Where's the song ~~ "Don't let your daughters grow up to marry a Cowboy" ?

​​​​​​​Life is tough! Requires hard physical work, long, long days of pain, dirt, and broken fingernails.​
​Days of frigid cold & scorching heat; through the dust & mud; daybreak into the darkness of nite~~​
​the heart & body becomes toughened & weathered replicating leather!​
​A forever constant factor for a real Cowboy's Wife is tons of sweat, oceans of tears and a constant 'drought' in the wallet!​
​​​​​​​​​IF​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ she wants to spend anytime at all with her Cowboy, she must do as he does, you become partners!​
​​​​​​Kick off your boots, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and envision yourself in my life!​
​... It really isn't that bad! There are many rewards to be had to make it a great lifestyle! ...​ ​​​​​​​

Friday, March 6, 2009

Border Collies...

...Are Worth More Than Gold to a Cowboy!

This is our Mac..
an 8 week Tri-Color cutie!

Here's Mac at 9 months, (on the right), helping his Mom, Kayla
during one of Cowboy's Stock Dog Clinics he was putting on...

See all of this snow? Yikes!
Mac is on top.....at age 4
We were all in agreement..let's head for Arizona !

After 5 years, of working at the feedlot and becoming bilingual working dogs,
we came home to Washington.
(His Mom Kayla and Grandma Zig...died here at home)

Last Summer, at age 12, Mac enjoyed the sunshine and still thrived on spending his days trailing along with Cowboy, scouting for cattle and tangling with the coyotes.


Ol' Mac is almost 13 years now.
He still loves his role as Cowboy's sidekick...
Long days outdoors, curling up in the cave he dug under the chicken coop
and throwing in a quick nip at one of the horses..
...yes, at a much greater distance now.
But he loves to sleep too!

At Night!
I am a night owl...by MY choosing.
I get cranky when I don't get to sleep when I want!
Since January,
Ol' Mac has become afraid of the dark!
He hates to be alone!
And he hates to be in our room!
He became an inside dog only 3 years ago and had never set foot in our
room until our recent attempts of trying to get him to sleep!
He howls...and he howls...
We have tried leaving him in the mud room.
(with the light on and off...the heat on and off)
He howls...and he howls...
We have tried leaving him inside with the TV and lights on.
(His eyesight is not good, nor is his hearing but we tried anyway)
He howls...and he howls...
Having one of us "sleep" on the little tiny sofa in the TV room seems to keep him content. Frequently, he will nudge your hand.
Or he will stand staring at you.
Once you are in as deep of sleep as you are going to get,
he will apply his cold wet nose to your face,
making sure you are still there...and awake!
...scaring the crap out of you!

Cowboy and I have been taking turns, since January when this
became an issue, of curling up with Ol' Mac.
Because I "fit" better on the little sofa,
I seem to be the elected companion more times than not.
This is getting really old!
Ol' Mac's value of being worth more than that of gold...
... is fastly declining!
So here I sit, Ol' Mac is standing guard in the doorway - doozing!
Yes...he is standing, I'm sure it is to prevent any attempt on my part of sneaking
off to the soft comforts of my REAL bed!
I may as well work on my projects!
Sleep has become a rare commodity in our home!
I'm pretty sure this has contributed to my previous post!


Tatersmama said...

Awwwww, Poor old Mac! I know it's hard on you, but I think it's sweet that he wants you near him at night.
What a beautiful, faithful companion he is... and how Blessed you've been with his never-ending love and devotion.

Gail said...

He would do the same for you.

The Wife said...

Isn't it amazing what we will do for our furry family members! I can see the mutual love you have for one another. Now if he would just sleep!

Jeannelle said...

Ol' Mac looks like a wonderful friend, and he certainly has devoted owners. Don't know if I could forfeit sleep for him like you do. Our old Aussie Shepherd, Barney, lived to be 17, but he just got quieter and quieter.

Take care. Have a nice weekend!

Milah said...

Aww, poor fella. I wonder what's making him so timid at night??
I feel for you....I would be a grouch if I lost too much sleep.
Maybe a new puppy would keep him company?? Just a thought.

Maria said...

Will be thinking about you because I love my sleep. What a wonderful pictorial and tribute to Mac.
I've been there with the old dog too many times, they don't know why things are changing & I think they since they will be leaving us. They get so aggravating and it just kills you to get angry and frustrated with them.

Maria said...

I love Preserved Children. You find the neatest stuff. I'd like to post that sometime if it's ok?

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

He's like a newborn with his days and nights all mixed up, poor thing. Maybe he's stressed. Have you asked a vet about this? Anyway, thanks for commenting about Zoe!

Emma Rose said...

Your story made my Duchess cry, and then she hugged me really, really tight. Maybe your friend is right, Mac might need another canine friend to keep him company. In any case, I hope you get some sleep soon, and give Mac a snuggle from me.

terri said...

Poor Mac. But more importantly, poor YOU! Maybe Mac just needs a teddy bear?

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Poor Mac and you guys...sounds like he is still trying to work.
Get some rest and take care.

Shirley said...

we had an old border collie that was afraid of the dark; he would find the smallest little cubby hole to crawl into- picture him trying to hide underneath a night stand! But he didn't howl. I think that when they get older and lose their hearing and vision it makes them really insecure; remember that border collies have it ingrained in their nature to be in control. So he is probably quite stressed that he can't function the way he used to. You might be able to get him to sleep better if you put some lavender essential oil on his paws. I have some and will send it to you.You can also use it on yourself, it's good for cuts, burns, stress, sleeping, and about a thousand other things!

Rue said...

Good morning Mama Barb :)

Poor baby! Have you tried leaving a tv or radio on for him? We've had to get drugs for Fluffy (a lab) when we have thunderstorms, so maybe that would work at night?

I hope you get some sleep soon!!


Anonymous said...

Oh no!! I don't have a clue for anything else you could try. I'm afraid I would be just like you-go sleep with him-my dogs -I have 2-a Welsh Corgie, Sadie, 12 yrs. and a Blue Heeler, Sis. 8 months old-who is a BIG handful-so smart but so "I'm the boss-" Aalpha dog, I guess-I've had working dogs all my life, but never one like her. She "heels" anything walking-mostly me when I first get up in the a.m.-She is trouble, but I love her to pieces and I'm like you "Whats a girl to do?" Hugs, Bobbie

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh isn't it amazing how animals and humans interact. And I too am getting more afraid of things the older I get - things like flying which used to be so much fun but now...poor Ol'Mac - it's tough getting older sometimes :)

Renie Burghardt said...

Awww, well, I feel sorry for old Mac, and for you, Barb. Maybe some doggie valium would help? I would ask the vet, and try it.

Hope your weekend is going great.



fernvalley01 said...

Great news! does this mean Skeeter is going to get MORE NEUROTIC? He is at present wrapped around my ankle in the office because someone yelled.

Oregontribal1 said...

Oh Barb....here you are again. Tucker didn't howl at night, cause sleeping was his favorite past time! He did howl in his sleep tho' and here's a thought....why not give him something with yours or Cowboy's scent on it for at night time... like you would for a pup weaned too early from its momma?? Or let him sleep in your bedroom?? Tuck and the younger one slept at the foot of my folks bed on the floor...as long as the scent was familiar he was okey dokey. Couldn't hurt and you might get better sleep?

Far Side of Fifty said...

The life of an older dog is so different. He is losing his hearing, and probably more of his eyesight. He probably has some doggie alzheimers too. One thing I will pass on..I had two older Shelties that had some quirks like this..and they were both in early stages of kidney failure. Sadly they passed on..
Have you tried making him his own "den" in the house? Someplace he feels safe..near the door..so he can still work..something closed in..a kennel..an odd piece of furniture covered with a blanket..it may be worth a try.
Give him an belly rub from me:)

TheWritersPorch said...

Well Barb, Ole Mac just loves you and wants you near! I want to get Hubby a border collie for the cattle but haven't done it yet!

Christina said...

We all get older every day..... here is to Mac! Keep up dude. Just give mom a break from the night escapades.

BeeContent Ranch said...

Poor Mac !
My first thought is that his vision going and when it gets dark, he can't see well and he is frightned, like he's lost Cowboy and can't find him? Trapper's dad had a border collie cross who got like that when she got older.
Our terrier, Henery, has doggie dementia, I just know it. He will start barking at nothing looking up in the air in the house, he'll start running around as if he has lost his mind and will howl out of no where...then as suddenly as the episodes start (for a few days at a time) then he doesn't do any of it for weeks...he's 13 years old this November. Someimtes he does it during the day, but mostly at night...and then NO ONE gets any sleep!
As a matter of fact, as if he knew I was talking smack about him, he just popped out from under his blankie (ALWAYS under a blankie!) and shook himself off like he got shivers runnin' down his spine, rolled onto his other side and back snoozing.
What we put up with for our animals :)

Vaquerogirl said...

My Mac is an eleven year old Great Dane. NOw he wants to go outside every two hours at night. Usually Hubby gets up to let him out, but I hear ya when you say it's getting old. But then I remember all the amazing love and devotion he has given us and I just sigh and get up. He won't be with us much longer and I know Ill miss him when he's gone.
good luck with your old guy. Maybe an aspirin to help him sleep? Sometimes it helps my old guy.

LL said...

Sounds like you need to get him a buddy...

Red said...

you could try giving him a tylenol PM.

I am joking of course!
luvs ya sissy

prairierunner said...

LOL I'll send ole Mac a girlfriend to keep him company so you can keep somebody else company. Poor old guy just needs company.

Chris said...

My goodness! We have two border collies at work which are just gorgeous and I can't wait to get a pup when I have enough land for one to romp around on... but foal watch season is bad enough... a dog that's scared of the dark?

Here's to hoping you manage to get some sleep but if not, bring on the productivity!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Poor Mac!! Poor YOU!! I think Borders are highly emotional and sensitive because they are so smart. Wonder if losing some of his hearing and eyesight is making him feel a little panicky. Perhaps a trip to the vet is in order for some meds that might ease the transition for all of you. I wanted a tri-color when we got Minky but couldn't find one. So now we just have two colors of hair all over us instead of three.

S.W said...

I'm sad on you, for not being able to sleep comfortably at night and on Mac of fear of the night
take him to doctor.
Or to make it face the fear of the night, can succeed. Thanks Allah we don't face things like these coz we don't have animals at home ( mom never allow this happen) and in our society no one have cat or dog.

S.W said...

I wouldn't forget the Hugs ☺ ♥

Oregontribal1 said...

Well, you tried what I suggested and it doesn't work...hmmmm now my little brain is working quite a bit! He doesn't like the bedroom, but he likes his den under the coop? Have you tried a dog crate with some warm blankets, the door left open till he's used to it so he knows he can get out if he feels the need. Perhaps there is a neighbor nearby who could loan you one to see if that will do the trick? If not...I'd definitely talk to the local vet to see if this is something that is common in Border Collies? Maybe being so smart isn't all its cracked up to be...cuz feeling helpless makes us all feel a bit panicked. Good Luck and (((hugs))) to you both. Teresa

manker said...

ah yes, the animal kingdom and how they come into our heart... be it our dogs, horses.. G-ds awesome creatures


manker said...

ah yes, the animal kingdom and how they come into our heart... be it our dogs, horses.. G-ds awesome creatures


threecollie said...

I am so thankful that you stopped by to leave a comment so I came here to read this. Mike is different now too and went through a period when he couldn't handle nights too well. Thankfully we have managed to work into a new routine and he sleeps again. Mac sounds like a grand guy..

Broken Y said...

Maybe you can get a sleep aid from your vet for him. Nothing like not getting to sleep when you want to!! Poor thing! You and your trusted sidekick!

Beverlydru said...

Oh mercy. I'm glad some people had suggestions. I'm clueless.

DesertHen said...

Hi Barb. I haven't had a chance to sit and read blogs for a few days. Would somebody please tell me what happened to the weekend....I blinked and it was gone!!

This sounds like what my sister is going through with her 18 year old rat terrier. Sounds like your poor fella is really loosing more of his hearing and his eye sight is no longer good at night. Since he is not hearing or seeing well, the howling is somewhat of a comfort to him...not for you by any means, but to him, it makes him feel safe since he knows where he is. I would try the suggestions of making some sort of den in the house for him. That is what my sis had to do. It took several days, but now her little guy is sleeping a bit more at night. Sounds like you need to sleep a bit more too...I hope you get this all figured out soon so you can return to a somewhat normal sleep pattern.

I use to be a night owl until I went back to work! I loved staying up into the wee hours of the night and it would drive Hayman crazy! =) He just couldn't figure out why I liked staying up so late. I loved the silence in the house and I loved reading my books! Now if I stay up past 10 pm....I'm dragging the next day!

Hugs to you my friend and pats for Mac.

The Blonde Duck said...

Sweet puppy!

Train Wreck said...

Yep SOunds like he needs a pal. C'mon another baby border collie! You see the puppy would wear him out, he would have no choice but to sleep. lol, Dogs are supposed to sleep outside? Mine told me they were supposed to be inside?

wordmama said...

13! Now that's a nice, long life for a hard working pooch! I think that just like us people, dogs don't like to be alone in their golden years. Adn it seems that ol' Mac has taken that to the extreme - wanting to spend every waking moment with you. Here's hoping he remembers what night is really for and you catch some Zzzzz's soon!

Donna Marino said...

My neighbor has 3 Border Collies, and they're all black & white like yours. Watching our pets age is often heartbreaking. I have a Pit-Bull that is a gentle giant, and a Yorkshire Terrier who is mean as a lion!

aileen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.