- February 2021 (1)
- April 2020 (3)
- March 2020 (1)
- January 2020 (1)
- November 2019 (2)
- August 2019 (1)
- July 2019 (3)
- May 2019 (3)
- March 2019 (2)
- February 2019 (2)
- January 2019 (4)
- December 2018 (2)
- November 2018 (2)
- October 2018 (2)
- August 2018 (1)
- July 2018 (3)
- June 2018 (2)
- May 2018 (3)
- April 2018 (8)
- March 2018 (6)
- February 2018 (10)
- January 2018 (8)
- December 2017 (1)
- November 2017 (4)
- October 2017 (1)
- September 2017 (3)
- August 2017 (1)
- June 2017 (1)
- May 2017 (2)
- April 2017 (3)
- March 2017 (2)
- February 2017 (1)
- January 2017 (3)
- December 2016 (1)
- November 2016 (4)
- October 2016 (3)
- September 2016 (6)
- August 2016 (4)
- July 2016 (7)
- June 2016 (5)
- May 2016 (6)
- April 2016 (7)
- March 2016 (6)
- February 2016 (11)
- January 2016 (11)
- December 2015 (14)
- November 2015 (7)
- October 2015 (3)
- September 2015 (6)
- August 2015 (10)
- July 2015 (5)
- June 2015 (9)
- May 2015 (8)
- April 2015 (9)
- March 2015 (9)
- February 2015 (9)
- January 2015 (14)
- December 2014 (11)
- November 2014 (8)
- October 2014 (6)
- September 2014 (6)
- August 2014 (8)
- July 2014 (4)
- June 2014 (9)
- May 2014 (5)
- April 2014 (4)
- March 2014 (2)
- February 2014 (7)
- January 2014 (7)
- December 2013 (15)
- November 2013 (10)
- October 2013 (5)
- September 2013 (9)
- August 2013 (6)
- July 2013 (8)
- June 2013 (12)
- May 2013 (16)
- April 2013 (13)
- March 2013 (13)
- February 2013 (10)
- January 2013 (11)
- December 2012 (7)
- November 2012 (8)
- October 2012 (7)
- September 2012 (9)
- August 2012 (6)
- July 2012 (2)
- June 2012 (11)
- May 2012 (10)
- April 2012 (5)
- March 2012 (12)
- February 2012 (8)
- January 2012 (11)
- December 2011 (13)
- November 2011 (11)
- October 2011 (13)
- September 2011 (12)
- August 2011 (12)
- July 2011 (11)
- June 2011 (11)
- May 2011 (18)
- April 2011 (21)
- March 2011 (24)
- February 2011 (17)
- January 2011 (23)
- December 2010 (26)
- November 2010 (29)
- October 2010 (27)
- September 2010 (29)
- August 2010 (24)
- July 2010 (19)
- June 2010 (15)
- May 2010 (18)
- April 2010 (16)
- March 2010 (22)
- February 2010 (24)
- January 2010 (25)
- December 2009 (18)
- November 2009 (1)
Farm Fresh Blog
Monday, May 31 2010
This was a BIG weekend. I got my first taste of driving draft horses. (Princess LIKES driving draft horses - A LOT!) I have driven all manner of motorized vehicles and Friends & Neighbors, none can begin to compare to the raw power of holding two 2200 lb horses in your hands. And I'm not talking about Dobbin the sedate plow horse, I'm talking "pick up the reins, cluck and off you go at a Budweiser Clydesdale trot" - RAW POWER!
I think Doug and Debbie Halford are drug dealers. But instead of dealing cocaine, they're getting people hooked on draft horses.
The addiction begins!
They live down the road from us, and I often see them driving their team through the neighborhood. I made the mistake one day about a month ago of stopping to inform them that "some day" I'd like to get a draft pony and learn to drive. "Some Day" after my 30 year old stallion passes away, "Some Day" when I have less farm animals, "Some Day" when I have more time, I wanted to get a draft pony to drive and help out with farm chores. I envisioned something that could help haul hay, pull downed trees, etc. In essence, I wanted an equine 4wheeler that always started in cold weather. I wanted this Some Day. One week later I had a Haflinger. I'm still not quite sure how it happened.
She had once been a marathon driving horse, but had been put out to pasture and with a steady diet of alfalfa, sweet feed, lush grass, and the ever present round bale, she had ballooned to a whopping 1600 lbs. Egaads! Her fat rolls have fat rolls. but underneath all that plumpness is the calmest, most adorable, well-trained little mare. Doug and Debbie assured us that they would help us every step along the way. So we bought Ona, and they bought her driving partner, a delightful little gelding named Magic.
After two weeks on not much but hay and pasture, Ona "might" have lost a little weight. She still needs to get back in shape. I need to learn how to drive. It's a good way to start slow. Hot summer days + Fat Horse + Novice Driver = Education Without Excitement. (always a plus when you're dealing with a 1600 lb animal!)
Yesterday we had our first lesson. We trailered over to Doug and Debbie's. When Ona gets in better shape, the plan is to bareback her over there, but for now, Hot Fat Chicks ride in the horse trailer.
Doug started off ground driving her. No problemo. She hadn't forgotten anything. Then I drove her. I have a hard time remembering that GEE is pronounced like "Gee Whiz" and not "Git 'er done!" Ona is very forgiving.
Doug then hooked Ona to a small wagon that he uses with the percherons. Ona was certain that it was far too heavy for little fat ponies. Debbie and I had to get in the back and push the wagon a couple of times.
"This sucker is heavy!"
"Hey! Y'all in the back, gimme a push!"
"I think I can. I think I can. . . "
We later hooked Ona's partner, Magic, to the same wagon. He had no problem pulling the little wagon. Fat Chick is just Out Of Shape! I have ordered my Other Half to stop making fat jokes and ragging on my little fat pony. Yeah right. I know. She is fat. But nevertheless, it is easy to see that she is worth her weight in gold as a teacher. And that really is what matters. And until she gets back in shape, we'll have her pull something a little lighter!
Thus begins an addiction. So forget about sports cars, speedboats, and tractor pulls. If you want to experience REAL power - drive draft horses!
Sunday, May 30 2010
The Enforcer used to be my Cadaver Dog. Like the little boy in Sixth Sense, Kona "sees dead people." After I quit doing Human Remains searches, he was without an official job. But a dog with his kind of drive to work can never truly be without a job. He quickly became Odd Job Bob, always looking for things he could do to help out. One of his best chores is "go find Mommy's keys." This is a VERY USEFUL SKILL. In a nutshell, this means go search the pasture for ANYTHING that smells like Mommy and bring it back. This is handy for retrieving sunglasses, tools, KEYS, and lately . . . flymasks!
The flies are bad right now. I was late getting my fly predators out and when I did, Mom's chickens ate them, thus, I'm having to wait until my next shipment arrives to get them out again! The flies really like Ona and the Minis. Each morning I put on flymasks. Each evening there are three flymasks lying in the pasture. That's where a good dog is handy.
"Go find Mommy's keys!"
He salutes and heads out to the pasture.
It doesn't take him long to snag the scent,
fetch it up,
and hit the pond.
Kona is still in kidney failure. We aren't fooling ourselves. He has already lived longer than the vet projected. I won't keep him on daily IV fluids because he hates it. As long as he's eating and holding it down, we'll just let him be. He's happy. The heat is hard on him, but he is determined to go outside and work anyway. I've been told that with his kidney failure, he can end up having a massive heart attack. He should probably stay inside in the air conditioning, but he wants to keep working. When I leave him in the house, he screams and rips the molding off the door. (YES! He does! BEAST! Think about those kinds of things when you want a high-drive dog!) So we let him work. He'll die happy.
Friday, May 28 2010
As many of you may well remember, last winter New Police Dog got into a isolation pen with three new sheep.
"I was never convicted of that!"
They were already wormy and skinny. After the dog got in there, two of them had bigger problems.
Roanie's leg the next day. Hamburger
We stitched them both up and treated them with daily shots of antibiotics for weeks. Roanie's injuries were actually greater than Jamaica's. Unfortunately despite the fact that she'd been innoculated, Jamaica contracted tetanus and had to be euthanized. The vet recommended that we toss Roanie out with the rest of the flock where she would have to travel and compete for food, but would have sunshine and company. I had my doubts, but without Jamaica, Roanie was alone. So we put her in with the rest of the flock. Alone, her chances didn't look good anyway. We were ready to try anything.
By then, the flesh was falling off her leg and you could actually see daylight through it. We discussed euthanizing her, but held off because she had fought so hard to live. The first day we put her out with the flock, she met the Livestock Guardian Puppy, Briar. After Roanie's recent experience with dogs, I was concerned.
I shouldn't have been. Briar proved to be a canine Florence Nightingale. The ewe gravitated to the dog. She was safe with the dog. The dog had a patient to fuss over and protect.
Roanie thrived with the flock. Over time, new pink flesh filled in the empty spaces.
Today the flesh is back, the hide is back, and she is using the leg again. The leg is about an inch shorter than the others, but she is easily able to keep up with the flock. With her winter wool shedding, it is easy to see how skinny she still is, but she is happy and will be able to survive as a normal sheep.
Not all dogs are bad. Some dogs can even turn out to be a sheep's best friend.
Monday, May 24 2010
When I was in high school, my class put on the musical, "Annie Get Your Gun." A lot of the songs stuck with me. In particular, I recall Annie singing to her suitor, "Anything, you can do, I can do better."
I haven't thought of that song in years, but it cropped up in my head last night, and like the theme from Gilligan's Island, it won't leave. I thought of the song as poor Lily, my beloved Border Collie, sat on the 4Wheeler and watched Blue Heeler and Cowdog work the cows. It hurt her. She was a good girl, and she stayed where she was told, but it hurt. She CAN do the job. She IS better than the boys.
I give you State's Exhibit 1 -
She IS as tough as the boys.
I give you State's Exhibit 2 -
She is as brave as the boyz.
I give you State's Exhibit 3 -
She is as fast as the boyz.
AND . . . she listens and does as she's told!
Lily CAN do everything better than the boys.
So like Lily, you may be asking why this talented pup is forced to sit on the bench while 2nd String talent gets to work.
The answer lies with me. I just love her too much to let her get hurt. She is my sheepdog. She is my goatdog. She is my best friend. Because of that, she can sit outside and watch the boyz swing from the cows' tails and sing the song, "Anything you can do, I can do better!"
And every time I see her plaintive little eyes, begging me to let her play, I'll hear that song in my head.
Sunday, May 23 2010
Look closely and you'll see why Other Half spent an hour out in the hot sun yesterday.
(note the slobber all over the window)
I was at work when I got the call. "Cowboy locked me out of the truck!"
Fortunately the truck was running. Fortunately the air conditioner was on. Fortunately MY Border Collie was locked up safety at home. So fortunately, it wasn't my problem. (evil grin)
Wednesday, May 19 2010
This is Day 3 of mixing the goats with the sheep. When I had a lot of goats and a few sheep, it didn't seem necessary, but now that we're moving from meat goats to meat sheep, it's easier to keep the few remaining goats with the sheep so I can take advantage of having a Livestock Guardian Dog for the goats too. The goats didn't get that memo.
At night everyone is locked inside the barn with a large run which has access to two big stalls. Because the goats are mean to the sheep, the animals tend to separate themselves - goats in one stall, sheep in the other. Briar hangs out with the sheep. No surprise there. They like her. They're nice to her. They accept her as one of the family and enjoy her company. She likes being with them. They are her family.
The goats, on the other hand, are mean to her. They butt and bully her. They don't like dogs. Briar is a dog. End of discussion. She could easily kill them, but she doesn't. She just turns the other cheek and settles down where she can guard them anyway. I'm a cop, I know exactly what's going through Briar's head. Yes, she understands that she needs to guard the WHOLE area, but it's EASIER to guard the people who like her instead of the people who throw bottles and curse her. Will she still guard the goats when the coyotes climb the fence? Yep. She will. She's a guard dog. It's in her genes. Ironically, the same goats who are throwing bottles at her now will probably be shoving the sheep out of the way as they're trying to hide behind the dog when the coyotes crawl in. And when all is said and done, the goats will undoubtedly curse the dog for not acting fast enough to prevent the coyotes from crawling the fence in the first place. The goats will then call the media and an investigation will be launched. Briar's actions and the actions of Livestock Guardian Dogs in general will be heavily scrutinized and highly publicized. And through it all, Briar will continue to guard the sheep . . . and the goats.
Letting the livestock out in the morning -
They immediately split and go their separate ways. One of the goats head-butts Briar on her way out the door. Briar yelps and wrinkles her lip, but lets the attack go unpunished.
Once outside, the group splits. Briar hesitates. Which group to go with?
The sheep call, so she ambles off with them.
The goats wander off to set up video cameras in the trees.
Tuesday, May 18 2010
Yesterday I moved the remaining goats into the barn with the sheep. The sheep have the luxury of a Livestock Guardian Dog. (okay, she's a puppy, not a dog, but she is still the size of a mountain and has a formidable bark) The dog was imprinted on sheep. Sheep are her family. Goats, on the other hand, are interesting, unpleasant, distant relatives of sheep. Briar was willing to extend a family welcome to the goats. The goats were less than impressed with both the sheep and the dog.
Five goats walked into the palace and announced, "we'll take this stall." The sheep stood in the doorway looking dejected. I wasn't too sympathetic. The sheep far outnumbered the goats. There was another stall, and a run, and a paddock. They had more than enough room. But the goats had claimed THEIR stall! And it didn't stop there.
They look innocent, don't they?!
But goats are evil.
Even the baby goats (2 months old!) stood in the feeders and announced, "This is MINE! Find your own food!"
Oh dear! Gypsies in the palace!
Briar risked a sniff.
"SCRAM, MUTT!" (Briar scrammed!)
She walked off to eat a piece of wool and chew on her thoughts.
Briar ambled into her kennel where she could stare at them from the safety of "behind bars," unless of course, the goats chose to walk through the door and claim her kennel too.
She eventually settled down and stared at ungrateful goats who expect to live in the sheep palace and take advantage of the sheep's security guard. It clearly puzzled her.
Monday, May 17 2010
Value cannot be measured in beauty alone.
This horse is not valuable because he's beautiful. He's valuable because he's been my friend for over 25 years.
This horse is not valuable because he's beautiful. He's valuable because he's a silly goof who has made me laugh since he was a kid.
I don't really know this horse that well yet, but yesterday I learned that she was really valuable too.
She has a quiet beauty . . . and that might just make her the most valuable horse of all . . .
Sunday, May 16 2010
The boys got into a huge fight yesterday. Cowdog lost.
He's on three legs now.
Small punctures on either side of the joint
You know why this happened? I'll tell ya. This happened because Other Half just left town on another assignment and I was put in charge of his new dog. Oh dear . . .
"But he started it!"
Friday, May 14 2010
This morning I was watching Briar chase a butterfly. A giant lumbering white mountain danced across the pasture as the swallowtail darted just ahead of her. (No, I didn't have a video camera. Trust me, you'd be the first to know!) Anyway, it got me to thinking about how quickly some things change. It seems just yesterday when that lumbering mountain was a fluffy hill.
Wet Briar then:
Wet Briar now:
Other things on the farm have changed too.
Hehehehehe! Just kidding!
Thursday, May 13 2010
I've always wanted a milk goat. Although I'm not a big milk drinker anyway, I've clung to the belief that anything I raise is probably cleaner and healthier than most commercial products. Besides, even though I LIKE the convenience of grocery stores, I don't like the fact that big industry and government is in complete control of my food. (Egaads! I've become that crazy old person who rants about the government and I'm only 47! What happened to me???)
But I digress . . .
I don't raise milk goats. I raise meat goats. But I've been told . . .
(This is always the part where Other Half hunkers down and waits for whatever harebrained idea that I managed to gather from the internet on whatever subject catches my fancy.)
. . . I've been told that Boer goats give really creamy milk and can be really good milk goats! (an idea is born!)
Now realistically I don't have time for a proper milk goat (Other Half vigorously nods his head in agreement!) but there is no reason why I can't start teaching one or two of my Boer does to allow me to milk them. (Other Half hangs his head in despair.)
The perfect opportunity arrived when one of the babies was only nursing from one teat. I called Dear Friend With Vet Husband (who is often my partner in crime) and we decided that we needed to start miilking that teat. (just for practice!) Vet Husband agreed. Other Half, who is the only one with actual milking experience (cows!) argued that we were opening up a can of worms.
"Milking is something that has to be done EVERY DAY! Y'all understand that?"
We assured him that we were up to the task. He agreed to teach us how to milk, take pictures, and minimize the laughing.
Step One: catch the goat
Eva can be petted on her back, but was not all wild about the idea of being milked. She did however, like the idea of being fed.
Step Two: feed the goat
We decided that we would feed Eva on a large wooden bed-size stand so she'd be easier to milk. No, we didn't have a milking stand. No, we didn't separate the other goats.
It was a group effort. Dolly wanted some of Eva's feed. Eva stood relatively still while she gobbled. Our attempts to milk were pitifully unproductive. Other Half was forced to put down the camera and show us how to properly milk out a teat.
Milk was flowing! We were excited! We were milking a goat! Day one of milking was a success!
Day Two of Milking:
We were better prepared this time. We separated goats. We had the feed ready. We started milking. The goat knocked the pail over. No sense crying over spilled milk. Now we know where the saying came from.
By the next day of milking the goat was easier to handle, but the baby was using that teat on his own. We had another pow-wow. Other Half STRONGLY urged us to abandon our daily attempts at group milking. Since everyone had to go back to work and the baby was nursing that teat on his own anyway, we agreed - but ONLY because we decided that we needed to get a milking stand, and tame the goat to the point where only one person was required to milk the goat rather than three.
So . . . until then, we're back to milking goats the old fashion way . . .
Wednesday, May 12 2010
A 4 Wheeler is almost a necessity on a farm (unless of course you have a draft pony like I do now! But I digress . . .)
A 4 Wheeler is almost a necessity on a farm. It's handy to have a dog that rides on the 4 Wheeler. To his delight, Other Half discovered that his new Border Collie loved to ride on the 4 Wheeler.
He loves it so much that we decided Thing 2 could teach Thing 1 how to enjoy riding on the 4 Wheeler.
So we loaded her up and off they went!
Like a kid, she turned around to make sure I was watching.
"Yes, I'm still watching you."
She decided that she liked riding the 4 Wheeler. Perhaps not as much as her companion, who bounced and snapped his way around the yard, but she enjoyed riding . . . as long as I stood on the porch and watched her.
Monday, May 10 2010
"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter.
It gleams in the sun
and neighs in the dark."
We went to see Ona yesterday and I fell in love with her. We just had to bring her home!
Doug and Debbie, Percheron friends of ours, have promised to teach us to drive this golden mountain. They have very big horses!
and a baby Suffolk!
Ona used to be a Marathon Driving horse so she knows what she's doing. I don't know anything about driving horses, so I'll need the lessons. Doug & Debbie bought Ona's driving partner, Magic.
Doug & Debbie introduce the Haflingers to the BIG horses!
When Ona came home, she met the minis!
Saturday, May 08 2010
Look at this girl. I love this little chunky monkey! (Girlfriend has got some junk in her trunk!)
Sunday morning we're going to check her out to see if she can fill the position as Resident Bumming Around The Back Yard Horse. She's an 8 year old Haflinger who used to be a Marathon Driving Horse and has been ridden bareback by kids. I'm told that she's a calm and easy-going girl so hopefully she'll work as a Drink Frappuccino While I Sit On Her Back And Watch The Birds Horse. (Yes, I quit drinking the Starbucks frappuccinos. Yeah! Kicked the habit! No, not completely . . . I'm making my own homemade frapps now. . . . I know. I'm weak. Sue me.)
We have friends with Percherons who are going to teach me to drive with her. Other Half has already been on the internet looking at buckboards. Please! Good grief! Those suckers are expensive! While I was interested in a horse that could double as a 4-wheeler for hauling feed, hay, and heavy tree limbs, he's looking at wagons. Wagons are NOT cheap!
If we like her, we'll take her on a two week trial. Keep your fingers crossed! If I'm really, REALLY lucky, she may actually become as cherished as my Velveteen Rabbit. (The Velveteen Rabbit)
Friday, May 07 2010
This morning I tried to send Other Half on a scouting mission to look at a horse for me. He would have none of it.
"I can't pick out a horse for you!" he said.
"Because you always want those Fairy Tale horses!"
This confused me. Then I realized that he was used to looking at this:
Admittedly, they ARE Fairy Tale horses. But before Other Half, there was another horse - my Velveteen Rabbit.
Her name was Sonora. I called her Sonny. She was a swaybacked old brood mare who had fallen on hard times. I rescued her at an auction as she was one step away from the meat packer, and she paid me back ten-fold. She was never "fairy tale" horse pretty, but I broke her to ride, and I trusted her. I used to climb up on her broad back and slide down into the sway. While she grazed in the back yard, I surveyed my little kingdom, drinking coffee, safe in the curve of that old mare's back. Perhaps she was just a different kind of Fairy Tale horse. Sonny has always reminded me of The Skin Horse in the tale of The Velveteen Rabbit.
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.
Sonny might not have been the picture of a fairy tale horse, but she was certainly REAL and I miss my little fairy tale old mare.
Wednesday, May 05 2010
Napolean's little buddy, Ruffy, is staying! (Her husband vetoed adding another horse, even a pint-sized one! We made the deal that any time she wants to borrow the little fellows for a parade, she can just pick them up!)
Things are returning to normal. The boys are bookends and Montoya has returned home from the trainer's place.
Monday, May 03 2010
The Porch Ponies are blowing their shaggy winter coats. Great gobs of pony hair are floating everywhere. I try to brush them but it's hard to keep ahead of the spring blow. Sometimes you just need a little help from a friend.
"Yeah! A little to the right!"
This brings me to our news for the day. Today we are taking Ruffy, my red-headed demon, back to his previous owner. She spoke to me over the weekend and the family misses the little devil. They regularly used him in parades and he is a mainstay with the cheerleaders. When the town sees those cheerleaders, they expect to see Ruffy and Napolean. So I agreed to sell Ruffy back to her. I want to keep Napolean and she has agreed to help me find a companion for him to replace Ruffy.
Other Half has informed me that Napolean doesn't NEED a companion, that a goat would work just fine. But I say, NAY! (neigh!!!) A goat can't do this:
"Ohhhhh yeahhhhhh! That's the spot!"
Here is my favorite Porch Pony adventure!
"Ah HAH!" I said to the Border Collie (who is always with me). "Now would be the perfect time to move my truck outside the gate."
So I did. I opened the gate, got into the truck, and started to back out. That's when everything went to Hell in a Handbasket. Ruffy, hereafter referred to as The Red-Headed Demon, heard the gate opening and said to himself, "Why lookee there, Freedom is just behind that gate. I'm outta here!"
His little fat self can move with all the speed and grace of a professional football player. He hustled out of the canal paddock with speed that would make a Derby winner envious. In vain I tried to maneuver the truck to cut him off. Wrong! As soon as he squeezed his little fat ass through that tiny space between my truck and the gate, I swear the little bastard did an End Zone Dance.
I wasn't overly alarmed at this point, I just got out of the truck and started the sideways ease towards him. You all know the game -- the "I'm not trying to catch you, I'm just walking kinda in your direction" game. Unfortunately, The Red-Headed Demon has played this game before and knows how it ends. Off he trotted down the street. Now I was getting alarmed. I live on the end of a quiet dead-end street, but The Red-Headed Demon was headed toward a very busy county road at a fast clip.
The Border Collie offered to help, but fearing the she'd get kicked, or end up chasing him further down the street, I declined. I was now trotting a parallel line along the street. The Demon was trotting down the street, and I was trotting in the neighbor's yards (in Crocs . . . Note to self: wear running shoes)
At this point, I was deep in serious prayer. "Dear Lord, HELP ME!!!!!!!"
That's when I turned around and realized that Napolean, The Tiny Emperor, was ALSO running along beside us. I said a few choice cuss words and prayed harder. (I know, it seems a bit contradictory, but God knows I'm weak.)
I phoned my neighbor at the end of the street in hopes that she could head them off. Too bad, she was not home. By then, I was in the middle of the street and the minis were already approaching the busy highway. At this point, I was praying out loud, "PLEASE LORD, PLEASE HELP ME!!!"
I ran up to the house of some neighbors that I barely know and started ringing the doorbell. The son (a police officer) came to the door with his mother. I frantically pointed at the ponies who were by now crossing the busy highway! Fortunately, the young man understood the language of hysterical women, and with very little explanation, the kid figured out the whole story. We shoved my poor Border Collie into the house with his mother, and he and I took off after the ponies.
And I prayed some more.
You know those folks who don't have jobs in the middle of the day and you see them just walking down the street? Well . . . at that very moment, a young man in his 20's was walking down that busy road. (His name is John.)
The young man saw the ponies cross the highway. He saw the traffic slow down to avoid hitting their little fat asses. (Thank you again, Lord!) The ponies crossed the road to enter a hay field with grass taller than they were. Eric (the police officer) and I crossed the road after the ponies and John came to join us. I easily walked up to Napolean and caught him by the mane. He grinned at me and said, "Look, Ma! Look at this great place Ruffy found!"
I hugged Napolean and handed him to Eric. The Red-Headed Demon looked over his shoulder, saw that his companion had been captured, and headed through the hay field toward the canal. At this point, I decided we were safe enough to run back and get halters, so I left John and Eric with Napolean while I ran (jogged) back in Crocs. (I'm never going out of the house without running shoes again!)
I drove back with halters. Napolean was knee-deep in ecstasy. The Red-Headed Demon had settled down and was enjoying the bounty of his naughtiness too. We put a halter on Napolean and Eric held him while John and I headed out after Ruffy. John asked, "How fast can he run?"
I admitted that to a twenty-something year old man, a little fat pony did NOT look very fast, but I advised him against a foot race with an animal who could give a zebra a run for his money. I walked towards Ruffy as I explained to The Red-Headed Demon that I was late for work and that he could have gotten himself, Napolean, and my Border Collie killed on a busy highway. He stopped walking away from me, turned and grinned. Then he walked right up to me. I hugged him.
Halters on both minis, we all started the long trip back. Once at the truck, Eric and I thanked John and bid him farewell. Then Eric climbed in the back of the truck and held the lead ropes while two very happy little fat ponies trotted along behind the truck. We stopped to pick up the very confused Border Collie who was waiting in the house with Eric's mother and then drove home.
I thanked God again . . . and again . . . and some more. Then I hugged the Red-Headed Demon and informed him that he would never be allowed the opportunity to slide his little fat self through that gate again. He winked at Napolean and looked angelic.
I love my little Red-Headed Demon.
Vaya Con Dios, my little red friend!
Saturday, May 01 2010
Do you know what farming people do with their tax checks?
They take the dogs to Petsmart! (Yep! We're big spenders!)
This week we packed up Thing 1 and Thing 2 and took them to the big city! Now I don't know about Thing 2, since he's a rescue, but Thing 1 has NEVER been inside a Petsmart. (she shops at the feedstore) Needless to say, she was ga-ga over Petsmart. Imagine a teenage girl's first trip to the mall.
Thing 1 took an olfactory tour of everything! She had never SEEN so much cool stuff!
"Clothes???? Dogs wear clothes??"
This stopped her in her tracks. "A rat?"
"This place has RATS???!!!"
Thing 2 came over to see for himself. They decided that this giant barn must not have any cats.
(disclaimer: no rats were terrorize while these pictures were taken!)
Border Collie REALLY enjoyed her trip to the big city! She loved Petsmart except for one thing:
"They gots rats, but they don't gots GOATS!"