Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hard Working Farmers

Bess getting ready for night time guard duties....

Kelsey resting up from sheep herding duties....

The farmer hiding from all of it....

.....and a bunch of lazy cats who do nothing but sleep and eat.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Farm Dog in Training

One more week till Elva goes to get her new working dog.  He is off to a good start:)

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Mighty Benjamin

Big Ben is doing well lately.  It has been a hot and muggy summer and sometime in July, I got out the clippers again and shaved off the rest of his winter fuzz. 

He also had a blood test at the beginning of July to check his ACTH levels.  The normal range is 9-35 and his came back at 19.9 so he is staying nicely stable on 1/2 a Prascend per day.  Hawkeye was also tested and he was in the normal range as well so both of the Cushing's boys are doing well. 

I've taken away even more grass, but I made up for it by letting the donkeys clear out some more of the stone walls, which is Ben's most favorite job. 

We won't mention the nice Ash tree that I accidently gave them access to.  Sigh.  It will make nice firewood once they're done with it.

Ben has also discovered the wonders of wild blueberries and he spends hours searching out those tiny, rare morsels. 

He is first in line to get at any new tree or bush.

Ben has some stiffness in his back so, everyday, I spend a little time giving him a massage.  There may be days that I would possibly shirk this duty, but Ben has taken to quietly, yet relentlessly, presenting himself in my path until he gets his backrub.  I wish he could return the favor, my neck is so sore....

Ben has started to show some tentative signs of acceptance towards Albert.  He went from dislike to active ignoring to a few small gestures of tentative friendship.  He and Al even played tug for a brief moment. 

Ben generally takes his time with these things.  He is absolutely steadfast towards his friends, but he is not sure he needs any more. 

He still plays with Ramsey at night when it cools off and I think he and Al will be buddies eventually.

In the meantime, there is a daily massage, an Ash tree that still has a little bark left and blueberries to hunt.  What more could a big donkey want? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Man of Many Colors

Black, white and tan all on one cheek...

Along with a sweet and devilish smile....

 A white splotch on each of the other "cheeks"....

He's a study in the subtle art of donkey coloring.

And missing a fly mask because The Little Brown Brat and Atitude Al can't resist the lure of destruction.

I'm not sure Al's coloring has a name...

...other than Trouble that is.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Puppy Countdown

Elva's new cow dog got his first set of shots today....

I'm pretty sure his name is going to be Ian unless something drastic happens and Elva changes her mind.  Otherwise, little Ian will be here in about two weeks. 

This is the rational reason why Elva did not keep one of the Maremma puppies.  She knew she was going to need a new working dog and she knew she wanted to start with a puppy.  The REAL reason why Elva did not keep one of the Maremma puppies is that they were all sold before she could overrule rational thinking.  Which is why I heard, "WHHHHYYYYY didn't I keep a puppy????!!" at least twice a day (usually in the same conversation) until she found Ian.  So, let the countdown BEGIN!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Poor, Poor Pitiful Kitty

Why?  Why am I in jail?

There has to be a way out of here...

I can't possibly exist like this, trapped in this prison for ALL eternity.

OHHH, this terrible fate, it is ripping my very SOUL! 

I'll go MAD trapped in here!

Come a bit closer human, I'll get you for trapping me in this terrible, awful cage.

You just have no idea how bad this is.  There isn't even a box to sit in over here.  

"Uhh Kipper, don't you think you're laying it on a bit thick?  All you have to do is go in any of ten different directions and you are free to go anywhere you want."

"Oh MA, where's the fun in that?  Everyone needs a bit of high drama now and then."

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Another Downsizing Failure

My friend Dave had been downsizing his herd and always....along comes a donkey who really needed a new place to live because his people were in a bad car wreck and they were dealing with some severe, long-term injuries and couldn't give the donkey the care he needed and, well, what can you say to a face like this....

This is Hoss, who was named Radar, but got a new name with his new home.  That is him in the middle.  The one closest is John Henry, one of my other favorite donkeys.  He is a super interesting old geezer who I have just a wee, little crush on.  I'll have to tell you about him one day.

Hoss is a very handsome, well-built and sweet fellow and there are plans in the works to teach him and Stormy to drive. 

He is a big, strong, solid fellow who has been very easy to work with so far. 

When Dave first got him, he was told that his only fault was that he had to be sedated to have his feet trimmed.  His previous person had been told that she could not handle his feet so she was nervous around him and, as a result of self-fulfilling prophesies, no one could handle his feet.  She actually had to take him to Cornell to get his feet trimmed, at great expense and trauma. 

I approached Hoss a bit differently.  I started by offering an introductory cookie and then moved on to neck scratches, an ear rub and then a massage.  By the time I reached for a foot, Hoss was so relaxed and happy that he was willing to give me all four feet at once if I really wanted them.  He now likes pedicures so much that he generally volunteers without even putting a lead rope on him.  He has nice, lovely feet and he is actually the easiest critter I work on.   

This is the same crazy, wild donk who had to be trucked to Cornell and drugged to the gills to work on. 

He may be high on endorphins, but I find that they work much better. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Coming Attraction

Coming this August to a farm nearby....

Four week old, tri-colored, male Border Collie destined to become the next great stock dog of Natural Borders Farm.  Watch this lovely coming-of-age story as this (hopefully) mighty and fearless pup grows up to be the bane of unruly cattle and insubordinate sheep. 

Enter your name suggestions below for a chance to share in his reflected glory!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Hooligan Brothers

Do Ben and Ramsey still play together now that the two hooligans have become such buddies?  Yeees.....however, Ben does not like the heat so he only plays late at night when I can't get any pictures.  He also had a bad abscess that took the fun right out of him for several weeks.  He is better now and thinking about taking up the feed-dish-wars once again - at night, in the dark. 

So, until Ben stops hiding from the sun like a certain red-head he knows, you will have to be contented with the endless shenanigans of the Hooligan Brothers.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Little Mr. Troublemaker

Geniuses have a long, long history of causing trouble - always going about trying to convince people that the world isn't flat, that the sun doesn't revolve around the earth, that germs exist.....that fencing is merely a suggestion rather than a law of nature.  Which is why, for the second time in a week, I have been rudely awakened by either a neighbor yelling at me or the by the sound of little hooves galloping where no little hooves should be.

The first time happened last Thursday when I was jerked awake at a very early hour by a horn blowing in my driveway.  In my highly befuddled state, I thought it was the mailman who beeps at me if he has a package.  This was ridiculous, of course, since the mailman NEVER shows up 7:00 am, but for a night shift worker jerked out of rare and much needed sleep, befuddlement is the best you can hope for.  Fortunately, the horn was persistent and paid no heed to my mumbled swearing long enough to get me up and let me know that all my donkeys were running around down the road.

That woke me right up.  Caffeine can't hold a candle to sheer terror.

I grabbed a rope, a bucket of grain and hopped on the ATV to chase down the miscreants.  Luckily, they were only about 1/2 a  mile away, just coming off the neighbors lawn.  I called to them and they all trotted right over, happy and eager to see me and tell me all about their morning adventures.  What FUN they'd had!  They were also happy to follow me home, back to their comfy barn and away from the flies.

A week later, I was once again rudely awakened, this time by the sound of galloping hooves beneath my bedroom window where galloping hooves should never be.  THAT noise produces and instantaneous, wide-awake response. 

I'd gone around the fence a dozen times and couldn't figure out how they were getting out.  Then, I just happened to see Little Albert Einstein mosey around the back of the barn, head over to the corner where the fence meets the wall, look both ways to make sure no one was watching and oh-so-carefully push the fence post over just far enough for bunch of little hooligans (and one large one) to fit through. 

Geniuses. Nothing but trouble.

I've fixed the fence so that so that no one without thumbs can get through and everyone is mad at me because their lives are just so terribly boring and I am a very mean mom.  While they're standing around in front of the fan, looking all sweet and innocent, I know that they are all plotting.

There is one little smart ass in particular who is trying to think up some wild new idea.  Maybe it's the stripes that make him extra devious. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018