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Saying Goodbye To My Good Friend, Allie

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This is my tribute to our family dog as we say goodbye to Allie.

We lost a good friend yesterday. Our family dog, Allie, a 13-year old Yellow Lab, died Tuesday. I guess she just needed to wait for us to get home from the state fair to say goodbye. I wasn’t sure if I should blog about this, but chances are that many of you have a canine friend or two on your ranch, and I have a feeling you can probably relate to how my family is feeling today.

Allie was my husband Tyler’s childhood pet when he grew up in Minnesota. She was his hunting buddy -- her specialties were ducks and pheasants. When Tyler went off to college at South Dakota State University, Allie got to make plenty of trips to Brookings to go hunting and experience new adventures.

I met her in 2008, and she quickly became my running buddy and an honorary member of Team Beef, in my mind anyway. She loved running around the section with me and enjoyed scouting out those four miles of ditches in search of rabbits and other critters.

She moved to our ranch in South Dakota when Tyler and I married in 2010, and although she wasn’t a working cattle dog, she always loved riding in the back of the pickup. She would hang her head out the side to catch a breeze and take in all the sights and smells, as well as keeping us company while we worked.

She was a polite dog, who rarely barked or caused trouble, unless you count the time she hauled a dead skunk onto our sidewalk on Christmas morning!

She particularly enjoyed the marshmallows we would toast when we hosted bonfires at our place, and whether I liked it or not, she was always up for a good bone to bury in the yard.

Allie might sound like an average dog, but to us she was one of a kind. It’s hard to say goodbye to our sweetheart, but I know she’s romping around in dog heaven, probably on the trail of a wily pheasant or two.

Allie, I know it was your time to go, but it just won’t be quite the same around here without your big goofy grin and soulful chocolate eyes. Goodbye, Al Pal. We’ll miss you, girl.

Do you have a ranch sidekick? What’s your dog’s name? Share with us your pets and their best stories in the comments section below. 

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 16

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Sorry for your loss. We lost our beloved pet and friend 3 years ago and still miss him to this day. He was a working border collie in his younger years and my husband's constant companion and helpmate. When he could no longer do his "work", he became my house buddy. We have thought several times about getting a new dog but don't think we can ever find one as good as him. Losing a special pet is like losing a family member and only those who have had to deal with this know how hard it is to say "goodbye" to a friend that loves and trusts you with his whole heart. Thanks for sharing about your loss as it is something that most farm families have had to experience many times.

Show dog breeder and beef lover (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Please consider getting another dog. While it won't be the same as your last one he/she will bring their own personality to your house and heart. There is a dog out there that really needs a good home such as yours.

Carl R Taylor (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

A good blog. We've all been there.

Diana (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

We sure have!!!!

Gloria Stroud (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

I know how you feel, our very loved Aussi is almost 16 years old, she can't see much any more and has lost her hearing, but still loves to go riding every morning with my husband in the Ranger. I know the time is coming when she will no longer be with us, saying goodbye will be very hard.
When Meg was only 8 weeks old she was with us on our ranch in Nebraska helping put up working pens. We had just dug post holes and little Meg was no where to be found. Panic set in as we looked everywhere for her, she was little and we looked down a post hole and there she was, her little fuzzy butt sticking up in the hole. They are just like little kids, you have to watch them every minute. She was a wonderful working dog in her younger days, we have a daughter of hers but she is no where as good a working dog, she will be missed very, very much.

Show dog breeder and beef lover (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Amanda,
So sorry for the loss of Allie, she sounded like a great girl. I think it is very important that the public who may read this blog to be reminded that ranchers and farmers consider their dogs as members of the family and not "just a dog". So many urbanites have the wrong impression of ranchers already, bringing the commonality of the love of your dogs helps bridge the gap between those who supply our food and those who eat it. I hope you get another dog soon, there is one out there who needs you as much as you need them. Michele

Ed Fowler (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

I dearly love my Labs, all three of them. They work cattle, sheep, carry my shovel and dams, retrieve tubes while when we are irrigating, know the difference between a shovel, pitch fork, and broom. will fetch slippers, my cain or what ever I teach them to do. Some are better than others but all my Labs have been great. Have had to say good by to many great dogs in my life, it is always a heart break but I could not live without a dog at my side, they have proven to be my best friends.

If a man has known one good horse and one great dog in his life time he can ask for no more. I have been truly blessed and understand your heartache well. But always look forward to developing a new best friend, dogs from times past linger fondly in my thoughts.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

We lost our beloved 17 yr. old Reg, border collie 'Snow Flake' this past spring. She was like all good working farm dogs and a pal to everyone. We took some time to recover from her loss, but the need for a new companion set us on a search for a new dog. We now have a very playful 16 week old English Shepard that has the family searching for all the things that he drags about. Take your time to search for that new friend.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

We said goodbye to our dog this week, too. Sorry for your loss.

Marcia Callaway in GA (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Amanda, Many thanks for sharing. Know exactly how you feel. Been there just recently. Love ya,

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

I am so sorry you lost your faithful companion. Dogs just do not live long enough. I have tears in my eyes reading this and seeing the 'look' in your dogs eyes. Our very best dog had that same 'look'. She has been gone for a few years now, and we have had dogs since then, but none like our beloved Zip. She was a one-family dog and boldly protected what belonged to us. There never was a cow she couldn't conquer. They had the utmost respect for her. She never once barked at a cow. Once at calving time, my husband was walking a couple of heifers to the barn when one split off and ran back to the other heifers. When he got to the barn with the first heifer, he told Zip to go get the one that got away. She ran down to where the heifers all were at the bottom of the pen, sorted out the one that got away and brought her to the barn. Coincidence? We don't think so. She came from a long line of working dogs that some ranchers raised for 30 years in SW Montana. They were no particular breed, just known as 'the Birrers dogs'. She was golden tan, with white markings, short. rather floppy ears and a natural bob-tail. She was tough and she was a great dog. Thanks for the memories this morning.

Kate Lynn (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Amanda, So sorry for your loss; thanks for sharing. I know exactly how you feel as we actually lost our lab over the weekend as well. She was my "cow checking" dog!, We had a date every evening to check and water cattle together in the pickup, whenever I would get home from work. She will be missed! Thinking of you. Katie

Peter Franzky (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Sorry Amanda and Tyler for your "best friend's" loss. Dogs are such great companiens, sometimes better and more forgiving than some people. It is ok to "mourn" over a dog's loss. She will be in dog heaven without pain. God will find you another great and loving dog. Best of good luck to both of you. You are special people with great talent a big heart. Cherish the wonderful memories with Allie.

Jim Turner (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Hi Amanda,

It's never easy handling this type of loss, but it sounds like Allie provided many great memories. I believe in the saying "all dogs go to heaven" and I'm sure she will be waiting there ready and excited to go on another hunt! This is a great tribute!

ken johnson (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Sorry for you loss, Mandy. We are on our fourth dog since started out. Each one is different, but they all can amaze you with their ways of acting and things they do.

Diana (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2013

Of course we know! Made me cry just in your saying good bye let alone read your story. Sorry for your loss and yes, she is playing with her recent catches in Heaven. So so sad.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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