Our Holiday Guest

With the Christmas Season and New Year over, it’s time to get back to normal and get back to our routine here at the farm. In addition to having to travel and family visits, we had two dog guests for the holidays. Maggie and Bob both came to visit just a few days of each other and stayed for 10 days here on the farm. It was a wonderful experience for all of us and we had a blast. It always starts the same, they are so excited when they get here and I hear from their owners that when they pull off the main road, both dogs know where they are going and they bounce around inside the car.
After everybody settles down into the routine, which takes about a day or so, they fit right into the pack and start making their mark. In past visits, Maggie has tore some skin off her paw pads because she ran so much, and had to walk with booties or she had to stay in the house a lot and miss out running with the farm dogs.
This time I was determined to not let this happen and it didn't, but with a price.  We stayed on soft surfaces, which just happened to be mud and slop but, Maggie was injury free for the whole time.  She got to run and play every day she was here.
Every morning started out the same. We would rise from bed and get our breakfast together and then feed the other dogs. After a hearty breakfast of kibble, except for me, I had yogurt, we would go on our morning walk of a couple of miles. This gives all the dogs a chance to smell all the deer and raccoon poop and any other thing that they want to, and then do their business in the woods, which is new for the guest. I say this because my dogs will always go to a remote part of the farm or deep in the woods to do their business. There are a few of mine that I have only seen do their business once or twice in their life, no clean up, ever, sweet….
About half way through, we will meet up on the dam of the lake and I will get a ball and Frisbee that I have hidden where they can’t see it, and play a round or two of activities. Everybody enjoys it and it sets the tone for the day. During this stay, we had a gambit of weather. It rained for a couple of days and then had beautiful, bright, sunny days and it even snowed for two days, which every one enjoyed.
We had warm days and freezing weather, but never too cold that they couldn’t get in the water.
Maggie has visited us for a number of years. She usually comes for Christmas and during one of the summer months for a few weeks while her family goes on vacation down south. Her family will usually drive and they drop her off or pick her up as they travel I-65. She is a pro staying here and has all the moves that make her one of us. She always gets on the couch and gets behind the cushions and will stay there forever which we don’t mind.
She interacts with our whole family and is even part of our Christmas. She is a great bed buddy and has always let us know when she wants out. She is a sweetheart.

Bob is only about 9 months old. He is a big puppy with a big heart and is the one dog that seems to smile.
One thing he does that I enjoy is he will put both paws around your neck and give you a hug. He will even put his head next to yours and hold it there. He is also a good bed buddy and I will tell you, sometimes it got a little jam-packed.
His owners had a hard time leaving him and would have taken him with them if they could have.  I understand this so well. I have joked with Elaine that we should try to take ours on the Cruises we take, telling the agent that they are our service dogs.  We are very needy, that’s why we need six. I can only imagine taking them on a big ship, what a hoot.
As I said, we enjoyed their stay and Bob and Maggie became best friends and enjoyed each other. It’s always good to see the dogs again and to see the pups grown up.

I always hate to see them leave because they become part of our life for a short time.  We always make a CD of all the photos that we take during their visit and it's nice to look at them, remembering our times together, which I still need to make the CD (Sorry).  The last day is always tough and you try to emotionally prepare for it, but I know how much their owners will want to see them again, so there is comfort in it. While they are here, I always send daily emails and photos to the owners just to let them know everything is “OK” and their dog is in good hands. After they leave, Elaine and I always will look at each other and ask, “Wonder what they are doing?” As I have said many times before, “It might be your dog, but it will always be my pup.”
Miss you guys….Dad
Note:  Now you can follow our dogs daily on Facebook, they wanted to go high tech, we're at Shucks Border Collies.  Feel free to ask me, or the dogs, questions or advice either open or by private message on Facebook.