Clo and Belle

  Car trouble marred most of yesterday – it seems like whenever we have savings, the car breaks, and the repairs always magically cost exactly how much we have.  It’s more of a broken car fund than a savings account!
I remember reading an article in ACRES USA magazine years and years ago about all the downsides of fossil fuel-powered machines as opposed to draft animals.  One point was that you never wake up in the morning and see another little tractor in the barn next to the big tractor.  These gas-guzzling monstrosities we depend on are so inferior to depending on living things and living systems.  They can’t heal, they can’t reproduce, they can’t eat grass, their wastes pollute rather than enrich, and you have to pay out the nose to maintain them all the time.  Someday I want to trade my car in for a draft animal – maybe an ox or something.  As long as it isn’t a donkey!
We have been working so much at the farm that Belle often comes and spends quite a lot of time hanging out with us.  She is a very shy dog, who does not like other people.  I love that she is not the kind of dog that comes running over and jumps on everyone.  She does her job so well – she will bark when someone arrives, and when we have had other dogs come on the property, she sends them packing, but she will not harass anyone.
She and Clothilde adore each other.  No one else really wants to pet Belle, because she rolls in gross things and usually smells bad – sometimes really bad when she is sprayed by a skunk.  Clothilde doesn’t mind.  Clothilde will run and bear hug her around the neck.  Then when Belle lays down, Clo rolls all over her and Belle looks like she’s getting a massage/pedicure.  It isn’t all joy, though, because Clothilde also tries to feed her bits of leaves, clean her ears out with a twig and ride on her back (I always tell her not to when I catch her at it).
It’s a perfect arrangement for both of them – Belle gets attention, and Clothilde has a large, durable, tolerant, furry animal to play with.

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