Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sure-Enough Cowdogs

Leo, Randy Walker's Catahoula Cur. They don't come any tougher. How 'bout them eyes?

Helping the boss catch a horse or is Bubba just limbering up for a day's work?

Several weeks back, I spent a couple days at Ranger Creek Ranch, on the Rolling Plains near Seymour, Texas. I wrote about the visit in a short travel piece for Texas Highways. Of course I did all of the standard travel writer things, but what I enjoyed most was watching Randy Walker work his cowdogs, Leo, a Catahoula Cur, and Buster and Bubba, a pair of Catahoula-border collie mixes. Randy likes the Catahoula's grit and cow sense and the border collie's brains, class, and trainability. The crossings are working very well. He runs a cow-calf operation, which calls for gritty dogs - dogs that probably would be way too rough for sheep.

On the second morning, I watched Randy and the dogs work a small group of yearlings that weren't dog-broke. My snapshots don't do the dogs justice. Fortunately, Wyman Meinzer and I are putting the finishing touches on Working Dogs of Texas. Believe me; Wyman's photos do working dogs justice, and Randy's dogs will be in the book.

For now, though, you'll have to make due with my amateur shots.

Randy and the boys.

Getting Started

Don't Mess with Leo

Somebody gets a bright idea...

...and pays the price.

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