Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cuddle time

Most of the animals here on the Unfarm are fairly self sufficient when it comes to going to sleep. The chickens put themselves away in their coop each night - even Lucy, who has stopped going into the Little Coop at night as abruptly, and mysteriously, as she started it. The ducks start nodding off as almost as soon as they get inside for the night and the mice curl themselves away in their little castle to sleep the day away. The rabbits sleep quite lightly but they do doze several times throughout the day and night. Cats are notorious for being good sleepers and ours are no exception, napping most of the day so that Maximus can spend the whole night upstairs playing while the dogs are out of the way in the bedrooms. And speaking of dogs, Molly and Axel can go to sleep whenever they feel like it - mostly when I am gone from the house and there is nothing else to hold their attention. Scout is another story. 

Scout is many things. He is high energy. He is fast. He is a ball thief at the dog park (because he is fast.) He is playful. And cute. And also really, really annoying when he is sleepy. Apparently he can't just go to sleep like everyone else. He must have someone there with him to cuddle up to. He is insistent. Very insistent. When he gets tired he finds someone and proceeds to make a pest of himself. If I am watching TV in the bunny room, Scout will try to crawl up onto the TV stand. Or my desk. Via my chair. If you are working at the dining room table he will try to crawl up onto the table, pushing your laptop out of the way until you give in and sit with him. On occasion, Scout has even tried to crawl onto me, putting his paws up on my shoulders and crawling into my lap. 

There is little else you can do but go and sit with him. And sometimes that is not even enough. In his quest to get close to you he will often sit not just next to you but actually on you. I got a text message the other day that said "look at your dog." Going out into the living room I found my brother on the couch with a 50 pound Scout sitting on his chest. If you are lying down he will try to sit on your head. 

This annoying behavior has been given the innocuous name of "cuddle time" and someone always draws the short straw and has to cuddle with Scout. If you choose not to you have to go into a room and close the door behind you, then listen to Scout as he scratches up the other side of the door trying to get in. Each scratch on the door is another one of your nerves being shredded until you just can't stand it anymore and you give in. Probably not the best way of dealing with him but the only way we have discovered so far. We keep wondering if perhaps he will outgrow this puppy-like behavior but at two and a half years old it isn't looking good as of yet.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Starting the new year off with a fizzle, and wintery weather

Every year I make New Years resolutions. Lose weight, get in shape, blog more, etc, etc. This year I have managed to avoid inevitably breaking my resolutions by not even getting around to making any. So, like I said, I'm starting the new year off with a fizzle. I may eventually get around to making some resolutions but likely not any time before the end of this month and possibly not even by the end of March. We'll see how it goes. At any rate there is some news from the Unfarm to catch you up on. I finished four of my needlepoint stockings just in time for Christmas, we finally got some winter weather and Molly managed to come down with a case of giardia, probably from drinking out of puddles on her walks.

But now: snow. We finally got some, though not as much as I would have liked and it didn't stick around long enough either. We ended up with about ten inches of it here on the Unfarm, which I realize isn't much compared with some parts of the country but it is a fair amount for around here and considering global warming and all. The animals were of mixed opinions about the weather. The dogs thought it was great, even Molly who is barely above the snow when standing in it. We bundled Molly and Scout up in their coats and took them out for walks in the snow. They tended to stick to the pathways where the snow was already packed down while Axel, with his thick fur, simply plowed through wherever he felt like it and was often found lying in it on the back deck.

The ducks and the chickens were decidedly less enthused about the wintery weather. The ducks were forced to stay inside the whole week the snow stuck around as their pond was frozen over and I didn't want them sitting on the ice and sticking to it or getting frostbite on their feet as they have not the sense to stay off of the snow and under the covered areas of the yard. They are frequently to be found sitting out in the middle of whatever bad weather we are having at the time and did I feel like carrying two wiggling, squirming ducks furiously paddling their feet and/or flapping their wings inside each day while trying to keep my balance in the slick, packed down snow? No. I did not. (Why would I have to carry them inside, you ask? Because Maggie has developed a bad habit of stepping on his own feet when he walks, causing him to fall down at which point he often just sits there waiting for you to come retrieve him.) 

The chickens were quite put out by all the snow. On the first day we opened their coop and they poked their heads out like they always do but instead of jumping out enthusiastically they made a collective decision to stay in the coop. For the whole day. And the next day. And the day after that. Finally, feeling sorry for the poor birds, we put out some old fence boards on top of the snow so that they could have somewhere to stand that wasn't covered in ten inches of the wretched white stuff they were so dismayed to awake to each morning. After that they would hang out on the boards or underneath the coop - the only place the ground was still visible - until the snow melted sufficiently (about a week later) for them to begin venturing out into the yard again. Needless to say that the chickens much prefer the warmer months when the ground is soft and they can once again become the terrors of all small plants in the yard.