(Of course, now that we’re winding down, the horse fed, the dogs fed and all laying at my feet as I sit at the computer, they become ‘fragrant’ too. Who knows which one it was that just let loose a loud, obnoxious fart! I knew it, it was Jake. He has that guilty look on his face…)
I don’t know how Saki and Hiro, the two little dogs, can wag their tails so hard while jumping all over me and yapping away can be any more welcoming. Chloe the Shepherd and Jake the Aussie aren’t half as fast, so by the time they get up to me, still before I’ve even moved the truck through the gate, Saki and Hiro have run off to bug Odin. Odin will trot up to me as I get out of the truck at the house and insist on a few itches before he’ll let me go in the house to change.
I was a little later than usual, working late then stopping for groceries (Oh, there’s the fragrance now. One of the dogs had to have eaten something more than the dog food I gave them to reek like that. Yuck!), there wasn’t much daylight left to the day to ride. But, Odin wanted to play, and that’s what we did.
Though some horse people will make fun of me and call me the Queen of Groundwork, it’s a way to “play” with Odin, do something with him other than riding and still get in some training. Rope halter and long line and we’re off to a flat area of the pasture to lunge. Of sorts.
I never know what I’m going to do when I go out with Odin. I mostly play it by ear instead of coming up with specific things I want to teach him. It’s a moment by moment thing, and we both end up enjoying ourselves. This time, the pieces fell into place to work on him continuing to do what I ask him until I ask him to do something else. I planted my feet and switched the rope between hands as he circled around me. The first time around, he stopped behind me and stood looking at my back. Cuing him on, he got the idea and held the trot while I stood there switching the rope between hands as he circled me. He even did it perfectly going in the opposite direction.
I couldn’t help myself. I just burst out laughing when he stood there looking at me with both eyes and both ears when I said “whoa,” waiting for the next cue. He was the picture of anticipation and I ended up laughing until tears ran down my face.
At the end, he stood there stopped and facing me with those ears and eyes and because I was still laughing too hard to come up to him to praise him, he stretched out his head and neck to me for that praise. That was too much and I dropped to my knees, I was laughing so hard. It was just so amazing that he would obey so well yet do what he could to get his praise from me.
The dogs all got into wrestling and playing and running after each other while I fed Odin a little while later. Acrobats, all of them. They did somersaults, vaults over each other, the little dogs ran under the big dogs… I had just dried my face from laughing at Odin and now the dogs had me laughing again.
You’re probably thinking, “It must be one of those things where you had to be there,” right? I wish I could do more than describe my animals’ antics and how great it is to be with them. To come home every day to a huge welcome and gleefully happy greetings is the most amazing thing that I wouldn’t give up for anything. These animals make my house a home; a delightful, great place to come home to every day.