The Dogs

Maybelle helping the young-ones master sit/stay.

Maybelle is affectionately known as our "Missouri Ditchhund."  Found along a levy in Southern Illinois, near McClure, IL, she has been a part of our family pack for ten years.  She loves babies of all species, she is protective of pregnant women, even those in their first trimester.  She has great household manners and sometimes appears to hold her bladder for days, but isn't trained for any tricks.  She is the only dog in the pack not trained to walk in the city, though she does well in quiet urban neighborhoods.  She's never been used for hunting but likes to try to catch rats and once cornered a groundhog in the yard.

Her favorite days of the year are when I bring newborn lambs into the house for a quick dry-off and evaluation.  Her least favorite day of the year is any day with thunder.

Dude, this was not in the contract.

Musket: the dog who got me walking.  

Musket was my first "terrier-type" dog.  Though he weighs in at 40 pounds, his attitude is all terrier, and a grumpy one at that.  He loves his human family and Maybelle, tolerates Sparta, avoids the cat, and keeps Stoic at arm's reach.  He acts positively rabid when the UPS guy attempts to deliver a package.

Besides rats and mice he's caught and killed raccoon, rabbit, and skunk.  Musket is a great walking buddy and the only dog that I trust to keep a tight heal off-lead.  He started to get anxious on his city visits, however, and now mostly joins me only when I am walking in a rural setting.

As my project dog, I want her trained well enough to travel anywhere she is allowed.

Sparta is a Patterdale Terrier bred by David Mason in Wartrace, Tn.  She is the first, and so far only, dog I have ever bought who was purposefully bred for a task: ground work.  At 13 pounds she is a little bigger than I had hoped but does a wonderful job in all that I have asked her.  She is a therapy dog and a tracker of wounded game.

We did some artificial earth working events until she realized she is not allowed to kill the rat at the end of the maze.  At that point she grew frustrated, leaving the artificial earths and attempting to access the rat from the trap door beside the judge.

Our goals for 2016 is to begin doing earthwork in a serious way as well as earning a man-tracking title, while continuing to track wounded game and participate in therapy dog work.

Stoic: AKA "Stud Muffin"

Stoic showed up at the front door when Sparta was in heat.  He is a great dog who had a couple of bad habits we are rehab-ing. He has passed his therapy dog test and started some track training.  He is the best loose leash walking dog I have ever had though he is still adapting himself to my style and length of walks.

Socialized to other dogs, cats, and children, I'm not yet sure if we will keep him or if attempt to re-home him.  He is a more efficient rat killer than the other dogs, even though he acted inexperienced when introduced.  He shows signs of being a great tracker.  The question I have is if he is too big in the chest for earthwork.  He will be such an awesome pet for even a minimally active household, it seems almost a crime to keep him for myself.

Because someone chewed-up the selfie-stick.