I have to tell you about my favorite Christmas present. I got a new puppy! After writing about my puppy getting sick and dying in early November, I was amazed and consoled by the outpouring of generosity from Ozarks Farm & Neighbor readers.
Many of you offered me replacement puppies. I was touched by this kindness. I was offered a cute Great Dane puppy, a Boxer and a few Australian Shepherds – adult and puppy. We considered the Great Dane, but we thought a Great Dane would make for one crowded tractor cab when she grew up.
We finally accepted a generous offer of a registered Australian Shepherd from Lucky B Ranch up in Waverly, Mo. They raise working Aussies, horses and they farm row crops. Their kindness will be forever remembered, as will the others who offered me their puppies.  
The new little guy’s name is Dusty. We contemplated between that and Hopper because I’ve never seen a pup hop around like he did. And now his new nickname is Sharky, because if our shoes, socks, the couch and the dining room furniture lives through his chewing and nipping stage, it’ll be a great accomplishment. Dusty is a blue merle with even brown and white markings around his face, and amber eyes. Gauging Dusty's tendency to heel me around the house, I think he’ll make a fine cattle dog.
Thanks again to Alicia Davis and Steve Boland at Lucky B. You guys made our Christmas, and our entire year so much brighter.
You can all look forward to many more puppy adventures to come now, thanks to them. I’d imagine soon the story will be something like, “Dusty learns not to stand between an old cow and her freshly unrolled hay.” I think 2009 is going to be a great year.
God Bless,

Melissa FullerEditorial / OpinionsMissouriI have to tell you about my favorite Christmas present. I got a new puppy! After writing about my puppy getting sick and dying in early November, I was amazed and consoled by the outpouring of generosity from Ozarks Farm & Neighbor readers. Many of you offered me replacement...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma