It’s FRIDAY!!!!! Friday’s don’t really mean as much as they did before coronapocolypse, but I still love them because they mean I have two nearly uninterrupted days of horsing ahead of me. Add to that the weather has been gloriously cool, albeit quite wet, this week and it looks like the cooler (for Texas) weather is going to stick around for a bit longer!
A few weeks ago I was in the barn doing chores and when I went to dump water buckets from one of the horse stalls I found one of my kittens staring at a little baby Blue Jay was on the ground. It was a big baby and had some feathers, but clearly wasn’t ready to fly yet. I quickly picked it up because me picking it up was going to end better than what the kittens would do with it if they had their way. Immediately I could hear the Blue Jay parents go CRAZY! They were swooping down from the trees and carrying on, like any good parent would do if a giant took their baby.
Super cute Blue Jay nearly-fledgling.
I put the baby bird in some grass hay in a box with a lid to keep it safe while I tried to figure out where it needed to go. There are quite a few trees around my barn so I had my work cut out for me to try to find the nest this little bird belonged to. The parents were still losing their minds so they weren’t a great deal of help to figure out where was home nest. After wandering about for nearly 30 minutes I was ready to give up when I FINALLY saw what looked like a nest at the very top part of the tree just outside the stall where I found the chick. Thankfully Boot City invested in a 14′ ladder so I wrangled the thing to the barn and set it up under the tree. This was my cardio AND strength training for the day. That ladder is no joke. Once set up, the bird parents resumed their maniacal freaking out and dive bombing, so I felt pretty good that I had found the right spot.
The top of the 14′ ladder. The nest was still a good 6-8′ higher. Never mind the car projects that live in perpetuity at our house.
I made sure the ladder was steady and got my baby bird and we climbed to the top of the ladder. The ladder was quite steady, thankfully, because when I got to the top I realised that I still couldn’t reach the nest so I had to climb into the actual tree ABOVE the ladder. Thankfully I don’t have too much of a fear of heights. As I was doing that, the bird parents started dive bombing my head and face. Yikes! I got just high enough that I could reach the nest at the top of my reach and gently drop the precious cargo back into it’s home. It never made a peep. I climbed back down and the parents relented on their attack. I never saw another sign of the bird family again. I hope all was well and they live happily ever after! Never a dull moment!
In other less dramatic news we have gone from having as many as 75 to 80 laying hens to now only having 6. All were lost from predators, old age or illness. Old hens are not very tasty, contrary to what people try to convince me. The remaining hens have two very nice gentlemen roosters to look out for them and they enjoy helping Coco eat her breakfast and laying eggs in her hay. It entertains me because Coco is quite aggressive about attacking dogs or cats in her stall, but she’s perfectly happy to have chicken guests!
A little for you, and a little for me.
When Boot City’s and my house was being renovated last year there was a long period of time when we didn’t have a dryer, so I got back into line drying our laundry. I really like line drying for many reasons. I love the smell of line dried clothes/sheets. I like that the sun naturally whitens things. I like that a lot of clothes that are line dried don’t need to be ironed like they do when they come out of the dryer. Texas summer heat dries things on the line almost as fast, and sometimes faster, than the dryer so the time commitment is actually better if you take into account the lack of ironing. However, there is the constant risk of laundry being furry.
He just stood there in the laundry for like 5 minutes. Like he enjoyed the fabric flapping around him. Like a weirdo.
And no Farm Friday post is complete without at least ONE dog photo. During the renovation we turned our breezeway into a dog/laundry/mud room and Linda (she’s a foxhound retired from Red Rock Hounds in Reno, Nevada) enjoys napping on her dog cot. She’s the sweetest old hound when she isn’t teaching the youngsters to dig under the fence to get to the neighbour’s to chase deer.
Red Rock Linda having a nice snooze.
I’m looking forward to lots of time in the saddle this weekend, some mane trimming and bridle path clipping and maybe even some house cleaning. What are you getting up to this weekend?
Good Friday morning y’all! I cannot believe we are into the double digits dates of August! Soon school will be starting around here and traffic will be bad and the weather will start cooling off and all that comes with the change of seasons.
I’m trying to let myself enjoy the cooler temps we are having right now, but I’m having a hard time not being bitter about the lack of rain. We have been surrounded by rain clouds for a couple days and seen a lot of lightening and even some rainbows. But no rain.
When it gets warm, Tuffy gets in the water trough to cool off. This always cracks me up and it makes him SO happy!
Quila is a saint about letting the puppies climb on her. Some of the tan ones look a lot like her, so she’s extra cute with her doppelgangers!
This is Jackie, she is our newest foster. She had been in the Joshua shelter since about April. They had gotten to the point that where going to have to euthanize dogs to make room for all the new ones coming in the door, so we offered to foster her. She is a DELIGHTFUL little dog! Only about 27lb with lots of love and energy. We are smitten.
PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY ……………………………….. pass out. That is the theme of Dickens. He adores playing with Jackie!
Simon is lame right now with an apparent stifle injury (WTF, Simon!) and since Sterling is gone Coco is getting ALL the love! And it appears to make her very sleepy.
And speaking of Sterling, things seem to be going OK with his kid. Do you see his happy eyes? I think he REALLY loves his kid! I’m the proudest horse Mom this side of the Mississippi!
I’ll be spending the weekend wishing, hoping, praying, begging, and doing whatever else I can try to encourage the rain to fall!
As of a few weeks ago we have a new house hound! Meet Brazos Valley Tuffy!
The sweetest hound face!
Tuffy hunted with the pack for one full season and part of a second, but his disposition is not suited for hunting with the pack so we got the privilege of providing him a retirement home. We have had him long enough to get to know his personality and he is a bit of a lone ranger. We have 7 other dogs and while he’s fine with them, he seems indifferent to the pack, which is likely why hunting with the hound pack just wasn’t his thing.
He went off property at one of the hunts this season so I got to go pick him up in my car.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s most definitely a hunter! He will spend hours in our pastures patrolling the perimeter and I’m pretty sure he’s run off a few coyotes and definitely some owls and stray cats. He has an amazing voice!
Tuffy in his Rambo blanket.
He’s still at his “fighting” weight so when it is colder than 45F he has to wear his Rambo blanket outside in an effort to save his energy for putting on weight rather than keeping warm. He’s gotten to where he seems to like his blanket and will put his head through it to help get it on. It also means he gets to go outside, which he loves.
Finally using the dog beds
At first we had to barricade the dog door so he wouldn’t run outside and stay outside all the time. It was quite cold for a few days and he would go stand in the backyard and shiver because he was too timid to stay in the house. Often the younger foxhounds have a harder time adjusting to house life than do their older retiree counterparts and this has been true for Tuffy. And Tuffy does NOT like the TV. If the TV is on there is no chance he will stay in the house, so we are avoiding having it on altogether. The only other hound we have right now is Catfish and they were never in the kennel together so Tuffy didn’t know to follow Catfish’s lead on being a lazy house hound.
However it appears that they are bonding pretty quickly. We lost Peaches shortly before Christmas and Catfish stayed with her almost 24/7 for the last 3 or 4 days, so it was nice to see him snuggling with Tuffy recently. Catfish wanted nothing more in his life than to always share a dog bed with Peaches, but she just wasn’t having it and would bite at and growl at him. Catfish is also blind so he runs into things often, which also often results in getting barked, growled and bit at by the other dogs. Tuffy doesn’t seem to mind any of this about Catfish and for the past three nights they have shared a dog bed. I know the photo looks like Catfish is a bedhog, but Tuffy just doesn’t know how to share it yet!
It has been cathartic to have a young hound in the house after losing Peaches. She had a good long life and was very well loved!
Our sweet Peaches. I’ve never had a dog who loved babies of all kinds like Peaches loved babies! Here she is with one of her MANY kittens.
Happy FriYAY all! Casey and I are headed west to a Stock Horse of Texas show. This will be my first horse show in western tack in about 15 years! Hopefully all goes well and we get some ribbons and some interest in buying Casey.
This week has been delightfully less eventful than weeks past. Still lots of prescription meds in the cabinets for various animals, but most seem to be on the mend.
Catfish and Mickey snuggles before Mickey had his surgery. Catfish is always sweet with the little dogs, even though he can’t see them.
We got nearly an inch of rain this week and the temps have been amazingly cool. The forecast for the next 10 days has the highs in the low 90s and high 80s, which is remarkable for Texas in August! I’ll take it! Sterling got the all clear last weekend for turnout (with a quiet buddy) and walk/trot rides. It has been nice to be back in the tack for some easy hill walking.
Sterling also enjoys the rain. Why is it that the horse that is closest to the color white is the one that most feels the need to roll in mud? None of the brown horses have this dirty habit.
The muppies are continuing to eat and grow,eat and grow, and eat and grow. The puppy timelines say their eyes should be open by now, but they are taking their time and appear to be enjoying their eat and grow schedule. Very few workouts for these muppies so far. I’ll probably be eating my words a week from now!
Harriet is almost done with her post-heartworm-treatment meds and is ready for YOU to adopt her! She is so wonderful and will be an amazing doggo for someone.
Harriet found/made her very own doggy canopy bed. This is her new favorite place to sleep.
Happy weekend y’all!
This was a relatively quiet week at the farm. The weather is heating up to typical Texas summer temps, which makes me kind of sad. The spring and fall here are delightful, but the summers really are brutal!
Sweet little Harriet had her first heartworm injection this week. She was quite lethargic the first day, but has pepped up since. She will have two more injections in a month and hopefully will then be cured and ready to be adopted!
I can’t even with these two! This is no less than 150 pounds of dog on one dog bed. Never mind that there are at least two other same-sized dog beds they can use.
This is Mickey, our most recent foster from the Fort Worth shelter. He is your typical 6 pound dog who acts like he is 60 pounds! He is also heartworm positive so will be starting treatment soon. In the meantime he is trying his paw at goat herding.
Pardon her closed eyes, but this is Coco modeling her new fly sheet. She is a solid 16hh so I have mostly bought her sheets and blankets sized for a horse that tall, which is generally a 75-78 depending on their body type. Well, Coco has a very compact body and she was tearing up her size 76 fly sheet because it was too big and didn’t fit her correctly. This sheet is a 72. She is so petite!
This photo is a barn evening in a nutshell! Peaches asleep in the middle of the doorway. Quila chasing chickens trying to find eggs to eat and chickens wandering in the barn aisle and pooping on the floor.
Happy weekend y’all!
It is baby goat time at the Farm! Enjoy some adorable pics of the kids, some foxhounds and one John Deere kitty!
This particular goat just LOVES to sleep on top of the round bale!
Our #fosterfail kitty is a big fan of the tractor seat for sunning and sleeping.
Baby goats can be quite aggressive when nursing. I always feel bad for the mama goat!
Our retired foxhounds live a very (not) hard life!
The goats’ favourite day is new-round-bale-day!
Tis the season for hound shows and last weekend I helped put on the Southwest Hound Show here in Texas. I should start with a disclaimer that I am very much a novice when it comes to hound shows. I’ve only been to a handful of shows and they have all been in Texas. Every year I learn a little bit more about the hounds and what judges look for. Having grown up showing Quarter Horses I have a very basic understanding of conformation (hounds really aren’t THAT different from horses, right?!) and my experience actually watching the hounds hunt has added some understanding to my basics. But they remain very basic basics.
The SW Hound Show has two categories of hounds that are shown; Americans and Crossbreds. Generally the American hounds are a little stalkier than the Crossbreds. That is about the extent of my knowledge of their differences. Mind you there are many differences between hounds of the same breed dependent upon the territory they are bred to hunt and what quarry (fox vs coyote). The classes are also split between dogs (males) and bitches (females). The announcer had quite a good time announcing the bitches’ classes.
“Bring all your American Bitches to the ring”
Different judges have different preferences and the judge for this show seemed to prefer the leaner hounds. As with any type of “judging” it is very difficult to stay consistent all the time and at times he wavered from his pattern of choosing the leaner hounds, but even my novice self caught on to this preference. I don’t recall if he gave a full explanation, but I would venture to guess it has something to do with what his hounds look like and what is their quarry. He is from a hunt in Virginia that exclusively hunts foxes. In Texas we generally hunt coyotes.
Showing American Hounds
The judge looks over the hounds as they walk around the show ring, then each handler brings their hound to the center of the ring to show them to the judge. This involves both standing up the hound to judge the conformation as well as to have the hound run back and forth on the boards to judge their movement. Correct structure, straight movement, no major lumps and bumps are all important. The biggest difference between the hound shows and “other” dog shows I’ve been to is that the hounds are working dogs. They don’t get baths or have their nails clipped before the show. Many of them have scars and scratches from disagreements in the kennel or excitement on a hunt. This is probably my favorite thing about the hound shows. These hounds are for reals. One of the officers from the Masters of Foxhounds Association was at the show and he told us at dinner one night that 2 of the top 5 sled dog packs at last year’s Iditarod had fox hound blood in them. Fox hounds are badasses.
The judge evaluating a dog hound
I would be remiss if I left out the Junior Showmanship class. Can you imagine anything cuter?!
All the Junior Showmen and girls were winners!
Last, but certainly not least, was the pack class. This is where the huntsman gets to show off how well his or her hounds respond to commands. The hounds are taken into an open area and are judged entirely on following commands. It is absolutely delightful to watch the trust and admiration the hounds all have for their huntsman. The huntsman has the assistance of one whipper-in (basically one other person to help keep them contained). At this show they took the hounds down to a designated spot then returned to the judge. What a beautiful way to end a lovely day. I’m sad I won’t make it to the big hound show at Morven Park in Virginia this year, but hopefully next year it’ll fit into my vacation plans.
The pack at work