Tuesday, March 11, 2014
This six month old puppy was brought in by people who said they had been caring for her for friends, but the friends no longer wanted her and the people couldn't keep her. Another staff member immediately noticed her gentle nature, adaptability, and cute face and thought "therapy dog!" When I met her I felt the same.
So Phoebe joined the crew at Busy Solitude Farm. In Greek mythology, Phoebe is "radiant, bright, prophetic" and that's what I'm hoping for her.
It is safe to say that Ulani was underwhelmed at the prospect of a puppy on the team, but by the second day they were racing and chasing happily -- just look at this series of photos! Ulani turns 11 in a month, so that's saying something!
What is she? Her coloring is like a Portuguese Water Dog, but she's probably some kind of "doodle" mix. We think she's around six months old and as you see in the photos, she's maybe 1/2 or 2/3 the size of Ulani, who is 75 pounds.
I'm going to work on getting her obedience rock solid so she can be a therapy dog and represent the shelter when we visit community groups. Phoebe, you have a big future ahead of you!
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Here it comes. Forecasters predict 12-18 inches here at Busy Solitude Farm. It just keeps on coming. The saving grace is it's Sunday and we have nowhere to go.
Tomorrow is a different story. Dangerous windchills with air temperature highs below zero. And I do need to go to work, so here's hoping that my ungaraged car will start!
I've made some effort to keep the winds from blowing through the barn, but I expect they will be pretty unhappy for a couple of days.
Let's think warm thoughts and look forward to Wednesday!
Posted by Johanna at 9:58 AM
Monday, December 2, 2013
Miss Peep was the first chick ever to hatch at Busy Solitude Farm. In fact, her arrival inspired me to begin this blog. You will remember that first post, in September of 2007. I was fascinated by the hen and chick relationship, so close, so instinctual. And as I did not yet know whether she was a girl or a boy, I called her Chick Chuck!
Then the worst possible thing happened. On October 30, just a few weeks after her chick hatched, Mama Hen was murdered. Miss Peep was left on her own to find her way. The first days were difficult. The rest of the flock decided she was an outsider, and tried to oust her. I sometimes felt I was the only being she truly trusted.
Gradually her self confidence built. The others came to accept her. In time, Miss Peep was at the top of the pecking order, respected by all. But she never challenged me. She was the tamest hen I ever had, leaning in when I scratched her ears, allowing me to stroke her feathers and nuzzle her with no hesitation.
She lived six years at Busy Solitude Farm. I think she was happy. We'll miss her.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Things have gotten a little crowded in the barn. Mama Hen has moved to the "penthouse suite" of the nest boxes.
The "chicks" now create a huge downy pillow for Mama to sleep on.
I hope they don't think they're hiding, because they're not fooling anyone!
Seriously, this doesn't even look warm! Only two weeks ago everyone still fit in the nest, but those days are long gone.
And the funny thing? Maria hasn't offered to help!
Monday, November 4, 2013
The boss is gone.
Today was Luke's last day. At 16, he had been showing many signs of aging. He was occasionally disoriented. Aching bones made getting up and down more difficult. And most worrisome, he had been losing weight with no clear cause.
But over the weekend he became incontinent, and he had fits of crying. So today I took him to our vet to have his life gently ended.
I found Luke, along with his brothers Abe and Bodhi, on Good Friday of 1998. My cat Camille had died the week before, and I wanted two cats who were siblings in hopes that they would not fight the way that Camille and Coriander occasionally had.
Luke extended his arm through the shelter cage to pull me over to look at them. He was always in charge. But three? As fate would have it, the pairs of cats available that day were all long-haired cats, and I wasn't having any of that! So I told the adoption counselor I'd take them. She told me there was a two cat limit and I should choose. Ridiculous, I told her. They came in together, I would take them home together. After a thorough vetting the shelter agreed. That is how Abe, Luke and Bodhi became part of my family.
Luke quickly got Buster in line, and later that year when Buster died and puppy Oskar joined us, Luke again proved to be the boss. Over the years he's been my steady Freddy, my right hand man.
When we moved to Busy Solitude Farm, the cats got the opportunity to go outside. Luke basked in the sun, caught mice and voles, relaxed with me on a lawn chair. Ulani might chase Abe or Bodhi outside, or more recently Barnard, but Luke did not play that game. He held his ground. Living up to his make love, not war philosophy, Luke would even snuggle up to Ulani outside.
Despite the quick decline in his health this weekend, Luke stepped outside to sit in the sun for a few minutes, seeming to enjoy hearing the birds and smelling the air. We sat on the steps, Luke in my lap, and just took in the scene for a while.
But recovery was not in the cards, and now he's gone. Luke, the boss, was a great cat.