Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Let's Get Rid of all Purebred Dogs, Except Pit Bulls from the Shelter

I hope folks who want to own a purebred Border Collie to do farm work or raise a litter of Dachshunds and sell them can get to the public hearing on the proposed animal cruelty law at the county tonight.

Because, it is just about to get real expensive to own a dog, or a couple of dogs, or to sell a few for pets or to breed anything.

Cats too. What are these people thinking!!!! 

Read about it here. I am on page 14 and going. Good grief!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

First Bird

Mom's doing chores

The past few months I've been having fun noting the first bird I hear or see each day. In summer this often happened before I even crawled out of bed. The honey locust by the window is popular with passing avian creatures.

Sometimes I didn't know the call and raced downstairs to go out and look up....and usually miss whatever it was. More often than not though, it was some familiar flycatcher or the Carolina Wrens.

Now that it is winter, first bird doesn't usually occur until I have been up for hours. And then it is generally a Black-capped Chickadee or a Tufted Titmouse. Today it was a flight of Canada Geese.

I'm gonna help

Thinking about this, and working on a Farm Side about introducing Miss Peggy to the wonders of nature got me trying to remember what my first bird ever was.

And I can't. I suppose it might have been a House Sparrow on my Grandma Montgomery's lawn. They were called English Sparrows then, but by whatever name....we call them Sassenachs around here...they were ubiquitous pests just like today.

Could have been a Rock Pigeon. They were just pigeons then. Or maybe a Robin. I just don't remember, although many milestone birds stand out....the Barn Swallows in the barn at the house on 5S. Barn Owls ditto, the only Barn Owls I have ever seen. 

That Cardinal on Dad's feeder that really got me interested. The Anhinga in Georgia that puzzled us all day back in the 70s when I was lucky to have one well-worn field guide. I have a box full now, and read them like novels. The Great Grey Owl on the picnic table in Medicine Bow National Forest. I will always regret not having my glasses on yet when we saw that one.

But not the first bird.

Hey, Ma, I got this

 I wonder. What will Peggy's first bird be? I am going to make every effort to be sure she knows as many as possible. With all the feeders in the yard and the wild lands all around us, it ought to be a good one. If it isn't a pigeon or a Sassenach. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Me 'n "My" Dog

We have had Daisy about a year and a half now. She came to us as a six-year-old, third-hand, hand-me-down, because she entertained herself during her free time by killing poultry and because I was kind of, sort of, maybe, ready for another dog.

Nick, the last of the three collies had died. Mike, Nick, and Gael, they taught me so much and gave me so much, and needed me so much.......I had been dogless for several months for the first time since I was a tiny kid. She needed a home. I needed a low-maintenance dog.

So she came. Life had made her independent. Well that and the whole hound thing....As long as she was fed 1/3 can of Pedigree minced dog food twice a day, walked on occasion, and had a soft bed, that was it for her. Oh, and the baby. Babies are hers and must be protected. The boss can't even speak loudly to Peggy in fun, without a little red dervish barking up a storm and pouncing at his feet.

Grown up people, meh, she was all generic dog. You could pet her. She would accept it. But she loves to run away and has a real handle on the whole selective deafness thing. She very obviously thinks Alan is all that and a bucket of rice but.....but she could get along fine without even him. 

For all those 17 months she has simply been her own dog.....which has been fine with me. Serving as a mere doggie valet after so many years of the intense connection between Border Collies and their person left me okay with just being the can opener driver.

And then....just lately....she began coming when I call her....and with such joie de vivre. Well, except for the times when I have to get Becky to yell for her. Voice of authority or something..... But sometimes at least, the red ears are flapping in the wind generated by her delight when she runs to me. Happy, happy, happy. Could be the Pedigree, but she started meeting me at the kitchen gate each morning too. Once when someone left the gate open she even met me at the bottom of the stairs.

When no one is looking I pet her and roll her around and ruffle her nose and ears.

And she play bites and goes cracker dog through the kitchen, racing round and around me with her toy Dachshund clamped firmly in her tiny jaws.

Do you suppose? Could it be? Has she decided to be "my" dog?

Maybe. I guess we'll see.

Then again, she is awful happy to go off to chores with Liz and to get in the woodshed after rodents.....

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Stills, Sixth Anniversary....Pets

The kids' English Shepherd, Ren....
always worrying about coloring between the lines.

A big thank you to Ed, who has kept this going so long.

Mini Dachshund, Daisy, "Lines, what lines? We don't need no stinkin' lines

For more Sunday Stills......

"You want lines? Put out your arm and let me sharpen my claws.
I'll give you some lines."

"Did you say my fur has lines?"
Kiwi the fluffy cat

"Oh, noes, let me get my brush, my gel, my styler."
"Did I get them all?"

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's the Coffee Stupid

Marv and his big sister Cinnamon

I was wondering this morning why I had so much energy. Went out to the barn early to help the boss and enjoyed every minute of it. Busy, busy, busy..... What was up with that? (BTW he got Marv in and put in the pen. Hopefully, he will stay in said pen and he and Bruce will be headed off to what our good friend up west of here calls the Hosking Career Counseling Center for Bovines on Sunday. Time to pay some bills and give Marv's poor mother a break.)

Tantalizing taste of summer

Anyhow, all that gumption was a puzzle to me. This time of year I tend to drag slowly through the days, forcing myself to do what I gotta, never accomplishing one extra iota.

Then I realized. Our boy got home from Washington DC this morning at two and when he came down later he made us coffee. REAL COFFEE.

Yep, that stuff would fuel the International Space Station for a week, never mind an old farmer. Yowsa!

And yowsa number two,...the boss found the feather-end of a broadhead arrow in the hay. Must have been left by some hunter who lost track of it and it got baled up in the hay. The boss had already fed the cows the hay when he found the arrow. Now we wonder where the head is. Hopefully not inside a cow.

Also been wondering where the feeder birds are. Normally they clean them out in hours...past couple of days not so much. Then Alan spotted what we thought was a Cooper's Hawk hanging out in front of the house.

A little later I was in the kitchen when a bird hit the window and slid down to the sill. Not an everyday thing as I have made an effort to place the feeders safely. I went out to check...a Tufted Titmouse was sitting on the sill, flew away just fine. And so did the Cooper's Hawk.


The girls are still doing pretty good