Hello all! Hope things are great, and COOLER for you!! We have some nicer days here for the moment and the sheep are enjoying romps in the 'big' pasture--although we have a few who cannot bring themselves to behave and stay home! Ugh. We are SO close to being done with the outer fence replacement and the grass is SO nice out there--think that would keep them home? Nope, they like to gallop the neighbor's place so we spend extra time with them all day shepherding them away from their escape places, til we get panels out there this evening. It is very peaceful out there, no traffic, just the sheep and Dalai Llama.... Maybe I need to head out there again! ha!
Now, question number one was from a reader who was curious about our 'poodle' story yarn mentioned in a previous post. We do not raise our poodles for their fiber, although they would be an awesome fiber to spin! Thor has little bitty curlies and Chaz has banana curls--unfortunately for the spinner in me, they are both aging, are quite elderly and impatient with grooming now. SO, for their sake (coolness and happiness), I tend to keep them shaved up pretty short. Spinning a pet's hair is something I do quite often though, poodle hair that is over 3 inches long would be perfect for spinning alone--it would resemble a pretty mohair yarn in type. There is no 'dog smell' in the yarn either, even if it gets wet later during use or wear. Many times to give the yarn more versatility, I will add a percentage of wool to the dog fiber to give it more 'memory' and bounce.
Next, the ethical properties of our farm. First let me say that I know there are many sides to this type of operation but we have strict philosophy regarding our critters' quality of life. I agree that there ARE times when keeping an animal or pet is inhumane-- but most times, when we get a neglected animal, what strikes us most is their ability to bond again with a human being and put their trust in us. If an animal is eating, drinking, comfortable and free of pain, I see no reason to put them to sleep. I do not believe in horrifically heroic measures but am not above a tremendous vet bill with our wonderful vet each year. Mainly for wellness checks I might add.
Most animals will tell you when they are ready to quit trying and it is painfully obvious. They are stoic and trust in you to be the best person to care for them. If you check our 'angel' page, you will see just a few of the times we have had to make those decisions, no matter how they hurt US, because it was the best for the critter involved. Each case here is evaluated on its own merits, along with our vet so I have no doubt in the fact that he would not allow me to be selfish and make an animal continue if it is not humane--even if I was tempted.
That brings me to the subject of Bandit-our new deaf Border Collie puppy. There is no reason a deaf dog cannot function and have a happy life--if they have training that is appropriate to their disability. Libby (pictured above) is now 3 and knows scores of sign language and is learning to work with me with a dog whistle since she can hear loud noises. Bandit already knows 5 signs, tricks and is only 11 weeks old now. Dogs adapt to life with out sight, limbs and hearing quite well, generally it is their owners that are more distressed over it than the dog. There are always exceptions to the rule though and I am not making light of anyone else's decision regarding their pet. Letting a loved pet move on with out us is one of the worst decisions I have ever had to make and it will never be easy--if it ever gets easy, I will then know I am in the wrong line of work. What you do not see on our site is the number of abused and neglected animals/sheep that arrive here and sadly we know they need to be released from their pain immediately. THAT is the story you don't see because we choose not to share that portion--maybe we should...but it can be very depressing.
The deaf dog has a place in the world and I am glad to be able to provide a place for both Libby and Bandit. I am sure of my path with them, and the critters I have come to care for. As long as the sheep and others here want to try, I am happy to help them succeed in a healthy and appropriate manner--case by case--loving each with my whole heart as long as I am lucky enough to have them with me. Even if it is only a day or two....
SO, that said, please be patient with our site--again-- we seem to have a problem with our pictures that will be fixed SOON! Ugh! More new fiber and yarn will be added to the site this weekend so keep an eye out--and hope everyone has a fibery weekend planned!