22 Feb 1998-6/2009 blue merle c/w 22in, 55lbs
OFA-good, eyes checked normal 2/07
full dentition, scissors bite
Doc came to us from Bruce Nelson as a 5 year old. He had already finished his WTCH and clocked many hours of practical cattle experience with Bruce. Because of Doc’s confidence and good nature, it didn’t take him long to become very bonded to me. He had an extremely loving and devoted personality and was very accepting of new people and situations. After some time adjusting to a different style of handling and trialing, he soon became very competitive with his new handler, winning many High in Trial, High Combined and high placings at ASCA Nationals and Finals competitions. Doc was always trying to please and had a tremendous amount of heart.
Doc was extremely strong on cattle with a stylish and powerful bite on heads and heels. He was also very good at hitting a front foot if necessary. He would walk straight up with confidence and turn a cow without force. He could get angry with a belligerent steer but only after he had tried to play fair, allowing the animal to move off his pressure and follow the rules. Once he had lined them out they didn’t often try him again. He could be a little strong for trialing when he was challenged, but he made an excellent, practical cowdog.
Doc learned to be an excellent sheep and duck dog as well. His loose style could be a little sloppy for the ducks, but when he stayed steady he handled them very well. He actually loved to work ducks and could be very quiet and slow while still staying focused. Doc was very honest and gentle with sheep, even when in tight places. He would push when needed without grip but would also give a soft, low heel to move stubborn ewes. In the field, Doc would go out and look for sheep. When they were spotted he would naturally go out around covering and bringing them to the barn. I also used him to pull the 40+ flock of ducks out of the pond. He loved to swim and would take directions while doing so. He was relaxed enough so they swam away and onto ground instead of diving and swimming underwater to escape.
Doc had a "never quit" attitude. Once while training he was kicked in the mouth when heeling. He continued to work but as he moved the group toward me I noticed his mouth bleeding. I quit him and called him to me and could see his lip was sticking out oddly. After checking, I found that the bone in the roof of his mouth around his upper canine was busted and his tooth (still incased in the bone) was sticking out sideways causing his lip to stick out. The roof of his mouth was actually broken open and all he wanted was to take a well-deserved dip in the pool after working. Never complained the whole time and would have continued working if I hadn’t stopped to check him. The vet pushed the whole mess back in place, wired it, gave him some time off and Doc never had trouble with it again. Doc was a great dog, always happy, always friendly, took everything in stride. Tons of heart.