Fall Burn – And Some Thoughts About Teddy

Fall is a busy time at Lawson Hill Farm.  The meadow needs to be burned every couple of years.  As much as Barry would enjoy doing the burn himself,  Paula, the fire department, and the woodland creatures appreciate the fact that a professional crew takes care of this chore.  Next up is planting more wildflowers along the walking paths.

Paula’s garden has continued to produce flowers, tomatoes and peppers late into the Fall season.  The new fence installed in the spring seems to have kept the rabbits and deer at bay.  Or perhaps the return of the coyotes to the woods has kept the rabbit population down.  We have seen few rabbits but plenty of coyotes on the game camera.

Barry has plans to secure more firewood so he can have more fires and do more fireplace cooking.  We still have an ample supply of wood to process from the timbering.  While we are looking forward to cozy fires and yummy dinners, we aren’t looking forward to the cold.

Our raccoon feeder

Mid-summer, a family of raccoons appeared at the patio bird feeding station.  Nothing unusual there, as we often have raccoon moms bring young kits around for a snack.  Normally they will come in the evening or at night.  But by late summer one of the kits would show up in the morning and hang around all day, until the food was gone.  Soon, an adult joined in.

To discourage this habit, we stopped putting sunflower seeds and cracked corn in the old metal tree feeder (a converted baby pig feeder put up by Paula’s father most likely in the 1960s)  After about a week, and after numerous complaints from the birds, we resumed feeding.  The young raccoon returned the next day, and soon, the large adult was back too.

We have no desire to tame the raccoons and are concerned about their lack of fear of us.  But sometimes you can’t beat Mother Nature.  Our birds are still able to feed at the tube feeder and suet feeder, but we feel sorry for the ground feeding birds.  We are also thinking that if this raccoon gains much more weight she is going to get too large to fit in the feeder.  We shall see.

And now about Teddy

 Teddy has been part of our lives for 9 months.  We are past the half-way point to adulthood for him and are just happy that we are all still living in the same house.   It has been a summer filled with adventures, both good and bad.

Teddy came home with a soft bunny toy.  Perhaps that is why he seems to love to chew on soft (as well as hard) things. Teddy has, for example, destroyed a number of linens and bed clothing, along with leather goods including shoes and purses.  Luckily,  our dear friend and Teddy’s Aunt Carolyn sent him a box full of toys from West Paw Design.  They are his favorites and he hasn’t been able to destroy any of them.  He even plays his own version of hockey (or polo), using an S-shaped tug toy to bat a ball around.

As Teddy has told you, he was only the second dog at his school to get to  an electronic training color.  Teddy’s “tazer,” as he refers to his electric training collar, was no match for his will power.  So the first collar had to replaced with a super powerful model.  He pays attention to this one and we seem to be needing it less and less.

Part of Teddy’s training was walking/running on a treadmill. In an attempt to burn off puppy energy, we have added a treadmill session to Teddy’s morning and evening walks.  It seems to be working. Teddy is still attending graduate school Tuesday mornings.  This is mostly for socialization and exercise (including swimming).

There were two trips to the vet emergency clinic.  The first was for removal from his stomach of a loaf of french bread dough, which had been peacefully rising on the kitchen island.   The second visit was just a check to ensure that wooden clothes pin he consumed wouldn’t be harmful.  Luckily Teddy had spit out the steel spring that had held the two legs together.  The nursing staff greeted us with “Look, Teddy’s back again.”

What?  Me worry?

Teddy is a wonderful, bright, fun loving and crazy silly Lab.  In other words, a normal Lab puppy.  He loves the world and all the things in it (except maybe raccoons).  He may be the smartest dog we have ever had.  And that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

To say that Teddy has been a hard puppy is a real understatement.  He seems to know when we are at the edge and he will demonstrate to us what a perfect dog he will be.  We are at that stage –  Teddy, can’t live with him, can’t live without him.


Teddy selfie


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