October 2012

Wow. It’s been over a month since I’ve had a chance to write. It’s been a whirlwind here on the farm. We’ve bought two trailers – one travel and one horse. We’re planning on two big trips for 2013, our usual Florida February getaway and another long drive to visit our out West friends and get a good look at the West Coast and the Rockies.

Our big rig: the truck and trailer

We have learned a lot about camping over the past few years with our big travel trailer. We learned what we wanted, needed and could live with as a bare miminum. We chose a fifth wheel toy hauler without slideouts. I wanted something I could step into without having to do a set up.

We tested it the first night out on our drive home from Ottawa. We stopped in a parking lot, climbed into bed and fell asleep. Got up in the morning and drove the five hours home. Did I mention we drove to Ottawa to pick up this little beauty?

Great interior despite the utter lack of Corinthian leather

Our two other big criteria: size and toy hauler. We wanted something small and easy to tow. This is the smallest toy hauler fifth wheel we could find. At 26 feet including fifth wheel is was as good as we could get and still be relatively comfortable. Secondly was the toy hauler part. After losing the bikes and kayaks off the truck and trailer we wanted everything inside and secured! We got a good deal on this beautiful trailer and the first thing we did was modify it to fit a king size bed.

We also purchased a gooseneck horse trailer that has been used a fair bit. It requires all new wiring, but has new tires and the frame is solid. We only want to be able to take Autumn up to the beach for rides and to eat the ten acres of foliage that awaits her in Wainfleet. I’m guessing the goat will be very happy too.

Our heritage horse trailer

Not sure if you city folk have heard, but there’s a bit of a hay shortage this year in the Niagara Region and we fought to find affordable hay. With a little help from some friends we managed to find some out in Dunville.

We borrowed a trailer and loaded up the truck with fuel to get enough hay to last the winter. We hope. These are seven hundred pound round bales. I hope she chews slowly!

Round bails of hay

In September we had a new foster dog Sugar join us for six weeks. As sweet as her name she came to us afraid and anxious. The farm has an amazing healing energy and within a week Sugar was play with Jackson. Sugar came from the same hoarding situation as our previous foster dog Vincent (the one eared chi). The Oakville incident involved thirty-seven chihuahuas that were kept in cages in an urban residence.

Through a co-worker we found Sugar a forever home. I am happy to receive frequent updates regarding Sugar’s current status. She has new brother Coco and they share beds, food and are a part of the family.

When Sugar’s forever family asked how we could give her up I explained that we made a promise to a special dog named Gizmo that we would continue to help rescue dogs find forever home. If we can’t let the foster dogs go to their forever homes we wouldn’t be able to help the next dog in need.

Sweet Sugar

In late summer we lost our beloved goat Billy only a week after finishing the antibiotic injections. I found him laying peacefully in his favorite spot with his eyes closed. We had the Dunnville Vet out to see Billy ten days before he died. She didn’t think he looked too bad, but we thought he looked horrible. I guess we were right.

Billy the Goat R.I.P.

Nelly and Autumn are doing well. With the fall weather Autumn’s breathing is better and I’ve slowly cut down on her steroids.

Autumn in one of our lush paddocks

I swear Gus has gained years and acts like silly puppy when I bring his breakfast. He paws at my leg and bounces around like a young pup. There are no signs of the cancer or heartworm. He’s a delight that brings joy to our daily lives. Can you believe this boy is over ten years old??

Gus the gorgeous guard dog

My sweet puppies are doing well. Taz has had a few liver episodes, but nothing that required vet care. We’re managing her diet and she keeps herself active on cat patrol.

Beautiful Taz

Poco has more good days than bad and loves the beach. He comes alive when his paws hit the sand. He races like he’s young and whole. It’s beautiful.

Poco bounding across the beach

Jackson is my baby. He cuddles and loves his mama more than anything. His bad back legs make him weak and he gets tired easily. He has grade four luxating patella – meaning his knee caps are fused in the wrong place. Essentially, he has no knee caps. No power to jump or walk for very long. He manages a good run now and then. I bought him a Dogger stroller for his “gotcha day” this October 12, 2012. It will be one year since we got him and it feels right.

Jackson snuggles under a pink blanket

You can make fun of me for having a stroller for my dogs, but after walking on little legs for hours they run out of steam (Jackson sooner than others) and I can’t carry them all. The stroller gives me a place to put my stuff and my puppies when they get tired.

On the beach

It’s so nice to have lunch at an outdoor cafe and the puppies can nap happily in their stroller. Remember we travel with our pups everywhere. Might as well make the most of it.

Special thanks to Dogger for their wonderful support of dog rescue! Great company and wonderful product. Cheers!

http://www.dogquality.com/dog-strollers.html

It’s the end of cottage season and time to shut down the beach until next May. It will take a month to get everything turned off and tucked away for winter and it makes us a little sad to know we won’t be dipping our toes in the sand for many months.

Its too bad because we just got our fireplace installed in our cottage. Finally. We’re still working on the air tub. Hopefully next season we can get that installed and build our deck.

Football season has started and the Packers aren’t looking fantastic, but I am keeping the spirit alive. The leaves are changing and the evenings are getting cool. It must be time to start planning a trip to Florida.

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