Our Dear Raven R.I.P.

Our Raven was a rescue puppy in the truest sense of the phrase.  She and her siblings, their umbilical cords still attached, were left on the doorstep of a shelter during the night.  The shelter workers saved all but one of the eleven puppies.  They were moved to a private shelter, and when we went looking for a puppy, there was Raven sitting off in a corner by herself, the quietest little thing there. 

She grew into a beautiful dog, so full of love.  A fierce protector of her family, if we had to go down over the hill, she would wait at the pasture gate until we returned.   The finder of lost possessions, she would bring you things that belonged to you – a glove, a credit card, even an ear of corn out of an open trash can.  She loved to ‘help’ you put on your shoes, and paw at your leg while you were eating breakfast.  She loved to play Sit, Shake, Lie Down and would do the whole routine whenever she saw a treat in your hand.   She was loved by the barncats, especially Muffy who definitely considered Raven, her dog.  She was our buddy, our sidekick; she loved to ride in the truck and was always ready for a trip to the feed store.  A happy dog, her tail never stopped wagging.  

After battling for weeks with prescriptons, diet, new routines and finally hospitalization, we lost our battle against kidney failure and had to put Raven to sleep on Monday.  We held her and surrounded her with love until the very end.  She was our constant companion and is deeply missed. 

Just like Sam Sheepdog

Samson is in with the ewe lambs for the winter, and just like Sam Sheepdog he spends much of his day in a very business-like manner – sititng at the top of the hill by his dog house on the lookout for the bad guys or patrolling the perimeter fencing.

Hmmmm…. there seems to be one very tall lamb at the pile of hay…

Oh, it looks like our Sam has decided to employ the art of camouflage and disguise

or maybe he is just looking for a really warm spot in the sun.

Good dog, Sam.

Raven Knows Best

No matter how busy you are… how many chores are waiting… when you are invited on a long explore by Raven…

you follow…

otherwise, you would have missed this reminder of how small your worries are compared to the grandness of a giant puffy cloud in an endless blue sky

that grace and beauty can pop up out of the most unexpected places

that something as small as a dime can stop you in your tracks

and that even a long, forgotten stump can be quite lovely when the sunlight hits it just right.

You are reminded that you are so lucky to have such a great companion, because in the case of a long explore, Raven really does know best.

Musical Pastures

We have been playing a bit of musical pastures with the guardians.  Samson has moved over to the graveyard field with the yearlings.  He is used to being moved from one paddock to another, and only asks that his beloved dog house moves with him.  He is kind of partial to his turquoise feed bucket and red water bucket, also; getting slightly bent out of shape if either of those is switched out.  But for now, he is happily installed with the yearlings, and they are getting used to the idea that this large fellow is their friend.  We hope to accomplish two things – cement relations between Samson and the yearlings and discourage the red fox family from continuing to use this field as a shortcut, well before the new peeps arrive in May.
Meanwhile, Belladonna has moved into a paddock adjoining the expectant ewes.  She now has her own big-girl dog house (sadly, not pictured) and her own small area to patrol.  She is still not allowed in with the sheep unattended, but this should help her learn a little more self-control.  She is such a big girl that it is hard to remember that she is only 8 1/2 months old.  Bella has taken to her new role whole-heartedly… exploring her new surroundings and becoming much more watchful at night.  She is taking her job very seriously and as you can see in the bottom picture, has quickly adopted the typical daylight position of the exhausted guardian.

Verde Farm and Dandelion House have joined forces this week to host a combined party of Farm Friends and Farmgirls – please hop over and visit them here.