Two Dog Nights Again At The Ranch Pen

As I mentioned a while back, our beautiful dog Nellie was ravished by a nincompoop and had puppies in a den she dug beneath a trailer top set four inches off the ground. (below)

We couldn’t see the puppies for several weeks, but then I thought–in my wishful way–I could detect four little heads back there in the dark den. The grandkids thought perhaps five. When the pups were about a month old they tottered into daylight. (below)


first glimpse of Nellie’s puppies

It turned out we had underestimated. Seven puppies crawled out of the den. The next week they looked like this:

And then like this:

Pretty soon we had this:

Blondie in puppy love

Then we had this:

And poor Nellie looked like this:

Nellie was a super-good mama dog, but her puppies were sucking the juices from her body, leaving her a shriveled up old hag before her time. They were also putting a big hole in Gramps’ pocketbook, taking down bag after bag of dog food. As for careworn ol’ Danni–who didn’t want to do a Cruella DeVil and make coats out of Nellie and Nincompoop’s puppies–the pups weighed heavily upon her heart. How would she find good homes for so many chow hounds? So, she did what she does and got busy praying.

As a result, the next week when the puppies were eight weeks old, the grandkids found homes for three of them with cattlemen attending the livestock auction, a friend adopted two of them, and then two young dads took the last two pups for their kids. I feel confident all went to good homes and that is much to be thankful for. 

Trace and Nellie, all the dogs a person could wish for

Trace and relieved Nellie, all the good ol’ dogs Gramps and Danni need

Thanks so much for reading. God bless all y’all and enjoy Matt Maher and his friends tearin’ up All the People Said Amen.

Anecdotes From The Ranch Pen

border collie on atv

Nellie preparing for a career in some sort of Extreme Sport in case the stock dog thing doesn’t work out

A Little Too Loosely?

Today, we’ve got a post chock full of short anecdotes from the Ranch Pen. The official definition of anecdote is included below to assist y’all in determining if the term is perhaps used too loosely here.

Anecdote: a short and amusing, or interesting, story about a real incident, or person (or dog)

Coming On Apace

As pictured above, Nellie is in training for a career in Extreme Sports. But first, she has to learn the ‘stay’ command, as in: Stay on the 4 wheeler, Nellie, so you can look cool on the blog. She has also been learning ‘that’ll do’. As in: That’ll do, Nellie. Drop the cat. Now. That’ll do, I said! Blast it all anyhow, that’ll do!

No, Nellie is a smart little gal and her training is coming on apace. She LOVES to ride on the four-wheeler and she knows ‘sit’ and ‘go home’. She also ‘shakes’ which has no useful application, but it’s a charming gesture. I’ve never trained a stock dog before, but I purchased some training books with my birthday money and have been studyin’ on it. What could go wrong?


Gramps’ fence building rig–DOA

What’s The Number For 911?

On the beautiful morning pictured above, I had to perform a rescue operation for Gramps. His fencing truck’s giddy-up had laid back its ears and died. All he could do was drive in reverse, which gets a person pretty much right back where they started. So, why did you have to rescue him, Danni?–you might be asking. He could’ve just kept backing up til he got back to the ranch, seems like.

Well, apparently Gramps didn’t want to drive for twenty miles in reverse. He’s funny that way and he’s also a little grumpy on occasion.

Gramps (looking testily at Danni standing in the road with her iPhone poised for action): You’re not puttin’ this on the blog are you?

Bwah, ha, ha…

oklahoma sunset

Another Amazing Southwest Oklahoma Sunset

A Genius

After studying the letters below–created by the three-year-old grandson, Einstein–we can only conclude he is a genius.


Killed By A Swimming Pool?

We keep one of those horribly ugly, bright blue, above-ground swimming pools for the kids’ summer fun, but alas–or, finally, depending on the viewpoint–summer has ended. The nieces came to help drain and roll up the heavy monstrosity. Nellie was no help. She became hysterical–as one of my dog training manuals calls it–with joy. She raced around like a loony tune, leaping about on the drained pool, no doubt puncturing it in a million places. Nellie’s antics were slightly dangerous to everyone, I suppose, but we finally captured her and locked her in her pet taxi to chill out. But then came the part when life was nearly snuffed out. While the nieces lifted the pool sides, I stood inside and dried the thing with towels. The thirty-mile-an-hour breeze–as we who live on western Oklahoma wind farms call it–caught the canvas stuff, ripped it out of the girls’ hands, and whacked me right on the head. Seriously. Swimming pools can kill even without water.


Donating Agnes Campbell’s Hat to the Hobart Oklahoma Public Library with the real Tessa (right)

Thanks Again

And another huge thank you to all of you who have read, or are reading, Agnes Campbell’s Hat and for the nice comments and the reviews on I love writing for kids and I love knowing they enjoy the stories.

My art students–grandkids, nieces, and assorted others sometimes–which I have dubbed The Rocky Ridge Illustrators, are working on illustrations for several of my other books for kids–Silver Cries Fowl, Mystery At Sheep Camp, and one with the tentative title of Escape From the Inskeletower. We have no release date as yet since my art group’s other names could also be, The Rocky Ridge Snackers, The Rocky Ridge Swimmers, The Rocky Ridge Horseback Riders, and The Rocky Ridge Players.

A Serious Note

On a serious note, the news coming out of South Dakota this week is really terrible. An early blizzard has left many ccattle in western South Dakota dead and the families that depend on them for their livelihoods in trouble. In bad weather conditions like that, cattle turn their tails to the wind and start drifting. If they hit a fence or drop into a ravine, the cattle behind just keep coming, piling on top of each other and suffocating the layers beneath. Early estimates place the livestock loss at at least 75,000 head. I’m sure those ranch and farm families affected would appreciate prayers as they try to figure out where to start dealing with their losses and the massive cleanup.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy this old clip of The Bishops singing I Need You More Today.


*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ‘em.

Sign up for email updates from The Ranch Pen in the box at the top of the sidebar, or follow with bloglovin’ or feedly–handy tools to corral all the blogs you follow.
Follow on Bloglovin
follow us in feedly

A Border Collie Reviews Pet Safe Wireless Fencing at the Ranch Pen

Border Collie Wearing Pet Safe Collar

Nellie, a poster dog for Pet Safe Wireless Fencing


Today at the Ranch Pen blog, we have a special guest, Nellie, to review her Pet Safe Wireless Fence. Nellie is  six-months-old and has been wearing her Pet Safe collar for about six weeks. She is a border collie, Scotch collie, and Australian shepherd which is a wonderful mixture to produce livestock dogs, but tends to afflict the youngsters with ADDD, or Attention Deficit Dog Disorder. That genetic mash-up also produces dogs that live to chase things. Please bear in mind her ADDD makes her a little hard to follow, and she is prone to exaggeration.

With that, I’ll turn the blog over to Nellie. Take it away, Nellie.

Howdy, name’s Nellie. Excited. So excited. Getta be on the blog. Really excited. Got the wiggles. Wiggling. Panting. Panting and wiggling. Thanks Pack Leader/Old Person. PLOP. Great introduction. Loved it. Absolutely. Thanks. Love the PLOP. Absolutely love her. Would wait two days to eat the PLOP if she croaked over dead. No! Wait! Three days. Three days. Absolutely. Then a nibble. A tiny nibble. Nibble only.

Oh! Oh! It’s true. Love to chase. Love it. Absolutely love it. Chase anything. Anything at all. Anything that moves. Wait. Is that a grasshopper? It is. A grasshopper. Love to chase grasshoppers.

Wait…A CAT! A Cat! Oh, I love cats. Oh! Oh! And chickens. Chickens squawk. I love chickens.

And oh! OH! OH! OH! Grandkids! Grandkids are best. Love grandkids. Absolutely love grandkids. Little feet flash. Dash in for heel nips. The noise! Shrieks! Screams! Shrieks and screams. Delightful. Absolutely delightful. Love grandkids. They’re delightful.

CARS! Oh, goodness. CARS! If I could only catch a CAR! Die happy. Happy. Really happy. Love CARS!

Oklahoma Highway

photo courtesy of the PLOP

Road in front of house. Straight as string for miles. CARS almost break  sound barrier there

Nellie! Focus. Nellie. blah, blah, blah. Nellie! Sit. blah. Sit, I said. blah. Nellie. Focus for Pete’s sake. blah, blah. Pet Safe Wireless Fence…

Oh! My PLOP. The PLOP speaks. Speaking PLOP. Review. Forgot. Pet Safe Wireless fence. Hate the thing. Hate it. Absolutely hate it. Fire out my tail. Fire. Scorch marks under toenails. Scorched earth. Smoke. Impeded. Chasing impeded. Absolutely impeded. Comedown. Absolute comedown. NO CARS! No cars. Never cars. No grandkids. Hardly a grandkid. Chasing fish. All that’s left. Fish. A few cats. Stupid cats.  Some gardening. Digging. Enjoy gardening. With goggles. And frogs. Some frogs. There is that. Frogs. No toads. Foam. Toads make mouth foam. Wait! GRASSHOPPER! Is that a grasshopper? It is. Grasshopper!

She gone.

(Nellie has pounced away after a grasshopper, so we’ll just thumb through her photo album until she returns.)

border collie with a frog

photo courtesy of the PLOP

Me with frog



photo courtesy of PLOP

Pan full tasty cats. Off limits. Ridiculous


Gardening. Eradicate useless greenery. Empty excess soil. Create water drain side of pot. Safety first. Use goggles. (right)


photos courtesy the PLOPIMG_4120

Slippery fish. Fishing. All that’s left. Degrading. Life over. Hate Pet Safe Wireless Fence. Absolutely hate it.

Okay, I’m afraid Nellie has gotten sidetracked, so I’ll finish her review. First of all, even though her Pet Safe collar has some electrode thing-ies to deliver correction, the electric shocks don’t send fire out her tail or leave scorched earth under her toenails. I accidentally touched the electrodes and they delivered an unpleasant shock, but certainly not what Nellie describes. (As I said, Nellie is prone to exaggeration. And I don’t really appreciate her calling me PLOP, to be honest. I’m not THAT old.)

Gramps and I love the Pet Safe Wireless Fence and highly recommend it. We have lost many dogs through the years to the highway in front of the home place. A neighboring farmer told us about the wireless fence he has for his dog, so we decided when we got Nellie, we’d try it. You can read all about the system and how it works on Pet Safe’s website, so I won’t get into that. Installation took several hours and some trial and error to get the system adjusted, but nothing to be compared with burying cable and so forth like with the wired systems. Also, Pet Safe’s customer service was awesome.

The system isn’t recommended for dogs under six-months-old, but Nellie started to chase cars at about four-and-a-half months, so we couldn’t wait. Also, we developed another problem with her after the tragic disappearance of our barn cat, Paisley.

Paisley’s litter of kittens was old enough to survive when she disappeared, but Nellie wouldn’t stop tormenting them. Finally, she began using the kittens for chew toys and balls, throwing them into the air and chewing them until she nearly killed one.

We moved the kittens to the barn outside the ninety foot radius of the receiver. The Pet Safe collar solved the kitten mauling problem. And the car chasing problem. And the chicken bothering problem. And the grandkid problem, as long as they stay outside the zone. (She doesn’t chase the grandkids’ pony, Frisco, because he don’t take no trash off smart-mouth dogs.)

The lowest setting on the collar sufficed until Nellie had been wearing it for a few weeks. Then she took a fit of running through the barrier, so I had to turn up the correction level. Since then we’ve had no problem with her breaking the barrier.

So far, the original battery in the collar is still working and, as pictured above, Nellie spends a lot of time herding fish, so the collar must be pretty waterproof.

We haven’t started her working livestock yet, but when we take her in the pickup to one of the farms, or anytime she leaves the home place, we just remove the collar. She has learned when I tell her it’s okay she can cross the barrier. However, I never walk her across it near the highway, just in case. We also remove her collar at night when she is confined to her pet taxi.

A few days ago, our neighboring farmer said to me, “That wireless collar is just a blessin’, ain’t it?”

And I said without reservation, “Yes, it is.”

I hope Nellie’s review has helped anyone with a naughty dog who chases cars, or won’t stay home. Nellie might hate her collar, but Gramps and I give it five stars.

If anyone has questions about the Pet Safe System, just post them in the comment section and Nellie will do her best to answer.

Nellie’s song choice is Snow Patrol singing Chasing Cars. Until next time, thank you so much for reading and God bless all y’all.



*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, Nellie just likes ‘em.

Related Posts

New Arrivals At The Ranch Pen

Ode To A Green Cowdog

Sign up for email updates from The Ranch Pen in the box at the top of the sidebar, or follow with bloglovin’ or feedly–handy tools to corral all the blogs you follow.
Follow on Bloglovin
follow us in feedly

New Arrivals At The Ranch Pen In Southwest Oklahoma

Border Collie Pup


Our long awited puppy has finally come to live on the home place. We changed her name to Nellie to avoid confusing her with a close family member. According to her breeder, Shawna, Nellie’s a mixture of border collie, scotch collie, and Austrailian shepherd. Choosing her from the other girls in the litter was hard because…well…I wanted them all. In the end, Nellie came to live with Gramps and me because she has already begun to show some interest in livestock–which is what we need, as well as a pet.

As I’ve mentioned before, Baxter Black is one of my favorite cowboy poets and story tellers and having a pup on the place again reminds me of this tale about an ol’ ranch gal, her dentures, her pup, and some missionaries.


I’m so happy I don’t have dentures, yet, although I do have a story about two missionaries who startled me and another of our dogs in the backyard one time and all three of us ladies ended up shrieking and flapping around like a bunch of old hens.

Daughter-in-law #2 and I had an adventure getting her pup and mine home–part of which entailed barf in my lap and barf in daughter-in-law’s purse–but we made it and Nellie has settled into her job as the ranch hound, happily snoozing, shredding, digging, chewing, chasing, slopping, and dripping. Gramps and I are extrememly happy to have her.

Mama cat and New Kittens

The other new arrivals

And Paisley–formerly the extrememly expectant and miserable barn cat–finally presented six kitties. (Blondie, the granddaughter, says Paisley popped the kitties out. Her mother winces every time she says it. I don’t know why.) But, well done, Paisley!

God bless all y’all and enjoy Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor doin’ Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.


*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ‘em.

Old But Related Posts

Cowboy Poetry and Cullin’ the Ol’ Darlin’s

More Cowboy Poetry and Growing Vegetables For Slaughter In SW Oklahoma

Sign up for email updates from The Ranch Pen in the box at the top of the sidebar, or follow with bloglovin’ or feedly–handy tools to corral all the blogs you follow.
Follow on Bloglovin
follow us in feedly