Forest, Leia and I set out for a perennials farm yesterday to load up on new plants.
The place is lovely, and the owners so nice. Clearly, they are city-folk living a Green Acres retirement as the quaint wooden sign on their front lawn reads, “Living the Dream!”
“You can let your dogs out, if you want,” the fellow told me brightly.
“Really? Are you sure?” I looked around at the neat perennials beds and potted plants. “I wouldn’t want them to upset anything.”
“Sure! No problem! As long as they are friendly, we welcome dogs!” he offered magnanimously.
“REALLY? Are you REALLY sure?” I asked again, dubiously.
I didn’t see any good coming out of this. But the man and his wife were so generous and welcoming, I ignored my better judgement and let the dogs out of the car.
Immediately, they bolted for the fence line where there stood – two large red horses.
“Oh, except we hope they won’t bother the horses,” he added, a little anxiously and a lot too late. Leia had already bound through the wide gaps in the wooden fence and she and Forest were both barking their fool heads off at these huge new “dogs.”
“FOREST! LEIA! COME HERE!” I bellowed in my loudest dog-calling voice. Amazingly, Forest stopped before he reached the fence and came back. Leia was long gone.
“I’m just afraid the horse might kick them,” the man offered helpfully.
“Yeah, that would be a real problem,” I replied morosely, already imagining how much THIS vet bill was going to be, after Leia got sent sailing through the air by one swift kick.
I deposited Forest back in the safety of the car before I returned to the fence line to try and retrieve Leia.
Leia was in her glory, joyfully cavorting and gamboling directly under the horse’s feet. In fact, she was running perfect “Figure 8s:” around the front hooves; under the horse’s belly; behind the back hooves; under the belly again; another lap around the front feet. Every time she circled the horse’s back feet, I held my breath, waiting for the kick to come.
“That is one patient horse you have there,” I told the ‘farmer.’
“Oh, she’s not mine, this is my neighbour’s field,” he informed me cheerfully. Oh, lord, I groaned. Vet bills AND lawsuits!
Meanwhile, his wife came running over with a bag of dog treats, shaking it noisily and calling “Here! Treats! Here!” Clearly, this had happened before.
“LEEEEE-IIII-AAAAA, HEEEEEEERE!” I called in the trail walking command we have been practicing since February. She actually heard my voice over her own excited barking, turned and trotted over to me. Miracles happen!
“I’ll just put her in the car before I pick out my plants,” I panted, hauling Leia by the collar in the direction of the car. Both horses ambled back home to the far side of the field; perhaps they’d had enough excitement for one morning.
The rest of my shopping was uneventful and I picked out a trunk load of beautiful perennials for my garden. As I loaded them in the car, a woman pulled up with a German Shepard in her car.
“Is it OK if I bring my dog with me?” she called to the owner. “I have his leash, and poo bags!”
“Sure!!” the ‘farmer’ responded enthusiastically. “No problem!”
As I pulled away, I remembered I had planned to look at tomato plants. I decided those could wait. Like the big red horses, I figured I’d had enough for one day…