Throughout this week, I’ve been sharing stories about my memories growing up on a southwest Minnesota farm as a way to honor National Agriculture Week. I did the same during the week-long celebration in 2009, and believe it or not, I feel I’m running out of things to write about.
After living on the farm for 20-plus years, you’d think I’d have all kinds of stories, but to me, so many of them are the ordinary and mundane – like picking rock, walking beans, digging potatoes and baling hay. They were the jobs that had to be done every year.
So today, I’m going to write about my dog. Few times in my life has there not been a dog in it. We had several different farm dogs over the years – the first one I remember was a big collie, while the rest – with the exception of a Blue Heeler – were mixed breed, family pets.
These days, the dog in my life is Molly.
Six years ago this spring I met Molly. She was a giveaway puppy from a family at Steen, and was just what I needed as I adapted to my new surroundings … a new job at the Daily Globe and a new place to live (an old, two-story, four-bedroom farmhouse south of Worthington.)
Molly loved farm life so much that when I bought my house in town four years ago, I couldn’t bear to take her away from her daily routine of chasing bunnies through the grove, barking at birds and being the protector of the farmhouse.
She has lived with my parents ever since, but I spend time with her every chance I get.
I took Molly to the veterinarian this afternoon, during what has been a much-needed, four-day break from work.
Anyway, I drove out to the farm to pick her up after lunch. Molly loves car rides, but little did she know I wasn’t taking her to bunny paradise down at Bella Park – our usual destination.
I’m pretty sure she knew something was up when I turned north instead of south off the county road where my parents live. As I drove into town, she poked her head between the bucket seats to watch the scenery out the front window. Then she turned her nose and blew warm air right into my ear. I won’t complain though, at least she didn’t bark in my ear!
I never know what to expect when I take Molly to the veterinarian. One time I had to drag her out of the car on the leash and that was miserable. Today, however, she was ready to leap out as I opened the back door, and I had to hold her back to get a leash attached to her collar. I can only imagine what disastrous situation might occur if she was allowed to run free in town!
Though getting her through the double doors involved a bit of pushing and a bit of pulling, once she was inside, she was back to her typical, curious Molly. I think the smells confused her, the chirping bird annoyed her (any chirping bird that near to Molly usually ends up being a dead bird – fortunately, this one was in a bird cage), and the barking dog in an exam room mystified her.
All in all, Molly was a real good girl. She was weighed (she’s now up to 42 pounds – she gained a pound since last year), had her temperature taken and received her rabies shot and distemper/parvo shot. Best of all, she made it through everything – even the veterinarian’s exam – without so much as a whimper.
Her treat for being such a good girl was supposed to be a trip to the bunny park, but it was too cold today. Instead, she had to settle for a couple of her favorite Marro bone treats and a little game of fetch with her favorite toy.
I’m hoping our afternoon together made up for the neglect she’s apparently been feeling lately. I really hadn’t appreciated the call from Mom the other day, telling me that Molly had ripped the liner out of the boots I had left in the garage after my weekend farm visit.
Oh, I’ll still take her to the bunny park one of these days when it warms up again … she knows I won’t trick her into going to the vet clinic twice in a row.