Farm Friday, November 10th, 2023

Andrew Gaertner
3 min readNov 11, 2023

Pippa maybe saves a life

Story not from the farm but definitely about our obstinate farm dog.

Our dog Pippa is a lifesaver. She saves our lives every day by being such a good dog that she makes us be the best versions of ourselves. But last weekend she did double duty.

As we left the house of my in-laws in Minneapolis after a birthday celebration Pippa was not on a leash. That is typical. She goes to the car every time because she wants to be with us. We know our dog.

That night we were both carrying multiple bags and went to the car and looked back and didn’t see Pippa at all. Finally, we saw her in the shadow of a shrub, sniffing. My partner said, “She must be taking herself for a walk.” We called to her, but instead of coming, she walked in the opposite direction to a shadowy space by the sidewalk and stayed there.

We went over to her and found her sniffing at the unresponsive body of a man. This man was wearing dark clothes and lying face down in the grass. We would never have seen him without Pippa. It was below freezing that night already so death by exposure was a real possibility.

I got Pip in the car, and my partner got her family. We were scared he was already dead, but he was alive- just passed out drunk. We called 911, got blankets for him, and sat with him while the ambulance came. Hopefully he will be ok.

In farming news, we are getting ready for Saturday’s Corn Festival, a potluck featuring foods indigenous to this continent.
Pippa enjoying the rewards dogs get for saving lives.
Took a hike with some students and was surprised to see November oyster mushrooms
The neighbors have been out combining corn.
The children love playing with the milkweed fluff. Perhaps that is the dispersal strategy for the plant?
Little Bear is still in the guest room, but he will be out with Franni soon I hope.
Franni is living her best life.
The ambulance that took the person Pippa found to the hospital.
When the frost thaws in the mornings there is a brief moment when everything is covered in sweat.
This is the time of year when we can easily see the invasive Buckthorn in the woods. Purple fruit, green leaves after all other trees have shed theirs.
It is pumpkin time for the sheep and llamas

No writing news to speak of. I have been thinking about capitalism and race in America, but maybe the subject is too big for me! I have two books coming in the mail from Nancy Fraser, who I heard on a podcast talking about “mapping the systems of oppression.”



Andrew Gaertner

To live in a world of peace and justice we must imagine it first. For this, we need artists and writers. I write to reach for the edges of what is possible.