Most farmers have a trusty canine companion who joyfully rides in the truck, chases gophers, and helps check the grapes for optimal ripeness. We want to hear your stories about these faithful dogs because, well, we could all use some cheering up these days! Do you have a funny story or a photo of your dog? Did your dog perform a rescue, like Stuart’s Dad’s dog did in the example story below? All stories are welcome and we will share them via this blog.

To submit a story, email it with a photo (if you have one) to or send it by mail to Stephanie Bolton, 2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242. Thank you!


Stuart Spencer with his yellow lab Brandy.


Growing up, we always had a yellow lab around the house. My dad, Tim Spencer, loved animals – especially his dogs – and in many cases liked them better than most people. For those that knew him, you will completely understand. He worked hard, running a small medical lab business during the week, and doing all his farming on the weekends. Two of the three labs we had over the years loved to farm. They would cry incessantly if my dad didn’t take them with him to the ranch, and they would chase the disc up and down every row until they nearly wore their paws off.

One Saturday, my dad was out at the vineyard replacing broken grape stakes. At that time, we used the old square redwood stakes, and he was pounding them into the ground with one of those tools you had to grab from both sides. It was a long day and at one point, he missed, splintering the stake and driving it right through his arm instead. He completely passed out, only to be awoken a while later by his yellow lab Brandy licking his face. She was loyal and protective to the core, and on that day she made all the difference and saved his life.

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