The Faithful Dog and the Undaunted Garden

Teddy T. Dog is the kind of dog you see in paintings, sleeping on the floor by the tired farmer after a hard day’s work. In those paintings, his name is “Shep.” And the name of the painting is “Faithful Friend.” The farmer has his workboots off and his feet up on a low footstool and there’s a hole in one sock. He doesn’t even own slippers, but if he did, Shep would have brought them. The farmer smokes a pipe and the smoke curls above his head. “Shep” is asleep with one eye open just in case the farmer needs help. Shep’s even willing to keep that flock of hens in line if asked, and, though he’d rather not mess with that rooster (almost lost his eye that time), he will if he the farmer asks.

Yesterday we went — all three of us — out to the slough, well, that was our destination, but when we got where we I wanted to go, it looked like a little “afternoon delight” was taking place in the parking area. I was young once. Just because they built Village Seven over those places in Colorado Springs doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten. SO… we turned around and went to the lake. The lake has advantages, anyway, notably a big wide road all around it. Teddy is low to the ground and sticks his nose in everything.

When we arrived, a car was moving very slowly in our direction. I waited to see what the story was. It was an elderly couple walking their young dog. The dog ran on the road beside the driver. I’ve heard of this, but I never saw it before. When they passed, I hitched up my “team” and we took a walk. An eagle flew in front of us, descending from one of the tall cottonwood trees beside the lake.

Summer is tired. It’s got to be exhausting here, with barely six weeks to do everything, summer pushes furiously through its necessary tasks.

My Australian pumpkin is the best plant in my garden. I poked a seed in the dirt, not thinking anything would grow. My neighbor — from whom I got the seeds — grew them last year, and they didn’t mature fully before she had to pick them. He needs more sun, more time and a more spacious spot to grow, but he doesn’t care. He’s doing it anyway. Although signs point to an early winter, I hope we don’t get a real frost for another month so at least he has a chance to bloom.

But, judging from the fact that the large ungulates are already down here on the valley floor, I think we might have an early winter. Good for me, bad for the volunteer tomatoes that first showed their heads only a week ago. I have named them “Optimism.”

My garden has had a hard time this year, and for a while I was disappointed, but now I think it’s a valiant little place. Everything is doing its best, trying very hard to put out something good and useful before it’s too late.

I relate to that.

23 thoughts on “The Faithful Dog and the Undaunted Garden

  1. I love that each year the garden is different, even when you do all the same things. I have volunteer dill in my yard, love dill and never have to plant it!

  2. It’s been a strange summer. Started so well with sun and it got hotter and hotter and for the first time I had plants that went kaput because of the heat. Budding roses that dried out before opening properly and sage where the leaves got burnt. I rescued it in time by covering it up, but it has been set back. I also plant dill, but it was a little overcrowded this year I need more space for next year. I like dill with fish and in the cucumber salad. Now we have normal sunny days, and some rain now and again. The rain has awakened the slugs and they are loving it, especially on my hostas.

    • Yeah, you guys have had terrible heat and our summer started late. Slugs exist here but they are VERY tiny. They don’t have a lot of time in their slug life.

    • ❤ I tell my pumpkin every day what a good pumpkin it is and I tell Teddy what a good dog he is. I don't know if that has contributed anything, but they're both happy.

Comments are closed.