It’s a dog’s life

It took only a few days for the U.S. 59/MN 60 detour to claim the life of one of our black farm cats. I suppose she should have stayed in the barn rather than follow her instinct to find varmints along the once quieter country road south of Worthington.

My parents had been dreading the detour, and now that it’s in place, they still dread it. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, livestock trailers, grain trucks and lots of semis travel past their driveway at all hours of the day and night.

The increase in traffic has had quite a puzzling effect on my Molly. The 7-year-old Lab has become even more territorial – barking at trucks as they drive by and, in a few instances in the last week, attempting to chase them as they pass in front of the family farm.

It’s not good news … I know it, and my parents know it.

I was called out to the farm tonight, foregoing my first grilling attempt of the season, to figure out a way to solve the doggie dilemma.

Mom does not want to witness a pooch fatality – and equally as difficult, she does not want to have to call me to deliver any such news. We’ve been through this before, and my hysterics over the telephone were no comfort to either one of us.

So, I drove out to the farm tonight and fitted Molly with her “Best Friend” collar and gathered up the two, 25-foot-long tie chains that haven’t been used since my little girl was a puppy.

She didn’t like the chains then, and she probably won’t like them any more now, but it’s for her own safety. When she’s not in the house, or in the garage, or following her adoptive grandparents to the barn, she is to be on the leash.

I’m sure it will be a learning process for all three of them. My dad already feels bad about having to “tie her up.”

Mom told me tonight that Molly never used to follow them when they mowed the lawn, but the two times the mower has been out this spring, she’s been tagging along – all the way down to the end of the driveway. That’s when she gets into trouble.

Apparently Molly thinks she needs to protect my parents from all those nasty vehicles whizzing by.

Last week, a kind semi driver started honking the horn as he came down the hill because Molly was standing in the middle of the road. Today, another kind semi driver did the same thing … because Molly was doing the same thing. Today, there was a stern scolding and a “time-out” inside the garage. Then Molly gave my mom the sad puppy dog look – yes, she does that!

The punishment of being locked indoors suddenly didn’t seem so bad when she won her way into my mom’s heart and was invited in the house for a nap on her rug in the living room.

I’m guessing the rug is going to get used more by Molly between now and November than that dog collar will. Nevertheless, the tie chain is now attached to the clothesline pole – surrounded by adequate sunshine, shade and shelter.

Yes, she has the dog’s life … no matter how rough it must be some days.

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