Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Doggy Paradise

If Finley could ever remember his passwords, he would blog and tell about his experiences himself. Since he can't, I'll give you a brief glimpse into his experiences acclimating to a new way of life. Finley was born in a city. He lived his next 6 years in the "country", but it was a country with yards, fences and leash laws. He ran away every time he was off the leash, so he hardly ever got to run free.

Then we moved out here. At first, Finley was filled with trepidation at the drastic changes. Winter sounded fierce (and still does...nothing's changed there!), and he didn't like the idea of leaving his comfortable home and food dish to bunk with his Cousin Clancy for the summer.

Once out here, Finley quickly found there were some VERY nice benefits to living out in the prairie wilderness. He got to run loose on his aunt and uncle's property, go for bike rides with me, and best of all, make regular forays out onto the prairie and run to his heart's content.

Along the way he discovered his heritage as a bird dog. Unfortunately, his skill is not commensurate with his enthusiasm. Hunting for him usually consists of sniffing passionately amongst the grasses where moments before, birds had been. Now they were thundering across the fields, but he never noticed, being too busy scenting them. Point!

After the Great Blizzard of October 2010, we took the dogs out to another one of their favorite spots. An old house sits alongside a country road, empty, but still well-maintained by someone. Old barns dot the yard, and old, rusting pieces of machinery are sitting there for lack of a better thing to do. The dogs love to run around sniffing, since all the empty houses seem a winter haven for all sorts of wild creatures. Goodness knows, there's not much else for shelter around here! And the dogs get especially excited after a snow fall, which seems to hold the scent better.

We saw a big ol' raccoon in the house. John surprised the raccoon...and walking in on him. I guess he spends the winter there, because the next day we could still see him through the windows. And no, he wasn't in the same spot and position, he was moving. We also saw a hawk and an owl flying around, clearly annoyed to have their privacy invaded by rowdy, yapping interlopers.

I enjoy the chance to see our dogs so happy (because of course I take my mom's and my sister's when I can), and I like to explore and see all the cool old things. If you know me at all, you know I like old stuff, and I've moved to the Motherload of old stuff! If anyone likes to renovate old cars, this is the country for you. People have the coolest classic cars just sitting there rusting in their yards. This particular farm yard also has several vintage children's wagons and an old flour mill in varying stages of decay.

My mom and I spent a nice Sabbath afternoon walk there last week, so here are a few pictures from our adventures.

Mom wasn't too enthusiastic about posing for me, but she looks so cute there in the snow! Hannah and Jackie kept eating the snow when they weren't pouncing through it; I guess they thought it was a really bland snow cone. It really is great fun to see California dogs play in the snow! Now the snow is almost gone, after a week of warm weather. But not to worry, I've heard there's more where that came from.

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