Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When the going gets tough....

...the tough, um, adopt a new puppy?

Sorry I've been away so long everyone. I have no good excuse. Just general busyness. Also, not much new to report here on Maggie's Farm. We are in a sort of holding pattern, waiting until spring to make the possibly hard decisions about our sheep and farm.

I must admit, it's been much, much harder to get myself out the door and down to the barn each morning now that the whole operation is in doubt. Sometimes, the hay I toss over the fence feels like the worst sort of pointless waste, especially when the sheep leave a carpet of it behind for the barn chickens stomp it into inedibility. At times like this, the cost-- $10-15 a day-- is hard to accept. At other times, it seems hard to imagine doing anything else.

So yes, I am trying to look at the flock with clear eyes, but they are sort of like family now. And family is not about practicality or expense.

We do have one big change-- a new puppy named Milo. He isn't a sheepdog, or even an actual breed. But he is to be the kids' dog, and is people oriented in a way that our more driven, task-oriented canines just can't manage. This means he is easy to re-direct... and loathe to be left alone. Sort of the exact opposite of our other two.

Milo is the result on an unplanned litter. He is an "Aussie Golden Doodle". He is keeping us busy this winter, near constant potty trips and lots of extra clean up and chewed kids' toys. The puppy usual.

So, why, you ask. Why the heck did we add a new element to an already overstretched situation? Um, crazy? That's one explanation. In short, it was the Micah's idea. He is "her" puppy and she is doing a decent job of being responsible for him.

Also, he is Luka's puppy. We worried that our little Icie character would put on the green eyed monster when Milo arrived, but hoped it would be good for her to share her family, toys, treats and sheep. We expected months of refereeing ahead, as Luka really knows how to put on that green-eyed monster. But, after an anxious "what do I do with THAT thing?" day of yipping anxiety, Luka decided little Milo was HERS and she has been so fabulous with him; she even plays tug and lets him win sometimes. Which is a something of a positive development.

So a lot of trouble in the short run-- but perhaps good for us all in the long run. (Though if you ask me about this in the wee hours of walking or when I am cleaning up puddles, I might have a different opinion.)