Monday, April 28, 2014

The Penalty Of Laziness

The face of an outlaw
One of the things I've been learning is that procrastination and/or the occasional bout of laziness have vastly different consequences on the farm.

In normal life, putting off filing a few papers or mailing a letter or whatever rarely comes back to bite you.  You just deal with having papers out on your desk a little longer or whatever.

With ANIMALS, however, it's a totally different story.

I was reminded of this while I was crawling around in the mud under our house while still in my pajamas this morning.

See, a few weeks ago I was mowing the first weedy growth of spring and accidentally ran over the extension cord that runs under the house and powers the dog's invisible fence.  I HATE crawling under the house - there's barely any room down there, so you have to crawl around on your hands and knees in the dirt and spider webs.

Conveniently I was going to be out of town that weekend, so I emailed Jack and asked if he could replace the cord that weekend.  Sadly, he was barely at home himself over the weekend so the invisible fence remained down.

The nice thing is that the dogs are trained to the boundary of the fence, and rarely get close enough to trigger the warning buzz.  That means in the past when the fence has malfunctioned for whatever reason that often weeks will go by before the dogs realize they could run the fence.

Counting on that, we let weeks go by without replacing the power cord.  I hated the thought of crawling under the house, so I kept putting it off.


This morning the dogs both heard something in the woods around our house, and Bella took off and ran the fence.

Luckily, she didn't go far and came right back.  But now they obviously knew the fence was down.  Which is how I found myself on a rainy morning crawling under the house in my pajamas.

See, I'm slowly learning that animals and nature are unpredictable.  Sometimes a mistake turns out fine.  Sometimes it can have disastrous results.  There's just no way to tell until it's too late.

The LAST time Bella ran the fence she was gone all day and came home injured, which resulted in a very expensive vet bill.  This time, she was only gone 5 minutes.  But it could have so easily been different.

It's a lesson I need to remind myself of more regularly - on the farm, it pays to be vigilant and stay on top of the current situation.  It doesn't guarantee that nothing bad will happen - like I said, animals and nature are unpredictable.  But at least if something DOES happen, I'll know I did my best.

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