Monday, September 12, 2011

Reflecting on Critters Past & Present

This is Annie our foul-tempered, back-porch cat. Don't let her mild mannered sweet and cuddly looks fool you, she's scheming on how to get her claws in you!

Living out here in the middle of nowhere and seldom getting to town has been made a bit easier by the companionship of our animals. And the number has gone up dramatically since moving to the country a short five-and-a-half years ago.

My Hiking Companion
                                               My all-time favorite three-legged dog.

And I must add here that I believe that when moving to the country there is that whole nature abhors a vacuum thing goin' on. Before you know it, you're running a full-blown menagerie! People know you've moved to wide open spaces and they want to unload FREE animals on you. And then there are the dog dumpers, don't even get me started on that vile class of people!

We moved in with a hermit crab. Katy was it's name. And I must confess that when the odorous thing died a couple of weeks after moving in, I was a bit relieved that I would no longer have to clean out the bowl where it resided. Have you ever seen one of those things come out of it's shell...cringe-factor BIG time!
But it wasn't long, maybe a month, and we had acquired a couple of puppies for the girls. They were birthday gifts.
The dogs couldn't have been more different. The black lab/pit bull mix was born an old man. He didn't play much and just wanted to be petted constantly and nap.

Good Dog
      This is our lab/pit bull mix. He's large and intimidating...and smells of dead armadillo.
The other, a lab/shepherd mix felt it her duty to chase every piece of hoofstock in a mile radius. Her exiting the premise was due to the very large, roughened rancher that leased the land across the road appearing on our doorstep one evening and announcing that he would shoot her if she was spotted chasing his goats and cows again.
"Adios, Shelby!"

It was also during this time that an acquaintance of ours was moving and gave us a cat (our foul-tempered, back porch cat) and a couple of goats.
The goats didn't stay long due to their escape artist ways, but the cat has become a permanent back porch fixture. She's not nice. We warn people not to pet her. The dogs are even frightened of her.

   Strawberry is one of our Welsh ponies. She's a bit of a diva, definitely not a wallflower!

Before the first year was up, there were calves and a horse added to the mix.
And then later cats were needed as the foul-tempered cat decided to quit her mouse exterminating job.

wwshow&crittersherejn2010 156
The veterinarian on the premisis didn't spay our little female cat, Ashes. So she in return graciously presented us with a litter of kittens. It was her last.

Over the next few years we would see many calves come and go, some favorites, and some nearly drove us over the brink. If you've ever dealt with onery livestock you have empathy and can relate regarding that last statement.

                                    His name was Peanut, it should have been Trouble.

Presently the critter count stands at eleven hens, four horses, four calves, three dogs, and two cats.
I'd say that's enough...wouldn't you.

Have a fantastic & blessed week!

Chickens were on the list from the beginning but didn't become a reality until a year and a half ago. And then the real drama began!
Bantam Babies

                                                     Homestead Revival: Barn Hop #27


Jenn4him said...

Beautiful animals. I'm sure if I lived in the country, I'd have a similar collection. :-)

Julie... said...

Jenn, it happens so easily, LOL! But ultimately you find there has got to be a limit :/.

Jade said...

I love all of these pictures, but my favorite one is the horse! :) Love the name, too. Looks like you've captured each personality in a picture. Have a beautiful week. <3

Eyebright said...

Haha, when I was little, I remember that we went through a broad range of animals as well. Now that we're older, our parents have decided "no more pets!" So now we just have one inside cat, and for the most part we are happy with that. :)

As always, your pictures are beautiful!

Julie... said...

Jade, thanks for clicking over and thanks for the kind words regarding the photos. Strawberry the pony is quite the character, I don't think any of us will ever forget her!

Julie... said...

Hi Eyebright!
"...when I was little, I remember that we went through a broad range of animals as well."
Honestly, I believe that our main reason for taking on so many animals is for the kids. We want them to learn the responsibility of taking care of living thing while having fond memories to look back upon someday. Once they're grown and gone, I don't think we'll have the same amount of animals.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your kind words regarding my photos. I'm always impressed with yours.
Blessings, Julie

Suzanne said...

Your family sounds a lot like ours. We have had so many animals given to us through the years. We have started being a little more firm about saying no. We've had pigs, cows, sheep, horses, cats, 70 chickens, and more...