If you ever come and visit us, will you please call me first? I have a dog who may potentially lick you to oblivion, jump on your clean jeans, or possibly just bark at you until she becomes hoarse (if that's even possible). Currently, we have some tractors being loaded up, and she is freaking out at the man who is casually ignoring her spastic "dog yelling."
Our beloved hound, Sadie, is a fixture on our farm. As Joe's companion in the mornings in the back of the truck or in with the cattle, she is a loyal companion to him. To me, however, a "town girl" whose parents (well, mainly my dad) didn't allow any pets, proclaiming that there was no space in town for a dog, cats could walk on the cars and leave footprints, and fish didn't do anything now finds myself surrounded these days, thus baptized by fire. Our dog is something that I have had to learn to love, deal with, as well as clean up after.
Now that I have offended all animal lovers, let me redeem myself. Our dog is loved dearly by all of us, especially by our oldest daughter. When Sadie used to get in trouble, she would cry. Our girls enjoy throwing the Frisbee to her, even if she does knock them down when she retrieves it, and Amelia looks for her out the window in the morning asking for the "puppa." Sadie is learning how to be useful on the farm, choring with Joe in the morning, and stretching her instincts as an "Australian Cattle Dog." She is good to have around when there's critters roaming around our yard, because, although she herself is scared to death and barks basically to be let in the house, she keeps the varmints away. She has been the longest living pet we have had in our short stint on the farm, and because of that, I find myself fretful when I am not attacked with jumps and licks at the door as I'm leaving the house. Thankfully, however, she is usually merely a few steps away, chewing up the Internet connection, destroying my fifth and final landscaping light, or barking at the bin fans.
I guess most everybody's picture of a farm probably includes a dog. All of my grandparents' farms had dogs (even if they were generally mutts left on the side of the road). Our neighbors all have dogs, at least one or two, and it seems like I need to get over the fact that pants tattooed with paw prints, back entryways filled with dirty towels (to wipe off aforementioned paws) and dog hair, and incessant barking are all just a part of this peaceful, blissful country living. Thankfully, our closest neighbor is nearly a mile away, and drop ins are generally other farmers.
I'm hopeful that Sadie's phase of being crazy is just that, a phase. We are pretty high energy here, however, so I don't know if it's just something that comes with our happy, crazy environment. We're hopeful that all of you who visit us will understand that Sadie is just excited to see you, and that muddy paw prints wash off, licks are just loves, and that her bark is worse than her bite.
At least, that's what I have to tell myself nearly every day.