This is the kind of story you only tell years after it happened.
One hot day I was outside doing something, not sure what it was but my wife, Jodi, finds me and tells me our three hogs are gone. So my first stupid question was “What do you mean gone?”
So she explained it to me again in two words: “They’re gone!” My second stupid question was “Where are they?”
Jodi explained to me that she had no idea. So the hunt to find the hogs began and it only took about 10 minutes or so before we found them about 400 yards away. They were still on our property but only because they hadn’t got to the back fence, which was only three looses strands of barbed wire. The grass out there was about 2 feet tall and those hogs were happy! But I wasn’t because I had things to do and it had nothing to do with pinning hogs in the heat. Jodi tells me they’ll follow her so she grabs some grass and calls to them. Well, they followed her to the first gate but they sure wouldn’t go any further.
Well if you know me you know I train cattle dogs so what do I do? I go to the kennels and get my two best cow dogs, Hanging Tree Sport and Hidden Canyon Cross.
Let me tell you, working hogs out in the middle of a field is not easy. I’m not sure if you can dog break hogs but I can tell you those three hogs were not dog broke.
So the fight began.
I started by getting behind the hogs and trying to get them headed back to the barn-lot where their pen was. I had used Cross to catch and hold calves before but neither him nor Sport had ever got to work hogs. This means I had nothing going in my favor.
My wife liked these hogs so the first words out of her mouth were “Don’t let the dogs hurt those hogs!” After about 30 minutes of fighting with those hogs I was so hot, sweaty and mad I didn’t care much – I just wanted them in the pen. Since they wouldn’t leave the field they were in, I thought I’d just have the dogs bite them a little. Needless to say, my dogs were hot and tired also.
My first mistake was I just said “bite him” when the hogs turned the wrong way. Sport bit the first one and let go. But not Cross, he bit hard and wouldn’t let go and my wife started hollering at me but I was so mad I didn’t care about her hogs. I finely told Cross “that would do” and he let go of the hog. The hog was headed in the right direction so all was well. I was thinking to myself I should have gotten my dogs out a lot sooner!
However, when the hogs go to the barn-lot gate, two of them walked right through but one turned back. All I had to say was “bite him” and that hog had two dogs on his head and my wife was screaming at me and the hog was squealing like crazy. I won’t say here the words that were coming out of my mouth other then I didn’t care about that darn hog – I just wanted him in the pen! Well that hog turned right to the gate and I told my dogs “that would do” and they let go.
Two of those hogs finally had enough and all they wanted was their pen but one stupid hog still wanted to make my life miserable. And he was doing a good job of it too. When we got to the pen two hogs ran in but one turned and made one last try at escape but in a flash he had two dogs on him. The blood was flying, my wife was screaming and I was telling my dogs to “bite him” some more. When we finely got those hogs in the pen and after all was said and done everyone and every animal was fine other than a few chewed hog ears. My wife and I finally had a good laugh over the whole ordeal.Tags: cow dogs, herding, herding hogs, herding pigs, hogs, pigs