I‚??ve always called her crazy dog.
She is a black and white dog I pass on my way to and from work, and every time I pass, she runs like crazy in two circles. I tell myself she‚??s excited to see me and can‚??t contain her enthusiasm so must run in the prescribed two circles. I call it her ticker tape parade for me, and it makes my day.
Evidently, I‚??m not the only one who watches for crazy dog. Turns out her owners, Lonnie and Cecilia Layman, know their black and white border collie is the star of Gomer Road. And her name is not crazy dog, it‚??s Dixie.
‚??I‚??ll be outdoors working and somebody honks the horn. I throw up my hand to wave, and then see they‚??re just honking at Dixie,‚?Ě says Lonnie. In the almost six years they‚??ve had Dixie, she has become legend.
‚??It‚??s strange how many people know her,‚?Ě Lonnie said.
Sometimes, it‚??s scary strange.
‚??I‚??ve had people stop their car out here to watch Dixie. Sometimes they‚??ll talk to her, and sometimes they‚??ll toss her treats. This is a busy road, so I‚??ve cringed seeing that,‚?Ě he added.
His wife recalls the time an Elida bus driver told her that the kindergarten students she hauled between Gomer and Elida schools loved watching Dixie spin in circles as they passed. ‚??They even collected treats for her. The bus driver said that if Dixie isn‚??t out, the kids worry,‚?Ě Cecilia said.
Turns out Dixie really isn‚??t a crazy dog at all, she‚??s a working dog. ‚??The vet told us that border collies herd, and Dixie herds cars all day long. Sometimes she takes a break and herds the neighbor kids, and when our grandkids come over she herds them,‚?Ě Lonnie said.
Three large dirt tracks in their otherwise immaculate lawn attest to Dixie‚??s herding.
‚??We‚??ve always had dogs. When we were looking for this dog, I said I wanted an indoor dog, but he said he didn‚??t know if he was ready for that. So, whenever she spins another dirt patch in the yard I remind him that he wanted an outdoor dog,‚?Ě Cecilia said, laughing.
‚??Really though, we don‚??t mind. If that‚??s the worst thing she does, that‚??s fine. She‚??s a good dog, and she‚??s really smart,‚?Ě Lonnie said. His wife added, ‚??when our kids come home and we tell them how smart Dixie is, they look out at her running in circles and they don‚??t believe us.‚?Ě
They have a dog house outdoors, but Dixie refuses. ‚??She went in there once, when I tossed a treat there for her,‚?Ě Lonnie said. She will come in the house, but given her druthers, she will be at her post in the front yard, waiting to herd the next passing car.
An invisible fence keeps her in the yard. ‚??I am a fan of the hidden fence. It gives her the freedom and keeps her safe,‚?Ě Cecilia said.
And freedom is this independent dog‚??s middle name.
‚??Sometimes we think as long as we give her food and water, she‚??d be fine,‚?Ě Lonnie said.
But they know Dixie too well to leave her only food and water.
‚??If we go out to eat, we try and bring her back something. She sees a little white box in our hands and she knows its for her,‚?Ě Lonnie said. ‚??I think her favorite food is dog food mixed with people food. She‚??s a fan,‚?Ě Cecilia added.
And, people who know Dixie encourage Lonnie and Cecilia to feed that dog.
‚??I went to a steak house one night and when I asked for a doggie bag, the waitress asked if I lived on Gomer Road. I said I did, and she asked if I knew of the black and white dog on that road. I told her it was our dog, and she suggested I bring her back two helpings,‚?Ě Lonnie said.
Likewise when they were picking up dog food not long ago, the clerk suggested getting an extra bag when he heard it was going to Dixie.
‚??Most dogs you couldn‚??t feed that much, but Dixie uses a lot of energy,‚?Ě Cecilia said.
Well, she is a working dog. And she‚??s a working dog who makes this working gal‚??s day brighter with every circle she spins.