Jasper: Barn Dog

Cochise tells the tale

HairyFace often lets Jasper out of his pen in the morning while Hairy does his gardening. By that time all the rest of us have had a chance to relieve ourselves, and patrol the fences, and have gone back inside. Sometimes Blondie stays outside to watch Hairy work. When she does, she often sits in the door of the barn to stay out of the sun, but have a good view of what’s going on.

On this particular day, Blondie decided to go inside: there was a threat of rain in the air. Jasper had the yard to himself. He wandered about for a while, sniffing at things. He came to say “hey” to Hairy and get some scratching. He played with a ball for a while. Then he disappeared.

Hairy called, “Jasper: where are you?”, expecting to see him emerge from “the chute”: the pathway to the back door of the house. Sometimes he sits on the back porch staring at the door wishing he could go inside again.

He was ousted for getting really pushy and rowdy. He had been doing well at being a house-dog, but suddenly decided it was time he got a promotion, whether he’d earned it or not. That back-fired and his behavior earned him a trip back to his pen and Lulu being brought in as the House Guest.

Jasper Barn dogJasper did not poke his head around the corner of the house. Hairy called again, and heard a short bark behind him, “What?” Hairy turned around and found Jasper looking around the door of the barn instead.

“What are you doing in there, Jasper?”


“You’re not chewing things up in there are you?”


“Well, as long as you’re being good, it’s okay.”

“Okay.” And he disappeared inside.

Not convinced, Hairy sneaked over to the door and peaked in: Jasper was sitting on the floor next to the lawn tractor, watching Hairy peek in at him. There were no signs of anything being pulled down or chewed up. No signs of any misbehavior.

Jasper cocked his head quizzically, “You don’t believe me?”


“Oh …”

“I know how you like to play by chewing things. There are things in here that could hurt you if you chewed into them.”

Case in point was the day before when Jasper had found an empty flower pot – one of those flimsy, temporary pots that flowers from a nursery come in – sitting beside the trash can on the back deck. He ran around the yard, tossing that in the air, and chasing it, and crunching it – it made a delightful crinkly sound wen he crunched it – until it split and began falling apart. Then Jasper laid down and spent some quality time dismantling it completely. Hairy knew he was doing all this but figured it was trash anyway; why not let Jasper have some fun with it. It makes him so happy. As long as he doesn’t eat it.

“Okay … well … I’ll just go play in the yard then.”

Jasper wandered around until he found a ropey toy. He took that to the Coolaroo and amused himself by biting it, and flapping it, and tossing it in the air as he rolled around on the trampoline-like outdoor dog bed.

It wasn’t long before HairyFace finished his work and was ready to go inside with the morning’s harvest. He got a biscuit out of the treat jar stashed in a lumber pile. “Ready for a treat, Jasper?”

“Jasper trotted to the door of the pen, “Ready.”

“In your room.”

Jasper stepped inside and turned to face Hairy. It was a familiar routine. Hairy held out the cookie, Jasper took it gently. Hairy closed and latched the door. “Good boy, Jasper: good boy.”

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