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.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
As Christmas rushes towards us and we scramble to get everything 'done', it's easy to get caught up in the stress and the hustle and bustle. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and refocus on what is truly important during this time of the year.
Over the past few Christmases I've had requests to re-post Boone's story.
For those of you who are new to the blog, Boone, my big French Mastiff was truly in a sorry mess and close to his end when I stumbled upon him. Since I can't figure out how to re-post short of changing the date, I decided to link to that post instead.
If you love dogs, if you need a moment to just sit back and rest and be reminded that miracles can happen, I would encourage you to read Boone's story...in part told from what I imagined his view point would be. I do want to warn you that there are some graphic pictures taken the day I first got him. I will also warn you that the story does have a happy ending! Click on the following links to read his story.
The Year Christmas Came Late--Boone's Story and for a short follow up to answer some questions generated by that post read here.
A few updates from the 'update'--Boone now weighs 130 lbs and gets to stay loose in the yard all the time. They (the dogs) still get to come in at night when I get home from work until bedtime. They rush in and.....sleep. I got Boone in January 2006---so it'll be five years here shortly since 'gotcha' day. I find this hard to believe. As Boone ages he struggles with arthritis and old injury issues, but on the whole he is still active and seems happy enough. He'd still be happier if he could be with me every second of the day.
Now off to finish wrapping presents and a little last minute baking!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Several weeks ago, I got new 'inside' beds for the dogs. Their old ones were nice enough, but just not big enough for Boone. After doing some looking on the Internet I still hadn't found any that looked suitable for the price. I wanted to make sure they were orthopedic for Boone's sake, since he has joint issues.
One weekend I was at PetsMart stocking up on critter food, when I happened to walk by a display of dog beds. Dog beds that were marked 10 % off! They were nice and they were huge! The percentage off was icing on the cake.
So I made a spectacle of myself, by not only pushing an overloaded cart up to the checkout, but also by scooting along two huge beds. It was grueling. There might have also been the problem about 'thinking things through' when I got out to the truck and had to be extremely creative to get everything to fit inside!
The dogs love them. Ashley seems especially impressed. It's her first just for her bed (she inherited the old one). The old beds were moved outside into their large house (it's in the breezeway). I reworked the old house to be more weather tight and warmer and bumped out the back just enough to fit the old beds in exactly. The old beds are also orthopedic.
Although it's a tight fit the new beds still slide under the bed out of the way during the day. At night it's wall to wall beds, between the dogs and cats.
Boone still doesn't fit on his though--because he insists on laying sideways on it, with both ends dangling off.
I wanted to post pictures of them both on enjoying their new beds... Boone loved his new bed so much, but unfortunately the first night with the new beds the fire was a little hotter than needed so he got too hot, and had to move. "But I still love my bed, and I'll just leave my butt here on the edge of it so no one else gets on it...."
It doesn't take much to amuse me!
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Here's what happened. Over the summer the volunteer millet patch really exploded and took over. Normally I let a dozen or so plants mature for the 'free' self harvested birdseed in the fall. This summer after my tomato starts failed to thrive the garden spot went to seed as it were. The end result was that there was virtually a field of millet beside the house--some of it right outside the windows.
This was a bird paradise. Hence also a birdwatcher's paradise.
It had to be dealt with eventually as it really was messy looking. I let it go as long as I could, but it was time a few weeks ago. First I went through and cut off the seed tops. Some of them I wired up on the fence for the birds to help themselves. The rest went into a bucket to dry. I then chopped down most of the larger stalks. Finally I went over it all with the rider mower. My yard has been reclaimed!
The sheep enjoyed picking through the stalks, first eating off any missed seed heads, then eating the dry leaves.
While I was on that side of the house working, I went ahead and cut off a some Virginia creeper vines that had twined up the side of the house. This was a double whammy on the bird front as they were using those to hang off of while preparing to land in the millet patch.
As you might 'glean' from the title it was the cats that were most disappointed. They were used to the bird channel from sun up to sun down. Sometimes it was quite wild out there. There is still lots of seed out there on the ground that the birds will eventually start working on. And I'll soon be feeding the birds again, so the show is only on hiatus.
There were a bunch of these odd looking sacks on the millet stalks and the house. Not sure what made them. Any ideas? I hadn't seen any of these before. Hopefully they aren't Alien Seedpods.
This little project was done a few weeks ago when the weather was sunnier and very mild. It is not that way anymore, although so far we've missed the snow. The bitter cold though has found us. I spent this morning doing last minute winterizing, trying to get the critters set before the temperatures dropped this afternoon. The wind is suppose to get really gusty tonight so wind chills will be terrible.
Now, just for a minute let's revisit that first picture...this time with commentary:
1. Windows smeared and smudged by kitty noses and paws.
2. Current tied up out of the way, so it won't get in their 'way'. (i.e. I would rather them not tear the curtains down in their bird watching impatience)
3. Old tattered comforter covering the couch to keep it from getting hair covered and nail sharpened.
4. Screen on cockeyed because certain kitties keep hanging from it.
The world of a multi cat household! Have a great weekend.
"Now I'll have to entertain those brats!" says Sage