Over a year ago I introduced Gypsy, a Jack Russell terrier, to our family.
Living on a predominantly sheep property, we have many dogs. But not having ever owned a small 'pet' before (or lap dog) before, The Farmer was not excited. He claimed they served little value as a 'farm asset' and considered her to be more of a burden than anything else. What good would she be without a pedigree background and history of good workmanship?!
We were all in love with her immediately, though The Farmer claimed he was not falling for her in the same way that we were. A pat here and a head scratch there, but that was where his emotional attachment appeared to end. Over time I noticed that he let her sit on his lap a little more. She started to follow him around when the children were at school, and then , more recently, he has started taking her out on 'farm jobs' with him, and showing more affection. But when you ask him, his answer is still the same; she's okay.
Then yesterday I arrived home after a LONG day out in the saddle (metaphorically speaking... those of you who know me will know that I am as capable in a saddle as I am flying an F1-11) to find that we had new gauze on all of our screen doors. As the Farmer hadn't informed me of any of his plans to change/repair the existing gauze, I could only assume it was because the old gauze had been desecrated by our precious Gypsy, as she jumps up on the door and begs for us to let her in for a cuddle. The Farmer vows and declares that if the dog doesn't stop jumping on the door, she will have to go - something that none of us want to see happen.
When he made it in for smoko I thought I should make note of his latest efforts, as they were slightly reminiscent of the time that The Farmer installed a grid for me on the driveway to town so that I wouldn't have to get the gate. It was a gesture that demonstrated his love for me. As The Farmer struggles with declarations of love, and public displays of affection, he relies on 'acts of kindness' to express how he is really feeling. In any event, our conversation went like this:
Me: I love the new gauze you installed today.
The Farmer: Thanks, but it's not gauze. It's pet-mesh.
Pet-mesh! I stand corrected. If the dog can't 'go', I guess The Farmer has conceded defeat. Or maybe he really must love Gypsy after all.