Promise, the Elk-chasing Cow Dog
By David Jessup
She was supposed to be a companion dog for my wife, Linda. Suburban-raised, well trained, affectionate, calm (the dog, that is). A classic Australian Shepherd: blue-black back, white collar, buff patches around brown eyes. A polite dog. She’d chase a ball to humor you, but nothing obsessive, like some Aussies we’ve known. Nothing unusual about her.
Until she spotted her first elk herd. (See video here)
Promise came to us in Maryland, courtesy of a friend who had to move away to take care of her aging mother. A month later we flew Promise out to Colorado for our annual nine-month stint at the ranch. It was April, time to begin irrigating our Big Valley hay field. I invited Promise to go along. She cocked her head and stood by the open car door.
“Hop in,” I said.
She sat down.
“Up,” I said. I tried to make my voice sound excited. I snapped my fingers.
Promise looked at me as if she suspected I was taking her on a one-way trip to the dog pound.