US

Service with a wag: Group's specially trained dogs help disabled farmers with chores, herding

  • Alda Owen pets her farm service dog Sweet Baby Jo after moving cattle on her farm near Maysville, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

    Alda Owen pets her farm service dog Sweet Baby Jo after moving cattle on her farm near Maysville, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweet Baby Jo, a farm service dog, stands in a farm vehicle on the Owen farm near Maysville, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

    Sweet Baby Jo, a farm service dog, stands in a farm vehicle on the Owen farm near Maysville, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)  (The Associated Press)

  • A personalized tag, describing Border Collies which are used as farm service dogs, hangs on a truck near Maysville, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

    A personalized tag, describing Border Collies which are used as farm service dogs, hangs on a truck near Maysville, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)  (The Associated Press)

Farmers with disabilities often fear they'll be unable to continue their way of life.

But a small group of dedicated volunteers is helping some disabled farmers with specially trained dogs.

PHARM Dog USA — or Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri — trains border collies and other dogs to help with chores specifically tailored to a farmer's needs. The dogs also provide emotional support and companionship.

The group currently operates on a shoestring budget in four Midwestern states. Founder Jackie Allenbrand hopes to someday expand nationwide.

One client, Alda Owen, raises Angus cattle with her husband in northwest Missouri and is legally blind. She received a border collie named Sweet Baby Jo in 2012 and says it has "made it possible for me to be a productive person."