Homesteading and neighbors

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On a farm, ranch or homestead, believe it or not, it is extremely important to maintain a good relationship with everyone in your neighborhood. A few years ago, a co-worker of mine told me a story about how he had seriously upset a neighbor of his to the extant that the neighbor decided to take revenge. The neighbor shot my co-worker’s three year old colt, and killed it. My co-worker was never able to prove who did it.

A week or two ago, I wrote about how our dogs brought home a lamb that was almost dead. My family saved it’s life and spent 48 hours trying to find out who the lamb belonged to. We located the owner, and he said he didn’t want the lamb back because it would require bottle feeding every two hours around the clock for 48 hours and then 4 hours around the clock for a week plus it needed a daily penicillin shot. It would be very difficult and delicate and time consuming job to bring up the lamb. So, we are keeping the lamb and named him Bucky.

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The story is continuing however. If we were in that farmer’s shoes, we would feel the loss of a lamb sorely. So, we looked up the value of the animal online and have now gone over to the farm with money in hand to pay the man for his lamb. He refused payment, but at least this way, he isn’t left feeling like he had a lamb stolen. This will hopefully keep a good relationship with the farmer just in case our dog feels it necessary to bring home any more lambs. I know he was very cheerful with my father when he refused to take my father’s money. It made sure that he knows that we are honest and will do right by any and all of our neighbors.bucky

Keeping good relations with all the neighbors also has it’s perks. If you are willing to go above and beyond in helping them, they will also be more likely to reciprocate the favor. A few years ago, I got a text message from a neighbor while I was driving to the airport to drop my mother off. The text said that they were pretty sure that they had seen my boxer loose on the road. This was a big deal! Being a square headed breed of dog means that if he was out, he would likely be shot on sight by any farmer that saw him. Baran knows how to open doors and I was so tired that I couldn’t remember if I had properly secured the door so that he couldn’t do that. He means the absolute world to me! I couldn’t imagine life with out him. I didn’t want to have to. So, since I was about an hour away and couldn’t go home until I’d dropped my mother off, I texted my closest neighbor. He drove first, down to my house, completely prepared to scour the neighborhood for my missing dog if need be, but he was going to check at my house first. Thankfully, it turned out I had secured things correctly, and my dearly beloved houdini was still inside.

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