Bad@ss B!tches | Ellie
“I was born to be a working girl. It’s not just my nature. It’s my purpose.”
It’s easy to label dogs and have pre-conceived ideas about who we are and what you can expect from us. You know, the Golden Retrievers are the kind, kid-friendly, suck-ups you see in the most perfect family portraits because they can’t jump over the white picket fence in the yard. The Pit Bulls get a bad rap because of what some hateful, greedy humans did to them years ago. The Labs go for the water in hopes that a duck will fall out of the sky, and the German Shepherds get to be pseudo-human with their uniforms and police ranks.
I’m told that I’m a mix between a blue heeler and a Labrador retriever, so I looked myself up on The Daily Puppy and found this:
A Labrador retriever crossed with a blue heeler, also known as an Australian cattle dog, is one smart canine. Ideally, this hybrid dog combines the intensity of the blue heeler with the affable disposition of the Labrador retriever. Some people call these dogs "Labraheelers."
Hmm…I like that. “One smart canine.” But “Labraheelers”? Rowf.
It also said that I inherited my intelligence from my ancestors, the dingoes, and that I love to work. Duh.
The dog needs some sort of job. If you don't happen to live on a ranch or farm, there are plenty of alternatives. Your dog can excel in obedience, tracking, agility, search-and-rescue and other canine activities.
I do have a variety of jobs, even though I don’t happen to live on a ranch or a farm. I patrol the perimeter of the yard to keep my people safe. I anticipate danger from oncoming bikes or skateboards and alert my pack to the threat. I decorate the yard with rolls of toilet paper just before it rains, and I’ll chase the ball and the Frisbee for hours to please the humans. I am quite proud of myself for taking down that Doberman jerk at the dog park for approaching my boy, Lucas. I didn’t hurt him, but I showed him my teeth in ways he won’t forget the next time. (I was a badass bitch that day. Not sure why I didn’t get more treats for that.)
I’m not perfect, for sure. When my friend, Tilly, wouldn’t get out of the pond for almost two hours chasing a family of ducks, I did my best to convince her with my best whining and whimpering to give it up. I even made a good effort to swim, even though I couldn’t get my feet off the muddy bottom. (My Labrador swimming skills need some work.) I have been known to help myself to a piece of chicken off the counter once or twice as well, but that was not my fault. People should not leave tasty chicken so close to the edge. I used to chew up visitors’ shoes, but I’ve moved on.
Beyond my breed, however, I like to think that working is my purpose. It’s who I am. Give me a job. Invest in developing my talents. Give me positive feedback (treats) on my performance reviews, and I won’t ever disappoint you. Isn’t that all we working dogs want? Oh, and equal credit and attention. Police dogs get all the glory.
“Work hard. Play hard. Sleep in between.” That’s my mantra.
Ellie is an almost-2-year-old blue heeler/lab who lives and works in Park City, Utah. She loves dog parks, trail running, and any amount of ear-scratching she can garner. She recently earned her Level 2 dog obedience certificate, which her people hung proudly on the refrigerator.