I was thinking about dogs as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard one morning. I am sure my thoughts were running to dogs because we “dog sat”one weekend for our son and daughter-in-law.

I was thinking about dogs as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard one morning. I am sure my thoughts were running to dogs because we “dog sat”one weekend for our son and daughter-in-law.
Oscar is fine, a little house dog. When he was here, I could not help but think of Muffy, the dog I grew up with on the farm. She was a border collie type dog, whose home was the barn. Muffy was only in the house one time in her entire life.  
She was locked in the barn every evening after we finished the chores. She was let out in the morning, and she then made her patrol around the farm. She usually ended her jaunt with a swim in the large slough we had south of the barn.
One thing I thought about was her desire to dig out a badger. Badgers were prevalent in our pastures. If Muffy saw a badger, she would chase it into its hole. Muffy thought she could dig one out. She’d nearly go crazy digging with her paws and tearing sod with her mouth.
Sometimes she would get “winded” and stop to take a break. If a person listened, you could hear the badger digging deep down in the ground, much faster than Muffy could ever dig. I always imaged I heard him laughing, too, if badgers can laugh.
Another thing Muffy thought she could do was to catch a jackrabbit. Jackrabbits run very fast. Muffy would run so hard and fast that she made sounds of effort as she sped along.
Sometimes she would get close to the jackrabbit and then he would put on an extra spurt speed. After he had increased his lead, the rabbit would go into a lope type run and he looked like he was out on a stroll. About this time Muffy would have to give up her chase.
Another thing Muffy thought she could do was free the world of snakes. She hated snakes. One spring she and I happened upon a nest of garter snakes crawling out of their winter den. Muffy had a wild afternoon. After so much snake fighting, she finally gave in to fatigue and came to the house. I bet she slept well in her hay nest in the barn that night.
I read that January was Slow Cooker Month. With the weather we have had, there certainly has been many opportunities to put something in a slow cooker. In our house a pot of red beans and a ham bone, a pot of blackened peas and a few slices of bacon, homemade soup with plenty of okra in it, or a pot roast certainly have made the house smell good on these cold, snowy or “stay inside” days.
The smell of a home has an effect. Real estate agents sometimes tell homeowners to bake a batch of cookie on “open house” days.
Take a walk, know that dogs can be cool, use those signal lights, use those slow cookers, drive with your lights on, and see what you see while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.    

 
 Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.