Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Goodbye February

with 4 comments

Regardless my wonderfully slow-paced daily routine on the ranch, I cannot keep up with the days flying by that become months sailing away. February just started and now it is over. Humans may not have invented a time machine yet, but who needs it? We are living in one.

DSCN2918eWe have been experiencing a string of below zero (F) overnight lows the last few days, but since it wasn’t windy, we left the horses outside to deal with it. Cayenne was able to show off her awesome eyelashes with an icy white highlight in the morning during breakfast.

I have been working to prepare for the possibility that someone other than me would be doing the animal chores around here, on the chance that Cyndie would successfully find enough animal sitters to allow me to join her on a visit to our friends in Guatemala.

The person that did the job for us over New Year’s weekend was no longer available. Thursday night, with our children’s precious acceptance to figure out a way to fill the few holes in coverage that remained, we made a commitment and purchased airplane tickets.

Look out, Dunia and family, here we come!

So, I’m hoping to make it as easy as possible for our animal sitters to maintain some semblance of cleanliness in the paddocks. It is not easy to pick up manure that first melts, and then re-freezes into the frozen snow and ice packed on the ground everyday. After the struggle to get it up, hauling it to the compost pile is another battle. I have started to create piles within the paddock where it can be temporarily stored.

I brought Delilah with me yesterday to work on the project. She is still confined to a leash when I am unable to give her my constant attention, so I tethered her to a hook on the outside of the paddock fence. There she is able to squeeze under the lowest board and feel like she is not entirely excluded from the action.

Unfortunately, she can’t restrain herself from periodic antagonistic barking and snarling fits at the horses when they are close. For their part, the horses seem entirely nonplussed by the big show she puts on, but are complicit in their repeated decision to wander over close to her if she has been calm and quiet for too long.

I really delight in seeing them serenely coexisting, which happens for brief glimpses, so in contrast, her sudden outbursts are a jarring disruption to the tranquility. While I was raking away, I glanced up to see what looked like a zen exercise Legacy was employing to convince Delilah to mellow out.

DSCN2921eLegacy looked like he was sleeping, except that he was also very subtly decreasing the space between them. I think Delilah was feeling the closing proximity and would make her own adjustments of position. The problem with this game was that Delilah was tethered and was moving further into the paddock to the end of the reach of her leash. Legacy, whether intentional, or not, was closing in on her escape route.

To her credit, Delilah didn’t give in and erupt on her own. It took me becoming alarmed and hustling over to set her off to barking at him. I was continuing to rake while keeping and eye on them, until Legacy got close enough to reach her leash and got it in his mouth.

I figured nothing good could come of this and dropped the rake to hustle over there and intervene. Delilah barked, Legacy startled, and the game was over.

Hopefully, prior to all the excitement, Delilah absorbed enough of Legacy’s zen-like message to practice staying calm when the horses wander over to say hello.

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Written by johnwhays

February 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

4 Responses

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  1. Love these pictures! So much personality. Delilah, lol! She is really coming along:)

    Cynthia

    March 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    • Thank you! Regarding that sweet dog, she went from being a total charmer with visiting guests yesterday to a dastardly mischievous bad girl today. I’ve been reporting her daily behavior with letter grades lately. Today she got an F.

      johnwhays

      March 2, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      • Lol!! I just finished reading about how she went AWOL on you. Such a frustrating situation! That picture you posted with it…. The best!!

        Cynthia

        March 3, 2015 at 9:51 am

      • 🙂

        johnwhays

        March 3, 2015 at 9:54 am


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