Oldest Dog on Roberts Road

As told by Mike Herd 10 Jan 2020

When I was a little girl, my mom had me and my brother watch a movie called, “Where the Red Fern Grows”.  For those who have not cried their eyes out watching this movie, the synopsis is a little boy named Billy spent two years working odd jobs to earn enough money to buy two coonhounds.  He named the Dan and Ann.  The dogs became renowned coon hunting dogs but one tragic night hunting, a mountain lion tried to attack the little boy and the dogs saved the boy’s life…but sadly Old Dan died from his wounds.  Over the next few days, Little Ann loses the will to live finally dies of grief atop Old Dan's grave, leaving Billy heartbroken.  His family decides to move and Billy visits Old Dan and Little Ann's graves to find a giant red fern growing between them. Remembering a legend that only an angel can plant a red fern, Billy comes to believe that perhaps there truly was a higher power at work.  As you can imagine, my brother and I cried our eyes out…and later my brother’s sons also watched the same movie with the same results. 

There is a country song that maybe some of you have heard.  A man learns a valuable lesson in love when he should have known that the woman who caught his eye wasn’t right…because she never cried when old Yeller died.  There must have been something not right about a woman who doesn’t cry when old yeller dies.  The chorus of the song goes like:

She never cried when old Yeller died

She wasn't washed in the blood of the lamb

She never stood up for the star spangled banner

And she wasn't a John Wayne fan

Her baby blue eyes had the warning signs

That woman was bad to the bone

She never cried when old Yeller died


Besides Old Dan, Little Ann and Old Yeller, our ancestors and Roberts Switch have many dog stories that people like to share.   One story that was shared recently at our community event was from Mike Herd and his dog, Susie.  


Mike and his daughter, Katie, like to do outdoor things together.  Katie seemed to love anything that had to do with animals.  About 20 years ago (about when Katie was going into school), Mike decided to buy some goats for Katie to enjoy and help raise.  Sometime after taking care of the goats, a full grown dog showed up at Mike’s home.  Not finding the owner, Mike and Katie adopted the dog and cared for her. 

Picture taken of Susie protecting the farm on 9 Jan 2020.


The story continues that recently Mike found out where the dog came from.  The man that sold them their goats decided to get rid of the dog after he had sold all his goats.  Though Mike did not plan on getting a dog when he bought the goats after finding out the origins of the dog, Katie and Mike decided to name the dog Susie.  By all best computations, Susie is about 25 years old.  This makes Susie the oldest dog on Roberts Road!  Susie is a faithful companion…we hope she lives a few more happy dog years!


Susie loves to hang out in the barn.



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