Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quiet Life on the Farm

Between the past month of book tour for TOXIC BODIES, and the craziness of spring on the farm, I haven't been taking Vanya out for leash-reactivity work. Instead, he and Tiva lead a blissful life hunting ground squirrels in the fields. Tiva eats them. Vanya just tosses them in the air and then looks puzzled when they stop squirming. He has spent the past 2 hours trying to dig one out from under a pile of lumber from the old greenhouse frame. Mr. Obsessive. When he comes in at night, he's too tired to beg. Well, maybe not that tired.

In the past few days, Mr Vanya has turned into Houdini, wriggling out of any little gap in the gates, etc. Each day, I find him over in the DNR land, covered with thick mud, happy as a clam from hunting bunnies. Each day, I drag more fencing material over to cover the tiniest gaps. Lord knows why, after 2 years, he has suddenly become obsessed with getting to the other side of the fence. Luckily, our neighbor doesn't have the cattle in the adjoining field. Ever since Vanya got kicked, badly, in the ribs by one of the heifers, he has seemed very leery of them. But I would still be a lot happier if I could plug all the gaps in this fence.

Next week, I head up north to the cabin with Vanya. He gets a lot more practice greeting new people up north (at least one new person a day), and he sees a lot more new dogs. But he's confined to the cabin, or the half-acre that's fenced, or walks in the woods with his canicross gear. He's much, much happier with the 20 fenced acres and gobs of critters to hunt, down here on the farm. But I can't be dog-less up north, and even though he misses the freedom of the farm, he's happy enough to be within 10 feet of me all summer.

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