Thursday, October 7, 2010

Farm dogs

My dogs are not farm dogs.  They are town dogs, transported to the farm.  They have a fenced yard, and they walk on leashes when they are not in that yard.  I have no worries of them causing mischief to someone else, because I manage their access.

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.


artgr8 said...

Point well made. It's always scary to pass by a house on foot where the dog is loose and unattended, which should not happen.

I have 3 indoor cats, the youngest of whom went outside, with permission, for the first time yesterday. He has since (twice) demonstrated he has yet to learn the rules of asking permission to go out - now that he's had a taste.

The JR said...

We live in the country and all of our dogs are contained in pens. When my house dog is out, I do not put her on a leash. I don't have to worry about her going to the road.

She sits by the fence and watches my horses or sneaks to the barn.

We had to put a fence across the front to keep this giant dog from coming into our yard.

Even though we live in the country, I don't think its right for other dogs to terrorize my property.

TKC and Briards World said...

Well written and good points made.
Hope that Oskar is fine - the senior dogs are special.

Tom Caasey

Roberta said...

Those kinds of encounters are so stressful. We are in the city and have three city house dogs, ALWAYS on a leash on outings. We were plagued by stray and feral dogs when we moved here five years ago. We took several dogs to the shelter, some had harnesses grown into their flesh, either forgotten or neglected. Some were terribly aggressive, some sweet. I cannot understand having a pet of any kind if you cannot be bothered with their care and safety. Working at a veterinary clinic I encounter people who are totally offended and put out when asked to leash their dogs. I try to understand but I don't.

MaryEllen Schneider said...

My heart broke when I read about Oskar's legs going out from under him. So glad everything turned out well.

Hugs to you and the pups.