Since November 30th ChaCha has been with Jenna, Sami and I – collectively known as “The Aunties” while Des and Shayne were on vacation. We of course fed her and took her for long adventurous walks, but we also got to love her… and (shhh) maybe even spoil her. I took some pictures over the five weeks she was with us that capture some of her personality and charm. I am sharing them with you now. 

 Here is a little back story on ChaCha that you might enjoy reading.  She arrived as a small pup to the house of Shayne and Des four years ago in February. She was so small you could hold her in both palms. Now she is over 40 pounds of muscle, stealth and endless curiosity. She is bred to round up, sort and move cattle- but she is also born for speed. For short distances, I think she could give greyhounds a run for their money.  

 As a puppy, she would eat pebbles and rocks. Taking her outside was a game of quick reflexes to keep her head from diving to the ground. (Still not sure why she had this habit…) But thankfully she grew out of it. I will say, however, that shoes and socks are still fair game if left unattended. 

As you can imagine, her life outside is quite extraordinary in this rather secluded part of the world. She accompanies Des and Shayne up mountains, on the river when they go fishing, sorting cattle when they are here and practicing commands on the arena cutting flag. Her focus is intense, and her movements are effortless. Sometimes, when I watch her run, I think she has mini rockets on the back of her feet.  

 Her color is a reddish brown with white specks mixed in and her eyes a soft gold. As you can see from the pictures, she blends in well with bare ground. No matter the hour, the weather or the temperature, she is always, always ready to go…anywhere. If there is still adventure to be squeezed out of the day, she will take it. On a personal note, she loves her ears rubbed and will stand for as long as you like.  

Perhaps the best part of hosting ChaCha at our house was the time at the end of the day when we would sit together by our wood stove. She would either sleep on her guest chair or sleep very close to the wood stove. It was rather comforting to have her near us, stroke her soft coat every so often and listen to her snore and occasionally watch her dream – legs flying, voice lightly barking.  

 She is a faithful listener, which is required here on the ranch. The mountains that surround the ranch support herds of elk and deer as well as lions and wolves. It is imperative that she always stays within view and comes to walk beside you when called.  But, perhaps the best character trait about ChaCha is that she is our friend. She chooses you; you do not choose her. She is rather specific about that. But, when she is your friend, she shares with you all her exuberance, kindness and joy for life. Thank you for taking the time to peer into our part of the world for a few minutes.