Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Life on the Farm

For those readers who are unfamiliar with Pennsylvania, it is a blend of very urban areas, like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, to extremely rural areas, such as off-the-grid farms occupied by the Amish, and truly all things in between.  Last week Hubs, Amy, and I went to visit my friend Carrie and some of her family on her Nana's farm. It's far enough removed from the world to not have any internet service (wireless or otherwise), and it is stunning. This is a picture Amy took for her Instagram.

I have known Carrie for 30 years, and during that time I have made many trips to her Nana and Papa Joe's farm. While it wasn't the kind of farm that had cows or pigs, there were always many animals around. 

I never knew, from visit to visit, how many dogs and cats would be there. 

I could visit from one week to the next and find a new rescue dog or cat. 

Sometimes dogs and cats would just wander onto the property only to find they were treated so well they never wanted to leave. 

Sometimes Nana and Papa Joe would decide it was time to expand their fur capacity and head to a shelter to pick the next lucky pet. 

These wonderful people had (and have) an amazing capacity to love all living things, and moreover they truly respect nature in all of its wonder.

Brownie is the dog who is currently reaping the benefits of Nana's love and hospitality.

As you might be able to guess while looking at Brownie's physique, Nana is quite generous with the food.

Brownie even has her own chair, which, due to her beagle lineage, has a certain Brownie aroma to give it away. In the picture below Nana is trying to convince Brownie to get on her chair, instead of chasing the groundhog she had just discovered outside.

Which brings me to a cause of much excitement and confusion during last week's visit. Brownie cornered a groundhog. Now we can't be surprised, especially given her German Short-Haired Pointer and Beagle heritage, that she would want to corner this critter. However, given her size, she doesn't often sneak up on too many animals.

Everyone was really shocked. I don't have any pictures of Brownie and the groundhog, because I was busy getting ham to lure Brownie away from the groundhog and back into the house. However, for point of reference, here is another famous Pennsylvania groundhog:

The ham eventually worked, and both Brownie and the groundhog seemed to escape relatively unscathed. Brownie spent the rest of the evening at the door, anxious for round 2.

We waited quite awhile to give the groundhog a good chance to get away. If you look through the door in the picture above you can see my husband's feet. He's holding the door closed while Carrie's husband chases away the groundhog.

Eventually the groundhog left, and then we waited a bit longer to let Brownie outside again. She diligently searched but came up empty-pawed.

Life returned to normal and we spent an idyllic evening enjoying hummingbirds and hopscotch.

For your viewing pleasure I'm also going to include this gratuitous picture of my niece Olivia and Carrie's daughter Georgia Kate enjoying the swing at the end of the day, because it's my blog and I can if I want to.

Sometimes life really is as wonderful as we remember it during our most nostalgic moments. Nana and Papa Joe have created a legacy of hospitality and respect to all God's creatures that I can feel every time I set foot on the farm.

 They represent the best parts of Pennsylvania, tucked away in a hidden corner where you literally have to cross a covered bridge to find it. 

 Like Brownie, I am blessed to have known Nana and Papa Joe, and I need to thank them for all their kindness through the years. Cherish the people in your life who teach you how to interact with all living things, because not everyone is lucky enough to have remarkable examples set for them. 

Please share your rescue stories with us here on the Rescue Dog Blog. It's simple. Email me at pabibliophile@gmail.com and I'll walk you through it. 

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