One weekend after a big snowfall, Joe and I were out caring for the chickens and collecting wood when we realized there were footprints in the snow all the way around the house. Joe asks if I walked around the house and I said no.. I asked him the same thing and he also said no…AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Someone’s been at the house snooping in windows!!!!
Probably one of the most fearful moments we’ve had since living here! We settled down after we found a piece of paper under some snow by the front door stating that the assessor had been to our house. Wow, what a relief! But the thought of someone walking around our home without us knowing it scared the beejeezus out of us and got us thinking…”if we had a dog….would that scare potential trespassers away?”
We decided it was as good a time as any to get a mutt and went to the shelter (We wanted a dog anyway, this just seemed like a great way to justify it despite our lives already being hectic).
In true Joe and Kate fashion, Joe walks down the aisle, stops at the first dog in the kennel and says, “I want this one.” I continue walking down the aisle, reading all the bio’s and looking at the other dogs available. By the time I turned around, Joe had already contacted a volunteer and was taking this dog out of his cage and into a room to discuss his history. “Oh boy, here we go,” I thought to myself, “I love to look at all the options and make a decision.” My husband takes no time to make decisions at all. He knows what he wants as soon as he sees the one he likes best.
Long story short, we took “Lance” home with us. They didn’t have any history or really know what kind of dog he was. When we got to the farm the dog just sat there looking at us as we looked at him. “Man, what a boring dog,” I thought. We tried playing tug of rope, fetch, anything… and got no response. Yikes! I decided, “well we are better off with a boring dog than a hyperactive, crazy dog, right..?”
As this dog acclimated to our lives and being a part of our farm he turned out to be anything but boring. We changed his name from Lance to Basil (like the British pronounce the herb). He was clearly a hunting mix – looking like he jumped right out of a fox hunt picture. Some sort of cross between Hounds and Setters. But most people just said, “he’s a hunting dog.”
Classifying this dog as a “hunting dog” did not satisfy our curiosity. But time and time again, our farmer neighbors, and other random people in town that saw Basil, would say “oh you got yourself a coon dog,” or a bird dog. I suppose that’s just the way it is out here.
While he looks like a bird dog, he is very gun shy and HATES atv’s. Two things which may explain why we have him now (un-trainable and just let go or ran off). While he doesn’t care for shotgun blasts, he has pointed lost chickens when were looking for them and understands some basic commands.
Anyway, I wanted to mention Basil, our ferocious guard dog, for many reasons. For one, he photobombs most pictures, second, he is a part of many other great stories on our farm.
While he’ll never be a hunting dog, he protects the chickens in the summer (more on that later), so you could say he’s been reborn to guard fowl instead of flush them. He’s so happy on the farm and he makes us very happy.
His lazy, boring demeanor also did not last past the first week. He’s almost puppy like when he’s not snoozing and just loves meeting and jumping on people. He’d also follow his nose off a cliff and sometimes he has trouble multi-tasking (smelling and listening at the same time). But for the most part he’s very well behaved. He’s off leash now and just wanders the area when we are home – always coming back home to where he’s loved.