Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tuesdays at MaryAnn's

Every summer, for more years than I can remember, from roughly Memorial Day to Labor Day Tuesday evenings have been reserved for a trip to my friend MaryAnn's farm. This year we had to break with tradition and change to Wednesdays, but in my mind it will always be "Tuesdays at MaryAnn's". I make the drive, over 100 miles round trip, often through rush hour traffic, to MaryAnn's farm in Warren county Ohio. There anywhere from half a dozen to as many as twenty of us meet with our dogs for training, relaxing, and a potluck dinner.

The farm is actually the home of a large boarding stable, complete with indoor arena; but nestled just beyond the pastures and paddocks and the dressage rings is MaryAnn's house, with a large fenced backyard and an open field in front full of agility equipment. These pictures show the fields behind her house. After we are done training and before we go in for dinner, most weeks a group takes their dogs (usually around a dozen people and upwards of 20 dogs, all running free) and walk down through the fields.

We often see deer in the fields; sometimes have to chase dogs chasing various wildlife, and my friend Joann has been known to have to retrieve her terriers from the pond where the frogs prove irresistable. This summer we have the added excitement of multiple black bear sitings in the area, some right on the road the farm is on.

There is a small airfield just beyond those fields, so in addition to getting to proof our dogs against horses we often also see low flying planes, including stunt planes doing all kinds of spins and dives, and at least a few times a year we see hot air balloons. We couldn't ask for a better training opportunity!

A kiddie pool is kept full of water for cooling off after agility runs. Somehow though it never seems as humid at the farm as it is everywhere else, there's always a nice breeze, and often the rain totally misses it. Supposedly it is the highest point in Warren County, so that may have something to do with it.

Just behind the house there is another small barn and a couple of small paddocks, often empty but sometimes used for horses who have special needs. This year there are two mares with foals. This week it was particularly hot, we were particularly lazy, and the back yard was nice and shady under the walnut tree, so most of us skipped the agility equipment and set up our chairs back there to let the dogs run and watch the foals.

They were so cute! And the grey filly is quite the social butterfly- she really enjoyed all the attention. The little bay is a bit more of a mama's boy.

Izzy enjoying her lobster after a satisfying attempt to tunnel to China.

Cory doing his best Gene Simmons immitation.

Casey is obsessed with balls...any ball....any time!

We are so lucky to have a friend who shares her place so generously! Our Tuesday nights (and now Wednesdays) have greatly enriched my dogs' lives, giving them a chance to run free, play with their friends, and enjoy the beauty of such a wonderful place. A little piece of Levi and Andy live on there still, as well as many of their friends who have gone ahead of us.

Thanks MaryAnn! See you Wednesday!


  1. That sounds wonderful! Great company, beautiful scenery, your animals having a great time and potluck! What more could you ask for?


  2. Well, I COULD ask for your place! I enjoy seeing it on your blog, it is gorgeous. And I am so impressed that your dogs are always beautiful, even when they are covered with mud. So many times when you see dogs you like in the ring "au naturel" they are disappointing...but you have quite a few I would steal!

  3. I loved your narrative of your visits with your friends, and the photography is just beautiful! Thank you for sharing!