Monday, August 30, 2010

Charley the Wanna-be Farm Dog

Until I retired and moved to the island, Charley had always lived on acreage. For the first 9 years of her life, we were on only a half acre but it backed onto agricultural land reserve. So she had a huge yard and wide open agricultural vistas. Then for three years we lived on five acres, where she enjoyed being outdoors, running in the pasture, hanging out in the barn, and being a farm dog. In fact, she “came alive” on the five acres in Mission – a totally different dog emerged from the Eeyore at my previous home.

When we moved to the island, for the first time she found herself confined to a small yard with solid fencing when she was outdoors at home. Still, she gets lots of walks and outings to offleash parks, so seems content enough. But last week when we went to Hearts on Noses sanctuary, I realized how much she misses farm life. I’ll let her tell you about the week from her own perspective.


Usually when mom gets out the suitcase, it means she is going away and Auntie Else is coming to stay with us. But that didn’t happen this time – she took my x-pen and our sleeping pads and some of our food and piled us in the car too. Yech! I hate car rides. Especially in the new van, because I can’t see out the windows or stick my head out for fresh air. Mama did have a static strip installed so I won't feel so carsick, but what I need back there is a big, comfy COUCH!

Then we went on the boat. The last time we did that, we ended up at our new house. Were we finally going back to the farm? Please please please please please???!!!

Nope. We ended up at Auntie Deb’s. Where there were stairs. Which Auntie Deb had to carry me up and down because they were NARROW and STEEP. And I did NOT like being carried. So far, I was NOT having fun.

However, once upstairs it wasn’t bad as Riley let me use her big bed in the kitchen whenever I wanted.

Charley in Riley's bed
Photo by Deb Strong, Cat and Mouse Designs
Used with permission.

And most of all there were the cats to watch:

Jasper and Rupert
Photo by Deb Strong, Cat and Mouse Designs
Used with permission.

I had fun obsessing about Jasper, who likes to hang out in the grape vines on the deck but takes off into his safe little room if I get too close.

Photo by Deb Strong, Cat and Mouse Designs
Used with permission.

Rupert thought I was okay. He hung around in the house with me quite a bit, and he really liked my mom and was always jumping up into her lap. And he likes the grapevine-covered deck also.

Photo by Deb Strong, Cat and Mouse Designs
Used with permission.

And then there was the Pawty that my mom already wrote about, and a visit with my Gran and some trips to the park which mom will write about later, but the best part of all was the trip to visit the Piggy Lady at Hearts on Noses Sanctuary.

We got outta the car and I sniffed the air. Yum! Familiar scents! Almost like the place where we lived wiv the piggies and alpaca. My favouritist place of all!

And soon there was piggies coming to meet me. I smiled and wagged my tail at them.

See how happy I am?

They weren’t my piggies, but I ‘membered meeting them before though not on this property. Hmmmm...this was confusing. Did Piggy Lady move too? Yes! My mama said she did. So I wandered around checking out the place, and said hello to the horsies and piggies. Dior was playin’ games wiv my mama – she wanted her picture taken.

Silly Dior!

We walked around a bit and chatted with Piggy Lady and just as I was lying down for a snooze.....I saw them! My Piggies! My Very Own Piggies! My foster bruvers and sisters! They all came running out of their pen to say hi to mama and me and Sadie. There was Scotch and Soda and Tom and Lizzie and Rob Roy and Swizzle and Fizzy and Whisper and Derby and Rickey and Toddy and Spritzer.

NOW I was happy!

My Piggies!

They had some lettuce to eat (Yech!) and then I watched them haz a bath (Double-Yech!). This is how a piggy haz a bath:

First they sticks their snoutie waaay in deep to test the water

And then they blows bubbles to make the mud all frothy. Who needs a jacuzzi?

Next they puts the bum down.

And sits fer a while.

Then it is time to lie down

Waaaay down

An' roll over!

Next, ya gotta call yer friends to join ya!

Three is a good number.

After a while, it is time to get out.

And head over to mama fer a hug.

(I don't know why my mama didn't want to hug him just then!

My mama sez they use mud wallows to keep cool because piggies can’t sweat. My mama sez the Piggy Lady could raise monies for the pigs by offering mud baths to hoomans for a fraction of what some hoomans pay at fancy spas, or maybe she could host a mudwrestling match for peoples who like that sort of thing. Me, I think I’ll just lie in the nice cool grass and enjoy bein’ back on a farm wiv my piggies.

I luvs farm life!

When it was time to go, I ignored my mama calling. I even ignored her when she said “NOW!” which is supposed to be my “Reliable Recall Word” that I always, always, always respond to. I just lay in the field with my piggies and totally ignored her.

La la la la la la.......

Mama got in the van and started to drive down the driveway, and I still didn’t get up. Eventually she brought the leash over and made me walk back to the van. Ratz! I wasn’t ready to go home yet – let alone back to Auntie Deb’s and the dreaded STAIRS.

But I did. And after a couple more days we came back to the island. I loves my mama and I am glad she is my forever person so I don’t really mind living here in this little house with the little yard.

But I’m tellin’ ya, if anything happens to my mom, I’m going to live with the Piggy Lady!!!

Me an' the Piggy Lady

Love, Charley.

(c) 2010


Janice Gillett said...

Charlie you can come and stay with me anytime you want!!! Oh you too Jean lol

Anonymous said...

Thanks Charley!

I especially liked your photos of the piggie bath - we should all take life so slowly and enjoy!

Glad you're home safely, all of you.


EvenSong said...

Well! Charley certainly let you know what her lifestyle preference is!
Great photos--I'm a sucker for smiley doggies. ;-D

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you had a great time at the farm Charley. It does look like a very relaxing place. I wish I could have joined you. I also love being on a farm. Auntie Fleuretts horse farm in Powell River is one of my favorite places to visit. Maybe we can find a farm here and run away for a visit.

Love Archie.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Wow, Charley - you sure did have a great time! I loved your photos (well, I guess your Mama's photos) and the lesson on proper bath-taking procedure for piggies was fascinating. It was nice to see the Piggy Lady too. You are lucky to have two such wonderful ladies in your life.