So with tons of pictures still to edit and lots of thoughts still to process, I tried to figure out a way to pop up a sneak peek into my weekend. The tread that tied everything together? All the aspects of farm life and kitchen life and the people and the animals?
It was the dogs. As soon as I pulled up, there was a bevvy of (intensely muddy) pups surrounding me, and shortly after I pulled up, a couple came in behind us saying, "We're here for the puppies for sale?"
There were at least four lab puppies (it was hard to keep count) and three adults, in all colors, and the puppies (all 14 weeks old) were indeed for sale. Every time Cal asked me, I said, "Hmmm... not sure. The owner isn't here any more."
So. There's that.
But the pups were pretty much ubiquitous, and that was wonderful. They went everywhere, alone or in their muddy, slobby, happy pack. Sometimes they'd fight, and I'd get a whiff of a PTSD feeling since our dogs fight, and it's not pretty. But these dogs fight the way dogs are supposed to fight: someone gets their feelings hurt and teeth snap until someone finally submits and then everyone will lie down together panting happily. Peaceable kingdom.
They pretty much lie around all day unless they're playing, and if we ate dinner outside, you'd shift your foot and realize, "Oh, there's a dog under me." So well mannered and quiet, if you hadn't moved, you'd have never known. On occasion, you'd be working away in the dining room, thinking all was well, when suddenly a pup would jump the gate and bolt into the room. They just want to be where the action is. And the food. The owner told us if this happens to simply say, "Pups out!" in a happy, friendly voice and they'll move. With the older dogs it totally worked, but the puppies looked at us like, "But I want to be with youuuuuuuuu."
Hard to convince them.
Our first morning there, I was one of the first up and I went to get something from my car. I think the pups thought I had breakfast because they all surrounded me: tails wagging, tiny puppy teeth nipping. The followed me en masse to the car and swarmed around me as I tried to open the door. And they stayed swarmed around me, all sloppy, muddy smiles as I wondered if I needed to get in the car just to give myself a break.
(We later looked up the hash tag #pupsout, and turns out the meaning is entirely different from what we were expecting. Go see.)
In the end, I almost came home with that little brown guy with the light eyes. But the thought of taking him away from his home and the farm and farm life and a four hour drive with a muddy lab and what my beagle would say. Well. We said good bye.
What joy to have them near me, even for a little while. Pups out!