So, as of a couple months ago we’ve been staying with some family who live out on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful place; house sits up on a hill, they’re surrounded by rolling pastures and forest…. it’s peaceful and quiet. I’ll admit I’m falling in love with the area.
Then again, I’m a country girl at heart. I may have grown up in the suburbs; but I had plenty of family who had farms, and I have grandparents and an aunt who live on the side of a mountain in Montana…. so yea, I like my wide open spaces, my trees and my quiet. City life just isn’t something I enjoy. Fun to visit on occasion, but considering the last few times we went to the city our car got broken into and stuff was stolen, I really don’t want to stay in such a place.
Still, there’s a bit of culture shock when you move out on to a working farm/ranch. Like I said, I’ve had family who had small farms, owned chickens and cows…things of that nature; but I never really participated in the daily going on. I was just visiting to play with my cousins back then… had other things on my mind at the time LOL.
It’s been a learning experience to be sure.
For instance, the other day I was outside enjoying the beautiful 50 degree weather, the sun was shining, there was a nice stiff breeze…. it was just gorgeous out. On top of that, I was the only one home, which was a miracle in and of itself.
So I’m sitting there enjoying the weather and the quiet; playing fetch with my dog and handing out ear scritches or tummy rubs to the other dogs. There’s a total of 5 dogs on this farm now, mine included. A Great Pyrenees (Bonnie), Pyrenees/Shepard mix (Buck), a hound mix (Ruby), my heinz 57 mix (Mia), and then a Great Dane (Eris). Now mind you, other then Eris and Mia, the rest of the pack are still technically puppies. I don’t think any of them are even a year old.
Anyway, I’m playing with the dogs when I happen to look over and there, next to the kitchen door is a chicken. Now, the chicken pen isn’t overly far away, so having a chicken out and wondering around isn’t unusual. What makes it strange is somehow this stupid (lucky) bird got all the way to the kitchen door without a single one of the dogs noticing. As long as those chickens stay in the fence, they’re fine, but the second they decide to hop out, the dogs think they’re free game.
So it’s just amazing that this idiot bird somehow got all the way over to the little fish pond by the door without getting chewed on.
So… here I am, standing there trying to decide what to do. If I go try and catch this stupid bird, it’ll draw the dogs attention and suddenly I’ll have 5 hell hounds intent on a chicken dinner.
I decide to wonder down the driveway a bit and hope that the bird gets bored and goes back over where the food is. Yea…no. Apparently it had plenty to keep it occupied over by the door.
Fortunately, the dogs follow whoever is outside at the moment; so they stayed by me instead of going to lay down on the porch like they normally would.
As I’m standing there, just enjoying the view; Bonnie decides to slip under the fence and go harass the goats for a bit. Which is mildly entertaining to watch, to say the least. She stalks across the field towards them, badly if I might add since they spot her immediately, but since it’s just her they just stand there and watch her as she comes bounding over and woofs at them.
Well, after a few minutes of watching her attempt to herd these goats and having them ignore her; apparently the other dogs decide that ‘hey that looks like fun’, so they join in. Now with four dogs to the goats two, the odds have changed and the goats go sprinting off…. followed by the dogs; all of them, well except Eris, poor dear, she’s too tall to slip UNDER the fence like the other dogs do, so she just woofs from the sidelines.
In any case, the dogs are distracted, surely this would be an ideal time to check and see if that stupid bird has moved on…..
Yea, no… still there.
So, while keeping an eye on the dogs, I toss a few rocks at the bird -Not trying to hit it- just trying to startle it enough to make it move.
Nope. It just looks at me.
By this time both Mia and Eris, who rarely venture far from their people for more than a few moments, come prancing back up into the yard looking all proud of themselves for their part in giving the goats their justifiable what-fors.
And, OF COURSE, now they see the chicken.
Mia immediately drops into a crouch and starts slinking forward, looking far more like a coyote then she really should – even though I’m willing to bet she does indeed have some coyote in her.
I immediately step in front of her and snag both their attentions. Fortunately the chicken is just sitting there, so that’s apparently not nearly as interesting as what I am doing.
The other dogs are still absorbed in harassing the goats; so I lead both Eris and Mia over to the shop and put them inside and shut the door. Then I head back over, intent of chasing that stupid bird back into the pen once and for all.
As I round the corner, I see Buck sitting just inside the yard, just watching the other dogs put the goats in their place. He notices me and glances over and immediately catches sight of the chicken. He hops up and starts coming over; not stalking like Mia had been, more like a casual ‘whatcha doooin’, all focused on the chicken.
I yell at him to STOP and NO; to which he surprisingly listens and flops down looking put out and bored. Then again, of all the dogs on that property, Buck is probably the most laid back and chill of the entire bunch.
With that taken care of, I hurry over and try to herd the chicken back over towards the pen…. which is apparently a lot harder than it looks. That stupid bird went every way BUT back towards where I wanted it to go. It looked a lot easier when our cousin did it….
As I’m holding my arms out, shooing this chicken, dodging back and forth to block this bird from going around me; I’m aware that I probably look ridiculous. I know it. I’m suddenly very glad that my husband isn’t home because he would be laughing his @$$ off at me.
I just happen to glance over and see Buck, mouth wide open, flop back onto the grass and it suddenly dawns on me…. the damn dog is laughing at me too. Hell, I’d be laughing at me; but the dog? Really? Ugh… *sigh*
I finally manage to get this stupid, stupid bird back to it’s pen without the other dogs noticing. I let Mia and Eris out and we go back over and play fetch for a couple minutes to apologize for locking them in the shop.
As I’m walking into the house, I happen to glance down, and there, in the middle of the wide open porch, on concrete…. is an egg.
That idiotic bird had laid an EGG! While I was trying to shoo her on, no less!! WTH?!?
Oh well, it’s been an adventure so far, and I’m sure there’s more to follow. I still have to learn how to tend the cows – milking them is going to be fun (can you hear the sarcasm???), oh and learn how to drive a tractor… and a million other things that go along with living on a ranch.
So, until next time folks. Hope ya’ll enjoyed!