FAVORITE THINGS

teddy2.jpg

We're just back from my cousin's wedding in Wales. Rachel stayed with us on the farm for five years running when she was younger, and partied with all the local lads. But that was then, and now she's married a Welsh rugby player. My aunt made the dress, and my uncle made the cake, and we all decorated the church hall - simple and gorgeous. I love the fields and hedges of Wales, centuries old, a green and permanent contrast to California's dry season. Speaking of favorite things, we should introduce Teddy. Our local reverend, Wendy, now retired, emailed to ask whether anyone might like a mild-mannered, largish dog, now rather too much for her elderly owner. Well, anyone who knew Wendy knew the vast number of people on her appeals list. There were probably tens of Pescadero ranch-owners lining up for the dog, but I replied too, thinking the farm would love a dog, and the dog a farm. So, next came a call from the elderly owner. She would inspect our premises. My husband, not a dog fan, was grumpy. Then we visited the dog at her home. Teddy was meek but had a spark to her. Finally, Teddy and her owner visited the farm together. The dog was not interested in the chickens, but that wasn't the clincher. It was baseball season, and Teddy was ready to play. She's a magnificent catch, retrieves all balls, and practices willingly with my son. Teddy is a huge part of the farm. She's always about, in a slow and friendly way, and I can predict where she'll nap - her cool spots - throughout the day. She is one of our favorite things. Reverend Wendy saw her settle in at the farm, and then she told me she knew Teddy was perfect for us, and that email came only to me.

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