A story by John Gaumer
Miss Kip on a rockhounding adventure
Miss Kip was our border collie. She was a sweet little dog, black and white with a sharp nose. My dad brought her home when she was just a puppy. He was selling insurance at the time and had gotten her from a client.
She was very smart and easy to train. We taught her to sit, roll-over and shake hands. But her best trick of all was when a camera came out, she had to be in the picture. She’s in almost all pictures we took, not just the rockhounding ones. Regardless of the terrain, she would always travel with us. From the CA deserts, to rockhounding in Oregon and Nevada, she would gladly come along. She offered us more than just companionship; we were her flock of sheep. She’d go around and check on mom, then check on dad, then check on my brothers Tom and Jim… then me. We were the flock and she was our sheppard.
One day we were rockhounding in the west branch of the Feather River. We had found a large load of Feather River Jade (grossularite), and our plan was to float it down the river. We built a raft from an inner tube and hog wire and put our whole load of material on top.
We started floating the material downriver and Miss Kip was swimming along with us. We had a fair distance to go. While swimming through a deep gorge, Miss Kip got tired. Cleverly, she thought she could rest on our raft and decided to climb up for a ride. Next thing we knew, she had over-balanced the raft and dumped the whole load of material into the river. It took us over an hour of diving to recover it all. Her digging was a lot better than her rafting skills!
We loved our sweet little rock-hound. She was a loving pup with such a sweet face.