Rosie and I made a couple of trips to the local lumber yard yesterday to get materials for the peacock coop that I am attempting to build. During our first visit to the lumber yard, the place was crowded and I had to place her on the sales counter while I paid for my purchases. She entertained herself by showing off for the sales staff and the customers. The sales clerk, a young man who knew Rosie from previous visits, commented about what a nice dog she was, and an old timer who had been standing around telling stories about shooting turkeys responded, "You can tell a lot about a man by his dog."
I'm not sure what he meant by that, but I took it as a compliment. Rosie was having a very good day.
Actually, the older Rosie gets, the more good days she seems to be having. She loves to get out and go to town, and she wallows in attention. One of Rosie's favorite places to visit is our local Arvest Bank where the teller at the drive-up window always gives her a dog biscuit. (Who says Jim Walton isn't charitable?) Using B.F. Skinner's theory of intermittent reinforcement, that occasional dog biscuit at a drive-up window has taught her to go nuts as we approach any drive-up window. Hey, lady, where's my dog cookie?
One of my other current projects at the farm is to move some cut firewood and large rocks from the back of the property and bring them up close to the house for use in future projects. (First up will be a kick-ass rock fire pit - which will, of course, benefit from the firewood.) I move the wood and rocks in my little farm truck - accompanied by little Rosie. On these trips around the farm I am teaching her to ride in the back of the pickup, just like a real farm dog.
Surprisingly, Rosie is becoming a true farm dog. She isn't one of those foo-foo little in-house yappers. In fact, she rarely yaps at all. And when I'm out working on a project, like yesterday at the peacock coop, she goes off and keeps herself entertained for hours-on-end - without roaming onto the road or getting lost. Little Rosie is also developing skills as a chicken herder, racing around the girls to gather them into a tight circle and then moving them wherever she thinks they need to be.
At night, after a hard day's work on the farm, Rosie goes to bed without being told. She knows that dawn comes early.
So, I'm not sure what you could tell about me by observing Rosie, except maybe that we are both adjusting to life on the farm and to getting things done without becoming too excited. Most days we work hard, and we manage to play a little, too.