First, a little background: HoofPrints Newsletter subscribers already know that I have been on an epic journey involving my horsemanship. I went along fine for years, quite fearlessly, with no trouble at all from my mounts. Then, I got a little (ahem) older, and along came a horse (chestnut mare Allie) who didn’t appreciate my bossy attitude. We had some spectacular confrontations that left me shaken to the core, any confidence I had in my abilities to ride, let alone train, was vaporized. I spent considerable time sulking, in a despair that no animal would ever want anything to do with any kind of partnership involving me.
So an idea hatched in my head. Finally, an animal who is totally interested in working with me – no matter how badly I messed up – she just kept trying. In between bouts of leaping around. It was the perfect solution for my lack of confidence. A happy-go-lucky dog that was always ready to learn, AND was not one bit scary or dangerous to interact with. Unlike my poor Allie who’d learned to consider freaking out as her best option whenever my cues got muddled or I lost my confidence.
More background: Whenever this dog sees me get out the broom – she excitedly starts randomly leaping around in anticipation. So, when I squat down to hold it out to the side, she isn’t expecting that and she is still randomly jumping. Except this time my face is down on her level, and she leaps into me. Her head hit me right in the chin. Hard. It knocked me down. I bit my tongue and can feel crunchy pieces of broken tooth in my mouth because we collided so hard.
Fortunately, it must have been just a small chip off the still attached crown (or somewhere else) because I never could figure out where that grit in my mouth came from. And I didn’t have a bruise on my face, thankfully, but my neck was sore from being torqued by by the hit to the side of my chin. So much for dog training as a completely safe endeavor. I never considered that I could get clocked in the chin like a boxer by a 50# dog!
Bailey doesn’t limit her jumping efforts to conventional obstacles. Everything is fair game, at least once. The horse’s water tank is a regular destination in summer when it’s hot and a refreshing dip is in order. The day Lauren and Brittany were photographing the horses was as good as any, and Lauren just happened to wheel around at the perfect instant and capture Bailey’s exit leap. The resulting picture is too good not to share with the world! It epitomizes the life of a farm dog, working hard all day, making do with amenities that are available, and loving life the whole time. It occurred to me that Bailey might make a fine Orvis Cover Dog.
For those not familiar with the Orvis Cover Dog Contest – the Orvis Company is best known for its mail order fly-fishing equipment. But this Vermont-based business, which operates the oldest mail order operation in the country, also has a robust dog products catalogue and online presence, as well as 70 retail stores in the United States.
They partnered with the Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit that invests in science to promote animal health, and is a leader in funding scientific studies for companion animals, horses, and wildlife. When Morris launched its Canine Cancer Campaign, Orvis seemed like a likely partner and together they created the Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest – there’s a video about the project here. Participants are invited to submit a picture of their dog to the contest and then invite friends and family (through social media) to vote for their pooch online. Each vote costs $1 with a $5 minimum vote/(tax deductable) donation. Bailey’s entry is here. All the entries are here.
More than 100,000 photos were submitted previously—from customers and non-customers alike, leading Orvis to add tens of thousands of customers to its mailing list and Morris Animal Foundation to add 26,540 new donors, 10 percent of whom have given a second gift. The campaign also involved famed actress Betty White, a known animal lover, who filmed a web spot to promote the contest. To date, $1,085,898 has been raised and 11 major colleges and universities are conducting research funded by monies gained through this program. By partnering with Orvis, Morris Animal Foundation has created six programs, including one to train scientists, two to improve cancer diagnoses, and three that developed improvements in cancer treatments. The effort was awarded Cause Marketing Forum’s Halo Award for 2015 – details here.
Stay tuned for Bailey’s next chapter. For now, you can read the rest of my dog stories here.
Want to see what else happens here on the farm?
Fun on the Farm Part 1 is here
The Epic Mess of Fixing the Fireplace is here
Tearing Down an Old Barn to Repurpose the Timbers in the house is here
The adventure of utilizing the first few timbers as a Fireplace Mantle is here
Utilizing more timbers in a big room upstairs – Of Trials and Strong Backs is here
No One Will Ever See It – an Adventure In Remodeling is here
We are still not finished, but you can see “The Aftermath” of one barn beam project here
Sometimes you have to look back… at scary pictures here
More looking back… Scary pictures, recycling and repurposing here
The surprise that shouldn’t have been a surprise is here