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A Tribute to Judy – Part 9

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Ernest Hammer

Judith Darlene Hammer

May 31, 1938 – August 8, 2023

Dog on the Loose

The dog had broken free from Judy. I tracked her about one half mile south of the house and lost her tracks. 

Judy and I went over to Andy’s to tell him that our new dog had run away. Teri came out of the house and looked out in the corral and said, “there she is with our dog.” I don’t remember how we got her back to the goats, but we did. She was a very good guard dog, but I never could pet her. I would feed her treats and try to get her to take them out of my hand. I would lay them on the ground and try to get a little closer each time. She was to the point of taking a treat out of my hand when a tragedy happened.

We had some guys out of Lamar that paid us to hunt quail and dove. They hunted around the junk yard and in the goat pen. When they came to hunt, I went out to tell them to watch out for the new guard dog. This one guy said, I already took care of that. He had shot his rifle over the top of the dog, and she ran down the road and got caught in a coyote snare and it killed her. None of the hunters ever said anything to me and I never saw them again. By the way we had named her GIRL.

Before we bought Girl, we had bought a Great Pyrenees from a lady that lived one hundred fifty miles east of Colby. We lived one hundred fifty miles west of Colby, so we picked the dog up at Colby. The dog was only three months old and not quite ready to start guarding goats. We named her Kati after the lady we bought her from. 

Kati is a very big dog but a very gentle dog. She likes to tease me when I go for my walk. She will get ahead of me and then turn around and head for me at full speed and then bypass me and turn around and grin. She is not the best guard dog. She barks a lot, but has let the coyotes get a few kids.

It started raining and we started growing some grass. Over time Judy and I sold all of our goats and built our cow herd back up. Tony and his grandkids still run some goats, so Kati still has a part time job guarding goats when they are at our house.

When Kati was full grown, we took her to the vet in Limon to get all of her shots. Tony helped me get her into the back seat of the pickup. When we got to the vet’s I had to go find him. While I was gone, Kati crawled into the front seat and was sitting behind the steering wheel as if she was the designated driver. Judy could only sit and watch.

Part 8 was published October 16, 2023, and can be found here.