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The Farm Bleat: Chloe's growing list of monikers

A couple of weeks ago, Huntress was added to the list.

Julie 2019 mug.jpg
Julie Buntjer
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It’s hard to believe we are well into August already. I can’t be the only one to wonder where my summer went, can I?

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With the increasing need for vets in rural America, Dr. Erin Christ decided to open her own vet clinic in Ellendale, North Dakota.

Yes, I’ve had enough of 90-degree heat — and yes, I am looking forward to autumn and pumpkin spice and giving my air conditioner a nice, long break — but I haven’t even had a chance to spend a day at the lake.

I gave up fishing a couple of years ago, and while I don’t miss cleaning fish, I do miss sitting on the shore and just soaking in the beauty of the lake, and perhaps the call of the loon if that lake happens to be up nort’.

I hadn’t anticipated summer days at the lake would be lost when I acquired my little dog, Chloe … or Shadow, or Huntress, or Pest, or Spoiled. She really can go by any of those monikers.

Huntress joined the list a couple of weeks ago, when she killed a bunny right before my very eyes outside the back door. And yes, she was on her leash.

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We’d just returned from a walk when Chloe, aka Killer, discovered a little rabbit resting on the short ledge at the base of the garage door. Before I knew it, she’d lunged at the rabbit, got it in her mouth and shook it with all of her 11-pound might as the bunny cried in pain and I screamed in horror.

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The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

I’m still a bit traumatized, although Chloe was quite proud of herself. My Facebook friends seemed to side with my pooch — telling me she was acting on instinct, and calling her a good dog for saving someone’s flowers or vegetables from one of the many fluffy pests that find their feasts in garden plots.

My mom’s been complaining of the critters all summer long that have obliterated her strawberry patch, feasted on the tiny pea plants before they had an opportunity to bear pods and, most recently, burrowed under her tunnel-shaped steel fencing to pluck the green beans straight from the vine.

It was rather comical that she blamed everything but her pet peacock, Peapod, for the disappearing produce. While she has since caught the bird in the act a few times — and now hollers at him to vamoose when he wanders into the garden — Mom has more than a fancy bird reaping the reward of her hard work.

We’re still not sure what burrowed under the tunnel to get to the green beans, and Mom is completely mystified by what is eating her tomatoes from the bottom up as they hang on the plant.

What we do know is that wildlife is a’plenty this time of year down on the farm, and Mom isn’t eager to set live traps anytime soon. One smelly experience of catching a skunk a couple of years ago brought an abrupt end to that idea.

And, while Chloe might be able to help control the farm pest population, Mom’s late July visit by a woodchuck in broad daylight has convinced us Chloe is not to be off-leash at the farm.

Yes, I must say, I am looking forward to the colder days when certain varmints tend to hibernate. As for the garden, Mom might have to make some visits to the local farmers’ markets.

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Read more from Julie Buntjer:
Worthington's hosting of the Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener next week is anticipated to draw lots of media attention, and hopefully some success in the field for Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.
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With an emphasis on being good stewards of the land and trails, LeTourneau said they need to educate climbers on leave no trace ethics — a practice that emphasizes the value of picking up trash and leaving the place as if you were never there.

Opinion by Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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