Sunday

Abbie and Dutchess

My two most active dogs will play most anytime.  This Saturday, Abbie brought me a tennis ball that she found in the yard which is very customary and if she can’t find one, part of a tennis ball will do.  Because we have nine dogs, it’s difficult for the serious ball players to get into the action because of distractions from their playmates.  Molly and Annie will hold the ball, Dahlia, Shepp; Doc, Gabby will pester the real players most of the time by running next to them and aggravate.   Shepp likes to play on his own and Meggie can play most anyway.  Nearly everyone was in the house when Abbie brought me her ball, so I had an idea.  You can hardly turn them down when they want something because those eyes kill you into submission.


I grabbed another tennis ball from the top of the refrigerator and Dutchess, Abbie and I went to find a spot, each of them turning circles as we walked.  You have to remember the ones in the house will watch where we go, so we snuck into a secluded area that is all the way at the back of the property, near the fence line where it’s flat and clear.
Right off the bat, a ball went through the fence.  

Please come back... Please...
As I watched in amazement, Dutchess tried to reach it, but Abbie jumped in and stuck her head through it.  As usually, Abbie already had a ball in her mouth but dropped it to retrieve the other, and when in her mouth.she got it, she gave it to Dutchess, grabbing “hers” for it’s usually place 

Dutchess tries

Abbie dives in

Got a leaf too
We had a great game, and the two played hard.  I will tell you, at one time, Dutchess could jump higher, run faster and last longer but those days are gone.  Abbie still runs reckless, knocking anything down in her way and always going full speed but today she was winded and was wore out, but kept going.

It was a pleasure just to watch the two athletics do what they like to do.  While I love to see all the dogs run, Sometimes, special care needs to be given so everyone can enjoy the fun.    When we were finished, we walked to the house and Abbie still had the ball.  Dutchess was exhausted and came to the porch for water, but Abbie went and got hers from the lake…  Why do they have to get all the way in the water to get a drink?  Tonight these two will sleep well, Abbie will be satisfied for a day, Dutchess will need Rimadyl.   Ken


After all the hullabaloo...



I will tell you that we are busy at the farm during the day.  Being home with the dogs 24 hours a day for some years, you would think they are used to me and get used to my actions.  They usually are with me wherever I go whether it’s cutting grass, shoveling snow or taking a walk which is generally is three or four times a day.  I do like to stay busy and keep myself occupied, and as you know, Border Collies do too, so we fit.  While this is a problem with some homes that are not active and issues come into place, this is not a problem here but that will be a later day story.

Helping with the grass
They pick up on my movement whether it’s sitting down to put on my shoes, putting down the remote or sitting down or getting up from my favorite recliner.  This has happened for some time, but the last week or so, it happens nearly night.  When I retire to the family room, Dutchess will watch my every step, and if I walk to the recliner, she will stand at the foot and even before I get completely down, she will try to reserve her spot by getting on my lap.  “Dutchess, let me sit first” is what she usually hears but falling on deaf ears is common as most things she has selective hears.  Things are generally the “Dutchess” way, and if the truth be known, I let her do the things she wants to do, just because of who she is which is a stinker.


Once I sit down, Dutchess springs into action even before I have time to lean back in the chair.  She is impatient, but the rewards are great once she finally makes her nest in my lap.  She will sleep for what seems like hours without moving and as she lays motionless in my lap, as with all the dogs that make it there, they get a good massage and check over.  I do find it therapeutic to watch any of them dream and “chase rabbits” in their sleep, right in my lap.  Some of the other benefits are also rewarding because when I have a dog in my lap, Elaine hears this several times an evening and of course, we don’t want to disturb the dog.  “Elaine, can you get me another piece of cheese?”  or “Elaine can you get me something to drink?” which she always comply, not wanting to disturb the dog.  Kind of cool huh…  Think about it guys. 



So after all the hullabaloo through the day and as we wind down for the evening, it is comforting to see and feel the dogs when they are their sweetest.  



We have multiple dog beds in the family room, and they will move from one to the other, to the couch, and back to their bed.  It’s also funny they each have their special place whether it’s in their bed or my heart.  Ken

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What’s that Smell?

The locomotive
We’ve all been there and said the same thing at one time or another. Every night when we transfer to the family room, I take all the dogs for a walk through the woods.  It’s about a half of mile, and it usually takes care of any business for the dogs, and they are relieved.  Since Elaine decided to keep all the dogs in the house every night, I try to make sure that any possibility of an accident it was taken care of if you know what I mean!  We typically take two trips, on at about 9 pm and another one at 10:30 or so. 
I have a light just for the walks that will shine to the moon and back, and it’s a LED and rechargeable too!  
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Out the back door we go and they always know where we are going and when.  It’s right when I put the remote down, and their ears pop up, and a race to the back door is in order.  Just don’t be in their pathway.
Once on the path and in the woods, each dog wanders aimlessly in every direction.  Always stopping and smelling the ground and sticking their nose in the leaves, moving it an inch and diving in again.  Dahlia, Abbie, and Annie are the worst at this and Molly comes in second.  I thought it was a cat in the area or a skunk (God forbid) but what I saw earlier this week surprised me.  Out of the corner of my eye with the help of my million watt light, a rabbit was merely hopping like no one was around, but there was.  


Dogs were everywhere and Dahlia, AKA “critter killer,” was just a few feet away.  Now Dahlia has chased our cats up trees, under and over fences but she has never caught one, but I can only envisage what will happen.  When she gets her body moving, it’s like a locomotive under full steam, and I think she would go through a wall.  Truth be known, I bet she is a big sissy, but I don’t want to find out.


Little Bunny FOO FOO was happy frolicking through the woods.  I was the only one who saw her, and she made her deposit and skipped off in the wilderness.  As we were walking back the same way that we came from earlier, All the dogs were running until they crossed over “that” spot and everyone stopped on a dime and started sticking their nose to the ground searching for their treat. 
What I can’t fathom is why they would want to eat or roll in that stuff, and it seems to be the gourmet of food to them.  And if it’s not a treat, it’s a cologne only to be applied to the neck area “according to them.”  A dog in a real barnyard is truly in dog heaven, always plenty to eat… Yuck, make me gag…


What never surprises me is the exceptional food you purchase, cook or prepare for them, some costing 60 dollars a bag.  There is nothing better than rabbit droppings, road kill, nasty water or a good turd.  Can’t believe I wrote that.

Give your dog a hug, not to be confused with a kiss…   Ken

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How Do You Say NO, sometimes…


When I got my very first dog, I remember the person who sold me my first dog giving me some useful information.  He said “If your dog only learns one word, it needs to be “NO.”  I didn’t give it much thought then, but now I see the value in his wise advice.


Mollie
Many times we succumb to the “wants” of our children, grandchildren, and spouse.  That’s perfectly acceptable (Elaine may read this) in most cases, but with a dog, things change.  I’ve always told a story to new dog owners about a dog that’s gets into the garbage canister.  As he is in it, you say “no, ” and he stops.  He again gets in it, and you again tell his “no, ” and he stops.  This command goes on for nearly ten times, and you see him again, and you just ignore it.   The dog is in Heaven, even though you have corrected him nine times, in his mind, he has your permission to get into the garbage container or the dishwasher.  He has won…




As a parent, my job is to teach my children to survive in this world making wise decisions.  Hopefully, when they grow up, they will realize that you’re not as stupid as they always thought you were.   I remember that moment very well when I was 31 years old, and the very moment it happened.  Dad and I were working on a project, and I went into the house to get each of us a cold glass of water.  I walked onto the porch, and for some reason I stopped and turned around, looking at dad.  Lighting struck me, and the message that came to me was “Dad’s not as dumb as you think,”  and I realized it was TRUE.  What an awakening.  After that, our relationship changed for the better.  Dad didn’t change I did.

With dogs, you could correct them a thousand times a day, and they will try again and again and again.  If they only knew that it was for their betterment and sometimes ours.  You don’t want them to charge into the street; you don’t want them to jump on the mailman or the dog warden if he visits, which did happen here once.  We try and try, and hopefully, it gets through, but it usually doesn't, but the correction is much easier if it’s constant.  I usually just call their name or say NO.  In any given day I will say…

Let me sleep…
No…
Abbie, don’t wash my nose off…
Gabby, don’t scratch my back with your nails…
Ok, I’ll get up…
Dutchess get off the table…

Of course, it is
Dutchess get out of the dishwasher…
Dutchess get your water out of the bowl. Not the toilet…
Dahlia, you’re too big to be in my lap…
For the love of God, can I go to the bathroom without all of you?

Yes, it's Dutchess here too...
And this is just in the first ten minutes of the day.

There is always an exception to the “NO” rule.  Last night, I was making some chicken jerky in the dehydrator in the utility room because it has a door. We make it there because Dutchess cleaned out two trays of jerky when we did it in the kitchen when she got on the table and helped herself.  The chicken jerky was finished, and I was taking it off the trays.  Elaine came into the room with Abbie.  “What’s up,” I said.  “Abbie needs a dog cookie” and proceeded to get one out of the cabinet.  “Abbie is special,” she said.  “We just don’t know how much longer she has, and I want to spoil her.”


Abbie
As most know, Abbie has Lymphoma and has lived well beyond what most thought she would.  Do we say “NO” to Abbie?  At times but she gets extra treats along with snuggles and kisses.  Last night she had a couple of homemade dog cookies and also got a couple of pieces of chicken jerky, some I accidently dropped on the floor.  Now we don’t baby her, but we do make sure she is treated with love, and she gets in the front of the line, so to speak.  I always make space for Abbie, usually in my lap, but she will share with Annie and Meggie.  The couch is full until snack times comes around and I make sure that Abbie gets two treats for every one that the others get.  No one seems to care, but Dutchess, because she counts.   Give your Dog a hug today…   Ken

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