Whew! My 16 days of housesitting are over and I am now back in my own home. I thought you all might like to see some pictures of where I've been hiding for the last couple of weeks. My friend and her family actually decided they wanted a vacation...together! What a thought! :)
For those of you who don't know - I was housesitting for a friend of mine who lives in a rural area south of Houston (her address is a county road...if this gives you an idea on how rural the area is). She and her husband own several acres of land that has on it a house (helpful...) a barn (with stalls), an arena, a couple of corrals and a pond. There are also three fenced pastures and some fenced land behind the house that serves as a "backyard" and keeps the dogs contained. Here's a picture of their backyard with the pond (top) and their driveway (bottom)
Also, their neighbor has cows (several neighbors, actually, have cows) :)
They also own several animals (not really a surprise, right? I mean, they do own several acres of property...we're talking 15+. :)). Here's a list of what she has: 5 horses (2 mares, a colt, a yearling male and 3-4 year old male), 60+ chickens (Java Black's - 2 pens), 4 dogs, 1 cat, several doves, a guinea pig and 2 goldfish.
This was one of the most interesting/eventful times I've had housesitting for her. I had the smoke alarm start beeping at 1 a.m. (not going off, just needed a battery change); that same night one of the dogs decided to pee in the house (he's geriatric and apparently I wasn't listening to him close enough); Duchess (one of the dogs - she spends the night outside) chewed/clawed through a chainlink gate and ended up in the horse pasture with 2 of the horses overnight; Lady (her nervous, small dog) decided I was someone you had to stay far far away from and it took forever to get her in the first several days; I got kicked in the arm one morning by her yearling colt, Fog (apparently I wasn't feeding him fast enough); the chickens in one pen kept getting out; the chickens in the barn didn't want to crate overnight (to keep any predators from getting them); Angel ( one of her other dogs) killed two of her chickens; and I don't remember what all else.
Some good things did happen though: two Java Black chicks hatched and were thriving while I was there; a dove chick hatched and was doing well; Lady decided that I was not evil incarnate and she really did like me; Duchess and I came to an agreement - I would put her inside in a bedroom when a thunderstorm came up and she wouldn't claw through any more gates; I successfully blocked the hole Duchess had created in the chainlink gate; the colt, Lightning, is absolutely adorable and loved me scratching him; and the barn cat, Stripes, would let me carry her around as long as I wanted to. :) Plus, all the animals (except the two chickens Angel killed) survived the 2 weeks that Kim was gone. :)
Here are some photos of the kids I was allowed to take care of:
This is Duchess. She looks so innocent doesn't she? She says that she would never scare me....Poor girl. Sometime during the night (the same night the smoke alarm needed a battery change) a thunderstorm hit. I didn't realize that Duchess was terrified of storms. I figured she would go under the deck and be fine. Well, this time she broke through a chainlink gate and, somehow, ended up in the pasture with Fog (yearling) and Enzo (3-4 year old gelding). I let my dogs out into the front yarn the next morning at 5 a.m. and Angel (from the backyard) joined us. Luckily she went right back through the hole in the gate into the back yard. I then realized that I couldn't see Duchess (it's dark, remember?) I went looking for her, couldn't find her and decided I would have better luck once the sun came up (about 6 a.m.). I was certain that she had ended up on the county road and was gone...as in gone gone... I decided I would feed the horses and then start looking for her. That was when I found her. I went out to feed the "boys" (Fog and Enzo) and couldn't figure out why they weren't waiting for me at their food bowls. Yup...they were very curious that there was a dog in their pasture with them...Luckily they didn't hurt her. I separated them from her, fed them and then started the 20 or so minute walk with Duchess through the pasture, the arena and back into the back yard. She was so tired and sore. I felt so bad....She recovered great and was fine the rest of the time. Here's what the gate looked like and what I used to block the hole. It worked really well. This happened the first or second night and none of the dogs got out through it the rest of the time.
Here's Bandit. He's an old boy - about 15 years, I think. He's still pretty active and doing well - despite his arthritis and his tumor. He's the one who decided that I just wasn't listening and peed in the house. He's really sweet though and I'm definitely going to miss him when he does pass on.
And, of course, here is Angel (top) and Lady (bottom):
So that takes care of the dogs...Here are the horses:
Fog (the one who kicked me...the little pill! He's lucky he's so darn cute!) at the top and Enzo on the bottom. He's not actually owned by my friend. He's owned by one of her other friends. She did foal him though (she owns his mom).
The "Girlz" + one
Tara and her colt Lightning at the top and Rosa at the bottom (she's Fog's mom):
Waiting for Dinner: The girls can't figure out why I'm standing there taking a picture instead of feeding them their grain! :)
Lightning couldn't figure it out either - he was really curious about the camera!
And now, onto the chickens!
And, last but certainly not least, Stripes - the barn cat!
Sorry, I don't have pictures of the doves, guinea pig or fish...They did not wish to be photographed this time around. :)
So...Did you miss me?