We haven’t been to the farm in awhile because of the Fair and a busier-than-usual summer. So when we went up last weekend, my dogs were really happy to be there and my parents’ dogs were really happy to see us.

The boxer Val was so happy that she had to twice relieve herself after I let her out at the end of the lane and she had to go swimming in the old horse pond by the road when we first got there.

The old dog Chester was so happy that he caused such a ruckus by barking and got all the dogs going when we first got there. That’s his thing — he apparently wanted to make an entrance by letting them know we’d arrived.

The Shih Tzu Leonard and the Jack Russell Pete were so happy to see each other that they spent all of Friday night fighting over who gets to hump who. I think a hug would do, but I guess that’s their thing.

Mom’s Shih Tzu Snuggles and the little Yorkie Bella insisted I give them love by siting on my lap and insisting on being petted. The mutt Arbuckle demanded some of my attention too by nudging me in the side. I thought I was special until I saw them do exactly the same thing to Isaac.

The old pit pull Sunny was happy to see us too — when she finally came in from outside. The old terrier George acknowledged our presence by litfting his head and nodding as he laid in his basket — as though he was saying — “yeah, yeah, I know who you are. You’ve been here lots of times.”

The first night Val, Chester and even the Shih Tzu Leonard stayed out all night running the country with Arbuckle and Sunny. They didn’t come in until the morning, after they were soaked by the early morning rain.

They spent the next two days eating a rabbit one of them caught, running through the wet grass, escaping the heat by hiding away in one the old sheds, getting into God knows what and chasing Dad as he sprayed weeds, baled hay and piddled around.

Leonard was the first to wear out — by Saturday night he was pooped enough to sleep in bed with me. The other two dogs weren’t thoroughly exhausted until Sunday night; but of course they slept the whole ride home and for most of the next three days.

It’s a good thing we only do this a couple times a month.