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Bitter-Sweet Memories of Australian Shepherds on the Ranch
by Kelly Robin Bahme
(Casa Grande, Arizona)
As a young woman, I cannot remember my age at the time. Maybe Mr. Bader can recall my age. My Grandfather owned and operated 36 sections of land. Well known in our small community, he ( my grandpa) had many friends. One was this old rancher, A Martinez, who lived up river quite a ways, and he would take trips to Mexico to visit his daughter and always bring back trinkets and treasures for me!
Well this one year he gave me his most prized possession, Jesse! The most beautiful Aussie I had EVER laid my eyes on. She was well up in her years, but lived for quite along time after she was given to me. She was strawberry red and white! Well behaved, gentle, loving, one of the best round up dogs Grandpa had ever used since his Shaggs died! Protective too!
Jesse gave us quite alot of litters, I had a long nine of her pups. One of her last litters, she left me with my Nanook, she loved to round up the cattle with my mom. And would run the sheep out in the pasture, playing, and in her own way adding development to her cattle gathering all on her own.
My sister, one day killed her, when she saw Nanook chasing and rounding the sheep. Thinking that Nanook was attacking them! I was in Washington state at the time, but I kept constant contact with my Granpa, always checking up on my livestock, especially my Nanook.
Granpa told me that she died, and this was not an easy chore for him to tell his baby about her baby! He kept the fact from me for two or three years, about how she died, knowing I would be extremely upset with my sister! My mother was the one who finally told me. Mother was heartbroken too, at the time it all happened and it was difficult for her to tell me the truth.
I guess my sister got the butt chewing for shooting her, if she would have paid attention to Nanook's actions while growing up, and if she'd of stopped to watch the dog, that day, she would have seen that Nanook was just keeping the sheep together in the field, with no intent to harm...
I have not had a cattle dog since, but I can tell an Aussie a mile away! My Aussie's were priceless! Ten million dollars would not be enough for one to pay. Jesse, and Nanook were my children, and no other breed will ever replace the love I have for the Austrailian Sheperd Cattle Dogs. Maybe one of these years I will get another and restart my rearing and training, another lineage, raised by me...
Thank you for listening, I hadn't shared that story in many a years.
Love them, care for them, guide them, and they will be the best friend you will EVER have in your lifetime.
Kelly Robin McKinley-Myers Bahme
Burt and Audrey Myers' Grandaughter
I wish I had photos to share, my regrets.
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