On February 13, 2002 Waylon Jennings passed away. That same day a border collie delivered a litter of puppies. Two of the females landed at this farm – their names were Willie and Waylon.
I first met Waylon in 2009, already an old dog; Willie had been gone a long time. Waylon must’ve taken after her fathers breed, whatever that was because while she looked like a border collie, she never acted like one. She was a loyal friend to anyone who would pet her and a fearless guardian of the back porch (mostly against cats). The only active job she held was to chase the milk truck out of the drive every other day. She survived many canine friends – Willie (her sister), Shamus (her son), A lab, Elvis, a stray yellow dog, another Willie, and Chief.
I can’t imagine a better companion than Waylon. Every day she greeted me with a wagging tail and a head to pet whenever I came or went. She was always content unless there was thunder or gunfire or fireworks nearby – then you would see her heading for a hiding spot long before you heard the sound for yourself.
Every weekend she helped me feed the hut calves, meaning she watched for my hands to be idle long enough to pet her and when the calves finished drinking, she liked them to suck on her fur, which they usually did. Baby calves were far and away Waylon’s favorite part of the dairy. She could always be counted on to accompany a calf as it was carried to it’s new home, often inspecting the hut or pen before you set the calf in.
On July 3rd, 2014 we said goodbye to our friend. She had lived at this farm longer than any other animal or person currently living here. This truly was Waylon’s dairy. Her presence was constant and her absence is too. Right now our hearts ache and the farm feels empty.
The day after Waylon died, a calf was born. Her mom’s name is Jess, so her official name is Jennings, but we think we’ll call her Waylon – we’re not sure the farm can survive without one.