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Turkey in the raw

Sugar cookies made with love by volunteer puppy raiser, Esther.

It’s a rather gorgeous fall morning and we can’t think of anything else we’d rather do this fine day than spend it at Aullwood Farm. Time for the annual Aullwood Apple Fest where the crisp autumn air is heavy with the aromas of apple butter in copper kettles and lamb chili simmering over an open campfire.

Puppy raisers Jerry and Jerri, along with Bud and Esther, have scored some prime real estate right at the entrance of the day’s events for our CCI Meet & Greet booth. 

Jorja, Juley and Yaxley on duty and ready to schmooze.

And it’s the yeller dog patrol reporting for duty. Now Yax and Juley have worked a CCI booth before and they’ve got this stuff down cold.  Indeed, so much so, that they’ve taken it upon their fuzzy selves to mentor young Jorja on the fine art of working the crowds. 

Okey dokey, Jorja, says Yaxley, just watch Juley and me. There’s really nothing to it.  You’ll wanna start with letting the little kids pat you on the head. See, kiddo? Easy nuff.

That’s right, continues Juley, but remember that there’s some young folk out there that aren’t very comfortable with the business end of a dog, so they may start with your fluffy behind. And that’s ok, too.  Just don’t release a blossom, if you know what I mean. And actually, I’m talking to you, Little Lord Yaxley.  You just about knocked out that last kid, you know.

Ha ha, sez Yax, good one, Juley. You’re so funny I forgot to laugh.  Besides, I didn’t think that particular one was so bad.   Heh, you should have been there yesterday at work when the Food Lady was in a budget meeting and  . . .

Gross!, Juley says, ugh, boy dogs! You’d walk around nothing but a cow patty on your head and a smile on your face!

Would not! counters Yax, well, maybe.  But anyway we’re outside, so I get special dispensation. 

What?!, Juley cries, Dispensation my yellow  . . . hey Jorja, wait! Where are you going?  We’re almost done with the lesson.  Pay attention, girl, you need to know this stuff if you wanna be all professional like us.

Now kid, the very last step, Yax says, getting all serious again, is to wait until your puppy raiser is talking to a parental unit, then you very slowly just kinda roll over to your side. Close your eyes, gently lift up your legs and . . . 

Next thing you know, sighs Juley, is you’ve got cotton-candy scented hands rubbing your belly and you are golden.  A special kind of nirvana, it is.  The kids love it.  Um, yeah, because we’re doing this for the kids.  To make them happy and all.

Meanwhile, Micron is watching this exchange from the sidelines and rolling his brown eyes. Of course, Mr. Mike has worked many a CCI booth in his eighteen months of puppy training. He knows all the ins and outs of conning folk into a belly rub and making them feel like he’s the one doing the favor.

But now being a change of career dog (actually a no-career dog, I say), he can no longer represent CCI at the booth. Instead we leave the professionals to do their work and the two of us take a stroll through the farm for old times’ sake.

A stop at the herb garden

So, the usual farm & barn stuff. We visit horses, sheep, pigs and . . . holy cow!

What is this fresh nightmare?, Micron wants to know.

Ah, this is indeed a new sight for the mighty Micron.  In our earlier puppy time together, we may have missed the turkey socialization opportunity.

Here’s a rather personal question for y’all.  You ever been stalked by a turkey?  No?

Well, lemme share what it looks like.

Hmm, this little red-waddled mastermind is thinking, if I walk sideways real slow, then they won’t see me coming. 
Right. Here’s another little known factoid about my previous life that you’re likely to find as compelling as the last tidbits I’ve tossed at you. In my long ago youth, I was indeed a simple farm girl and had spent enough time around smelly feathered fowl to know poultry are about as clever in the head as sheep. No offense to sheep.

I mean, just take a moment to study the head on that bird. Three quarters of the noggin is committed to the beak, with the remaining quarter used up for the eye socket.  So, where do you suppose the brain could be?  That’s right, the bird ain’t got one. Instead it survives on some primitive neurological packet located like a ziploc baggie somewhere around the poultry by-product section. No, it’s true, I looked it up on Wikipedia and everything.

So, I tell Micron, heed this advise from someone who knows. Whatever you do, kiddo, just don’t look the thing in the eye. 

Well, that’s just great.  Now you’re a turkey zombie, Micron.  Ah, no matter, the effects usually wear off rather quickly.  Let’s get back to the booth to check on the pups.

Collectively, they share one brain.

But even turkey brains can’t turn off the Micron charm, it seems. We meet a few families on the way back to the CCI booth that want to give the big yellow dog a pat on the head.

Check this out, newbie pups.  Let a master show you how things are done.

And a bonus dose of lovin’ from a rather young appreciator of fuzzy yellow dogs. That Micron accepted this big wet kiss without reciprocating with that happy tongue of his, well, maybe the big guy is maturing just a little.

You know, I like this next shot so much, that I did some fancy-pants photoshopping with the levels and color. Micron’s gaze upon the toddler, those pudgy little digits gripping all that fluffy goodness, it just makes me smile.


My no-career dog has a calling and we both know it. Now we just need to figure out what he’s meant to be doing.

Next post:  Four paws away from being an animal hoarder.  Or maybe not.

About Donna Black-Sword

Lover of all things Dog.

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