Rural Dog's Survival Guide

Article written humourously from dog's viewpoint about potential dangers to dogs in the rural lifestyle. Written to warn dog guardians about need to protect dogs from these dangers and temptations.


by Chelsea & Bones

(transcribed & copyright by Pam Green , 1991)

So Mumsie or Dadsie is gonna move to the country and kick back to enjoy the peaceful life on a farm ? Well, fellow flea-busters, there's a few things you should know about living the rural life.


It's ecstatic fun to chase livestock, especially if your genes go back to bone fido herding dogs. But you probably shouldn't do it. If you try to chase the neighbor's poultry , sheep, or cattle, the neighbor will probably shoot you ! That's shoot as in "bang, bang, you're dead" ! Cows with calves will chase and stomp you. Horses are likely to kick you -- we know a Bouv who was killed that way -- and a few of them will stomp or bite you. (Actually horses can be pretty good friends if you are gentle and polite to them.) If you chase Mumsie and Dadsie's stock at home, they may react by screaming and swearing (which is lots of fun) , by tying a dead chicken around your neck, by renting a zap collar and frying you whenever you start to have fun, or by exiling you to the kennel until they get around to putting up proper fences to separate you from the livestock.


Wild critters are just as much fun to chase as livestock, even though they usually run much faster so you aren't as likely to have the fun of killing one. Most of them aren't really all that tasty -- though mummified squirrel and dried out rabbit are pleasantly crunchy -- and some carry unpleasant parasites that might take up residence in your bod. Try not to get so carried away that you follow a rabbit onto the freeway or under a farm-truck. Deer are extremely exciting to chase, but the game warden or some damn hunter is likely to shoot you. "Bang, bang, you're dead" again.

Stay away from black and white striped kitties. About 99% of them carry rabies, which you sure don't need to be exposed to even if you are up on your shots. Besides they don't fight fair, and if they stink-bomb you , Dadsie will exile you to the kennel or Mumsie will bathe you in Massingill's douche.


The woods are lovely , dark, and deep : full of wonderful smells and critters. But stay out of the woods during "hunting season" : too many ignorant sons of women out there whose motto is "you just stand there looking cute, and when something moves you shoot". Yeah, more "bang, bang". Gunfire in the country ain't quite the same silly meaningless noise that gunfire on the Schutzhund field is.

Off leash walks on farm roads next to agricultural fields aren't as exciting as walks in the woods but are still very pleasant. But stay out of the fields if Mums tells you too : sometimes they have been sprayed with bad stuff, and anyway the farmer is apt to get pissed off if you damage his crops. Don't chase the farm trucks : they aren't edible.


If you like to swim , you'll love all those long skinny swimming ditches. Sometimes they are full of water; sometimes thick gooey mud that you can run through. There's always plenty of dirt to dig in, and usually enough squirrels and gophers to inspire you to dig vigorously. Plenty of grass to run through and roll in; and sometimes you find the most marvelous goop to eat or roll in , especially if cattle or horse have been in the field. By the time you get back to the house, Mumsie may not be absolutely thrilled to let you back in. That's OK, just leap through the door before she can stop you and race off to the bedroom and leap on the bed and dig down to snuggle under the blankies. The bed is the ideal place to rest while you chew mudballs out of your feet and pull cockleburrs out of your fur.

Be sure to tell Mumsie at once if you get a foxtail up you nose or down your ears.and about the ones that have been burrowing into your feet for the past few days. Yeah, we don't like the vet either, but foxtails can kill you or cause you to lose a leg.


If Mumsie and Dadsie haven't yet invited you up on the bed, just wait for the first sub-zero night when the woodstove ain't working. They'll learn the reality of the "two dog night" then !


We're sure you'll love the country as much as we do !


site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 4/12/03 revised 4/23/03
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