This is an Australian Shepherd pup with a “glass eye” like the one in Joe Kreger’s poem below
I’m off on an excellent adventure with Gramps for a few days, so I’ll borrow a page from the High Plains Journal and share a poem from one of my favorite cowboy poets, Joe Kreger. He’s an Okie rancher and his poetry is as real as it gets. Some of his poems make me cry, including the one below about his dog. Enjoy.
By Joe Kreger
Though a lifetime allotment is one good dog, I’ve already had quite a few.
But, one stands high above the rest, our faithful friend, Old Blue.
Old Blue was kinda pretty. He was spotted like a leopard,
one glass eye, and bob-tailed, a classic Australian Shepherd.
We got Blue when he was five, trained good, and all grown up.
He was our only good dog that we didn’t raise from a pup.
Blue came from the Osage nation where he worked for a cowboy crew.
Anything a heel dog can do with a cow, Old Blue was able to do.
When we first met him, he was lookin’ sad, tied up to tree.
But, right off the bat, I took up with him, and he took up with me.
He also took right up with Pat and Dessa and Sarah Jane.
He even loved our little rug rat, the one we called Joe Bayne.
Blue was always a gentlemen, and Old Blue was awful smart,
but you didn’t want to scold him hard, ’cause he had a tender heart.
If you ever talked too rough to Blue, he closed his eyes and dropped his ears.
To think he hadn’t pleased you was among his greatest fears.
But, as well as he liked the family life, he had a greater joy,
and that was his life’s profession; Blue was a top cowboy.
Even when he was aged, he spun and frolicked like a pup
everytime I caught the horse and began to saddle up.
When we were makin’ a gather, there was somethin’ special ’bout Blue.
He fell right in and did his part without bein’ told what to do.
Another thing that must be said on Old Blue’s behalf,
He’d eat the heels off the meanest bull, but wouldn’t nip a baby calf.
And some of the hands I neighbored with, who didn’t like dogs along,
changed their minds when they saw ‘im work. Then, he could do no wrong.
Blue went through life doin’ his job in almost perfect form,
except for one bad vice he had, a fear of thunderstorms.
For, every time the lightening cracked and the thunder stared to roll,
if there wasn’t already one around, then Blue would make a hole.
Blue just kinda lost it when a storm would start to roar.
He’d go through a plate glass window, or he’d tear right through a door.
Blue lived to be an old dog, givin’ his best to his life’s work.
He finally got stiff and crippled up, but, still, he wouldn’t shirk.
Blue played his last role out in style; he became a cowdog professor,
and he then trained young heeler hank to be his own successor.
His last few months were filled with pain, which wasn’t fair to Blue,
but I just kept procrastinating about what I ought to do.
I finally got my courage up, but waited for a pretty day.
Then called the vet out to help Blue on his way.
I put him on the pickup bed where he always loved to ride.
We gave Old Blue an easy trip on to the Other Side.
His body lies ‘neath a sand hill where he used to gather cattle,
but his spirit still goes with me everytime I’m in the saddle.
|Editor’s note: Joe Kreger writes from his home in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. His CDs are available from the Journal by calling 1-800-954-5263.|