If you have followed any of my writings over the past couple of years, you probably know we live out in the country and care for a number of animals.  To be exact, we have two dogs, three and at times four cats and eight chickens. One of our dogs is Yeller, a full-blooded yellow lab. He is also known as Yeller the Wonder Dog and occasionally Dammit Yeller! I know dogs can't talk, but wouldn't it be interesting if dogs – especially Yeller – could write?  I think it would go a little like this...

Hey folks, I'm Yeller the only full-blooded yellow lab that lives on County Road 275 E. near Mill Shoals. The mail delivery lady knows me well and gives me a dog biscuit from time to time. She apparently doesn't know that I'm a friendly dog that would never tear her leg off, but I appreciate the tasty treats nonetheless. 

In the couple of years I've lived on the Wells ranch, also known as Rolling Acres Farm, I've done some pretty boneheaded things. And so, I'd like to take this opportunity to issue some apologies.

First, to Fran Carter, my neighbor who lives southwest of us. Please forgive me for the unfortunate incident involving the carryout meals you were delivering to the farm hands harvesting the crops across the road to the east.  Mrs. Carter, you know how much I love meat loaf, mashed potatoes and even green beans.  In my defense, you were the one that pulled into our driveway and opened the back door to retrieve the Styrofoam containers of farmhand dinners. The smell of the beef wafting from those containers was irresistible.  I really thought you would realize that most dogs, and especially myself, cannot resist the smell of fresh baked meat loaf. And so, please accept my apology for diving into the back seat of your car and jumping up and down on those to-go meals.  Sadly for me, I was unable to tear open the containers before being scolded by Mr. Wells.  I suppose I should be grateful that the farm hands got their meals before I slobbered all over them. I hope you forgive me.

I also owe an apology to the carpenters who showed up to install a new counter top in the kitchen. (Although I'm not allowed in the kitchen under any circumstances) In my defense, you should never have left the door open on your construction trailer.  If you know anything about dogs, you know they love to explore. Part of any dog exploration includes sniffing and more importantly, peeing on things to mark our new-found territory. You may not have noticed it yet, but that big red air compressor towards the back of your trailer may now smell a bit like dog pee.  I also apologize for dragging that leather tool belt out of the trailer and chewing it up.  In my defense, that thing was made out of leather...leather comes from cows...from head to hoof, cows are beef and I cannot resist beef...in any form!  Next time, consider keeping the trailer door shut. That way, I promise to pee on nothing but the tires.

I also owe an apology to the small family of chickens that reside in a coop next to the garage. Now, I don't speak chicken, but if you chickens can read, please understand I had no intention of killing that one hen. You should know that dogs love to chase things – especially anything new that shows up around our territory.  If it has wings, flaps those wings and squawks, I will chase it.  I honestly was just trying to carry you around by the neck to show you off.  On that particular day, I apparently forgot the strength of my jaws.  Oops!  Hey – who needs nine chickens anyway?  Plus, I didn't chew that hen up so you were able to conduct a proper burial service. (By the way, the only thing I like better than Fran Carter's meat loaf is fresh chicken!)

And speaking of chickens, I'd like to apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Wells for grossing them out the other day.  In my defense, you're the one that cleaned out the chicken coop and dumped that load of chicken poop in the garden.   All I did was pick through the pile for some of the larger, tastier morsels. You should know by now that dogs will eat just about anything. If we can get it in our mouth, we'll most likely eat it.  Plus, dog's have never been known for having “good” breath.

One thing that I will never apologize for is chasing cats. You should know by now that dogs chase cats. It's in our genes. Now, I don't hate cats, I just love chasing them.  As far as I can remember, I've never caught one, and wouldn't know really what to do if I did.  You should also know that I am smart enough to know the difference between full-grown cats and kittens. When you get mad at me for chasing cats, please remember the time I brought those newborn kittens to your back door so you could ooh and aah over the new addition to the farm. I would never ever hurt a kitten. Why? Because once they are grown up, I can chase them! 

I really love the life I have out here at Rolling Acres. There's lots to do, things to chase and plenty of dog food. But I must say, my favorite time of the year is deer hunting season. After the hunters are gone, there's nothing better than finding a steaming gut pile in the woods. Mmmm!  Chomping on a hairy deer leg and rolling around in a gut pile is what makes life down on the farm worth living. 

Woof! 

P.S. - You know how much I love retrieving tennis balls. But please don't throw them into the pond this time of the year.  It's way too cold!