I never thought I'd see it come to pass. Hon got zapped by the electric fence. Don't get me wrong, I'd never wish it on anyone, but it was actually kind of nice to see someone else get it this time. He said it's happened before, but I'm skeptical.
This evening we went out to take care of chores and give a few of the lambs their nightly bottle. When we were finished Hon opened the fence for me, I walked through, and he said he would close up the gate. What he didn't notice (and no, I didn't notice it either) was that one end of the chain had fallen onto one of the electric strands. Hon grabbed the chain, there was a big 'ole popping sound, a spark, and Hon went sailing backward. Because I'm such a quick thinker, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Woah, that's gotta hurt!" To which he replied, "No s**t! You think?!" I can't help it. I laughed. When the tears started rolling down my cheeks I told him it was because I could feel his pain, but he didn't believe me. He did, however, tell me that he didn't think it would hurt that bad, and that he felt it all the way down into his knees.
Because I felt bad about the giggles over his tangle with the fence, I said I'd get a stick and move the chain off the wire, but he said he'd do it. My hero! When he got a stick and moved the chain off the wire, the whole chain came off and fell onto it. There was quite a display of orange and yellow fireworks, along with the sound of fire crackers popping over and over. At that point I told him there's no way I'm getting that off. Safety first, you know. The good thing is after a few more attempts, and dropping it down onto the lower electric strand, the chain eventually made its way to the ground. As I write this I wonder why neither of us thought to go unplug the thing. Hmmmmmmm..
I would like to admit I was in no way unscathed from the fence this week. I, too, got zapped right in the behind a few days ago. Hon had put up the temporary electric fence in the yard and put the strands awful close to my herb garden. I was out there with Young'un pulling weeds, bent my behind too close to the fence, and got a big jolt that had me tripping over the little decorative fencing around the herb garden. I figure having just sat down in the wet grass didn't help the situation, and that bit of moisture really helped conduct the electricity. Instead of laughing, though, Young'un made sure I was okay and said he was sorry that happened. He must have gotten his maturity from Hon.
So, there you have it, folks. I finally witnessed someone else getting zapped by the electric fence...and it didn't take paying a kid $5 to test it, either. No, don't ask. That's a whole other story. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I thought I was going to tell you about the sour cherries I picked today, but instead I'm going to let you look at the luscious, yet somewhat blurry picture of them. I was quite proud of myself getting up on that ladder despite my fear of falling, too, by the way. Instead, I'm going to tell you about being a responsible pet owner. Don't worry, I'm not going to get up on my soap box about it. Well, I'll get up on it just long enough to get a leg up to reach my high horse, anyway.
Here's the thing. About two weeks ago some folks nearby sold their sheep. That wasn't the problem. The problem is that they took the sheep to their new home and left the guard dog, figuring they'd come back later for it, even though the sheep are the only family that dog has known. Rightly so, the dog was upset. The bigger problem with the situation was that the dog was social with the sheep, but not it's caretakers, so it wouldn't come up to them no matter what.
Where do you think the dog went after it's family went missing? You got it. Our place. We first spotted the dog going in the barn, running out with Moe and Alice hot on her heels a good week ago. Alice is sitting on her nest of soon to be goslings, so they weren't about to stand for an unfamiliar dog converging on their barn. This happened repeatedly.
Because the dog immediately ran off as soon as it saw us, I called the Ross County Dog Warden's office for help. Matt, from the Dog Warden's office, came over and put out the biggest have-a-heart-type trap I've ever seen and baited it with some dog food in hopes the dog would get trapped and they could figure out if it had a home or not. At the beginning, we didn't know if it was a stray or not, by the way.
After a few days of feeding raccoons, opossums, and stray cats, not to mention something subsequently being lured to the area and burrowing into Eldest's pigeon coop for a midnight bird snack, the dog still eluded the trap. At least the Dog Warden's office was able to find the dog's owners. That's how we found out why the dog was out galavanting around, by the way.
Yesterday I called the Dog Warden again, letting them know that the dog was still roaming. I had met the dog's owners when they came over earlier this week with Matt and company, and they had said at that time they had a dart they could use to shoot it, so it would fall asleep, they could catch it, and take it to it's new home. I thought that was going to be the solution. Obviously, the wiley dog outsmarted them.
This morning when I went out to check on the sheep, I saw Matt's truck in the driveway and him down at the corner of the pasture. He said he was able to dart the dog, but it ran over that way on the other side of the fence, and he was going to go in and find it. He also said the dog would only be out for 15 - 20 minutes, so time was ticking. If I hadn't been in my shorts and boots I'd have jumped in with him to look, but I did, and he was in not only up to my neck in weeds and stuff, but a bounty of poison ivy. Makes me itch just thinking about it.
When Matt came back and couldn't find the dog, I told him I'd go change into more appropriate clothes to battle poison ivy, ticks, chiggers, and *shudder* snakes in behind the pasture to try and be some help. As he went down the road to come in from the other direction, I went back to the fence, climbed up on the top, held my nose, and jumped in. Then I started swimming through the creepy crawlies, poison ivy, and couldn't help but think about *shudder* snakes. Thank goodness I didn't see one, but it was so wildly grown up, I'm sure they were in there.
After about 1 1/2 hrs I ironically had to start baking the dog biscuits for tomorrow's Farmer's Market, so it was up to Matt. He had the dart gun anyway, and I was only armed with my cell phone and a leash. I had no idea where he was in the thick of it anymore, and could only hope he wasn't being held down by snakes while mondo sized grasshoppers beat him with poison ivy.
Then it happened. A miracle. One of the other men from the Dog Warden's office came knocking and said they finally got the dog, that it was on it's way to the owner's home, and they would present them with not only their dog, but more than likely a fine to go with it. I am so happy the Ross County Dog Warden's office was able to catch the dog and get it back to it's owners!
You know, what it comes down to is being a responsible pet owner. It's not the dog's fault it's completely unsocialized when it comes to anything but sheep. It's like the dog was plunked down with the flock when it was a puppy, and was taken care of from a distance with food and water left for it, but no human interaction. I don't pretend to be a perfect pet owner, especially since our dogs go completely nuts when anyone comes over or knocks on the door, but I do make sure to keep them in check. I also know that if they went missing I'd do anything I could to find them, and if I knew where they were, and couldn't get them myself, I'd ask the Dog Warden's office for help. Not leave them to roam for weeks, while leaving food and water in hopes of eventually catching them. Dog Warden's of the world are here to help us, folks, even if it's to get our own pets that have gone off.
So, there you have it folks. Our local Ross County Dog Warden's office is awesome! They have been a wonderful help for our family on numerous occasions and we truly appreciate them being around. They may not take feral cats, which we have a bounty of around here, but when we've needed their help with other situations they've been there for us. Thank you for being there for us! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
This afternoon was one of those lovely days I decided to take advantage of by working on a knitting project outside. I'm working on this lovely shawl using Malabrigo sock yarn in Caribeno, which is shades of blue, for the mitered diamond pattern on top, and Misti Alpaca in another shade of blue for the bottom part. I'm going with my friend, Angel, to Knitting Temptations in Dublin the end of the month for a Malabrigo yarn trunk show and am hoping to get it finished so I can wear it when we go. At least, I'm hoping to have it finished by then.
Like many times before, I decided to sit out in the pasture with the animals and enjoy the shade, while watching the lambs jump and play. They are so fun to watch when they're tiny. I got my folding chair, sat it under a tree, plunked my rear in it, took out my knitting, and began. Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary.
About 45 minutes into my enjoyment, Tucker, our American Saddlebred, stopped munching grass, stood up real tall, and looked at me. Both ears were perked up and he started making snorty sounds. I couldn't figure out what had him so weirded out, and went back to knitting. Tucker, however, didn't go back to eating. Instead he walked up to me to check out what I was doing. He put his snout right in my knitting and took a big snuffly sniff. He did this several times and each time I'd tell him to back up, which he did. He would wander away and back again like he was checking on my progress.
After a bit I saw that Josie, our eldest Icelandic sheep, was looking like she wanted water, so I went to get her some. Next thing I knew, Tucker went whizzing by me and something soft hit me in the back of the head. At first it hadn't registered what he had, and I was trying to figure out what could have hit me. Then I snapped out of it. He had my partially knitted shawl in his mouth, knitting needles dangling out the sides, and the ball of yarn trailing behind him - that, by the way is what got me in the head. I'm not sure he reminded me more of a gigantic happy puppy with a new toy, or a enormous cat with a ball of yarn. I suppose that didn't really matter, because he was ripping through the field, jumping and kicking...with my yarn...unraveling in the dirt...the weeds...the grass...and yes, other stuff out in the field that I will not mention by name and pretend is also dirt.
There I was, chasing after Tucker, yelling, "Drop that yarn, Tucker, Malabrigo is expensive!" Gesh! Does he not know that one 440 yard ball of yarn he was trailing through the pasture not only cost me $18.99, but is also superwash Merino wool that was kettle dyed and from Uruguay??? I swear my heart still starts fluttering when I think about it. I also think I'm going to have flashbacks of the episode for weeks.
After Tucker had his fun, he dropped my knitting like a toddler with a toy that's guaranteed to give him hours of fun, and went back to eating. Figures. I was left with the aftermath. Do you have any idea what Malabrigo yarn looks like after it's been slung around a field? How about a partially knitted shawl that's been in a drooly horse mouth? I gotta tell ya, it ain't pretty. I picked off all the dirt that was pickable, wound it in a ball, and figured the best thing to do would be to wash it after I'm finished knitting the mitered portion of it that uses the Malabrigo yarn. Eventually the spit will dry.
After my knitting was cleaned up as best I could, I decided to go back to the house and get a plastic sandwich bag to put the dirty wet yarn ball in so I didn't have to touch it more than necessary. It was bad enough holding the spit filled partially knitted shawl. Not thinking about it, still in a daze from the ordeal, I left the yarn on my chair. When I got back, there was Tucker...nose all up in my knitting again. He kept at it, sticking his nose where it didn't belong, snuffling up all that Malabrigo goodness. When he wouldn't let up, even when it was in my lap in the plastic bag, which was fogging up due to all the wet yarn in the bag, I decided to give up. I'll work on the shawl another day after it dries...and not out in pasture.
So, there you have it folks. A true story. Really. I swear I don't make this stuff up. At least this time Hon was home and can bear witness to my ordeal. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.