Georgia Farm Dog Named 2024 AFBF Farm Dog of the Year

Dearing, GA |

Donald and Laura Adams from McDuffie County are the proud owners of Skippy, a remarkable mixed breed dog that has become an indispensable part of their lives. Donald, a beef cattle farmer who faced disability after an accident, found his lifeline in Skippy. Thanks to P.H.A.R.M. Dog USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to training dogs to assist disabled farmers, Skippy has become a game-changer in their lives.

“When you have an injury like I have, if you sit in the chair or sit on the couch, that’s where you’re going to end up. Get by. Because we have Skippy to help us, every day, we’re doing something. If it wasn’t for her helping us with the cows to keep me busy, things might not be as good as they are now,” shares Donald Adams.

Skippy, a border collie, catahoula hound, Australian shepherd mix, has been an integral part of the Adams family for over a year now. “She’s a partner, she’s a pet. She’s right here with us helping us with the cattle every day,” adds Donald.

The accident that led to Donald’s disability occurred while he was out feeding hay with his son. “The last bale bounced the wrong way and hit him in the back of the head, broke his neck, and bent the spinal cord. He was completely paralyzed from the neck down,” explains Laura Adams.

Determined to continue farming despite his disability, Donald was introduced to P.H.A.R.M. Dog, which supplies dogs to disabled farmers to assist them in their daily tasks. “I wasn’t gonna leave the farm. There wasn’t a doubt as long as I got a breath in me, I’m going to take care of the cattle and the farm. And thank God we did,” reflects Donald.

“Skippy kind of filled that role that, you know, it would take three or four people to herd forty cows out of one pasture to another. Skippy, and I can do it by ourselves. Skippy can do it by herself, to be honest,” says Laura.

Describing SKIPPY’s importance, Donald shares, “It’s gonna be hard to replace her. She’s just such a loyal companion. She’s about, like, my wife is about like my children are, you know, you just think so much of these dogs.”

Acknowledging Skippy’s role in his recovery, Donald adds, “This type of injury, you’ve got to stay busy all the time. And that’s why the cattle and Skippy helping us is responsible a lot for my recovery. Being able to keep the cows and something for me to live for every day. I mean, she’s contributed to that immensely.”

Reflecting on how having a farm dog changed their lives, Laura concludes, “Getting a farm dog involved with us changed our life.”