There’s something about being away from a place that makes you notice all the things you love about it when you first return. At least that’s what happens to me every time we come home from our winter travels in the desert. It’s like I arrive in this wondrous place that’s been awaiting my return, placed on hold just for me.
In my last post, Home on the Range, I mentioned it might be time for another top ten list. What are my ten favourite things about home?
- Freedom! We rolled into the farmyard, Nollind opened the truck door, and we were off and running. Running! And when T or Nollind is out doing chores around the place, riding a horse, or just sitting on the deck, I’m out there at liberty, roaming around the property. As long as I don’t head across the road or disappear from sight for too long, I’m free to do as I please.
- Gophers to chase. I love to chase gophers (ground squirrels) and there are plenty of them out here on the prairie. It is possibly my favourite activity, and as I’ve grown older and wiser, I catch them more often. A couple of summers ago I realized that if I was patient and stealthy, rather than charging after them from a distance, my hunting was much more successful.
- Beds in every room. Not sure which is my favourite, but here at home I have at least one bed in every room in the house (except the kitchen and bathroom), as well as some human surfaces that make great napping locations (like T and Nollind’s bed).
- Food. I get food everywhere we go but it still makes my Top Ten.
- Canal walks. We walk a lot in the desert, and it’s great, but it is such a treat to have a place to cool off and get a drink as we wander along. We don’t always walk near the canal when we’re home, but it’s our go-to route in warm weather.
- Horses and the treats they leave behind. T noticed me on the Misty Creek Dog Rescue website six years ago because I reminded her of Nevada, so I am forever grateful to the big spotted guy. I like the rest of the horses too and, although it may sound disgusting to you, horse manure makes a great fibre-filled dog snack. It’s full of enzymes and partially digested proteins. Hoof trimmings also make tasty treats, although foraging for snacks while the trimming is still underway can be risky.
- Movie/TV Nights. Here at home, there is one couch for all three of us to share on movie nights. Sigh …
- Visitors. We get regular visitors out here on the farm: friends from the city, neighbours, family, boarders. Judy, who boards her horse Gidget with us, comes to visit every two or three days and always has a treat for me in her bag or her car. I love Judy. Michelle, another horse boarder, brought her puppy Zulu out a couple of weeks ago. I’m not entirely comfortable with cuter-than-me dogs around to hoard the attention, and people seem to think puppies are adorable, but he was okay for a puppy … and he’ll grow out of it. Then there’s friend Darren who comes to work on his boat and brings Roxie along for some gopher-chasing time. If I could just convince Roxie that she can’t dig them out of the ground maybe she’d get more off-leash time.
- Grass. I love to roll in the grass, do it multiple times a day when I can. It’s the canine version of a morning shower.
- Trips to town. At this time of year, with the days still cool, I often get to go along on excursions into town. When Logan went to the vet last week, T and I went to the coffee shop, and then for a leisurely stroll around the lake in Strathmore’s downtown Kinsmen Park.
And then there’s just that indescribable feeling of being … home.