I've often thought our ranch dogs -- Emma, Griz, and Brody -- have a great life, particularly in the summer and fall. They love their freedom on the ranch, yet they're ready to follow along after someone on horseback, or to hop on the ATV to go fencing or checking on cows; or accompany me while I run on the county road or nearby hillsides.
They especially love it when Pete does cow work in the arena. It's then they have a chance to be real ranch dogs and help Pete move the stock when needed. Brody, a mini-Australian Shepherd puppy, also joins in trying to understand the job he was born to do.
When the day heats up they curl up in the shade: under a porch, in a garden bed, or in the barn entrance where they are often supervising Pete's trimming or cooling down horses on the walker. If they're thirsty, they walk down to the river's edge or sip from the creek that runs through the garden.
I've always thought Emma, Griz, and Brody were lucky to have each other because who best can understand a dog but another dog. But when they tire of one another they usually have a human that will toss a stick and upon their return rub their head and tell them, "You are our very best dog, our very best dog."