Let’s be completely honest – we definitely bought the farm for the dogs.
Our Kansas City yard was something spectacular. While tiny, it packed a punch. Shortly after moving in, we installed artificial turf so that the doggers would have green “grass” to run and play on year-round. Even with walks though, we couldn’t begin to burn enough of their energy. When we started considering the move to larger property – this was one of the biggest pros we could imagine.
We were totally right.
In the earliest days before we moved, we brought the dogs out for a few evening visits. They would – over-excitedly – run and run and run. They sniffed everything. They rarely obeyed. All of the space and all of the new were much too compelling to listen to commands.
I don’t think they understood that this was their home until we unpacked their toys. When we moved in the past, the arrival of the toys signaled that this is where we would all stay. This time around, I think it did the same. Cooper gingerly selected a toy from the box and paraded it around the house. Ogilvy went full crazy sprint in the empty living room – literally bouncing off the walls with joy. Sahara eagerly waited for the bounding to turn to a safer game of chase.
Round 2 of confirmation that the farm would be home came when we moved our IKEA Kivik sofa into the basement. The sofa is terribly uncomfortable. I bought it from the clearance section three moves ago and, ever since, it has been Ogi’s sofa. We get to use it sometimes.
The sofa had gotten a new slip cover and was left at our old house for staging while it was sold. Two and half months after we’d left it behind, Aaron and I dragged it into the farmhouse on a rainy Monday. We let it dry for a couple of days, then set it up into a makeshift family room in the basement.
Ogi – once again – bounded with joy. We brought his sofa.
We’ve been constantly amazed by the transformation in our dogs’ personalities on the farm. They’re overwhelmingly obedient. Even while roaming about – they stay near and return to us when called. They sprint and explore the woods, pastures and out-buildings. They sniff. They investigate. Then, they come check on us.
Each has adopted a job.
Ogilvy spends his time pacing around the cow pen. Our bottle calves are the closest reflection of his own appearance that he’s probably ever known. He still has moments of barking at them to get off the ground – but, more typically, he stands guard at their fence and watches across the pond to sound any necessary warnings.
Cooper flushes geese from the pond. We can hear the honks as they fly in on nice mornings. Within seconds, he is at the door and ready to run. Watching all three dogs wrap around the pond while Cooper takes chase is seriously cool. And, generally, it’s a great activity for keeping the pond clean and healthy. Even our herd dogs (Coop and Sahara) are not quite quick enough to grab a goose taking off from the water – so the risks to all are minimal.
Sahara is our explorer. She continues to push the limits on what there is to discover around the farm. She’s been particularly intrigued by Saki – the neighbor’s Collie. We can’t really fault her for that. We’re so glad to see the pups opening up to other people and animals without the barrage of energy and chaos that they used to keep cooped up in the city.
All three have been absolutely incredible when going on walks about the farm. They sprint and chase through the yard with massive smiles and flopping tongues. Each morning, they greet the cows and lick up any spilled milk powder. Surprisingly, they ignore the chickens entirely. Our lives in the past few years have been filled with complete chaos – and our furry family is showing a bit more gray because of it. We really couldn’t be happier than to be able to give them the much more relaxed life and home that they have here.