The grands had been by today. After dinner, I pick up their toys before the puppy mistakes them for her own. Usually, I find that I have missed one or two because Rosie has found them and is putting teeth marks on them.
I set them aside to wash.
Rosie and I head outdoors where the goats are feeling particularly needy because they were not fed every 3 hours in the usual fashion. They are not hungry; they feel neglected.
While I enter the barn to throw them hay and get clean water, Rosie escapes to the field around it, no longer interested in the mysteries of The Barn or the goat poops she used to find so wondrous. She has bigger dreams to follow. I wonder how far she will get before I catch up to her.
It ends up being out of sight, because Clemmie, the slippery sneak, wends her way between me and the gate and escapes to the great outdoors. High excitement! She runs to the fence to show off that she is on the outside. Imogene, Barnaby and Bo are fit to be tied that they are on the inside even though they are all touching noses through the fence. They consider it a crisis situation.
I carefully try to get close to Clemmie without making her run. My fear is that she will take flight and I will be floundering behind with heavy feet, watching her fleetly fly to the road and certain death. I try to project calm in spite of what my heart is feeling. Meanwhile, the trio inside the fence are blubbering and baaing and running forth and back.
My stealth moves are not unpredictable, still she heads back to the barn as I wish, but will not go in the pen. So I bribe her and the rest with sunflower seeds, a favorite treat…And manage to lose Barnaby to the outside while getting Clemmie in.
Barnaby encounters the returning Rosie, and they engage in some feint and spar. More high excitement. Because he is practically morbidly obese, Barnaby is not fast, and I catch his collar, only to have him give a mighty leap away from Rosie…and his critical mass yanks me forward. This results in an unwanted adjustment of my spine, and the kind of running you do to keep yourself upright…all while holding on to his collar.
Thankfully, his abrupt move was toward the barn, and my momentum further propelled us that way. I clung to his collar knowing that this rodeo would not end if I did not HOLD ON. Once in the barn, I let him go and jumped to slam the door shut. Only a few minor feints and spars between us were needed to get him back in the pen.
I return outside to find the pup triumphant in the acquisition of a decomposing mole. She is trotting about, head high, promenading her prize…but fleeing if I get within 3 feet. I wheedle; I threaten; I display a handful of treats, which are as good as cardboard compared to the stinking mole she is swinging around. I am getting nowhere fast. And Rosie is getting everywhere.
I enlist the aid of The Farmer, who cajoles and commands, scolds and chases. After a couple of circles around the building, I lay in wait for him to flush her toward me. The surprise causes her to drop the mole and I grab her! Caught! And as I carry her to the house, I find that not only has she carried a decomposing mole around, she made sure to roll on it too. Putrid.
And so it is bath time for the puppy who has lost her most prized possession and now suffers the great indignity of being wet. Of course, she tries to slip through my hands out of the laundry sink, and then cries pathetically at such suffering. But I am disgusted enough to be determined to complete the task.
I towel her off and leave her to dry while I go out to water the plants. The goats are loudly protesting, with mouths full of hay, that I did not cut any fresh grass for them. So I get the hand scythe and cut some for them. Finally, they are silent and content.
In the house, the moping puppy decides she will forgive and will sit next to me on the couch where I am trying to wind down. Soon, we are both asleep, too tired to go to bed.