Friday, July 17, 2020

Sheepy smiles

My Shetland flock has been getting short shrift here on the blog, and I do have to admit to not spending as much time snorgling the girls as I used to. Part of the reason is that they are shut up in the fold thanks to the dry foxtail awns in the pasture, and the fold has gotten deep and in serious need of stripping (the strong-arm help I need has been unavailable). But yesterday I stood at the half-wall and pet all comers, realizing that I've been cheating myself out of something special.

Also yesterday, Poppy got to play with the 'neighbor boy' for the first time in over a month. It was hot (at least 90°) so they tuckered out pretty quickly, but enjoyed themselves while they lasted. Rick got home shortly after we did, and Poppy demonstrated her good co-napping skills with him. 😉
Poppy has been limping more the last few days than she has in weeks. I suspect both the sprinting she did chasing Stella and the fact that last week while working away from home every day, I forgot to give her the daily turmeric/curcumin supplement. I got it to see if it would help her bad leg and wasn't sure it was doing any good; now I'm thinking it has. She's back on it now. Also, it was clear yesterday that she has grown since last playing with Toby. So I weighed her this morning, and she's 26.1 pounds! Next week she starts her agility class, but we won't be enrolling in the next session following. She's got an appointment in September to get spayed, and will need some recovery time after that.

They may not be as fast, but the bumbles are just as busy as the puppy these days.

This morning Rick helped me pick berries before going to work. We lost some to the summer heat this week, but still got a box of boysenberries, and four boxes of marionberries in the freezer for our efforts.

While out in the garden, I noticed that all three eggplants are blooming now. Jeanne wondered what the blooms on the third one would look like, so I took photos of two of them. I think the first photo is of the lighter purple one I showed before, and the second photo is of the one that just started blooming. Just look at all those blossoms and buds! If all those produce fruits, this will be a variety worth planting again.

So far, this 'forcing' myself to post more often is working. We'll see if I can keep it up. My neighbor has asked me to help her out a couple days a week; she has rheumatoid arthritis that is affecting her eyes now, so she can't see to read or even drive. I took her to a haircut appointment and the grocery store today. Do unto others....

Have a great weekend! That's it for now from . , .


Mama Pea said...

Your eggplants look spectacular! I shall be heading out your way to sample some when they are ready for harvesting. (Hee-hee.) Seriously, I've been reading about so many eggplants I may just have to try a couple next year. Under some sort of protection to get them up and going good.

You got warm fuzzies from your sheep, but I'm thinking they liked spending time with you, too.

Michelle said...

I'm sure you'll grow prize-winning eggplant when you do try a couple, Mama Pea; your garden is so beautiful! Yes, the sheep and I both benefit from some time together. 😊

Retired Knitter said...

You can see how pleased your sheep are to get some lovies! They have come to expect it.

Tim B. Inman said...

Mama Pea: Wall-O-Waters. You'll have beautiful egg plants.

Poppy's spaying: I'll stay on my theme sharing my experiences with Annie Oakley. Fear not. When Annie was spayed, they sent her home with instructions to have quiet time, no swimming, and easy going until the stitches came out a few days later. (Because Annie is so active, they closed the wound with 'conventional' sutures which needed removing.)

How did that work out? First evening: Annie was groggy, but peaceful. Next day: Annie was absolutely raring to go! I had to confine her to quarters with a good book and kitty pal to keep her on easy duty. Second day: She walked out of the shop with me first thing, made a mad dash around the place, and popped into the pond for a swim. Yikes!

No damage. Her wound was virtually healed by the third day, so no problem with water. No soreness, no redness, no telling she had been spayed. At stitch removal day I felt old. The vet who did the surgery is a young gal. She is so good with dogs! Unlike the old days when I was my uncle's vet tech/strong man, this young lady made a fuss over Annie to distract her and Annie loved the attention. She (the vet) is so young and flexible she just sat on the floor and bent over to remove the stitches from Annie's belly while a helper fussed over Annie. Annie never knew what happened. This system works. Annie now loves! to go to see her vet. No dragging her in on the end of a strong leash. Progress. Poppy will do fine!

Michelle said...

Yes, the sheep do love quiet, gentle attention. Now that I think about it, they are a little like Stella!

So Tim, are you saying if I schedule her spay for Friday, she should be good to go for her low-level, beginning agility class by the following Thursday evening? If so, I may just change her appointment day! So good to read Annie's experience; hope Poppy (and my small animal vet) do as well!

Jeanne said...

Great post, Michelle! The sheep-y pictures are neat. They were obviously enjoying that attention!

Thanks for showing me the eggplant blossoms! They are truly lovely! I don't think we ever raised eggplant in out garden. The way I fixed them as a teen, when helping my mom with dinner was okay, but they weren't my favorites. How do you fix them?

I'm sorry about Poppy's limping. I hope she will improve. It must be fun to watch her and the neighbor boy play!

How do you know what age to have the spaying (or neutering, if the case may be) should be done? We used to just aim for 7 months of age. But I've heard a lot about letting a female have one heat, which you have now done. My sister has a beautiful Cavalier King Charles spaniel and isn't sure what age he should be before his surgery.

Oh! We still have Wall-O-Waters! They're great for protecting young plants when the weather is still chilly!

Michelle said...

Jeanne, I throw them in with other fresh garden veggies for stir fry and pasta dishes (assorted no-recipe versions of pasta primavera). I don't fix "eggplant-centric" recipes, and I don't do any special prep with them either (none of the salting, etc.). As for neutering, there is current research I recently read that gives recommended ages for various breeds. Some breeds show no benefit from earlier or later neutering (within reason; VERY young neutering is detrimental to the development of strong bones/ligaments/tendons), and some do. Furthermore, some show a decided benefit from the males being left intact. I couldn't find specific recommendations for rat terriers, but decided I don't want to breed Poppy and don't want to go through another heat cycle, so we are going to get the deed done.

Leigh said...

I'm sorry to hear Poppy's been limping again. Poor little girl. She's so fortunate you are so conscientious and caring. Love the happy sheep shots and the garden. Nice you got at least some berries.

Tim B. Inman said...

'Your actual mileage may vary' as they say. And remember, I am a retired professional furniture maker, not a vet! (Which is to say my lifetime was involved cutting on things that don't bleed or die.) But if your experience is anything like mine, and I'll bet it will be, then I would go ahead with the spay and just go easy the first class session - if necessary. Poppy looks so strong and healthy I'll bet she isn't even one bit 'held back' for class. Good luck!