We laid an old friend to rest today. I would never trade the 15 or 16 years of companionship with a dog because of the heart break of saying goodbye, but it doesn't make it easy. His last days were getting harder. His hind legs hardly worked, he couldn't get up in the morning without help, he fell down a lot, sometimes down the stairs, or out in the snow. He's been relieved of his pain, and his non functioning knees and hips. He can run free wherever he may be. Someday, Athena will be there to join him, just like my Hobbes will some day join Ditka again. Until then, I hope he died knowing he was loved, and that we were letting him go because we loved him so much.
Still, nothing makes goodbye any easier.
Grish and Athena chewing on a "stick" they found on a camping trip in Michigan several years ago.
Grish playing fetch just the other day
Larry and Grish playing fetch in the snow this week
Autumn is my favorite season. I love Halloween, the changing colors of the leaves, pumpkin pie, and sweater days. It also brings the opposite of Spring to us. In the Spring, we have baby animals galore (which I also love!) Lambs, a new calf, and more baby chicks than you can imagine.
This time of year is when all those babies we raised start to fill up our freezers, and our tummies for the months to come. That's right - it's time to harvest.
We have had a mini-success for our first year in the greenhouse - from zucchini to tomatoes to basil and cilantro - lots of yummy veggies for us to eat. Next year, we'll be even better at it!
We also took half our lambs to the processor this past week. I do get sad when they go, and say goodbye to them when I can. I miss them, but I also know they had a great life, and our pasture can only support so many sheep - I can't keep them all. So when we say goodbye to them, I know they spent their days running and playing, being silly and being sheepies. We have folks lined up to take them home and fill their bellies.
It also means Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and our baby turkeys will go on to their final destination, too. I have to tell you, that I appreciate my food like I never have before. And I take none of it for granted. We are getting to the point where we can grow everything we need right here on our farm. You can't appreciate food more than when you grow it from seed to plant, from baby to full grown.
So it's a bittersweet time for us. It's a time for goodbyes, but also a time to reap what we have sown, to see our hard earned successes, and to eat well. We eat like kings at our house, and we love every morsel!