A Very Hard Moment...

Since June 1, 2010 I have writer a weekly story about my life on the farm with our dogs.  It has been the best of times and sometimes the worst, meeting many people who I have interacted with and sharing story about my triumphs, fiasco's and funny stories.  The blog takes nearly 8 hours or better to write and I always pour my heart out, sometimes too much info.  It was always about the dogs, mixed with a message or two, and personal experiences.  Even now it is emotional for me to go back and read some of the stories but I do because it takes me right back to “that” day and the dogs I love.   

I have pondered and wrestled about stopping my weekly writing for some time, and right now my heart is just not in it because I feel I force myself, maybe someday, but right now I’m resting.  To the ones that read them, know nearly every word was true and know that I am passionate about my dogs and even yours… but I’m sure you can tell. 
Several times I have written about dogs that were saved by people and circumstances but often I have written about my dogs and the stuff they get into.  When we had to re-homed Shepp years ago, I wrote about the day he left, the day we went to visit him and the day he came back home.

With the development of Abbie’s cancer, going back and looking at some of the stories about her, I know too soon, she will be gone and the stories will be all I have of her.  If I do outlast my dogs, it will be something that I can always reflect back on and spend priceless moments with every one of them.

I never have regretted a story I wrote and hopefully in some small way, I have helped someone or a dog have a better life.   I have built chicken houses, dog houses and even out-houses through the blog, it’s literally part of me.  Just writing this memo, I have gone back and relived my past and hugged my dogs as I did today but unfortunately someday, I may read them and have no-one to pet and I can’t imagine, but I will dream. 

If you were a reader, thank you.  It was nothing but a gift to me to be able to share my thoughts and life with you.  I don’t intend to stop, just reflect, which I do a lot.   I have never written the stories for you.  The stories are for me, it was a release of my emotions and to tell anyone who would listen how my beloved pets make me laugh and cry and they do… One of my favorite passages that I have used often is;

“By now, you must know that there is always a goodbye hovering in the shadows of a dog. We are never here for long, or for long enough. We were never meant to share all of your life, only to mark its passage. We come and we go. We come when we are needed. We leave when it is time. Death is necessary. It defines life.
I will see you again.
I will watch over you.
I hope, in your grief and loneliness, that you will consider how sad it would have been had we not had this time together, not had the chance to give each other so much.
I do not morn or grieve, but I will miss standing beside you, bound together on our walks through life, even as I know that there is a long line of others waiting to take my place and stand with you.
Thank you. It was nothing but a gift.
And finally, I ask these things of you:
Remember me.”  Jon Katz

I do intend to remember them and many many times I sat at my computer and choked up from the emotions of the story and the circumstances that happened.  I always wanted more than a collar with tags when they’re gone and so the stories came for a reason.  I do read them every so often and it is a both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.  Ken

Some of my favorite post are;

It's Cold Here...

It’s cold here at the farm this week and exercise with the dogs has been at a minimum.  We do go out for limited walks through the woods and that helps, but we do stay away from the lakes just to be safe because I’ve been there before but the dogs see it as a shortcut.   I always keep them close to the house when the water is frozen or I’m not with them. 

Cutting across the ice...
You try to invent things to do but you’re limited with the space inside or the outside wet ground.  It’s a yearly thing and I am so grateful that they seem to understand and seem to like extra naps.   Because of the coldness, Elaine usually has all ten dogs inside.  She says she like’s their company but I wonder if that’s is a reflection on me… hummm, never thought of that.  Well at least I get to come in too and not at the back door, pawing at it.

This last Friday night, while I was checking my email and messages, Abbie and Dutchess was in my office with me.  Several minutes earlier, Elaine was also there but went to the family room to watch TV and the dogs stayed, maybe they wanted something.  They were very quiet and made little noise but I noticed something touching my chair, I looked back and noticed Abbie’s face between the seat and armrest and she had placed a ball on my chair seat.  I reached back behind me and I found a tennis ball and she just stared into my eyes and didn’t make a move.  “Sweet girl” I said and placed the ball on the floor just to find it back behind me again and again.  I thought what the heck, I picked the ball up and knew we would get into trouble but I ever so softly tossed it.  It was tossed  just a few feet away but to them it was game on.  I will tell you that Abbie and Dutchess will knock over, dive, crash, or smash anything that is in their way to get a ball.  My angel self said “What are you doing” but my mischievous self said “it will be alright” and it won. 
I know we had a calamity in the making with all the other dogs just a set of steps away downstairs, and we all know Border Collies can hear a tennis ball bounce from a long distance.  This is not the first time I have played ball in the house.  Once during the Christmas season, everyone had gone to bed but Dutchess and me.  

She wanted to play and against my better judgment, we did.  She played so hard, she knocked over a leather recliner by diving into it to get a ball.  On a spin move, she fell into the Christmas tree, sending it to the ground where ornaments flew in every directions so I know I need to keep this calm and keep the others from hearing.  I knew it was trouble and the adult came out and I said, “We’ve had enough” and placed the ball on a shelf out of reach, such sad looks...

This was this past Saturday... I don't know what she's doing...

Just look at her eyes...

She learned to raise the lid...
Look familiar?
I don’t know what to tell you to do when your dog is bored and with most, it’s an easy fix but when you have a high spirited, energy filled Dutchess dog, you’re on your own…  Some people think I set up the photos of her but as God is my witness, I don't and think of what I don't get.   She is always into something and even if it's bad, she has a good time doing it.  Good luck if you have one of her sisters...  Ken

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Do you need help?

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that we have a Doctor in the house.  Doc loves to come inside, finding his bone to chew on and taking a nap in the chair.  He also had a companion in healthcare and side kick who works with him who also takes care of the needs of everyone that visits and the dogs in our pack.

Nurse Annie...
Annie Belle is someone that’s cares about all the needs of everyone, whether they like it or not.  Our little tinker bell and social butterfly is very good at what she does and tries to soothe the savage beast and fix the hurt boo boo,  but she can also be a pest, sometimes it’s both.  Her usual routine is whenever she sees someone, she wants to make sure they are as comfortable as they can be.  When she will see a dog sleeping or laying in their dog bed, her little ears perk up and she will approach them with excitement.   She has such a kind heart and will crawl up to them and start licking their snout and ears.   While this can be enjoyable to some of the dogs, not everyone is always ready to receive her attention.  Molly usually wants to be left alone and when Annie starts her usual goodwill tour, Molly will start her low guttural growl but Annie will roll onto her back and try to approach upside down thinking this might be the answer but to tell you the truth, it usually doesn’t work.  Annie will put her paws into the air and it looks like she is juggling a ball but Molly is none the wiser and the low grows still continue and Annie will move to another victim. 

Molly is trying to tell her, “Leave me alone” and never not a problem but Molly just wants her space, something we all can relate to at times. During the evening, Annie Belle will go from dog bed to another trying to comfort everyone in the room with her licks, kisses and good will.  She is in heaven when she finds that one dog that will welcome her attention and in just a few minutes, they both are grooming each other and cleaning each other’s ears and face, everyone is in heaven and clean.

Another duty she has taken upon herself is to be the welcoming committee to everyone.  She will meet every dog that comes to the farm kissing and welcoming them, even showing them the ropes.  She approaches everyone wagging her tail and a smile on her face, even bringing a snack at times.  She will prance and dance around any new arrival, making them feel at home.  She is such a character and doesn’t have a mean spirit in her body, always wanting everyone to like her.  

If we have a dog that is a little on edge, Annie comes to the rescue and we will walk with her and the guest, watching Annie do her charms making everyone comfortable and safe.  She is always the “go to” girl and she will go far and wide to help anyone.

She and Doc makes a great pair, Doc knocking you down from loving you and Annie licking you to bring you back.  We nearly have a full Emergency Medical Crew with Doc and Annie.  Dutchess has volunteered to drive the bone box to the hospital and if you see her in a mad dash driving a ambulance, steer clear and know I am in the back, God help us all...   Ken

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