Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gone, but Can't be Forgotten

She didn't miss to many on the first bounce!

When Brenda read the last blog entry she was surprised that I had not mentioned one word about Meg in it. Many of you know that Meg was our constant companion, both here at Dogpound as well as on our travels around the country with our RV. She has ridden more miles than most and ran along side our horses for hundreds more.

Many of our readers will have heard this story but early in May she and I took a ride on a sunny afternoon, just around the farm, but sadly it was to be our last. She came back into the yard and Matt threw her a couple of balls and then we headed down the field. When we got back she was laying in the barnyard in obvious distress. Last year she had been poisoned with strychnine and this year the symptoms were identical. I am not sure if last years incident had weakened her system or if this stuff accumulates in your system but by the time I ran and got the Jeep and we loaded her in it for a trip to the vet, she passed away. I am not sure where the poison came from but I have scoured our place and the surrounding area. I came up with a couple of dead magpie's and a hawk which had died and been scavenged, probably by those magpie's and possibly by Meg also.

Here at Dogpound North we have not used poison for probably 20 years and most of our neighbours are in the same boat. However like all farms we have a bunch of old buildings around the place that I thought might harbour some old cans or something. Matt and I hauled all of the old junk out of those buildings over the week or ten days following Meg's death and our plan is to demolish and burn all of those old buildings this summer. Our search however didn't turn up any hidden sources of poison.

This time of year in our county is the time when folks can actually buy strychnine from the county to enable them to poison gophers, or actually Richardson Ground Squirrels. A canvass of our neighbours came up with no locations where poison had been used within  a reasonable distance of our place but I guess if a hawk was to come upon a poisoned gopher a mile or two away it would take no time at all for it to get back onto our place. This poison acts quickly but quickly usually means within an hour or two, so lots of time for a swift flying bird to travel a long way.

Nevertheless what's done is done and nothing will bring back our friend and companion. I still don't ever pick up a stick without thinking of her and find myself looking around to see where she is watching from. She was always there when we were watering something and it is strange to set the water on and not see her watching it intently. I know she was Brenda's constant companion and faithful friend and she misses her with all her heart.

Rest In Peace old friend and we will be anxiously awaiting our reunion at the Rainbow Bridge when our own time comes. Till then keep gathering sticks, we'll be ready to throw a few when the time comes.

Meg was always there somewhere in the background and it will take a long time to come to terms with the fact that she is watching from a place we can't see anymore, but her antics still will bring smiles to our faces as we remember them.

Time is Slipping By

Well a few changes around Dogpound North, not the least of which is a new computer for me. I finally slid into the abyss and broke down and bought a MAC so this is my first visit back to the Blogger software in many years. I alway wrote my journal on LiveWriter in the past and only after I am finished this entry will I know whether things have improved here on the Blogger site or not. It has been over a month since my last journal entry and although we have been doing lots, not much of it is very exciting.

Last year we started moving all our medical stuff earlier in the summer so we can get that out of the way and jump through the hoops that allow us to travel south in the winters a little earlier. Other than a few final visits with our various docs we are getting close to the end of that process, so barring any late breaking news we should be good to go for next winter.

Our windmill and some interesting cloud formations off of our front porch last night.

One thing I do enjoy about being home is the Sundre Aquaplex, I swim there almost every weekday morning and unlike the pools in Arizona this one is a lot less crowded, in fact sometimes towards the end of my daily swim I get the whole thing to myself. Down in Arizona you are lucky if you get a lane to yourself at some point in the swim and it is unheard of to get an empty pool to swim in. I usually swim about 2500 metres each day but a few weeks ago the pool complex started tracking our swims and gave the lane swimmers as a group the goal of swimming from Victoria to Panama. Probably for some Pan-American Games or something. Well I figured if I was going to get out of here for winter I should kick up my contribution so at least the rest of them would be swimming in warm water once I headed south so I am now logging 3250 metres a day, or just a smidge over 2 miles. Takes me about an hour and twenty minutes to complete it so if I was really headed for Panama I think I would walk, bad knee and all, it would be quicker. But it is a good motivator anyway.

Sunrise in the morning on the way swimming

One more bit of exciting news that is being worked on here at Dogpound North is that my son, Matt, and his longtime girlfriend Michelle have decided to take the next step and tie the knot. Actually he proposed way back last winter while they were on a vacation in Cuba but just last week they set a date, so we are heading towards the Mexican Riviera next April to see them take their vows.

Michelle, Matt and Family
Yet another reason to keep swimming, so I don't embarrass everyone on the beach down there!

In our last couple of entries we showed you lots of pictures with the Anderson girls and since then we have actually had a visit with our grandson Kashton and his mother Rebecca, as well as our granddaughter Claire who was out to visit her Dad and sister Madison a couple of weekends ago. Both Kashton and Claire got the mandatory visit with the horses while they were here
Wink, Brenda, Kash, Becky, Claire and of course Mack
and Kash took one of our John Deere's for spin around the yard too.

Little Boys do Love Tractors

Of course those who have been here know that Dogpound North is an actual farm and we raise, or try to raise a crop here every year. Some years we are a lot more successful than others but most years we do manage to get something back from the land. We had a good spell of dry weather here during the last month and other than a few acres that will be sown to oats, for silage, and underseeded with timothy hay, the rest of the unseeded acreage is barley and we did manage to get that all seeded a few days ago.

Big Boys love Tractors too.
I have managed to give the fellow who farms here for us a hand from time to time this spring and at least run a set of harrows over what he has seeded.

Another couple of projects we have going on here include a little reno work in the house, kind of a makeover for the bathrooms and putting a new cooktop in the kitchen so Brenda has been busy picking out tiles and and countertops for that endeavour. We dragged our daughter Becky into that mix as she has a real good sense of what goes with what.

Rebecca and Brenda
So for the most part I was overruled and we will not be having a mauve bathroom, but they did let me pay!

The other project consists of a little rural renewal going on, we, like most old farmsteads, have a plethora of old buildings around, and it time to tear them down and reconvert them into greenhouse gases. Matt and I spent a couple of days hauling some old junk to the dump and sorting some other old junk into other spots where it will probably be stored untouched until the next generation discovers it all over again. So with all that and a few fencing projects around the yard we have been keeping busy here at Dogpound North.

As for the Blogger experience, all in all, not to bad, although some of the great functions of LiveWriter that I used a lot have escaped me here so I am, at least for now, having to resize each and every picture and was not able to subject you to an album full of pictures of the junk we removed from our buildings, but I will work on that for next time. Sure wish Rick over there on Vancouver Island would get a Mac so he could figure out some things for me. :)