Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hot Dog

This is June taking a nap at 18 degrees.



Nice teeth, June ;-D  (click to biggify)






Saturday, December 30, 2017

Warm Winter Sun

It can be way down in the teens, even single digits, and as long as it's not windy and the sun is shining, it feels warm to me. Some more pictures from the Del Boca Vista Distraction Party the other day.


Maisie


Heidi - who's foot is all better now since I popped a big mud ball from between her toes after the Boxing Day cookie party :-).


That is Muffin (!) standing just to the right of Levi in the foreground.


Renny


Bullwinkle, Levi and Spud


Biscuit


The Sheep Chicken and Woolliam



A little slice of heaven...and two new puzzles :-).  

Enjoy!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sheep With Character

Perhaps a little too much character!

While we haven't had the cold that, say, Minnesota has had, we've been extremely cold for Kentucky, especially as we were just enjoying temps in the upper 50s and 60s last week.  If you are following on Instagram or Facebook, you saw the picture of Mrs. Pepperpot sporting her new winter coat yesterday.  She's had the most trouble with the cold.

We'd moved her, Lila, Annabelly and PPPP into the "lamb pen" so they could get extra food with less competition.  We put up some sheet plastic to block the wind coming through the end gate and bedded them down in deep straw and hay.  It wasn't enough.  Mrs. Pepperpot was shivering hard yesterday morning.

I scrambled, adding extra wind blocking on the three coldest sides, deeper bedding and a heat lamp.  When that didn't seem enough, I took one of the old horse blankets and cut it down to sew a Mrs. Pepperpot size.  That did the trick.  She finally looked warm and happy.  And no one else was.

The other three could not abide with a sheep wearing a coat.  PPPP was so unhappy that I let her move back into the main flock.  Lila and Annabelly settled down with some Cheerios and I thought I was in the clear.  Annabelly didn't seem bothered by the jacket anymore but started looking extra cold and miserable herself.  She's old and skinny.  Cold can kill...and I honestly thought that was where we were headed.

Okay, we still have Renny's old jacket.  That should fit her.  I struggled to get her to her feet and checked the size.  Two straps needed to be moved over so I marked them and headed for the sewing machine.  When I came back she was huddled next to the gate to get back in with the main flock.  She looked so bad that I decided to let her go back in with them.  She'd still be cold and couldn't wear a jacket in with them, but least she'd be happy and what would happen, would happen.


That's her on the other side of Baaxter just a few minutes later.  Miraculously cured.  She spent the next hour or so either chumming around with him...or trying to beat him up.  I guess their "relationship status" would be listed as "it's complicated".  At least she's happy...and not dying.   

Sheep...

The reason everyone was allowed in Del Boca Vista was because I was switching out their plastic water tank with a new galvanized tank.  I have no idea why they are no longer happy drinking from the old tank, but water is important all the time and especially so when it's cold. 

I'd checked the tank, checked the heater, nothing seemed amiss.   Saint Tim had replaced the automatic waterer in the side field, but they no longer had access to that now with Lila and Pepperpot moved into that area.  Replacing the tank with a different style, material, color, whatever was worth a try.  Replacing it and building a new top (different size) with sheep "help"...was not going to be helpful.  I knew a free trip to DBV would be the perfect distraction.


The number one reason to "break into" DBV is to steal all of Allie's food and sleep in her bed.  You'd think it would be all the grass, but no.  Chocula is a repeat offender.  Look who his new sidekick is.  Yep, that's "sweet" little Muffin.  Even the chicken can't believe this bad behavior.


Look at the big wad of stolen hay.  Keep in mind that it's the exact same hay they all get.  She then proceeded to go around to the back side and rip half the plastic down.  

Kids...



Speaking of "kids", this is the funniest story of the day.  I noticed Buddy was involved in a bit of a scuffle mid afternoon.  I don't let anyone pick on old wobbly Buddy.  I headed into the barn lot to break it up and saw that actually no one was picking on Buddy.  Buddy was mixing it up with Murphy, the biggest sheep on the farm...over a girl!  Poor Renny.  

This went on all afternoon and into the evening with only short breaks here and there to grab a few bites.  I love the look on her face as she watches both morons during one of their short breaks.  I'm hoping things have settled down by the time I head out for the last barn check in a few minutes.  

Boys...


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Boxing Stomping Biting Pushing Mugging Day

This is too long, but there are some good parts scattered throughout and the end is cute so I just left it as is.  The second video (which is actually "part one") is much shorter.


Before the main group came back from the field, we had a small cookie party with the smaller group who'd stayed at the barn either because they are old and creaky (or had a mud ball stuck between her toes :-/) or were hoping for an early dinner...or somehow Maisie knew a cookie party was brewing ;-).


Merry Second Day of Christmas!


Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Stills


Petunia


Liddy


Mrs. Pepperpot


"I heard there would be cookies."


Hershey


Tessa and Tara


Woolliam


Bullwinkle


PPPP and Renny


Baaxter

"Where are the cookies, lady!"

We actually had a Christmas cracker party...and I tricked Maisie into eating one.  I made sure I was out of there before midnight so I didn't have to listen to what she probably had to say ;-).

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Broken


I took this picture one day last week when life was still good.  There were problems, big problems for sure, but I thought everything would eventually at least be okay.  Hickory foundered at the end of November.  Or probably started back in the summer but we didn't know it.  We didn't actually diagnose the founder until the first part of December.  

That sounds ridiculous to say.  I've had horses almost all my life.  I've been dealing with founder for probably 15 years.  How did I (and two vets and a farrier) miss something so common in the bluegrass region.  I'll to share a few things I've learned lately in hopes that they may help someone else so that maybe something good can come from this .

Actually I'm just going to get this over with.  The miscellaneous notes will follow.  

Hickory foundered badly and we couldn't get it stopped.  For non horse people this is (on a very basic level) a horrible, very painful foot problem.  There are various "causes" of founder, the most common being diet related.  The rich grass in this area is pretty, but can be deadly.

T-Bone has suffered with laminitis (founder) since, I think, 2006.  He's had good days and bad days and some really bad days over the years, but he's been happy and he's enjoyed being here, hanging out with his friends.  His first good buddy was Handy.  His very best friend was Hickory.  Like Biscuit and Muffin, in most of the pictures you saw of them they were grazing side by side.

Hickory's latest set of x-rays told us what we had to do.  It was black and white.  What he was facing in the next few days, no one would want to put a horse through.  I decided to have T-Bone put down with him.  It's been an unbelievably horrible week trying to make unbelievably hard decisions.  

It finally came down to quality of life.  The changes we'd have had to make to keep T-Bone safe(r) would have not made him happy.  And while those changes might have helped keep him from getting any worse, he wasn't really great to start with.  And he'd have been alone.   Some horses can handle that.  T-Bone spent most of the last month standing up next to Hickory's stall.

They are buried together out behind the arena.

*     *     *     *     *

Looking back, here are some things I had never heard about that we missed and might have made a difference.  

During the summer we started noticing some odd bruising on the outsides of Hickory's feet.  He wasn't lame so we assumed he'd bruised the outsides of his feet walking through the rocky creek.  If you see weird bruising like that, call your vet and ask about testing for a metabolic disease.  

On Sunday night (in November) Hickory seemed fine.  The next morning he looked like he was tying up, but was also picking up one of his back feet.  I called the vet.  They came out that morning, checked his feet for founder, found no symptoms (hoof heat and digital pulse), decided it was probably an abscess.  We poulticed it and I called the farrier.

The farrier came the next day and did find a small abscess in the "bad" back foot.  He also tested the bottoms of all four feet and agreed there was no heat or pulse.  We continued to treat as an abscess with complications stemming from that for several more days...

A sinking founder can present as tying up, not the classic founder stance.

Some foundering horses won't have a throbbing digital pulse or heat in their feet.  

Keeping them in the overgrazed front field, thinking that was further limiting their grass, was also a mistake.  A stressed (drought, over grazing...) pasture goes into "survival mode" and pushes up even more sugar into the blades of grass.  A well maintained thicker pasture would have been safer.

This is only a tiny bit of information you need to know about a multifaceted disease like laminatis and I am just passing them on as a lay person, not an expert by any means.  Most important, work with the best vets and farriers you can.  That's one good thing about the bluegrass.  We have both.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Wool-tide Greetings

I actually sketched this card back in July, right after I'd built the Charlie Brown Christmas tree for the robin family.  I toyed with making their "tree" the focus of this year's card and that led me to think about everyone waiting out by the mailbox to see if the robins, who had migrated for the winter, had sent them a Christmas card.  Much more plausible.  Obviously ;-).

I didn't go ahead and paint it however, because they don't call me the CRAZY sheep lady for nothing.  If you give me a birthday gift early, I never open it until it's actually my birthday.  Jumping the gun might jinx something.  Painting the card too early might do the same thing!  There are a couple of old guys on there.  Don't get cocky and assume anything.  Much better to wait until the last minute and be stressed out ;-).

Of course, being a glass half empty sort of person I only assumed something bad would happen and I'd have to remove someone from the design.  It never crossed my mind that something good could happen and I'd have to add someone in.  June fit into the card design as easily as she fit into the family.



Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Oh, For Good Green Grass Sake

Allie has been looking for a new buddy to hang out in Del Boca Vista with her.  Lila is a perfect choice.  She's old and creaky and not super pushy and wouldn't knock Allie down trying to get all the food.  She refuses.  Oh, she'll go in, eat a bit and then Wants Back Out.

Mrs. Pepperpot has not been handling the cold weather very well and she too would make a perfect choice.  She's even older and creakier and even less pushy.  I figured once she caught a whiff of that still lush green grass she'd be all about it.  And maybe if Pepperpot was in there with her, Lila would be happier.


Allie is Elizabeth's daughter.


Everyone looks pretty happy, gobbling green grass.


Everyone else?  Not so much.  "Hey lady let us in there!"


"Not a chance, chumps."

But that was about the end of it.  When dinnertime rolled around I had two unhappy old gals, Muffin looking for her mom, Biscuit running amok and I just gave up.  I know who's really in charge around here.

New puzzle up.  Enjoy!


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Not A Creature Was Stirring...Except For Saint Tim


Nobody naps like B. Willard :-).


Luckily it was a beautiful, warm sunny day today.  Saint Tim had to replace the ancient waterer in the side field.  Even if it had been cold and windy he'd have had to because a [something or other] had rusted all the way through and was leaking a good bit and we couldn't shut it off because of the heating element.  

This is why I always sign off on the back of the farm calendars with "As always, a very special thanks to Saint Tim, for doing all the hard work."

Come to think of it, B. Willard is Mr. February in the calendar this year...and guess what, he's laying down ;-).


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If You Think I've Gone Missing...

...normally I'd tell you to check Instagram, but even that account has been slow lately.  I'll eventually get caught up.  Or not.  It will be okay either way.  It will just be more fun if I remember to post some of the funny pictures and the video of me and Buddy yelling at each other last week.  In the meantime, Hank and June have everything under control.


"Hank?"


 "Hank."


"Hey, Hank."


"Hank!"


"What?"


"Ignore her.  She's just taking some pictures.  Hasn't done that in awhile.  Thought maybe she'd gotten it out of her system.  Just give her a good pose and she'll go away."


"Joke's on her though.  I've got a big piece of sheep poop stuck to my hip.  She'll just love that!"

Yeah, but it will still make a fun puzzle ;-).


Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Good Morning!

It's really been interesting watching the dog and dog and dog and flock dynamics change over the last month and a half.  June is very sheep oriented and enjoys sitting and sleeping near them.  Hank has always seemed to mostly prefer maintaining his own personal space.   

I don't really blame Hank.  He had a tough job being the first guardian dog this opinionated flock had ever had.  He got quite a bit of flack early on from some of the tougher personalities.  June was able to cash in on all of his hard work and with her calm, confident personality has settled the sheep even more.


This is where I found them this morning, soaking up some warm winter sun, sitting with their sheep.  I love how much more relaxed Hank is now.


"Oh, hi!"


"Whatcha got over there, Hank?"


Two good dogs.  A great team.


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