This time of year, with the fresh fruit on the apple, pear and plum trees, we are not able to simple load the dogs on the Gator to begin work for the day. Both Butler and Jackson will forego the immediate loading procedure for a quick run into the garden to see what tree has dropped some fresh fruit during the night.
Jackson prefers plums and will head for that tree first, but Butler will eat a pear over plums or apples but will be content with whatever he finds.
Jackson will grab a piece of fruit and run head-long and jump onto the Gator before he begins to eat. Butler will stay with his fruit until he has every last nibble cleaned up before he heads for the ride. He has figured out that we are willing to wait as long as needed before heading off to work for the day.
The John Deere Gator is home base for the two farm dogs, Jackson and Butler. They know that if the Gator is not parked in the shop, there is a good chance that a farm task will be worked on soon and the Gator will be part of that task. Neither dog wants to be the last one one the Gator.
On this day, the bed of the Gator was filled with large tubs of kindling for our firewood project.
Neither dog was able to get into the bed with it already being full, so they did the next best thing and made do with the smaller space on the front where the passenger legs area are supposed to go. Once on board, these two stood stock-still for about 10 minutes while patiently waiting for a driver, neither one attempted to sit on the seat because they know that the bench is off limits.
When the dogs were little they both would fit in this space easily with still enough room for a human. Now that they are full grown it is a little tougher, but they are not about to lose the chance to go to work. And just who needs another human passenger anyway?
Springtime is when the varmints become more active. Mounds from moles and gophers begin appearing out of nowhere. Aside from the critters disturbing the roots of the grass we are trying to grow, they create ankle-breaking depressions(dangerous for cattle and humans) in the grazing areas. Continue reading
Pulling the Gator into the driveway after the morning chores across the river, Butler the dog was sure that there was more work to do since we did not park inside the shop.
For the next two hours he stayed vigilant (as he napped) so we didn’t drive off without him.
Both dogs consider the Gator to be home base no matter where we are or what we are doing. We could be in the riparian zone along the river, out in the hay field, in the deep woods of the hillside, or fixing fence along the perimeter, the Gator is their ticket to adventure and they will not wander far from their home base.
This week has been glorious with the warmer temps and all but a bit of snow remaining from the piles scooped from along the roadway. Spring is in the air, the mud is drying, grass is growing, things are beginning to come out of dormancy. Continue reading
While we were busy with the riparian seedlings, the dogs had time to snoop around. Butler and Jackson enjoyed the sunny weather to scout around the understory of large cedar and Douglas Fir trees that line the river and they splashed around at the edge of the water line.
When I took a break from planted and looked around to see what they were up to, I found that Butler had tired himself out and decided he was due for some quiet time.
He stationed himself right in the middle of the riparian planting in a brilliant spot of sunlight. He appeared to be on guard duty white he took his breather from the more strenuous job of scouting out the local critters that could damage our tender trees.
The day of planting went well and I did go back and straighten the leaning seedling after I looked at the picture and realized the problem.
Jackson our ‘wild child’ dog is able to wait patiently when he knows that it will be soon time for us to start up the Gator for chores, especially when it’s feeding time.
If he only knew that mere feet below his snout, a black kitten was also waiting for the signal for dinner time to begin on the farm.
The kitten was waiting as patiently as the dog, and knows what is coming since the order of mealtime is run in a pattern.
The motor of the Gator starting sends cattle, dogs and cats into frenzied anticipation with copious amounts of saliva as they anticipate their upcoming meal. (Come to think of it, my tummy starts rumbling about that time of day knowing that our dinner time follows the critters meals.)