Cattle dog BeaWe are excited to bring back our Critter of the Month after a little hiatus. Who better to feature than our friend Miss ‘Bea’ Armstrong? She always bursts into our clinic offices with a mixture of unbridled joy and goofiness.

Name: Beatrice, a.k.a. ‘Bea’
Age: 3 years
Breed: Cattle dog mix
Likes: frisbies; balls; gardening; snacks; being busy; panning gold with Dad; barking at cattle (she’d like to be herding); alerting on birds; dispatching roof rats; serving as a watch dog; visiting her friends at Campus Vet.
Dislikes: being bored; not being able to get to the squirrels or cats; dogs that try to corral her; very loud noises; slipping on the wet kitchen floor; walking on leash.

Her companions Sara and Robert were gracious enough to provide us with a little more information on our furry friend:

“About three years ago, our neighbor came home from a trip that included a visit to a rodeo in Beaver, Utah, and she brought with her a tiny puppy she had rescued. When Robert met the puppy, she licked him from chin to nose, and in doing so she helped mend his heart, which had been broken when we had had to say goodbye to our 16-1/2 year old lab, Teddy, a few months before.So, Bea (as in Beatrice) came to live with us and has (mostly) delighted us ever since. Yes, she chewed a hole in the rug when she first came, but she is the most happy, wiggly, snuggly, smart, cute, active, interested, and interesting four-legged, short person we’ve ever seen. Bea is a cattle dog mix—she is red and blue heeler, Kelpie, Australian Shepherd, maybe some dingo and/or Border Collie. She is small for her breed—about 33 lbs—and has the biggest ears we’ve ever seen on a dog this size. Robert says she can hear the worms deep in the ground.We found early on that she loves chasing balls—and is even better at catching frisbies, often launching herself and flying through the air to nab them as they glide. She loves helping Robert in the garden. He says, ‘Unfortunately, when Bea first came to live with us, I taught her to dig potatoes.’ Now, Bea will dig up a small one, and play with it as if it were a ball, eventually bringing it into the house for further play. She also likes carrots and apples from the garden.

We have a morning ritual. As soon as we get up and head for the kitchen, Bea gives a little yelp and runs for the front door. When we open it, she runs out, leaps the five steps to the front walk, and grabs the morning paper. She usually has to worry it a little before bringing it in and exchanging it for some chicken Zukes—her favorite treat.

This ‘cattle kid,’ as her nose work teacher calls her, loves to learn, and needs to be doing things. She has participated in two agility classes, and handles the weave poles, A-frame, tunnel, short hurdles, and directives quickly and efficiently—often leaving us out of breath.

Bea is a very special friend, and we believe Teddy sent her to us, along with some hints and tips for mischief.”


We are on the lookout for a December “critter.” Do you have a candidate? Let us know at