Hi! Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. Meet Franco. I've mentioned him from time to time but this is his real introduction. Technically, he's my wife's dog, but, as with many things in our lives, we share. He's been living with us for almost two years now and he's gotten to be a little larger than shown here. Franco the rescue dog is part border collie and part ? His collection of bones, left hither and yon on the floor, makes me wonder if he's part dragon. His herding instinct is irrepressible but doesn't work well on the flocks of birds at our deck feeders. Franco came into our lives shortly after we had to say goodbye to our old black lab Fidget. The house was too empty without a dog. After one neurotic Brittany Spaniel and a series of Labrador Retrievers, it only seemed fair to give my long-suffering wife a chance to choose. She chose Franco (or vice versa, I'm not really sure) from the dogs at Northwoods Humane Society. He has now become the source of and cause for most of my exercise, walking mostly along the township road that runs along our property. (He's also, indirectly, the reason I'm now serving as president of NHS.) I often wonder how much he can smell and differentiate because he intently explores areas that leave me indifferent. They're not all centered around deer prints either but he won't explain to me just what it is he finds so fascinating. Franco has two basic speeds: full (preferred) or off, needed for sniffing and being petted, and hardly anything in between. This makes for some interesting "conversations" when we're out for a walk since I prefer to have him walk on a loose heel and he continues to act as if he's never heard of such a thing. Since we had retrievers for so many years, it seemed natural to throw tennis balls for Franco to chase and, maybe, herd. He has a really hard time with priorities when there are two balls bouncing in the driveway at the same time. Since tennis balls tend to disappear in six or eight inches of snow, my wife has been amusing Franco by throwing snowballs for him to chase. They, of course, can't be distinguished from the snow in which they landed, necessitating much dashing about and digging into snow cover by Franco. He also seems to think that snow flakes are there to be herded, which resulted in a certain blogger with an overdeveloped attraction to alliteration writing about: Franco frantically frolicking in the freshly fallen, fancy, fine flakes. Today's post clearly rates as more of a rave than a rant, but don't tell Franco. His head's big enough already. Thanks for coming this far with My Minnesota. Stop back tomorrow. Rants and raves served daily.