Tara the Faithful Garlic Dog
Sadly we lost Tara the spring of 2014. She was 14 years old and had been feeling her age. We are leaving this up as a memorial to Tara and her devotion to her garlic farm. So far no other dogs have been able to fill Tara's shoes.
Tara has self declared herself the official guardian of the garlic field and feels duty bound to escort workers into the field each day and out of the field at night.
Picture: Some of you wanted to see Tara's photogenic side. So we convinced Tara to pose for her close up. She has just had her summer haircut and is feeling sassy! Most likely because she lost at least 10 pounds of fur.
Tara's Work Day
Tara's day of garlic starts when Susan and Edna drive up to Jane's farm. First Tara checks out the occupants of the car; if Susan is in the car she doesn't bark. If only Edna is in the car she barks. If she accidently barks when Susan is in the car she gets terribly embarrassed and rolls around on the ground in apology. Next, Tara rushes over to greet Susan, the Thrower of Sticks, preferably by jumping on her. The probability of getting jumped on is directly related to the muddiness of Tara's paws.
Picture: Tara attempts to communicate telepathically that when darkness starts to fall the workday should be done.
Tara will wait patiently by the front door while the humans confer in the house. Normally she uses her free time to select a suitable throwing stick. The criteria for suitable throwing sticks is unfathomable to mere humans as the chosen objects range in size from 'cedar log' to 'microscopic twig'. Normally, the stick is placed on the top step directly by the front door so that it is impossible to miss and easy to trip over. When Susan exits the house she is expected to throw the selected stick for as long as she is not a) obviously working or b) in the garlic field. After a rousing game of Stick Tara is off to the garlic field.
Tara's other hobbies include herding chickens, 'hugging' humans with her two front paws (especially after rolling in cow dung) and climbing trees. She also enjoys cooling herself off by jumping into the cattle watering tank (the cows don't appreciate that nearly as much).
Picture: Tara is sitting in the crouch of a tree about eight feet off the ground. She climbed up in search of a suitable throwing stick.
Garlic Dog Job Description
The successful applicant for this position will be able to cheerfully handle working in cold, heat, rain and occasionally snow. Must be able to lift sticks ranging from 1 oz. to 20 pounds. Should not be repelled by the odor of garlic.
Picture: Tara helps Edna clean garlic.
Main garlic growing season duties include:
60% Garlic Field: keeping workers in the garlic field company, napping between garlic rows, tripping unwary people and collecting occasional pats. This includes staying out in the pouring rain and sleet as the stubborn human you are escorting attempts to plant 'just one more row before the weather gets really bad'. Whining and nudging towards shelter is permitted when the weather reaches storm warning status and the human is not showing signs of moving out of the field.
25% Garlic Processing: sleeping in garlic barn while humans clean, sort and pack garlic. Searching for dropped snacks. Actively collecting snacks left on low tables when humans are not paying attention.
10% Livestock Control: warning nosy cows not to stick their head through the fence, chasing chickens out of the flower bed and rolling in cow dung. Randomly jumping into the cows' water tank (also known as Tara's swimming hole).
5% Other Duties: digging random holes in paths to keep workers with wheelbarrows on their toes, collecting burrs and stickers in tail, barking at the very tolerant mail lady and collecting treats from the UPS drivers.
Picture: Tara walks through a spring snowstorm in the garlic field.
Note: Grey Duck Garlic does not discriminate between dog breeds. However, the ability to get along with livestock and humans and work outside is critical to this position.