The first of four days off - Thanksgiving Break - but sadly, the big park is closed, so we found another field to run and blow off some steam. After an hour of this, we went on a 2.5 hour walk all across a very empty and peaceful campus - our Thanksgiving tradition!
After having faced - and somehow survived! - a terminal illness seven years ago, there is not a day that goes by on which I don't feel thankful for what I have, even if life gets a little bumpy sometimes. I am thankful for being alive and well; for having so many great friends and a wonderful family; for having a home, and food every day; for not living in a war zone; and for my sweet Tessa, who will patiently hold a corn cob in her mouth for three full minutes while I take the same photo over and over again.
I am wishing everyone a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving - enjoy the food and your time with friends and family - and don't forget to be thankful!
The Iron Horse sits in a corn field in Greene County, right off GA 15. It's an easy drive from Athens, and one of my favorite places to go.
The abstract sculpture was created by Abbott Pattison at UGA's Lamar Dodd School of Art and placed in front of Reed Hall in 1954. Back then, art, and metal sculpture in particular, was new to southern universities and the horse was not well received - at all. Just hours after its placement, students gathered around the iron creature, placed straw in its mouth, manure at its back, and painted the words "front" on its neck and "back" on its tail. Balloons were tied underneath the rear legs, and attempts were made to set the horse on fire. The university decided to remove and hide the sculpture until in 1959, it was moved to its current location on a farm in Greene County, where it now sits in the middle of a corn field, visible from GA 15 only in the winter. Jack Curtis, owner of the farm, says they are now judging the corn crops on whether or not they can see the horse.
There have been several attempts to bring the Iron Horse back to campus but they all failed.
Last week, the Board of Regents approved a request by the University of Georgia to purchase the farm in Greene County, to be used for agricultural research. It is ironic that the Iron Horse will once again sit on UGA property (unless there are plans to move it once again).
Dewi, Rhys and Tessa take a moment to pose for the camera. Rhys is finally back after hip surgery, the recovery of which took six months. It's good to have him back.
Sadly, Tessa's mentor, sweet Shane, stepped over the rainbow bridge on November 4. I miss seeing him at the park, and he will be even more missed when we go hunting this winter. Tessa has some big shoes to fill.
Election Day! The question is, did she vote for Romney or Obama? Neither. She confided that she wrote in Bartholomew DuVal, who apparently ran for president on the promise of reducing the quail deficit.
We hit the road today with our friends Kim and Sunny. Our first stop was Gholston Stand and the Tar Paper House. I am a little worried about those two icons of Madison County. Gholston Stand seems to have folded up its latest business, and the old sign in front of the store has disappeared and I recall a conversation I had with locals a few years ago, regarding Wal-Mart which apparently has its eyes on the big field across the road...right where the developer's billboard has sprouted. Of course, the tar paper house was supposed to be burned down years ago, do to its dilapidated state and a severe bat infestation. It will be sad to lose it, but I understand. Gholston Stand, on the other hand, is in good shape and deserves to be saved.
The duck chase last month was not a fluke. Tessa has finally clicked with the ducks and today she had several live duck retrieves, and was very impatient whenever we watched the other dogs work. There will definitely be some duck work when NAVHDA training resumes in March 2013!
Tessa was due for her rabies and corona shots today, and needed a heart worm check. Since she had a reaction to one or more vaccines in a batch of many, when she was a puppy, she is classified as a pre-treat for DHPP and rabies. So I dropped her off at the vet in the morning and picked her up after work. All went well.
As I paid the bill, I pulled her new rabies tag from the packet and to my surprise it was big, and oddly shaped. Only states have that kind of crazy shape. No cute heart, circle or fire hydrant. And not giving it much further thought, I asked why the rabies tag has the shape of Georgia whereupon the office staff replied: "Uhm...that's not Georgia. It's actually the shape of Texas."
And it sure is. Of course I knew that Georgia does not have such a ragged shape. It just didn't occur to me that a dog vaccinated in Georgia by a Georgia veterinarian would receive a Texas tag. But I guess it's possible and for the next three years, we will have to live with a huge Texas shaped tag adorning the collar of my Georgia girl!
After the initial shock I was able to accept it, and I don't think Tessa even knows what a state is.
A man's trash is a dog's treasure: beverages on the sidewalks and chicken bones in the curbs, after a day of tailgating in a college town, Tessa is in heaven, while I am trying to navigate her past the trash. She doesn't exactly need to consume chicken bones nor caffeine.