Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back to the Sheep

My shearing date is set for next week if the weather holds. Clancy and I hand-sheared Bombarde & Arvada before they left for the processor. We also hand-sheared LRO January because it looked like she may lamb before next week. She is filling out nicely, but still a few days away.
My new Rocky Sheep Coats came in the mail yesterday. January is the only one I have coated so far. She is wearing a size C. I measured the sheep in full fleece, then went down two sizes to arrive at their "shorn" size.

And I got it completely wrong.

I ordered many coats that are just too small-unless I want to coat a lamb. So I will be sending quite a few back to trade in for the right sizes. But before I do that, I'm going to outfit all the sheep NOW in their full fleeces so I know exactly how big they really are capable of getting next year.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Doxi Moxi

I wish I could get a good photo of the doxies at full zoom. The blurry shots will have to suffice. You get the idea.

For Puggles' Secret Admirer

I would never have guessed it...but my own mother thinks the pug is cute. She even said she "thought" about adopting her. She claims she isn't ready to have a dog yet, though. But since my mom rarely expresses even the slightest interest in any animal, I decided to post a bit more Puggles for her entertainment. All photos were taken 3/27/10.
Here ya go, Mom.
Puggles at Boston Lake.
A focused Puggles.
A Puggles pause.
Speedy Puggles.
A slimmer, trimmer Puggles.
Puggles' first bone.

Monday, March 22, 2010


will eat regular kibble if she is fed by hand!
It took the doxies two days of sniffing kibble to realize I would not be breaking open a can of soft dog food anytime soon. Now they hop and wiggle for their dry dog food.
But Puggles would not eat anything. Granted, she seriously needed to loose weight. And she was getting more active by the day during her outdoor time. She was also drinking plenty of water. So I figured she would eat when she was ready.
But she never wanted to even come near the food dish. Then Saturday we had beef steak, and Clancy cut off all the gristle, bone, and fat after it was broiled. I decided to feed Puggles by hand, a small amount of gristly meat cut into tiny pieces, just to see if she would take it. She loved it. But she wouldn't come out of her kennel for it. Three of the pieces sat in a dog dish only six inches in front of her crate, and it took her all afternoon to work up the courage to surreptitiously nab them one at a time.
So I have decided that working on Puggle's fear of being out of her crate is more important than her eating out of a dish like the other dogs. This morning I used a bit more meat to tempt her out. She leaned out of her crate door quite a ways to take the meat from my fingers. Good start. And just to see if she would, I offered her the weight-watcher's kibble...and she took that from my hand as well!
I guess I will be hand feeding the pug for a while. But at least she will eat something. It is sad to see her so fearful of being in the house. There are only three places in which she is at ease: outdoors, in her crate, or installed on someones lap on the sofa. All transitions between these places cause her great anxiety. But we are working on it. And she has already made quite a bit of progress. I believe she will one day be a well-adjusted dog if her new family can have compassion for her issues and continue to work with her on them.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Katie Pie

Katie has the most delicate features I've ever seen on a dog.
She loves to race into my arms.
Sniffing a delectable scent carried on the breeze.
Undaunted by this big world.
Facing the sun.
Wishing she had found Sandy Anne's scrap of deer hoof first.
"Why won't she share with me?"
The hoof material was taken away from Sandy Anne after a brief game of catch-me-if-you-can.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

See Sandy Anne Run.

It is impossible not to laugh with delight while watching a mini-doxi run.
Sandy Anne spends most of her outdoor time in the air.
It hardly seems possible that such short little legs can propel her with such speed.
Perhaps it is the ears that keep her aloft?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Geisha-Foster Dog...

...Otherwise known as Puggles at our house.
She absolutely loves to be outdoors.
She is getting lots of exercise keeping up with the doxies.
You are so cute, Puggles!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foster Dog Adoption Protocol

I've never provided foster care for our local animal shelter before. Already, a young lady is interested in the pug. So I called up the shelter to see what sort of policies foster care needs to follow. Here are the rules:
1. All incoming dogs must be held 14 days before becoming available for adoption.
2. These three dogs will be available for adoption March 29.
3. These dogs will be spayed March 31.
4. Animals may not be reserved.
5. The approximate adoption fee for each dog will be $250. That includes the spay.

So I sort of jumped the gun a little bit by announcing to blogdom and facebook land that these three dogs are available. They are not currently available. They are not available until March 29th. And for the sake of the kind people that work at the shelter, please be respectful and considerate of all the rules.
I may still, however, share about my foster care experience. Here is what I've learned so far:
1. All three dogs are very people orientated-which is a very good thing! They do seek and respond to human attention and that makes training them so much easier.

2. Geisha, the pug is potty-trained, and seems familiar with a leash. She will even do her business while on the leash. But I also walked all over the farm today with her off-leash, and she stayed close the whole way. I was very impressed.

3. Katie, the white doxi, comes when called-a delightful trait in a dog! She is super affectionate; very exuberant indoors and out. She does like to snuggle though, too. I don't believe she is house-trained yet, but I don't give her much opportunity to mess up. She has been happy to do her business outdoors.

4. Sandy Anne, the black & tan doxi, is also full of energy and curiosity. She seems afraid that she will be shoved back in her kennel every time she is caught. So when she comes up I try to just praise her and then go back to what I was doing. Already she is less aloof and more willing to come when called, especially if the other dogs are responding to the call. She looses her reserve if someone is inviting her up onto the sofa. She's at her best in someones lap.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Forever Homes Needed

I agreed to provide foster care to three dogs this morning. A breeder died and left behind 13 canines. So this afternoon, we brought home two mini-doxies and a pug.
All are young females. All are loving and cuddly. All are purebreds and papered. All need homes...mine is only a temporary one.
These dogs were apparently housed in kennels but they have been socialized well enough to hop up on the boys' laps to watch a movie. The doxies are friendly, active, and curious. The pug is a bit overweight and likes to snuggle.
Please spread the word around and/or consider providing a forever home for one of these adorable sweethearts. If you are interested, please contact Beltrami County Humane Society.

For reference at the Shelter: Black & Tan: Sandy Anne. White/Blue Merle: Katie. Pug: Geisha

Monday, March 8, 2010

Melt & Rise

Work has kept me so busy lately that most mornings Clancy feeds the sheep. But I took a bitty-bit of time last week to snap a couple of photos of the girls through the fence-just to prove I still have them. This is not my favorite time of year to take photos. Everything is melty mud, ice and poop. Blech.
So far I cannot find any bags on the four girls I put to rams last fall. Hopefully that means they didn't take the first few days I put them in the breeding pens. I was worried I'd have lambs in just a couple of weeks. Mid-April is now the most likely lambing cycle. Hope, hope, hope, anyway. I still have a lot to do before lambs show up: shearing, trimming, shots, fleece samples... I'm just waiting for a day when Clancy and I can be home at the same time.
Concerning shearing: I still have to set a date with Byron Johnson. He has been shearing my sheep for the last 3 years and he has always done an excellent job. I'm so lucky he only lives 20 miles away. I do hope to order sheep coats to go on the girls the minute they are clear of their fleeces. I am just so tired of picking hay out of fleece. No matter how careful I am with feeding, sheep jump on each other, rub agains trees, and eat over each other. Even though I will miss seeing my pretty sheep out on pasture, I think this is the year that I am ready to make that trade off.
All but two of the rams are already experiencing the rise. Arvada and Courante have bare necks. I would love to get out there and see what I could roo off before I schedule shearing. We'll see if there is time for that, or not.
Lastly, a snap-shot of Darla Gay for her "soon-to-be" new owner. I have found a very special home for that I feel so happy about her going to. Of all my lambs, Darla is the quietest little sweetheart. She is near without jumping (Leil!) or pawing (Nhu!). She trusts completely and loves to snuggle. I think she will be a little love with her new family too. More about that later. :)