Helen and dogs having a great time on a daily walk
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Sorry, I was a bit negligent in keeping up with the newsletters
the last couple of years. I'm going to try to keep up with it in 2012.
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Tales from the Farmette
The end of 2009 was quite hectic, as usual. I didn’t exactly keep up with the diary (why did I think that might happen) but I’ll summarize December of 2009 with a tale from the Farmette.
Bucket, Connor and Hershey came for their second stay right after Christmas. They had been here one time before and a good time was had by all—especially by Connor who, even though he seemed like he should be the moral leader since he was the eldest, was actually not quite as polite and well-mannered as Bucket and Hershey. I can’t remember exactly, but I think he might have even (gasp) received the first “D” on his report card from Gold Ducat Kennels. The second time around Connor must have gotten a stern lecture from his parents because he was as good as could be and well on his way to getting an “A.” Alas, it was not to last. The day before they were to go home we were on our off-leash run when all of a sudden Connor, Bucket and Hershey had all disappeared, nowhere to be found. Pretty soon Bucket came running back trying to get my attention—sort of the “Timmy’s in the well” communication. Right after that, Hershey came back with a very guilty look on her face and I could tell she wanted to go right back to where she had come from. However, being polite and well-behaved she went back to the run instead.
I had a feeling I knew exactly where Connor had gone off to and sure enough there he was in the midst of all the chickens. Although he had caught one it was still alive and Connor came right away (was that a little bit of pride I detected in his gaily wagging tail). At first I wasn’t really sure which chicken it was. I thought it was a rooster which I thought very odd because our rooster is quite the coward and always disappears at the first sign of trouble—the hens are always on their own. I finally determined that it was actually a second rooster which was a bit of a dilemma. All summer long two hens had sat on the same nest of one egg, hatched out the same baby chick, squired said baby chick around all day and night, feeding it, clucking to it, etc. At the time I had no idea which sex the baby chick would end up being but at the time thinking, with our luck it will be another rooster. Sure enough it was another rooster which, since we already had a really nice, gentle (albeit cowardly) rooster, we didn’t really need a second one. However, you hate to have anything happen to the farm animals so I was glad it was still alive and figured I’d think about what to do with it later. I put it back in the chicken house, even though it wasn’t really moving very much, and escorted Connor back to his run. Needless to say, Connor’s “A” plummeted to an “E minus-minus” in one fell swoop but he seemed totally nonplussed by the whole event.
A couple of hours later I was quite excited to see the rooster was gone so he obviously had gotten all better and walked out of the chicken house. I went running in to tell my husband the rooster was just fine. Scott’s reply was “Really, and why do you think that?” I excitedly exclaimed he was gone from the chicken house. My husband informed me he was gone alright—gone right to the trash. Apparently the shock was just too much for the rooster.
I like to think Connor actually did us a favor. With the demise of the unnamed young rooster, we didn’t have to make any decisions about his future (which promised to be very limited).
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PAST DIARIES: January-February 2009
[Posted with Most Recent Entry at the Top]
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May 3, 2009
My ankle is getting so much better I can actually do some agility training--luckily because one of our favorites, Toby (Aussie), is visiting and needed a little agility practice. He is quite talented and really fun to run. I got even more exercise with Winston and Riley (Vizlas) and Koda and Rusty (Goldens) visiting at the same time. It’s pretty hard for anyone to outrun two Vizlas but luckily they stay within a half mile or so range.
Boots (Golden) is here this week after a long absence (her Mom had a baby) and because of her fabulous temperament, she got more walks than anyone else. She actually knows the definition of “turn the other cheek.” If a dog comes rushing up to her looking like it wants to start something or play too rough she just sits there and turns her head, staring off in space. The rambunctious dog is totally surprised and doesn’t have a clue what to do. He/she usually gives up and goes trotting off looking for tennis balls.
Storm (Golden) and Diesel (Shar Pei) are two single guys who arrived this week and seem just a tad depressed. I don’t think it will take them long to join a singles group but in the mean time they are getting some extra walks in. Storm has been here before but you can tell he really misses his Mom.
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April 26, 2009
The Professionals are here this week. Led by a half Toller/half Golden, Crockett, the Pros are expert tennis ball chasers. To read more about them you’ll have to wait for our next newsletter. Many of our guests this week seem to be either Goldens or Boxers. Max (Golden) can outrun his housemates, Ginger and Scout (also Goldens), when it comes to chasing tennis balls. Besides Harley and Cain, we have a new Boxer visiting, Rock, who is very friendly and happy with other dogs—especially if he’s the ringleader. Maybe they’re not so great in the tennis ball department, but boy can they ever cover ground: Wilbur, Nina and Little Foot really make the morning and evening walks enjoyable. Gator, our energetic chocolate Lab is pretty good in the tennis ball department but we found out he really excels in the Frisbee department—except when I’m throwing it in the trees. Gator is so exuberant he has inspired us to purchase a dog treadmill this summer. That way he can still get exercise without ever leaving the air conditioning.
April 19, 2009
Hurray! I’m now Godzilla boot free. Luckily I have the greatest group of dogs boarding (some of the reliable regulars like Simba, Davie, Maggie, Myra, etc.) so I can actually take them for walks without being knocked down or having to worry about same. We also had our first experience boarding a bird. It’s sort of like having someone’s mother living in our house. I was constantly worried CiCi was going to tell on us. I did my best to make sure I didn’t say anything that shouldn’t be repeated but we still found it necessary to send CiCi home with a small (Texas shaped, of course) bar of soap just in case she needed her mouth washed out. CiCi was accompanied by a very nice, well-behaved, stately German Shepherd who seemed fairly immune to her shrieks and jabbering.
Still working on all the Texas legislation and everyone’s right to own a dog.
April 12, 2009
Several new kids this week. Liberty and Sampson (Lab puppies) luckily came during a week when there were two other puppies almost exactly their ages—including one who looks almost identical to Sampson but a taller version. They got to spend all day in the play yards and never seemed to tire out. Esther the Standard Poodle is competing with Wager for the Miss Congeniality award. I honestly think she can get anyone to play with her. T-Bone (All-American) pretended he was totally uninterested in her play bows and finally responded after an hour and proceeded to play non-stop with Esther. The next day Reisling (9 year Labrador) came to visit and his owner said he pretty much ignores other dogs and only cares about balls. In fact, she would be very surprised to hear he had “made a friend,” while here. He took even less time to warm up to Esther. Of course he did make sure 2 tennis balls were always in reach the whole time he played with her, but play he did, indeed!
Yeah! Rain, i.e. treat day. Yes we really need it but it makes for a really boring day for the guests. Just like camp on a rainy day everyone sits around with very bored expressions—except for the ones who seem to love sitting in the rain—I haven’t quite figured that out yet. We do try to alleviate their boredom with regularly distributed treats: pigs’ ears, chew sticks, Bully sticks, dog cookies. This summer we will be buying a jog-a-dog (treadmill for dogs) so we’ll be able to give everyone extra exercise no matter how hot, wet or cold it is.
Speaking of kids, we will have to sell our bottle-fed orphan baby goat. After getting bottle fed in the house with all the dogs milling about she is way too friendly with dogs and people. Unfortunately some of the dogs would like to be friendly with her but not in a good way.
The vicious dog law disappeared, now we just have to worry about the other 53 laws.
April 5, 2009
Almost caught up! This week is quieter but we still have one of our favorite Goldens visiting, Wager (Ms. Congeniality), and Esther (Standard Poodle) and Anna (Doberman Pinscher) for a week or two.
Luckily this week is quiet because I spent a day at the Capitol investigating the 54 pieces of legislation that are going to affect dog owners. A synopsis will be in the next newsletter. Many of the proposed bills are truly scary including a vicious dog law that mandates that no dog over 40 pounds (no matter what breed) can be off leash (except in the owner’s fenced in yard).
Also—I hope everyone can make it to Yappy Hour, April 17, from 4 to 7.
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March 29, 2009
Back to the sporting dogs again, this time with a twist. Dixie (German Shorthaired Pointer) came back with a little brother, Jeb (from Rescue). Jeb is twice as tall as Dixie, and a little bit more exuberant. I don’t think it will be long before Dixie imparts the rest of her wisdom to Jeb. Annie (Golden Retriever), Crockett (Golden/Toller cross) and Callie (Bishon Frise) came for the weekend. Callie is a sporting dog wanna be since she comes with a Golden and Golden mix. Even though she is little, she more than holds her own but Annie is always hovering over her to make sure no other big dog squishes Callie on the runs—Annie reserves that right for herself. Davie, our favorite Airedale is back—also a VIP member. He knows the drill so well he just leads the way all the way out to the building, jumps on the door to open it and runs to his favorite run.
March 22, 2009
The end of spring break was goodbye for Cody, a golden from Houston (whose family was very glad to see him—and rightly so, we were sorry to see him go) and Rim, a long time yellow Lab visitor. Rim was the perfect guest. He has definitely grown up—no barking, no pulling on the leash—the perfect gentleman. If the week before was herding dog week, this week was working dog week with Zeus and Athena (Rottweilers) and Harley and Cain (boxers) and Jade, Cash and Portia (2 beautiful champion Dobermans and a future champion puppy). We had our usual interspersed sporting dogs. Koda and Rusty were back (you may remember them from the Newsletter) to try and outsmart us again and a new, very well-behaved 10 year old Golden (I really am not prejudiced), Storm surprised us by going into hunting mode on every walk. He actually made a new friend, Sarah, a yellow Lab he’d never met before but his owners were traveling with her owners and they suddenly found they had a lot in common.
March 15, 2009
Well, I knew this would happen. I always start off the new year all full of New Year’s resolutions, swearing I’ll keep up with everything, etc. This diary is just like my taxes. January through March I’m very diligent about logging in every expense, payment, etc. Then, from April on, I just throw everything in a shoebox and have to sort it out at the end of the year. However, I am determined not to do that with the diary.
In all honesty, March has been a really busy month—especially with spring break. Spring break actually could have been National Herding Dog week with Bronco, Lucky, Xena (German Shepherd dogs), Cindy, Logan, Rogue (Australian Cattle Dogs) and Buddy (German Shepherd mix). And of course we always have our usual mix of golden regulars: Beaux (Beaux always runs over to her friends’ runs to help let them out the minute we let her out for walks), Dakota, Max, Sophie, Rookie, Milo, Gracie. Gracie comes with a basset hound, Boo, and apparently Goldens and basset hounds get along really well. I actually caught Bones, our 3 month long-term 10 year old basset hound boarder, playing with Goldens, Heidi and Bia. In all the time he had been here I had never seen him playing with anyone. When I saw him playing with Bia, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was totally entranced (ignoring everything around me) watching them playing for a long time. Duke, the chocolate Lab who likes to eat in bed (you’ll have to read our next newsletter for the details on that one) was actually here twice this month—making good use of his new VIP frequent boarder card. Myra (Lab mix), one of our favorites, is apparently everyone else’s favorite too. The disadvantage of a broken ankle is your staff gets to run the kennel the way they would like to see it run. Apparently that means playing with Myra for hours on end. Every time I looked out the window, there was a kennel helper throwing a ball for Myra, playing chase with Myra—I was starting to wonder if Myra was the only dog in the kennel. Finally, after about 45 minutes the other dogs got a turn too—especially Mojo who can outlast anyone—man or beast. I know everyone got plenty of exercise but it just seemed like one particular party got more than her fair share. Daniel was a new helper for spring break and all the dogs seemed to gravitate towards him. He did a great job taking the “reserved” dogs for walks—the dogs who really don’t want company during their various activities. Noble, Lobo and Xena seemed quite entranced with Daniel and willing to let him lead them anywhere. Do dogs live up to their names? We think so. Perhaps one of the prettiest names belongs to a coonhound: Cleopatra Marie who visited during spring break also.
March 8, 2009
March is starting out a little slow. Everyone is gearing up for spring break. We’ve had a couple of our regulars and a couple of new dogs including Casey, an exuberant border collie who kept the kennel girls very busy throwing tennis balls. We even had a couple of police dogs, Athena and Troy. Does it count if they aren’t really police dogs but are owned by a policeman? Actually Athena is a German Shepherd and back when I was a kid German Shepherds used to be called police dogs.
Apparently we seem to have a new check-in policy initiated by Jake and Riley. Let’s just say Jake and Riley’s dad was a tad early dropping them off and Layne (the Kennel Manager) wasn’t back from her late lunch yet. Since I couldn’t take them to the kennel we improvised by putting them in the front yard until Layne came back. Only, as Jake and Riley’s dad pointed out, the front yard was already occupied by “livestock” (a guinea hen). Why is it chickens and guineas (who can fly just fine) always think they can outrun people and dogs. Why don’t they just fly back over the fence??? Anyway, I guess it’s my duty to make everyone exercise, not just the dogs because Jake and Riley’s dad had to chase the guinea out of the front yard before Jake and Riley could go in it. And then in the meantime the baby goat tried to get in the front yard thinking we were going to give it a bottle so he had to pick up the baby goat (Barbie) and give her to me so she didn’t get eaten or runover. Needless to say everyone was exhausted after our adventure: dogs, people, goats, guineas. Although Jake and Riley seemed to enjoy the proceedings enormously, I promise we’ll try not to make a habit out of making clients chase livestock first before they get to drop off their dogs.
Our winter newsletter is being mailed out this week so if you don’t get one by Monday (March 16), please let me know. I also have a new, neat little map to all the dog parks and restaurants that let you eat (or drink) with your dog which I’ll try to remember to hand out to people when they pick up their dogs.
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4205 Arthur Circle
Leander, Texas 78641
MEMBER: Pet Care Services Association