Today I had time and knowing my big, red, brindle boy would want me to investigate, I veered off the highway.
|Big Red Dog, Walker|
All kinds of dogs are at play on the shaded, soft, green lawn of an old farmhouse. There are young dogs and old dogs, shy dogs and assertive dogs, scruffy dogs and sleek dogs, big dogs and tiny dogs, pure bred dogs and feist dogs. Despite their differences, they all share two characteristics. They are all red and they are all happy.
The farmhouse has an ample porch with its ceiling painted sky blue. The porch accommodates a couple of creaky, wooden swings made long-ago from hardwoods felled on the farm. Young children pick strawberries and blueberries from the dooryard garden. On the porch, a grandma and a grandpa oversee the churning of homemade ice cream. The grandma occasionally yells, "Don't you children eat all those berries. Save some for my pie!"
When the ice cream is ready, the grandpa shouts for the kids. All those red dogs come running, too. From around the back of the house thunders a small herd of even more red dogs. The dogs gather around the porch, tails wagging, tongues hanging out, just waiting for a taste. Every now and again, a red dog spies a berry on the ground - dropped by a sweaty, chubby, little hand. Umm, tasty!
After the treats have been enjoyed, the grandma and the grandpa retreat to the cool inside of the house, the children trailing after them. The red dogs divide into groups - some of them scoot through the screened door before it slaps shut. Some remain on the porch for naps, some prefer the shade of an ancient oak, still others head for the hills for reconnaissance duty.
There are cows, chickens, goats and pigs who bear considerable watching. The fences of the lower 40 need to be checked. And the mother and the father will return any time now with a truck load of new red dogs who will need to be greeted and made to feel at home. Don't forget about the races to be run and the swims in the pond. After all, it is Red Dog Farm and there's a lot to do . . .Recalling and savoring our vision, I drove and drove, but I didn't see any sign of Red Dog Farm. The road narrowed and eventually the pavement gave way to gravel and red clay. There's been a lot of rain lately, even some flash flooding. The clay road was slick and messy.
Maybe there is no actual Red Dog Farm. Maybe there's a farm out here, and maybe there's a dog at the farm, maybe that dog runs around on the road and gets red clay on him - hence Red Dog Farm Road?
I was about to turn around when I came across the first evidence of a farm:
|Very expensive "tootsie roll" hay bales|
|some of which were ruined|
|by being partially submerged in a rainfall caught in a low place in the field.|
Then, just past the hay field, I saw a sign:
|RED DOG FARM!|
The sign, which has seen better days, was inside a fenced yard. There was a house inside the fence. That was all. I didn't see any dogs. Why are there no dogs at Red Dog Farm?
I shared all of this with Walker. He is so disappointed. He believes this to be a legitimate case of false advertising.
|This is Walker's disappointed face.|