O'Bannon's DunRovin' Ranch, LLC

Registered Shire horses, N.A.Spotted drafts, ADHA Drum horses, Longhorns, Organic cattle & More!

Thorns may hurt you, love desert you,

sunlight turn to fog,

but you're never friendless ever,

if you have a dog.

 

Read the update on Irish and Spirit below!

                * DunRovin' Dogs *

 

!!!!!!! NEWS!!!!!!! NEWS!!!!!!! NEWS !!!!!!!

We have a new member of the household/ranchhold. His pic can be found below & his bio on our Rescue Page. 

O'Bannon's DunRovin' Ranch is the home of both Hunting and Guard dogs.  We currently have five (5) AKC Registered Labrador Retrievers and two (2) American Tundra Shepherds.  All five Labs are fantastic hunting retrievers with all but one being king-sized.  Our magnificent Tundra Shepherds guard the grounds (sometimes too well - sorry) and protect us all.  All seven are treasured members of our family!

Please go to our Photo Gallery Page to see more pictures of all our kids!

                 Irish (Our Cute Irish Angel)

Irish came to us a while back and he is now one of our pack.  His story & update are both below and on our Rescue Page so please read all about this wonderful boy there. 

Dear Dogs:                                  

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am so very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.  This is not appreciated, by the way.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom!  If, by some great miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to paw, whine, bark, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door.  I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine attendance really isn't required.                                                                                       
Next, the proper order for kissing is:  Kiss me first, then go  and smell the other dog's bum.  I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:  

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR DOGS:

          (1) They live here. You don't.

        (2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, then              stay off the furniture.  That is why it is called               'fur'-niture.

        (3) Remember:  We like our dogs a lot better than              we like most people.

          (4) To you, they are animals.  To us, they are sons and daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and speak a different language.  When they grow old, they get to act however they want and we will cater to whatever their needs will be before ours or even yours.

                      Brutus  (Master Brutus II) 

October 24, 1996 to November 4, 2010

It is with heavy hearts that we let you know our magnificent Brutus has passed away.   Please refer to our  Stilled Barks Tributes page to see more on this incredible boy.  

                  Daisy  (Little Miss DaisyAnn) 

People were asking right and left for a pup out of Brutus but we already had 3 dogs.  Dare we get another?  We'd never dealt with a female before.  But we gave in to the pressure and had 7 pups pretty much sold before we even got Daisy.  We studied, found a reputable breeder and in late October of 2002, went for a visit.  In a long row of kennels full of jumping, barking labs was one mom sitting, quietly watching us, more like studying us.  The breeder wasn't happy with her because she'd only born three puppies and only one of them was female.  Although they were just three weeks old, Ann wanted to see them.  This tiny yellow ball of soft fur nuzzled her neck and when it was made known that Daisy was born on Ann's birthday, it was a sure sale.

We visited her weekly and she came home to us the day before Thanksgiving.   Rod picked her up and in the hour plus drive home this pretty little Daisy flower had won him over.  She got home, curled up next to Ann and has slept on our bed ever since.  She is as aggressive and feisty with the boys (canine) as she is affectionate and gentle with us - the perfect alpha female.   Always animated and full of personality - how could we not fall madly in love with her!  Our love for our Daisy-cakes is endless.

Her first litter with Brutus brought us not only 7 but 14 - that's right - 14 puppies and her second (and last) litter brought us 11.  All 25 survived (luckily, so did we).  We kept three of them from the first litter and one from the second for ourselves.   All four dogs are superior hunters as well as wonderful companions.  Daisy herself is an outstanding hunter and does it extensively.  Other than spending her time hunting and being a great mom, she's done a few dock-jumping competitions, is a fantastic buddy and loves playing with all the other dogs.  Being the first girl in our lives, she will always have the distinction of proving to us that a female canine is just as good as a male.  Yes, our beautiful Little Miss, is indeed our very special girl.  She fills our lives everyday with both joy and peace.

                               

 Sam, Sammy  (Ann's Samson)

Samson is the oldest of the 3 pups we kept from the first litter of Brutus & Daisy born March 21st of 2004.  Sam is a large lab that will only hunt for Ann.  Since she is not much into the pheasant/quail thing, it's mostly ducks for Sam.  He acts like a big, sweet, dull, easy-going, never hurt a fly, dum-di-dum lab, but he is very deceptive.  Sammy always had a thing for Ann and after her loss of Mufahsah, he took it upon himself to become her protector/companion/shadow and has been in that position ever since.  We believe all our animals need a job and he assigned himself to that one.  He even has his own lawn chair beside hers on the deck.  They enjoy morning coffee there together and late afternoon sit-downs.  That's right, Sam hops right up and sits down like a person beside his lady.  Sam also  loves sleeping on our bed.  Do they make a size larger than California King??? 

Our first UPS man was kept on his truck one morning by the big boy.  Sam just didn't think he should be allowed to step onto the drive that day.  Ann has trained him better since then & he behaves himself well, but he's all hers, her safety net.  Rod stated one day that he thinks Sam is the smartest of all our labs because he knows exactly what it takes to butter up the mistress of the house so that he has to do as little as possible.  That's our Sammy and we sure do love him!   

                               

Betty  (Backwater BettyAnn) 

Rod's beautiful, spoiled, "perfect", little girl.  Young Betty, #8 of the brood born March 21, 2004, was the runt of the litter, a spit-fire, feisty, almost vicious, female - Rod immediately took to her.  That aggressive nature attracted him like a magnet to steel.  He said she would be his next Brutus and sure enough she has turned out to be a hunting beast.  She can hunt anything and everything and doesn't know the word quit.  She is definitely Rods  Pride and Joy  AND his true sweetheart.  She gets away with more than any of our dogs ever have with Rod.  If something gets chewed up, he never believes it was her that did it (it's almost always her).  If she acts up during feeding, it's because "one of the boys made her" (oh - my - GOSH!).  If she shows up muddy, he lets her in the house saying, "She didn't mean to" (this is where I draw the line).  Betty is still feisty but, in her defense, she really has to be because she's the only normal-sized lab on the property  and has to keep all those big boys in line.  She has become an extremely sweet, affectionate and cuddly girl with us and we love our Betty-boo-bop sooooooo much!     

                                  Ben  (Benelli)

Big, gentle Ben was the 11th born the 21st day of March, 2004.  He came out such a pretty, light-yellow shade and ended up with light eyes as well.  By the time his sale fell through we were already in love with him so we decided to keep him.  He now has a little brother that looks like his twin, although their actions are not very similar.  Now we're not saying it's fact, but we believe angels can be put here on earth in forms we might not expect - maybe even big, calm, yellow, labrador forms.  We do know that there is something unique about Ben, we just can't put our finger on it, but it's there.  As a pup he was very meek and shy.  We spent time with just him to get him to be more assertive.  Surprisingly, he is now the leader of the younger dogs.  He's also great with the cows and horses, he's the one that our Shire stallion will share his food with.  (Check out the pictures of them in our Photo Gallery)  When Ben is in the fields, even the Longhorns don't get up from a laying position, he has some sort of extraordinary gift with the cattle.  We believe Ben is here on the earth for a very special reason and we are so blessed that he is living with us.  He is a fantastic hunter, great companion and a gentle giant himself.  Although we've seen him fight like a bear, he is so calm and tender with us that one would never realize the strength and sheer muscle beneath his mellow manner.  We have a great love for our Gentle Ben and hope never to be without him.

                   

Gus  (affectionately known as Goofy Gus) 

Gus, Gustavia, Gustomando, Goofy Gus are all names we have applied to our youngest lab at one time or another.  He was born on April 2, 2005, was #5 in our last litter from Daisy and the only pup we kept.  Although he looks like the twin of Ben, he acts totally opposite, hyper, loud, etc.  He is our barker &  honestly hasn't been trained much, but when we do hunt him in the fields he does very well.  He absolutely loves the water and insists on riding with us on the 4-wheeler, he would do that all day.  Gus has always and will forever be our baby boy.  He jumps in Rods lap the second he's invited and falls asleep in seconds.  OK, sometimes he's just squeezing his eyes shut, but he falls asleep soon after.  He is pure sweetness and fun and brings such happiness to our lives.  He gets along with everyone and his main goal in life is to please.  Gus even SMILES!  Really!  It's usually when he's in trouble for something and trying to make up with us, but it's very cute!  Check it out on our Photo Gallery Page.  Oh how we love our baby boy Gussy! 

         Our American Tundra Shepherds 

            HANDSOME SPIRIT                          BEAUTIFUL LOMASI

Luke had Saber, Rod had Brutus, Ann felt left out.  She needed a dog that could run many miles easily, protect her, and fit in with our family.  She thought about German Shepherds but, with so many hip problems, she knew that breed wouldn't be able to handle the long-distance running.  One day she saw a giant,  gorgeous,  Shepherd-looking dog and started asking questions.  Thus her introduction to the wonderful world of American Tundra Shepherds!  It took several months of studying, visiting, deciding, but she finally settled on a breeder she trusted and picked out a pup.  The most aggressive food hog in the pack actually! 

Apache came home and became her best buddy. When a sudden tragedy took his life after just a few months, she ended up getting his brother Mufahsah (the good king).  Actually, Luke picked him out because he was the most wolfy-looking puppy left.  Mufahsah ran miles and miles, stayed glued to Ann's side for years and was her best friend. 

NOTES  FROM  ANN: 

Don't be fooled - An American Tundra Shepherd is not  "just like a big German Shepherd".  After all, they do have wolf blood in their veins!  Although there is no legitimate reason wolves have to live with their awful reputation, (there are no verified accounts of a wolf ever viciously attacking a human) one should never try to make a pet of one.  As with any wild animal they deserve to be just that, wild.  For more wolf information please go to  http://www.defenders.org/  But if you need a good guard dog and/or a running partner like I did and if you are going to be able to spend TONS of time training, socializing, exercising and just being with them, this awesome breed is the way to go!

Although ATS dogs are an expensive breed and it's exotic to have one, I would not  recommend these canines to very many people.  They are a huge, powerful dog that will take over if allowed and that's a no-no.  Their powerful jaws have the ability to break an arm or leg if so inclined.  Plus they suffer from severe separation anxiety and will tear up your furniture, house, everything, if left to their own vices.  They need someone to be with them much of the time, they need a lot of exercise, need to run, be trained extensively, chase mice, hunt moles, etc.  If you can't control a strong, bull-headed dog, don't get one of these. 

But they love deeply, are very loyal, guard their people and property to the death and I hope I never have to be without one.   For a terrific example of their loyalty go to http://www.americanshepherd.com/dakota.html and read the touching story of an ATS named Dakota and his boy Jimmy.

For more information on this remarkable breed you can go to the following web pages:  http://www.americanshepherd.com/  or http://www.atsfoundation.com/

"Spirit" 

 

When Mufahsah died suddenly in the summer of 2006, it was such a hit to the heart that Ann was pretty much despondent.  When a comment was made about us losing a dog being no big deal since we "had 7 more”, it really hurt.  That's like telling a person that loses a child it's no big deal because they have more at home.  Some people can be so callous.  Life was a blurry routine until late-October when a friend kept pointing out these pups for sale.  She thought it would be good for Ann to "just visit" some of them.  Little did we know what that visit would bring.  One look in those beautiful eyes that seemed to look right into our souls meant that we had a new Tundra!  Life was joyful once again!  

Spirit was born October 17, 2006 and came home with us on December 9th, trotted in the door, ran straight up the stairs and bounded right onto Mufahsah's love seat.  No dog had touched it since he died.  He rolled around and rubbed on it as if he'd missed it!  And Spirit never did  act puppy-like, never had to be trained.  He seemed to already know all the rules and routines and stepped into his role like he'd been here before.  Hmmmmm!  Some say it's creepy, but we say it's heavenly.  Maybe there was a dog taken before his job was finished, before his time should have been up.  In any case, we love our huge boy Spirit, consider him our special gift, treasure every second with him and by the way, doesn't he have the perfect name!!! 

~ SPIRIT UPDATE ~

Spirit was recently diagnosed with liver disease and given only a few months to live, despite his young age.  He seems to be doing great right now, with his combination medical/homeopathic regimen of herbs, meds, and a special diet.  Many thanks to the yahoo groups/canine liver disease group for all their help and hope in this fight.  Our hopes are that Spirits health wil maintain and that he will continue to protect the ranch for many years to come despite the specialists devastating prognosis. 

                                   Lomasi

(Inuit word meaning "Pretty Flower") 

 

Almost a year and a half after we got Spirit, I (Ann) got a phone call that said "I've got a girl here with your name on her!"  What???  We didn't need another dog.  We'd had 8 - then 7 - then back up to 8 again.  Plus, we had a grand-daughter now, how could we deal with it all?  That would make 9 dogs!  After all we only had 80 acres of run space, all the horses, the cows,  and I had only so many hours in the day.  But 3 dogs in their first litter had been returned and the breeders wanted people that knew how to deal with the Tundra breed to take pups from this, their last litter.  I agreed, much to Rod's chagrin.

As we all know, life throws you curves.  Our wonderful, oldest lab, Saber, died on a Wednesday.  I had plans to baby-sit my grand-daughter the very next day for 5 1/2 days which took me to the middle of  the afternoon the following Tuesday.  Which was the day planned to pick up Lomasi, our first female ATS born March 27, 2008.  WOW!  We'd hardly had time to mourn for Saber when this gorgeous, fluffy, flighty, bundle of energy came bounding through our door.  Right away she cast me aside and cozied up to Rod.  I knew he'd been bamboozled when he fell asleep with her in his lap (what a big softie).  She continues to love pretty much everyone AND continues to sleep in his lap every chance she gets, even though she's over 110lbs. now!  (Thank goodness for extra-large, big-mans Lazy-Boy recliners.)  This beautiful girl who just turned 2,  has already brought much happiness and laughter into our lives.  We have more adorable puppy pics of her and our other dogs in our photo section for you to enjoy.  Lomasi is very easy for us to love and we do - so very much! 

           Irish - our cute Irish angel

Meet our new boy Irish!

Here's the story. My (Ann's) special guard dog, Spirit was recently diagnosed with liver disease and given only a few months to live, despite his young age. He seems to be doing great right now with his combination medical/homeopathic regimen of herbs, meds, and a special diet. Many thanks to the yahoo groups canine liver disease group for all their help in this department. Our hopes are that Spirit will continue to protect the ranch for many years to come despite the specialists devastating prognosis.

This had been weighing heavy on Rod and me, when one Sunday afternoon, while sulfuring Apollo's feathers, the Tundra's suddenly took off down our long driveway. I thought "a rabbit". but then saw Rod jump on the ATV and go racing down the drive so I called the dogs back and put them in their pen. The next thing I knew, Rod was coming back up the drive and into the stable with a large rust-colored something on his lap. I opened up an empty stall & we put this sore, exhausted, emaciated yet beautiful, fellow in the stall. He could barely stand and had to lean against the stall wall while we checked him over. We gathered that he had been on the road for a while, due to the signs of starvation, his pads, and the matts in his fur. After feeding him a bit, cutting out all his matts, treating all of the sores under the matts, & making him a comfortable bed in the stall, we called all around, got on the internet, looked in the papers and we never found anything on this guy anywhere.

Several interesting and amazing discoveries have happened since that day. 

1st - We talked  a neighbor (experienced dog person into taking him in, but the sweet boy just kept jumping his fence and finding his way back here. 

2nd - - It's totally amazing how quickly our labs accepted him. Our pack has attacked strange dogs that have been unfortunate enough to enter into ODR territory & they get chased off very quickly. But they accepted Irish into the inner circle in no time. This past weekend proved he is truly one of them now. Our sons male lab, Drake (here most weekends) went after Irish for running into him. The pack immediately got onto poor Drake letting him know in no uncertain terms that Irish was one of the family now and his clumsiness would have to be tolerated.  

3rd - I had been concerned about him so I decided to load him up, take him to the vet and get him checked out. His heart, lungs, and blood were fine, no heartworms found (I'd already treated him for the other worms he had), a yeast infection was in his ears (knew that - treating it), but the most interesting news was that he was indeed well on his way to going blind! I had been worried about this, as I had noticed him running into things & at night he had even run into me on occasion. Sure enough, he has the equivalent to human macular degeneration. Irish survived God-knows how long on his own and made his way here to us basically blind. Simply amazing! During the day I'm certain he can still see shapes and he can see the big TV, as he was totally enthralled by it the first time he saw it (so cute). But at night he seems to be almost totally blind. It's obvious that he needs to be with a pack to help him survive and enjoy life to the fullest!

4th - It became quite obvious early on that Irish had been not only abandon-ed, but abused as well. He cowers over someone barely lifting a hand and immediately submits when a person simply walks up to him. So very, very sad - but we will get him over that. With all we've seen, this boy must have a very strong will to survive. Being blind and abandoned in wretched heat, beaten, starved and to still be able to make it here just in time - amazing!

5th - Although it was obvious that he'd never been indoors, he is adapting really, really well. It's amazing - No accidents, No chewed boots, No misbehavior - yet. We had to teach him how to go up and down the stairs, which is a little more difficult with a dog that can barely see and has no depth perception. We had to show him how to get on the futon and where all the dog beds are located. We are currently teaching him how to behave in the kitchen and he has already learned he can crawl up in Rods lap for affection in the evenings.

We are currently working on getting his weight built up so he can be neutered and are also training him how to behave on leash. He is such a pleasure to work with, very sweet and willing to please. .

So there's the story of the beautiful red angel that found his way home to us. He is thought to be around 3 or 4 years old so hopefully he'll grace us with his presence for many, many years to come. And in case you're wondering - YES, we are all already in love with him and consider ourselves so very lucky that he chose to make his home here and for us to care for him.

                                  Irish Update

Irish has gained weight well, has been neutered and has found an affinity toward our house shoes!  We wake up at least one morning a week to a demolished house shoe, but who cares - house shoes are a dime-a-dozen & it's a hoot watching him throw them in the air and be so happy. 

He's so easy to discipline and such a good boy minding.  With only mild verbal commands he has learned that our boots are off-limits.    We have to be very gentle with didscipline as he gets scared easily, but we've all adjusted fine.  We can't imagine what life was like without him.  He adds so much laughter and joy to our big family.  Gus and Betty are his favorite ones to wrestle with and he has learned you don't mess with matriarch Daisy. 

He really loves the grandkids, Jaxon and Maddi and despite his large size and failing eyesight he does well around them.  He loves getting in our laps with his now 87lb. body (a good 20+lbs up from when he arrived here) in the evenings and will fall asleep quickly there.  He loves wrestling with Rod and particularly likes melted unsalted butter on his food.  Just like our old Brutus, he loves sitting or laying on the deck and letting the wind blow through his hair, all the while having his long nose up sniffing all the great smells of the country. 

Unfortunately his eyesight is failing rapidly and it will be a new experience for us to deal with when it's totally gone.  But he's acclimated himself well to where we keep equipment and other items and we are acclimating ourselves to being careful to not move items around so he doesn't run into a surprise.

It still leaves us speechless thinking about him being abused and dumped when his spirit and nature is so very very sweet and kind.  This dog only has good in him and wouldn't hurt a fly, he just wants to please & be loved. 

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY IRISH - WE LOVE YOU!  

                               Please go to our  Photo Gallery  Page to enjoy                                            more photos of each of our canine companions. 

 

 IRISH & SPIRIT UPDATE

Well here he is, a full year with us, health and happy. Irish has grown out of three collars, but is now at his ideal weight and holds it well. Even with his blindness, he has learned to get around the ranch and has even made a couple of horse friends! His favorite time of day seems to be evenings when Rod and I sit in our LazyBoys. He slowly crawls up into one of our laps and instantly crashes. It's wonderful! We just can't imagine how we got along without him. This summer he immediately fell in love with our intern (now trainer) Amanda and the feeling was so mutual that we thought she might dognap him to college with her : ) He is the perfect match for us!

Thank goodness, SPIRIT is still with us going strong! Through a special diet, good vet, medicines, vitamins, herbs, spoiling and tons of TLC, he is still guarding the ranch and happy as well! To the right is a photo of him this past summer (before the drought turned our grass brown) and Below is a pic of him from the only snow we recieved last winter.

                      Luke & Kati's Dogs

 

                            Diamond

 

7/4/2002 - 6/17/2011

Please read more about amazing Diamond, the half sister of our Daisy Ann.  This wonderful girl was our beautiful jewel that shined so bright for all of us in her family and we will always feel blessed to have been the ones chosen to share her life with her. 

Please refer to our  Stilled Barks Tributes page to see more on this breathtaking girl.  We will always love you Diamond. 

                               Nevaeh

  

Brutus & Daisy's daughter from their first litter (#12 of 14).  Neveah was not alive when she was born and it took Luke's persistance to bring her to us. Then Kati had to get her warm and keep her that way for hours in order to keep Nevaeh with us.  This resulted in a bond that will never be broken.  Our gift from heaven, although Neveah is Kati's special girl, she's a joy to all of us and we all love her so very much.    

                              Drake

 

 

Brutus & Daisy's son from their last litter (#5 of 11).  This huge, burly, black lab is really intimidating, yet so sweet to all of us.  Bigger than his dad although he looks very much like him, Drake is a big cuddle-bug.  He'll take his near 100 lbs. and climb right up in your lap for a nap and we let him because he's such a pleasure to spoil.    We love you Drake!   

Music credit:  'I Run To You' by Lady Antebellum from their Lady Antebellum album.