Every farm needs a good ______.
Exactly which word you put in the blank reveals the portion of the country and type of farm you’re speaking of.
In upper Midwest dairy country, where I spent my childhood, I’d complete it with the phrase “cattle dog”.
We always had a dog, sometimes more than one, on our small dairy farm. None of them demonstrated “good cattle dog”. In their various ways, each of them contributed to the supporting cast in Starr Tree Farm.
Taffy and Cocoa, the collies featured in the story serve as companions, comic relief, and just a hint of security system. They imitate guard dogs. One nips at the heel of a stubborn steer. They run off with ski poles, follow critter trails, and supply a listening ear or wagging tail when appropriate. They are neither heroine nor fool. They’re dogs. As accurate as I could remember and modeled to a great part on the abandoned puppy we found.
He “looked like a cattle dog”. In this case looks saved his life as my dad based his decision to keep the canine based on his appearance. Of course, by the time his true character showed it was too late — the dog had his daughter wrapped around his freckled paw.
It’s official. Starr Tree Farm is available from Crimson Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever fine ebooks are sold.