Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Custody Battle

"I told you puppy, this is MY Jolly Ball, MINE!"


"Could you help me out her Ma, these things are awfully big and I don't think they got the memo about Jolly Balls and Border Collies?"

"It's mine I say.  I don't care what the rules say, I'm keeping this ball for myself.  I dare you to come over here and steal it."

"Darned Border Collies.  MINE!"

A Jolly Good Time

"Look, the CrazySheepLady brought us a present."

"We have to think of a way to keep it away from that blasted puppy creature."

"Do you suppose we could hide it somewhere?"

"We don't have to hide it, I dare that puppy to come steal MY Jolly Ball, this was MY present!"


"If he tries it, I'll just bonk him on the head.  Just like this....!" BONK






Monday, November 24, 2014

Visitors From Afar

This is convoluted so stick with me....I was trying to find a puppy with no luck, either at the shelters or rescues.  None of the local, or semi-local breeders of any of the breeds I was considering had any puppies.  FB has several connections with the Border Collie herding trial folks and had put the word out far and wide that I was looking for a puppy.  I finally found one - in Nova Scotia.  At first, I thought 'OK, Canada, that's not that far'.  Ahem, cough, cough, I need to brush up on my geography, the Canadian border may only be a couple of hours from here, but Nova Scotia is a 1000 miles away.

Figuring that there had to be a puppy closer than a 1000 miles, I thought to get in touch with a fellow blogger who has sheep and knows lots of people with sheep.  Sheep people have Border Collies and tend to know other people who have Border Collies, it's not as illogical as it first sounds. It's the original Social Media:)

Unfortunately, she didn't know of any puppies, but mentioned that she was looking for just the right older dog.  Enter the breeder up here where Kelsey came from.  Her main trialing dog, Kate, is getting older and could use a low key retirement where she would still get to be useful, but not have to work so hard.  Sounded like a good match.

And so that's how TheCrazySheepLady and Saint Tim came to NY and since she was here, so close, she certainly had to come and meet the donkeys and everyone else here.  If you followed all of that, pat yourself on the back, it still leaves me a bit bewildered.

She brought her camera with and sent me some great shots which I will share as soon as I get my computer to cooperate better.  It is still having issues.  For the moment, these are the very few photos I took that day.

Her little Corgi, Tilly, (who Connor REALLY wanted to keep for himself) came along for the ride. 

Tessa thought Tilly might just be the neighborhood bear and tried to stomp her.  Sigh.  I never notice how unruly and un-socialized my critters are around new people until the very rare occasion that someone actually visits and they are all on their worst behavior.  It is a hard thing to fix since no one ever visits.  If anyone would like to stop by to help socialize some critters, let me know.  Just as long as you aren't an axe murderer or other sort of miscreant:)

It was a whirlwind trip and opening day of deer season, but we still managed a very short donkey walk and then over to FB's for a farm tour and dinner.

It was great getting to meet these wonderful folks. 

I hope they come back despite my ill mannered horse.  I also hope it's not to bring Kate back.  I hear she is having some issues with the cats, probably just because it's a new place and a big adjustment.  Hopefully she'll get past that and start enjoying her new life, but that's another story....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Still a Baby

Have you noticed?  I know, with all this puppy distraction, it's easy to overlook the little details.   The donkeys have still been running around naked, no blankets yet.  I really wanted to keep it that way this year and, up until this week, it was working.  With the sudden plunge in temperature however, Ramsey is cold.

I finally bit the bullet and got out his blankie, which I didn't think would even fit.  If needed, I had intended to use the blanket Emma wore last year on him.  I was quite surprised to find that it was way too big for him still.  He has grown so much that it never occurred to me that it would be too big, but all of his growth has been up.  He has gotten so tall, but is still very narrow and it does not fit well at all.  That's what I get for making assumptions.

Emma, on the other hand, didn't want anything to do with blankets this year.  She was quite adamant that she is grown up now and would not be caught dead in a blankie!  Since she seems to be handling the cold just fine, I was happy to oblige.  She has a thick, shiny coat and has shown no signs of wanting her blanket, which is a first.  Baby donkeys seem like very fragile creatures to me.  Fortunately, they do seem to grow out of it.  Emma is a quite sturdy four year old now and seems to have toughened up considerably.  In previous years, she was very bothered by the cold and her winter coat did not really come in until sometime around February, just about the time the horses start losing theirs.  Of course, all that extra internal fluff she has now helps a bit.

Tessa, as usual, is sporting her sleek otter pelt and is impervious.  She would get heat stroke if I tried to blanket her.  She breaks a sweat if the temps get over 35*.

It's just the wee, little baby who still wants his blankie - even if he is hanging out the end of it.

I guess I'm gonna have to break down and go blanket shopping one more time.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Working Up His Courage

I took these last week before the deep freeze descended on our part of the world. We have been plunged into winter and, like most everyone else in the country, we are all a bit appalled and stupefied by the weather.  I am just counting my blessings that we are not near Buffalo, 76 inches of snow in one day is just totally out of line.  If that happens here, I'm moving.  That's all there is to it.  Hear that FB, RB?  I mean it!

While I contemplate where I'm going to move to, here is Connor's first encounter with a Jolly Ball.  If we get six feet of snow, at least I know he'll be happy to move with me anyway.

"It's mine now."

"All MINE."



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Bear Won

I got a call this morning from my nearest neighbor.  His dog, an 18 month old lab/pit cross, had to be euthanized yesterday after he came home badly injured by a very large animal, most likely a bear.  He had been out roaming the woods with another neighbors dog, also a lab mix.

I am very sorry for the dog and for his owner, who is a very caring, sincere person who has no clue about the nature of dogs.  I feel awful about it and at the same time, I just want to grab both of these guys and shake the hell out them and ask them what the hell they thought was going to happen!  The black dog has been roaming the countryside chasing deer, harassing livestock, threatening people and generally making a nuisance of himself for years.  When I saw the other dog join up with him, I knew there was going to be trouble one day. 

I have had several conversations about the problem with both owners as have nearly every property owner in the area along with the sheriff's office and animal control.  These dogs went after my donkeys last year.  No one got hurt, but it was a near thing.  I had another long talk with the owners at the time and I had the one guy bring his young dog over.  He really wasn't a bad dog, but he was powerful, agile and totally out of control.  His owner was absolutely powerless against his own dog.  I finally took over and, every time that dog lunged at a donkey, I did my best to put the fear of God into him.  He got it.  Not exactly my training method of choice, but it was very clear that it was either that or buy a gun for the next time the dog came around.   I did convince the owner to get some training lessons and, to give him credit, he did it and I haven't had any more trouble with that dog chasing my animals.  It didn't stop the dogs from roaming the countryside wreaking havoc everywhere else they went though.

When the owner called this morning to tell me what happened and warn me about a dangerous animal loose I the woods, I was appalled, but not surprised.  This was opening day of deer season, the normally empty woods are crawling with hunters both skilled and inept.  I always feel intruded on by all these men with guns traipsing about, how must the Bears and Cougars feel?  I can just picture these obnoxious, pushy dogs chasing down and harassing an already angry bear and also picture just how it would react, swiping out and taking the lower jaw of the one dog clear off.

I don't normally worry much about the lions and tigers and bears out in the woods.  I stay out of their space and they they return the favor.  I  am not thrilled by the idea of a riled up, pissed off bear wandering around out there trying to avoid all the hunters.  I might have to find somewhere else to go hiking for a while.

The whole thing has been bugging me all day.  I really am sorry for the lose of what could have been a very nice dog.  At the same time, there is a small, mean part of me that wishes the bear had taken out both dogs and solved this mess once and for all since their owners won't do it.  I know, it's awful.  It makes me feel awful.  I want to offer my condolences and dope slap these people all at the same time.  Instead, all I can do is rant about I on my blog.

And I guess I'm done ranting, now it all just makes me feel tired.  

How about some puppy cuteness to make the world better?  You can be damn sure that this dog won't ever be out roaming around unsupervised and picking fights with bears!