The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Pearl the Wonder Dog!

By Jack T. Wilson and Tempe Parker © 1984

Issue: March, 1984

pearlPearl the Wonder Dog.Once upon a time, our advertising salesman, gave his daughter “Tempe” Parker, a collie puppy. This puppy came from a long line of cattle herding dogs. “Pearl” as the pup was called, soon became a member of the family instead of just a pet.

When Jack’s daughter, “Tempe” and her husband Ricky acquired a few pigs, Pearl’s farm instincts came to the surface. Jack received the following letter last month:

Dear Daddy,

Well, we have a celebrity in the family now. “HOGS OUT? CALL PEARL!” It all started Sunday, early A.M. when Ricky, Pearl and I went down to the farm for our usual Sunday prayers. We spotted three of our large hogs and 15 little four-month old pigs in the neighboring soy bean field. Well, Ricky panicked! They had gotten out somehow under our electric fence. Ricky and I worked NON-STOP for one hour or more running around in circles falling in the muddy field, mud up to our ankles. A totally bad situation! The pigs got away from the big hogs running towards the road. I just couldn’t keep up with ‘em.

All of a sudden I decided to let Pearl out of the truck, cause what could it hurt? I was exhausted. Ricky was cursing, almost in tears. We worked up a healthy sweat. So I said, “Pearl, help get ‘em.” And Daddy, within five minutes, that dog had every little pig back in their pen. One would get away from the pack and she would dash towards it, nipping and growling. It was incredible!! Ricky and I just stood with our mouths open in total disbelief. Honest Daddy, it was like Border Collies do when they herd sheep like at the Highland Games or something. I do remember you telling me something about Chipper (A relative of Pearl’s) doing it with cows. But we had no idea Pearl’s instinct would be so perfect. She had a two foot hole to run those pigs into. All I kept saying was, “Get ‘em Pearl.” Then when they were all in, she acted like I had sent her to “herding school.” I’d say “Stay Pearl.”

Back to the three big sows. By this time they were almost out of sight into the soybean field. After rubbing and kissing Pearl about two minutes, I pointed towards the big ones. Daddy, she went straight to ‘em, pointed them towards their pen and within 5 to 6 minutes, they were in. WE COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!! We are still bragging on her.

Today when I got home from work, Ricky told me about another episode of another man’s “boar hog” that wandered almost a mile from home. I don’t know all the details, but somehow, Pearl ran it back to the man’s property. I’m not sure how.

We are so proud. Thank you so much for Pearl, Daddy, she is like my little daughter. Right now Ricky has gone to a farm meeting at City Hall and Pearl and I are both on the bed. She keeps biting at my pen. I sure am lucky, thanks to you, to have such a great companion. When she was in Salisbury (North Carolina) she acted kinda “prissy” but out here on her own turf, she’s an “INCREDIBLE DOG”.

Love Forever,


P.S. Grand-dog says “Bark-Bark!”