Friday, January 11, 2013

Farmer

Gibson has been by my side since he was an eight-week old puppy. We have never been apart more than a few hours, never spent a night away from each other. And so Gibson shares my entire life. When I worked at an office, he was there nearly every day. He's in the truck with me on every trip into town. Everyone at the bank, bookstore, and hardware store knows him by name. And when he isn't by my side through the day's activities he is doing the work of a true farm dog. He helps wrangle sheep, chickens, and boss pigs into corners. He runs like hell. I never knew any animal that could move so fast! He knows the lay of the land, and has taught me shortcuts. He taught me a lot, actually. How to just enjoy rolling in a sunbeam. How to sleep like you mean it. And how to run as fast as possible and fall in love with the pain in your lungs, because that pain means you are still alive.

He's as much a farmer as I am. He knows no life but this one. I have rarely seen an animal as happy, as fit, and as thrilled just to be alive and by my side. He doesn't even wear a collar, never has a leash. He hangs out the truck window with both arms clutching and scratching the side door and lets the wind hit his lagging tongue. This is not great parenting, I know. But I am not my dog's parent. I'm his boss and he is his own dog. He gets his shots, shares my bed, and is offered a proper diet but I like his feral ways. He looks, listens, understands conversational tones and probably has a vocabulary of a fifty English words or more. He's always there with me. Just look down at my knees, and he's at their side.

17 Comments:

Blogger Cathy said...

Sounds like the perfect life.

January 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger aart said...

DogLove

January 11, 2013 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Eileen Hileman said...

Jenna, Gibson is a superior dog. The fact that in the face of two pigs going on pig-party in the barn, he stayed in a down until you released him is remarkable. I know we will need to invest in a good working farm dog very soon. Our terriers will remain pets because I can say with confidence that had any of my five been outside that barn door with two pigs loose and squaking chickens - in a very short matter of time - they would have joined the fray - and there would have been two maimed pigs and an entire flock of dead chickens and five very happy, bloody terriers. They are born hunters (we have no vermin) and the airedales keep the coyotes and bears at bay but chickens and pigs would be considered a large tasty lunch.

January 11, 2013 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Eileen Hileman said...

Jenna, Gibson is a superior dog. The fact that in the face of two pigs going on pig-party in the barn, he stayed in a down until you released him is remarkable. I know we will need to invest in a good working farm dog very soon. Our terriers will remain pets because I can say with confidence that had any of my five been outside that barn door with two pigs loose and squaking chickens - in a very short matter of time - they would have joined the fray - and there would have been two maimed pigs and an entire flock of dead chickens and five very happy, bloody terriers. They are born hunters (we have no vermin) and the airedales keep the coyotes and bears at bay but chickens and pigs would be considered a large tasty lunch.

January 11, 2013 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

Gibson is a sweet boy ~ he's what every farmer needs.

January 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Big Sky Chicken Ranch and Victory Garden said...

Awwwww! So sweet.

January 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Kirk said...

Dear Jenna, I stumbled upon your book Barnheart in the Library today. . .I relate to you indubitably. Thanks for the inspiration.

That's All
Kirstin

January 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Kirk said...

Dear Jenna, I stumbled upon your book barnheart in the Library today. I must say, I relate to you indubitably. Thanks for the inspiration.

That's all
Kirk

January 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger jim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger jim said...

needs to have some sort of id in the event he was injured and you weren't there, someone would know who to contact- also should have a current rabies tag on------

January 11, 2013 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger jim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 11, 2013 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Good work, sweet boy. I would never attempt work without my girl alongside (lord knows the geese would eat me or the goats would shred me). Gibson is a wonderful partner. Sending love - Amanda and Tica

January 11, 2013 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Molly Piper said...

Just a few words and you say a very great deal about your life, yourself and your wonderful sidekick. I'm sending this to my friend who hasn't ever learned to appreciate dogs.

January 11, 2013 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Good boy Gibs! A true gift from God.

January 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Gibson. He is unique and special and sentient and a love. His own dog, such great way to describe him. We have a new tiny but mighty Dachshund, Kaiser, and he is finding his purpose behind the bushes and under the shed. We are in love.

January 12, 2013 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

What a good dog. And a happy dog...loved hearing about him.

January 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger bree said...

I love reading about Gibson. What a life he has.

January 13, 2013 at 12:34 PM  

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