Bob

For years, Bob has been a fixture on this place.
Wherever Johnny was, there was Bob in his shadow.
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Quiet.
Observant.
He had a hell of an outrun… swinging WAY out and around stock… and as he aged, it was quicker (and probably an insult to him) to NOT wait for him to trot out that far… his speed was greatly reduced! and often the people with him would pressure the stock sooner than he would have liked!
He would swim the Nowood and bring stock back across… just give him enough time, he’d know what to do… while we were still trying to figure out where to cross with our horses!
He was known for licking cows’ noses as they investigated him.  My dogs couldn’t ever have let them get that close without getting nervous.
If Johnny left for a rare vacation, Bob would pout.  Lay about and be nothing less than dejected for days.  And upon Johnny’s return, Bob would continue his tantrum… ignoring Johnny as if to make him pay for abandoning his loyal friend.
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If Bob could figure out how to go along with Johnny, he would.  Here he is on the hay trailer as Johnny drives the tractor.
Sometimes Bob would be following Johnny out trailing cows… we’d have a conference and then 6 riders would split and go our own ways.  Bob would, on occasion, end up following the wrong horse.  It may be a few hundred yards or a half a mile, but Bob would realize his mistake.  He’d stop.  Survey the country.  Take off for Johnny!
Bob was half Border Collie and half New Zealand heading dog.  His dad accompanied some Kiwi sheep shearers that came through this country … a neighbor’s Border Collie girl was in heat.  Bob was the last left of the litter, and I just thought that Johnny needed a dog, so I said I’d show him to Johnny.  Johnny quickly had told me “No.”  He didn’t need a pup.  Nevertheless, I put the 3 month old pup on a long line and we went to help the guys kick the yearling steers up to the grain.  Bob did an outrun as far as the line would go and then pushed the steers up to the grain bunks.  Johnny walked up to me and said, “What’s his name?”  “He doesn’t have one,” I said.  “But I’ll take him back to Bobby B. since you aren’t interested.”  “Well, I might be…”  Johnny said.  And so, Bob came to us, and was named after his previous owner.  (A habit of naming animals after their previous owners was a common occurrence around here, though it no longer applies, many dogs, horses, and bulls used to have “people” names.)
And so, this day, we have to say goodbye to Bob.  He was buried under the tall cottonwoods by the creek.  He was old.  Twelve, fourteen?  Memory fails me…  but I know one thing for sure… He’ll be waiting for Johnny in heaven… though he’ll pout the first few days Johnny gets there!
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Bob, on a windy day last spring.
You were a Good Dog, Bob!

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