Friday, September 17, 2010

Meet the Pets

Sometimes I just blog along, completely oblivious to the fact that everyone in the world doesn't know each of my animals by name. I tend to talk about "Paula" and "Sophie" as if they are "Snooki" and "Heidi."

Although I have no idea who Snooki and Heidi actually are, it seems the world is enthralled with them. And there's nothing wrong with that. At least, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I'd have to know who they are first, I guess. It's a judgement call....

Anyway. There is something wrong going on here that I must correct immediately. So, without further ado, here's the current line-up at Rose Valley Ranch:

First, we'll start with the cats, because, well....they insist.


I got Harley twelve years ago as a kitten. He was a barn kitty and a little on the wild side, but I got him anyway because my boyfriend at the time insisted that we get a dark cat. I'm pretty sure he was talking about coat color and not the cat's soul because Harley is my baby. He's about as sweet and cuddly as any cat will get.

Harley cost me a zillion dollars to neuter because he had a retained testicle. Then five years ago his liver shut down and we thought we'd have to put him down, but he pulled through that one. Now he has no teeth and his belly drags the ground, but he's my toothless, sway-backed, belly-dragging cuddly kitteh. I love him to pieces.


When I hoped for a new addition this year, I was thinking more along the lines of extending one of the rooms being renovated, not more mouths to feed, but I resisted Milton until he died three times, and then I gave in.

Milton was born in my old barn out back. I thought he drowned in the stock tank (apparently it was a sibling, or I unwittingly buried him in Stephen King's pet cemetery), then was eaten by an owl (another sibling apparently, or just stray fluffy fuzz from another animal), and then his final "death" was some fiasco I still can't sort out but somehow included water, manure, a six-foot drop and some baling twine.

So, Milton lives with me now. In the house. With four other animals. Lord help us all.

Next up, the dogs. Just 'cause.


Charlie is an ex-show dog who likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Only the first part of that is true. What's also true is that Charlie is really the most wonderful dog in the world. It's scientifically proven. I've had him for seven years now and he's the sweestest, calmest, quietest, most-obediant, loving, fluffy guy that ever was.

He's an Australian Shepherd, but often gets confused with a Border Collie because of his coloring. When I lost his buddy Layla I thought about getting another Aussie, but could never find one with his demeanor. He's apparently a unique specimen, which makes him all the more special.


Sophie is my girl. People who know us understand the impact of this (under)statement. She is always at my side--she even sleeps under the covers at my side. She is my running partner. She is my comfort when I'm in pain. She's my own private comedian when I need a laugh.

She's half rat terrier and half something else. I don't know what else, but I don't care. She's gamey but she's my girl.

Before June 2008 I said I'd never get a puppy, I'd never have a mut, I'd never have a terrier, and I'd never have a little dog. I broke all those rules with Sophie, and now I can't imagine my life without her.


Russell is also new to the family, because in my infinite wisdom ("infinite" here meaning: "infantile") I decided that two dogs just weren't enough.

His daddy is a Jack Russell Terrier and his momma is a Schnauzer. I knew both, but I got Russell anyway (just kidding--I adore his pappa "Milo.").

Russell has grown up to be quite a cutie. Unfortunately he's quite aware of this fact, but he stays fairly well-behaved despite this knowledge.

And for the pièce de résistance: The Equids


I just posted about Paula--how she came to be and why she's so important to me. She's..well...she's everything.

And that's all I have to say about that, Forrest.


I'll be honest here. When I first got Fabian as a colt (I bred him and traded his mother to a friend of mine, who proceeded to save the mare's life in order to try to save the foal's life and then was unable to keep them both so gave them both back to me--Linda, you're the greatest and Fabian's guardian angel :), I was a little disappointed in his attitude. He was standoffish to the point that he was almost unfriendly. He was even minorly difficult at times.

It wasn't entire his fault, though. When I got him, I was stressed and in a great deal of pain from my back. I wasn't able to work with him much, and when I did, I didn't do anything ever nice with him. It was just the neccessities--feet trimmed, vaccinations, worming, and that's it. I wasn't ever able to really work with him, groom him for fun, spend time scratching and loving on him as I usually do when I raise a horse.

However now Fabian is making up for lost time. He's so incredibly loving--he would just fall asleep with his head in my arms if I'd let him. He follows me around everywhere, even leaving his feed for attention. He lets me do anything I want with him--I can lay across his back with nothing on him, just soaking up the sun and spending time with him. This is a horse that I think one day would do anything for me. We've really bonded since he's been back home, and now I couldn't bear to ever see him leave again. Welcome home, boy...this time, for good.


Bambi was another horse that I bred and sold her mother before she was born. I couldn't be more grateful that fate brought her back to me. This girl...she is just so easy on the eyes, it's hard to explain. She's like having a lovely, real-life, eating and pooping piece of art right in my back yard.

OK, that didn't sound the way I intended.

Bambi is a lot of fun, too. She's got her daddy's ornry streak. The cool thing about raising foals out of the best horse you ever owned is seeing those little sparks of his traits coming out in his babies. Their sire is gone, but he certainly still lives on in these kids.


They say everything is bigger in Texas. If that's true, I'm glad Moose was born in Kansas. I'm already going to have to buy a stepladder to get on him. This is one horse that lives up to his name.

Moose is also a new addition to the family but you wouldn't know it by being around him. He's really just one of the kids: laid-back, very kind, friendly, and sweet.

This big white boy was almost sold to France, but fate (aka a positive lethal white test) kept him here. I have to say, I'm very glad it worked out that way. The more I work with him, the more I just know we're going to have a blast showing. Just one thing first: Moose will soon be a little lighter in the nether-regions come fall.

Did I really just write "nether-regions" on my blog?

So, everyone, that's the troupe! Hope you enjoyed the show. We'll be here until next Tuesday. Skip the veal and try the pie.


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