Driving up to the Three Roods Farm, the first resider you may be greeted by is a handsome German Shepherd who keeps watch over this home and land. He may bark to alert his family, but he is very amicable and welcomes kind words and belly rubs from friendly visitors. His days are spent bounding around the farm, observing the chicken coop while wishing he could chase some of the fowl, and taking a walk or two through town where he finds contentment sniffing other dogs, being patted by fond passersby, and following his nose to satisfy whatever curiosity strikes his fancy. Though his pure-bred German Shepherd heritage evokes a certain air of respect or nobility, his name–Schnitzel–always makes me smile and remember that he is just another good-natured family dog who loves attention from his owners and is eager to investigate his surroundings. So eager, in fact, he was just recently returned from a five week adventure away from home. These days he is under close watch and when he is not scoping out the town on walks or running around his fenced-in yard, he can be found leashed next to the barn or by the house. You can’t really blame him for wanting to run off on his own and explore the area; after all, it is beautiful land out here and Schnitzel, though he is three years old, still has the energy and youthful independence of a puppy. As months pass, he will surely mature and come to feel more grounded to his territory, but in the meantime he will have to wait patiently for the chance to be on his own without fence or leash to keep him near.
A Day in the Life of a Farm Dog
by Courtney Kocher
Today, Schnitzel basks in the morning sun next to the barn while gazing over the lush garden. His mouth lolls open and he gives a tail wag and a toothy dog-grin. A light breeze tickles his fur and as the test siren for a tornado sounds, Schnitzel answers back with a long, lonely howl that perfectly matches the moan of the siren. Later on, we will go for a walk through town. As Robin says, sometimes I walk Schnitzel and sometimes Schnitzel walks me–especially when he finds something to chase. We have a lot of fun though, whether it is jogging down the bike trail, strolling through town, or finding wildlife along the lake edge. If he is good, he may be treated to a leftover sheep bone or a fresh chicken egg when we get home.
With plenty of love, attention, and room to stretch his legs, a day in the life of this farm dog is good.