While Jewel and Kola are certainly the Queen and King canines at Dunrovin, they are not the only ones who call Dunrovin home—for at least part of the time. It has long been Dunrovin’s policy that our workers are welcome to bring their dogs to work as long as everyone gets along and none of them harass the equines… and that they learn to stay clear of the donkey Divas. Donkey are commonly used in other countries to guard sheep from predators, and they will take out after unknown dogs and even give familiar ones a run for their money.
Currently two of our workers routinely bring their canine companions to Dunrovin, and, I must say that it is a pleasure. For one thing, the dogs are friendly and enjoyable to have around, and for another thing, their presence means it is always easy to find their humans. Just look for the dogs and you know the corresponding human has to be close by.
Kelli’s Canine Crew
Kelli Kozak is our ranch manager who recently moved here from Washington state, bringing her three dogs, Max, Aero, and Inu, along with her horse, Doc. What an unusual group of dogs. Meeting them and hearing Kelli tell their stories is a window into Kelli’s soul and spirit. She is clearly a canine angel with a heart that is all-encompassing. It is only her sensible self that keeps her from adopting any and all animals in need. Sometimes her mind must say “whoa” when her heart says “go.” All of us are blessed to have Kelli as a full-time ranch manager. Her caring attitude includes all of us.
Here are her three dogs in her own words:
Inu, aka Pumpkin Sprinkles, is a 12 year old red Heeler from Colorado. I was at the Castle Rock Dumb Friends League retrieving a neighbor’s dog who had run away when a woman came into the building, surrendering her two dogs. I couldn’t have that, so I told her I’d meet her in the parking lot and take her dogs. I found a home for Jake, the other, and took Inu. She is hard-wired to herd and is much smarter than I am. During lessons and corral sessions, it is very important to there that she be on hand to help just in case the horse should have the nerve to stop. She’s been the control-freak in our household for 7 years.
Aero, aka Scooby, is an 11-year old Greyhound/Pit mix from the streets of South Los Angeles. It’s unclear how he ended up at the South L.A. shelter, but he’s as sweet as they come. My Aussie had just passed, and I wasn’t going to get another dog just yet. Long story short, after a brief conversation with a dog-rescue volunteer who had fallen in love with him, Aero was delivered to me sight unseen and it was love at first sight. He’d been pulled from the South L.A. shelter after his kill-date, as he was too good to let go. He hind legs didn’t work so well, he was emaciated, and he had two broken teeth. He snuggled against me at night for two straight weeks, then felt safe enough to move just an inch away. It’s said he was likely bred to train fighting pit bulls. No wonder he ran away and chose a life on the streets. We’ve been together for 8 years.
Max, aka Maximus Prime and Silly Goose, is a Pug. He’s 12 years old and has 8 of the 10 congenital issues that Pugs have. He’s blind, has back issues, gets bladder stones, etc. Max is also pushy, bossy, and a clown. He is famous for his tongue, which is way too big to fit in his mouth. He’s had so many pictures taken of him that it’s hard to believe he’s not an internet sensation. I tell him he’s the perfect Pug, and he is! The aforementioned neighbor found him on Craigslist, then gave him to another neighbor because he was shedding, then that neighbor didn’t want him because he was urinating in her apartment. Well, he was depressed! I took him, of course. He still sheds, and he’ll yell at me when he needs to go outside. He also yells when he wants on the bed or to eat. He’s from Colorado and has been my buddy for 7 years.
Maggie’s Dogs – One Old and One New
Maggie has worked for Dunrovin Ranch longer than any other person. This is her seventh and, unfortunately, last season with us. She has been a treasure. A young woman raised on a ranch in central Montana, Maggie knows how to work and she is totally undaunted by any task that comes her way. She just jumps right in and gets it done record time. She finally completed her degree in pharmacy at the University of Montana and will be moving to a lovely little Montana town to become their pharmacist. What a gain for them! We are grateful for all these years of her service and for this one last year to enjoy her company.
Her life as a college student has just ended, so Maggie recently acquired a new puppy that she is introducing to her friendly and BIG Bubba. Here are their stories in her words:
Bubba came into my life on July 18, 2014, when I adopted him as a 4-5-year-old from the Beaverhead County Humane Society in Dillon, MT. I have always loved large dogs and had been keeping my eye out on shelters around the state for an older one, as I was about to begin my busiest semester of pharmacy school and didn’t have time for a puppy. My fiancé had been gone for 2 weeks fighting wildfires in Oregon, and I was feeling lonely when I came across Bubba’s photo online. It was love at first sight. I happened to have the next day off and decided to make the trip to Dillon to meet him. He had been in the shelter for nearly a year and was very thin and subdued, but he quickly warmed up to me. We have been inseparable ever since and he comes to Dunrovin with me every day, where he makes it his job to patrol for squirrels, gophers, flies, and bees, in between naps in the orchard.
The newest addition to Maggie’s life is Ruby, a 7-week old purebred yellow lab puppy. She is still figuring out her place in this world, but is sure to build confidence quickly. Maggie’s fiance’, Andy, is an avid duck and pheasant hunter and wanted a retriever breed that he could train as a hunting companion. In between training sessions, Ruby can’t wait to hang out at Dunrovin and join the dog welcome crew, as well as learn how to be safe around horses.