Long time no post for sure. While it has seemed like for a long time writing about the day to day, year to year farm stuff here is pretty boring, once in a while milestones are passed. We made the decision this past week to put down our faithful Mel before life for him became undignified. It’s awful hard to let go of a pet, especially a velcro dog like my Shan. He absolutely could not relax unless he knew where all of his humans were. He definitely was no cattle dog, not in any sense. But we didn’t buy him to be a cattle dog. Our cows are pretty much confined, never need herding or chasing, but having a dog that has a smidgen of cow sense can be helpful. House calf un-tethered or out of bounds? Shan would bark, not just any a bark, a bark that told you to listen, something is awry in the barnyard. Our dogs are companion dogs plain and simple with a little garden guard dogging on the side. Cheaper than a tall deer fence and much easier to look at.
We will miss our old boy terribly, but he really resented old-age and having to be helped to get up every single time he needed to go outside, or up and down the stairs. A few months ago Bill at Practicing Resurrection wrote an obituary for one of his goats, Penny Lany Guerrant and I thought that was a nice touch, I wish I had thought of the idea myself. Thanks Bill, for writing that. Here is Mel’s obituary.
Trapper Creek Blue Moon Mel
9/23/01 – 8/31/16
Blue Moon Mel (Shan) was born in Gresham, Oregon and moved to a farm in the Egypt area of Larch Mountain at age 7 weeks. Mel is survived by his human parents and sister, and his adopted brothers Tracey Darryl and Grady Badger. His wife Belle preceded him in death, they had no children.
Mel’s first job on the farm was to plant garlic and he continued to do so each year until this year. One of his favorite pastimes was gardening, but his true calling was farm security and half-hearted barn cat chasing. He was a natural at knowing just where to stand to get an errant cow to go the absolute wrong way… however; he made up for that by barking when the milk cow was headed for the corn patch each time the milkmaid forgot to secure the gate. Mel never met a foe he couldn’t keep at bay, and notches in his collar included bobcat, bear, raccoon, numerous skunks, countless deer and elk, and possibly a cougar or two steered clear because Mel was on duty. Mel worked full time in farm security until the age of 6 when he began splitting his time between guard dog duties and teaching his younger brother Trace to be his replacement in the garden and orchard.
At his request there will be no service, and he will be buried in the orchard near the deer trail where he can keep guard.