I have a confession to make. I never wanted to start a farm. I wanted to start a dog rescue. I remember when we first saw the land that came with our house, before we even made an offer... my first thoughts looking out on 6 acres (after living on a 60' x 120' lot in the 'burbs) was "imagine all the DOGS we could have!"
Larry's first thought was "think of all the food we can grow!"
Sigh. I have a very real and very strong desire to be surrounded by dogs. I love them. I love them more than I love most people. Dogs are just the best. I need more dogs. We currently have the fewest dogs we have ever had as a married couple, and the struggle is real. I need more dogs.
I bought my first house at 24, in a small suburb outside of Detroit. I brought with me, my first dog, Ditka. This sounds insane, but a few years in, I realized that Ditka would die (someday, he was 6 when I bought that house). I didn't ever want to be dogless, and didn't want to deal with the grief of loss by myself. So I went to the Michigan Humane Society with my friend Sarah, looking for a floofy big dog. One that could go running with me (ha ha, I used to go running!). I did live alone, and wouldn't mind another dog around for protection and company. I found Hobbes.
Then I decided to start volunteering at the Humane Society. I went down to the Detroit shelter on Sundays, and would walk all the dogs before the shelter opened to the public, so the dogs would be calm and on their best behavior for their future owners. I then became a foster mom. I started bringing pups home to heal from injuries or recover from illness before they could be adopted to their forever homes. My little town of Berkley only allowed 3 pets per home. I had many fosters that I wanted to keep, until there was Ally. She had a leg amputated, but she seemed to fit in perfectly at our house, and they were concerned no one would adopt her. So I did. There I was, 3 dogs.
Then I met Larry. He had 2 dogs.
Ally was gone by the time we moved to Colorado, so when we got here, we had 4 dogs. My Ditka and Hobbes, and his Grish and Athena.
Then we bought the farm, and we needed livestock guardians
Enter Atlas and Goliath. Now we had 6 dogs. Larry claims that we should have only 4 dogs and never more. I was in hog heaven with 6 dogs. All floof all the time!
The last time we were down to 3 dogs, we had lost Ditka, Grish and Hobbes to old age. Aside from the fact that it was my baby bear, Hobbes, who was the most recent loss and my shadow and chore buddy. I couldn't bear it. I needed a chore buddy! I begged Larry for weeks. His response was the same, "we don't need more dogs" WHAT? That sentence is NEVER TRUE. I always need more dogs.
Until I saw this silly face at the Boulder Humane Society.
I emailed him the picture. He said "fine". I brought Moose home in a matter of hours.
Over the years the dog numbers have been as high as 7 (twice) and now we find ourselves again at our low of 3.
Since we are not currently living on the property, and we are amazed daily at how well Moose, Loki and Herc are doing on the farm with us only visiting 2 or 3 times a day, and hanging out on weekends. Now is not the time I can adopt.
But Larry is pining for his next German Shepherd. I strongly believe we need another livestock guardian to train up to work with Loki, since Goliath is gone, and Herc only works when he is awake. And Moose is no spring chicken anymore.
We'd get one or the other right now if we were still living in our own home.
Which means this terrible itch of mine is going to do nothing but GROW until we have a house again. And by the time that happens, it's likely to explode. Folks keep posting pictures of wonderful livestock guardian breeds and German Shepherds in need of homes. But now is not the time to introduce a dog to the property.
So when the time comes, you better watch out. Larry will be looking for his German Shepherd. And by then, I'll probably adopt two LGD brothers. That will put us back to 6. That's a start. For me.... (oh, and I always get to have a goofball dog that is my chore buddy. That's Moose, well, and Hercules, too. Larry said the next time I get to pick a goofball, I get to find a Leonberger! my neighbor and her eldest daughter have 2 that are sisters. SO MUCH FLOOF!)
This is one of the hardest things about waiting for our house. I just want to be surrounded by big, fluffy, ridiculously large dogs. So out there somewhere there will be a handful of lucky pups, just wait, your time will come and you'll get to be part of my "rescue".