|FTLComm - Tisdale - May 4, 1999|
|We live in a neighbourhood of cat families and it was a surprise to meet this fellow
on Sunday. If you are not a Saskatchewan person you might not recognise this dog,
but he is the standard Saskatchewan farm dog, mostly collie with excellent collie
markings and of course the dignified head of a Saskatchewan farm dog, not the straight
nose of the movie and television collie. This breed of dog has proved to be one
of the most useful farm appliances of all time, because they are good natured they
are great around the farm animals, but also because of their intelligence, they are
easy to train and can handle the roles of assisting with managing other farm animals
and look after farm security.
Almost every mixed farm in Saskatchewan at one time had at least one of these guys working full time and his or her health was a matter of serious concern to the family. Because they have a very limited life span, it was not uncommon to see a farm with two such workers, as a younger one was available to succeeded the elder one when he or she passed on.
One can not under estimate the importance of a well trained and good natured farm dog. They presided over the defense of the chicken coup because fox and skunks are serious trouble makers. There attendance was better then any locks to prevent gas thieves from helping themselves. They were far more efficient and capable then any fire alarm system and if you had livestock, they could bring in the cows at milking time and go get the chore horse from the pasture when it was needed. There presence in the farm yard was a major deterrent to visitations by the most destructive animal around, the nasty little raccoon and even black bears do no not like to encounter a determined and officious farm dog.