Butler the dog, has been at it again.
The other day we were working on hay equipment in the barn and I realized that Butler was not hanging around as usual.
He was sitting on the Gator with his head on the driver seat, just waiting.
I’m sure that he was hoping that we were going to be going into the woods (his favorite place to run and play), but he was willing to hang out for as long as it took while we messed with greasy parts on equipment.
Butler knows the rules, he is an outside dog only.
Having the door ajar into the garage is still very tempting, he is on high alert wanting to check out why the door is open and if anyone is coming out and especially if that someone happens to have a kibble, a nibble or dinner with them.
Butler will stand guard at this open door for as long as it takes to find out why the door is open. Just in case he needs to sound the alarm to notify us humans that the door is not secure.
Butler the dog is ready to go to work, I already had my boots and coat on ready to go when I stepped back inside to grab my gloves.
Butler waited outside the open door, not exactly patiently but it did help to have a cat run by and distract him from attempting to enter the forbidden zone.
To the dog, Butler, I asked a simple question.
Were you digging in the dirt?
He seemed offended by the accusation and responded with a silence that hoped to prove him innocent beyond all reasonable doubt. But I was not fooled by his haughty nose-in-the-air dismissal of my query.
If anything, the dirt perched atop his nose and around his mouth simply proved my point.
I did not know where he found dirt to dig. The ground has been frozen or semi-frozen for weeks and he usually doesn’t dig in frozen ground.
The answer to my question went unanswered, until I attempted to tether him after the chores were done for the day, I found the spot where he found non-frozen earth. Behind his doghouse, under the roof where an old rock walkway has become a storage space for garden equipment, I found a hole or rather a crater.
Butler had dug up the rock path down to the dirt underneath. He had dug a hole so big that the air compressor that was sitting close by fell right into the depression.
Butler seemed sad that the air compressor was in his way of his task of digging to China.
So much for righteous indignation.
Cold weather moved in as predicted by forecasters more than a week ago.
Around here, we don’t get the sub zero, month long blasts that some of the other states have to contend with. Rarely does it get below zero here and when it does, the cold does not last more than 3 or 4 days before thawing out for a time.
This is the first cold snap in this region and Butler the dog is bothered by the mud puddles covered with ice. His game is to pounce on the ice to break the ice layer.
By watching him, you would think he was thirsty and needed a drink, but he merely investigates what is beneath the ice with a quick sniff and then off he goes to pounce and break other puddles around the farm.
Jackson, the off the wall farm dog, loves the opportunity to ride on the John Deere Gator. It is the highlight of his day. If the Gator is going to be moving, he needs to be in the bed of it, right behind the passenger seat.
When driving up the county road, Jackson steps up on the side so that he can sniff the air as the wind whips his ears back. He watches for critters and cars with a trained eye.
When we are hauling hay bales, Jackson will ride on the top. This height advantage makes him even happier.
This dog is all business as he travels on the Gator.
Too bad I haven’t been able to figure out how to train him to feed the hay to the cows to save me from the run-around back and forth from the driver seat to the tailgate.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the plums were barely turning purple. Now they are fully ripe and falling off the trees.
The tree we had across the road has already been picked clean by the scavenger crows so I will have to pick all the ones on the closer trees to keep them from being decimated by the birds. I have also tethered one of the dogs below the tree at night to ward off any raccoons that are thinking about sneaking in for a tree-full of sweetness. The dog not only guards, but he also cleans up any fallen fruit thus keeping the yellow jacket bee population away from the garden.
The dog Jackson loves all fruit, plums are one of his favorites. He runs around under the tree with his nose just barely off the surface and ‘hoovers’ (as in vacuuming) the plums. After about 20 or so he begins to slow his pace and begins to pick up one plum at a time and spends time chewing (and spitting out the pit).
The bounty this year has the tree drooping and I am giving away much more than I am harvesting. It seems like pears, plums and apples are bumper crops all across this area. Neighbors are inundated with the fruit just as I am.