Good Bye Faithful Friend

Saturday morning our farm dog Pepper got hit by a car.  She has aged a lot this summer and her habit of crossing the road in front of our house to do her business on the other side of the road caught up with her.  A car hit her and never stopped.  True to Pepper’s nature she made it back up to the house and to her perch at the top of the steps but her leg was injured.  We watched her and checked on her hoping she was just battered but Monday we came to realize that this time, Pepper wasn’t going to just snap out of it.


Years ago as the kids were at the bus stop at the end of our driveway a snowmobile barreled down the ditch.  Pepper ran towards the snowmobile thinking she was protecting the kids when a car came along and hit her.  She went for an awful roll end over end.  She spent two days in the dog house until I made Hubby help me get her out to take her to the vet.  Finally, he dumped her out of the doghouse and carried her into the  back of the Suburban.  She TOTALLY freaked out being in the vehicle and ended up jumping out an open window.  The dog we thought was horribly injured suddenly seemed just fine.


From that time on, Pepper hasn’t quite been the same.  She was still a good and faithful dog but she seemed to have a brain injury.  Her eyes didn’t focus quite the same.  She wasn’t as people friendly either.  She became deathly afraid of confined spaces or entering buildings.  Try as we would, we could never get her to sleep inside the garage.  She wouldn’t even put a paw in the garage.  Thankfully in the winter she made a bed for herself in the commodity shed on some bales of straw.  Yet she was always good to everyone in our family.


That injury left Pepper arthritic and at the beginning of summer we noticed that she had a large lump on her inner rear thigh.  We knew that Pepper’s time was numbered.  As the summer progressed and we bought the house we started to wonder more and more about Pepper, seeing more smaller lumps appear and knowing that she’d never make the transition to moving to town.

Sunday as a family we talked about Pepper trying to decide what was best for her.  It was so hard.  I watched my grown boy who loved and cherished Pepper as his childhood buddy say that he too thought that we needed to put her to sleep if she wasn’t better on Monday.  Pepper always was “his dog”.  She always liked him best.  The other kids that were here agreed.  We all know that Pepper is 13 years old.  We all know that the arthritis is getting worse and worse.  We all know those lumps she has growing on her underside can’t be good.  By mutual agreement, we decided if by Monday she wasn’t better we’d call the vet and have them come to the farm to put her to sleep.


Thankfully I had some pain pills left from when Ruby had surgery that we were able to get Pepper to them to keep her comfortable.


Monday came the vet wasn’t available so she came today.  Today we put Pepper to sleep…a year and 5 days after Gracie died.  I am so thankful that we have the best vet and the best vet assistant.  They were kind, considerate and so respectful of Pepper.  You never really know how much you can love your vet until you have to put your dog to sleep.

It is so sad…so sad.  I so miss walking the field paths with these two-Pepper and Gracie.  They kept me safe and kept perfect company as we walked.

All the time when we’d walk, Pepper would stop right here, look at me and wait to see what direction I would go…if I was going to turn towards home or continue down the path on a longer walk.  Sadly Pepper Girl, this is where we split up.  You go home.  I have to continue down the path.


Pepper was such a part of the farm….such a part mine and the kids’ lives.  You were forever faithful and if dogs go to heaven, I’ll see you there Pepper Girl.

Perfecting My Smile…

Our daughter Kayla and her husband just got a new puppy.  You can read more about him over at Kayla’s blog.

It’s a 7 week old yellow lab that they have named Bruce.

They picked him up after work and she called to tell me.  Then she proceeded to tell me that she was going to set the alarm and get up with him every three hours….I just smiled.  I told Hubby and we both just smiled.

It wasn’t that long ago, in fact just last November, that Ruby was a puppy.  I remember the late night walks trying to tire her out.  I remember the getting up in the night…the whining in the kennel…I remember it all quite vividly.  I remember being completely and totally pooped out for weeks because I didn’t get regular sleep.  Finally Hubby and I got in a plan that he would take her out and feed her when he went got up to go work at 5am.  Then he would kennel her in the downstairs kennel.  I remember being so thankful for any more than six hours of continuous sleep.  Our kids who didn’t live at home didn’t understand that I was a little cranky.  They didn’t understand what I was talking about when I said that I hadn’t slept.  It was totally worth it but there is a reason puppy’s are so darn cute.  It gets an owner through the lack of sleep.

Kayla called the next morning…apparently Bruce didn’t wake every three hours…apparently he didn’t just lay down in his kennel and go to sleep right away.  I just smiled.

I think that’s a smile I should probably perfect because I am guessing if I am ever a grandma, it’s one I’ll need.

Ruby Uses Up Another of Her Nine Lives

We had a very nice Saturday night.  The kids minus Karl and Kalissa, plus the neighbors ate supper at our house then gathered around the fire ring and visited.  We were catching up and checking on plans for the upcoming days.

We heard the fireworks being shot off at a neighboring town, prompting Buck to ask if we still had any fireworks left over from previous years.  Well we did and he decided to launch a few bottle rockets.  After a couple went off, Ruby and Puppycat cowered by my chair.  I petted them a bit but thought nothing of it.

About 20 minutes later, the traffic along the highway grew as the fireworks at the local town finished and people headed home.  I decided to go into the house to go to the bathroom when I realized Ruby was gone.  I called and called, no Ruby.   I called and called some more…no Ruby.  I checked the house thinking one of the doors might have been open but no Ruby.  By then the whole family realized Ruby wasn’t around…and neither was our farm dog, Pepper.  All of us split up and headed out calling and calling the dogs.  We checked all of the place Pepper sleeps.  We checked the barn, the sheds, the pit, the shop, the creek…everywhere.  No dogs.

We got into vehicles and drove a couple miles in each direction driving slow and calling.  No Ruby..No Pepper.  By now, I was sick with worry.  I was trying to have a clear head and not just cry.

Kelli was in the same boat as me, ready to cry.  Both of us feared the worst-that she had run down the road and gotten hit by a car after all, the traffic was heavy.  I was also worried about Buck.  He had wanted to shoot the fireworks and I knew he’d blame himself if something happened.

It was late and dark.  We all recircled where we had been and looked again all the time calling and calling.   I went down along the silage bunker and called and called.  Ruby ALWAYS comes when I call…ALWAYS.  I was just sick.    By this time over an hour had passed.

Our neighbors had gone home with the promise they would keep an eye out and look.  I talked to Hubby.  We decided we might as well send the kids to bed hoping the dogs would just return on their own.  I called one last time and headed towards the house where the kids were starting to gather.  I was just sick but Hubby was right, in the dark, there really wasn’t much more we could do.

Then Kelli swung the flash light towards the mailbox and there Ruby was.  Ruby was fine and looking good.  She was wet but she was fine.  I was so thankful.  I can’t describe how thankful I was.  I had been praying and praying that whatever happened I would be strong enough to accept the results.  Oh I could definitely handle a healthy Ruby.  We have no idea where she was..but then we realized Pepper was still gone.

We continued to look for Pepper.  We called and looked and called some more.  No Pepper.

Now Pepper being a farm dog hides and sleeps in all sorts of different places so we had no idea where she was.  We didn’t know if she had gone with Ruby.  Kelli and I walked a bit through the ditch to the south where Ruby came from but no Pepper.  Finally Hubby said we just needed to go to bed.  He’d be awake in a couple hours to do chores and would look again then.

I went to sleep with Ruby home and safe..but worried about Pepper.

Luckily, Pepper was home in the morning and completely fine.  I am so thankful that the dogs are okay….I am thinking if dogs have nine lives like cats do, Ruby just used up another one.

I do know on thing though, NO MORE FIREWORKS HERE!!

We’re going to the dogs!!

Most of the kids were home this weekend for Father’s Day.  Kayla has a big yellow lab named Tony.  He doesn’t usually come home with Kayla but this time he did.  It was a house full of dogs.  As much as I like Tony, I did learn that I like little dogs in the house…and I think I prefer just one dog.


After I snapped this picture, Kayla started showing Kelli different yoga moves.


Of course, the dogs wanted to be a part of all of that.


Then the girls got sillier and sillier.

t’s always a little crazy around here when the kids are home.  Add three dogs to the mix and it’s REALLY crazy.


It’s just a case of going to the dogs.

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