Saturday, August 10, 2013

All the News

Last night was the second time that I could not make it all the way to Farm Buddy's place to pick up Tanner.  It was raining so hard and the roads were flooding so bad that by the time I made it to my road at the top of the hill, I didn't dare keep going the extra three miles to get my dog.  It was just as well that I didn't try as the rain slacked off for a moment just after I got home and, in the odd way that sound travels at such times, I heard the fire whistles going off in all the little villages around me and knew that things were really getting bad and the roads were closing.

The town had to use the snow plows this morning to clear the debris off the road that I had to drive through last night.  You know those warnings about not driving through water flowing over a road?  Well, what do you do when going back or stopping is worse than going forward?  Reports today say we got over 4 inches of rain last night.  Enough already!

It was good to come home to find my little herd happily tucked into the barn, all sleeping sound and dry.  They were even happier when I put a new bale of hay into their net so they could spend the rest of the night munching and sleeping through the storm.  I crawled off to my own bed, missing my dog, but content knowing everyone in my little world was safe.  Not everyone was so lucky.
(No, this is not my picture and not my road, but it was taken near here.)


I just didn't have the heart to write about this earlier, but Emma came up lame last week with a hoof abscess.  I took her temperature at the first hint of trouble and kept checking it every few hours.  When it went from her normal 99.7 to 101.1 (which is still considered normal, but is not what Emma's usually is), I put her on antibiotics and Banamine.  This really was just a typical abscess and it popped out of the top of the foot a couple days ago and she is already sound on it again.

What happened to Ramsey was really something very different, I know that now.  He got a tiny wound just above his hoof right at the age when maternal antibodies are wearing off and before his own had matured.  That wound allowed bacteria into his leg and, gravity being what it is, it ended up in his hoof near the bone.  If it had happened a few weeks earlier or later, that tiny wound probably would have gone unnoticed by all of us, including Ramsey.  I knew at the time, in my gut, that something was different when Ramsey came up lame, but I didn't know what it was then and everything went to hell so fast....I guess I know now, having learned the hard way.  Education is never cheap or easy.

Still, I don't think I will ever see another hoof abscess without panicking just a bit and I am sooo glad that Emma is fine.


There is a new addition over at Farm Buddy's.  It wasn't certain if he was going to be sticking around, but I don't see him going anywhere at this point.  He is a great big, five year old Maremma Livestock Guardian Dog named Buster.  

FB has been having a lot of trouble with a fox stealing baby chicks this year.  It was bound to happen eventually, especially with the wild rabbit population being way up this year and the coyote population being (temporarily) a bit down.  The fox numbers are high at the moment.  I am not sure that one bad year out of ten warrants keeping a 90 pound guard dog, especially since the foxes are already suffering from attrition.  I know one got killed in the road, and now that it is August and the coyotes are bringing their pups out into the world, they will kill off the rest of the overly brazen foxes in short order.    

But...Buster is a big, sweet, fierce, galumph of a dog who certainly does keep the riffraff away and besides, FB is already a goner over him.   I think Buster will  be staying, even if he does eat ten times more than the chickens ever bring in.  I'll try to get some pictures soon.


There were so many painted turtles sunning themselves on the straw bale in my pond a few days ago that there were some hanging off the edges.  Standing room only. Where do they all come from???


  1. Wow! What a doozy of a storm! We're in the middle of our summer monsoon season here in New Mexico, and we're finally getting the rain that our drought-ravaged state needs so badly.

    I'm glad that Emma is on the mend and hope that your herd of critters stays healthy :)


    1. I am glad you are finally getting some rain out there. I would rather a wet year to a dry one, but this is getting a bit ridiculous:)

  2. Wow that's impressive flood damage! Very glad it's not your road but heaven help the people who do have to use it!
    I can understand you panicking over the slightest hint of an abscess, even having rationalised the cause of Ramsey's so clearly

  3. Wow, this was quite a post!! Who says it's boring in the country?

    Very glad to hear Emma is on the mend.

    Is your farm on high-ish ground?

    Most of all I'm excited to see pics of Buster! Where did he come from?
    Just a tramp stopping by Farm Buddy's? How have her other dogs taken to him? All of these questions are fodder for more posts I'll be looking forward to!!

  4. Oh my, those roads!! Hope the rain let's up in your's got to take time to repair that kind of damage. Your sensitivity with abscess's is perfectly normal. Never knew the formal name of a sheep dog. We've run across them working in the mountains of Colorado. They look so fluffy & cuddly, but the ones we saw were are allll business. No clue where your turtles comes from, other then other turtles ;) We ask ourselves the same question about our pond toads & frogs that appear out of no where.

  5. looking forward to the pics of the big dog!! :)

    good luck with the heavy rains. wish we could take some from you.

  6. You've really been slammed with the rain - why can't Mother Nature even it out for everyone? Scary how a thick road (asphalt?) can wash away so quickly. I'm glad Emma's foot healed quickly - I can just imagine your heart pounding when you first saw that. As for Buster - I hadn't heard of that breed before, the bloggers I follow who have guardian dogs have Great Pyrenees. So, of course I googled it and learned a lot more about guardian breeds, how many thousands of years old they are, and where they come from. In the images that go with the sites, the Maremma looks like a GP. And it said that the theory is that the long ago sheepherders bred guardian dogs to be the color of the sheep to blend in better with them.

    Nancy in Iowa

    1. That gives a whole new meaning to the term,'wolf in sheep's clothing'.:)

  7. I saw this last night but didn't respond when I got home from work.
    How awful.
    We had this happen in 2007 and again this Spring. One of our highways is still closed due to a huge mud slide.
    Here is hoping today is better.

    Oh yes keep us updated on Emma!
    Abscesses are the pits.

  8. Glad Emma's okay! I love Maremmas, my trailer's old owner has one. Awesome farm guard, you don't treat them like pets, just let them do their job. Good for FB!
    Bad road in that pic, is that in our county? Yikes!

  9. So nice to see turtles. I love your header photo.

  10. Wow, that is a crazy amount of rain. Sucks that you couldn't go get Tanner but at least everyone was safe and sound on their opposite sides of water.

    I am glad that Emma is doing better. You have certainly had your fair share of hoof issues for a long time.

    I love turtles.

  11. That rain looks like it did so much damage, glad you're all safe. Hope Emma's abscess continues to improve, she'll be fine, adult donkeys are made of tough stuff!

  12. Once you get a good guardian can't imagine not having him or her around ever again, no matter the cost. It's a different kind of dog. Hard to explain. They are just fabulous friends.

    I hadn't made the connection on timing on Ramsey's foot. Makes perfect sense, but once you have a bad can't imagine not worrying like heck about every single one...