Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Each morning I awake to joyful furry faces.  Ryder, my big suck, has taken to sleeping with me.  Every night he goes to bed with me and every morning I wake up to him curled up against my body.  When Ryder first came back to me he wanted to sleep with me, then he went through a stage of sleeping on the floor.  It's interesting to me how he wants to be back on the bed.

Diva has never slept with me.  However, the last few nights I've woke up to a dog curled up on each side of my body.  (And I wonder why I wake up tired...)

I have a Sunrise Alarm.  It's a light that gradually brightens and at the designated time softly beeps.  I'm usually awake before the beep.  It's funny.  The beep sends a message to the dogs.  They leap up from their spots, slide up my body until their little heads are by my chest or arms.  Then they snuggle in.  Ryder begins his intense licking (if I don't get my skin out of range).  Diva squeaks and groans, gives the odd power lick, and stretches her body along mine, her head on my chest or shoulder.  Lazily I'll begin petting and scratching them.

I love how joyfully they greet the day.  We as humans can learn something from this.  I love how excited they are to be with me.  I love how cuddly it feels with them snuggled up against me.  But most of all, I love how they love me.  (And I really love seeing Diva's little personality emerge!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Makes Me Wonder - Is It Time?

My mom has been broaching the topic that perhaps it's time for Tessa to go to the green field in the sky.  I have been resisting.  My brother has been staying at the farm during his days off.  He said she had one of her "crazy" times.  Staring into space and seeming upset.  He said he talked to her a bit and she eventually came out of it.

She's been chewing on her feet.  We're sure she has arthritis as her feet are gnarly.  Even with anxiety and pain meds she's been bothering her feet to the point of redness.  Add to this she has theses lumps on her body.  Some I know are just fat deposits but there's a newer one that's getting bigger on her shoulder.  Add to this the fact that I found a TICK on her today.  It was huge.  I freaked.  I inspect her when I see her.  But I haven't been out to see her for a few weeks.  Between sickness and other issues it just hasn't happened.

I felt frustrated.  Are my parents taking enough due care and attention?  Do I take back "custody" of her even though I know she's happier at the farm?  Or is it time?  Is it time for me to "man up" and take her to the vet  before things get worse?  Before her quality of life completely deteriorates?

I am torn.  I love this dog so much.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Am I Hard To Shop For?

Sarge has been complaining he needs some guidance as to my Christmas Wish List...  Now, I've tried to tell him I'm really easy when it comes to stuff.  I'm pretty happy with stuff for the house...

For Sarge - here's my "wish" list:

In no particular order...

  • Kitchen Aid Hand Mixer
  • Blender 
  • Food Processor
  • Lead rope/s with bull snap on it.  (Like the kind on Bugsy's rope.)
  • Rope Halter & lead
  • Horned rope dummy
  • Dog toys
  • Dog beds
  • Size medium Sports Medicine Boots - front and back (horse)
  • Running - sport tech- clothes - size large - pretty much anything from Running Room...
  • Leather winter glove/mittens - size 8 or large
  • plants - indoors
  • bird house/s
  • Jewelry - although I don't wear it very often...
  • hoodies - size large
  • Knives - Henckels (with the two men in the picture) or Paderno
  • glass measuring cups 1 and 2 cup
  • mugs - beer and coffee
  • wine glasses
  • Bernie Brown - Pile of Pups, The Crossing
  • Carl Brenders art
  • Spa packages - anywhere except Spasation - love pedicures, manicures, facials, etc.
  • Picture books that I can use at work.
  • cutting boards
Now, I hope that helps... ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Killing Me Softly

Last night I made a mistake.  Sarge and I had gone out for dinner, followed by some western saddle "shopping" for him.  When we got home I had him sit in my cutting saddle on it's stand.  Next, I had him hop on my English Saddle to compare feels.  I also hopped up on both saddles.

Huge mistake.

You see, I've been actively trying to sell my Bates Caprilli Close Contact with interchangeable gullets.  This saddle I've had for close to three years and I've never rode in.  In fact, it literally is brand new.  When I bought it I had been taking jumping lessons and was toying with the idea of cross country.  I rode mostly English style as a youth.  I loved riding English.  Rode in the mountains.  Cattle penned.  Gymkana.  All in my English saddle.  Loved it!

For the last 15 or so years I've rode Western.  Either in a rope or cutting saddle.  And I get these bursts of nostalgia where I intensely crave riding English and working on collected and extended gaits.

The problem?  Well, my hands won't tolerate "English" contact.  I am unable to maintain contact.  The reins retreat out of my messed up hands.  Hence the decision to sell the English saddle...  But after sitting in it I want to ride English.  Right now!  Rationally, and logically I know selling it is the right thing to do, but I wonder if there will come a day when I regret it?

This saddle is killing me softly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Attachment Disorder??

Ryder is such a big baby.  Today I'm home with something wrong with my neck.  Diva often won't "do her business" 1st thing in the morning.   Ryder always does when given the command.  So after breakfast I sent Diva outside into the run.  Ryder wanted to go too, but I kept him in the house with me.  As I brushed my teeth I listened to him cry, whine, howl and in general make a big stink about not going out with his sister - even though he was still with me.  I've seen this type of behavior from him when I crate him and no one is near him.

Last weekend Sarge pulled a fast one.  Ryder was being the fun police in the house, so when Sarge went to town for coffee, he grabbed Ryder and took him.  Ryder cratered.  He shoved his head under a bag and pouted.  This is a dog that loves truck rides and going places.

I know he gets separation anxiety.  So how do you help a dog become more confident independently?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Is Bugsy a bad name for a horse?  It seems to be sticking...

On Saturday, Derek (the farrier) came out and trimmed the horses feet.  Guinness was a little stinker.  He's telling me I need to be working with him.  Unfortunately it won't be this week.  This week I'll be working on report cards and literature review for grad school.  However, once this burst of work is finished I want to start working with him on "halter".  You know like show halter.  I also want to saddle him up a few times, lead him around, etc.

Martini, aka Bugsy, was okay.  Derek took a good inch off her feet.  Yes, the poor girl is a wee bit tender and that was all hoof wall, he left her sole alone.  It'll take a few trims to get her in "shape".  I didn't have any issue to catch her, however she was quite bug eyed the entire time.  When Derek went to work on her right side she actually spooked at him.  She was also a bit passive aggressive with her picking up feet manners.  Hence "Bugsy".  I wonder if this is her issue?  Being spooky?  I was dying to saddle her up and see what she's like under tack but the wind was vicious and icy.  That'll wait for another day.

I've also really noticed bad ground manners.  When feeding she'll do the head bob and shake at me.  This will stop.

The other thing I noticed is Guinness, when standing side by side with Bugsy, has a bum that's darn close to 15 hh.  Guinness won't be 2 years old until June...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dog Sitting

For the past week I've had a Boston Terrier named Clarus staying with me while her family vacations in San Diego.  She's settled in nicely with my little "pack".  I've been quite impressed with how Ryder has tolerated this pint sized brat.  She loves him.  He's allowed her to sniff and invade his personal space.  He's even playing with her.  Diva on the other hand...  has also been okay.  She doesn't like how Clarus walks underneath her and shoves her head up her rear end, but otherwise has been quite tolerant.  Clarus was a bit on the pudgy side, and even with me being sick has lost weight while here.  

I've been impressed with how gentle Ryder is when he plays with her.  Normally, he's a rough and tumble kinda guy.  

Break Time!

Play with me!

Please play Ryder!

Let's wrestle!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways.  Remember when I promised horse news?  Well here it is...

A couple of weeks ago, one of my 4-H/horsey friends sent me a facebook message.  Her neighbor was looking to give away a mare.  Curious - because I had been looking for a companion for Guinness I called him up.  It was an 8 year old mare that he'd bought at Tofield Auction Market.  He'd rode her a few times with no issues.  My friend thought she may be too much horse for him but an experienced rider would be fine.  She seems to have no buck, is a bit of a "mare", is very alert, and needs some work on her ground manners.  She ties fine and loads like a dream.  She needs to loose some weight and get her feet done.  She also can be sassy when it comes time to catch.  A winter of depending on me for food and regular handling should take care of that.  She's also quite herd bound.  She was stick measured at 15 hh.

All in all, I don't know what I'll do with her.  She's pretty stout and wide in the front.  Perhaps rope?  Barrels?  Working Cow Horse?  Rein?  Time will tell.

Now - names!  Martini?  I think...

My gorgeous Guinness.  Another little darling that I don't know what I'm going to do with him...

Monday, November 12, 2012


My dogs have been teaching me about patience.  You see, I unexpectedly became very sick Saturday night.  My high energy Diva, trailed me from couch to toilet and back to bed.  She "watched my back" while my body was ravaged with a severe flu.  Ryder maintained his watch beside me in bed.  As I shivered and shook he shoved his body against me and rested his head on my lap.

The following day, I spent on the couch curled up and fighting nausea with every movement.  Diva and Ryder took turns curling up next to me.  The were incredibly patient.  They didn't get walked.  They didn't get played with.  They didn't even get toileted properly - instead just got tossed into the run.  Finally by 3:30 I gave up and called HealthLink (a hotline to a nurse).  They insisted I get myself to a hospital.  By 6 pm my mom was navigating the very icy roads to take me to the Fort Saskatchewan Emergency room.  By 4:30 am I was being released with a strict "diet" and no physical activity mandate.  It was 5 in the morning when I pulled in to go to bed.  The dogs were pumped to see us.  (And bonus the little Boston Terrier I'm babysitting didn't have any accidents!)

They patiently settled back in to sleep.  They remained quiet letting me sleep until 10 am.  Even as I've moved from couch to bed and back again they've been incredibly tolerant.  There has been no whining.  There has been no destruction.  They've taken turns sitting or lying with me.  As I type this Diva is curled up with her back pressed against my thigh.

My dogs humble me.  Teach me patience.  And teach me the power of unconditional love.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Moxie Moves In And Assorted Acreage Announcements

With my hay in my barn I was worrying about mice and had begun the process of investigating cats.  After much thought I made the decision to move the kitties here.  A couple of weeks ago my parents noticed that Oscar went missing.  He hasn't returned which in farm cat world is an ominous sign.  This weekend I moved Moxie into my barn.  I set her up with a heated water bucket, food, litter tray, and a styrofoam cat house.  My little barn is insulated with south facing windows so it doesn't get crazy cold.  

She's a bit uncertain with and chatty, but seems to be settling in well.  I'm just happy to have a star mouser in charge of keeping my barn vermin free.  

Guinness is growing like a weed.  He's maintaining a nice going into winter weight.  I was thinking he was around 14 hh, until I was at a friend's looking at their stick.  He's probably closer to 14.2 or 14.3 and bum high right now!

Teaser Alert!
More horse news coming soon!