Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My furry and feathered children

First off, the OSPCA has posted Lenny's story on their blog! Take a look here.

Here is my dear old boy Julius...

One fang, two blind eyes, two failing kidneys, still hanging in there. I give him subcutaneous fluids every second day and it seems to help him a lot. He is not ready to go yet! Still love his food, still wants to explore (especially outside, where we supervise him!) loves to be brushed, and tries to steal supper off my plate. He is over 15 now and we love him very much. Day by day...

Meanwhile, his female doppelgänger Mootie is also doing great!

Hard to believe this cat was once labelled 'unadoptable" at the shelter. Plus she's not really a barn cat now, although she still likes to bunk in the barn sometimes. Last night she went to sleep on Gordon's chest, and he didn't want to disturb her, so he slept on top of the duvet instead of under it! Mootie is very sweet and affectionate. Just a little darling.

And then there's this geriatric...

Tristan also continues to tick along! We are going to Ireland next week for a two-week holiday and I am just hoping nobody has any kind of "episode" while we're away!!!

And look at this cutie!

Jersey is a very adorable pig! We have now had her just over a year.

And lucky Ophelia...

...got a good scritching from our friend Sarah last week!

And in goatie-land...

...Kevin and Geoff are in rut. Kevin actually peed on my friend's foot the other day... through the electric fence. At least, I hope it was pee! :0

The boys can't be neutered until we get back from our trip (they needed tetanus shots and boosters first) so we threw in the towel and let them bunk with the girls as it's hard to keep them separated. So there may be kids this spring. And the jury is still out on whether or not Bambi is really preggars. My goat friend doesn't think she is! If she is, I guarantee she'll give birth when I'm away, or ten minutes before we leave for the airport.


...is mischievious, as always.


...just had her second "gotcha day" with us. Time sure flies.

This past weekend was perfect for hanging out laundry...

 And my sunflowers are still going! No killer frost yet. I love this "double" ones, Can't remember what they're called, though.

We have some huge ones down there.

And poor Esme...

We've really been struggling with her laminitis issues. Right now she's on two drugs, plus we talked to a nutritionist and have sorted out her diet (mainly hay cubes and pellets.) We are having some hay tested for her too. She has been pretty stiff all week, although the farrier thought her hooves weren't too bad. We will have the vet take another look at her before we go away.

Unfortunately recurring laminitis can be such a problem that you have to euthanize the horse to spare them suffering. The vet doesn't think we're there yet. Gordon gave Esme a good brushing on the weekend (she loves that!) She is one of our rescue ponies and has already been through an awful lot in life: blind in one eye due to chronic uveitis, foundered (laminitis) several times before we got her, previous owner was shot dead and Esme was left in a cold barn in February for a few days with a bunch of other animals (including our pig Ophelia!) and no food. She's a tough little girl and we love her to bits.

Hope you are having a nice week!

Oh, please keep voting for me and my friend Miss Edie the Pug in the Pets Plus Us Champions Awards (we are in separate categories.) We could each win $1500 to donate to our favourite animal charity, which in my case would be the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA shelter in Cornwall (from where we have adopted 33 animals!) Thank you! Your votes have already pushed me up to first place in my category!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Vote early, vote often! Meow!

I have been nominated by Miss Edie the Pug for a Pets Plus Us Champions Award in the category of Pet Owner. If I win, the company will donate $1500 to the animal charity of my choice, which in my case would be the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA shelter in Cornwall, from where we have adopted 33 animals and counting!

You can vote once a day! You do need to enter your email address BUT if you don't want "spam" you don't click the box offering to send you mailings. 

I would very much appreciate your vote. Go here to vote for me! While you're at it, vote for Miss Edie in the community outreach category. She was nominated by Dr. Ryan Llera.

Sunny weekends...

The weekend before last, our godsons and their parents came to visit. Yes, as of the end of June, we have a new godson, a brother for little Ben!

We had a wonderful visit at the farm.

And I had little Nico strapped to me for over two hours and he slept the whole time. That is surely the longest I have ever held a baby without the baby crying. Usually they start crying within 30 seconds. And this one didn't even have fur! :) I love all the baby-carrying devices they have these days.

The six of us went for a lovely walk to our back pasture and checked out the pond. We saw a frog (or two... or three!)

Ben and I were trying to encourage her to hop!

It was just one of those idyllic days. We all had fun!

And Ben checked out one of my beehives with his Maman...

...and his Daddy! Note the Ontario Beekeepers Association t-shirt.  :) Ben's mother is a francophone and his father is an anglophone. Now when Ben speaks to me, I not only have to decipher what he's saying, I have to figure out if it's French or English. Often it's half and half! Kids are amzing.

Ben wanted us to swing him really high but it wasn't until I saw this photo that I realized just how high that was. I don't think Gordon and I should be trusted with small children. In our defence, we had a death grip on him and bonus, he didn't vomit! Just kept screaming for more. :)

Then we played with the cats! Daisy and Honey were very keen (that's Honey's shadow.)

What a great way to spend a Sunday. And earlier in the day, my beekeeping mentor came over to check out bees with me. Tristan followed us partway out,  so on the way back, he got a ride in the back of the RTV...

I think this day is one that will be in my bank of memories when I'm old and grey!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


So last week was busy because I spent mornings (and all of Friday!) in "Horse Camp for Adults"offered by my riding instructors. I got to bond with my horse Roo, and I had the best time ever...

On Friday we went on a three-hour trail ride, which is the longest time I've ever spent sitting in a saddle. It was just wonderful.

I learned SO much last week, and feel like I bonded with my horse Roo.

We rode on some beautiful sand trails in St-Lazare, Quebec. The weather was fabulous too.

We had to climb up one very steep hill, which I found mildly terrifying. I'd never done that before and I wasn't keen on the idea of Roo breaking into a trot. But he didn't. And once we made it up the hill, we had to come down the other side...

I'm in the back on the left with my instructor.

Made it up and down alive! Maybe next time I'll trot.

On the way down, the horse in front of me decided to lie down for roll in the sand! Tim, the rider,
got off in time, but then my horse started to paw the ground. I didn't know this was the horse equivalent of a dog making a nice nest to lie down in! But when my instructors to me to get Roo moving forward, I did, and he didn't lie down in the sand to join his friend. :)

And btw, horse trailers make good port-a-potties...

Who knew?

I was really sad when the week was over. It made me ridiculously happy to be on my horse every day. I never knew I would get so much enjoyment out of riding.

Hmmmm... two asses?

There were four students and two instructors and we had an amazing week. So amazing, I'm doing another three-day camp in November with Gordon.

My friend Debbie and I riding around the farm where we have our lessons.

Hope you have a great week. The OSPCA walk on Saturday was a great success and I will get some photos from that up soon. Thanks SO MUCH to those of you who donated to me!!! I was very touched by people's response. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

You guys are awesome!

Wow, thank you so much to my kind blog readers (some of whom have been lurkers!!) who have donated to our Ontario SPCA Friends for Life! walk this Saturday. You blow me way with your generosity.

This week has been crazy. Alex, who is the star of my "ads" for our walk...

...had to go to the ER vet on Monday night (yes, we have had five different cats to the vet in the past two months, and at least two cat ER visits, not to mention a couple of pony emergency vet calls!) When I put him on the bed that night, he growled at me. SO out of character. When I stroked him, he growled at me. Uh oh. So I figured if I brushed him (his favourite thing) and he growled at me, something was desperately wrong. Brush, brush... GROWL... bingo.

He was acting like he was in pain and uncomfortable, and was licking his nether regions, and had weirdly pooped on the bathroom rug a little earlier. For some reason, I thought he might have a urethral blockage. I told Gordon he had to get Alex to the vet (at 10 pm) and fortunately Gordon took him in, because Alex's urethra was completely blocked. Just call me the amateur vet. ;)

This is a very dangerous thing and cats usually die within 2 to 3 days (potassium build-up stops the heart) but we were very lucky to get him in in time. The vet put in a catheter and Alex peed on him in the process, which is a good thing! He is still at the vet clinic and we are hoping he will be able to come home today, poor guy. He was horribly uncomfortable on Monday night.

At the vet's office.

Sedated for the catheter.

We miss our three-legged boy and are looking forward to him coming home!

Meanwhile, this week I am doing "horse camp" every morning at Havencrest Farm, where I take my riding lessons. It's like summer camp for adults. There are four of us participating and it's a blast. I rode my horse Roo for most of yesterday, but then my teacher Linda switched things up and put me on this Percheron/Quarterhorse cross...

This photo does not do justice to the size of the horse. I am 5' 7" and have very long legs. They thought this gal was 17 hands high. Anyway, it was quite something being up there and I even managed to get myself on the saddle from the ground.

Before I go off to camp this morning, here is one more plug for our walk this Saturday, in honour of Alex!

If you would like to sponsor us, you either click here to sponsor Gordon, here to sponsor me, or here

Thank you so much for all the kind comments you leave on my blog!! I need to catch up and answer them, but I love hearing from you. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Friends for Life! Walk

Once again this year, Gordon and I are participating in the Ontario SPCA Friends for Life! Walk on Saturday, September 19.

We do these walk to raise funds for the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA shelter in Cornwall, which is where our 33 OSPCA rescue animals came from!

If you would like to sponsor us, you either click here to sponsor Gordon, here to sponsor me, or here to sponsor us as a team. ANY amount is greatly appreciated and for you Americans, the Canadian dollar is in the crapper, so if you sponsor me for $5 CDN, it's only going to cost you $3.77! The price of a beverage at Starbucks! :) We are only 20% of the way to our goal, so any donations will be hugely appreciated.

And while I'm here, thank you SO MUCH for all your kind words about our dear old duck Lenny who was, yes, adopted through the very shelter we are raising funds for.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good bye, Lenny

I'm sorry to say that our blind, geriatric OSPCA rescue duck Lenny died last night.

He was 28 (!) years old! Gordon went out to tuck everyone in last night, and he found Lenny lying dead in the outside run. When I saw him yesterday afternoon, he was doing just fine, eating some scratch feed with gusto and running around. He was a very old duck and I think it was just his time.

We adopted him from the OSPCA last December. He was owned by an elderly farm couple who had had him his entire life. Apparently he used to live in their bathroom and swim in their tub! But they had health issues that necessitated giving up Lenny, so he called the shelter to see if they could find a home for this beloved, blind duck.

The manager called me and the rest was history!

Here he is on adoption day with Chantal and Stephanie, two of the wonderful staff members at our shelter. 

Lenny was quite the character and took to his new life with gusto!

He has had more than one warm bath in the house, and...

...in winter, a blowdry!

He loved a warm bath...

We only had nine months with him, but he was a joy to have around. When we adopted him, we were told that his owners had given him lettuce every morning, chicken feed all day, and a banana every night.

So we did our best to tuck him in with a banana every evening, which he ate with great pleasure.

We feel lucky to have had this feathered soul in our lives, if only for nine months. We wish it had been longer. We will bury him in our garden tonight.

Hope you are waddling around somewhere grassy, Lenny, with lots and lots of bananas!