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Farm Fresh Blog
Thursday, 31 March 2011
"Hey Bro! Wake up! The Bi-ped is here!"
"Look cute, Bro! Look cute! Look into the camera-thingee and smile! We're boys. Boys either end up at the sale barn or for working dogs. We want to stay and work dogs, so look cute."
"Look at me smile! I like dogs! (Smile Bro! Smile!)"
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
The new mama didn't want to take her babies out of the barn this morning. She's happy enough to share her babies with the rest of the flock, as long as they stay in the barn. When everyone else strolled out the gate, she stayed behind. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.
Terri's Pal asked me to post more photos of my lambs. Because the new lambs are inside the barn, I can't get good shots of them without a flash (and then they have blue eyes!)
Here they are with the Malibu Twins. Note the size difference.
I named them the Malibu Twins because the ewe lamb has a blond head. I call them Malibu Ken & Barbie. (born Jan 29)
Here is the lamb that was born on Jan 2. He's a little hulkster now.
The Jan 2 lamb with the Dec 25 lamb. Compare them to the lambs born yesterday.
Here are Roanie's boys - Ricearoni & Macaroni
They've grown a bit, haven't they?
We've got lambs stretched from Oct 25 birthdates to March 28 birthdates. Thus far, the singles born later have caught up with the twins born in October. Next year I'm hoping to plan better so that everyone is born within the same month. We're weaning in groups and so I have to listen to screaming babies from now til June!
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
The last of the hold-out pregnant ewes gave birth yesterday.
She is a first-time mother and I had worried about her. This ewe was as wide as she was tall and I was certain that she'd have twins. As a yearling, she loved the new babies and so I had hopes that she'd be a good mama herself. She is. She gave birth to twins all by herself (a plus!) and is the doting mother to both of them. I returned from a herding lesson to find two more additions to the flock and a very attentive mama.
The little ewe is as friendly to me as she was before she gave birth, but the barn cat . . . well that's another issue . . .
"Run, Cat, run!!!"
And so she assumed the position again, standing guard over her little ones, keeping them safe from the Big Bad World of Barn Cats.
"Yawn . . . "
Thursday, 24 March 2011
In the classic country song, Tom T. Hall sang the praises of "Old Dogs, Children, & Watermelon Wine." There's something about old dogs and old people that tugs at my heartstrings too. Some time ago a friend of mine asked about finding a German Shepherd as a companion for her elderly mother. In one year her mom had lost her husband, her daughter, and her dog. (that alone, makes tears spring to my eyes) We immediately thought of Zena.
We love Zena, and she's happy in our home, but she deserves more. As much as I love my animals, I'm not so arrogant as to believe that we are always the best home for each animal. Such is the case with Zena. She is enjoying retirement, but she doesn't get her share of attention because she is one of eight dogs, and she is the well-behaved one. Thus, she ends up getting shuffled to the back.
So I spoke to my friend and she said Zena would be perfect for her mom. Unfortunately her mother got very sick before she was able to meet Zena. After a long illness, she finally was able to meet her new dog today . . . and it brought tears to my eyes. (This is why I would suck at Therapy Dog work. I would cry in every hospital room.) There is something magical in the touch of a dog. When she ran her twisted arthritic fingers through Zena's hair and said, "I dreamed of you when I was sick," I almost bawled.
Zena is always welcome back into our home, but it's obvious that this woman needs Zena, and Zena needs to be needed. So we're gonna give this a try and see how it works out. Something tells me that this pair will be just fine.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Since today promises to be another busy day of running errands, and I don't have time to pen a clever blog this morning, (plus I still don't have my camera back yet!) I figured I'd answer some questions Peg sent last night:
Which horse did I sell? Yes, she was right, we sold Marshall. Maybe. We'll see. You know how I am. In my world, everyone must be happy - the buyer and the animal. This is a friend of mine and I want to make sure she's happy with him before I consider it finalized. I am a firm believer that once I bring an animal into my home, I am responsible for that animal for the rest of its life whether it still lives with me or not.
Which horse did I get back? No, it wasn't Ona. You probably couldn't pry Ona away from that woman even if you used a crow bar. The horse I got back was a four year old Azteca. The lady no longer had the time or facilities for him and so I took him back and put him with the same trainer I use for Montoya, Scout, and Marshall.
A herding update? I finally bit the bullet and started taking herding lessons again. (2 hours away) Thus far the weather and my court schedule are cooperating and I see major progress in Lily (and myself) As the Sheep Goddess has politely pointed out, Lily isn't the problem. My handling sucks. I screech commands, wave my arms, and otherwise do lots to confuse my little dog who then lacks the confidence to go out and do a proper fetch, so working with my handling is a must. Lily is having a blast, and I see her gain more and more confidence. After her bad experience with another trainer last year, she had become scared when someone screamed or waved a stick, now she is back to trying to sneak onto the working field again while at practice. I'm very happy to see that. I feared the hole in her confidence was permanent.
Today I take Zena to a possible new home. (again, assuming the lady and Zena are both happy!) An elderly lady who lost her husband, her daughter, and her dog, is in need of a companion to sit on the couch and watch television with her. Zena would absolutely love a home like that. This could give an older dog a second career and provide years of loving, watchful companionship to an elderly woman.
So Peg, hopefully that answered your questions! Other Half and Oli are out of town again, and things tend to overwhelm me when I haven't had enough sleep, enough food, and I'm trying to juggle everything (while he "armchair quarterbacks" over the phone!) Say a prayer that Zena and this lady are perfect for each other other. Zena would be happier in a home like that, but we weren't actively trying to place her. She just gets lost in the sea of panting faces that jockey for our attention around here. There she would have her own person that she didn't have to share. We shall see how it turns out.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Some days are like an angry goose. It's just best to retreat. Did you ever have one of those days? I had one on Monday. I got up at 5:30 AM, and ran around all day long, subsisting on caffeine and a bag of Cheetos. By the end of the day I was mentally and physically exhausted, and in tears.
In one day I had:
* Gotten up at 5:30 Am to do chores
It was at this point I remembered Post-it notes. One of the wisest and most profound things I ever heard, (and for the life of me, I cannot remember where I heard it!) was the simple idea of mentally writing down your problem on an imaginary Post-It note, and here's the important part - putting it on God's desk. You have a problem. You can't solve it yourself. There's no sense worrying any more about it. Write it on a Post-it note for God to handle . . . and let go of it!
I kid you not. It works . . . every time. It works. Call it weird, call it naive, call it anything you want, but - it works. And that's all that really matters. Just give it up. As a dear friend once told me, "Let go, and let God."
So that's what I did. I ate a bowl of cereal, mentally wrote out a post-it note, put it on God's desk, and went to bed.
At 6:30 AM the following morning I received a message from the SheepGoddess. She had found my camera and misplaced her phone. All was well. I thanked God for the prompt response to my Post-it note, rolled over, and went back to sleep.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
"Rise and shine!"
"The farm is awake, but we've been up all night."
"Allll night . . . "
"But now the sun is up and we thank God for another day"
"It's so hard to get real work done when the farm is awake though. For instance, have you ever tried to hunt with a cow walking behind you. Subtle, real subtle. You blend in like a billboard."
"I just cannot work under these conditions!"
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Perhaps I'm just getting old. Perhaps I'm just tired. Perhaps I've just seen too much in this world, but I find that more and more, I am reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy.
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion
without the discomfort of thought."
I'm just saying . . . .
Saturday, 19 March 2011
I'm still not sure how this happened,
but we just bought another cow horse.
He's Colonel Freckles bred on the top side, double Hancock on the bottom side. This boy is bred to be a ranch horse. We have friends who have his full brother and his half brothers and they're very happy with them and the ranch they purchased them from. This ranch produces nice cows and nice cowponies.
Sooooo . . . that's how we ended up with a three year old instead of the solidly trained ranch horse that we were looking for . . . Ah well . . . I couldn't resist his butt and his kind eye.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
D.H. Lawrence wrote "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."
(But if you saw the movie G.I. Jane you already knew that.)
A seven month old Border Collie is a wild thing. A seven month old Border Collie with a broken leg is a wild thing that doesn't feel sorry for itself.
He doesn't. He really doesn't. In fact, a broken leg doesn't slow him down a bit. When not confined, or stretching his neck when he richochets off the end of a leash, he tries to sneak outside (at breakneck speed) with his little leg held up just high enough to not slow him down. I'm amazed. I'm trying to keep him quiet, but at the same time, keep him sane. Confinement is much tougher on Wild Thang than having a broken leg.
I let him out of his kennel to stretch his legs this morning. He grabbed a kong, climbed onto the couch and proceeded to drop it off the back of the sofa. Then he raced off the couch to catch it, climbed onto the couch again, and repeated the process. Oh dear. He was playing fetch with himself. Please! Please! Please! Don't tell my vet that I watched him do that three times before I stopped him!!! I'm sorry! I couldn't help it! He was so freakin' cute! And he's going nuts confined to a kennel. But he doesn't feel sorry for himself.
He is the K9 equivalent of a 6 year old little boy running around with a broken arm. His world has changed and he simply adjusts accordingly. Although he doesn't cry or whine in his crate, he is pretty creative with his toys, and unfortunately, just because he's confined in a crate, it doesn't mean he's quiet. I don't think richocheting off the bars was not what the vet had in mind. He is actually quieter when we drag him around with us to run errands, since he sits in the truck like a little co-pilot, happily looking out the window. He's quiet when the sheep are in the back yard and he can sit in his crate and watch Sheep TV. But he's waiting. He's waiting for me to slip up and not remember that he has a broken leg. Then, . . . like a P.O.W. he will make a jail break. He will slither out, knock down the baby gate, sneak outside the doggy door, swim in the pond, and return back through the doggy door, to play fetch with his soaking self on my couch. (That's my little boy!)
But he doesn't feel sorry for himself.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Other Half is on a quest. Since he lost The Greatest Ranch Horse Ever, he's been in search of a replacement. The problem is TGRHE (see above) was an old horse from an old line (Skipper W) that isn't as common as it used to be, PLUS, he was a push-button horse that didn't have to be ridden regularly. (That is VERY important around here!)
Before he lost TGRHE, Other Half purchased this horse.
He is a great roping horse, and he looks like TGRHE, but he's an athlete who needs to be ridden regularly. His talents are being wasted with us. Other riders have made money on this horse, but we're not interested in that, we just need a reliable ranch horse. He is probably better off as a competition roping horse, not a replacement for TGRHE.
Sooooo . . . despite the fact that Other Half really loves this horse, what he really wants is a Skipper W bred ranch horse - a horse used to working cattle, a "been there, done that, got the t-shirt" horse. We don't have regular ranch work (most of it is outsourced to Border Collies) but Other Half still wants to have a reliable ranch gelding around. Our ranch is the perfect home for the "semi-retired" ranch horse and that's what we're looking for. It's easy to find nice young well-bred 2, 3, & 4 year old geldings. (and Other Half is tempted!) but the reality is that we are TOO BUSY to regularly school and ride a young horse.
So my plea to you is this - if you know someone, who knows someone, who has a Skipper W bred older ranch gelding for sale, let us know.
Read this blog about TGRHE to understand why Other Half continues to search . . .
He died that same way he lived, like a real cowpony. The call came in yesterday morning. Even though we had expected it, you are never quite prepared.
"Skip is down, and I can't get him up," the neighbor said.
The old horse was approaching thirty years old now and time is cruel. He'd cheated Death twice this year already, and we didn't expect him to make it through the winter. Other Half and Skip had logged many miles together. Skip had penned many a cow, carried many a child, and was that "go-to horse" that you could count on when you needed the job done right. They shared a lot together, they were co-workers, they were friends. They took care of each other. And so when he put the phone down, Other Half drew a heavy sigh. This horse, who had safely carried him through so much, this horse who had safely carried his children, now needed to be safely carried along his journey.
Phone calls were made. The vet was unavailable. His staff would give him the message when he got in, but the earliest appointment would be in five hours. Death was already pulling Skip away. He was a fighter, but it was a losing battle, and Other Half refused to allow Death to toy with Skip for five more hours.
Skip laid his great head against Other Half and he cuddled that old horse like a lap dog. He stroked his eyes, smoothed his mane, and kissed his forehead. Then with a heavy heart, Real Cowboy shot Real Cowpony. We held each other as Skip fell.
I've seen a lot of Death and have come to learn that there are worse things -- Suffering and Regret. Skip lay in the shade of a beautiful October morning with the blue sky over his head. The weather was good. It was a good day to die. Other Half took a ragged breath and went back to stroking Skip.
Monday, 14 March 2011
Well, I'm down to just The Boys again -
and Sultan the Sexy Senior Citizen.
(The Porch Ponies don't count as horses. They are "horse-like dogs" who live with the rams, and the Cow Ponies live with the cattle.) Sultan is approaching thirty and in less than stellar health.
"I am NOT in poor health! Quit sayin' that!"
He has had melanoma for years but seems okay. The winters are harder on him now, but he recovers his weight in the spring. I've had him since he was four years old, and you couldn't ask for a better behaved stallion. I used to do some endurance and competitive trail riding with him and other riders couldn't believe he was a stallion because he was so mannerly. Still, I never felt comfortable putting a gelding companion with him, because he IS a stallion.
The few times when a gelding has broken into HIS pasture, he appeared to welcome the company. Just last winter Ruffy the Miniature Horse broke in twice. Both times he was safely waiting for me to retrieve him for breakfast, and I was thankful that Sultan has such a good temperament - but he is STILL a stallion.
Friday my friend who bought Ona convinced me to go ahead and put them together. She raises Arabians and has known Sultan since he was born. Sultan is a weenie (even the goats bullied him!) Montoya is a butt-head, no one bullies him. He's used to being Big Man On Campus.
So yesterday I opened the gate that joins their pastures. It was quite uneventful.
Montoya grew up on the other side of the fence from Sultan, so he was more interested in access to Sultan's pasture than the stallion.
The feeling was mutual.
They checked out each other's digs and just wandered off - it was anti-climatic. Occasionally they graze together, but they are neither hostile nor clingy. It certainly simplifies things to not have to juggle a stallion and it gives Sultan his own little herd - finally. He now has one gelding and two heifers. I will still watch them closely, but I think they both enjoy the company.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Yesterday was a busy day, but we did it our way. Exactly twenty-six minutes before he was supposed to get married, Other Half was on the phone, trying to buy a ranch horse. Twenty minutes before he was supposed to get married, Other Half was on the phone again, trying to buy a ranch horse.
In hindsight, I think we spent more time trying to find the perfect ranch horse than we spent planning the wedding. (and there's nothing wrong with that!) The average wedding ceremony costs more money than a good ranch gelding! After a ceremony that took all of five minutes, the Justice of the Peace regaled me (and threatened Other Half) with tales of Other Half in the Ole Days, back when policing was a bit more like the movie "Tombstone." (He has mellowed quite a bit!)
Then we raced off to do chores on the "other" farm, and I got sheep poop smeared on the toe of my Hideously Beautiful boots! Grrrrrrr . . .
And then . . . off to the Livestock Show!
Daughter met us there with a delightful wedding cake that she'd made! Like our atypical wedding, the cake was perfect for us.
Look! It's a little farm! It has sheep! And a cow! And a horse! And chickens! And a pretzel fence! And she has altered her father's brand to include me! (hehehehehe . . . I thought that was a nice touch to the ranch cake!)
And so in a 12 hour period, we got hitched, watched the sheepdog trial, watched the Cowboy Mounted Shooting, got tacos at a street taco wagon on the way home, did our chores, and then . . . watched the movie "Tombstone."
For us . . . it was a perfect day. Life is short. Do it your way.
Friday, 11 March 2011
Thou Shalt Not Chase Horses.
That's one of the Ten Commandments on a farm. (I think it's somewhere after Thou Shalt Not Turn On A Water Hose To Fill A Trough And Walk Away For A Minute.) Little boys who violate this commandment often end up here . . . at the Vet's . . .
. . . if they're lucky.
If they're not lucky, they could end up here . . .
. . . in the Pet cemetery outside the kitchen window.
Did he learn anything? I don't know. Did Lily learn not to leap at the boards to bite the horses' faces when she was his age? Nope. She slipped her skinny little leg between the boards and broke it in two places.
And to this day, she will still leap up and bite at the horses' faces if she's allowed in the stable. So who knows.
I do know that I spent the better part of yesterday and last night wallowing in guilt because I was a Bad Doggy Mommy and had allowed my Little Buddy to get into a situation whereupon he was hurt. I had even laid his leash out on the kitchen table to use it to walk him through that paddock and into his bunkhouse, but I got busy. I got rushed. I got distracted.
And that's when accidents happen.
Put on work uniform? Check!
And so it played out.
Here is the x-ray:
Want a closer look?
It's greenstick fracture of the radius. Not bad. It should heal just fine. In fact, since it's pretty stable, the vet opted against a cast, as that can create its own headaches (Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. Lily went through 3 casts when she broke her leg!) He just advised crate rest for 6 weeks. (joy, joy, thrill, thrill)
In one of the multitude of phone conversations I've had with Dear Friend regarding this incident, where I replayed the event over and over and over again, wallowing in guilt like a pig in mud, she pointed out that if I wanted to get technical, it wasn't my fault.
"No, it's Robby's cow's fault!"
"YES! Because if that stupid heifer had not been climbing through the chain link fence between Ona and the stallion, it would not have been damaged so badly that you had to move Ona to the front until you could repair it. And . . . if Ona had not been in the front, she would not have kicked Trace. Soooo . . . the fault lies solely with Robby's cow!
God, I love that woman!
That's why she is my Dear Friend.
Now, on to more news! (See! I'm just full of news today!)
Newsflash #1 - I sold Ona. I know. I know. I struggled with it. But I haven't had the time to drive her regularly and Other Half was asking me to consider selling her. I had refused. But I couldn't ignore the fact that I just didn't have the time to trailer her out to drive, so I was turning it around in my head. Then I found out that an old friend of mine wants to learn how to drive. She is a lifelong horse person who has developed a health problem that may someday prevent her from riding, so she is determined to learn how to drive. Ona is the perfect teacher. It would be selfish of me to keep Ona when she needs the horse. Plus, she will have the time to regularly drive her and possibly get her back in competition, and she is an awesome home. She has promised to sell her back to me if she ever decides that she's outgrown a lesson horse and wants something else. AND. . . she will be about 15 minutes from my house! It is a win-win for everyone!
So . . . THAT'S why Ona was in the front paddock. I didn't DARE take the chance that because a cow compromised a fence, my Senior Citizen Stallion would breed a horse that I had just SOLD!
Life is funny, isn't it? Trace is home now. The sheep are in the back yard. His crate is set up beside the patio door where he can watch Sheep TV to keep himself entertained. He's calmly sleeping, happy to be home . . . probably tired of me hugging on him.
Newsflash #2 - We get hitched tomorrow and I get to wear my Hideously Beautiful Boots! Other Half has begged me to wear another, more conservative, pair, but I refuse! If I'm getting married in blue jeans, I'm getting to wear my Hideously Beautiful Boots!
Thursday, 10 March 2011
The people in my office never expect me to arrive on time. In fact, if I DO happen to come in on time or "God, Help Me" EARLY, the guy in the cubicle behind me simply pushes a button on his computer and angels sing the "Hallelujah Chorus." (I'm not kidding!)
Anyway, the point is - I'm always late. I start out with great intentions but things just happen. The Farm, like a living, breathing Borg-like Life Force of its own, somehow senses when I'm about to walk out the door on time, and reaches out to stop me. (I think they take bets at work to see just how bizarre my excuses are.) Today it was Trace.
I was walking out the door - in uniform. I had a package of last night's Chinese dinner in hand to give to the Border Collies when I locked them in their Bunkhouse. What I failed to properly consider was that in order to take the Border Collies to the Bunkhouse, I had to walk through the driveway paddock, and today there were HORSES in the driveway paddock. And THAT'S when the Farm Borg took over . . .
Trace shoots through the gate like a brown and white comet. Calling a 7 month old Border Collie in hot pursuit of not one, but three, horses, is a lesson in futility.
The little comet goes blazing up to Ona's ass and she sends him into orbit.
I watch him sail through the air with my heart in my throat. He lands, skids, and commences to screaming. That is actually a good thing, because it proves he is still alive. Suddenly, the horses aren't as much fun as he thought they'd be and he races back to me with his little front leg swung out in front like an opened car door. Oh shit! She broke his leg.
I'd seen this before. Lily broke her leg when she was a puppy and it looked frighteningly familiar. He is bleeding from the mouth. Oh shit! She knocked his teeth out.
Thankfully when I get his mouth open, he has all his teeth, he'd just busted his lip. The leg is beginning to get puffy though. Great . . . just great . . .
Call Dear Friend Married To Vet. Thankfully they are home. They are on their way over. Trace is putting a little weight on the leg. Vet probes. No serious damage requiring surgery. Possibly greenstick fracture. Possibly just hurt feelings. Vet gives him an anti-inflamatory and makes a kennel for him in their garage. They will babysit him and ice the leg while I'm at work. If it begins to look more serious, they will take him to the clinic for x-rays and a cast. Sigh . . . been there, done that.
For some reason the office didn't seem too surprised that I was calling to tell them that I'd be late again. Wonder why.
Forty minutes later Trace is settled in the Vet's garage and I'm headed to work. The Farm Borg has completed its objective. I'm late again. I'm thankful though. Thank God it wasn't more serious. Thank God my little buddy is okay. Hopefully he is just bruised. Hopefully he has learned an important lesson.
And that, Friends & Neighbors, is why I was late for work AGAIN!
Wednesday, 09 March 2011
Diane sent me this adorable story of when good dogs go bad. I just HAD to share it with you!
Couple years ago, I went on a binge and bought several pair of wildly colored cowboy boots.......bright blue, one has yellow shafts, another is a lovely pale aqua.....lilac fatbabies.....
Belle has never chewed anything inappropriate....even as a teething puppy. She has her big bones......but she just never has done anything destructive.
Who, ME??? I want my lawyer!!!!!
Tuesday, 08 March 2011
Janie asked for an update on Roanie, Macaroni, and Ricearoni. This little ewe was mauled by a dog and now, here it is a year later, and she is walking with little or no limp and two fat little boys by her side. Unfortunately she has dropped a lot of weight since the birth of the twins. She appears to be putting every ounce of nutrition into making milk, so she is beginning to resemble a dairy cow. In addition to pasture, free choice of hay, and supplemental feed, Roanie has been known to sneak back into the barn, and call my attention to the fact that she is alone, and thus, I can feel free to give her another bucket of food without alerting everyone in the pasture.
This amazes me because the little ewe endured more than a month of daily penicillin injections in her butt. She has every reason in the world to avoid me, and yet, she seeks me out and quietly implores with her big yellow eyes,
"Oh Human! Bi-ped! You with the thumbs! Here I am! By myself! In the barn! Where you can feed just little ole skinny me without having to feed everyone else again! Look how my hip bones stick out! See how fat my babies are!"
And like the very well-trained little bi-ped that I am, I slip her more food. She grabs up a mouthful and mumbles a yellow-eyed "thank you, Human" before turning her complete attention to licking up every morsel of Sheep Chow before anyone else notices she is eating.
Then she shuffles out to the pasture, feeds the boys, and settles down in the sun for a nap. It doesn't suck.
Monday, 07 March 2011
Lily started her herding lessons again. Hopefully our court schedule and the weather will cooperate this time and we'll be able to keep them up. Our lessons are two hours away on the opposite side of The Big City. This means we must rise at 5:30 AM to beat the traffic through town. Eegaads! That alarm went off early this morning. (The beauty of working evening shift is a life without alarm clocks.)
Lily was ready. Lily is always ready. I should have named her Ready, because she is, always . . . ready.
Trace began his first official lessons with the Sheep Goddess today.
And he went swimming in the stock tank. He knows all about swimming in a stock tank. In fact, he took a dip before he even got to work. An empty stock tank is an open invitation, so he climbed right in like a little seal. This is cute at my house. This is not cute when I have to drive home 2 hours with a wet dog.
But mostly, he spent time on the fence . . . again . . .
. . . on the fence, watching other dogs play.
And then . . . he got the call . . .
"mE?!! whO mE?!!"
"Yes, it's your turn!"
And he played. And I didn't get any pictures because I was walking with the Sheep Goddess. He did a fine job and will continue to have one run after Lily's lessons until he grows up. One run a week is probably as much as his little kindergarten brain can handle.
And now . . . over 8 hours later, we have returned home and I'm exhausted.
I have to finish putting hotwire on the lamb paddock, unload feed, get gas for the mower, and jump-start the mower since it hasn't run all winter. AND entertain 4 dogs that have been penned all day. Or maybe, just maybe . . . I could take a nap.
Saturday, 05 March 2011
These dogs are polar opposites.
Big Goofy Bumbly Friendly meets Sleek Serious Suave Reserved
Most of the time, Ice ignores Briar. The Big White Dog is beneath her - far, far, far beneath her. Since her brother's death, Ice has claimed the crown, and wields the scepter of Top Dawg. Even Lily fawns over Ice, grateful for any attention the Queen tosses her way.
Unlike her brother, The Enforcer, Ice is not a bully. For the most part, she ignores the peasants of the pack, only exercising her power when she deems it necessary. And when she does, like her brother, she swings a big hammer - as Briar found out this morning. I regret that I did not have my camera.
A cold front blew in last night. Cool, brisk wind rolled across the pasture making the morning walk a special delight for those of us with heavy coats. (not so good for those of us who failed to dress accordingly) Briar was beside herself with happiness. While the sheep ate breakfast, she got to play with the pack.
Unfortunately, she was a bit too rough with Trace for his Godfather's liking, and Ranger rolled her.
Briar, feeling a bit cheeky on this cold morning, decided that today was the day to challenge The Godfather. After all, she IS twice his size.
And that's when the Queen rushed in like Thor the Thunder God slinging her hammer. It was a bad day for Briar.
Fortunately she gave in immediately so no blood was shed. The Godfather's authority was established once again, and Ice reinforced the immortal words of Dwight D. Eisenhower,
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight,
"Dudes! I got sand in my ears!"
Friday, 04 March 2011
Briar has had an unusual fascination with these lambs.
She often follows them around the pasture.
They reluctantly put up with her obsessive affection. At least I thought that was the case. . .
Until I finish getting hotwire up around the entire lamb paddock, Briar is stuck on a cable, where she can only supervise. On one of my multiple "Briar checks", I happened to catch this through the patio door. (pardon the photos, I was shooting through the glass.)
Briar's lambs had come to her. They had an entire paddock, and my back yard, and they chose to bed down with their giant white friend.
"Bored. Let's go."
"Come on, Sis."
"Are you coming Big White Dog?"
"Why not? Come on. Let's go!"
"Dude! That sucks!"
"Tell me about it."
"Because you chased the garbage man?"
"So they say . . . I think it's a coyote plot."
"Oh well, I guess I'll stay here with you then."
"Hey, you could stand to stay out of the pond. Your butt smells like a goldfish bowl."
"If your friends can't be honest with you, who can? I mean really, Girlfriend, your butt smells like a goldfish bowl."
"Thank you for your opinion."
"I'm just saying."
"I think I smell a hungry coyote."
"WHERE?! Where's a coyote?!!!"
Thursday, 03 March 2011
Police Dog on Crack
Retired Police Dog
Current Police Dog
Yes, we DO feed Oli. She simply has the metabolism of a hummingbird. She trots endless circles in the yard or digs to China. Zena, on the other hand, only trots to her dog dish.
Wednesday, 02 March 2011
Briar was a Very Bad Big White Gorilla yesterday. She has developed a habit of hopping into G'Ma's yard, going through the chicken yard, and hopping the fence to get off the property and threaten neighbors who drive up in their own yards, and garbage men.
As we sat at the table yesterday, we watched Briar scale two fences to race across G'Ma's yard and terrorize some poor garbage man who bravely defended himself with a trash can. It wasn't pretty. Other Half almost choked on his cereal. He advised me that if we cannot control Briar, we will have to consider getting rid of her. (Like THAT's gonna happen! Not in this lifetime!)
Fortunately for Briar, she is Mommy's dog, and Mommy doesn't dump problem dogs, Mommy fixes the problem. Unfortunately for Briar, Mommy fixes the problem.
Briar and electricity have a history together. It was short. It was ugly. But Mommy will spend the next few mornings hammering insulators along the lamb paddock and G'Ma's yard. Briar is about to meet electricity somewhere other than the goat paddock.
Until then, Briar will have to live in her escape-proof pens and on a cable in the lamb paddock. She will not be a happy gorilla. But the neighbor who called at 10:30 PM to inform me that Briar wouldn't let him into his house will. And so will the garbage man.
Sigh . . . life on a farm . . .
Tuesday, 01 March 2011
Every morning, after the livestock is fed, I try to take the dogs for a nice long walk. Often we walk in the lamb paddock that borders G'Ma's fence. If she's awake, G'Ma will come outside bearing gifts for granddogs.
Everyone (except Lily the Titty Baby) rushes up the ramp to beg an egg.
Some of us are a little pushier than others.
"Pul-ease! G'Ma! Pick me! Another for me!!!"
And that . . . is how this happens.
"I got egged!"
In an effort to be fair and make sure everyone gets their share, G'Ma tosses eggs to each granddog. Sometimes eggs are stolen. Sometimes people get hit with an egg not intended for them.
But everyone enjoys a visit from G'Ma.
Some of us just enjoy it a bit more than others.
"More please, G'Ma! More please!"