We’re All Mad Here

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The baby goats ran under my skirt hiding from the fiend.  His mouth was open, his eyes wild.  He had regressed five years.  My relaxed greyhound was half fed up, half wound up and the goats were then sorry they had spend so much time jumping on and off of him while he rested peacefully on his comfy lounge chair.  He lunged at them playfully (though slightly mad), putting their heads in his mouth and pouncing on their backs as if they were his same size.  They had acted like they wanted to play before but were now hiding under my dress expecting me to stop him.  I could not believe he was acting that way.  I put the babies in the garage and when I came out Bumble was chasing chickens.  He never chases chickens.  He guards them like a worthy protector from his lawn chair.  He is himself again, but really doesn’t want to go outside now if the babies are there.

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We made them their own pasture, which they get out of every day.  The neighbors come by regularly to tell me they put the babies back in the yard.  The goats were on the driveway….on the porch…running around the front yard.  I live on a major street.  Not good.

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I fight them to stay outside while I go in the house.  I am bruised and battered and tired.  And they are six weeks old.  Remember my fears about the bruiser animals?  I am wondering if I got in over my head.

I wonder how to balance farm life.  I feel a bit like Bumble right now.  I feel like running around screaming with my eyes all ablaze with insanity and then lying down on a lawn chair…for the next three months.

Next week when our life is calmer I will think…oh, I got this!  I can handle everything.  Right now, I can handle weeding, replanting, harvesting, canning, dehydrating, freezing, feeding baby goats, four markets a week, a shop, a house, and cooking, full knowing that in the winter I am so bored I need to take up cross country skiing or something to fill the time.  This week though holds its own craziness.  On top of all the other things, the house has to be cleaned and readied for the shop to move into the dining room.  I want to go Amish and give away all the extras.  My house is too full.  My shop has to be readied for our huge sale, everything cleaned, organized, and then emptied.  My shop closing leaves me at once relieved and heartbroken.

I am, however, constantly reminded that running it out of my house and doing markets is the smart move to make.  The neighbor came over to talk to Doug and Leo about our goats getting out and happened to mention his business.  It is just a few blocks from ours.  In the past three years, he never knew we were there and then in humorous fashion (I am being sarcastic) he asked, “Oh, an Apothecary?  Do you sell pot?  Hahahah.”  Hmm.

I will be in the back yard chasing chickens if you need me.

Help Wanted- Farm Dog

THE UNLIKELY APPLICANTS:

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Name– Bumble Bear

Age– 8 years old

Previous Job– Racer.  Spent 23 hours a day for nearly 3 years in a kennel, raced in the meantime. Won 5 races, didn’t finish the rest.  How he won, I’ll never know.  I don’t think he knew he was chasing anything.  He was just running with everyone else.  He runs into the occasional wall, not great coordination, really cute.  Rescued, has lived on this couch ever since.  A bit doofy, but awfully sweet.  A great family dog.

Farm dog– He does like to sit on his lawn chair outside and watch the chickens.  He chases off any intruders; squirrels, cats, coyotes, deer, foxes, raccoons.  If they don’t run, he can’t do much else.  When the terrible tragedy of the evil four year old and his dog occurred (they were in the chicken coop killing chickens), he could not find a vicious bone in his body to frighten them off and proceeded to pout on the couch for 12 hours, too afraid to go back outside.  Since he does want to chase everything away, and all said intruders come by at night, we are up every night to let him out to chase.  He does not have enough fur to stay outside and would be very upset without his couch.  (We cannot have a dog door as we have nine indoor cats.  If you only want cats for two weeks around here, let them out.  Coyotes, foxes, and semis will make quick work of them….no dog door.)

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Name– Windsor Wizzer (never had a great bladder)

Age– Old as dirt (17)

Previous Job– Children’s toy, doll clothes model, companion on long walks.  Retired.  Sleeps on big cushion most of the day.

Farm Dog– Blind and deaf, thinks he is a cat.  Enough said?

So, now you understand my help wanted sign.  Bumble can hold down the fort here because it is a small enough area and I guess I don’t need to sleep through the night.  But on the next homestead, I plan to have more land as well as alpacas, goats, and sheep.  I know that donkeys and llamas make great guard animals, but a farm dog is very nearly a necessity if for nothing else but they complete the quintessential farm view and we like dogs.  I need a dog that can be a family dog and a guard dog and not eat small children.  A furry kid that can sleep in the mud room with a dog door so that they can scare off fuzzy intruders without getting me up.  Assuming we stay in Colorado that means he/she has to have enough fur and warmth to withstand single digit temperatures as well as high 90’s in the summer.  They should not under any circumstances eat the chickens and they should not be a runner (Huskies are out).  They should be a herding dog so to help me with moving animals.  But not so bored that they nip at my heels all day.  With those requirements in mind, does anyone have any ideas about what breeds we should look at?  I would rather rescue and feel like we need to get a puppy in order to get them used to all the animals already here.  Your input is most welcome….