Friday, 20 December 2013

Jake bereft

Despite the other four dogs, the cat, the chickens, alpacas, sheep and goats, Jake is only interested in looking out for the return of his beloved Mike.

Mike has gone up to the garage near Salisbury where we used to live and work and usually he takes Jake with him, but today he was loaded up with Christmas presents, wheels from a vehicle he is renovating and as he is borrowing a sporty little car whilst our big van is hospitalised, he has no room for his trusty companion.

Jake recognised all the signs of a trip to the garage, where he is welcomed and spoilt, but was very puzzled when Mike drove off without him.  I may have to book him into therapy.  On the other hand, probably his breakfast will distract him sufficiently to survive the day!!

The weather has been extremely wet and windy down here for the last few days, with a few hours of calm and brightness in between.  Since the alpacas do not get a chance to dry in between I have gone back to shutting them in at night. Until last year we never felt the need to get them in at all, but the winter was so severe that  we had the main herd in the barn. This year with our fewer numbers I am keeping them in their paddocks but enticing them into their shelters with a feed just before dark so that I can at least make sure they are not exposed to the wind and rain over night.  It is not a bad thing as it forces me to go do the rounds morning and night so that I will spot any fallen trees, broken fences etc: caused by the storms.

The upside is that it is no longer a case of chasing stray chickens into their run at night, since the are only too keen to get into their cosy shed and shelter from the rain.   They seem to spend most of the day either in one of the alpaca shelters or in the barn.  Luckily they have not worked out how to get into the hayloft  yet.  No doubt the older ones will remember soon and show them all the way up the ladder.  Although it maybe that the cat is guarding her territory up there and acting as a deterrent.

The goats love being in their shelter and always go in at night and they hate the rain so stay in there during the day if they can.  To start with it was dry and easy to keep clean but the wet weather started to make it rather unpleasant so I am giving them fresh straw every day in an effort to keep them clean, warm and dry.

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