Ruby the Farm Dog: CSA Summer ’13 ” Week #10

 In CSA Newsletter

Ruby. The best farm dog ever.

Ruby joined our family in the fall of 2008, shortly after we were married.  Pregnant and abused, she was rescued by an Illinois humane society. A wonderful family living out in Cambridge, WI took her in as a foster.  After they adopted out each of her puppies, they began looking for a family for her.

We wanted her pretty much the moment we met her. She played happily with other dogs, was indifferent to cats, and seemed to like the kids at the home. She had a great demeanor… when she wasn’t frightened. We were excited to give her an awesome place to live – because what dog doesn’t want to have a farm as their territory?

Ruby was so scared for the first few days at our home. And who could blame her?  We were total strangers and she was used to people hurting her.  She bit me the first time I tried to put a leash on her and take her outside.  I’ll have the scar from the bite forever, right on top of my left wrist.   I usually smile when I notice it, because it reminds me of just how far she has come.

Ruby is now a happy farm dog. After persistent winter lessons of the boundaries, Ruby earned the right to go free wherever she likes at our farm.   She has her daily roam-abouts, but usually is within earshot of my call.  On sunny days, you can often find her in the shade of the garage looking out towards the fields, surveying her kingdom.  She’s always up for going out into the field with me. When we transplant, she gets in trouble though, because she tries to be so close that she steps on the seedlings.

She’s a mutt of unknown makeup, but there definitely is some terrier in her.  Each season we work to cultivate this a little bit more in her.  On her own she will dig and hunt for rodents, but her catch rate is nowhere near as good a cat’s.  But we are discovering with a little teamwork, she can pull her weight.

Just last week, I was chatting with a babysitter before going out to work. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a large rodent, either a rat or wood chuck, walking across the yard. Without a word I just dashed away from the babysitter. I ran outside and called Ruby. She came to me right away. Together we ran to the yard and I said, “Get it, Ruby! Get it!”  She caught the scent and 45 seconds later I saw her giving the death shake to a 14-pound woodchuck. I went to work and later on that afternoon I saw her by the swing set, sitting proudly with her catch.  I gave her a pork bone for her good work. She waited 3 more hours until Mike came and congratulated her before she left it.

Other fun facts about Ruby:

– Will eat sweet corn of the cob when she can get her mouth on one.

– Will let strangers pet her on rump, but she won’t look them eye. If she does, she runs away.

– An eyewitness has seen her strawberries straight from the field.

– She has survived heart worm. (and happily eats the monthly preventive medicine now)

– Is jealous of the pigs, as they get all the good compost. During the winter, when there are no pigs, Ruby’s sneaks into the pile and eats up what she likes.

– Knows which delivery trucks have drivers inside that give treats.

– Is learning to scare the Sandhill Cranes out of the crops and back into the wetland.


She’s an awesome dog, and we are lucky to have her. We’re not sure exactly how old she is, due to her rescue history. But she’s starting to whiten this year… here’s hoping we have many more years with her.


In the Box:

  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant, Globe
  • Eggplant, Japanese
  • Green Beans  OR Jumbo Flat Italian Bean (for some REG sites)
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
REGs Only
  • San Juan or Diplomat Melon
  • Watermelon
EOs Only
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Scallion

Summer Week #10: Wednesday, August 14th ” Group B EOs