Saturday, February 5, 2011

Barn Boot Morning

I had the pleasure of spending the morning outside with my animals while I did a mid-winter cleaning in the shed. In the beginning I let Mari out with me, and she happily trudged through the snow to sniff around all the various animal tracks. Of course the goats are afraid of her and they were out, too, so it was comical to watch the interaction between the prey animals and the very scary predator. The 3 boys run terrified, but not Miss Elly - she turns and chases Mari, and will head-butt her if Mari isn't fast enough. I was in the process of letting ol' Mar into the house and Elly ran right up to the door and almost followed her inside just so she could give her one final bam. Meanwhile the 3 boys are falling all over each other trying to get away from the frightening elderly lab. 'Never a dull moment with those three stooges and their lady friend.

In the summer the shed gets swept out completely everyday, and fresh shavings are sprinkled down. In the winter they need to have a bedding "mattress" to help keep them warm and cozy, so I only remove the bedding once every few weeks. On top of the shavings the rejected hay falls and builds up, providing a soft warm-ish place to sleep (of course I run the heater when it goes much below 20). It has been abnormally cold these past weeks so today's cleaning was a little overdue. Making matters more difficult was that I had to first shovel a wheel barrow path through the heavy crusty snow so I could get to the pile for dumping the old bedding. It really was an excellent work out, but a little annoying at times because the goats follow me around and get in the way. They are so nosey and they have to nibble on everything, rubbing their heads on things, and blocking my path when I'm trying to dump. I can't get mad at them, though, because they are so darn cute and furry. So I just take my time, and I stop for many little breaks. Sal loves to have his face scratched, Elly loves to have her ears rubbed, Jasper loves to have his tummy rubbed, and Vincent is simply in love with me. They are such funny goofballs.

Bun also had all of his bedding removed and replaced with fresh. Although he uses his corner litterbox which I empty every day, the hay gets dusty and matted down, so I pull it all out and fill up his cage with sweet smelling hay. While I am doing this he is hopping around outside in the pen that I set up, happy in the sunshine. He actually makes a little humming noise when he is happy, and this morning he was humming away while kicking around. He also had his nails trimmed so he felt pretty darn handsome.

I had a perfect morning. I can think of no other place on the planet I would rather have been than outside with my animals, enjoying the sunshine while it lasted (more snow is on the way) and taking advantage of my good health and many blessings.
~ my fuzzies, a couple of winters ago ~

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