Farm Tales

Old Dogs

One of my favorite country songs is Old dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine by Tom T. Hall, this song has some really good lyrics , “old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes”.  How true that is dogs don’t judge us no matter what. Sidney is our oldest dog, she belong’s to our youngest son, he rescued her when he was 15 and she was 4 months. Sidney lives with us on the farm along with the other dogs, she has a pretty easy life but something or someone is missing and she knows it.  Oh she follows me around outside and I feed her and she goes for walks with me, and I take her to the vet to make sure she’s updated on everything but her one true love is not me.

She remembers the day a young man opened the door to her wire cage where she was being housed waiting for her forever home, she remembers how he got down on one knee and talked to her in soft words so she would trust him enough to come out. She remembers how he picked her up and carried her to the truck because she was too frightened of the leash.  She remembers the countless hours he’d spend with her teaching her to be a confident dog that walked on a leash, rode in the truck and came when you called.

She remembers when he left for college, she remembers when he came home and left again to work as a Fire Fighter every summer and yet each time he comes back she greets him as he never left. The bond between the two is pretty incredible, when my son is home she only has eyes for him.  She’s getting older and she can’t do the things she’d like, keeping up with the younger dogs when they run and play, but something she loves to do is ride in the UTV, she has discovered riding is easier on her then following.

Life for her is just about making her comfortable for the rest of her life, she has been a great companion for a young boy, and continues to be for a grown man. A forever home, for when you rescue a dog or any animal for that matter it’s not just them that gets  rescued.

Farm Tales

A little girl in dog clothing

All dogs are created equal in our lives, but you get that one or two that just capture your heart and soul.   Teeny is just that , she is a pint size little girl with a big dog attitude which means she can run with the big dogs and does. Half Miniature Pinscher , half Toy Fox Terrier gives her  a tenacious attitude, loves all humans hatred for  all rodents.  Teeny came into our life via our son that raised her as a pup, so we saw her regularly , circumstances changed and she needed a new home. At the time I was living in Tulelake, for four days of the week and traveling back to Alturas for three days until we got the house sold,  well for me being away from home, and especially from the animals wasn’t fun. I lived on the refuge which was a great opportunity to see all the wildlife in the evenings, however it got lonely after awhile, before Teeny.

Teeny became my travel partner, my room mate and my best friend, she went to work with me every day. Having her with me made me walk several times a day, even in the winter which was good for both of us, she also has a keen sense of whats going on around her so she spotted wildlife before I did, like the family of otters. On Wednesday nights we would go down to the local hamburger place and get a burger and fries to share, Thursdays we traveled home. We created a pretty strong bond spending so much time together.

She’s getting older, arthritis is creeping up on her with daily medication, that doesn’t slow her down much, but some days she does over do it.  Life on the farm for her, is overseeing morning chores, checking for rodents and hob knobing  with the other dogs, sleeping most of the day in the house on the furniture of course. Overseeing evening chores , when I’m home she’s outside with me doing what ever I’m doing, over seeing every project and riding in the UTV in the middle seat!

My little girl in dog clothing heart and soul.


Farm Tales

Old Cow Pony

In his day he moved cows from here to there, traveled many a mile with his rider riding fences, checking water holes.  Never complaining of his chore going to where he was told high or low he traveled the miles always reaching his destination .  Again to return another day moving along at a steady pace for his rider through the vast open country with nothing around expect sage brush, desert winds , cattle and an occasional band of wild horses.

A true friend he is, up early and staying up late always looking after his rider, placing each hoof to safety return them both from a long and dusty day.  His days of riding are through, he grazes daily in his older years, put out to pasture they would say. He moves slower, older in appearance in his 29th year.

He has days of grazing and enjoying a slow life are his.  He can look out to the mountains not far away and still remember many a mile he traveled with a friend that now takes care of him.

A well-deserved end of life for a dear old friend,” Buzz” the cow pony.


Farm Tales

Doc Holiday, “I’m your Huckleberry”

Every farm needs a farm cat, well meet Mr. Holiday actually Doc Holiday or just Holiday or just Mr. He’s not the only farm cat, he is the Farm Cat just ask him he’ll say “I’m your Huckleberry” which in his case means I’m the cat your looking for, cat in charge.  Mr. Holiday found us a few years back, he was wondering the isles of a Holiday market, he followed patrons into the store and was put out a few times always returning, he acted like he owned the place.  Of course no one claimed him, so I scooped him up he was little then, and packed him around why we finished our shopping.  There differently was some odd looks wondering why we were taking our kitten shopping, we made the store manager happy he was no longer concerned he’d have to deal with the little guy.  We told the manager where to find him If anyone came looking, here we are today with 12 pounds of cat that thinks he really is a “Huckleberry”.

Notice those notches in his ear, came by them naturally keeping all the stray cats away, he does have one flaw, he thinks he’s still small enough to sit on your shoulder or back or what ever else he can jump on from the fence post he sitting on near by. Oh yeah, and If you don’t pay attention to him when you walk by, well he’ll take care of that by reaching out with his big paw with open claws and grabbing a hold of anything he can, bare skin included. Ok maybe that’s two flaws, he really is a good cat and he knows his business, keeping mice and ground squirrels away.  He’s loves to be scratched under the chin, he could do that all day.  Ever a need for a claw slinging cat at the farm corral, he’s your Huckleberry Doc Holiday.

Farm Tales

Meet the Girls

Meet the girls, really these are the most spoiled chickens you could have when they were just chicks of course we raised them in the laundry room, Who wouldn’t right? Well my son is the chicken whisperer, he raised chickens and guinea hens when he was in high school and he has this connection with birds.  Well, that being said he started feeding them oat meal out of his hand, and he’d make this sound calling them to eat, something like a cluck but I can’t do it.

Guess what happened next, uh yep as chicks they would jump up into his hands and eat the oatmeal, but they got bigger then all he had to do was hold out his hand and “cluck” or “took took” (kinda sounds like that) and they’d jump into his hand .  He can still call them to him, and yes they will even try to fly up to his arm, crazy.

Well I like feeding them in the feeders, and sprinkle some on the ground, thanks to the chicken whisper they have to have oatmeal everyday twice a day with their regular feed or the squawking sound gets so loud you can’t stand being in the barn!

It’s a good thing their good layers, because one can only take so much from eight squawking hens, I understand the saying being pecked to death by chickens except in my case it’s being squawked to death or at least to deaf!