Monday, November 24, 2008

Frozen waterhose


Before I’m willing to turn on the big stockwater tank and its heater for the wintertime, for some reason I procrastinate until my little tank is empty and the waterhose that feeds it is completely frozen. That happened today. Usually the hose freezes overnight, but thaws during the day so I can refill the tank and not worry about it.

But while it was sunny today, it never got warm enough to thaw the hose. Technically, I have two more weeks before I move weaned lambs to the homestead and have to turn on the big tank and heater, so I’m trying to squeak by. After a long trip to town, I unloaded the groceries, let all the dogs out, and went to work coiling the hose, bringing it into the house to soak it in a hot tub to thaw, then taking it back out, reattaching, running it back to the tank, and filling the tank. I was in and out both the front and back door repeatedly during this process.

It was a simple enough task, but today, my livestock guardian pups decided to help. That meant chasing the horses away from the stock tank – even though the tank’s sole purpose is to water the horses, since the dogs have their own tank in the kennel. Today was one of the days it seems like I am living with a couple of terrible two-year olds who don’t speak the same language as I do.

After getting the hose all taken care of, I walked in the back door to find Helga – the 90-pound monster, on one of my two leather couches in the living room, her mouth bleeding. She acted shy, like she knew she had done something wrong, all the while dripping blood all over the couch and throw pillows. I grabbed a kitchen towel and hurried toward her, which then spooked her, so she leapt off the couch, flew across the room, and landed on the other couch, leaving a blood trail all the way.

Helga was embarrassed about the bleeding and didn’t want me to touch her, but I was trying to minimize the damage to the house, so we obviously weren’t on the same page. I chased, she ran, blood flew. Finally her sibling, Rant, came bolting through the front door to find out what the fuss was all about, which then set Helga into another flight response. I grabbed a package of pastries from the top of the bread box on the counter, flung open the back door and hurled the package out the door, with guard dogs quickly jumping out after them. I slammed the door after the hounds from hell were outside.

I then backtracked and found blood on the outside of the front door where Helga had hit it with her nose to get it open. The best I can figure, she harassed the horses enough at the stock tank that one of them kicked her in the mouth. There is no damage to her mouth or teeth, and I can see a nick out of the end of her tongue, so that’s where all the blood came from. She wanted comfort, so she came into the house, but then didn’t want anyone to touch her.

As an added bonus, while I ran around cleaning the house, I found large chunks of raw sweet potatoes scattered in the living room, on the couch, and in the hall. Since I had just filled the vegetable basket on the kitchen sideboard with sweet potatoes when I returned home, it seems that while I was outside, the monster pups decided to steal something – there were two potatoes gone from the basket. Guess they made good toys, but weren’t actually worthy of eating.

All this in a period of maybe 15 minutes. Life is never boring when you live it with animals.

1 comment:

smartdogs said...

LOL! A similar thing happened to my English Shepherd the other day. We were out working sheep and I saw - to my horror - that there was blood smeared across the sides of three of the ewes. ...And they weren't my ewes.

With some trepidation I called my friend's attention to her sheep whereupon she said, "Um, I don't think that's sheep blood - I think it's his." I called my boy back and sure enough, in his teenage green-dog excitement he'd bitten through his tongue and the sheep were, indeed, no worse for the wear (pun intended).

No couches or pillows to clean here though, the only things Audie bled on were the sheep, the pasture and my jeans.