Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Buds

Lovely Ashley
(looks innocent, doesn't she?)

Ashley has been here two and a half weeks now. seems much longer than that. She has been adjusting amazingly well, when you consider all the new things she has had thrown her way.

Boone--worn to a frazzle, but still keeping his toys close

Basically she is the sweetest thing, and has very good manners (mostly). She already comes when she is called (just need to work on a more prompt response) and how to walk nicely on a lead. She is learning 'farm dog' things, like go in the yard, or lets go for a walk, leave that alone, wait and such things as that. When I have more time this fall, we will work on basic obedience, like reinforcing the come response, sit, stay, down, off etc. She is absolutely crushed when she thinks she is in trouble, or even if Boone is in trouble.

She has enough puppy still in her to keep me and Boone busy. She has decided that it is incredibly fun to dig up and shred the foam in the bottom of the dog house in the breezeway. She has also gutted a few stuffed toys, and pulled some wool out of a bag. All very mild things, but adjustments have to be made--like keeping 'valuables' up off Ashley level. :-)

The Twins...tired after another busy day

Boone is absolutely worn out. It's almost hysterical how tired he is. Every chance he gets he falls deeply asleep, only to be jerked from dreamland by Ashley barking, or Ashley rushing by to check something out, or...horrors... Ashley stealing his toys!

Boone's 'emotional state' has improved so much. He isn't as fixated so much on everything that I'm doing (too tired), and he enjoys having someone to play with and run the fence and bark. They really are seeming to bond very strongly. It's very hilarious when Boone tries to 'teach' her things. I've caught him at it twice. He is forbidden to chase chickens and/or lunge at them from the other side of the fence. Now, while he doesn't always do what he is suppose to do, and sometimes does exactly what he isn't suppose to do, he does know what he should or should not do. Ashley was at the fence, politely sniffing nose to beak with a chicken through the fence wire. Evidently Boone didn't think she should be doing this, so he trotted around her, then came back towards me, inserting himself between Ashley and the chicken and pushing her away. The first time I saw this, I thought it was just a fluke. Then one day, I was going into the barn lot (where the dogs can't go), and Ashley moves up behind me, intent on following (because she doesn't know the rules yet and I wasn't paying attention). I turned back and just caught out of the corner of my eye Boone doing the old insert his body between her and the gate, and pushing her back. He had a very stern look on his face, "we never go in there, girlie, unless we have our leashes on!"

Scary dog chases

They play often, and have scary dog chases through the yard. I can't watch. Ashley tries to body slam him, but she just bounces off. First she will chase him, then he chases her and back and forth.... We are working on 'sit' when she gets treats, and Boone very dramatically sighs because he is sitting and everybody should know you have to sit to get treats!

The other night, my Mom, Sister and Niece all came up to visit. Actually they came up to meet Ashley and the kittens.... We were down at my folk's house eating pizza in celebration of their Anniversary. Afterward we all walked up to my house. Boone and Ashley saw us and of course they barked some. Then I'm not sure what happened, but Ashley suddenly exploded into this hyperactive little blur. Boone was doing his slow, dignified high stepping trot back and forth along the fence, politely wagging his tail and wiggling a bit. I think that he pushed Ashley out of the way and she took offense, because then she started chasing him and bouncing off him, and yapping in his ear, like a little bird dive bombing a hawk. Boone tried to ignore her, and keep up his happy little trot. His face got more and more embarrassed looking though, as the little gnat kept after him. It was too funny. In all fairness, this is typical collie behavior---they like to pester each other when they are barking and running--but obviously Boone thought this was just outrageous! Ashley then was all over my guests, having a great old time jumping on them (she hasn't gotten that lesson down pat yet) and lavishing them with collie kisses. My sister was bent over, I think saying something to Ashley and Boone took advantage of the opportunity to give her a big slimy kiss across her head. Who needs hairspray?

Ashley just after her first bath

Yesterday they both got baths--Ashley's first here, and she did great. I want to point out in the photo of them running, Boone is nasty dirty. This was after his bath....he had just rolled in the dustiest spot he could find. I lectured him, but he just ignored me.

In her two weeks here, Ashley has been busy running a raccoon out of the hall every night (sometimes multiple times), meeting sheep (they are still skeptical), and chickens and cats. The adult cats adore her, and she does a kitten check for me most nights, and gives them little swipes with her tongue. We've went out thistle digging and fence checking, and on walks down the road. She's met Heidi, and found all kinds of old toys to drag up in the yard. Most of all she has helped brighten the days of two sad souls and keeps us busy keeping up with her.
Ashley feet and Boone


Nancy K. said...

What a Godsend! For both you AND Boone!

Thank you for sharing the happiness Ashley has brought. She's a lucky girl...

Journaling Woman said...

Ashley is very very beautiful and Boone as handsome as ever. He has quite the kisser on that mug.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the update; it was very heartwarming. :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Great post! Sounds like you're all having fun!

Pat in east TN said...

It was nice to read that things are going so well. Ashley is a beauty and Boone seems like the ultimate 'big brother'. I'm happy for you.

thecrazysheeplady said...

How sweet!

Tammy said...

Thanks everyone! So far so good, I'm very happy that things are working out. JW you would know about the kisser part, after that big slobbery kiss you got when you were here. :-)