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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

Summer Recap

As is usual for me in the summer, I didn't keep up with the blog so well.  It's not that nothing was happening - it's more like too much was happening, and I was having fun living it, without wanting to stop and document it.  That actually seems like a pretty good philosophy - keep moving forward with the fun - so instead of wishing I had kept a more complete accounting, I'll just move on with the highlights.

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Weekly Roundup

Lots of things rolling along as we get closer to spring.  Not water in our pond - nope, that's still empty, but we have hope for the repairs to happen in the next week or two, and then we'll be back in action.  That's the thing about good dirt guys - ("dirt guys" being my nickname for guys who move dirt.  For obvious reasons.) - anyway, the thing about good dirt guys is that they're in high demand and completely at the mercy of the weather.  Which means you can never tell exactly when they're going to get to you.  Like many things with a farm, having earth moving work done is a real test of your equanimity.  Mine's still hanging in there for the time being.

Other things that require equanimity - farm trucks.  The brakes on ours completely went out this week (which sounds like a problem you'd have in 1965 rather than 2017), and so Clifford had to take a ride to the mechanic.  Bummer.

I did make some good progress on my knitted dress this week - kitting and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

Steve's first birthday party was a hit.  Sam made him a combination of his favorite foods - an apple stuffed with peanut butter and bacon, served with a side of dog biscuits.  Steve knows how to party.

Afterwards Steve had to sleep it off.  And just like lots of little kids, he was full of energy right until he fell asleep for his nap.  In this case, while chewing on his bone.

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Steve's First Birthday

Today's the day - Steve turns one!  His first year is pretty well documented, but this before and after makes me laugh the most.  A Maremoodlian can grow quite a bit in one year.  (And what's a Maredmoodlian you may ask?  Simple:  A half Maremma, half Anatolian Shepherd who has been raised by our Standard Poodles.  Steve's pretty sure he's going to turn into a curly haired happy poodle when he grows up.)

 

 

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Snow Day

We had quite the snow storm last weekend... which is kind of funny because I was entirely skeptical about it showing up.  I don't even know why I didn't believe them, because by the time Friday rolled around the forecasts were completely full of dire predictions and winter storm warnings, but still... I was Ms. Disbelief.  And then the joke was on me, because we got 7" of snow and the temperature dropped to 8 degrees and stayed close to there for two days, which meant the snow turned to ice and that was that.

 

 

Fortunately our sledding game was strong, and it was beautiful, so all's well that ends well.  Also - it was Steve's first snow storm.  He liked it.

 

 

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Is it Frozen?

We had a lovely snow storm this weekend, which results in amazing sledding and the feeling of living in a snow globe.  All of which I'll chronicle in a day or two.  But along with that came very cold temperatures, which means the lake freezes (or what's left of it), which means a total cluster for dog care.  

I'm always afraid the dogs are going to walk out on the ice and then fall through in the center. We've been keeping a very close eye on them, but today it's warming up so Sam and I figured we'd check to see if the lake was still frozen.  As you can tell, we're a well oiled machine.  (And the reason these are in three separate clips is because they started as an Instagram story.  For more behind the scenes looks, head over to my instagram.)

 

 

 

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It's the Mosssst Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of year - time to get the tree!  This is our first Christmas back at the farm.  Last year we had some crazy plan that we were going to decorate both houses (because this one was still being renovated) and then come to the farm for Christmas morning, but eventually we realized we barely had time to decorate one house, and we aren't robots, so the idea that we were going to do TWO complete Christmases was nuts.  So that was the end of the farm decorating for last year.

But this year we're here full time, and we're having fun figuring out how to decorate.  My mom left us a pre-lit artificial tree, and we always get a real tree, so now we have a BONUS TREE.  Woohoo.  I want to put it outside somewhere - picnic deck?  Porch of the treehouse? - but I'm concerned that Steve is going to think it's his latest chew toy and drag it back to the pile of treasures, so we're still trying to work that one out.  BTW, he's now 85 pounds at 8 months, so that's not an unreasonable concern.  Also, he's a very relaxed napper.

But as for the real tree, the boys have just done their measurements and have decided we need a 10 foot tree that's 45 inches diameter.  And about 2 zillion strings of new lights.  Sooooo we'll see how this turns out.

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Coyotes in the Zombie Apocalypse

If I'm placing bets on animals most likely to survive - thrive? - in a zombie apocalypse, I'm going with the pack of coyotes that keeps showing up outside our farm.  And I'm just hoping they're on the other side of our fence - it's always dark so it's kind of hard to tell.  

They make this incredibly piercing high pitched yipping/howling kind of sound - with a definite manic quality to it, like they're one step away from freaking the phuck out and mowing down everything in their path.

But.... so far that hasn't actually happened.  My old horse has lived here for 23 years quite peacefully, and we have a herd of pygmy goats that have never had any trouble (although Bossy Pants is Very Mean, and I suspect she has a lot to do with the safety of the goat herd.)  Steve is a livestock guard dog, so in his adulthood he will allegedly scare off coyotes.  Right now he just tilts his head sideways and listens along with the rest of us.  

Clark and Sam are big fans of The Walking Dead, and right after they watched the last episode the coyotes showed up - it didn't seem like a coincidence.  If ever there was anything that seemed like it would kick some zombie ass, it's these coyotes.

[Speaking of Steve, as I type this the blue heron is back and standing on top of our chimney, chased there by the dogs after it landed on the dam.  Steve is taking the heron situation very seriously.  Much loud barking.  The heron is smug on his perch.]

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Rhino Puppy

You know what happens when you get a puppy that's going to be the size of rhinoceros?   Your yard looks like a rhinoceros-sized toddler lives there.  Steve's the best - and he's actually pretty chill - but he's getting big.  

He weighs 60 pounds and he's 5 months old.  And we've discovered that he likes to collect things.  He doesn't exactly chew on things, but he definitely takes things.  

Looking out at my yard at this moment, he has a pillow, a nylabone, a real bone, the remnants of a soccer ball, a tennis ball, a pair of goggles, a life jacket, and two funnels.  Big funnels - like the kind you use to put gas in a big mower.  He loves them.  I'm thinking of buying him a 6 pack of them for Christmas.  

Probably you're thinking - how much random stuff floats around your house??  Valid question - a lot of random stuff lives at this house.  But also he has a knack for finding it.  I'm hoping he starts to outgrow the collecting stuff phase fairly soon.  Or pretty soon he's going to be big enough to start collecting wheelbarrows and garden rakes.  Maybe I'll put him to work.

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The Lazy Days

These are the lazy days of summer... where I blink and it seems like a week (or two) has swept past, and I can't figure out how that happened except that the puppy looks enormous and the boy has more of a tan.

This time of year I'm always trying to figure out if I'm supposed to be working more, or working less, or playing with the boy more, or maybe rebuilding all of my crumbling fences like an actual farmer.  And then it hits me that I don't have to do all of those things at once.  Sometimes, for summer time, it's enough to just take in all of the moving parts and be thankful to be in the middle of it.

 

Proof that time passes:  Tiny puppy is now giant almost-dog.

   

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