Duke is our faithful canine companion on the farm. Splotched black and white (his Dalmation side) with soul-ful eyes (his Walker, Coon Dog side), he has been responsible for chasing the racoons down from the peach trees and leaving his scent around, causing rabbits to tremble. Groundhogs don't have a chance within the perimeter of our growing fields--but strangely he ignores the rooster and hens who freely roam. Even our kittens and burly old cat will snuggle up to him on a lazy summer afternoon.
He lives completely outside (sleeps under the cabin now) and will make his rounds in the woods--we hear him barking, chasing deer. He has no leash or fences and knows the boundaries of our 90 acres. He doesn't chase balls with the boys, but will watch them shoot hoops and slam dunk before stretching his legs and yawning. As soon as I make my way towards the fields he is right by my side, happily trotting around, but he takes off and loses me after five minutes, either distracted by rabbit trails, or off to undig his latest bone.
Our farm would not be as viable without Duke, our companion, protector and friend. He actually came with the farm (was left here by the Amish family) and they have no idea what an asset he is!
Here's to all our pets who bless our lives just by being who they are---