Our Rural Roots

My Dog Rides Shotgun

Harriett, the blue heeler, accompanies blogger Jent Campbell everywhere she goes on the farm. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Jennifer Campbell)

I have been blessed in this life with a handful of dogs that I have loved dearly and have loved me in return.

But none of them hold the place in my heart like Harriett the blue heeler. Like many dogs, she answers to many names: Harrietta from Marietta, Baby Blue, The Wee One, Sister Harriett Jehoshaphat.

One thing that never changes, though, is her determination to ride by my side. That includes riding shotgun with me while farming. Yeah, I've become one of those people.

Before Harriett, I never had a "go dog" -- a dog I could trust to go places and acted like they'd die if they didn't. I've never had a dog that could do much more than sit and shake on command. And, quite frankly, I've never had one prior to Harriett that would always come when called.

She isn't a working dog, although she did put the bull back in the lot one time when he got out. It was likely an accident on her part, but it happened, and she gets the credit.

Harriett is loyal and respectful. Her love language is belly rubs. She is patient and gentle, and lets you know politely with her paw when she would like some pets. She never wanders off, and I trust her implicitly. I've never owned a dog like that, and it's hard to understand this kind of bond until you do.

In the rare event she isn't tagging along, Harriett spends her days assisting her best friends, Oliver and Winston, the beagles, in their mole-hunting adventures.

But, this spring, she will dutifully climb into the cab and stay during long days of planting. She'll be the one sharing snacks out of the cooler and not complaining when I sing. I'll be the one staring back with puppy-dog eyes, forever grateful for the unconditional companionship.


Jennifer (Jent) Campbell lets her life go to the dogs (or other animals) and writes about it from an Indiana family farm. She also produces a food blog called Farm Wife Feeds (https://farmwifefeeds.com/…). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag.