Sunday, 21 August 2016

Family gathering

We had a slightly old fashioned family gathering at our home last week. That's why our blog was so late, as we were busy reminiscing about the day gone by. Some, who actually had a bit of class, sat with a glass of chilled vine in their hand. Me, I was drinking my 60th cup of coffee....

It really is a good idea to get relatives together now and again. It's easy to loose touch with people and while you don't want to live in each other’s pockets, it would be a shame to completely grow apart. They are nice people, as well...

Monty behaves politely when we have guests. He walks his grounds but gives way to victors. It struck me again, how lucky we are to have such kind animals. Children running around and tall men visiting the stable could easily be too tempting for a cockerel to claim his turf. Not our Monty, although he did keep the whole group of hens close to him, as long as the guests were around.

Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My did their usual sprint around the place, calling for help as there was "Something going on!"... They calmed down when I went out and had a little talk with them. Horsey people are a clever bunch. They have upbeat, cheerful expressions with a bit of go in them, when talking to their horses. I on the other hand sound like someone with a slight problem, when I calm down our sheep. It works but I do get funny looks.... The problem is that you can't walk up to a group of hyper sheep and tell them to "buckle up and tally ho!" That would frighten the daylight out of them so I end up sounding like an old hippy trying to hypnotise four panting, shaking sheep. But as I said, it works...

Mr. Chip had a ball. First he sussed out the most generous guest and shared the catering side of things with her. When he, once again, looked as round as a ball he happily wandered off to look for his men. Dear husband had our lovely dog as his personal shadow for the rest of the gathering. A group of men discussing whatever they do discuss, in calm, deep voices is as close to heaven as an old dog can get, on this side of the clouds. In the middle of all these men Mr. Chip slept soundly, feeling that he belonged. I bet he thought of his best friend, who I'm sure we all also remembered that day.
Ulla, the chick, looking for her fan club.
When everyone had left, four sheep plopped down like ripe fruit under the Rowan tree and for a few hours. All you could see of them was four heaps of wool. The hens left Monty's side and scattered all over the place and I'm certain that little Ulla, the chick, felt that her new Fun club had deserted her. Mr. Chip started eating again - his own, boring food this time. As I have said before, one charming feature in a fox terrier is that once they are happy and content, they don't do melancholy. "Hi ho, and on to the next thing!" seems to be their motto in life. It's very refreshing and helps a lot... (Elvira, our hunting dog used to look for people that had gone home and that was a bit trying, at times...).

Everyone had a lie-in, the next morning - everyone, as in Mr. Chip, the sheep and me. The hens had a fit, as they were not let out before 7.30am. They stand by the door, ready and waiting for the day to begin if it's light outside. I did try to tell them that life is not all about them but apparently I'm wrong. Mr. Chip suggested more gatherings as it livens up his diet considerably. We're of to the vet next week and they will be lively enough when they see the size of our dog... Mr. Chip turns 14 years old on the 27th and there will be cake.

Otter news - my sister's friends, the otters, are doing better. They turned out to be a girl and a boy so that explained why one was slightly smaller than the other one. They were seriously dehydrated so liquid and food supplements were put in as their first aid. They already got warmth on the way to their new home, being wrapped up in Mr. Chip's fleece blanket. Halfway to their destination my dear sister had to stop the car and have a discussion about the "no wrestling in her car" policy. At least not while she was driving hundred and ten to save them. It did show her that they were perking up, though... Now we just have to hope that they find their appetites and start growing. It would be lovely to see them return to us in the spring. They are staying with a kind couple that has done this sort of thing for the last eighteen years. They were feeding the elks when I called them... That's cool in my books!

The European otter, Lutra lutra, is the only otter we have here in Finland. It lives mainly on fish, is highly territorial and is also known as the Old World Otter. The average weight is between 7-12 kg but there have been sights of much bigger specimens. Otters can live along the coast and fish in the sea but they need regular baths in fresh water to clean their furs. The female otter gives birth to one to four pups.

Have a good week. We are having guest for the whole week and I really hope they will get better weather than all the rain we have had lately. Here's hoping... 

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