MY BUDDY BUZZ
by Roger Moore
This is a story that has been shared with others, but I always enjoy the opportunity to “talk dogs”. I hope RDT readers will enjoy and appreciate this story as much as I have enjoyed working stockdogs the past few years. Each dog that I have worked has their own individual thinking and working abilities. The longer I work with dogs the more I am reassured that a working dog is more than a man’s best friend.
The story I am about to tell pertains to my older dog, Buzz. His thinking capability continues to amaze me more than any dog I have ever owned.
Last year. I bought a bull from my brother whose farm is 25 miles south of mine. The evening before I was to pick up the bull, he explained to me that he had a ballgame to attend with his son; however, he would get the bull up and pen him for me.
The next morning, I hooked the stock trailer to my pickup and put my ol’ buddy, Buzz, in and went to get the bull. When I arrived at my brother’s farm, to my surprise the bull was running loose on 80 acres with four cows. My brother had just recently purchased this farm and there were no pens. He had eight 16-foot panels for a pen and, naturally, the bull had jumped out of the pen. Making matters worse was the fact that the cows and bull had never seen a dog.
I looked at the bull … I looked at the pen … and I looked at ol’ Buzz … and my first thought was, “I better go get two more dogs and my horse before we try this.” (Which is still a better circumstance than what I did before I had dogs. If this had been before my “dog days”, I would have gotten two more horses and cowboys, one three-wheeler, two of my kids, my wife and eventually a lawyer to settle the dispute between me and my wife, and a preacher to help me pray for forgiveness for my words and actions!)
While taking inventory of my predicament, I realized this would mean a fifty-mile trip back and forth, so I decided to give it a try with just Buzz and I.
The cattle were grazing some 500 yards away from the pen. I drove the pickup and trailer to the lot and gave Buzz the command to bring the cattle to me. It took him roughly 15 minutes to train that small herd of cattle to do things his way. As he worked the cattle closer to me, I pulled the pickup and trailer up to the pen and made a wing and proceeded to get out and help.
When the cattle got close enough to see what the situation was, the bull decided he had gone as far as he was going. That bull turned and looked at Buzz … Buzz stood firm and looked at the bull … and I looked for the nearest tree.
Then the fight was on! The bull lowered his head and made a pass at Buzz. Buzz grabbed the bull by the nose and turned him around. Twice more the bull tried the same thing, but Buzz stood firm and turned the bull each time. When the battle was over, those four cows and the bull went into that pen like a bunch of dog-broke sheep.
Feeling the relief of having them penned was brief as it suddenly occurred to me: “Here we are with four cows and the bull in the pen, with no way to separate the bull and load him.” I backed the trailer up to the corner of the pen and made the best with what I had to work with. At this point, you must remember, the bull had jumped out of this same pen just a few hours earlier. To be quite honest, I really did not have much faith in fulfilling this task.
I sent Buzz around to the other side of the bull to face up to him. Then it happened .. , that bull turned away from ol’ Buzz and went into that trailer like a dairy cow goes into the stall ready to be milked. He was definitely defeated! Now, I am a person that has more trust in that dog than anybody, but if I would have had a gambling man with me that day, even I would have bet money we would not have that bull when we left there.
As we loaded up and started for home, I thought about what Buzz had accomplished. I thought about what the conditions would have been without him and last, but by no means least, I thought of how lucky I am to have an Australian Shepherd named Buzz.
Thanks again for letting me share just one of the escapades Buzz and I have endured over the years.
One of my favorite sayings is: Every man needs a good horse, a good dog and a good woman … and my wife reminds me each day how fortunate I really am!
this article was first published in The Ranch Dog Trainer Magazine April/May 1994