On Saturday, May 15, my girl Chivas crossed the rainbow bridge. She was about 15 years old and it was just a few weeks shy of being a Derrbetts for 15 years.
My parents had lost their Jack Russell in May of 2006 and asked me to find a puppy for them. I had some connections to a Jack Russell breeder via the Russell Rescue group in Texas. This breeder had WAY too many dogs and was in a position to need to find as many of her dogs new homes as quickly as possible prior to a local humane society coming on site and taking possession of remaining dogs. I was told that Chivas was a puppy and went home with her and another dog that would be our dog. Mom named her after Dad’s favorite scotch; Chivas Regal.
Mom and Dad came to visit that July and had decided that life without a dog was easier, so were not going to take Chivas back to Montana. Alas Chivas became my dog. The following years with Chivas were nerve wracking at times, always full of unconditional puppy love, and included myriad adventures.
We were told she was a “puppy” when we got Chivas. She was never bigger than this and this was within a couple months of when she became a member of our family.
The August after I got Chivas my Dad passed away from complications from a horseback riding injury and Chivas made her first of many trips to Montana. We had puppy dog barrel races in Mom’s backyard with family and friends, which provided much needed levity during a very difficult and sad time. I cannot find any photos from the event, but trust me, it was epic.
ALL the dogs really would have loved to have Edith as a snack. Chivas was no exception, but she was a good girl. Always.
Chivas also frequently attended the World Famous Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City. She experienced all the weather options that Montana has in May. From sunny and in the 80s to a blizzard. Her last visit to Miles City was in 2019 and having been left for a few hours in Mom’s backyard, Chivas decided to go look for me. She got out of Mom’s backyard and took herself on at least a 13 miles walkabout. We figured out the distance based on who saw her and where they saw her. Mind you she was 13 years old then!
Chivas made many new friends over the years. The baby goats were always her size when they were first born. This was much loved Marigold.
She went on a few walkabouts when on visits to other cities. Once she ran out the front door of the family member whose home she was staying in McAllen, Texas. We found her (in the dark) within an hour. She also ran out the front door of a friend’s home in Fort Worth. We drove around and looked for her for a bit, but finally gave up because it was impossible to find a 10lb dog in a big city. We had happy hour on their porch and sure enough she found her way back after a few hours. In November of 2019 she was exploring around the end of our driveway and wandered down the busy road where we live. A man saw her and picked her up, unbeknownst to me, but got her scanned for a chip and we were reunited a few days later. I was convinced she had been dinner for a coyote and sobbed in relief when I got her back.
She had a knack for being places where she shouldn’t.
Some of Chivas other adventures included wildlife encounters. One morning I was cleaning stalls. It was dark outside and I heard a commotion towards the back of our property. I didn’t think anything of it and finished my morning chores before heading to the house, where I found Chivas shaking and bleeding from a couple small holes. Based on her extreme discomfort, where the injuries were and what I heard, we believe she was attacked by an owl (of which we have MANY). We think the owl tried to pick her up and the bigger dogs attacked it and prevented it from taking Chivas. She was in extreme discomfort for about a week and would cry anytime we touched her sides, but she made a full recovery!
Chivas playing in the snow with Sterling. He was about to turn two when this photo was taken.
Chivas and Boot City didn’t get off to a great start. He was trying to pick her up to remove her from an area being treated by an exterminator and it scared her enough that she ran away from him anytime she thought he was trying to pick her up for a couple years (mind you he didn’t hurt her at all, she was just very sensitive to men). She was so fearful that one day she climbed the 6′ fence out of the backyard and was gone for almost an entire day after he had merely opened the sliding glass door to the yard when she was outside. When she showed back up she had a cooked hamburger patty in her mouth. We assumed the neighbors were having a cookout and didn’t think much of it until a few days later when we were chatting with the neighbors and asked about their cookout. Turned out they hadn’t been cooking burgers and we still have no idea where she got that hamburger patty!
A photo with two of my nearest and dearest.
I’m so fortunate to have been Chivas’ person for 15 wonderful years. I’m grateful for digital photography because I have literally hundreds of photos of her from the past 15 years to remember all our fun times.
Chivas’ signature smile.
I love my vet, but man am I tired of seeing and talking to him! Sterling is MUCH improved and I should be able to start riding him again early next week. THANK GOODNESS! Next up is to “fix” Coco. I think she is having mare issues, but vet wanted to rule out lameness so we finish that experiment this weekend and I feel pretty strongly will address hormones next. Good times. Thank you Simon and Jaguar for being “normal” as of late. Keep up the good work!
I feel like every Farm Friday will feature a photo of Patches sitting on one of our other dogs until she gets adopted. If you like chihuahuas you should totally adopt her. She is the sweetest, funniest little dog EVER!
Don’t sunbath in the stall with the horse most likely to try to kill you.
Simon is getting lots of rides right now since he is pretty much the only horse I can ride. He is still cool as a cucumber 95% of the time. LOVE this OTTB!
Bunny participated in our pursuit to give the vets as much of our money as possible this month. We thought she had a rotten tooth, but turns out it was just a random abscess. She did get her teeth cleaned and a few removed, but the abscess was likely from a spider bite or something like that. It popped on the outside and is oozy now. Super gross.
I’m excited for a fun weekend with my girlfriends. I hope your weekend is wonderful and if you are in the great white north that your snow starts melting! Spring starts next week!
What a week! Lots of emotions and stress! Sterling seems to be improving, thankfully. Coco is having some issues that appear to be related to either ulcers or ovaries. Hopefully we will know more when the vet comes (again) next week.
On a happier note here are some fun photos from the farm this week.
This photo is terrible and ridiculous, but SO funny. Boot City put the baking sheet on the open dishwasher door and Chivas CAMPED out and licked that thing for at least 30 minutes. She growled and snarled at any dog that got close to her! She’s pretty funny in her old age!
Meet Maggie, our newest foster dog! Maggie is from the Fort Worth shelter and is a 4yo Beagle. She has heartworms and is pleasantly plump so will be undergoing treatment and a diet. She will be available to adopt in about 60 days!
Murtagh lives in my tack room, but gets be out when we are at home (we worry about him getting eaten by predators with all that white fur) and boy does he LOVE his barn cat besties!
Lily, our foster chihuahua, was adopted last Sunday (YAY) so Patches likes to bother Annie now. Annie growls at her a lot, but it doesn’t dissuade Patches from laying on her and trying to lick Annie’s ears.
I’ll be spending my weekend cold hosing, sweating and cleaning Sterling’s leg and hopefully riding Simon since he’s the only rideable horse I have right now! How about you?
I CANNOT believe we are into the double digits in NOVEMBER! Where does the time go? Fall’ish weather seems to be sticking around North Texas now, although it is supposed to be 82 today. The most important part is that it is cooler for fox hunting! The days are shorter so I’m not getting to ride after work, hopefully soon Boot City will put up some arena lights. The to-do list on the farm is never-ending……
Little Chivas sunbathing. The poor girl has been extra itchy lately. She’s even had hives the past couple days. Hopefully the vet can figure out something to help her. We have been treating her for itchy skin for years.
This is my formal blog introduction to the latest farm family member;Samson! He’s a kill-pen rescue from a good friend. I’m hoping he knows or we cat teach him how to drive!
The outside of our house has finally finished its face lift! We had a contractor/handyman do some trim repairs and painting and then got ALL new windows. The change in window technology from 1964 to 2017 is pretty huge and fabulous.
Mickey is still ridiculous and adorable. He enjoyed the stacked furniture while the windows were being replaced. He’s had a few adoption applications recently so hopefully he gets his own family for Christmas!
One of the funniest photos from Opening Hunt. My horsey bestie is busy braiding her horses tail while the rest of us are drinking port and chatting. I’m holding her drink and mine, not two of my own drinks.
I’m thankful for all my friends and family and wish you the best Thanksgiving!