Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series on Patton, a heeler cow dog that lost his legs and continues to work cattle on wheels. Part I covered his accident and ran on May 8.
Korby Kost’s two-legged dog Patton is very smart, loves people and kids and loves to work cattle at Korby’s feedlot in North Dakota. He’s become a celebrity and has been a good ambassador for feedlots.
“All the Facebook comments have been amazing — the way people have accepted him and think he’s the greatest thing ever,” said Korby.
It is heartwarming to see a dog being able to keep doing what he was meant to do, and loving it.
“City folks watch the videos and think it’s great. It might be different if he was just a pet in a wheelchair. But this dog has a job, and he keeps doing it — and people are amazed at how happy he is.”
Patton is the only dog Korby uses in the feedlot to help move cattle. He doesn’t want another dog because he doesn’t want Patton to feel like he’s being replaced.
“He’s a good dog, and he’s happy. It’s fun to watch him when he’s working cattle. He knows his job, and he wants to do it. If you leave him behind he is really torqued.”
Winter gets cold in North Dakota. “We have a scale house and shop and in the winter he stays pretty close to those areas. He’ll go outside for a while but likes to get back inside when it’s cold. In summer we put him the shop every night so he doesn’t get in trouble, but he loves staying outside in the summer. He hops around the yard and has a great time,” said Korby.
In summer Patton likes to ride in the feed truck because it has air conditioning. “If he wants to cool off, he works his way over there (pushing himself with his hind legs) and wants to ride with you.”
Several television stations have run special programs about this “wheeler heeler,” showing him working cattle. One station in Indiana put him on their Facebook page and got more than a million views. “(Western columnist) Baxter Black called me, and told me it made his day to see this. A lady in Idaho wants to write a children’s book about him. Many people have asked about him, and want to know his story and what happened to him, so I just joke and say that I’m so broke that I could only afford a two-legged dog!”
“The Desert Dogs for Veterans put him on their Facebook page. People think he is inspirational,” said Korby.
“A young trucker was here from Oklahoma delivering bulls, walking around with a gimp. I didn’t think much of it, but then he looked at my dog and said, ‘I know how he feels!’ He lifted up his pant-leg and showed me he’d lost a leg and has a prosthetic leg. We took a photo of him and dog.”
This dog loves people and visitors. “Sometimes heelers can get very territorial but this one loves attention. People come by to see Patton and are simply amazed. I was hesitant when the TV station wanted to do a story on him, but it’s all been very positive. There are a lot of good people in this world. It’s nice to have some good news like this, rather than just all the bad things we keep hearing about. People are sick of politics and scandals; they’d rather hear about this dog instead!”
Korby hopes Patton can become an ambassador for veterans. He is definitely a “good news” dog.
“Patton makes it tough on my employees, however, because I expect everyone to love their job as much as he does! He is a good role model but he’s tough on help! They have to live up to this dog’s work ethic. It’s really something, when your most reliable help is a two-legged dog.”