17-Oct-2017 10:08 AM
Monday dawned bright and warm and we figured we would be in for some excitement later today. Oliver and Gracie arrived to spend the day playing with us and Benson got picked up by his human after his long weekend stay. That's when we heard Stephanie and Mary talking about the Navy men coming to Grand Desert Beach to look for unexploded ordnance left over from back in the sixties and seventies when the beach was used for target practise by the military. Periodially, they come and do a sweep of the beach area just to make sure there are no old boomers that might have been washed up by the waves and if they find anything suspicious, they destroy it in a controlled detonation.
Sure enough, the usually deserted Grand Desert beach was suddenly swarming with guys in uniforms and Stephanie and Mary watched their progress with the binoculars.
We played outside most of the morning with Stephanie as it was such a lovely day and around one o'clock our big buddy, Breton, the Yellow Lab, arrived followed by our little darling Ruby, the Shih Tzu. Both of them were very excited to be back for another visit and Breton wanted to get down to the beach for a swim. Stephanie gathered up the beach crowd and today Bauer decided that he would go with them so he could have a swim. Willow stayed at home today and Biscuit had to make a trip to the vet for a check up but the rest of the gang, including Holly, Saki, Poppy, Oliver, Gracie, Breton, Bauer and Zoe had a great time which included rolling in some dead fish on the beach so they could be sure to share it with Mary back at the house. Gracie also managed to find a cow patty on the beach and she gave that a good roll so Stephanie had to bath her when they got back to the house. I guess our beach has it's share of stink bombs.
After the beach gang returned to the house , we were just starting to think about dinner when there were three BOOMS! that rattled the house and when we looked over toward Grand Desert, we could see the smoke from the controlled detonations just clearing. Bauer and Holly were looking a little wild-eyed but, since it was over in a matter of minutes, they soon settled down. It was hardly enough to distract us from the important stuff, like our food but first we had to wait for Gracie and Oliver to be picked up. Once dinner was done, we enjoyed the lovely sunset and nice long naps.
15-Oct-2017 10:38 PM
Saturday was hopping with lots of comings and goings and the big news was that Willow came back to stay with us for another week after last week's health problems. She is feeling better but she knows that she has to cut back on her activity level and not get overtired. Norman, Benny C and Owen T all joined our merry group today for an overnight stay and they are all looking forward to getting down to the beach. Eve and Hogan went home after lunch we were very happy to see that two packages of beach balls were donated to the cause by Hogan's human since he is familiar with Hogan's penchant for destroying them.
Kelsey and Mary received two milk crates full of beets and green tomatoes from a neighbour with a big garden so they got organized to make some preserves tomorrow. Once the list of required ingredients was drawn up, Mary went to the store to pick them up and it sounds like they will be pickling beets, preparing a beet relish and making a batch of green tomato mincemeat. After dinner, Tali went home and things settled down so we could all have our naps.
Sunday turned out to be a warm and sunny day and after breakfast we all stayed with Kelsea while Mary and Stephanie took their horses for a ride across the beach to Grand Desert. They followed a path through the woods that they hoped would bring them out on Range Road but they ended up in a backyard so they quietly retraced their steps back through the woods to the beach. Benny C, Harley, Norman and Hunter were all reunited with their humans and disappeared down the driveway so that it was time for Kelsea to take a bunch of the remaining critters to the beach for some fun. Once we were settled down for or post-beach naps, Kelsea and Mary started making the beet preserves which was a pretty messy activity as that red beet juice manages to get on everything. Kelsea and Mary were both thankful when they had finished with the beets and it was also time for our dinner. Later we said so long to Owen T and Riley as they were taken back into the warm embrace of their humans and happily departed for their homes.
Later, as we were getting ready to retire for the night, the winds started to really pick up speed and Mary decided that the horses should spend the night in the barn. We went to the barn and watched as she got the hay and water ready for them and made sure all of the doors were secured. No more break outs! That darn barn cat, Audrey, was just on the other side of the gate sneering at us which got Parker and Zoe pretty riled up but there wasn't much they could do about it.
14-Oct-2017 10:04 PM
It's Friday the thirteenth and it was a day for cow puns as we were feeling relieved that there would be no more bovine visits. Caper got here early and when he herd about the cows, he said our stories were udderly ridiculous while Rooney and Harley thought we were milking it for all it was worth. Bauer just sat back and listened and figured we'd eventually get tired of all this silliness while Jack blissfully napped on the veranda totally unaware of the steak out.
Saki announced that we were not about to let those cows make a laughing stock of us. We assembled our pack for our beach walk and Kelsey brought Parker on a long line in order to beef up security. Today little Murphy got to come to the beach with us for the first time and he was so excited, we herd him hollering "Holy Cow, Benson. You can't catch me. " as they raced down the hill. We swam, fetched balls, chased one another up and down the sand and then Arthur spied some deer and was off in a second. Holly warned him that Mary just might tan his hide for being such a naughty boy but it went in one ear and out da udder. Eve and Hogan were in full voice, barking their encouragement and Zoe suggested that she would take the bull by the horns and swim across the channel. Biscuit and Poppy didn't get distracted by all of this foolishness. They complain that the youngsters are like bulls in a china shop and when it came time for their swim, they told the others to 'mooo've over'. Finally, Owen put his hoof down and said he was fed up with all the cow puns so they should all clam up.
When everyone returned to the house after a long hike on the beach, they were tired, particularly little Murphy. They had a good drink and settled down for a nap while Mary, Stephanie and Kelsea had lunch. Zig and Zag announced that they had a dirty joke they wanted to share.
"Why does the cow bring toilet paper to the party?"
"Cause he's a party pooper!"
That got a laugh from Charley, Hali and Chester and they went to tell Cocoa that the steaks were high in the cow pun arena and he said he would have to rumen-ate on this. And that's no bull! But Hunter just had to have the last word on this subject telling Cocoa ... "It was pasture bedtime, old boy."
13-Oct-2017 3:46 PM
The morning got off to a very positive start with Stephanie's suggestion that we head down to the beach this morning after missing our full walk yesterday on account of cows. We waited for Oliver and Benson to get here and then we set off ready for some fun as we raced down the hill. Our outing was cut short by the return of those outlaw cows grazing at the bottom of our path. Stephanie quickly did a rapid retreat but not before Zoe decided that she would have a game of chase with them. We reluctantly returned to the house and Stephanie went back down to retrieve Zoe and they were soon back with us. Boy, were we steamed!
Those mooches followed up the path and then stood at the gate, looking at us as though they thought they were invited for breakfast. This time they brought another member of their pack, a Hereford, and they held us hostage by hanging around all day.
We had to limit our activities to the front yard where we couldn't see them. You see, we began to suspect that they might have nefarious plans to force their way into the kitchen and steal our bread. You laugh, but after watching the video below, we were on edge and worried about our dog food supplies.
Reinforcements arrived later as Eve and Hogan got here and we spent the afternoon working out a strategy if the four bovines were to rush the gate. These two, Hali and Chester, would raise the alarm if they saw anything suspicious.
We needn't have worried because the cows just stood around eating grass all day and then their owner, Christopher, arrived with some buckets of bread and took them home again but this time they were taken to the barn and were not allowed to go back to the field from whence they escaped. We were all happy to hear this news, since it meant that we would finally be able to go for our long overdue beach walk tomorrow but none of us will ever look at beef the same way again.
12-Oct-2017 5:09 PM
We were blessed with another warm summer day and we were looking forward to the arrival of Hunter and Lola, our regular Wednesday playmates. Once they arrived, we went to the Cabana with Stephanie so that Angel could have the house for cleaning and later Mary joined us, pulling up a chair in front of the barn and relaxing in the sun. It was so warm and comfortable, we all stretched out on the grass and enjoyed doing nothing for a while. Stephanie and Mary eventually got bored and decided to harvest the potatoes, some carrots and the remaining beets from the vegetable garden. There was one small pumpkin that Hunter just had to have so Stephanie tossed it to him and played with it like a ball and then he ate it. Not satisfied with his vegetable sampling, he then proceeded to steal one of the beets and chew it up resulting in very red lips and paws.
Our dear little Pug friend, Atticus, was picked up by his human and left for his home just before Hali and Chester arrived back for a stay, full of stories about their new apartment. Then, our little buddly Charley Mac, was escorted in along with his sad story about injuring his hind leg and needing to stay very quiet while he is here. Stephanie gathered a bunch of beach goers together and they headed down the hill to enjoy the surf and sand where they spied three cows muching on beach grass. These cows belonged to the neighbour, Christopher, and it appeared that they found a way to escape from their pasture which is south-west of our location. Stephanie decided that it would be wise to bring the beach goers back to the house until the cows returned home and you can imagine how indignant they were that their beach fun was cut short.
Well, the fun didn't end there as the cows followed them up the path from the beach and introduced themselves to the horses, Tallen and Thor, who thought these strange creatures were quite interesting. There were three bovines, two Black Angus and a Charolais and they looked like they intended to stay for a while.
... and stay they did, watching us with those big brown eyes and munching on all that tasty grass and other wild flowers. Christopher arrived and it was decided that they would try to coax them into the lower field, take down a section of fence and lure them back to their own pasture with buckets of bread. Yes, that's right, they love bread and they would eat a whole bucketful if they could. The strategy worked and they were back home in record time and Christopher just had enough daylight left to check the fence and make any necessary repairs.
After all that excitement, we had our dinner, Benny L went home and we settled down to swap cow stories which kept getting more and more exaggerated as the evening wore on. Zig and Zag told us that they could have rounded up the three delinquints and driven those doggies home given the opportnity and Owen and Arthur wanted Mary to adopt one and bring it back here where they could get to know it better. For most of us this was the first time we had ever got up close and personal with a bovine and we thought they were very soft-spoken and docile. The following ditty kind of sums them up. Just click on the link below.
11-Oct-2017 7:03 PM
Tuesday was another lovely day, warm, sunny and blue sky as far as we could see. Oliver and Benny arrived in the morning to play for the day, Zoe and Parker were happy to oblige and we all joined Stephanie for a trip round the fields, looking for dog blossums. Packer left to go home and then we got to meet a rookie who was coming to spend the afternoon and evening. It was Briar Rose , Maudie's new little sister and to say that Maudie isn't that keen on her, is an understatement. She's a five month old Border Collie and she's full of the old devil. It took Briar a while to get used to us as she was afraid of of pretty much everything, big or little, walking around or fast asleep but after an hour or so she began to relax and notice that none of us were going to beat her up. Poppy was the next to arrive and she wanted to hit the beach without delay.
Stephanie took the beach goers down the hill and today, for the first time because the channel was flowing fast, Zoe found herself having to swim rather than just wade across. Mind you, it wasn't very graceful as you can see from the photos but she did it and she actually enjoyed it.
Then she gave a demonstration on how to walk on water.
Here's Poppy, Chloe and Benny.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Briar Rose was having lots of fun with Murphy and Zig and Zag were attempting to pluck a few Border Collie tail hairs for their trophy collection. The beach gang returned to the house so that Benny and Oliver could be ready for their pick-up and then we had dinner. Later, Maudie and a tired Briar Rose departed and we settled down for a quiet evening.
10-Oct-2017 6:14 PM
This is one of my favorite photos , taken in 2010 and thank goodness I'm not wearing one of those silly Birthday hats. Then again, this photo , from 2005, takes me back in time to when I was a fit youngster and just learing to surf in the Atlantic Ocean. I started looking at the collection of photos last night and I remembered so many happy times with so many of my old friends that I got kind of sentimental. Consequently, I decided to surprise everyone by staying put in Seaforth for this my sixteenth birthday, surrounded by many of these old friends as well as some new ones.
Of course, I was also curious to see if those big dumb equines were going to finally be shipped off to the glue factory after last night's escapade. When Mary got up this morning and let Jack out for his morning stroll, she looked to the barn and was shocked to see Thor's face looking at her from the barn door. She went back in to grab her boots and she started toward the barn, when all of a sudden,Thors face was replaced by Tallen's which caused her even more concern. Having two thousand pound numbskulls, wearing steel shoes, dancing around loose inside the barn, for goodness knows how long, was not something one wants to contemplate. Sure enough, the aisle of the barn looked like a bomb had been dropped and after chasing both horses out back into their paddocks, Mary started to assess the damage noting that they managed to knock down anything they could reach including the wall clock and that the large container of their peppermints was busted open and there was not a mint to be found.
Oh yeah, if you're wondering what those brown piles are scattered everywhere, that's horse poop! Attention: Clean up needed in Aisle One. It seemes that Mary forgot to put the extra snap on each of their stall latches last night and without any witnesses, we can only surmise that Tallen, who has a prior history of opening his stall door, undid his latch and then wandered over to Thor's stall, opened his latch as well, letting him out to join the party. I'm left wondering, if the two of them get cavities from eating all that sugar, will the dentist make a barn call?
Things settled after breakfast and Gracie McE one of my newer friends arrived to spend the day and what a day it was, warm, sunny and humid so you know that a trip to the beach would be necessary. Scout and Sasha were picked up by their humans while Mary was cleaning up the barn with Kelsea's help and after lunch, Kelsea set off with a bunch of hot dogs who enjoyed the cool waves and the fun of fetching balls. A wet Gracie was no sooner back from the beach when she spied her human at the gate and she wished me a Happy Birthday before taking off. Muisjes was reunited with his human and Parker arrived for a long stay just as dinner was getting underway. I had a lovely meal of leftover turkey, accompanied by dried liver bits and dehydrated beef strips. Later, Lumie was the last departure of the day and I was feeling very content as I curled up on my favorite dog bed and my snoring was so loud it drowned out the noise from those poiltical pundits on CNN.
9-Oct-2017 8:18 PM
Just a quick update to let all her friends know that Willow is doing well and enjoying all the pampering that she is getting at home.
It was a hot and humid day and we welcomed back our Golden Girl Holly and Zoe who looks so much like Scout they could be sisters. They love playing together so Zoe barely has time to say hello to anyone else before she is off and running.
Kelsea took two groups to the beach in the afternoon, the first group made up of the more energetic critters like Zoe, Scout, Packer, Muisjes, Lumie, Owen and Arthur. The second group included Saki, Sasha, Holly and Biscuit. Both groups reported that the water was very warm and they enjoyed their swims.
Well, it's late now and we've been out to the barn to give the horses their evening hay and they are going to stay in the barn tonight since the forecast is for very high winds. We can hear that wind howling most of the night after we all go to bed wondering if Cocoa will be gone to some big Birthday celebration at an exotic locale when we get up in the morning.
8-Oct-2017 2:00 PM
Well, I've got the rest of the critters around here on pins and needles wondering what I am going to do to celebrate my birthday on Monday. I think it's quite fitting that it happens to be Thanksgiving Day and they can give thanks for having such a big-hearted Boss like me. More on that subject later.
It started off like any other Saturday but suddenly things took a bad turn as my dear friend Willow suddenly became ill. Mary and Stephanie kept a close eye on her most of the day but she had a couple more bad turns and Mary decided that she should go to the Emergency Clinic where she would meet up with her humans so they could be with her. It was hard for us to see our dear Willow having to be carried to the car and our hope is that she will recover and be back with us very soon.
While Mary was gone, we stayed close to Stephanie and each of spoke about our favorite time with Willow over the years since she first came here as a youngster in December 2006. Of course, some of the more senior in our group, like Zig,Zag, Saki and myself, remember meeting her during her first stay which was over the Christmas season. She was just a puppy, five months old, but even then we could see that she would grow up to be a fine Golden Lady. Zig and Zag enjoyed playing with her because she was so gentle but they also liked bossing her around because they were a year older and figured they had seen more of the world than Willow. Saki was ten months older than Willow and he fell for the lovely strawberry blond as soon as he laid eyes on her. They have been best friends ever since that first meeting and they share a place of honor on the HOME page of the Country Critter Sitter web site.
Atticus , Lumie and Biscuit each met Willow during 2007 and they also became some of her best buddies particularly because they all loved the beach and Willow was a champion swimmer and ball fetcher. Over the past ten years they have had many opportunities to hit the beach in Seaforth and when they come together, they are always pleased to see one another.
All of the remaining critters staying here right now have come to know Willow in the past year or so and they all agree that she is special and they feel honoured to know her. Willow, as she has matured, took on the role of teacher and disciplinarian and most of the youngsters have learned some valuable lessons about respecting older dogs and following the rules of the pack's social structure. Willow has made hundred's of friends over the past eleven years and I know they all are hoping she will be back in the water swimming for the orange balls real soon.
Pace and Tali both went home and Stephanie stayed with us until Mary returned later in the evening with the good news that Willow had rebounded and was back on her feet and she is going to spend some time with her humans so she can rest and recover. That made everyone feel a whole lot better and now I can get back to my Birthday Celebration plans. Mary is feeling so good tonight, she told me that money was no object and I should pull out all the stops. Hmm, I should see if I can't charter that private jet now that all those American politicians have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
7-Oct-2017 1:12 PM
It was another lovely summer day in Seaforth and things got off to a busy start with the arrival of Caper and Marley M before breakfast. It's been a while since we saw Marley, so we had to give her a thorough inspection and major sniff job before she could start a game of chase with Sasha and Pace. Kelsea got our breakfast ready and we ate it with our usual enthusiasm followed by our biscuits. Winnie and Tali were dropped off by their humans and Tali wanted to get in on the game of chase right away.
Mary had gone out to the barn earlier and brought the horses in and fed them so that they would be ready to go when Stephanie got here just after breakfast. They got the horses saddled up and off they went to the beach where they had a lovely ride, enjoying the warm breeze and the soft sand. Meanwhile, we stayed at the house with Kelsea and she kept us busy with Poop Patrol and lots of patting and belly rubs. More arrivals followed with Packer and then Muisjes so we were busy with introductions and reunions and then we had to say so long to Toby who was thrilled to see his humans back to get him.
One of the most lively discussions centers around the celebration of our Big Boss Cocoa's upcoming Birthday celebration on Monday. We wanted to have the usual Birthday Hat photo op and good wishes for the old geezer, but we hear he's got other plans. Apparently he's been on the internet shopping around for a cheap airfare to some exotic locale that's populated by celebrities. It seems that spending his birthday with us isn't a big enough deal for his overblown ego. We'll just have to wait and see what transpires but we'll hold onto the birthday hats just in case.
Kelsea took a bunch of critters to the beach for some fun and Winnie and Caper both went home and we enjoyed another evening of very bright moonlight.