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.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

What Happened??

Or where did time go might be the more appropriate question...


Here are my girls back in May (That's Ashley in back, with just her nose showing)....and here they are in a picture taken just a few days ago. The puppies are now nine months old!

As you can see momma Ashley(Left) is now the smallest of the bunch. Carly is in the middle and Minty on the right. We are working hard on 'our' manners and teaching group lessons has it's special challenges. Here they are practicing their sit.

From back in May, a (slightly blurry) picture of the girls--Minty on the left, Numy (who now lives in Oklahoma), Ashley behind and Carly on the right...

And a more recent picture of the girls waiting for me at the gate while I do chores.

Carly, Ashley & Minty

They are smart goobers, but that doesn't always translate into easy lessons. Rarely does it take more than two or three times for a new command before it 'clicks', but once they learn, they don't necessarily think they need to keep repeating it! Minty often sasses me about it, and Carly has very selective hearing. Ashley is very 'passive aggressive' --the sweetest thing but stubborn to the core. Fortunately they are very food orientated, so treats go a long way towards mass cooperation.

So far 'we' know how to sit, down, 'touch', 'cookie' (basically posing like a show dog), Come (most of the time), and are working on 'wait'. They know basic day to day commands too, of course--like get back, wait (at the gate), drop it, sometimes they will do 'leave it'--the horrible incident with the rat's tail was a huge 'fail' on this command--, Minty also knows how to do a dramatic 'play dead' after being 'shot' three times.

The girls are pretty hard on each other, I'm not sure how they survive 'play time'. They do allot of running, knocking each other down, and play fighting. Minty has a quick temper and blames Carly for everything. Eventually they'll have to work out their order in the pack but for the moment it's pretty even and they play hard, have spats and play hard some more. They have lots of room to run and I try to take them for a run across the (fenced) pastures every evening. A tired collie is a good collie!

Ashley isn't sitting on the sidelines either, she doesn't play all out all the time like the pups, but several times a day she'll let loose and run around like a maniac. Carly seems to be her 'favored' child, but she will take either of them down if they push her too far. Over all though she loves her 'puppies' and will still give them a good bath if needed.

It has been a little overwhelming at times, but now we are evening out and it's kinda fun living with a pile of collies. They spend most of the evening in the house and at least we've gotten to where they don't even hardly pay attention to the inside cats. The outside kitties still get chased on occasion, but we continue to work on that! The puppies are still crated at bedtime.

Carly, Minty and Ashley practice their 'down'

Hope everyone has a great week!

13 comments:

phylliso said...

Oh,Tammy,they are beautiful & look so happy with their collie smiles.You did great helping Ashley raise her kids.I know it was alot of work tho & time consuming to train.I always used food too as a training method,it is really the only way.
I am still so heartbroken over Hunter,I`ve never had an accident like that,I`m having a hard time forgiving my dh,but I suppose it could have happenned to me as well,I just grap hope of the belief I`d cuddle him again some day.My dogs wear halters now.Have a great week,phyllis

Michelle said...

Big, beautiful girls they are! Are both Ashley and Carly called "sable"? Or is Ashley, with the lovely dark shading over her gold, the sable, and Carly's color is called something else?

Christine said...

They are such gorgeous animals.

Star said...

They are gorgeous still and of course you're going to keep them?

Nancy K. said...

Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL!!!

The are growing into such lovely Collies. The early training is a very wise choice as well.

(said the ex-professional dog trainer who JUST taught her own dogs to sit!) the cobbler's children...

thecrazysheeplady said...

Love those pretty collies :-)

Amy said...

So happy to see someone enjoying these beautiful collies! We are a family addicted to collies. Your three are a joy to see.
Amy at Wheely Wooly Farm

Vicki Lane said...

Such beauties! And I thought my one little Willa was a handful...

Tina T-P said...

It's enough work with just two cats - I don't know how you keep up with three dogs and "how many cats?" - They are pretty though - T.

Darla said...

Hi! Never been here before...popping over from Vicki Lane's site as I caught your comment about your "collie girls" and had to check it out. :-) Yes, I'm a mega-collie lover for decades; just lost my last two early this year, sadly. I've downsized to Corgis. And I also have 5 cats (at one point was up to 13 cats - eek). Anyway, have enjoyed your pictures of the collies, the cats, and your farm. Oh, and you mentioned the deck becoming partially a 'catio'...yup, been there, too! LOL Best, a KitsnK9s Kindred Spirit :-)

Campbell Kids said...

The puppies are beautiful and are definitely growing up fast! I always thought "leave it!" was a good command and came in handy a few times in years past.

Kathy said...

WOW!!! Great job, Tammy!
They exude all the love, care, and time you invest in your animals.
You can be proud. You earned the right to do so.
:)

Tina T-P said...

Tammy - Come out, come out, where ever you are.... T.