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After our first puppy ten years ago, I swore I would never allow the kids to get another puppy. Our dog, Meredith, chewed everything! Bike seats, toys, boots, Christmas lights, everything. Eventually she mellowed into a wonderful dog. Whereever the kids are is where Meredith is. She only goes to the farm, which is 1/4 mile away, when the kids are over there working. She used to sprint back and forth to the farm multiple times a day. In recent years her run has turned into a labored walk. She used to go for three mile runs with me. Now she waits for my return at the end of the driveway.
Knowing Meredith is aging quickly got us thinking about another dog. “A dog”, I said, “NOT a puppy.” When we were on vacation in July, Brandon’s brother called him and asked if we wanted a puppy. He was making a farm delivery and the customer had puppies and he needed a decision right then and there. Brandon said “yes” and we came home to a 6-week-old border collie.
The first thing we did was went and bought the usual supplies. Collar, food, kennel, Puppies for Dummies book, the usual. And then we needed to decide on a name. My one requirement was that the name needed to be one syllable. Having “Meredith” for ten years has taught me one thing anyway. The kids started throwing out the typical dog names. Spot… no, Rover… no, Fido… no, Boots… no, Hal… hey, there’s a name. Hal, I like that. Hal it is. So Hal has joined our family.
The first night Hal cried all night in our garage and I couldn’t find Meredith the next morning. Meredith normally sleeps in our garage. I finally found Meredith sleeping in our culvert. The noise must have driven her out of the garage. Meredith is slowly warming up to Hal.
Hal is full of energy with a herding instinct that won’t quit. He tried to help the kids walk their fair pigs, he tries to help with the cattle, and he even herds the kids themselves. Hal also likes to jump and chew and run. If I start getting frustrated with him, all he needs to do is look at me with those big brown eyes, and I smile. I didn’t think we needed a puppy… what did I know.
We are back from vacation and counting down to our County Fair. We took the Amtrak train out to Glacier National Park for vacation. The scenery was breathtaking and I would highly suggest it for any family. My daughters ran across a mama moose with her baby on a trail, we had a snowball fight on top of a mountain, and the boys skipped rocks on a crystal-clear lake. It was the perfect mix of relaxation and activity for me.
While on vacation my brother-in-law called asking if we wanted a puppy. We had been considering getting a puppy, hoping our older dog would help train a new puppy. So, we came home to an adorable black and white border collie that we named Hal. He is full of energy and is already showing his herding instincts towards the cattle, pigs, and kids.
We also came home knowing that there are only a couple weeks left before the Goodhue County Fair. The 4-H building projects are mosting complete. My dad helped Max build a gun rack earlier this week. My dad has a lot of woodworking tools, so he is a great help. We are walking the pigs twice a day now. It’s amazing how quickly they learn the routine. The kids are also walking and grooming the cattle daily. Our fair starts August 10th, eleven days to go…