There are so many parts of our life on our farm that I love, but this past week I made one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my life. She was old, she had had an ACL tear that left her with arthritis, and after a slip on the ice and fall off the porch, she was just in too much pain, and we had to put our much loved Sadie down. I want to share with you one part of farm life that I have always loved and that is having a Farm Dog.
Yes, I used to teach English, and yes, I know Farm Dog should not be capitalized unless it's a proper name or title. but those of us who are farmers know the importance of a good Farm Dog. So with a nod to Paul Harvey's wonderful, "So God Made a Farmer," I'm going to tell you what happened on the Tenth Day....
So after God created this world of ours and made a Farmer and a Farmer's Wife, he realized there was still something missing. Farming can be a solitary life. It involves late nights and early mornings. There are long walks and even longer drives. Sometimes it's just a farmer or a farmwife out there alone. After much thought, on the 10th Day, God made a Farm Dog.
When the farmer went out early in the morning to do up his chores, rising in the wee hours of the morning to milk the cows or inspect the livestock soon to give birth while everyone else slept, God made a Farm Dog to cheerfully greet him with a smile, a wag of the tail, and faithfully go out with him and keep him company.
When the farmer's livestock escaped their pasture, God gave him a Farm Dog to help round them all back and bring the escapees back home.
When the farmer's head was filled with engine noises and thoughts of missing parts and putting them all together drawing his attention away from his surroundings, God made a Farm Dog to bark and let him know when a strange truck pulled in the lot.
When the farmer's wife needed to shoo the kids outside for a little peace and quiet, God made a Farm Dog to go with them and protect them and play with them in her place.
When the farmer's wife wanted to go for a walk down the road, God made a Farm Dog to go with her and encourage her to walk a little faster or even jog to help her stay healthy and fit. At the mear mention of going for a walk, the Farm Dog would show her excitement by jumping and spinning in circles to encourage a smile instead of a sigh from her farmwife.
When the farmer's wife and children were out picking up rocks in a field, God made a Farm Dog to watch, protect, and growl in an alert that a coyote was very near.
When the farm cats needed a furry friend to snuggle with, God made a Farm Dog to share with them the warmth of her body to shelter them from the cold.
She could also settle any fight just with her presence. When the farm kittens needed a babysitter and place to play, God made a very patient Farm Dog for them.
When the farmer sent a daughter on an errand in the Gator, God made a Farm Dog to ride with her and keep her driving at a safe speed.
When special days came around, God made a Farm Dog to help mark the time and wait for the bus.
When the trials and the frustrations of the day were just too much to bear alone, God made a Farm Dog to listen without judgment and give kisses to whoever sat down and vented to her.
So God made a Farm Dog that day, and He has made several since then; each one specially created and picked to meet the needs of each farm family. Each one has and has had a special place in a farm family's heart, and we here up on Fowler Ridge, miss this special gift from God, our very own Farm Dog, with all of our hearts.
Rest in Peace Sadie Daisy CLoud Wallpe, and one day we will, again, go on one of our long walks.