5.18.2012 The Dog and Pony Show and the Daily Pocket

Every tradesman has his tools and I am no different.  Most of mine are large and cumbersome and are task specific, but I do have a few things I must carry with me every day as I make my rounds.  These things get stuffed into my jeans and into my jacket pockets.  Collectively I think of them as “The Daily Pocket.”

The number 1 item I carry is my cell phone.  I use it to conduct business (in a limited way – it’s not a smart phone), keep tabs on the kids and take pictures.  And if I get stomped on by a horse, roll the tractor over on top of me or get attacked by a pack of coyotes, I can, theoretically at least, call for help.  Plus, if Bigfoot shows up, I can take one of those grainy videos that will be analyzed endlessly by the cryptozoologists.  In a pinch, the phone also functions as a flash light.  The number 2 item I carry is my Swiss Army knife and I use it every day.  Cutting open hay bales, tightening screws, harvesting cauliflower, cleaning the dirt out from under my nails, etc.

Those two are the most critical to my work, but I also carry a lighter for lighting fires, singeing rope and ticks, and quick sterilizations of the aforementioned knife.  An AM/FM radio keeps me up to date on what’s happening in the world during week, gives me a good sermon as well as gardening and home improvement advice on the weekends.

Four things that fit into jean pockets rather nicely.  However, as I’ve noted recently, the dog still needs some training.  Ophelia is in training too.  Both of them work for food.  I refuse however, to stuff dog treats into my pockets – they stink, or horse treats – alfalfa cubes tend to disintegrate leaving little bits of grass that just never comes out in the wash.   So for Mother’s Day, my family bought me a little, muslin nail apron.  It’s just a little 6 inch deep apron that ties around my waist.  It’s light weight. It doesn’t get in the way and has two pockets – one for the horse and one for the dog.  I just love it.

Moose knows a few tricks.  The basics.  Sit, down, roll over, high five, left and right.  We are working on getting her to sing.  She keeps insisting that she can’t carry a tune and no one would want to her sing though.  What we end up getting from her is something like a “mooof!”

Yesterday, after I finished working Ophelia, I called Moose into the round pen to show Opehlia how to earn treats.  Now Moose really loves to show the horses that she is a superior being and taunting Ophelia is one of Moose’s favorite pastimes.  So when I called Moose into the round pen, Moose decided to show off.  She didn’t just come when I called and sit nicely waiting for her treat.  She bolted in at top speed, came to a screeching halt, sat quickly and then rolled over . . . in mid air!  My dog did an aerial!  That was a first and definitely worth a treat.  Ophelia just rolled her eyes, shook her head and said, “Dogs are so stupid.”  Then she cast all of her dignity aside and shuffled over to get her alfalfa cube – she’s always starving these days, you know.

The good news is she is really starting to trim down and muscle up.  Her winter coat is gone and she is positively glowing.  When we bring the horses in at night we have no trouble finding them in the dark.  Ophelia has become the twilight’s last gleaming.  She is beautiful!

The bad news is I lost a Dorking chick today.  She was from the second hatch and has not been feeling well for some time.  One step forward.  One step back.  And one dog that flies.  Cool!

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