Farming can be a lonely occupation, which is why many farmers choose to share the cab of their tractor or truck with a farm dog. Kyle Mills is no exception. Kyle and his farm dog, Bugg, work together every day on their cotton and cattle farm in Montgomery County.
“She knows a little bit about everything,” Kyle says. “She’s smart. She goes with me just about everywhere. She helps me herd the cows and she rides the tractor with me.”
More than 10 years ago, Bugg showed up at Kyle’s farm shop as a stray dog.
“She wouldn’t let me get near her,” Kyle says. “I left food that first night and she came up and got it, then ran off. The next morning, I threw her some bologna. I left and when I came back, she was sitting there looking at me like, ‘Hey, I want another piece of bologna.’”
From then on, Bugg never left Kyle’s side.
“She’s just a great dog,” Kyle says. “She helps on the farm and at home. She’s been with me through the birth of my kids and I know will protect them as they grow up. Everybody that works for us knows in the morning, Bugg is going to be there to greet them. That’s what makes her special to me.”
The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation created the Farm Dog of the Year contest to recognize the special bond between farmers and their farm dogs. As the first winners of this contest, Bugg and Kyle received $500, six bags of Red Flannel dog food by Exclusive Pet Nutrition and a plaque honoring Bugg.
“Farm dogs make life on the farm worth living,” MFBF President Mike McCormick says. “They are not just part of the farm; they are part of our family. I am proud to recognize Kyle and Bugg Mills as our first Farm Dog of the Year recipients.”