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!
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...