Monthly Archives: November 2016

Fridays on the Farm… Pre-Thanksgiving diet… or not

Me... Fuzzy Bear

Me… Fuzzy Bear

Fuzzy Bear reporting…

Ok, listen up folks, seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… this farm needs its own reality show. Well, at least one lonely soul to follow Farmer Lady around with a camera to capture some of this stuff on film. I can’t make this stuff up,  even if I tried and no television show holds a candle to the shenanigans she finds herself in.

Let’s take today for example… farmer Lady’s friend texted and said she had deer scarps left from her dad’s processing and wanted to know if we’d like them. Ummmmm… duh…. YES! Guns scare the livin’ daylights out of me but I’m all for venison so I’ll support hunters. Farmer Lady went and picked up three huge garbage bags full of meaty venison deliciousness.

As she hauled the bags out of the trailer I could hardly contain my exhilaration. Ratchet sauntered over to check out the intoxicating aroma of fresh meat.

Dear puppy,

This is venison… and it’s… well… it’s like tasting heaven. Please understand Ratchet puppy that there may not be enough venison for you… after all I am rather large and we all know Axel, Buddy, Nala, and I will get meaty legs. Puppy, a deer only has four legs. You can’t count yet puppy but there are four big dogs ahead of you. I’m sorry puppy.

Farmer lady parceled out legs as was right and then gave me instructions that I don’t think I heard correctly. It seems that the words, “Now Fuzzy, you share with Ratchet,” inexplicably stumbled from her lips. Surely I heard her wrong. Had she lost her mind?

The moment her back was turned I grabbed my leg and disappeared deep into the woods where no pup dared follow. I returned about thirty minutes later after successfully burying my treasure and found Farmer Lady emptying the garage deep freeze to “make room” for her amazing venison haul. Ratchet was cheerfully shredding and wolfing down strips of delectable venison. There was a whole pile of mouthwatering meat that we were all expected to share nicely while farmer Lady would freeze the rest. Expectations are set pretty high on The Shepherd Hobby Farm and we live up to them well so we shared happily, all five of us.

As she emptied and organized frozen meat into baskets Ratchet was grabbing chunks and scampering to the far corners of the garage. I gave a low growl of warning to the little tyke but it barely fazed him. To top it all off I got a reprimand from Farmer Lady while her head was buried in the freezer, “Fuzzy, be nice to him.”

Farmer Lady finally looked up as Ratchet was dragging off a bag of delicious duck meat. Ooooohhhhh he was gonna be in trouble! “Silly puppy,” was her response… really? “SILLY PUPPY”… that’s it? I really should go on strike, the treatment at this hobby farm is unfair! She retrieved ratchet’s stash of meat and placed every hunk back in the baskets. Once again, she dove head first into the deep freeze and once again Ratchet started dragging off hunks of meat from the baskets. I could not believe my eyes… the audacity of this pup and the utter ignorance from this woman… Something had to be done.

I snapped at Ratchet and he dropped his latest conquest, a bag of chicken feet. I picked up the bag and attempted to place it back in the basket. Just at that moment Farmer Lady pulled out of the deep freeze and saw me standing there, over the basket, with a bag of chicken feet in my mouth. “Fuzzy… were you the one who taught Ratchet to be a little thief? You goofy girl, I’m going to have to keep an eye on you!”

That was just too much. I dropped the bag and walked off. She is shunned… I am giving her the cold shoulder for at least a week… she will not be allowed to rub my big, white, soft , fluffy head… I will pick my own burrs out of my fur… I will go without brushing for the week… and there will be no high fives from this dog. That should show her! As for Ratchet… well I just don’t know. I like the little guy but he really seems to get me in trouble with little to no effort.

Completely unrelated, my afternoon did end on a high note when Farmer Lady forgot she had plugged the horses’ electric fence in and proceeded to duck under “real quick” to brush out manes. She got the shock of a lifetime all the way up her spine and admittedly I giggled. Instead of backing out she went forward and found herself quite stuck in the paddock surrounded by electrified polytape. The big barn door was locked from the inside so she couldn’t go through there and she hadn’t put the new gate on its hinges yet so it was still secured quite well with strong zip ties. I do believe I saw her processing the possibility of chewing through those zipties rather than low crawling under the electric fence. In the end she low crawled under the fence and ratchet licked her face the entire time. Well played pup, well played.

Bon Appétit,

Fuzzy Bear


Memories… kittens in jerseys…

Not me... but it soooooo could have been!

Not me… but it soooooo could have been!

As I was driving home from town today I noticed a family of kittens playing in a side field of a cute little homestead. Their mother cat looked on, ever vigilant for a hawk overhead or a fox over yonder, as the kittens romped with each other covered in soybean field dander.

I had Axel, our 2 year old German Shepherd, in the Sienna with me and he spotted them immediately as well, ears pricked and eyes intent. There just happened to be a bit of a field entrance just ahead so I pulled in. killed the engine, sat and watched.

Memories of a bike ride with my husband two years ago came flooding back to me as Axel and I sat watching the kittens play. Kevin and I had been riding on back country roads and we saw several cute, little, adorable kittens playing in the front yard of a farm house. We were about fifteen miles from home and I begged to stop and ask the farmer if I could have some of his kittens. My husband thought for a moment and simply said, “You can have as many kittens as you can fit into your riding gear.”

At first, all I really heard was, “You can have…” It took a little bit for the rest of his words to sink in as I looked down at my padded spandex cycling shorts, skin tight cycling jersey, and full water bottle holders.

A ray of hope sprang forth as I reached into my pockets on the back of my jersey, but alas they just didn’t seem like appropriate kitten carrying devices. As we rode past I longingly looked after the kittens, contemplating the wisdom in stuffing kittens into an already tight jersey.

No kittens joined the farm that day but at least Kevin didn’t say “NO”… there is hope for that man yet in my quest for him to love cats!

Flash forward two years and Axel and I sit and watch kittens play joyfully in the field. I wonder what Kevin would say if I would bring home a few kittens to join our group of fourteen cats on the farm… this time I tell myself “NO” and grin as I think how proud of me Kevin will be as I arrive home without more kittens.

Fridays on the Farm… Oops she did it again…

Me... Fuzzy Bear

Me… Fuzzy Bear

Fuzzy Bear Reporting…

Ooops she did it again… she played with my heart… got lost in the game…she thinks I’ll be in love… he’s not that innocent…

The Farmer Lady pulled up two weeks ago with a “surprise” for the farm. She had been gone all day, probably traveled to the ends of the earth and back in search of the perfect fit for the farm. There had been no discussion, no vote, no attempts at coming to a calm reasonable compromise. Nope, she just did it and assumed we would all be thrilled.

Well… I’m not thrilled. I’m not upset either… I am merely my typical stoic “not involved with stupid ideas” self. I don’t mean to keep you in suspense because really, it’s not that big of a deal. In fact it’s quite a small deal. A small bundle of fluffy furry adorable kind of deal that has puppy breath.

Farmer lady took it upon herself to make the decision to retire my faithful partner Nala (long haired German Shepherd) and get a replacement. It was Nala who was the brains of the operation while I have  most certainly always been the brawn. It’s not that I’m not intelligent, it’s just that my breed (Great Pyrenees) tends to run more on instinct and a “I’ll do what I want” mentality.

Let me tell you a secret

Let me tell you a secret

I don’t begrudge Farmer Lady for retiring Nala, it’s always good to end on a high note… but I fully expected her to replace my partner with one of equal or greater value and assets. Ummmmmm… well, let’s just say I won’t be trusting Farmer Lady in the decision making department anytime soon. She brought home a Great Pyrenees folks… a same as me fluffy, impulsive, instinctual and adorable Pyrenees.  Big brown eyes, huge blocky head, floppy ears, and a perpetual want for ear rubs and back scratches.

What was she thinking? I drive her nuts… why would she want to get another one of me? What crazy plan was she hatching? Was I the next to go and a cute little German Shepherd puppy would take my place? I wouldn’t put it past her, this senseless lady who claims she has a shred of knowledge about livestock and farm guarding. Step back Farmer Lady and leave the real livestock guardian work to the experts, me and Nala.


Unfortunately Farmer Lady’s two sons fell in love with the puppy instantly and that sealed the deal… he was here to stay.

Do I have to accept it? Do I have to teach him the ways of The Shepherd Hobby Farm as Nala taught me? I did not sign up for any of this and to be honest I’m a pretty horrible teacher and even worse babysitter. I once took our two sheep on an unauthorized three mile field trip off the property and up old Rockport Road. We were gone less than an hour or two (stupid sheep stopped to graze all along the way… focus students, focus!). I was met by a very irate Farmer Lady upon our return and was placed in one of the goat enclosures for a whole two days to “think about what I had done.” I would have stayed in there longer but I jumped the fence and made my way to the freedom and soft couch of our lovely neighbor.

You just relax Fuzzy, I've got this covered

You just relax Fuzzy, I’ve got this covered

I digress, back to this puppy business. His name is Ratchet and apparently he’s the cutest thing on the planet. Named after the medic on Transformers, he is a 10 week old male Great Pyrenees from veteran livestock guardian parents. Healthy as can be and as playful as a bear cub hopped up on cotton candy. Didn’t the medic from Transformers hate violence? If that’s the case then this pup is not living up to his name as he chases me around nipping at my ears, licking my face, and grabbing onto my tail as if it’s his own personal rope pull toy. If that’s not violence then I don’t know what is. Well, maybe not violence but annoying and that’s about the same thing, right? I’ve been tolerant, really I have. There’s NO WAY I was this annoying as a puppy to Nala… is there? Please tell me no… I just don’t think I could live with myself if I ever acted the way this little puppy is acting. Is this normal people?

I’ve tried just walking away but the little hippo follows me everywhere. And yes, I do mean EVERYWHERE! Can’t a girl go to the bathroom in peace? Moms out there, can you back me up? TO make matters worse if I walk too far away then I get a stern talking to from Farmer Lady for “leading the puppy astray.” Really woman? I’ve got rounds to make, things to do, and livestock to guard. This perimeter isn’t gonna check itself now is it?!?!

A moment of peace and quiet for the great white ghost

A moment of peace and quiet for the great white ghost

My beautiful reprieve comes when the Farmer Lady heads inside and the pup is taken to his puppy prison enclosure where he gives me those huge brown sad puppy eyes just begging me to bust him out. Those eyes are penetrating… like that tear inducing arms of an angel song… gets me every time.  Nala heads inside with Farmer Lady to enjoy retirement and oddly enough I feel no jealousy. I really can’t stand it in inside… nothing to guard, annoying Axel and Buddy always wanting to play, threats of baths constantly looming overhead and absolutely no piles of horse poo to roll in… not sure what Nala likes so much about that “inside” place… must be a shepherd thing.


Looking at this puppy I have to admit, he’s got heart and instincts. Brains… not sure on that and I shudder to think if I will, from this point out, be known as the “brains” of this operation. He’s also cute, I gotta give credit where credit is due on that one. Not snow white like me but light colored with some streaks of grayish black that makes him look like he’s had himself buried in the chimney ashes. At least there’s no chance he’ll steal my nickname “the ghost”. Ghosts can only be white, everyone knows that. Also, he certainly isn’t stealthy and ghosts are stealthy… anyone can hear him coming a mile away… we’ll have to work on that.

Cool, the puppy playground has arrived. You don't mind do you Fuzzy Bear?

Cool, the puppy playground has arrived. You don’t mind do you Fuzzy Bear?

He did attack a mole yesterday and flung it a good two feet. Granted, the mole was already dead and therefore not that difficult to catch, but at least he didn’t try to cuddle with the thing as I’ve see some of the cats do. Cats are weird.

Is Ratchet a livestock guardian yet? Farmer Lady says yes, I say no… I think we all know who has the final say here…

Maybe I’ll take the pup snipe hunting tonight…


Deepest regards from the last standing livestock guardian at The Shepherd Hobby Farm,

Fuzzy Bear


Meeting of the minds

Meeting of the minds

wait for me guys... I'm coming too!

wait for me guys… I’m coming too!

Hi guys, I'm HERE!

Hi guys, I’m HERE!


I love my big white bed!

I love my big white bed!