Monday, December 16, 2013

Perry Hill

Last week I hopped a plane to Virginia to spend five days with my friends Adrien and Jill at Jill's farm in rural Virginia. Jill and her boyfriend have spent the past year farming (Perry Hill Produce) a small plot of land on the 180 acre Perry Hill estate in Buckingham while living in a cottage on the grounds. We spent most of our time cooking, reminiscing, driving along back country roads, and eating good meals. I took a few photos with my camera before the battery died, then finished off the trip with iPhone photos.

The field.

A number of lost hunting dogs stopped by the cottage during my time there. It broke my heart. The poor things were skinny, injured and cold. Owners finally came to pick them up, but I'm pretty sure they are no better off with owners who don't seem to actually like dogs or want to take care of them.  Two dogs trailed us around the property the afternoon before their owners came, and I completely fell in love with one little girl who looked to be not even a year old. Despite being abused and hungry, these dogs were incredibly sweet and loving. I say we have a lot more to learn from them than the other way around.

At night Adrien and I crashed in a cozy loft in the cottage.

View from the loft. A wood burning stove kept us cozy at night.

The cottage.

Jill's cat, Major, is a seriously sweet kitty.

Us ladies.

I returned home Sunday evening to a clean house with meals cooked for the week. Josh did good while I was away! We spent today working in the barn, me packaging vintage orders for the shop and Josh building a peg board storage cabinet for his tools.

The weather is frigid (-8 tonight, ouch!), so a lot of time was spent stoking the stove, plowing and sanding the driveway, doubling up on socks, and sticking my hands in Fern's armpits to defrost my fingers :) She appears to be completely unfazed by the weather. I've never seen so much as one tiny shiver out of her as she sits stoically on the deck in subzero temps surveying the yard. As I snuggle with my girl, I can't help but wonder about those sweet hunting dogs and how they are doing. Perhaps  working with an animal rescue group that saves dogs from the south is something I should look into. Can't seem to get those abused pups out of my mind. Are any of you involved in animal rescue? I would be interested to hear your experiences.


  1. My wife's aunt rescues dogs in West Virginia and brings them up to Boston about 4 or 5 times a year to shelters for adoption. From what I understand it's not easy but I'll make the connection so at least you can have a conversation.

    1. Thank you Paul! I would love to talk to her.

  2. I lived in Virginia for 7 years. The animal abuse drove me crazy. Loose hounds are common. And I never saw so many testicles in my life! (I'm from Jersey. Everyone spays and neuters their pets here.) They often abandon them completely when hunting season is over. When I adopted my dog down there, the pound was full. Maybe 50 dogs. Only my dog and another dog got adopted that week. All the rest of them were put to sleep and thrown out on the landfill out back. Oklahoma was worse with the animal cruelty. I lived there too. I only lasted there for one year. The animal cruelty was one of the main reasons why I left.