Compassion in World Farming

Monday, 10 August 2009

My fabulous, furry, four legged friends!

Things have been fairly quiet over the last few days with our ducks & hens, apart from the sad loss of hen Chicken Licken after a short spell of illness.


Even though we have had quite a few chickens come & go now it always saddens my heart to lose one.

Puddles is much recovered & is doing a wonderful job of playing foster mum to the rescued Mallard ducklings. Jess is all healed again & seems content with her ducky friends for company, so for now she remains is the back garden happily digging & shredding & uprooting things she shouldn't!

The weather this weekend was glorious & sunny, so I decided to make the most of it & spend some time in the garden with the dogs. I feel that I haven't properly introduced them yet, so here goes:-

The youngest at 2 years old is Mabel, an impish Jack Russell/ Yorkshire Terrier cross. She was looking a bit scruffy so I got the brush & comb out together with the scissors only intending to trim the fur from around her eyes. She was being so unusually good about being groomed that I decided to trim a bit more off here & a bit more off there, until - oops! - I had managed to just about trim her from head to toe! It was the neatest of cuts but I thought she looked gorgeous when I'd finished, just like a pup again!

100_1447 Before....

100_1653 and after!

Mabel is diminutive in proportions, but she has that big terrier attitude, believes she is indestructible & will kill anything that is smaller than her given half a chance! On our dog walks she has been known to kill & then drag a rabbit home with her, then spend the rest of the afternoon crunching it up in the front garden with blood & gore all around her chops! She has also been known to disappear down rabbit holes & not come out for more than an hour, once getting stuck & having to to be dug out, so now she is strictly on the lead on our daily countryside walks & the rabbit population is much safer for it! On the flip side, she is a loving little thing, me being her favourite person in the whole wide world & being curled up on my lap being her most favourite place in the world.

Our oldest dog at the age of 10 & looking like she needs a hair cut herself is Polo, our Westie.


Apart from brushing her I leave her grooming to the experts at the grooming parlour. She enjoys having a bath & loves the hair dryer, but isn't so good at being clipped! She especially hates having her paws touched by anyone - a bit bothersome when it comes nail clipping. I don't know how they placate her at the grooming parlour (& it's probably best that I don't know!) but here is a picture of her looking much prettier after a haircut:


Gorgeous, isn't she? In 10 years she has been through a lot with us & that makes her very special. She is faithful & fearless but even at 10 can be very wilful & when the crops start growing in the fields will, if not watched like a hawk, disappear after rabbit scents & not return home until she is quite ready! She has never caught a rabbit & in fact is completely trustworthy with our own pet rabbits, preferring to kiss them on the nose rather than savage them as Mabel might, but does love a good scent trail to follow!

At 6 years old our next oldest dog is Maggie, my beloved Border Terrier.


Maggie is my constant companion, a beautiful girl inside & out! She is playful, fun loving & affectionate. She gives the love she is shown back ten-fold! She is the type of dog who feels your moods intuitively & knows what her response should be to make you feel better. I can't imagine what life would be like without her by my side, so I hope we will enjoy many more happy years together.

And last, but by no means least, we have Meggie, our Border Collie / Whippet cross lurcher.


Meggie came from the Dog's Trust, Evesham, & is a special, but complicated girl! After being rescued from the streets she did not get on at all well with kennel life at the Dog's Trust, but was thankfully taken on by a wonderful foster mummy who looked after her for about 2 months before she eventually found her forever home with us. When we first had her she was clearly frightened of men & it took quite a long while for my husband & 3 sons to completely gain her trust. She had some strange habits due to her deep insecurities & would steal all sorts of objects from food packets, to glass bottles to cuddly toys & hide them all in her bed. She would panic if any strange males came to the door & would cower in the corner of the kitchen & wet herself. She was also a terrible food thief & we quickly learnt that anything edible must be kept out of her reach. Right from the start though you could look into Meg's soulful eyes & know there was something special that just needed reaching & with lots of patience & love we have unlocked a beautiful, loving dog with an awful lot to give. She is just the softest, cuddliest of girls & I can't imagine how anyone could have been cruel to her. I often wish I could climb inside her mind & erase any unpleasant memories she has so that she is no longer haunted be an unhappy past. Look at her here with middle son:


She loves her cuddles that's for sure!

We still have a little way to go with her. She can be unpredictable with dogs & people she doesn't know, especially men, so we have to muzzle her for safety's sake when we go for walks. Now she has her confidence back she can make herself big & scary when she feels threatened as the Parcel Link delivery man will tell you!! But taking on Meggie has been a rich & rewarding experience & when I look at her sprawled out on the settee with all four legs in the air & that lop sided grin I that know it has all been worth it!

So know you've met them properly & I'm sure there will be lots more doggy tales to follow...


  1. What a lovely bunch sara, I agree mabel looks like a little pup after her snip so cute.

  2. What lovely dogs and heartwarming to hear about how Maggie is becoming more secure. You have done very well with the hair-cutting.

    I must introduce Hals our neckshund!

  3. Rosie for Meggie, hmmmmm sounds like a good swap to me lol

  4. Love your dogs! How many animals have you? We have a rescue dog ,molly, and all love her to bits.Thanks for your well wishes :)
    Ps I'd love some hens and their fresh eggs, a pig would be grand too but not to eat, oh and a donkey.

  5. John - she thinks she can fly like dumbo too, trying to take off after birds that dare fly over the garden!!

    Raph - I'd love to meet Hals!

    Bro - no way!!

    Totalfeckineejit - 26 hens, 17 ducks, 3 geese, 2 pygmy goats, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 ferrets, 2 rabbits & 1 tortoise last count! Would like a turkey, a pig, a pony, a donkey & a sheep. Good job we're starting to run out of space! Love, love, love my animals :-D

  6. I've only got 2 dogs, 2 fish, and 3 strange looking 2 legged animals heh heh!!

  7. Thoroughly enjoyed reading all about your wonderful dogs.... (confess to a little tear or two!!) Meggie's story really pulled at the heart strings. I cannot bear any form of animal cruelty and never will understand what sort of people can treat animals so badly.
    Its such a delight to see them all looking so happy and contented. Meggie looks at peace and you can be proud of yourselves for all the hurt you have mended within in her....
    Had to have a laugh at some of their naughty antics... nothing like a good rabbit scent!! lol!!
    Our border collie Basil can be seen weaving in and out of crops as he locks onto the latest rabbit trail! All you can see is his tail bobbing above the corn. I do manage to get him to come back but thats after a great deal of coaxing!
    Just loved this post and look further to meeting all your wonderful and much loved dogs again.
    Sorry to hear about Chicken Licken, its always so painful when a much loved pet passes away.
    On the brighter side, great news about Puddles and the baby mallards. Glad that Jess has made a speedy recovery and is happily living life to the full... generally scratching up the garden!!
    With Love, Jane xxx

  8. Lovely to read about your animals. Sorry about the loss of the hen - but it happens - I have some which I bred more than ten years ago and they are still going strong - then suddenly one will die. Still, as long as they have had a happy life.
    Love your Border Terrier, mainly because I have one too - Tess is eighteen months old and a darling. Slowly she is learning to come when called and always tries to please. I wouldn't be without her for the world. She replaced Oscar, a GSH Pointer, who I had for ten years and loved to bits.