Tommy, aka COG, cantankerous old g*t! He’s quite cute really but seems to think that, at barely 6 inches high, he has to protect the property, all of us and keep the pup (who is already bigger than him) in her place. Roger has a soft spot for him so he has to let him sit on his lap at the end of meals, for some reason. I’m quite surprised to find myself liking little dogs, Hoolio from Wintinna converted me.
If Tommy is the patriarch of the house then Murphy is the matriarch. She is a pretty good dog until there is any prospect of food! She has begging down to a fine art and has also worked out which little corner in the kitchen to sit and receive the most dropped scraps (particularly if she manages to trip you up whilst you’re carrying it)
The final house dog is Murphy’s son, Odin, a really cute little thing with a lovely temperament and no begging, in fact he forgets about food altogether at times. His one and only obsession is his ball, part ball, piece of ball or even some other scrap of unidentifiable toy which he will deposit at your feet and wait and wait for you to throw/kick it. If you don’t respond he will ask rather nicely, its neither a bark nor a whine nor growl, it really is like he’s talking to you.
The outside dogs are headed by Annie, a blue cattle dog and mum to Ranger and 3 month old Ludo, and Red, dad to the same. Red and Ranger are the working dogs and of the Australian kelpie breed which we hadn’t come across until here.
They have lovely natures and Red is not at all demonic despite his appearance in this photo! Annie and Red cannot be out of their cages together anymore as they don’t want any further puppy litters! Annie is a very strange combination of markings which almost make her look like she had the head and body of 2 different dogs but apparently she is quite normal for this breed.
There are 4 cats but they are not particularly friendly, 2 of them live outside in the tack room/container. Also out in the yard are the poddy calves, hand fed orphans. There were 5 but one seems to have decided that he has grown up now and started running with the herd. The remaining four seem to have decided that it is easier to stay and be fed even if 3 of them are rather timid, but not Austin, the brown one with a definite Jersey look about his colouring, but not his ears. They do seem to be a little confused about their feeding regime though!
In the evenings as the light fades, we were still out at the tack room finishing off feeding and rugging up. I turned to leave and thought that one of the cats was sat outside, a quick check revealed not a cat but a little jumpy thing, about 10 inches high, like a tiny kangaroo with a possum’s head! This was probably a roo rat (or paddy melon, but I thought these were inedible wild melon plants) It was pretty brave and Rob told us that they can become quite mesmerised by light, to the extent of being able to pick them up, but we didn’t try that! They seem to do a good job of clearing up all the spilt and discarded feed and grain so are good at helping us to clear up!