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A Dog's Life

We are in Iowa, staying for the month of June. Our dog, Rosie, loves the farm more than I do, if that’s possible. She spent one of our first nights barking insults at the local coyotes who were in turn maligning nearly everyone in the area. It all ended at about 4 in the morning with the last catcall from the coyotes and some harrumphing by the dog.

The next morning, she staggered off the porch to greet me when I got up at 6:30. She looked like she was hung over after a bender.

“Guess what I did last night?” was the look she gave me. Unfortunately, her carousing had kept me up most of the night, so the novelty of her story was somewhat lost on me. I did not respond.

Perhaps sensing my poorly disguised disinterest, she trundeled away to collapse in the softer grass of the front yard and proceeded to sleep it off for most of the rest of the day.

A couple of days ago, she caught a groundhog at my father’s house, the second of her visit. She has always been an avid, if inexpert, hunter and these unfortunate rodents were the culmination of years of misses and close calls. Needless to say she was inordinately proud of her trophies, dragging the carcass around the yard and wooling over each one repeatedly, showing off to anyone who happened by.

Yesterday, we moved the cattle to a new pasture. We were up at 5:45 am, as cattle don’t like to move when it gets hot. Rosie was bouncing around, ready to go anywhere there was some action, but cattle can be dangerous with dogs around. So I told her “stay” as we drove away in the Ranger, a farm utility vehicle that has become Rosie’s favorite non-animate object. As soon as it is starts up, she suddenly appears, ready to ride or run alongside.

As it turns out, Rosie isn’t much of a ‘stayer’. We drove the half mile out to the cattle pasture when she appeared running along next to the ATV with a hearty “Hey guys! Where we going?” look on her face. I stopped and lifted her into the back of the Ranger and off we went with one happy dog added.

Life on the farm holds endless opportunities for improvement for a dog. Rosie becomes a better version of herself out here. Sometimes if makes me wonder if I was a dog in a former life.

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