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The Shadow was Seen

February 3, 2014
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On Grady’s walkabout yesterday he saw his shadow, this morning we have a skiff of snow.  Now the forecast is for another cold snap like we had in December.  Most of those old sayings don’t apply here too much anyway, what comes is what comes.  Potatoes planted on St Patrick’s Day is not a goal here, unless I plant them in the greenhouse, outside – forget it.  Corn knee-high by the fourth of July?  Not something worth getting your suspenders crossed over about here.  Spring here is a slow, wet, cool gradual warm-up.

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Everyone needs a mouthful of compost now and then

Everyone needs a mouthful of compost now and then

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Am I supposed to tolerate that little varmint?

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no rest for the wicked

no rest for the wicked

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Meshing Grady, the new pup into the daily chores is getting easier each day.  Jane is still quite skeptical about the newest addition but she has moved from trying to clean his clock to just keeping track of where he is at all times.  Being a little guy still learning the ropes he is a little too quick for Jane.  Being a steady milk cow, she likes slow and easy.  Pups are not slow and easy.  The cats are quite perturbed too, they have the older dogs whipped into shape, now they have this little ball of teeth and attitude to deal with.  You can hear the collective sigh after they position themselves high on the hay stack.

I’m looking forward to gardening season and giving the deer a big surprise.  Deer are so persistent, always looking for a gap in the armor.  Trace let things slip last fall in the raspberry patch…I’m hoping the youthful exuberance of a pup will translate into two dogs keeping track of things in the gardens.  Keeping a dog for deer deterrent has worked the best for us.  Especially a male, our female dogs, just like the cats, prefer to stick close to the home base, whereas the males patrol more.

Now all we need is some deer to show up.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Vicki permalink
    February 3, 2014 7:01 am

    He is just too darn cute and growing fast. Looks like he has a great personality too!

    • February 3, 2014 7:06 am

      He’s fitting right in, the big boys play a little too rough yet, but so far so good. He’s a good boy.

  2. Chris permalink
    February 3, 2014 8:35 am

    Hi is adorable!!

  3. S.Lynn permalink
    February 3, 2014 9:14 am

    We have 2 female dobies and they love to patrol the area near the house. Might have to think about getting a male to spread the patrol job. The only thing I loathe about that is their preference for marking “territory” whether it’s a tree or the porch posts.

    • February 3, 2014 9:37 am

      SL, these guys are pretty good about staying away from marking the house, but straw or hay bales, etc that I would prefer not be narked usually get a treatment. Not near as bad as tomcat spray though 😦 The cats seems to prefer marking the greenhouse plastic – peeyew!

  4. February 3, 2014 10:41 am

    your dogs are beautiful….I do love that breed, though I own mutts myself. Hope things are well up on the mountain!

  5. February 3, 2014 3:21 pm

    He is just adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  6. February 3, 2014 6:18 pm

    Up in the north here – no shadow to be seen. Supposed to hit thirty some below tonight ….. I very helpfully posted a recipe for curried groundhog stew on my FB page 😄

  7. February 3, 2014 6:30 pm

    Just found your blog. Or did I re-find it? Anyway Happy I did cause we’ll be going to a wood cookstove soon and I need all the help I can get. Thanks

  8. Ben permalink
    February 4, 2014 3:15 pm

    Ridiculously cute!

  9. mom24boys permalink
    February 6, 2014 1:18 pm

    I see Grady has graduated to “no lead” during chores. I feel the urge to pat him and tell him “Good boy! You are learning well.”

    • February 6, 2014 2:29 pm

      M24bs, it didn’t take too long, lots more play and only a little supervision. The big boys still like to slap him down once in awhile, but he’s getting larger so he can take a little roughness.

  10. snuck permalink
    February 6, 2014 10:33 pm

    Just out of curiousity – it looks like his tail is docked – we don’t dock working dog tails here (in Australia), I’m curious what might be the driver for it there?

    • February 7, 2014 6:38 am

      Snuck, it’s show thing, and it’s hard to find a breeder that doesn’t do it, so as with all things, you get as many traits as you can in the dog and forgive the rest. When we had dogs and raised puppies of this breed once in a while you get a natural dock. What used to be a natural occurrence is now the norm. We can switch breeds and get a tail or we can go with the flow. Believe me I have already heard all the ways I have ruined Grady’s life since he doesn’t have a tail, those admonishments are running a close second to the fact that we bought a purebred and don’t have a mutt.

      Grady’s great aunt RIP, and his big brother are great dogs, I jumped at the chance to get another relative of those two dogs. I could switch breeds to get a tail on the dog or go with a line of dogs that I know will fit in here. I think the next breed that is going to be overbred is the English Shepherd, they are all the rage now and the breeders can’t keep up. The idea of a farm collie is pretty attractive to many new to the back to the land or farm movement.

      • snuck permalink
        February 7, 2014 2:58 pm

        Ah, that’s a shame. I couldn’t see you advocating it without good reason so I was curious is all – a little window into something that didn’t fit with my minds eye of you.

        You are right – go with the dog and it’s traits.

        (and I live in the country of sheep ‘docking’ – which has it’s pros and cons – there are needs for this at times)

        • February 7, 2014 3:10 pm

          Snuck, I know that well, my old babysitters had wool sheep and the docking was an odd thing for me to witness every year, having only been around cattle at home. Too bad they didn’t live long enough to see the popularity of the hair sheep, our sheep have their tails and without the heavy wool, the have no problems.

        • snuck permalink
          February 7, 2014 3:15 pm

          It’s too hard to manage when you have flocks of hundreds and hundreds of sheep in a fly blown hot dirty country like ours. They wind up with fly strike – and if you’ve ever encountered that you’ll never argue about docking them again! A truly horrible way for a sheep to die, and the price of a sheep makes it not worth calling a vet out for just one fly struck poor little bugger.

          I wonder about the dogs with their docked tails and whether they’d be as good at the more agile work – around here it’s sheep work – and they have to be very quick, able to turn well and jump etc through the sheep yards – a tail must be rather essential. But it won’t matter if they have a tail and the wrong personality!

        • February 7, 2014 3:49 pm

          Snuck, I am well aware of the fly strike, I’ve seen it unfortunately when folks get sheep and then don’t shear them or check on them 😦 It’s wet here, but we have months of dry in the summer, fly strike isn’t unheard of but not too common thank heavens.

          I think the dogs adjust, of course I have no way of knowing since these guys don’t have to do too much agile work 😉 We’ve had a couple of 3 legged dogs and they went on to get around good, and live long lives. Sometimes I think we worry about these things more than they do.

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