Sunday

A Job...

There is a very good reason dogs have been given the reputation of "man's best friend," so I thought it would be nice to acknowledge our four-legged friends for all the work they do, especially here at the farm.  We know our dogs will sit at our feet at any meal, bark when someone is coming to the door, and run by our sides when it's time for a jog, but they do a lot more than that. Every day dogs are trained and hired to be members of the professional world to help people. They have jobs too!  But the payment may be belly scratches, long walks, and sleeping in bed with me. One top position for dogs is a Guide Dogs: The first school for guide dogs was established in Germany after World War I to assist soldiers that had been blinded or injured during the war. These dogs act as the helpers of their handler's lives. Some breeds include Labradors, golden retrievers, and German Shepherds. There are nearly 20,000 active service dogs working each day.

I need a Job!
While I don't have certified working dogs, to the dogs, they do all the work around the farm and are the experts.  Just today, JoJo was the chief bug and grass catcher.  She appears to be an expert and will catch anything that flies in the air and even at times walks with me and the lawnmower catching blade of grass.  Her real forte is capturing and following butterflies as they dance and flock along the way, lucky for the butterfly she never catches them.  She is also the chief stick collector and will run through the woods with a stick in her mouth and the bigger, the better.  At times, Whisky or some other dog will join and help too.  JoJo is the Branch Manager, and Whiskey is the Assistant Branch Manager.  The bad part about this, she will bring them to the back door and leave them until she comes back outside and they add up on the porch.


Saturday, we had a new job develope at the farm, and "Snake Wrangler" is the new title, not to be confused with horse wrangler, it's with snakes.  As I was splitting wood from a pile, I said to myself, "this would be a good place to find a snake" and the next log I moved, low and behold, there it was.  A 4' Black Snake in all of it's prime.  Not a killer of most animals, I picked it up with a stick and lifted it up, but it kept getting off, so I grabbed it by the tail.  Off we walked to the woods, and I placed it off the beaten path, and it scampered away with the dogs not far behind.  The rest of the afternoon, the dogs held there nose to the ground following every move, the snake had made.


As I was out walking to get a photo of JoJo and the other dogs carrying sticks, Mr. Milk Snake decided to wiggle across out path.  Well, that set off a hootenanny of fun and searching for it, glad the snake can get into tight places.    One thing about snakes, Elaine and I have lived here 20 years, and I have only seen, at the most, 5 snakes, but this year, I bet I've seen 50 already.  All harmless and great mice and frog catchers.


There are many jobs that my dogs do, and here is a small list of what some of them are.
Dishwasher pre-wash cleaner
Toilet checker
Alarm clock
Stick collector
Mulch eater
Package opener and counter cleaner
Lawn cultivator
Plant waterer or any tree
Bed-hogger
Table cleaner
Water shaker in the house, especially when they just got out of the lake
Vomit cleaner, no matter who did it

Bed warmer
This list could go on forever, and I would be interested in what your dog's favorite jobs are.  No matter what, life with a dog is good.   Studies have found that:
Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
Playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

While I believe all of this is true, the bond between my dogs and me is magical and serene, and when they lay in my lap, no matter what jobs they did that day have drifted out the window and all is good in my world.  Ken...