Sharing Farm Gone with you is to share an integral part of who I am and, in many ways, the beginning of Rebholzer Dobermans.
Farm Gone has been in my blood since early childhood when my parents purchased the original 100 acres with house, barn and outbuildings. This became our summer home and my destination during all the other months regardless of where we lived during the school year. We never had a TV but instead enjoyed the outdoors and wilderness and all the creatures and wonders of nature, retiring contented and tired in the evenings. I explored and knew the woods intimately and often my cousins would visit and with my uncle we worked to set up a campsite and a swimming hole on the river at the back of our property. An old WWII ammo belt still hangs in the barn today and reminds me of us kids, outfitted for work as the “Busy Beavers”.
My father was an avid horseman and I was the typical horse-crazy little girl so over the years we had a variety of horses and among them was my very first, a typically stubborn Shetland pony, Toms Grain. Toms was the name of the folks we’d purchased Farm Gone from and, well, horses eat grain- the mind of a 6 year old. Maybe this was the start of my inclination to prefer unique names for my dogs. Toms used to run away and we would search the back roads for him in the Willy’s Jeep with a pan of oats. Sometimes the call of the wild was stronger than his hearty appetite and he would balk to the point of sitting down once hitched to the Willy’s tailgate.
When I turned 10 I got my first dog and my uncle flew her to Vermont in his private plane, circling the Farm to let us know he had arrived. I still remember how excited I was! I had already decided my very own Standard Schnauzer, my family’s breed of choice, would be named “Teazle”. Looking back, she was probably a back-yard bred specimen; she was high in the rear, soft coated, had an underbite and chronic ear problems but we shared so much over so many years. I taught her to climb ladders, walk fences, dive from our dock in Florida, scent detection, ride on my bike, retrieve everything from slippers to flip flops to newspapers and even to protect me and a friend who would take turns jumping out of the bushes at each other. She went everywhere with me, including to boarding school where she lived with one of the on campus teachers. She was there beside me through the party years and my early years on my own when I immediately moved to Vermont full time. My mother then sold her Florida home and moved to Farm Gone where she showed and finished her own home-bred St. Schnauzer while I had in the meantime gotten my first Doberman after researching protection breeds that might have prevented the theft of some of my meager possessions by an acquaintance who had befriended Teazle. After much moving around to various rentals with a growing number of dogs and cats, I ended up re-locating to the property and some years later my husband and I purchased Farm Gone from my elderly mother.
Vermont, and Farm Gone in particular, have been at the core of a lifelong love affair, a necessity and fulfillment of me and a wonderful setting for raising and enjoying my dogs. There have been many changes over the years and not all of them for the better but in comparison to so much of what I see and hear of other places it is, for me, a piece of heaven on earth.