Jon and Three Good Dogs

When I took this picture I thought I was just getting a sweet photo of Jon and Bud.  But after taking it, I saw Fate between them in the background and the painting of Lenore on the wall.

It made me think of the all the dogs Jon and I have had  in the ten years we’ve been together.  Frieda, Rose, Izzy, Lenore, Red, Fate, Gus and Bud.   How some of their lives overlapped and others never got to know each other.

With each group of dogs we’ve had, I’ve always thought they were the best dogs ever.  The dogs change, but I still always think it’s true.


Talking About Fate, On The Radio

Fate has this way of making herself known, by sneaking into the small spaces the limbs of my body create, no matter what I’m doing.

I was calling in to Jon’s radio show,  when she stuck her head through my legs and rested her nose on my stomach.

She must have known I was going to be talking about her.

I’ve been thinking of things to talk to Jon about his radio show, Talking To Animals,  so I noticed how when I call Fate out of the barnyard after feeding the animals and she doesn’t come, it’s probably  because I’ve trained her not to.

Not intentionally, but inadvertently.  Because when I call her, I’m actually thinking of the next thing I’m going to be doing, not that I want her to come to me.

And I inevitably have to go back into the barnyard to fill the water or do something else I forgot to do.  I think she picks up on this and over time has learned that I’m not really ready to leave, that I don’t really mean it when I tell her to “come”.

Surprisingly, my conversation with Jon on the radio this afternoon, may have helped me figure out how to get Fate to come when I call her out of the barnyard without having to yell at her over and over again, which is what I do now.

It’s not surprising that it was helpful, but it is surprising to me that Jon and I never talked about it before, enough to come up with the idea we did on the radio today.

I can’t quite recall all the necessary twists and turns in the conversation  it took us to get to this point,  (you can listen to a podcast of the show here if you’d like to hear that conversation and the rest of the show)  but the idea is for me to have Fate follow me out of the barnyard instead of me leaving her with the sheep and calling her from the gate.

That’s one of the interesting things about the way Jon trains animals.  It’s not as if there’s one text-book solution to a problem.  It’s a matter of knowing the person and the animal enough to figure out a solution that fits them and their unique situation.

After I got off the phone I fed the donkeys and sheep and tried it out.

As I was leaving the barnyard, while Fate was just a few feet from me, I  called  her to my side and she came.  Then I made sure she didn’t hang back with the sheep but followed me to the gate.

I didn’t have to yell once (not that she really responds to yelling) and she seemed happy to leave the barnyard.

So now it’s up to me to remember to be consistent and keep leaving the barnyard with Fate at my side.  Because as Jon and I talked about on the show today, my mind tends to wander.

I see how it goes this week and give an update on next weeks show.

I Am Now The Official “Roving Correspondent” For Jon’s, Talking To Animals, Radio Show…

It seems I’m now officially the “Roving Correspondent” for Jon’s Wednesday radio show, Talking To Animals.

How did this happen?

Well, first I called in to the show a few weeks ago when Jon and I were debating if my Mystery Snail Socrates was dead of alive.  Jon and Thomas both thought the conversation was interesting and useful enough for me to do it again the next week and then the week after that.

That’s when Jon asked if I would be the official “Roving Correspondent” of Talking To Animals.  I agreed when he told me it meant I would just keep calling into the show and we’d talk about animal stuff.

It’s been fun and it gets me thinking, and it might be good for my business too,  so I figured, why now?

Wednesday is the day I have lunch with my friends Mandy and Athena, so I miss the first half of the show. But I get home in  plenty of time to call in the second half.

When I call in to the show tomorrow sometime after 2pm, Jon and I will be talking about Fate.  How she’s a bit of a wild thing and how she doesn’t  comes when I call her into the house after feeding the animals. And how I believe I’ve  inadvertently trained her to do this.

So if you think you may have trained your dog to do the opposite of what you meant to train her/him to do, you might want to listen or call in yourself.

Once the weather gets warmer, I’m thinking of calling in from the pasture, to try to live up to the “roving” part of my new title.  But for now I’ll just keep calling in from my studio.

Talking to Animals is on from 1-3pm on Wbtn 1370AM.  You can call in and ask Jon questions about your own animals at 866 406-9286 or 802 442 1010.  And you can listen to the show by live streaming it here or you can  use the free Simple Radio app.




Go Out And Play

Last night the cats left me a dead bat by their water bowl in the basement.

The bat must have come out of hibernation because of the warm weather.  I’ve heard that bears do the same sometimes.  Seeing the dead bat assured me that the cats are keeping busy in the basement during the cold days.

Today was like an early spring day, melting snow and ice, thick mud sucking at my boots.  The cats spent the day in the barn and on the back porch in the sun.

Jon laughs at me for always trying to get the cats and the chickens to go outside in the winter.  If I had kids I’d be the kind of mom who would always be telling her kids to “go outside and play”.

Thirty Second Meditation With Fate

I stepped over the wire fence between our back pasture and our neighbor’s property.  The Gulley Bridge is under water, so yesterday, when I went for a walk, I lifted the wires of the fence in the back pasture and called Fate.

She stepped through the fence and followed me into the woods.

Today Fate was more interested in the sheep than me, so I let her stay in the pasture as I made my way over the fence and up the hill into the woods.

The snow is deep enough to make walking difficult  but not really deep enough for snow shoes. So my walk was short and on the way back I saw the sun and ice on the stream so stopped to take a Thirty Second Meditation.

It wasn’t until I was done taking the video that I saw Fate.   She had slipped though the fence and came looking for me.

And it wasn’t until I was back home, that I saw Fate was in my video.  Patiently waiting for me on the other side of the stream.

Bud and His Big, Blue, Bone

Jon, who is always buying treats and toys for the dogs, bought Bud a big, blue, bone.

When I first saw it I never imaged that Bud would even be able to pick it up.  But he can and he does, constantly.  He loves it so much he runs around the house moving it from one place to another.  And he won’t let Fate near it.

I can’t imagine the appeal, but Jon seems to know what the dogs want.

Lulu In My Footsteps

I took this video a few days ago.  I posted it on Instagram and facebook, but forgot to post it on my blog.

Fate and I were coming back from a walk in the woods and the sheep and donkeys were following us back to the barn for dinner.   As I turned around to get video of the donkeys, I saw Lulu stepping in my foot prints.

I’m sure it was easier for her to walk in my footprints than the fresh snow, but I was surprised to see her keep the same stride as I had walked.  It made me feel a closer to her somehow.

Her four feet and my two, walking the same walk.

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