Saturday, December 23, 2006
Here she is.... Dancer... named after one of Santa's reindeer. Not that I needed a kitten, goodness only knows with the "zoo" we already have around here, but I wanted a kitten, and that makes all the difference in the world. I was actually looking for a yellow kitty, we had one a number of years ago, and he was a wonderful
cat and I thought it would be nice to have another one. So, I began looking a few months back, but it seemed anytime I found one, I was just a little too late.
About three weeks ago, I saw that the Second Chance Animal Rescue in North Berwick, was advertising that they had a number of kittens, two of them were yellow, so I called right away, and was told that both were available. Sadie, Josh and I drove up to see what they were like, as it turned out, the kittens had a little infection going on, so they were all being treated, but they had pictures of all the kittens, and I saw a beautiful white kitten with blue eyes. I told them that I might be interested in the white kitty, so they put a hold on the yellow one and the white one.
The next Saturday, I went up again, the yellow kitten was still being treated, but the white kitty was there, along with his sister. I picked up the little boy, he sure was sweet, but he was not what I call "cuddly", he climbed all over me and wanted to explore. I saw his little sister still in the cage, and asked if I could see her. When I picked her up, she cuddled right under my chin and was pretty happy to stay there. I must have sat there for over an hour, trying to decide which one to take. I had already named the little boy "Blitzen" (after another one of Santa's reindeer) but, the little girl just kept "calling my name". While I was there, another family came in, and seemed to fall in love with the little boy. When they asked about him, the volunteer told them that I was still trying to decide between the two. The family had a couple of young children, and I just got the feeling that the little girl might do better in a "quiet" home. So, I said I would take her, and if the other family wanted the boy, they could take him.
It's a little hard to tell from photos, but Dancer has the biggest blue eyes!!! And you can see her cute little "split" face, dark ears, and she has a dark tail. Her body is cream colored, and she has four white paws. She has been with us for a week, and has settled in perfectly. Nothing bothers her and she is quite amused by the dogs, I have actually seen her chasing after them.
The greatest part is whenever I sit in my chair, she is right there with me. It has made crafting a little interesting, but we are beginning to learn how to work around each other!!! Today, I took her in to visit my Mother-in-law in the nursing facility, she was a perfect guest, and sat in her lap for a while and even got passed around to a couple of the nurses... I think she would make a neat therapy cat... be pretty cool to have a therapy dog and a cat!!!!
So, another one to tell stories about and add to the list.... Miss Dancer, the Christmas Kitty.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Sadie went to take her test for her driver's license (she passed!!!) and as I was sitting there waiting for her, so was another Mom. I was pretty nervous, but she was beside herself, pacing the floor, big sighs, looking out the window... she really made me "more jumpy" than I already was. Trying to think of something brilliant to say to her, I came out with the lame sentence of " is this your child's first try?". She told me no, and I said it was Sadie's second try too, and that I really wanted to have her passed. She said to me, "well, I NEED my daughter to pass", and then didn't say much more as she looked out the window again, and said "oh, they're back, but I can't tell if she made it or not".
A few seconds later, her daughter bounded thru the door, big smiles and showing her Mom that everything had gone well. They both hugged each other, and began to cry.... well, you know me, I joined right in!!! and gave them both all the congratulations I could muster.
As they got ready to go, the Mom turned to me and said "I didn't get to finish when I told you that she NEEDED to pass, you see, my husband is in Boston at the Cancer institute, since I need to go there everyday, my daughter has had to give up several things because I can't drive her to all the places she needs to be. Now that she can drive herself, she should be able to get back to the things she enjoys doing." I didn't even know what to say to them, this just took my breath away, so I quietly asked her husband's name and said I would pray for them... she told it was Jim.
After Sadie had driven me home... and drove herself to school. I went out and got the mail. It was full of Christmas cards from all different friends... but one in particular.... a horse friend... who had included with her card a letter... it starts off " I have never written a Christmas letter before. But this year, I am motivated by a story that has been unfolding since November 1.. when my dear friend Kate took her husband Jim to the ER......" and it goes on from there. THE Mom.... THE MOM that I had --just less than an hour ago --been waiting with at the Motor Vehicles Department!!!! My horse friend knows them.....
It is just one those things, where I am amazed at what God crosses my path with, and long ago I quit asking and wondering "why" things like this happen... I accept that they do, and that it's best to pray and see what I need to be doing about this. When I told this story to Ed (before the Christmas card arrived) he made a comment ..."times like that, don't you wish you had a gas card in your pocket that you could just hand to them and say, this should help you get to Boston".... well, guess what, as it goes, my horse friend put their address in her Christmas letter.... and I have a feeling that a gas card along with a note from "the other nervous Mom" needs to be sent... in fact, there is my answer.. it HAS to be sent... so I guess I'd better getting moving.........
Sunday, December 10, 2006
This is "Jewel" the new baby at the barn, actually she has been there about a month, but I didn't have any pictures to share until now. She was born on June 26, and is a little Morgan mare. She belongs to Teresa, who has for a very long time, wanted a baby to raise and train. She is quite a little pistol and though Teresa will have great fun with her, she has her hands full. It's very nice for me too, because I haven't had the experience of being around a baby from the beginning, and I will be watching (and maybe even helping a little) with the training of this little girl. Tonka is in love with her, and he tries to push Silver out of his stall which is next to Jewel's. They "talk" all the time over the stall wall. Silver on the other hand seems to have an attitude of " another kid" and he doesn't want much to do with her. I think if Tonka had his way, he and Silver would switch stalls. It might happen if Silver continues to show his impatience with her. It's such fun to walk into the barn and hear that tiny little whinny... she is very social so you never can walk past her stall without saying hi to her... and who wouldn't want to say hi anyways.... She had great fun in the snow on Friday, jumping and kicking and racing around... what a cutie!!! So, here's to the new kid on the block.....
Friday, December 08, 2006
December 8th, first snow of the season... not much, just a few inches to make the world white and put you in that Christmas feeling. It's a cold day, too, about 22 degrees, with wind!!! so the cockers and I stay close to the woodstove... but not the big boys, especially Tonka. Both Silver and Tonka have heavy winter coats, but Tonka's is very thick, and being black, the sun warms him. I don't know if it's because he's a draft (cold blood) or Canadian, but either way, this is his kind of weather. I don't bother with blankets on either one of them, unless we get down below zero, because they can come and go as they want from their stalls, they know where the most comfort is. They do however, appreciate the hot beet mash that they got for lunch today, and gobbled it down quickly. Then long drinks of water, and were beginning on a flake of hay as I left the barn. It's cozy in the barn, the big doors are shut and the hay up in the loft makes a good insulation, they are happy boys!!! I keep dreaming that next winter, we will be sleigh riding, provided I get my driving work done, and we can re-store the sleigh we have in the back shed... it's certainly fun to think about it.... well, time to do some more decorating... the dog club comes next week for their annual party, and I have lots to do.....
Thursday, December 07, 2006
On December 3rd, we found ourselves at Camp Lejeune in anxious "wait" for our son-in-law to arrive home. There were a number of other families there, doing the same thing!!! We were kept well informed of when to expect them, but it still seemed like a long time. The cheering that went on when that bus pulled up, was wonderful. Marines poured off the bus!!! and families ran to grab them up and hug and hug them!!! and not let them go!!! (though I have to admit, it took me a little time to find "our" marine... they look alike in their gear, and its hard to spot one from another) But, not so for my daughter, she knew just "which one was her's"!!!! Even little Charlie dog, all dressed up in his "camies" waited very excitely for his "daddy", though his first greeting was not as nice as we hoped!!! Charlie actually barked very mean towards his "daddy" and took a few minutes to sort it all out!!!! But once he did, he didn't want him out of his sight!!!
After what seemed like an incredible long wait, the "boys" finally arrived!! It's hard to describe the excitement that everyone felt, and you can't even begin to count the number of hugs, tears, and even introductions (ie: new babies!!!) that went on!!! It had to be quite overwhelming for the marines, to go from such a "structured" way of life and thrown back into "real life" must be a bit of a shock. They all looked good, maybe a bit on the thin side, but definitely everyone looked very well. And they were certainly happy to be home to the people they all love so much. We got lots of great pictures, but you could tell the "boys" were very anxious to get going and have time with their families, and yet, a little hard to say "goodbye" to the friends that they had lived with over these past months. They still have a couple of weeks of work, and then a nice leave over the holidays, which will bring "our" two back home.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
It is with much happiness that today, I removed the "deployment flag" from our front door and replaced it with a Christmas wreath!!!! My son-in-law who was deployed with the US Marine Corps in June will be arriving home the first weekend in December!!! When he shipped out, we were allowed to place a deployment flag on the front door and I remember thinking, "I can't wait to replace this with my Christmas wreath"... today is the day!!! It's been a long six months for us, but especially for my daughter, and her hubby's family, I can't imagine what "homecoming" is going to be like, but I will be certain to post all about it.
For the many other families who are still waiting, keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and remember this is a "volunteer" thing that these young men and women do for our country. The USA is blessed to have such great people who do this for us!!!!!! And as we head into the holiday season, I say with a greatful heart "Thank you and God Bless the USA"!!!!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
In real life, Hunter is a little bigger than his brother and has a curlier coat. He is also more patient than his brother, I call him the "salt of the earth". He is not easily phased by things and seems to roll with the punches. Trevor is more fiery, any new dogs that come into the house, are met with growls first, and "get to know you" second. He doesn't like things to be out of order. Funny how they can be a like in so many ways, and so very different in other way.
We got Hunter and Trevor thru rescue. I received a call to foster a puppy (which of course I said yes to -- especially when I was told that he was only 10 weeks old!!) and when I met the family, there wasn't one puppy... there were two.... little black, bear-like babies!!! I remember coming into the house, with one under each arm and said to Ed "look honey... twins". Now, as luck would have it.. it was November and rescue doesn't like to do adoptions during the holidays, besides these babies at 10 weeks, needed a little growing up time, so we knew that we would have them for a while. (just occurred to me... all the dogs that we have adopted from rescue have come to us the month of November... that's IT... no more "november dogs!!!") Any ways, back to the story... as you can imagine, it doesn't take too long to fall in love with a puppy, and I knew I had hit the jackpot, when Ed said one night (cuddling Hunter) "you know this little guy could stay"... well... no way was Hunter going to stay and Trevor wasn't... so, you can guess the rest of the story!!!!
By the way, the reason they had been turned into rescue was a family had gone to pick out a cocker puppy from this "breeder", but they couldn't make up their mind between the two boys, and decided to buy them both. They also had a three year old son, and after a couple of weeks, were almost driven mad trying to house train two puppies and potty train their son. Plus teach their son how to properly treat a dog(s)... they didn't want to return them to the "breeder" (ie: not the greatest of places) nor did they want to just leave them in the shelter, and thus cocker rescue came into the play. Their names had been chosen by the family and since "we weren't going to keep them" I just continued to use the names they had come with. Actually, though, their names fit them well!!!
They turned 5 this past September (which hardly seems possible!!) and have been great little guys to have around the house. Sadly, I haven't done much "obedience" with them, both have their CGCs and Trevor played flyball for a while (picked up two titles there), but mainly I have enjoyed them just a pet/house dogs. and of course, part of my two "matched sets" of dogs!!!!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
- On Friday, Ed and I took the day and went to the Equine Affair in Springfield, MA. I had been told about this event for a number of years, but this was the first time, where... the timing actually worked!! To say this was a huge event, can't even begin to describe it. Everything and everyone that is "horsey" was there, and for a "newbie" to it, it's a bit overwhelming.
- There were a number of buildings that held all sorts of different things. One building was just vendors.... anything from tack to gifts, and barns to supplies. Another building had a small arena in it, where clinics were being held, and a third had a large arena, where Ed and I got to see a whole jumping clinic being done. A fourth building was great fun... it was the "breed" building, where you could not only learn about the different horse breeds, but in most cases you could see the actual horse. A few favorites of mine, were the Icelandic Pony, a beautiful white Shire (standing at 19 hands!!!) and a gorgeous Mule!!! (wouldn't mind having one of them someday, he was handsome!!) Course everyone had their favorites. We talked to a few barn builders and have some connections to make at another time. (We pretty much know what we want in the new barn, its just a matter of finding out what route to go with that.)
- We spent hours looking at all the vendors, and after all that, the only thing I bought was a new pair of gloves. I guess it was just a little too much for me, and I couldn't even think of what I wanted to buy ( just not too good with that crowd thing, you know). However, the day flew by and we were tired from walking!! It's definitely worth the trip down, and I was glad that we could go on a Friday, as crowded as it was, I can only imagine what the weekend must be like. So, to any of my horse friends out there in cyberspace... if you get a chance to see the Equine Affair, I say, make the trip.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I rode Silver for about 8 years, as my riding level improved, so did his "creeky-ness" and I found that I was needing (wanting) a younger horse with a little more spunk. It was time to retire my old boy. Laura suggested that I find a "kid" who would like their first horse, but I couldn't part with my old friend. So, I found a little barn to keep him, and his official title now is "pasture pet", keeping Tonka in line, and the occasional ride by small people. At 27ish, he is in good shape, and I love him dearly.
In July 04, I bought Tonka. I had been looking for a second horse for about a year. Taking the advise of Laura and a number of other horse friends, I took my time and thought carefully when looking at a horse. I wanted "something" a little bigger than Silver, possibly a horse that I could drive as well as ride. I found Tonka at Carousal Horse Farm, where they import drafts and drafts crosses from Canada... Tonka was born in Newfoundland. Ed and I went to an open house, and the load of horses that Tonka was in had just arrived. I didn't ride Tonka that first time, as they had only been off the truck for about 24 hours, but I did make an appointment to go back and see him, and brought a horse friend and a video camera. He gave me a nice ride and my friend filmed, so that I could show it to Laura and a few others.
Most everyone thought he looked good, so he came home for a 10 day trail, where I could have him seen by my vet, my farrier and Laura. He passed all their tests.. and the rest is history!!!!
All my little girl dreams of horse owning had come true and even more so, for I never thought there would be two!! I have a feeling that when we are settled on the farm, two will become more, but that will remain to be seen!!
Yesterday, was one of those days. It began at 5:30 am, when I got up... A bit earlier than usual, because one of my daycare puppies arrives at 6:00 am. I only have him a few days a month.. A cute little aussie puppy called Teddi. His owner is working on her degree and has to travel to Mass. a few days, which makes a very long day for a puppy to be crated at home. Since she could not find any doggie daycares open at that hour, she found me and asked. Now, I am saving up for Tonka's driving harness, so "when money comes knocking at your door" its worth getting up at 5:30 to answer it!!!!
At 7:00 am, my second daycare doggie arrived. This is a cute little aussie cross, who comes four days a week, his name is Kobe, and secretly... He and Tazzy are in love!!!
After the daycare dogs are settled, I let the "big" dog crew out to do their thing. Then they are all back in waiting for breakfast. I get the bowls filled up, dogs back into kennels, and FINALLY have a cup of coffee... Well really my second, because the first was at 5:30!!! While they are eating, I play around on the computer, make a few of the bill collectors happy and realize... Its time to put the club's newsletter together! So into "editor" I go!!!
While I play with the newsletter, the "puppies" need out time, so Tazzy, Teddi, Kobe, and Apollo all go out to play (more on Apollo later) while the "older dogs" Moxie, Hunter, Trevor, Camille, Charlie and Sedona (a guest dog and almost family member) all find the new bones I got them, or just hang around the house, doing their doggie things. Its nice that everyone gets along so well, you would hardly even notice that there are 10 dogs in the house!!!
The newsletter, all finished, now gets dropped off at the copy place, on my way out to do a private training. Nice little Wheaton puppy whose owners have not had a dog before, and have lots to learn!!!!
From there its out to the barn to see the big boys!!! Since its now about noontime, all Silver and Tonka want is lunch. Cuddle time can wait, they tell me!!! Muck out the stalls, play with the boys for a bit, and head home.
Dogs back out for play time, lunch for me... Laundry to catch up on and vacuuming (remember there are 10 dogs in the house!!!) and then dinner time for dogs, because I have three classes to teach this evening.
So looking over this patchwork day.. Bookkeeper, editor, daycare provider, trainer, barn fairy, house fairy!!!! And I wonder where the day has gone... Where the weeks go!!!!
Course the really cool thing about all this, its all my doing... If I don't like it, I can only blame myself. But in truth... I do like it ... I like it very much!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
"the girls"... Not to be confused with "the boys" of which I need to get a picture of them as well. It's funny because I never "used to like" the partis... I always had ASCOBs (any solid color other than black) or BLACKs, but when I got into being a foster home for cocker rescue, we used to have a number of partis. One little dog in particular, came to us around Christmas time, she was little black and white girl that we called "Holly", we kept her thru the holiday season, as rescue tends not to place dogs during that time of year. Holly was a true neglect case, when her owner passed away, the rest of the family kept her out in their barn. Finally they were convinced that this wasn't the best situation for her, and turned her over to rescue. When we got her, she had about 40 stitches... some from having been spayed and the rest from a large tumor which had been removed from her neck. Once everything was healed, we then discovered that she also had seizures.... so, she wasn't going to be the easiest dog to place. After some family discussions, we decided to keep her... our first parti cocker. She turned out to be a pretty nice little girl, and for two summers, my oldest daughter used her as her 4H project, and did quite well with her in the ring.
When Holly passed, I sort of missed that "splash" of color around the house, so I called a good friend of mine who bred cockers and asked where I could go to get another parti dog. As it turns out, she was expecting her first litter of parti pups, and promised that I could have one. I told her I wanted a black and white female.
When the litter arrived (3 days before my own birthday) there were three little girls and four little boys. Two of the girls were black and white and the third was a brown and white tri. I remember my friend saying, "there's one for you and one for me". At four weeks I went to see the litter, the little black and white girls were so cute, but the brown and white tri, was trouble!!!! she first ran under the TV and got tangled in the cords, then got herself stuck under the couch, she just had to explore everything there was, and I was hooked!!!! I told my friend that her name was "Moxie" and I would be back when she was nine weeks to take her home!!!!
Well, for those of you who know me... you know Moxie, as it is the very rare occasion that I am anywhere without her!! She has been shown in the US and in Canada and with the United Kennel Club... she has been the highest scoring dog of the entire show three times (twice in Canada) she has more titles than any dog I have ever owned, and "makes me look good" in dog class!!!
But there are two. When my little Randi passed (a sweet little red cocker) another friend of mine offered me Camille. She, too is a brown and white tri, which my friend had planned on showing, but Camille is a little too small. She thought that Camille would be a "good match" with Moxie. And since I already owned two black dogs, she thought that I might like having two "matched pairs"... which of course, I really do!!!!
One of my favorite things to do is go walking with the four of them. Moxie and Camille go together on one coupler, and Hunter and Trevor on the other. I am beginning to get used to the looks (mostly smiles ) and the comments (usually "are they all yours") and everyone pretty much knows them. Especially in the bank, where they love to go, because if they are good (and they always are) they get a cookie. I guess because we have always had "a few dogs" , I don't even think when I have four dogs that I take. I guess it is a bit unusual to the "normal"... but who ever thought of me as "normal"?
So, in this "new world of blogging" there is my first picture!!! which I was able to put up, thanks mainly to help of my daughters, who certainly can operate this machine better than I can!!! But now that I have the idea, I think there will be more to come
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Laura, my trainer, has started "us" in ground driving. It is a much different view from the ground/back of the horse, than it is from the top/front of the horse, and I have learned one thing.... I have MUCH to learn!!! But Tonka is a patient boy, and that is to my great advantage.
About six weeks ago, I got a flyer from Meader's Horse Supply in Rochester, NH. Ed and I first went there when we got Tonka to look for tack. We realized that he really isn't big enough for the "draft" stuff, and yet a little too big for "horse" stuff, so finding tack has proven to be a challenge. Anyways, Meader's is a wonderful store, and we thought it would be fun to attend their open house, and certainly a place to ask more questions on driving.
Two weeks before the open house a reminder came in the mail, but what quickly caught my attention was the line..."if you would like your horse measured for a harness, call and make an appointment".. I was on the phone asap, and got a 1:30 pm appointment!!! I can't even begin to tell you, how much I looked forward to that day.
Saturday - October 28 - the rain was pouring down!!! The wind was high and there had been several "warnings" on the TV with regards to the bad weather! I was bummed! Shipping a horse in that kind of weather didn't seem like such a good idea, even though Tonka is good with the trailer, I wondered if it would be worth the time and trouble. I called Meader's to see if their day was still on, and whined to them about the weather, but they didn't seem too worried about it all. I was told that I could bring Tonka at any time and not to worry about the appointment time, so I said to Ed "let's go and see how we make out". He was pretty happy, because I know he was looking as forward to the day as I had been.
We went up to the barn to get Tonka, I decided he should wear his fleece, because even in the trailer I knew it would be a wet ride and I didn't want him to get chilled. He loaded beautifully for us, and we were on the road in a few minutes. The ride wasn't horrid, but I was glad to arrive at Meader's.
They sent us down to their horse barn. What a place that is!!! Very modern, large, well lit, clean, it was fun to see it. Dana was the gentleman doing the measuring. He liked Tonka right from the start and talked to us about a team that he had and had done some logging with. It was fun to hear his stories. Tonka was wonderful, he stood perfectly quiet during the measuring and while we talked. Ed noticed that they had a horse scale there, and I asked if I could weigh Tonka on it. Dana said sure, but noted that alot of horses don't like getting on it. I told Tonka to step on, and he was a little surprised when it jiggle, but stood well. He weighs 1320 lbs!!!
As it turned out, we will need to have a custom made harness for him. Sort of figured that after the tack experience, but that's ok, because we intend to keep Tonka a "good long time". Dana told us the harness will be made by the Amish and it will take about three months to have it done. Which also works out fine, with the winter weather coming and my training to do.. we won't really be ready for the harness before that.
Dana offered Tonka a stall so that Ed and I could go up to the store and look around. I was happy about that, because our farrier, Dean Dalpe was there and we had a nice chat with him. We met up with a couple of other horse folks, and met a few new ones as well. It was a great day and the time zoomed by. We learned a lot about harnesses and driving and I can't wait for that first buggy ride.
The ride home went well. We got alot more rain on the coast than they did inland, so it wasn't too windy until we got closer to home. Tonka was happy to see his own stall and have some supper with Silver and the other horses. I was just so pleased with him and how good he had been on the whole trip. It was a big day for all of us.
So, the work begins. I need to work on my driving skills and Tonka's voice commands - which he is pretty good at already, but according to what I'm told, he needs to be excellent at. Dana has offered to meet up with us some afternoon and give us a lesson and pointers on what needs work, so I am looking forward to taking him up on that offer. I have been looking at different carts and drags, and think about the days ahead.... I'm certain to bore all of you with it as well.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
What will prove to be more of a challenge is finding my way back to this so that I can continue. Computers and I are not the greatest of friends... I just haven't taken the time to really understand them... I have all I can do to understand my family and my animals!!! I hope to master the picture part of this, because I think the blogs with the pictures are more fun.. course that might mean learning to really use my camera as well.... wonder what I have gotten myself into??
Course, too, will then be knowing how to pass on this address so my friends can read my posts too.. though I wonder what sort of entertainment I can come up and what news to share that I haven't already. I suspect there will be lots of words about my spaniels and my horses.. so I guess if folks find that sort of thing interesting, then it will be ok.
so, blog one.... let's see if I can find my way back :-)