Friday, November 21, 2014

Still a Baby

Have you noticed?  I know, with all this puppy distraction, it's easy to overlook the little details.   The donkeys have still been running around naked, no blankets yet.  I really wanted to keep it that way this year and, up until this week, it was working.  With the sudden plunge in temperature however, Ramsey is cold.

I finally bit the bullet and got out his blankie, which I didn't think would even fit.  If needed, I had intended to use the blanket Emma wore last year on him.  I was quite surprised to find that it was way too big for him still.  He has grown so much that it never occurred to me that it would be too big, but all of his growth has been up.  He has gotten so tall, but is still very narrow and it does not fit well at all.  That's what I get for making assumptions.

Emma, on the other hand, didn't want anything to do with blankets this year.  She was quite adamant that she is grown up now and would not be caught dead in a blankie!  Since she seems to be handling the cold just fine, I was happy to oblige.  She has a thick, shiny coat and has shown no signs of wanting her blanket, which is a first.  Baby donkeys seem like very fragile creatures to me.  Fortunately, they do seem to grow out of it.  Emma is a quite sturdy four year old now and seems to have toughened up considerably.  In previous years, she was very bothered by the cold and her winter coat did not really come in until sometime around February, just about the time the horses start losing theirs.  Of course, all that extra internal fluff she has now helps a bit.

Tessa, as usual, is sporting her sleek otter pelt and is impervious.  She would get heat stroke if I tried to blanket her.  She breaks a sweat if the temps get over 35*.

It's just the wee, little baby who still wants his blankie - even if he is hanging out the end of it.

I guess I'm gonna have to break down and go blanket shopping one more time.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Working Up His Courage

I took these last week before the deep freeze descended on our part of the world. We have been plunged into winter and, like most everyone else in the country, we are all a bit appalled and stupefied by the weather.  I am just counting my blessings that we are not near Buffalo, 76 inches of snow in one day is just totally out of line.  If that happens here, I'm moving.  That's all there is to it.  Hear that FB, RB?  I mean it!

While I contemplate where I'm going to move to, here is Connor's first encounter with a Jolly Ball.  If we get six feet of snow, at least I know he'll be happy to move with me anyway.

"It's mine now."

"All MINE."



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Bear Won

I got a call this morning from my nearest neighbor.  His dog, an 18 month old lab/pit cross, had to be euthanized yesterday after he came home badly injured by a very large animal, most likely a bear.  He had been out roaming the woods with another neighbors dog, also a lab mix.

I am very sorry for the dog and for his owner, who is a very caring, sincere person who has no clue about the nature of dogs.  I feel awful about it and at the same time, I just want to grab both of these guys and shake the hell out them and ask them what the hell they thought was going to happen!  The black dog has been roaming the countryside chasing deer, harassing livestock, threatening people and generally making a nuisance of himself for years.  When I saw the other dog join up with him, I knew there was going to be trouble one day. 

I have had several conversations about the problem with both owners as have nearly every property owner in the area along with the sheriff's office and animal control.  These dogs went after my donkeys last year.  No one got hurt, but it was a near thing.  I had another long talk with the owners at the time and I had the one guy bring his young dog over.  He really wasn't a bad dog, but he was powerful, agile and totally out of control.  His owner was absolutely powerless against his own dog.  I finally took over and, every time that dog lunged at a donkey, I did my best to put the fear of God into him.  He got it.  Not exactly my training method of choice, but it was very clear that it was either that or buy a gun for the next time the dog came around.   I did convince the owner to get some training lessons and, to give him credit, he did it and I haven't had any more trouble with that dog chasing my animals.  It didn't stop the dogs from roaming the countryside wreaking havoc everywhere else they went though.

When the owner called this morning to tell me what happened and warn me about a dangerous animal loose I the woods, I was appalled, but not surprised.  This was opening day of deer season, the normally empty woods are crawling with hunters both skilled and inept.  I always feel intruded on by all these men with guns traipsing about, how must the Bears and Cougars feel?  I can just picture these obnoxious, pushy dogs chasing down and harassing an already angry bear and also picture just how it would react, swiping out and taking the lower jaw of the one dog clear off.

I don't normally worry much about the lions and tigers and bears out in the woods.  I stay out of their space and they they return the favor.  I  am not thrilled by the idea of a riled up, pissed off bear wandering around out there trying to avoid all the hunters.  I might have to find somewhere else to go hiking for a while.

The whole thing has been bugging me all day.  I really am sorry for the lose of what could have been a very nice dog.  At the same time, there is a small, mean part of me that wishes the bear had taken out both dogs and solved this mess once and for all since their owners won't do it.  I know, it's awful.  It makes me feel awful.  I want to offer my condolences and dope slap these people all at the same time.  Instead, all I can do is rant about I on my blog.

And I guess I'm done ranting, now it all just makes me feel tired.  

How about some puppy cuteness to make the world better?  You can be damn sure that this dog won't ever be out roaming around unsupervised and picking fights with bears!




Monday, November 17, 2014

Jumping the Grand Canyon

There are some mighty big obstacles in the world, like this huge river we had to cross today....

Do you see the size of that thing!

Of course, the perspective is a bit different if you're nine weeks old and only weigh ten pounds.

When faced with such challenges, it's important to really examine the problem from all angles...

It's tempting to swoop in to the rescue, but that would deny the pleasure of a problem solved.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Injustice of it All

I hope no one, besides the donkeys, is sick of puppy pictures yet:)  It's been a busy week and I haven't had much time for blogging.  Little Connor is certainly keeping me busy, as is trying to make the donkeys happy.  They are doing very well around Connor, but they are sooooo jealous.  I've been brayed at more this week than in the past two years.  Every time they see me out with him, I get yelled at.  It doesn't help that winter arrived yesterday and the nice Fall weather we have been enjoying looks to be a thing of the past.  And, as if all of that isn't insult enough, Saturday is opening day of rifle season.  That means no more walks in the woods and having to stay close to home. The injustice is just too much.

"How can that thing compare to handsome me?"

"And what about beautiful me?"

"We were here first ya know."

"What's that thing got that we haven't??"







Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jealousy

"What do think Mom, will that darned puppy fit in the box?"  

"It's not very big after all, even if it is hogging up ALL the attention!"

"We could just stuff him in the box and leave it out by the mailbox and the guy who stops there every day will just cart him away.  We'll have Ma all to ourselves again."

"It's a good idea kid, but you know we'll never get away with it.  Ma watches that thing like a hawk.  I guess we better just resign ourselves to only getting most of the attention instead of all of it."

"Sheesh, that's just SO unfair!  There's gotta be a way to make this work, I know that thing will fit in here....."