Ginny is our awesome farm dog. The most intelligent dog I’ve ever known, she not only obeys a long list of commands, she seems to understand normal conversational English most of the time. Training her seems amazingly easy. For example, the first time she saw baby chicks, many years ago, her natural instinct was to go after them. We scolded her for it and she’s never bothered the chickens since then. That was the full extent of our our training her not to harm the chickens. My neighbor told me that to train his black lab he used a shock collar, tied a dead chicken around the dog’s neck and beat it, and similar things. Eventually his dog learned. With Ginny, one verbal reprimand was enough.
She’s also a very brave dog. She knows the animals that are welcome on the farm and those that are not. So she’ll fearlessly chase away a coyote or any wild dogs that come around.
Ginny is also amazingly loyal. One of her greatest pleasures seems to be to lay on the floor and stare at us while we read at night. She seems to be just waiting for us to ask her for something.
Her greatest pleasure seems to be accompanying us on our post-supper paseos. Even though Ginny spends most of her time outside, and is free to wander the farm whenever she likes, she is overjoyed when we take her with us on a walk.
Ginny is turning a little grey now. When she runs after a squirrel or a deer, she can’t sprint as fast as she used to. Lately she’s had a little bit of a limp, which I suspect may have been caused by trying to do something only the younger Ginny could safely do. We’re hoping she’ll shake the limp off soon and be back to her old self. But we also know she’ll continue to mellow. But even as she adjusts to the physical realities of aging, she’ll continue to draw joy and happiness from being here and sharing our company.
We are on Ginny’s path too, of course. It’s a good place to be.