I am the best wife ever. No, really.
A battle has been gently raging in our home for several months now. In one corner: a Dairy Man who wants a dog. In the other: a modern farm wife who doesn’t.
Until recently, the battle was at a complete standstill. In a marriage, if one person wants a dog but the other doesn’t, you really can’t get a dog. You can’t just come home with a puppy one day and say, “Don’t worry, honey. He won’t affect your life at all.” It’s like having a kid. Both parents need to be on board.
And I was SO not on board.
Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs. I like petting other people’s dogs. I like playing fetch with other people’s dogs. I like taking other people’s dogs for walks. But I especially like sending the dog home with those other people.
Maybe it’s because I’ve never had a pet in my entire life, other than Jewel the 15-cent fish who only lived for 36 hours and a certain barn cat named Shadow. I’ve certainly never taken care of anything large or furry that might pee on the kitchen floor. I don’t have the foggiest idea how to care for a “real” pet. And yes, I’m the girl living on a 300+ cow dairy.
For a while, the Dairy Man and agreed to disagree. But after a while, his arguments started to get more convincing than mine.
MFW: I ‘m gone from the house for at least 12 hours every day! I don’t have the time to care for a dog or give it attention.
DM: We live on a farm! I can take him with me to work and check on him all day. He won’t ever be cooped up for too long.
MFW: I love my shoes and I don’t love cleaning urine off the carpet.
DM: The dog could live outside or in one of the barns! He/she wouldn’t ever have to come in the house.
MFW: It will be like having a baby.
DM: I don’t want a baby. I do want a dog. Besides you can’t teach a baby to herd cows.
The more the Dairy Man stepped up to take responsibility, the more my resolve weakened. So I made a decision. The Dairy Man’s birthday was in a few short days and I had the perfect gift. A little research found me a breeder. And a few deep, cleansing breaths later, I was ready. That’s how we ended up weaving through country roads on a Friday night looking for Baird Farm Kennels. The Dairy Man had no idea where I was taking him, but he was beyond excited when I told him, “You get to pick out your puppy!”
One million wife points earned instantly.
The Dairy Man made a connection and thirty minutes later we were on the way back north with a puppy in tow.
This is Jersey. He is a 10 week old Border Collie puppy with a sweet disposition and the cutest little crooked tail.
We tossed around a lot of names, but somehow “Jersey” stuck. Jersey like the cow, of course. (For all of you dairyites: yes, “Holstein” would have been more accurate name due to his coloring, but Jersey is a much cuter name. And we’re all about being cute.)
For now, Jersey will sleep in the kitchen. When he’s a little bigger we will turn him into a rough and tumble outdoor-lovin’, cow-wranglin’ canine. The Dairy Man will take him to work, slowly introduce him to cows (he is terrified of them at the moment), and become best friends.
Not to toot my own horn, but this may have been one of the Dairy Man’s best birthdays. And since the actual day is today, allow me to give a shout out to the DM:
Happy birthday, babe! Thank you for your encouragement, your strength, and your love. I love you and I love our new family. And I’m even starting to love the cows.