We met Shelby Blanchette a few months ago, she came to the farm to help her grandfather, Dr. Jack Kittell, a vet who came to give the donkeys their shots. Maria and I were both impressed, she clearly loved animals and had a confidence and professionalism about her.
Our long-time dog-sitter was gone, and we needed someone we really trusted to watch the farm while we were away. On a hunch I called her up and she said she was game, she worked with her boyfriend Kirby, and between the two of them, they could handle watching the farm while we were gone.
She grew up on a farm and is not the least bit uncomfortable on one.
We agreed that every Thursday until we left, she could come to the farmhouse, feed and exercise the dogs and get to know them. It was a good idea. The dogs go nuts when they see Shelby and Kirby, they both seem to talk dog.
In these weeks, I have come to know and admire Shelby and Kirby, they are conscientious, thorough, loving and professional. They will get the mail, clean up the yard, take care of the house, exercise the dogs, give carrots to the donkeys, check on the sheep, decide when and if we need to go to hay, and get the dogs to the vet if there is a problem.
They are also shy about promoting themselves. When I asked them how much they charged, they refused to say, replying I should decide. This is one reason I love living in the country, you don't hear that from people in the city.
I will be very generous. Kirby is a sweatheart also, he manages an outlet in Manchester, Vt. and has wonderful theories about selling clothes.
I feel close to them, and like them very much. I can see why they are so attached to one another.
They are interesting and very kind. This is a gift, because when I leave the farm Sunday, I will not worry about the dogs for a minute. That is a wonderful way to go on vacation and be on vacation. I will not be calling to check on the dogs either, if there is a problem, I will hear about it soon enough.