Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cat Urbigkit & Hud

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Cat Urbigkit, and I’m a writer who lives on a working sheep ranch in western Wyoming. I’m in the truck with my husband Jim, a lamb, and Hud, the herding dog looking on from the back seat.

Hud is a six-year old herding dog. He’s a cross between a bearded collie and an Australian shepherd.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee with Hud every day.

What's brewing?

I’m a big fan of Peet’s Columbia deep roast coffee, made in a stainless steel percolator.

Any treats for you or Hud on this occasion?

No treats for me, but Hud always gets a nimble of my husband’s breakfast bacon.

How were you and Hud united?

We already had one bearded collie, Abe, and as he began to age, we were able to obtain a pup from the same working dog lineage. It was a stressful time in my life, and when I talked to the breeder, I told her I didn’t need to select a puppy from the litter, but asked her to give me the pup that no one else wanted. Of course that meant that I would end up with the pup that was meant to be with me!

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

My best friend, Sheri Hudson Nolan, had just passed away at a relatively young age from cancer, so I wanted to honor her. Hudson was a perfect name for a pup – shortened to Hud, which was also the name of an old western movie starring Paul Newman.

Please tell us about your new book, Brave and Loyal: An Illustrated Celebration of Livestock Guardian Dogs.

My new book is my celebration of another type of working dog – livestock guardian dogs that protect livestock from predators.

Does Hud do more to help or hinder your writing?

Hud helps my writing because he often lounges under my desk, providing a soft, warm place for my toes.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Prairie dogs - they have a unique bark and chatter that drives Hud crazy!

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Hedgehog. Hud believes that one of his jobs is to remove the squeaker.

Who is Hud's best pet-pal?

Hud is friends with all our guardian dogs, but his best pals are always the lambs that end up in our ranch yard for special care. Hud licks their noses and takes naps with them, and even as the lambs grow and become adults, he maintains a close relationship with them.

What is Hud's best quality?

Hud is very kind.

If Hud could change one thing about you, what would it be?

For me to get off the computer and come roll around in the snow (or manure) with him more often.

If Hud could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

Hud is such a great communicator already, but the one question I would ask is “How are you feeling?” because he is so stoic about going about his work even if he isn’t feeling well.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Hud could speak, who should voice him?

Hud has a smooth, deep voice, so Morgan Freeman would be a great match.

What advice would Hud give if asked?

Find the fun in every day.

Learn more about Brave and Loyal: An Illustrated Celebration of Livestock Guardian Dogs and visit Cat Urbigkit’s Paradise Sheep website.

Coffee with a Canine: Cat Urbigkit & Rena.

--Marshal Zeringue