I’d never even know about; and here he was, needing my mercy, needing me to let him go.

The loss of a dog is heartbreaking, they are a part of your family, of your hearts and home. And Yukon or Kon as he was often called, was no different. He spent many of his days letting the kids jump all over him and he in turn loved them and protected them. I like to think that he held on just long enough to meet Miss Millie, to pass on a little love to her as she completed our family.

Yukon, it will be some time before I round the kitchen corner and don’t expect to see your dopey face looking back at me laying in the laundry room on your bed. And in those moments is when all of the good memories will come on back like yesterday. I’ll probably get a little and sometimes a lot sad, but in the end, just like when you were sitting right there with your floppy ears and sweet big eyes, you’ll make me smile and probably laugh. Because really what is a farm dog’s legacy worth if you can’t sit and have a nice good laugh about the best dog this farmer ever had.

As Hoot said when we laid you to rest, “Well, now Yukon can go and run with Diesel, I bet he likes that.” Yeah, I bet he really does.

Thanks for growing old with us Yukon Jack. Rest In Peace old boy.

April 2004 – April 2018.

A few good memories:

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/12/23/the-goose-debacle/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/05/03/the-challenge/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/11/08/some-crazy-weather/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/07/25/1st-day-of-combining-grass-seed-2012/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/01/11/a-walk-with-the-dogs/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/04/21/the-hunt-is-on/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/03/10/wild-goose-chasingis-it-working/

5 Responses to “Goodbye Old Farm Dog”

  1. Emily P May 7, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    Ah, cousin. Just seeing this. I love Hoot’s imagination of life beyond this temporal world we know, such hope it brings to those of us still here. May we yearn to run in heaven together with those we love–both people and animals. 🙂 Love you.

    Like

  2. Tom Stegmeier April 30, 2018 at 6:26 pm #

    What a wonderful tribute to Yukon ,when I farmed in Rycroft Alberta we had a Shar-pay.Hoover was a super dog ,the yard &about 20 acres around it was her domain .My employee’s girl friend fell in love with Hoovey .So it was a package deal we sub divided the yard & the same 20acres & Hoover stayed on her home place that was sold to them,

    Like

  3. Rob Rash April 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm #

    Ahhhh Brenda,
    What a wonderful eulogy for Kon. I’ll be honest, you made this old fart tear up a bit. Dogs are some of the best people I ever met and it sounds like Kon went above and beyond the duties of “best friend.” Thoughts and shouts out to you and yours!

    Like

  4. Kevin in Umatilla April 30, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    Folks, thanks for sharing Kon’s journey with you and lives. Looks like he was one hellova decent dog, protector, companion and friend. We here at my home share a similar time as our ancient German Shorthair whose time is all too quickly coming. Your family story has helped when we need offer his merciful end.

    Thanks for giving your hound the Good Life and honorable end to his wonderful life.

    kevin in Umatilla

    Like

    • Doris April 30, 2018 at 10:54 am #

      Thank you for sharing Kon’s story. We have had many great farm dogs that are welcoming Kon as he crosses that rainbow bridge. My husband said that he misses them more than some people. Sorry for your loss, but happy that you had a wonderful dog that you were able to share part of your life with.

      Like

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