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.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Happy First Birthday Girls!

Ashley, Carly & Minty

As usual, I'm gonna say it--where has the time gone? How could those little puppies be not so little anymore and already a year old? Just amazing.

So last year at this time Ashley and I were getting ready for a long and restless night, as she began 'thinking' about whelping. That was followed by a very long and stressful day as whelping didn't commence until midday and dragged out until late in the evening. Five puppies were born, with four surviving. All four of the puppies that lived were females--two tri colors and two sable merles.

Two puppies went to live with families of their own--Numy in Oklahoma and Brooklyn here in Missouri.

Here is Ashley--a year later, now spayed and a very happy girl. I have watched this lovely girl come out of her quiet little shell over the past year, as she has enjoyed her puppies. They have given her confidence and more assurance..and a good incentive to eat her treats quickly and pile up with the rest of us for a good hug session. For those of you that remember, our big boy Boone passed away just weeks before the puppies came. Ashley was depressed, I was depressed--it was a difficult time. For all that Ashley loved Boone and enjoyed playing with him, being in a pack of collies has helped her come into her own. I'm not sure why that is, as I know that her and Boone were very, very close.

A year later we have Minty--my beautiful tri girl. Minty was the second to last puppy born and the least of the bunch that I wanted to keep. Or so I thought. Minty is extremely devoted to me and works hard to become my heart dog. She is shaping up to actually be somewhat of a watch dog...sometimes. While the other two would happily usher in strangers, Minty has her serious 'trouble afoot bark'. She is quite different in personality than most collies I've been around, sometimes not in a good way. She has a temper---mostly towards her sister since we settled early on that sort of behavior wasn't acceptable towards me. She is bossy to the extreme, she doesn't like new situations and she is reserved about people until coaxed into being friendly. She is also very alert and notices everything. Huh...she sounds allot like me! ha.. Some of these areas we've had to really work on, but I think she is going to turn out fine.

Here are Minty and Carly in their 'double hitch' that I use to walk them (simply their two leashes tied together about half way down). Carly is pulling the reluctant to get her feet wet Minty into the pond.

Another shot of the two of them on one of our walks. Here they were being a bit stubborn, because what they really wanted to do was run free...but since they still have very selective hearing it isn't going to happen unless they are in my fenced acreage! (Their mom was with us, but was actually off leash).

Another shot of the girls. They both are lovely dogs, even when they are a bit grimy like in these photos!

Next we have Carly--silly sweet but stubborn Carly. Last of the puppies born, she is a lovely golden colored sable merle. She has an independent streak a mile wide and often treks off on her own errands leaving the rest of us behind. Calling her in often gets a 'just a minute I'm busy' response despite escalating 'threats'. Everything, and I mean everything is high drama with Carly. If she gets tangled in her leash, she is being strangled and oh help me! One of the most embarrasing moments of puppy raising came because of Carly and the rat tail incident. Carly found a nice fat rat's tail left over from a killing spree one of the cats went on. I tried to get it from her and she ran away with it. I finally managed to get close enough to grab her by some butt hair so she wouldn't keep running away. Oh the screaming! And she snapped at she got rolled, the rat tail removed and some serious No Bad Dog words yelled at her. So later I heard that one of the neighbors heard it and were very concerned...mostly because of all the yelping and squalling...which happened before she even got in trouble! I never physically punish the dogs, but I do get loud sometimes! Anyway, she is a hoot, with her flair for drama,and when all is said and done and she has finished whatever she was busy with, she is very sentimental and loves attention. She looks more like Ashley in the face every day.

In looks and in temperment these girls are as different as night and day, but they are best buds. It's been a little difficult to keep ahead of them, but finally I think their energy is leveling off, and they are becoming pretty good little canine citizens. They need more socializing and I hope to do more of that on a one on one basis soon. They are smart as a whip and training them takes very few repitions, as they usually 'get it' pretty quick. I know it's kept me on my toes and requires at least one long walk across the field per day to keep them happy. Good for me and for them, I reckon.

The next photo is of what used to be my yard. Now it's just the barrens. When Boonie was alive he had quite the graveyard of decapited stuffed critters which much to his dismay required periodic 'cleanups'. I guess I just thought the yard looked bad then. At least then it had grass, less puppy trash (they drag up everything!). It's real bad. Maybe in a couple of years I can think about a nice yard again. Maybe. If you'll notice the platform in the middle of the sidewalk--this is for the dogs and they love it. It was being thrown away at work, so I latched on to it, and brought it home, back when Boone was still alive.

Here is blurry photo of Minty on the go...

And another one, also blurry of Ashley...

And a very rare photo of Carly standing still with her head up. Did I mention she is the hardest thing to get good pictures of??

Happy Birthday girlies! All three of you bring joy into my life. Here is to many more!


Nancy K. said...

Happy, HAPPY Birthday to your BEAUTIFUL collies! Amazing coats on those girls! Especially Carly.

I miss Boone too. Thank you once again for having shared that big, wonderful, Dogue with us. He'll be forever in my heart, as I know he will be in yours.

Michelle said...

It seems much longer than a year since Boone left and the collie girls arrived. So much has happened, I guess....

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