Meet the Pack!

(or alternatively titled: Why My Windows Are Always Dirty)

Happy Friday, Friends!
We had a veterinary emergency this week, which overshadowed everything about the farm. Don’t worry, it turned out fine, but in order to not go on and on and dwell about the scary situation, I have promised to spend no more than one paragraph explaining it and then on to happy things! We will be back to the farm fun next time.
So, Miss Nellie Belle colicked Easter Weekend. For my non-horsey friends, colic basically just encompasses any serious gastrointestinal distress. That kind of thing is incredibly dangerous in horses because they usually cannot deal with blockages, twists, or even simply an over-abundance of gas on their own, and it can be fatal in about 50% of cases in a matter of hours. Of course she colicked after hours, so I couldn’t get a hold of any vet in the valley, but my dear friend and farrier Jimmie came to the rescue. It pays to have angels as friends, I swear. But, after a very scary night, and a sleepless 24 hours, by Monday morning she was starting to feel completely normal again. I, on the other hand, have several new grey hairs, and lost a number of years off my life, and now spend a large part of my time finding excuses to walk out to the barn at all hours of the day and night. This has also taught me that I need to really beef up my emergency kit, so expect a post coming soon about that.

Don’t like the weather? Give it 5 minutes

Okay, now onto the regularly scheduled programming. I’ve been thinking about this post for a bit, and I think it may be time to introduce you to the pack, since they take up about 70% of my time and 98% of my camera roll. There’s four dogs in total in my pack currently, ranging from 4.5 years old to my “April baby” almost 14 year old. Let’s get started.
So, oldest in our pack, is my very special boy Scooby-Doo. Scooby is technically my brother’s dog, but to be honest, they’re all mine when the rubber hits the road because I’m the “fur mama” with the toughest stomach and softest voice. That’s not to say my brother isn’t incredibly involved and engaged with the critters, I’m just usually the final word. Scooby is almost fourteen, he has a birthday this coming week! He is missing all but one tooth, unfortunately he misjudged a step and knocked most of them out, and when we went to get those fixed, we found out the Bishon Frise curse had struck and many of his teeth needed to be pulled anyway. Despite this he is a big eater, and has slowed down as a senior citizen but still enjoys a good case of zoomies. He has middling patience with his younger brothers, but to his credit, they are about a decade younger. Scooby’s best friend in the world was my childhood pupper Winchester, who we lost in 2015, and Scooby and I mourned together for about a year before we decided to adopt a puppy. Well, I decided… Scooby was not totally game. In Winchester’s senior years he had started to become hard of hearing and blind, and while he was a very happy dog, that was in part because Scooby was his persistent buddy. I thought a puppy might give Scooby his sense of purpose back, and help me move forward.

Scooby isn’t one for his adoring public, he hides his face in most pictures

But then, in the course of a week, I goofed. I came home with three (3) puppies… no, I’m not joking. I had promised to take in Joe when he was old enough, and the week he came up due, I also ended up pulling my two little guys, Sherlock and Watson, out of a puppy mill situation… and suddenly I was a dog-mom of four.
Joe Friday, more commonly known as Joe-Joe around here, is a 90lb, almost 4 foot tall poodle. He made my aunt’s great dane look normal. His head rests on my kitchen counters. Poodles don’t generally get that big, and he’s actually purebred and papered so I know he’s a poodle (it was a friend of a friend situation, how Joey came into our lives), but we forgot to tell him to stop growing. When he was a pup, he ate a large river stone, and on top of a pretty intense surgery, spend some of his formative months wearing a muzzle… because I continued to have to pull rocks out of his mouth all of the time! It took forever for him to grow out of that and I spent so much on tests and treats to make sure he wasn’t looking for nutrients or something… nope, just liked eating rocks.
Joey loves his toys, and we have to buy the tough chewer toys so they last a while because he is an enthusiastic player. He’s got the sweetest eyes, is unbelievably gentle with his brothers, and no one has the heart to tell him he’s big, so he’s also a very accomplished lapdog. He’s been formally diagnosed with ADHD by two different vets, and is the spoiled baby of the pack as the youngest. I get lots of weird looks when I say his “big brothers” occasionally bully him, because they are 2 and 4 pound poodles.

Sherlock and Watson were the two little teacup poodles that came out of that mill. They are half brothers, so different and yet very similar. They are absolutely certain the world revolves around them, and that’s entirely my fault. Sherlock is about 2 pounds and stands about 8 inches tall, he is mostly a quiet little bean who likes to sleep in sweatshirt pockets and eats like Joe. He is a blanket thief and he really doesn’t bark, he more just yells at a pitch that could break glass when he gets excited. He swings wildly between “I’m so little, please rescue me from everything” to “I’m big and scary and you should fear me”, there is no telling what Sherlock you’re going to get. He was born with two full sets of teeth, which was a fun conversation with the vet, and more recently spent some time in emergency because he blew up an adrenal gland, I have no idea how. The vet wrote a scientific journal post about Sherlock because he was the smallest critter to have that delicate a surgery in that clinic.
He also just walked in and demanded to be a part of this writing session, so now I have a bean curled up in my lap. He says hi!

In case you needed cuteness overload

Watson (or Watty, or Wats) is in some ways a direct opposite of his brother. He was a little runt, terrified of everything when he first came home, and out first interaction was him puking on me. About a week later I was rushing to grab him off the back of the couch mid jump, he’s pushing around all his brothers, and he has this odd little grunt he does to get attention. Oh boy, does this dog need attention! He has made himself known in several zoom meetings, serious phone calls, and a couple DnD sessions. Watty is a big fan of cuddles, to the point where if he can’t be sitting on my lap he will go have a yell about it. He’s a little chunk of a dude, shorter than his brother but densely packed.
He also just came blowing into the room, but now he’s chasing the little typing pointer, so I think I’ll need to end this here.

Watty, chasing the mouse

In summation, Nellie is okay, very loved. I am going to have a head full of grey hairs by thirty, and my pack says hi!
Until we chat again, my friends!

(More random dog photos below)

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