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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Collie Days of Summer

Carly & Minty on the pond bank
Awhile back Sunday turned out to be a glorious day.  It started out with rain, but cleared up warm and sunny. Perfect day for a walk with the girls. 

Carly, Minty & Ashley posing on the bank
 The dogs love their sometimes Sunday walks.  They have lots and lots of freedom during the evenings and when I'm home on the weekends.  My place is all perimeter fenced for sheep so is also safe for the dogs to run free over about four acres when we head out.   But they do love those walks off the place on the leash. It's serious business. 

Waiting at the gate for the OKAY! to start the Biscuit Hunt
All I have to do is say, 'you want to go for a walk' and pandemonium begins.   Minty tries to be good and sits, but can't stay still and gets swept up in Carly's wild jubilation more often than not.  Carly is just a rotten mess, and unfortunately I'm not much help making her behave.  She does have to sit to get collars and leash on, but trying to make her quit screeching and yodeling and twitching around with excitement is hopeless.  In the meantime, Ashley is trying to disappear, because as she likes to go, she doesn't like the 'let's go' part.  I have no idea why.  It was one of her many several idiosyncrasies that she came with when she came to live on the small farm.  

Biscuit, biscuit wheres the biscuit?!  (Minty saw me hide those by the gate, and she didn't forget)
Once everyone was safely hitched up we took a long and leisurely stroll across some neighboring fields.   Sometimes Ashley can go 'off leash' for a short time but the other two are totally untrustworthy and much to their irritation they have to stay on the long lead.

Sometimes they use sight, but often they find by scent
There was much to investigate and we took our time.  It was too pretty to rush through it.    By the time we got back the girls were getting a little warm, but the fun wasn't over yet!

Oops!  There is one they missed--Carly's long snoot comes in handy
It was time for an  Biscuit Hunt!   I periodically play this game with the girls and they love it of course.  What is not to love---treats and a race to find them before the rest of the family does.  How it works is, I put them in the fenced yard.  Then I hide the treats or in this case it was some 'free' exotic kibble samples while they watch.

This stuffed whale proved to be a treasure trove of hidden treats for Ashley & Carly
Then I open the gate and tell them to find it--being sure to stand out of the way of the 'charge'.  The girls run about and find as many treats as fast as they can.  Sometimes I have to help and give hints.  It all goes very fast.

Later it's time for a Frosty Treat!  Minty slowly licks hers out.
Sometimes as the weather gets hotter they get their own homemade 'frosty treats'  when they come in for the night.  You can buy these at the grocery store--Frosty Paws is one brand.  However I'm kinda cheap, so I just make them myself.  When I buy ice cream for me, I'll buy a pack of the small ice cream cups.  It takes me awhile to eat them all, but as I use them up, I wash the containers and save them up.  Then I make a batch of frozen doggie treats. Usually they only get one per week, but maybe I'll up it to two during the summer.  I really don't use a 'recipe', but will mix a couple of tablespoons of yogurt, one of peanut butter and warm water to mix it all up.  Then I pour it into the containers, pop on the lids and set them in the freezer.  The girls love them and take it very seriously when I hand them out.  They will take them off to one of the beds and slowly lick them out.  Carly always gets done first and she will then peel apart the container to get every last bit in the seams, but doesn't eat the container.  The other two don't shred theirs, so I can reuse their containers again--they usually hold up for several rounds.  These containers are not the plastic ones, but the paper/cardboard type.   

Ashley concentrates on getting the last drops

The pups are always eager to get in at night, especially so now that I turn the a/c on for awhile to cool it off.  After surfing through the house they usually pile up in front of the fan, with Ashley often standing in front of it blocking everyone else air flow.  Once they are cooled off and get their three little crackers each they will either have a little friendly collie brawl, or settle down with a bone to chew or just to snooze.   They do play work hard most days--especially when I'm off.  Sometimes they get pretty exhausted keeping track of me, chasing rabbits, barking at groundhogs, sheep and squirrels, and bossing each other around.

Carly works hers hard and needs her concentration

It's pretty funny some Saturdays as they faithfully troop around after me--you can tell they are getting tired and needing a nap.  I think I hear them sigh with relief sometimes when I finally go inside for a minute or two!   Also when I'm home, they have their own box fan set up in the breezeway and that is a favorite spot in between 'working' jobs.

Ah, the bliss of a frozen treat on a hot summer night! 

I love my collie girls and now that they are finally getting a little more settled they are less work and more fun!  Well, except for all that hair.  Geez.  I'm slowly winning the battle on that this year. 

Hope you have a good week!


kristi said...

I think Collies are one of the most beautiful dogs! Your dogs are so nicely groomed and having had a collie growing up I know that it is a lot of work to maintain their coats! Your collies seem to be a bit "spoiled";) I love the pic of the 3 of them on the river bank! Oh, that little lamb I posted could possibly a Cotswold cross....time will tell;)

Vicki Lane said...

I love the things you do for your dogs and cats. Frosty treats? My dogs are going to be jealous...

Tina T-P said...

I hope all your critters do OK in this heat wave we're having. Nice post - it's fun to see the dogs. T.

Sue said...

My gang loves biscuit hunts, too. We always do one at Easter and usually a couple more during the year. I try hiding different things such as carrot sticks or cheese balls.

I need to start making frozen treats. Samba used to eat the cup after the treat was gone and Norma Jean tries but I usually catch her.

Peter said...

I have two collies and a cheltie. "Going out" means into the fenced back yard and is popular but "Going for a walk" means leashes and much chaos at the front door. I must try the frozed treats becasue even here in New England it is hot for collies.

Kathy said...

I see ya'll are hooked on Blue Bell Ice Creams too. ;)