Wow, let me tell you about a cool place my momma calls the ranch. This is where she grew up and it is the coolest place on earth. There were horses, cows, cats, and even a stinky old elk. I barked at them all cause when I smelled them it was like nothing else I had ever smelled before. Especially the elk…

Since I use my nose for so many things, it is really quite an experience when I smell new things. It is like seeing and hearing something for the first time. Scent is really the first sense we dogs use in this world. Usually, our nose is the first to tell us that a new person or animal is around and then we will see and/or hear them. This is actually good for me because my nose tells me everything.

There were these really big fields of grass that Sombra and I ran through. I do love Sombra. Momma says she is my sunshine. Anyway, the grass was so tall I had to weave my way through it. Every once in a while it would hit me in the face and startle me. Momma explained that the cows and horses eat this tall grass so they can grow big and strong. Yuck!

After we played in the fields my momma and daddy showed me the river. Wow! Now that was fun. I have had lots of baths and been rinsed off with the hose in my backyard, but never have I had all four paws in this cool, flowing water that my humans call a river. I was a little unsure at first, but after a few minutes of being in the water, I realized it was OK. I then started to bite at it and jump around in it. I also found some black, stinky mud and played in it. It was wonderful.

Daddy wasn’t happy, but being an Arizona dog I didn’t know when I would see it again, so I had to! Once he saw how much fun I was having, he didn’t care and let me play all I wanted.

One day, when we were exploring, there were these smaller cows that I could smell and my momma explained to me that they were calves or baby cows. I wanted to bark at them and try to chase them but my momma also told me that is a ‘big no no’. She explained that Master Grandpa would be really mad at me and that the only time we are supposed to be around the cows is when we are helping move them where humans want them to go. This is what is called herding. There are many breeds of dogs that have been trained to herd livestock (sheep, cattle, goats, and ducks), and I am one of them.

Herding instincts are strong in all Australian Shepards because that is what we have been bred to do. It’s in my blood. We just have to learn when the right time to herd is and follow our human’s instructions and cues.

My mistress grandma was really sweet. I helped her in the garden when she was watering all the plants. She would spray me a little with the hose if I got in her way and I would run around all crazy like. It was actually great when she would do that because it was so hot there compared to my house.

Mistress Grandma had never been around a blind and deaf dog before. She learned a lot about how to train me along with all the things I can do. She signs my guestbook every once in a while which makes me really happy. I hope to see my Mistress Grandma again soon. And, I hope I can go back to the ranch sometime to smell everything again.

Everything about the ranch was awesome, except for the stairs in the house. They were really hard for me to navigate the first day or so. But, by the time we left I had figured them out and I had mapped most of the house and the backyard. It was cool because there was way more space at the ranch than in my backyard. I think I would like to visit there again.

Take care, and may all your adventures be filled with fun and wonder (and stinky mud!).