Sylvan Farm Life

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Sylvan Borzoi's home on terra firma is on ten fully fenced acres in Alachua, a small town in north Florida, with a large pond, lots of shady trees, and enough acres of grass to make mowing a second hobby. The Borzoi take advantage of the pond for swimming and play, the wooded areas for hunting and the open areas for high speed chases.

Our area is mostly crop and pasture land, and we enjoy the quiet and beauty of the surrounding farms. The field to our east, where we watch the sun come up every morning, is home to ever-changing herds of commercial cattle. Many of them, especially the spring calves, become quite interactive with the dogs.

The adult Borzoi have the freedom of the whole farm most of the time. They have to be obedient enough to stay back from the big picket gates at the front of the farm, and not dash out onto the highway when we drive in and out. That generally takes about 15 to 18 months. There are always a few to greet us there, no matter what the hour.

Much of our life revolves around outdoor activities. In addition to the many chores associated with the dogs' care, both of us like gardening and building. It's a good thing, for there is a tremendous amount of work involved with keeping up so much land. We are never without four-legged company to "help" us in our daily pursuits.

The youngsters are kept in large paddocks unless supervised, otherwise, all of our belongings end up in the pond. Once they become civilized, they merge into the loosely ordered pack hierarchy, that always includes an alpha dog and bitch, and their lieutenants. Of course, the real alphas are the humans!

Special interest groups form for hunting, swimming, perimeter patrol, vehicle escort, etc. The hunters have an unlimited supply of squirrels and a few cottontails to chase, and occasionally nab an unwary raccoon, 'possum or armadillo. Other wildlife, such as otters, ducks, and the egrets and herons stay safe in water, trees or the air.