Thursday, October 7, 2010
Yesterday evening I took Oskar for a walk up the road. We have a mile route we frequently take, half mile out, half mile back (here in the midst of farmland the roads are long and straight!). The "out" went just fine. As we walked towards home, looking at a beautiful rosy sunset, we approached the farm across the street from our house. No one lives there, it's where a major area farmer keeps most of his equipment and stores his grain.
Someone was loading grain. The loud whirr of the conveyor and the rattle of movement in the huge storage building made that clear. As did the sweet smell in the air.
Just as we walked past, a yellow lab came racing out between two of the storage buildings, running right at us. Oskar whipped around to face the barking dog, and in the process his rear legs went out from under him. At 12 years old, he has some arthritis in his hips and spine. When he goes down, he needs help to get up. But I could not help him because the lab kept approaching and jabbering at us.
I yelled "come get your dog!", but whoever was there did not hear because of all the grain noise. I yelled some more, then finally launched a loud, high pitched scream.
Out came the farmer's wife, hollered at her dog who immediately left the street and returned to her. I waited until I knew he was gone, then gently lifted Oskar's rear end, helping to steady him on his feet.
As we walked across the street to home he kept looking over his shoulder, lest that dog come at us again.
When they first got that dog, they'd arrive at the farm and he'd jump right out of the truck and race over to bark at my dogs in their fence. I asked them to keep him across the street. They did for a while, but then he was back. I finally left a note for the patriarch of the family stating that their dog made my dogs crazy, and that I was concerned for the safety of my chickens out behind my barn. I got home that day to a brief phone message. "This is Karl. It won't happen again."
My dogs are not farm dogs. I manage their access to trouble. I wish that lab was not a farm dog, either.