Oh Rufous! Poor sore paw!

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” 
Will Rogers

Poor Rufous had an accident on Saturday. While out mustering the cattle in cold, wet and muddy conditions he ripped a toenail almost off his front foot and cut it badly.

We only noticed when he started licking his foot later, as he was warming up in front of the fireplace. So it was off to the vet who had to operate to tidy his foot back up again.

Oh dear, what a dopey pup came home to us on Saturday night. Full of drugs and anaesthetic and too wobbly to walk Ben had to carry him into his bed.

His bandage stayed on for all of Sunday. And then suddenly it was off!

I resorted to a sock taped onto it to keep it clean.

But that didn’t last long either. We didn’t want him to lick it and infect the wound so now we have resorted to a bucket on his head. Poor Rufie!

Poor Harry is hiding from Rufous because Rufie keeps bashing his big brother with the bucket. Ouch! Our shins know it too…

If there was a more miserable dog than Rufous right now I wouldn’t believe it. But I’m sure he’ll be back to his bright-eyed and happy self again in a few more days. Meanwhile, we’ll give him and Harry extra pats and cuddles,

Hugs to you all, Nicole ❤ xx

 

The Taste of Freedom

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” 
Nelson Mandela

We always clip our dogs onto short leads on the back seat of the car when we travel. It keeps the dogs confined to their positions (otherwise they’d both be on our laps in the front) and also helps us control the behaviour of young Rufous who is only just one year old, and still a delinquent.

Yesterday we drove to Brisbane. Both Harry (our Cafe Dog) and Rufie were very quiet and well behaved.

Or so we thought.

Rufous spent the first part of the journey in what we call the Parrot Position. If he strains himself to the full extent of his lead he can rest his head on Ben’s left shoulder while Ben drives. It’s Rufie’s favourite position until he gets tired and goes back to lie down beside his brother and take a nap.

But Rufous wasn’t quiet when he lay down yesterday. He was busy.

First he chewed through his lead, nibbling neatly along the seam until it was severed.

Then he quietly chewed through Harry’s lead too.

 

One minute Ben and I were alone in the front of the car, discussing global warming and American politics and all the other stuff you talk about on road trips, and the next minute Rufous was madly licking my ear as he balanced on the compartments between the two front seats. Harry thought it was marvellous too, and managed to go back to sleep with most of his body squeezed between the two front seats and just his tail and back paws on the seat behind.

After a stern talking to they skulked back to their lair for the remainder of the journey, and then both of them pranced out of the car and in the front door, flaunting their freedom for all to see.

There will be no new escape. Ben bought wire cable yesterday – impossible to chew through.

Were your dogs chewers when they were pups? I wonder how long before Rufous grows through his chewing stage? Soon, I hope!

Hugs and love to all of you, from all of us!  Nicole xoxo

 

 

 

Ah, the Romance… (sob)

“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. ” 
Elinor Glyn

Thank you so much for all of your anniversary wishes. Ben and I are very grateful for your love and support.

I’d like to tell you that yesterday was truly romantic – the stuff of dreams and novels…

But I can’t because it wasn’t. We’d planned an early walk on the beach and then breakfast at the Mullum Farmers’ Markets with friends, but it was raining and Ben is only just getting over the flu, so we cancelled that part of our day.

Then our internet went from bad to non-existent at the farm. A decision needed to be made. Ben would bring me back to the city so I’d be all set up to work with clients in the next few days, and he’d head back to the farm. We scrapped our lunch plans and decided that we’d have a romantic dinner in the city instead. It was raining heavily so we crammed our clothes bags, computers, work bags and groceries into the back seat with the dogs and off we set.

On the road trip home our youngest dog Rufous became ill. Think projectile vomit. Think total coverage of back of car. Twice. How could so much grossness come out of one medium-sized dog??? Then Harry, our other dog, started farting with the stress of it all.

So special.

When we finally arrived in Brisbane (after lengthy delays due to traffic jams and rain) it took the two of us 90 minutes just to clean the car. (God, it was even in my hair…) Then we had to clean everything that had been in the back of the car. And the dogs. Then ourselves. I almost needed to call the HAZMAT team.

That was our afternoon gone. By then we were too tired and grossed out to even contemplate a romantic dinner. So we ordered in some Thai and made plans to reschedule our anniversary for another day.

Rufous was feeling much better, so that was something good. And in the end we spent a day together anyway; Ben, me and the dogs. Weird circumstances and nothing like what we’d planned, but that’s how love rolls sometimes.

I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anything! And gee we laughed. Certainly a memorable anniversary anyway. 😀

Snubby-Nose 1 : Mustering Team 0

Snubby-Nose, goodbye! We hope you find a better home on someone else's farm.

Snubby-Nose, the farm’s biggest bully!

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

 

I was hoping to be the bearer of good news this morning.

I was planning to tell you that Snubby-Nose, the bossy bully cow I wrote about a few days ago, is now happily ensconced in a new home on someone else’s farm. There was no way we could let her stay here after the rest of the herd rejected her and began ganging up on her to stop her bullying ways.

Yesterday all we needed to do was push her up the hill from the river flats and into the cattle yards. This usually involves us walking the paddock with the cattle (or animal) and pushing them (we don’t actually ‘push’, that’s just a cattlework term – we use our body proximity to motivate the cattle to walk forward by standing slightly behind or to the flank of them) in the direction we need them to go, using a dog if they need a little encouragement to move in a particular direction. I knew it was too much ground for Ben and Harry-dog and I to cover if the cow picked up speed, so Ben called up a mate with trained dogs and a good horse. We’ve worked together before and always had good results.

It should have been a simple operation to get Snubby-Nose up to the yards and onto a truck.

I should have remembered that things that appear simple rarely are…

Snubby-Nose didn’t want to co-operate. She charged off into bushes and down ravines where the men and horse couldn’t follow.

She outwitted the dogs, and hurled them around like soft toys. (No-one was hurt, but it did get a bit dramatic.)

Finally she retreated to the deepest part of the river, forcing the horse and dogs to swim around her until everyone was exhausted.

snubby2

 

Here she looks more like a cranky crocodile (and truly she was channeling that kind of evil vibe!) The dark stain in the water is the mud she is churning up as she swims. There was a deep hole there into which she was trying to lure the horse.
snubby1

We gave up.

She won.

At last glance Snubby-Nose was back on the river flats, munching contentedly. This cow has no immediate plans for being moved on. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn girl.

We’ll give ourselves a rest and have a rethink.Then it will be on for Round Two.

I’m thinking more horses, motorbikes, a cunning vet with a tranquiliser gun and a helicopter to airlift Queen Snubby-Nose to anywhere else.

Farm life. Ah, the tranquility!

A Very Hurried Post Because…

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“Tantrums are not bad behavior. Tantrums are an expression of emotion that became too much for the child to bear. No punishment is required. What your child needs is compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in.”
― Rebecca Eanes, The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting

 

Thanks for your understanding as I write this post really fast!!!

It’s Cafe Dog, you see.

For the past week or so Harry (Cafe Dog) and our other hound Bert have been cooped up in the city while we’ve been busy with family things. Harry has tried his best to be well behaved, even when it meant being shut in the house all day with no play time, no cafe, no fun at all. That’s hard for a farm dog who is used to wide open spaces and lots of adventure.

So of course when we came home to the farm for a brief respite Harry was all ready to resume his regular routine. A morning coffee at the local cafe followed by a day of running around on the farm. Except that on Thursday morning Ben took me for an early acupuncture appointment. We left Harry and Bert on the daybed on our side veranda.

Cafe Dog. Was. Not. Happy.

He took a few bites out of the already chomped bed just to show us his displeasure.

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Then there were the looks he gave us when we came home, smelling of cafe, because of course we got a coffee after acupuncture. As you do.

Yesterday was Friday. Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market day. Our favourite day of the week. There’s a No Dogs policy, so once again we had to leave Cafe Dog at home. We decided to put him in our dark bedroom with Bert, as it was cold and early and we thought they’d just sleep, all cosied up in their coats.

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Wrong.

Cafe Dog ATE BERT’S GOOD WINTER COAT right off poor Bert’s body. The straps were chomped off. The stuffing was ripped out and strewn around our bedroom. The place looked like a fluff bomb had gone off.

Why? Cafe Dog was most displeased with us, so he threw a tantrum.

It’s okay. The coat is salvageable with the use of some patches and an industrial sewing machine.

Truth is, Harry’s about to have another week of city living and confinement. Poor little blighter. He is missing his normal life, and so are we.

So this morning we’re off to the cafe. With Harry. Who has been waiting to go since 4am.

And honestly, it’s better than the chomping destruction being wreaked by our toothy terror, and we’re seriously in need of a good coffee anyway!

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Who’s Bad?

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“I can learn to live with guilt. I don’t care about being good.” 
~ Holly Black, Red Glove

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” 
~ Charles M. Schulz

 

Someone has dug up my entire new vegetable garden.

At first I thought it might be bandicoots.

Or rabbits.

But…

Then I found bones, buried in the freshly turned soil.

And a boot, well planted.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘butter (or bacon!) wouldn’t melt in my mouth’ routine…

Don’t be taken in by those gorgeous brown puppy-dog eyes…

I think Harry did it!

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Happy Birthday, Harry!

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“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake.” 
~ Jo Brand

Harry, our young Blue Heeler cattle dog, is celebrating his first birthday.

We’ve started with a big run-around in the orchard and a few celebratory laps of the top paddocks. There is so much pleasure in being young, with good knees and strong back legs and an ability to speed flat out over any kind of terrain. When we think of our old dog, Charlie, and then see Harry tearing about, we are filled with an indescribable joy. If this is reincarnation, I’m all for it! We’ll give Harry some Pink Lady Apple today too. It was always Charlie’s favourite.

In one year Harry’s grown from a tiny ball of fluff into a well-socialised dog who is learning the ropes of farm responsibilities, and who enjoys any kind of outing.

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Soon we’re heading off to town for cafe time, and a little crispy bacon, just for Birthday Dog. There will be lots of extra pats and attention today, and Harry’s always up for that. Meanwhile, Bert, our red cattle-boxer cross, will be asleep on the bed at home, having some time for himself. Bert adores Harry but after the strenuous activity of the early morning, followed by a big breakfast, he’s ready for a nap.

Our friend at the fish shop has put aside some tuna off-cuts and a few fat fresh prawns. Not for me, for Harry!

And tonight a barbeque with friends who will bring their dogs so that all our pups can play together and exhaust themselves. That’s actually a fairly standard weekend, and not anything to do with Harry’s birthday, but who can resist having cake? Any excuse, I say.

Will you join me for a cupcake and a little moment of celebration of life, joy, puppies, love and friendship?

Sending you much love from our little family and the farm at Possum Creek,

Nicole xx

puppy-cupcakes

Meet Harry- it’s puppy love!

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“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ~ Charles M Schulz

Meet the newest edition to our family – Harry!

Harry is an Australian Blue Cattle Dog – a working dog in the finest of traditions. Although I suspect he’ll go the way of all dogs in this household; an ‘inside dog’ with couch privileges and a penchant for comfort and fine food…

He’s a new brother for Bert, after the loss of our much loved Charlie Dog earlier this year. Harry is from the same bloodlines as Charlie, and he came to us in the most serendipitous of ways. An old friend from my College days, a good country girl, rang to wish me a Happy Christmas, and said delightedly that I’d never guess who she was with. Turns out she was having beers with another old mate, who had supplied Charlie to us all those years ago. AND he had a litter of pups with him, two of which were still up for grabs.

I got in my car and drove two and a half hours, to have a cuppa and share memories with my friends, and to look at the pups still without homes.

But one pup chose me. A fine strong young lad, he was already allocated, but the moment I turned up he ran over. When I sat down on the grass he jumped straight into my lap and stayed there. As we went inside for a drink he sat at the door and cried. In short, this little boy stuck to me like glue.

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“Geez,” said Benson. “I’ve never seen anything like it. You’d better have him then.”

So Harry came home with me. A bundle of energy with a constantly growling tummy, and a need for fun and attention. He’ll fit right in at our place.

Lucky for me he is also fond of blogging…

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