Monday, December 14, 2009
We lost our farm dog, Barney. After having him as part of our family for 15 years, it was time for him to go. He was blind and deaf and having trouble getting around. He was not a happy pup. It was a sad day when I took him to the vet. I brought him home to be buried on the property where we can visit him from time to time. He will always be remembered with love.
We remember him when he was young and played mischevious games, when he liked to stalk people walking along the lilac covered fence and jump out at them when they reached the end, barking loudly. What great fun he had, laughing at them as they jumped and yelled. He would always run away laughing.
He was a marvelous guard dog with a very big bark. We used to shut him in the front guest bathroom when someone came to the door. They would hear him in there and be afraid of the very big dog, until we opened the door to let him out, then they would laugh out loud, as he only weighed about 25 pounds. That bark was fearsome, but he liked people.
He was spoiled and adored by all. He liked to get loving attention from his family, liked to sit at our feet and liked to be talked to. He was good company to have around, sometimes funny and pixilated, always loved.
We miss him. You can read about Barney in this previous post.
We have a new addition to our family. This is Chisel. He came to us about a week ago. He is a 1.5 year old and is a beautiful fellow. He is neutered and is a friendly, affectionate and loving companion. He is also a "mitten kitten". He has six toes on his front feet. He is an indoor cat and we hope will be the answer to the constant mouse problem, as well as great company. He is such a sweet personality and loves to be touched, held and petted. I am already having to make room on my lap for a computer and a purring kitty.
This is one of his favourite places. He likes to look outside.
He greets each of us with enthusiasm when he first sees us in the morning. He is always ready to be stroked, purring at the slightest touch and he is so smart! He only needs to be shown something once and he knows where it is. He has inspected every inch of the house by now. He is a healthy, playful and curious kitty. I am sure he will become a much beloved member of our household.
We are looking for another puppy now. A big dog puppy that will guard the property, us and our livestock. I would love a Great Pyranees but they are a rare find, especially unregistered (in a price range that we can afford). Hubby wants a German Shepherd, same problem. There is also the hip dysplasia problem with a GSD. A German Shepherd / Great Pyranees cross would be absolutely ideal. (If you have a pup like that and want a good home for him/her, please let us know.)
We do not want a hunting dog or retriever of any kind, not with chickens. The chase instinct must be minimized. We would like a herder or livestock guardian (LGD) class of dog. A great pyranees is an LGD with no chase instinct, bred to guard. Unfortunately, goldens and labs are both retrievers. The instinct to chase the birds, catch them, shake them, then drop them dead at our feet is bred into them for hunting. Labs are also not good guard dogs. The police do not use them because they can't train them to attack. For children that is a good thing. For foxes, coyotes, skunks, weasels and racoons, it is not. We do not want a breed that is bred to be agressive towards people, either.
Ideally I would like to trade paintings of wildlife or pet portraits for a puppy. I am working on that now with someone who has a great pyranees pup, but have not worked it out yet. I don't know if it will be a "go" or not. I hope so.
Another addition we are looking for now are chickens. We need more chickens. You can read about our chickens in this previous post. We sell every egg we get and could sell more. People come to the door asking for several flats of eggs (a flat is 30 eggs). What are these people going to do with all those eggs?? That doesn't leave any for us to give to the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen. One reason we like living on a farm is that we can provide food to those who need it. We need more hens. I would like a few dozen more and maybe a rooster or two so that our eggs are fertilized and we can hatch more in the spring. I have found a few people with chickens for sale that I would be happy to have, but they all seem to live in the Ottawa area, about a four hour drive from here. I can't do eight hours round trip just to pick up more chickens! Frustrating! There doesn't seem to be anyone in this area that has adult chickens for sale. I will persevere! I will find chickens and the right puppy for us.
Wish me luck in the hunt. In another year or two I might be looking for rabbits, bees, goats or one milk cow. Life changes. We will see how it goes...
Posted by Sheryl at Providence Acres at 5:47 AM