Ahhh….I love my animals, I honestly do. But what is it about me that all I get are the quirky ones? I have cows that love laundry. Baby bulls who think they can eat breakfast in the kitchen. Chickens who can climb like mountain goats. And a new dog who thinks the dryer is her new doghouse.

The Country Boy went to the back door to watch the approaching storm. It is our habit: storm = a visual check for cows, chickens, barn doors left open, and any other potential problem from the rain. As he passed the dryer, he noticed a towel hanging out, so he opened the door to get it. Often, when the rain is blowing like it was, it creeps underneath the back door. We always put an old towel down to prevent too big of a mess. Before he could bend down, Yodi, our new rescue dog, jumped straight in and curled up. I have heard of giving a dog a bath. I have washed and dried towels and dog bedding in the machines. But never have I thought that I could do the same to the dog. I always figured it probably wasn’t conducive to the safety of the animal, no matter how filthy they get. Apparently Yodi thought different. She was stubborn, though. She did NOT want to come out. I even half considered just leaving her there (with the door open, of course), but just as quickly rejected the idea. That is a habit I do not want her to get into!



Flashes of lightning. Crashes of thunder. Dark clouds sending the noon hour straight to late dusk. Rain pelting on the roof and windows. Power flickering until it loses the battle and goes out completely. The only thing we can figure is that the small area of the dryer, accompanied by the soft (and freshly laundered) towels seemed to be a safe haven. It doesn’t seem to matter that she is indoors. She just needed that one last vestige of refuge.

Yodi is a ‘rescue’ dog. One day, at the pit, she wandered up and took an immediate liking to Randy. Within an hour, it was almost as if The Country Boy had a new appendage. If he took a step, Yodi was right there. If Randy got in his truck, Yodi followed. At one point, Randy had to get in a small boat to go to the dredge boat. He had gotten no more than halfway when he noticed that Yodi was swimming after him. He stopped, loaded her into the boat and continued on his journey.

The Country Boy really doesn’t want to admit this, but he has a soft spot towards dogs. That spot literally becomes a puddle if that dog happens to be a German Shepherd. Yep. You guessed it. Yodi is a German Shepherd mix – heavy on the Shepherd. He started taking dog food to the worksite, and on weekends he would go morning and evening to feed her and check on her. It didn’t take a week before he was wanting to bring her home. All I could do was laugh when I would listen to him mutter, “We already have three big dogs. I don’t want another one in the house. I am worried about her out there alone. I can’t just leave her.   I don’t want another….” I knew for sure he was a goner (and I would have another dog in the house) when he came home one evening telling me about ‘Yodi’s’ antics. Why Yodi? It is the Country Boy’s shorthand for ‘Coyote’, which she semi-resembles.

I guess I am going to have to change the name of the farm from Paradise Plantation to Paradise Rescue. We have rescued dogs, cats, chickens and even pigs. The one thing we have not rescued is cows, but when was the last time you saw a cow wandering the roads after having been tossed out of a car? Oh. No. You can’t count MY cows wandering down the road. We didn’t throw them away, they just escaped. And we DID go and get them back.

In spite of what I want to do, we can’t rescue every animal we come across. But there are some, like Bonnie and Yodi that our hearts just would not allow us to leave behind. We give them love, food and refuge, they give us joy, laughter and loyalty. And dirty towels. Yes, I will go through the efforts of rewashing the clothes in the dryer if my dog needs a little extra feeling of security. I will hang wet sheets on the line for the cows. However, I do have a line I will draw. The day I come home and find a cow in my dryer, I will finally throw in the towel and give the animals full control of the farm. They will just have to learn to drive, though, so they can go and get their own bags of feed.