Visitors at the Farm

Oh...the days of visitors at the farm.  This is the time that people will visit the farm, and it starts when we plan a litter and will continue until the last pup is gone.  Don't get me wrong, we really enjoy it and welcome the guest.  If you have never been here, we live in a very rural area.  We are blessed in that we can't see another house and have land that the dogs can run on and still be on our property. 

Let me explain.  Our dogs usually have the run of the hills.  They are free to explore and run and play all day with the exception of when we go to town.  I will put them in their kennel, and don't ask why, I just feel that I need to do that when we leave.  I guess it's a father thing. 

We usually have 50 to 60 visitors a litter from the beginning until they go home.  This is because choosing a pup is a big decision.  Years ago, before the Internet, we would place an add in the paper and people would show up and pick the dogs that were left.  Now days, people will do a "Google" search for dogs and come across our site.  We encourage people to check us out and many will come before the pups are even born, just to see the temperament of the parents.  We will sit on the porch when it's warm, and in cold weather will go in the house and talk.  We usually will bring in the dogs they are interested in and they can get a closer look to see how they will react on a "one on one" basis.  We have even offered lunch for someone that may travel a great distance.  This even allows us to get a feel for the prospective dog parents, because it really is about the dog. 

With this all being said, this is where the problem lyes.  Our dogs have figured out that when someone comes down our long driveway, it's play time!!!!  They will hear the crunch on the gravel and you should see them.  Their ears perk up, they run in circles and they start searching for a ball.  It is unusual not to play ball and Frisbee when someone comes, because people want to see them play. 

As the car approaches, the dogs will run down the driveway and meet and greet any guest, running circles around the car.  Some people will park and walk down the drive, just to be safe.  Once the door is open, in Dutchess goes.  She is so excited to see new blood to throw the Frisbee, she will pile in the car just to get them to hurry up, and of course, everyone gets kisses and licks regardless of how dirty the dogs feet are.  This is a little frustrating to some people because not everyone wants kisses and licks and her jumping on their white shirt, and I understand.  At times, it's just a free for all.  I make every effort to watch for cars and meet the people before the car stops and once the door is opened, shout,"they will get in", hoping to help, and then in they go. 

After everyone settles down, we will go in the house or go to the kennel and see the new pups.  While we are inside, everyone and I do mean everyone will stand at the door like little stone statues waiting for someone to come out and play.  Dutchess will scratch on the door and even bark (I taught her to bark when she wants something, bad move) to hurry people up.  After we finish looking and talking, off we go to play.  Oh, they are in heaven.  They run and bark just for the chance to show off.  You would think they hadn't played for weeks, it's such a routine and something I can always count on. 

After a hearty time of playing fetch, and Frisbee and everybody is wet because they have also gotten in the water, the guest will head toward their car.  As I said earlier, they will get in the car and if you don't watch, they will get in as the guest are getting in, just to give them the last bit of sugar they have.  Everyone who comes, will honestly know that they are loved and appreciated by our dogs and maybe even a little muddy and wet.  If you have been here, you have seen this first hand.  Sorry....

On a serious note. I received this email this week,

Hello! I just lost my best friend this week. Abby was a 13 year old Border who was beautiful, smart and very loving. Your site has helped me to feel a little better and I wanted to give you thanks.   I see her everywhere now and am lost in memories of her. Thanks again. Your dogs and your relationship with them are/is terrific. Thanks again.

I wrote this gentleman back and thanked him for his kind words and and wanted to know more about his "Abby".  The loss of a "Heart Dog" can be devastating.  I can't imagine the pain, yet, but know I will.  I told him I would be honored to share his story, please read it.....

Please feel free to send or share your love of your past or present pet.  He also said;

This was difficult but also a rewarding process to go through. It has helped me to grieve and re experience many of the good times we had together. You are very kind to offer this to a stranger.

I say this to the writer, we are never strangers when we have a common bond.  Give your dog a hug today.  Ken