Training and Raining

Hello Friends!

Much has happened since we last caught up!

We had the vet out for our yearly checks. Nellie actually did pretty good all things considered. She didn’t let us vaccinate (I did that later) but she also didn’t really kill anyone, so ya know, we count our blessings. The other critters acted like the vet professionals they are and handled it with grace. Ro is on some anti-inflammatories now for some arthritis aches, and so we mitigate any unnecessary damage. Nellie is supposed to be wearing a mask now, as her little pink skin around her eye is just primo skin cancer material and the vet is worried. We are working on it.

Unfortunately, this vet visit caused a bit of a spiral in Nellie’s behavior and I’ve had to employ some tougher love lately. She started getting pretty aggressive about haltering and the barging and kicking officially put us into dangerous territory. So as much as I hate giving the girl any sort of uncomfy consequences, I had to take off the mama hat and put on my trainers cap, remind her and myself that allowing bad behaviors like that is a huge disservice to this horse and her cleverness. I’m happy to report that while it’s still a massive work in progress, she seems to have a lot of pride in the new, tougher consequences style work. Unsurprisingly I don’t have to dole out consequences often when the right answer is easy.

We’ve had some interesting storms rolling through. I’ve been trying to capture what I can, I’m still not great with the GoPro and lately, these storms have come with so much dust I’ve worried about leaving it outside alone anyway. I know they are tough, but I don’t have any sorta tough weather case, just a little tripod and I usually tie it to the porch post.

We’ve had some dry lightning, and lots of rainstorms. Although, we’ve had a lot more drizzly days than usual too, normally it’s a downpour and done, but the gray drizzle has persisted this year. We’ve also had our usual share of windstorms, which always stress me out. At least with the roof replaced I don’t worry so much about another waterfall from my kitchen light. My favorite thing about the storms around here is that often they come in the evenings, after you’ve already put in a good day’s work, almost like a little reward. But they are also usually gone by the time bedtime rolls around, so you aren’t often sitting up late worrying over the weather. 

The rainy day cuddles are adorable

I was out at the ranch the other day when a little cell went through. In theory I was out there to help my aunt with her scanner, it wasn’t scanning again, but it kinda sorted itself out. I’m not exactly sure what changed but it was scanning by the time I left. I’m a little afraid to ask if it’s still scanning to be honest, I don’t think I really want to know the answer. Anyways, while I was there I got to see the latest batch of babies. Love me some little cows. We met Little Boy, Sue, and Esuni. Little Boy got his name exactly how you’d imagine, but Sue and Esuni have cute stories. Sue is named after my great great grandma, because they share a birthday (how my great great grandma would feel about sharing a name and birthday with a cow is a question for another time) and Esuni was supposed to be Sunny, but they realized she was out of Eve’s line, and they try to keep with the same leading letters to make lineage a little easier. Luckily Sue is out of Sissy, who is out of Sadie. Remind me to tell you all about Sadie cow one day. It’s a cute story (have I told it before? Maybe, doesn’t matter, it’s worth a retelling). Little Esuni was born so small, she literally weighed less than one of my grain bags. They were worried about her, but she prevailed. Those little guys can be hardy when they wanna be. I helped my aunt count the herd, and, of course, we did it in a rainstorm, while that random cell went over. Didn’t rain a stitch before or after. But it was fun riding around with my aunt goofing off.

We’ve had lots of fun things happening around here lately. We’ve had a new baby born to the family, my uncle has a new little girl named Sadee (yes, I know, I don’t think anyone else put it together, but Sadie the cow spells hers different, and has since gone on this year after a long and happy life anyway, so I am not saying anything). Another of my cousins is graduating high school this week. We’re prepping for the Fiddle Fest and I’m very excited, because a dear friend of mine is coming down to visit while it’s going on. 

Lots to look forward to, can’t wait to share it all with you soon!

Until we chat again my friends!

Coming Out of Hibernation

Hello friends!

It’s warming up slowly but surely and I’ve come to the conclusion I’m basically an overgrown houseplant. Basically if you give me enough sun, a little food, some water, and I am a happy bean. It literally boils down to basically if the sunshine is out, I handle life a lot better.

Joe feels the same way I think. The sunshine zoomies are intense and exuberant. He’s already curating the beginning of this year’s stick collection. He raids the yard trimmings and wind downed limbs for the best sticks. He’s been following Dad around doing yard work and helping me in my quest to de grossify the tack space. It’s a…work in progress. But Joe is loving when it’s warm and sunny enough to work outside.

Joe’s foot is healing nicely. It wasn’t a big deal, just a split pad, but we didn’t know when it initially happened, and he had the post-groomer zoomies around the house, and my house looked like a crime scene. Then, because I’m not particularly fast at learning my lessons, we let him loose to move freely again when we thought it was done bleeding and I had to play CSI: dog zoomies edition all over again. I used an entire can of the heavy duty Resolve Pet Cleaner and I still have little blood spots I keep finding. My dad has a carpet shampoo thingie so as soon as we have a warm day I can leave the doors open with, I’m shampooing the rugs. If the cops were to stop by the purple light thingies would be going nuts! 

So, Joe had to wear some vet wrap and gauze for a while, and he’s quite upset because I’ve been alternating antiseptic and antimicrobial sprays just in case. He has super tickly feet so any sort of work around them is an ordeal. It took a while to find a groomer who could handle him because it’s a knee jerk reaction for him, he snatches his tickly little toes away and hides them.

He’s all good now, though, which is great as I was really worried about infection, and he’s zooming like crazy again. He’s had a serious case of the springtime zoomies for weeks, but otherwise he pretty much milked it for a day or two and then moved on.
We’ve had some more sad news on the farm this last week. The raccoon that has been terrorizing the animals and that we haven’t been able to get rid of has escalated his behavior and we lost our lovely last chicken. This one hit Dad especially hard since she followed him around during the day and played with the cats, and then he had a little night time routine with her to tuck her in each night. UNfortunately, some time in the last week or so the raccoon learned to manipulate basic latches and locks, so the previously secured chicken coop isn’t. Little one will be missed.

I’m basically ready for Easter at this point, the eggs are stuffed, the food is all in various states of completeness but I think the ingredients have all been attained, and I’ve taken the Monday after as PTO. My boss is getting used to me, he knows I take Easter really seriously and he already had that day marked off for me. He’s a funny guy, he can be really hard some days, but I know he’s got my back. I hope everyone gets to have a boss like I have at least once in their life. Some of my cousins came to help me stuff the eggs and a normally four hour job only took about an hour. Because I think I am clever I fed them Egg Drop Soup in return. Let’s keep our fingers crossed we have a warm and sunny Easter. The last couple years have been a little cold and cloudy.

They burned the canal last weekend. Just got rid of all the major weeds and tumbleweeds that pile up over the winter time. They are always really respectful of the horses, and I happened to be driving in right as they went by, so I went and stood by the girls so they had a little extra support. They were amped up, but not particularly scared.

That’s been us most generally. Slowly turning into spring, and we are slowly coming out of hibernation. What are you guys up to? Have you been able to start your Spring Chores yet? Got any fun Easter traditions?

Until we chat again, my friends!

Catching Up

Hello! Friends!
Well, we had a little thunder, some rain, some higher winds, but luckily it looks like maybe the snow is mostly over for the year. There’s been a lot of sad gray days, but that seems appropriate for the last couple weeks. I won’t dwell long on the sadness, we’ve had some truly heartbreaking moments trying to find a new routine without Scooby and watching my four legged family members work out that Scoobs isn’t going to come tippy-tapping through the door. It was particularly hard watching Joe’s face light up when he saw Scooby’s blanket for the first time again, and then look up at the shelf where I had arranged all of Scooby’s things when I went to tuck them in later that night. I know it’s silly to attach human ideals to critters since they truly think differently, but I swear it seemed like he was saying Good Night to Scooby.

Our raccoon has stuck around, although he’s realized we won’t feed the cats while he’s around so he’s now terrorizing the horses and Dad as well, which is grand. To clarify, we still feed the cats, but differently now, they are not going hungry, in fact, our sweet Honey has gotten quite the filled out figure. She’s not fat, but she could very easily get there. In her defense, it’s hard to exercise in the winter. No one wants to move in the cold.

Sunrise on a stormy morning… it was a lot less purple on my phone

I cut my hair finally a couple weeks ago. It was almost waist length and now it’s just above my shoulders. It’s cute, not terribly what I had hoped for, but I forgot how much my hair will shrink up when cut wet and I didn’t let the new stylist know. It’s cute though, so even though I was looking forward to chest length, I have a sassy little short cut, with lots of bouncy layers, and it’s like a bonus! But please, share with me what to do with short hair stylewise, because the last time I had short hair was middle school and I also had bangs and none of that was a good choice haha. I want to make the most of this bonus hair “phase” and do cute styles with it. I love the new stylist though, she’s amazing, and I am officially a loyal customer. It’s nice, I haven’t really clicked with a stylist since middle school, so haircuts weren’t fun or a priority. It’s kinda a fun, indulgent little treat to do something new with your look in a chill, supportive environment. Low key might be considering a balayage in the summer if I get bold.

I finally got some art hung up in my room again. There’s not much more to say on that but I am pretty excited about it. Good way to spend the stuck-indoors time, since unfortunately it looks like we still have a few weeks of mud and rain to mess up plans.

On one of our rare sunny days, I tried hopping on Ro to see where we need to start training wise and…she needs some medical attention. Her arthritis is a little rough right now and she’s pulled something in her back and I’m not surprised, but I think this year is going to be a rebuilding year. It was a wake up call, her little soreness we’ve been managing isn’t just because of the cold, I reckon.  I want to focus hard on getting her topline stronger, working out the best solution for her arthritis, since she’s clearly not mentally ready to not be working (she instigated the initial session, she just got cranky when she got sore, and if she doesn’t get at least a little work occasionally she goes slightly mental), and I want to work on our teamwork, which can be done in saddle or on the ground. As for Miss Nellie Belle, my goals for her are more mental. I really want to expand her horizons, work through her still explosive fear response, and our teamwork… which is a trend. She’s such a clever girl, she deserves to not be scared of her world.
Joe has been spending more time down around the barn with me. I still try to keep a fence between him and the girls, but he’s been doing exceptional with his heel, sit, and recall, so I am slowly becoming more confident with having him around. I still don’t think he will ever hang out with me while I am working directly with the girls, mostly because Ro has no patience for dogs and Nellie is still a lit firecracker when overstimulated, but less so because my sweet overgrown teddy bear can’t listen. Although, spring fever hit him hard and being still pent up inside means our inside the house listening skills are slacking like crazy. He’s taken me out running around like a banshee a couple times already.

Until we chat again my friends!

Until We Meet Again, My Very Best Boy

TW: Pet loss, grief, medical descriptions 

I won’t lie to you, I had written a fun little post talking about the animals and their spring fever shenanigans while father winter keeps fighting for all its worth. That post no longer feels appropriate.

Sweet Scooby-Doo has been slowing down for a while. He was a happy boy, liked basking in the sun and wandering in his yard. A couple days ago we noticed that he wasn’t acting himself, then he started having problems keeping to a potty schedule and generally seemed upset. Wednesday morning we took him to the vet thinking he had a stomach bug or maybe some senior potty problems. The vet asked if they could run some tests while I went back to work.

I’ll save you the suspense, and the brief batch of hope we were gifted. The final news wasn’t good. Sweet Scooby had no kidney function left. The vet was just as shocked as I was, he was a happy, busy, loving dog, without the ultrasound we wouldn’t have known. He had been off the last couple days because his kidneys had finally given their last.

Wednesday we had to make the heart wrenching decision to let Scoobs leave peacefully, surrounded by his brothers and family. The vet let us know he wouldn’t ever be pain free or comfortable again, and that we were making the kind choice. 

Not the easy one.

Scooby spent many years with us, almost two decades, and was such a sweetheart of a pupper. Scooby was technically my brother’s dog, a wonderful Christmas present, and a perfect addition to our family. I remember his little red bow and a note that said “This one was too excited to stay in the sleigh”. When my childhood dog was blind and deaf, Scooby valiantly took it on himself to be Winchester’s constant companion. We jokingly called him “the menace” because he was convinced he needed to be involved in everything, often pushing open doors or moving light furniture when it suited. He was my rock when Winchester passed and the constant comic relief, always talking and being ever so dramatic. He loved standing out on the porch when the wind blew but hated thunder, preferring to hide out when “the big dog barked”. He always made sure his brothers were hiding too, he was responsible, you see.

When we decided Scooby needed a companion after Winchester passed, and then accidentally came home with three puppies, Scooby hid under a blanket for a week. He had very little patience for his brothers, unless we weren’t looking. More than once I caught him playing with his brothers in those early days, before deciding it was enough and crawling back under the blanket. Luckily they grew on him, especially little Sherlock. He was a fantastic older brother though, firm, but teaching, and caring. He was a patient jungle gym for the little ones and a pillow for Joe, until Joe got huge, that is.

Losing Winchester and later, Sherlock, took its toll on my sweet Scoobs, he had a very big heart He wore on his sleeve. We noticed him slowing into his elder years after the latter loss, and that he enjoyed slower activities like sunbathing and naps more than zoomies. He was still always up for a good nature walk though, he loved to explore.

Scooby had many nicknames, most commonly Scoobs, Scoobert (occasionally pronounced like Colbert does his name), scoober-doo, the-doo, scoobediah, scooby-dubious, and his favorite, my-handsome-special-beautiful-boy (I told you, a flair for the dramatic).

It doesn’t seem real yet, and I doubt it will for a while. My mornings started with some Scooby snuggles and evenings ended tucking him in, he was always curled up in his little daybed, and I don’t know how many times a day I’d leave my desk to go snuggle him in a blanket. I think I got the idea in my head that he’d always be around to hang out with me, but the cost of love so pure is the loss, we are gifted with so many years, but we cannot have something so amazing forever. 

I will forever love and miss my sweet little bichon. 

I love you forever, Scoobs.