Have you noticed that there are basically two kinds of dogs in Missoula? Labs and border collies. Both of these dogs can usually be seen riding around in the back of a truck. I have to admit my mom owns one of these and my husband owns the other. Each of these dogs, and their owner, seem to have a specific personality.

Lab owners (my husband) are the outdoorsy type. They are either into hunting and fishing, or they are into hiking and camping. The lab is a water-loving dog and a great retriever, which makes them perfect for hunting birds. They love the outdoors, and apparently love to ride around in the bed of trucks. I see them all over Missoula with their tongues and ears flapping in the wind.


Border collie owners (my mom) are the outdoorsy type too, but in a different way. They are the outdoorsy type in the ride-your-horse-around-chasing-cattle way. These dogs love to work. They are made to herd livestock and are very good at it. These dogs are very intelligent and get bored easily if they don’t have a job to do. I have seen many border collies riding around on the back of a flatbed truck in Missoula. Their tongues and ears don’t do quite as much flapping in the wind as labs’ do.

If you are not one of these owners, I guarantee you at the very least, know someone who is. If you are one of the thousands of Missoulians who owns a lab or border collie, which one are you?

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.