From Rural Dog, to Urban Dog

Urban farmer Erica Harte (of Randall's Island Urban Farm) and her 7-year old Italian greyhound chihuahua mix, Baxter, both originally got their agricultural start in northern Maine.

"I got to really learn about how a more homestead style, traditional farm operates," says Erica, "and all the ins and outs of that, which was an amazing experience."


[caption id="attachment_46383" align="alignnone" width="300"] Baxter at the Maria Hernandez Dog Park (Jordan Werner Barry)[/caption]


Baxter, too, proved himself an excellent farm hand.

"He was with me all the time. He would get up in the morning with me and we would run around and go do chores," says Erica of their rural farming days. "We would milk the cow, Emma, and he would sit patiently behind until he got to drink the first little squirts to make sure she was doing good and was working before we put the milk machine on her."

From there Baxter would accompany Erica for giving hay to the horses, feeding the sheep and pigs, and herding the farm fowl.

"He really liked going to visit the ducks and the chickens," says Erica. "He would kind of run around the fencing there to make sure everyone was staying exactly where they needed to be. He was good about not chasing them, but he was definitely like, 'You stay in there!'"

Erica says that transitioning from the country, where Baxter had plenty of freedom to roam, to the more restrictive environment of the city has been a bit of a challenge. But they have found ways to make it work.

"I raised ducks last year, and he was very enthusiastic about keeping them in their fencing which was very funny," Erica tells us. 

Erica and Baxter also frequent the dog park at Maria Hernandez Park, which is close to their home in Bushwick, Brooklyn. "He's very intelligent and very wily, so he likes having that freedom to run around," says Erica.


[caption id="attachment_46382" align="alignnone" width="300"]Baxter making friends at the Maria Hernandez Dog Park (Jordan Werner Barry) Baxter making friends at the Maria Hernandez Dog Park (Jordan Werner Barry)[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_46392" align="alignnone" width="300"]Erica holds Baxter for his interview (Jordan Werner Barry) Erica holds Baxter for his interview (Jordan Werner Barry)[/caption]


The fresh farm-food diet is something that Erica has worked to adequately replace for Baxter here in the city as well. On the farm in Maine Baxter enjoyed treats like fresh eggs, milk from the cow, so Erica will still give him the occasional egg and let him lick the bottom of her yogurt bowl.

We also recommended Erica try Castor & Pollux PRISTINE™ Grass-Fed Beef & Chickpea Recipe dog food, which is made with responsibly sourced ingredients like grass-fed beef and fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.  


[caption id="attachment_46391" align="alignnone" width="300"]Erica gives Baxter a Chicken Sausage Recipe treat from Castor & Pollux (Jordan Werner Barry) Erica gives Baxter a Chicken Sausage Recipe treat from Castor & Pollux (Jordan Werner Barry)[/caption]


Based on everything we've heard about Erica's pet-parenting skills, we trust that Baxter's transition from rural farm dog to urban farm dog is going quite well.

Hear more of Erica and Baxter's story and the Randall's Island Urban Farm on Like Farmer, Like Dog!