One morning a few weeks ago, Carole brushed my snout. I hated it. What’s wrong with hay chaff and pumpkin muffin crumbs on my face? I mean, a girl has to save a snack for later, right? I hate snout-brushing, but I do love food, especially muffins and yogurt.
I live at Miles Smith Farm with my sister, Penny. She’s two years younger than me, and we fight over food, but I always win because I’m bigger. She is sneaky, though. Whenever Carole puts on my harness, I have to stand still so she can clip the straps. That’s when Penny, who knows I can’t move, nudges me from the rear with her snout.
That day, after the harness was in place, Carole told me we were going on a hike with Gordon and Reuben at a place called Page Pond. I’d never been on a hike before. I’d been on TV and on the radio, but I never hiked.
When we got to Page Pond, I met Reuben. Reuben’s a cute dog but a little older than me. I’m seven-years-old; Reuben is fourteen. Then we started hiking. They call it Page Trail, but to me, it was the Trail of Acorns. I love how acorns lie on the ground, in front of my nose, waiting to be eaten.
I kept my head low to the ground, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t see everything and what I didn’t see I could smell. I can smell mushrooms buried under leaves and twigs.
It was an easy trail without a lot of climbing. Even with my short legs, I kept right up with the humans but not with Reuben. He ran here, there and back again. We took a break at a bridge near the dam on Page Pond. It was good to rest the trotters for a bit. I heard the running water beneath the bridge and saw the dam ahead. We met some hikers and two other dogs who were not as nice as Reuben.
We followed the same trail back, and once I even led the way. I could smell the path and sniffed along ahead. They called me a “trail-blazer.” I don’t know what that is, but if it means “she who finds acorns,” that’s me!
Back at the parking lot, Carole lifted me into the truck (I need her to get me a ramp), and we drove to Moulton Farm, which is on the same road as Page Pond. I got out of the truck again and heard that Moulton Farm sells Miles Smith Farm meat. I wanted to go inside the store but, even though I asked, they won’t let me.
Then we drove to Hermit Woods Winery in Moultonborough. Hermit Woods gives the farm used-up fruit from when they make wine. Carole brings back tubs of it, and sometimes Penny and I get some for dinner. I must say it’s yummy but not as good as the wine Reuben and I shared that day. They won’t let us inside the shop, but owner Ken gave us a bit of Hermit Woods Sparkling Heirloom Crabapple to sip on the front porch.
Then Reuben said good-bye. I hope I get to see Reuben again, and I’d like to hike again, especially if the trail has acorns.
Tazzy lives at Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, N.H., with farm owners Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.