Trouble, Trouble, Trouble

It seems like I can get into trouble without even trying. The other night Lady let me go outside before bedtime and there was ice on the driveway. When a car came by I went running out to the end of the driveway and I slid right into the path of theTip car that was passing by. The car bumped me and it hurt my leg. I went around the house to my doghouse. Lady came to the door and called and called me, but my leg hurt too badly to move.

The next day her son came looking for me and found me in my doghouse. He took me to the doctor and he said I had a broken leg. That meant I had to have surgery and have a cast on my leg. It took a few weeks to heal, but I’m fine now.

 

It’s so nice to have someone who loves me and takes such good care of me.

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We have good personalities

We are very active and like a lot of attention. We’re very friendly and love to be petted, but sometimes we tend to get a little aggressive for small children just be cause we like to play.

My Lady says she thinks I was a blessing from God. She said she and my Master did not have a lot to laugh about while he was so sick and that my playful ways gave them something to laugh about.

What do you think he's playing?

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Catahoulas: We’re good with people!

Here’s another thing I learned about dogs like me. The temperament of Catahoulas like my sisters and brothers and me is not aggressive toward people. We are loving and protective of family members.

Our temperament is determined by many factors, such as heredity, training, and socialization. If you treat us well, we will develop playful personalities. We love to play with people, especially Master’s grandkids!

We respond best to kindness, so please don’t mistreat or abuse a Catahoula, and we will be your best work dog and your best friend.

A Catahoula cowdog playing with a little girl.

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Who Am I? Where’d I Come From?

I hear that we Catahoulas date back to ancient times and were brought to the U.S. by Spanish explorers. I’m not sure where Spain is, but I think it’s pretty far away from Texas. Catahoulas have been bred with many different dog breeds. Some say there is even a red wolf in our ancestry!

In my experience, our appearance is varied. Some of my sisters and brothers have spots in a variety of colors. Some of my relatives are black, white and gray, white with beige and brown spots, and some are a solid black or sienna color. My relatives and I are sometimes referred to as Catahoula Curs, Catahoula-Leopard curs and Catahoula hounds.

According to an article lady read to me, Catahoulas like my family were named by a Choctaw indian word meaning “sacred lake”. The name was officially changed to Catahoula-Leopard Dogs when we became the state dog of Louisiana. That place sounds really nice!

Lady says Catahoulas are intelligent, loyal, hard working and dedicated to their task whether it’s working cattle or hogs. All I know is that I want my parents and master to be proud of me, so I’ll work very hard to pen those cows and bulls! Lady says we need companionship, training and plenty of activities to keep us occupied. I can tell you that, even though I like my afternoon naps, I like to run around all over the place first! Texas is a great place to do that, especially on our ranch.

Masters will find dogs like me and my sisters and brothers to be loving and protective of family members.

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Everything You Need to Know, You Can Learn From Reading

Master’s lady says that the book she wrote about my adventures is a great teaching tool for children. (I just thought it was exciting to tell people about all the cool things I’ve gotten to do here on the ranch, but I’m glad I can help teach little masters!)

Some of the things the book teaches, she says, are the value of good manners, and facing your fears:

These are all ways to show your good manners.

I’m a Texan…and in Texas we’re taught to say, yes sir and yes ma’am as a show of respect for our parents and other adults. If I ever answered a question Mother asked me with “yeah”, or if I didn’t say please, thank you, or you’re welcome she would be very disappointed in me. I try to make my mother and dad proud to be my parents.

 

These brave children are inches from a huge spider!

When I first started helping my dad with the cattle, I was afraid of the big old cantankerous bull. When I was trying to get him into the pen, he would run right around me back out to the pasture and I would have to start all over again. I was afraid to get too close in case he kicked me. Finally, my dad said to jump up and bite him on the nose! Even though I was afraid, I did it, and the old bull knelt down until I let go. When I let go, he went right into the pen! When you face your fears, I guess you can stop being afraid of them any more.

It’s good to be polite and to be brave. I hope lady’s book about my adventures can teach children to be both!

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Tip’s Top 5 Stories About Growing Up

Every little one has his or her own favorite stories for Mom to tell at bedtime. Whether it’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or something more exciting like Where the Wild Things Are, we all like to hear stories. This is a list of five of my favorites:The Yearling is about a young boy who adopts a motherless fawn. As the fawn is growing the boy develops an intense love for the deer. As the deer matures it becomes more and more destructive. The father becomes so angry when the deer destroys the family garden, which they depend upon for food, that he threatens to kill the deer. This is one of my favorites because the love they share tugs at your heartstrings: you laugh, you cry, and you feel all the emotions the boy is feeling.

Old Yeller is about a boy and his dog who love each other deeply. Old Yeller is very protective of the family and risks his life to save the boy. This is one of my favorites because it reminds me of the many sacrifices we make for those we love.

Where the Red Fern Grows is about two dogs and a boy. They romp through the woods and encounter many dangers together. Dan and Ann are side by side continuously and share a love that cannot die. Eventually, they do die and are laid to rest beside each other. After a while, a red fern grows from each grave and entwines itself into one vine representing the undying love for the other. (Have some tissues nearby while you read this one)

Lassie… what can I say about Lassie? This dog undertakes exciting adventures over the course of several years, reflecting the intelligence and true heart of a dog. Pets can love us as deeply as we love them, which is exhibited many, many times in those wonderful stories. Remembering Lassie brings back so many pleasant memories as hardships and dangers were conquered.

Homeward Bound again reflects how deeply pets can love us and how they will endure all kinds of trials to be with those they love. These dogs are lost a long way from home and, even though the family searched and searched for them, they fear they are lost to them forever. But, the dogs travel so far to return home and, one day they appear on the hilltop overlooking home. First one and a little later the other appears, and the family reunion with the dogs is quite a tearjerker. Believe me, I know.

The common thread among these favorite stories is that they all center around the love of a pet and a main character. The action comes from the trials and tribulations they encounter along the pathway of life.

LOVE, what is it? It can fill your heart with gladness or with sadness, depending upon the circumstances of our lives.

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My Dad Friendly

My dad’s name is Friendly. He is three-quarter Leopard and one-quarter Lacy. He’s a real tough dude. I have an awful lot to live up to. I wouldn’t want to disappoint either him or Mother. Now, let me tell you about my dad. He has traveled quite a bit, all the way to south Texas to work on a big ranch down there. One day when the cowboys were moving cattle across the road and he was helping them, a car drove all the way out into the ditch and hit him. It hurt his head and he had to go to the doctor, but he was tough and recovered from that injury.

Boy, did he have a scary story to tell about the time he went to the bayou to get a drink of water after he had been working cattle all day. An alligator bit him on his hip and wouldn’t let go. If he hadn’t been so strong he might not have gotten away. He walks with a limp from that accident. You think that’s bad? He was out with the cowboys repairing fences one day and all these killer bees started stinging him. He said his head swelled up really big. The cowboys rescued him and helped him recover from that, too. After that his master decided he should come back to the Russell’s before something else bad happened.

That’s when I was born. It was fun growing up with my brothers and sisters. I had lots of good times teasing my sisters and pulling their tails. My brothers and I romped around the house and yard until Mother would scold us and make us take a nap.

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My Mom Sweetie

My story begins with Sweetie and her newborn puppies. Seven cute and cuddly pups began their journey through life at the Russell house.

Now, Mr. Russell is a cowboy. He trains horses and breeds dogs for the specific purpose of training them to be good cowdogs. Mother says, “Being a good cowdog means that you go out into the pasture with the cowboys to help gather and pen the cows when it’s time to take the calves to market”.

I can tell you it sure can get a little scary when those mama cows turn suddenly and run toward you with the sole intent of trampling you. You have to be alert and quick so you can get out of the way. It’s really lots of fun, even if it is hard work.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I want to tell you about my parents. Sweetie is my mother. She really has been sweet to me, making sure I was well fed and cared for, with a proper upbringing. She taught me to say please, thank you and you’re welcome, or you might get a swat behind the ear with her paw. She has very good breeding. She’s a Leopard dog. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’ve been told it means she is a high-class cowdog.

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