Newsletter

June 28, 2017

This past weekend the Texas Lacy Game Dog Association, (TLGDA) held a FunDay in Bonham, Tx. These events are held throughout the year to help promote the Lacy breed and to help owners, or potential owners, with handling their dogs. With the pool of people that help put the event on, or attend as a participant or spectator, everyone can get tips or ideas on different ways to handle and train their dogs. We encourage anyone interested in attending these events to do so. Our next even will be in Bay City, TX on the third weekend of September. We will be posting information here and on our Facebook page as we get closer.

The TLGDA announced the winner of the essay contest and recipient of the $500.00 scholarship along with the second place winner of $250.00. The essays were sent to two college professors to judge on the overall content of the writing. This kept the submissions anonymous so no partiality would be involved. The results were returned and a copy of the essays, and along with the returned comments, are attached here. We encourage anyone wanting to participate in next years contest to please do so. We will be posting a rubric to help with content and writing, along with specifics, after officer elections in March 2018.

The first place winner was Laramie Montgomery and second place went to Charles Carlson. We would like to congratulate them both on their efforts and win but mostly being productive and involved members in a breed of dog we all love. With these young gentlemen involved in the Lacy future it will certainly be in good hands.

This is Charles Colsons’ submission:

“Texas Lacy Game Dogs

When the Lacy brothers moved to Marble Falls, TX, in 1858, they needed a new dog for new jobs. Shepherds, hounds and collies were no match for the dangerous feral hogs they rounded up and drove to the Austin meat markets. It is unclear the exact mix they used, but the proposed breeds include English Shepherd, scent hound, Greyhound and wolf. They limbered these unique dogs until they had a dog with the brains, speed and build to work their wild boars. Today the Lacy breed has developed into an all-around working dog for ranchers, hunters, cowboys and trappers.

  • Height: 18 to 21 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
  • Build: Muscular but lithe, compact and balanced
  • Coat: Short and sleek
  • Coloring: Blue, red or tri with minimal white markings and yellow to brown eyes

The Lacy is a working dog with a working attitude. They have endless heart and drive. Lacy Dogs are very intelligent and can pick up tasks quickly, but owners often say they are too smart for their own good. They have endless energy and need daily exercise along with a challenging job. Lacys tend to be very pack-oriented dogs and need a strong leader that sets clear boundaries. In the wrong home, they may develop serious behavior issues such as aggression or anxiety. But when they have a real job to be, a Lacy Dog will be the best working companion anyone could ask for.

Lacys were created to be a working dog in the Texas Hill Country. Originally bred to work feral hogs and range cattle, they are gritty and tough with endless energy. The Lacy’s compact, lithe build makes it agile and fast, allowing them to work in dense brush and elude dangerous quarry. These are real dogs for real jobs, not pets.

Some of the jobs Lacy Dogs excel at today include:

  • Hog Hunting: Strike and bay dogs with short to medium range and plenty of grit
  • Herding: Heading dogs that are tough enough for ornery cattle
  • Blood Trailing: Popular among Texas trophy hunters for recovering wounded game
  • Running Trap Lines: Efficient at tracking and baying varmints in drag traps
  • And More: Treeing squirrels, retrieving birds, flyball, agility and any job that is challenging both mentally and physically

My favorite thing to do with Lacy dogs is to take them out and watch them work cattle and to walk them around the whole property. They love to swim in the canal, and follow along with us as we walk or ride the Ranger. They will also ride in the Ranger with us across the property. They are very obedient and are such a proud breed. They always seen to have a smile on their face when they are put to work.

They are very smart dogs with different personalities. For example, we have one dog name Blue. He is a very protective dog and if he doesn’t know you, he will not let you in the back door of the house. But if he is your friend he will greet you at the door with a smile and will give you a big Lacy Dog hug.

One of our dogs, Belle, just had a puppy and his name is Wild Bill.  Unfortunately, Belle died the day after she gave birth to him, so we had to step in and be the momma for him. We feed him every 4 hours with bottled formula milk and we are always watching him. We keep him clean and warm. He is just now 13 days old and starting to open his eyes and see the world. He is walking, unsteady, on all fours and is sniffing around his entire environment. We look forward to train him soon to herd cattle, hunt wild hogs, and tree coons. He is already showing signs of being a great blood trailer! I am learning so much about the Lacy breed with Wild Bill and am excited have the privilege of having many years of working and training with him.

I appreciate the opportunity for being considered for the Lacy scholarship and would be honored to be awarded this scholarship to further my education.”

This is Laramie Montgomery’s submission:

“TLGDA Essay

A few years ago, if I had been told Texas had a state dog, I would have stared blank-faced at the announcer of this fact. Now, picturing my life without the Blue Lacy seems like some strange movie about alternate dimensions. These dogs are working dogs, but I have never understood how anyone could treat them as just a worker. These dogs have personality and a look all of their own, and each is just as complicated as many of the human people I have known in my life. My family now includes four Lacys, Rose, Ruth, Festus, and Little Man. These dogs are truly a part of the family, both as pets and as workers. While my family’s dogs are likely well known among any possible readers, I still feel I should introduce them.

Rose is technically my sister’s dog. She is by far the most hesitant of our bunch, and is often surprised by any number of regular activities, such as carrying a few boxes through the room. However, she is the most eager of our group to work, and is usually the most consistent on trail and the most focused when concerning other animals. This does often result in her becoming distracted by an animal at inconvenient times, and she often brings animal parts back to show us. Rose is also, according to my sister, a good pillow, but only when she is willing to lay still enough to sleep.

Ruth, our red dog, is partly my own dog, as I share her with my stepmom. As she is mine, I can say without feeling any guilt that she is a witch at times. She is dominant over Rose, and tends to be defensive when meeting new people or dogs. That being said, she loves people. She will sit next to anyone on the couch, and wiggle her way into their attention. As she enjoys the company of people so much, Ruth usually is more concerned with whoever is working with her than her work. She and Rose are two days apart in age, and while Ruth rarely will acknowledge Rose aside from keeping her submissive in general, when they work together, Ruth tends to be the follower.

Festus is our oldest, and the dog I feel closest with. We got him as a puppy, and while he was still small, he would climb inside my jacket and curl up to sleep. As Festus grew up, he still kept his extremely goofy behavior and mannerisms. For example, when lying down, he likes to walk in a single circle, turn, and then plop audibly onto the floor. While he is less than graceful in calm interactions, and awkward when meeting new people, Festus at work is one of God’s displays of beauty. In a sprint, the legs that seem too long and knobby seem exactly designed to carry the streak of blue-grey after his target. Festus also has rather sensitive skin, which breaks out into weird splotches if his diet is messed with much. I have been told Festus has a good nose for blood trailing, and once he gets into the working mindset, he works well while with other animals. We have bred Festus a few times, and I once met a smaller kid who had a puppy who he would proudly declare was out of Festus. Luckily Festus is not capable of understanding, because he would have the most inflated head.

Little Man is our newest addition, and is the son of Festus and Ruth. He still has the puppy mindset, and tends to carry things he finds interesting with him. Once, while returning from the bathroom, I had lost the remote, and spent the next few minutes scouring the room, only to find that Little Man had picked it up and carried it to his bed behind the couch. Little Man has, since his birth, learned to stand up to his mom Ruth and team up with her in bullying Rose. He has inherited his father’s nose and his awkward gangliness, much to the amusement of anyone who meets him.

One of the first dogs I remember is our Blue Heeler Gus. He was about the same age as I was, and he was hit by a car on our dirt road a few years ago. After this, my dad was looking for another dog and he more or less stumbled upon the Lacys. He looked into them and by the time he learned they were the state dog, he was already sold on them. We bought Festus in a short time, and he was immediately a key feature to our family. I was more or less responsible for naming him, as I was reading a book that had a dragon named Festus, which the book said meant happy in Greek. I told my dad about it and he somehow connected it to a western (as he seems to be capable of with anything). My sister continues to give me grief over not allowing her even a chance to name him. However, if the book is to be trusted on the Greek language, I could think of no better name for our goofy dog.

Dad decided he would train Festus to blood track, and he found a place to buy beef blood. While my memory fails me on whether he had found the TLGDA yet, he explained to me what he wanted, and then I found that for the next few weekends I would be plodding through our forty acres lying blood. I enjoyed lying them in very difficult to traverse paths, because I loved the thought of my dad being dragged through brush by Festus, who I knew would have no trouble following the trail. It took a disappointingly short amount of time for dad to figure out my schemes, and he soon decided to let Festus run them on his own. He tends to run the trails at a very high speed, and does have a little trouble with the turns and is very excited to run any trail he can find.

While we do little work with hogs or cattle (as our own cows are a bit too thickheaded to feel inclined to do anything at all), I really enjoy the fun days that the TLGDA put on, and am always happy to do almost anything anyone asks. Since our family joined the TLGDA, my dad has been vice president of events, (Tell Robin that we do not envy her new job, and if she needs help, we will be happy to), president, and has recently moved to the board of directors. Kristie was the treasurer and has also been moved to the board (This will be really awkward if I missed something). As our record shows, our family is very involved. I personally have worked in the hog pen and helped with blood trailing, and have met some of the most interesting people. I heard someone describe my response to most problems as “I’ll fix it if you ask, but please don’t ask.” This is, honestly, pretty accurate. I do my best to do whatever anyone asks, and enjoy helping anyway I can (I am still semi-serious about getting a “Hi, I’m Laramie, ask me to do things” shirt).

Ask anyone about a Blue Lacy, and if they are aware they exist, they will usually describe them as motivated but very energetic. If one of our dogs gets too bored, they like to dig in the trash, or move around anything they can find. Outside, they catch smaller animals, dig pointless (and irritating) holes, chase cows or horses, play in the tank, play with each other or any toy convenient, or just bark. They make very playful pets, if a task can be found for them. I enjoy playing a game with Festus of my own invention. I crouch and spread my arms out, and he spends the game trying to nose my palms while I try to tap him on the side. This game usually ends with us turning in weird low circles, likely looking like some funny circus act.

In the end, I love the Blue Lacys. I am proud to own them, proud to take them with me, and I hope I can help keep their breed strong in the future. When I think of owning any dog in the future, after I get the college mess settled down, my first thought is a Lacy. I hope to find a tri if I can manage it, as my family has yet to have one. They are the only known breed made for the Lone Star State, and they are designed well. If ever God liked a dog, it was the Lacy, who He gifted with a great nose, a great attitude, a great state, and a great family to watch over them.

Thank you for your time, for considering me for the scholarship, and for everything you have helped me do in this life. I would be far different without the TLGDA and the Blue Lacys.”

Professors critiques:

“Hi Todd,

Thank you for asking me to judge the essay contestants. Laramie Montgomery is my choice for the winner. She wrote a compelling personal narrative detailing the personalities behind each of her dogs. She regaled tales of their adventures/misadventures that kept me interested. I didn’t know about this breed and her essay made me curious enough to research it on the internet. Her story made me want to own a Lacy.
Charles Carson’s essay about the Lacy dogs was very informative and I learned a lot about the breed, but it didn’t have the personal narrative that was so engaging in Laramie’s essay.
Please let me know if you need anything else.
Warmly,
Colette”

“Alrighty. Here here are my thoughts.

I think they are both lovely essays.
The one titled Texas Lacy Game Dogs does a good job of combining some history of the breed and their personal experiences. I enjoyed knowing that they are raising the pup. That must be a real learning experience. I did find a few typos.
However…
The one titled TLGDA is very well-written and gives an extensive history of personal experience with the dogs.  It seems this person has broader knowledge and is more involved in the breed.  They seem to have a genuine appreciation and heartfelt desire to be a part of the association.
With that said, of the 2 essays I vote for the one titled TLGDA.
I learned so much. Thanks for thinking of me to do this. “
We would like to thank everyone that participated in the writing and judging of the essays. Mostly, we would like to thank everyone that helped raise the funds to make these scholarships possible. Below is a picture of Laramie Montgomery (center) with some of the Board of Directors and officers after the FunDay.
(Photo courtesy of Sandy Adcock)

These pictures were taken at the FunDay in Bonham, TX this past weekend, by Marlo Ondrej‘s son, Trey Westall. We had to add a few extra events after the almost 4 inches of rain the night before. We added underwater retrieving and river crossing among the regular events. Once the water receded we were able to carry on with the normal activities. Anyway, for those that were able to make it, we had a good time. Thank you for all that attended.