November 2010

Last Sunday afternoon there was quite the activity on Smiling J Farm.
First the veterinarian and an entourage came in to do some work on the cattle. Shots, de-worming and removing parts from 3 boys!!!!! Ouch…. I made coffee for the doc and her entourage. . wish I had the soup ready by then. . . But I was cleaning up after mice. . Not a story I prefer to tell. 

Then just after one in the afternoon a lady friend from work, Mayra, and her dog, Victor, came over to visit. Now Vic is a very unusual dog. He looks really big from the side but when he turns to face you he all but disappears! You see Victor is a Borzoi, a Russian Wolfhound. When you and he are both standing you can scratch his back without leaning over! And when he runs around the yard. . . he is so long-legged he lopes like a horse!
Mayra was concerned about Victor because of an incident where another dog lunged at him. Victor responded in kind, probably to protect her more than anything. So this visit was more than just social for us. It was an opportunity for her to see how Vic does with another dog one-on-one.

The boys did pretty well together although Thomas wanted to “protect” me from Victor a few times. Was he protecting me or just jealous that I might give another dog attention? Hhhmmm. Well they didn’t fight that was good! Perhaps we will have Mayra and Victor stop over another day or maybe we will meet at a park and take a walk together as socialization practice.
Thomas was very tired after that play date. He slept very well that night!


Beautiful Example of an English Springer Spaniel

Okay this dog is not nor was it ever mine. . . . But the picture is really cool and the dog is gorgeous. . . . I put it in this post to give you an idea of the kind of dog I am writing about. .. . . .

DH and I got our first English Springer Spaniel while we were living in Maryland in December of 1991. We found him in the local newspaper. The ad said $100, so I called the lady and asked her what was wrong with them? Silly me, didn’t know a thing about dogs. . . price wasn’t something that the books talked about. . . .

Well the lady informed me that people either wanted puppies just after they are weaned or at a year old as hunting dogs. These were already 4 months old and she was looking for potential buyers who didn’t mind a young dog.   So we drove up to her place and picked one out. Boy was he cute. I had never had a dog and was really excited about this new relationship. . . I wanted to give him a “people”  name like Richard or Douglas . . . But DH didn’t like either of those. So I thought. . . hey why not Caesar? It’s not a name you would give a person, unless it’s a nickname.  AND that happened to be his fathers nickname. So Caesar it was. . . .

It was so fun watching him grow up and discover the world. Not quite as fun as a child mind you but still really fun. Our first leash walk was really amusing. He didn’t know what was going on; poor thing.    But as we progressed in training he was really a very good dog! We found a local trainer who worked with us individually and with Caesar. He learned fast. Since we lived in a third floor condo he didn’t see other dogs often and I was glad when we moved to NC because of DH’s job. It gave us an opportunity for a bit more socialization.   It turns out that “Caesar-o” as DH called him was good with other dogs and people as well. He liked the attention people would give him, especially if it was accompanied by a treat!

Our Buddy Caesar lived 13 years with us. He was sweet, gentle and a fun companion. He was curious and playful and always a joy to be around until the end. He taught me that every day is a party and it is meant just for the Springer Spaniels of the world. So we ought to run and play in the sun or rain even if it’s cold out! And never miss a chance to have a good meal or a nap. If there is a good smell out there enjoy it and see where it leads.

I’m so glad my first doggie experience was with a Springer Spaniel. We have since joined the Springer Spaniel Rescue of America (ESRA) and have been active for a number of years. Last weekend, the Smiling J Farm hosted a fund-raiser/party for ESRA and it was more fun than a barrel of Springer Spaniels! We had a hay ride, contests, a raffle and off-leash fun. It was a wonderful chance to meet with people of the Springer Spaniel persuasion! And it was a wonderful way to raise money for a great cause.

I hope to have pictures soon to share. We hope this is an annual event for Smiling J Farm!