Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Down on the Farm: The Sleigh Ride

How we ended up with our 110 pound polar-bear look-alike, Shasta, that belongs to, and accompanies, our 58 pound daughter everywhere she goes, is a story all its own.  May it be enough to say that Shasta is our 1 1/2 year old Great Pyrenees puppy that loves to eat anything and everything, and is still growing!

Shaylie has been the primary trainer of this dog since she got her.  She has spent countless hours teaching Shasta the fundamentals of obedience.  This training started early because we knew Shasta would quickly outgrow her owner. 

Well, there comes a time in every dog's life when they need to start earning their keep.
That day came this winter when Shaylie decided in her 10-year old, carefree mind, that the best way for Shasta to do this was to pull the kids back up the hill after they had sledded down.

To begin this well-thought out plan, Shaylie gathered her supplies.  She figured out that by adjusting a horse halter just right, she had a great harness that you could easily snap a sled to.  After a few days of letting Shasta get used to her new harness, Shaylie figured it was time to hook up the sled.  Shasta did so well following her around with the empty sled, that Shaylie quickly moved on.  She carefully placed her four year old sister, Jentry, in the sled for weight.  Up and down the snow-covered road, that leads to our barn, they went.  Shasta acted like an experienced Iditarod sled dog. 

That is, until I came along.

I was in the house cleaning up the kitchen.  I gathered up the meat scraps and the leftover bone from the roast we had eaten that day and chucked them in the weeds in our backyard.  I usually do this so the dogs or cats can clean it up.

Shasta happened to be down off the hill by the barn at this time. She raised her nose up into the air and must have caught a whiff of that meat.

Shaylie was unaware that I had basically called her dog to dinner.  She was running/stumbling as fast as her legs could carry her, while sinking in snow up to her knees, trying to catch up with the great big, white blur that was plowing over snow drifts and dodging sagebrush.  Bumping behind Shasta, holding onto her fluorescent orange sled for dear life, was Jentry.  Her hat had slipped down over her eyes as the calm, slow ride she had been experiencing turned into a crazy roller coaster run.  Shasta, the sled, (with Jentry in it,) Shaylie, and by this time, Richard, (who happened to be down at the barn,) were lined up like a parade-gone-wrong.  The frantic shouting, "SHASTA, COME!" over and over while they tried to catch up to our little girl flying behind our single-minded dog, filled the air.

As soon as Shasta reached her roast and was busy inhaling it, the ride ended.  Jentry rolled out of the sled-turned-race car and giggled, "Let's do that again!"

All of the training in the world won't stop a dog with a nose for food! Just another day "down on the farm."


  1. So funny! I'm sure this is a family moment that will be nostalgically recalled time and time again! What a great story! Thanks for sharing it :)

  2. LOL - your kids look as though they have the best fun!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.


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