"It's the Broncs and the blood
It's the steers and the mud
And they call the thing rodeo" - Rodeo (Garth Brooks)
June 6, 2006 - October 29, 2018
We have been lucky to have some pretty exceptional dogs, and while Rodeo was definitely among those, there was something extra special about him. He came into our lives at the exact right moment and changed the course of our entire future. He is the reason that our kennel exists today, and we like to credit him with setting the bar high enough that we started looking for the core attributes of what we wanted in a dog before we even realized what they actually were. We lost Rodeo to cancer at 12 years old. It was a hard battle for him, but he was his typical stoic self until the end.
Rodeo was just a fantastic all around dog. He was a straight up, very hot, head dog on cows and as a result, he ended up getting stepped on and injured his back at about 2 years old. After that injury he was used mostly as a yard dog, and would occasionally help break new cows and yearlings. Rodeo would guard open gates and barn doors, and would keep cattle away from bales, and us, when bedding and feeding.
He was the corner stone of our woods pack. He was a great coon dog, and helped us tree and den many coons over his 12 years. He was hot, intense and had a medium nose and extreme range. It was not unusual to have to either trek a couple of miles or to drive around to get him gathered up. Usually at the end of the night, he'd head for the truck, give you 20 minutes to catch him up, and if you didn't show, he'd start hunting in the other direction. Despite how much grit and intensity he displayed while working or hunting, he was still gentle and quiet, and there were few that met him that didn't love him. We used to joke about the "waiting list" for those that wanted Rodeo if something ever happened to us. One thing is certain, that list was long.
There was only one thing Rodeo could not do that we asked of him...to outlive us. While we will continue on this path he helped to lay before us, it's never going to be quite the same with out him.