Sunday, April 5, 2009

I needed that!

What a glorious sunny day! Started out a bit chilly for Palm Sunday Mass, but by the time we were back home to change clothes and head back out, it was very comfy in the upper 60s. Yes!!

The afternoon started out shopping with mom while dad bonded with his newest four-legged grandchild. She only barked at him initially then realized Grandpa=food nearby. :-D He put Lucy in his truck and ran errands, cut and loaded some wood, stopped at work, then brought her up to the barn. Mom of course was not thrilled he brought Lucy with him, though I was secretly happy to introduce her to the barn. She needs as much people and animal socialization as a puppy that we can give her. Dad did keep her on the leash and out of the barn to start off; she did growl slightly to Mr. E and a couple others though didn't pay much attention to either horses or cats. An older dog also visiting was greeted eagerly as I think she was missing Ben. After some adjustment time to sounds and smells, Dad walked her through the barn, and Lucy seemed kind of interested in those mammoth new 'friends' behind the wooden doors, but not bothered or afraid. She'd never been around horses before so I didn't want her barking up a storm and causing fuss and stress. No barking. So far, so good. After another hour or so we let her off the leash and with training collar on, she played with the other dog and the kids outside the barn, lazed in the warm sun, chewed on some hoof trimmings at the barn door and didn't seem to be bothered by horses and people walking by, even a few of the NEW-to-her people. Which shocked me as she is very non-trusting of anyone, growling and sometimes barking at any new face until she's been around them a few times. She will gradually work her way to you, eventually wagging tail and not growling, to finally getting close and letting you pet her after a few visits, but the first time?? Don't dare reach to pet her. Going after her and trying to make friends only makes her more uneasy and she will bark. I attribute that to boxer and mastiff temperament combined with the horror of neighbor kids running full tilt, screaming at her, arms flailing the first two or three times we had her outside- completely freaked her out at 12 weeks old. Needless to say when at the barn I was shocked when a new-to-her person walked up to the barn, she sat up from her sunny lounge spot and licked the guy's hand with her tail wagging as he passed her. WHAT?? Dad even hollered, "Did you see that??" Um, yeah and I don't believe it! Wow- maybe she's growing out of some of that fear. Not that I want her to trust EVERY new person of course, but was pleasantly surprised she was accepting of a person who obviously belonged "with us."

So, the remainder of the evening we cleaned up Reefie and Golaith, were able to pet the new foal (week old !), groom his mamma a bit and visit with Mr. E and Ms. A at the same time. You can tell spring is upon us by looking at the barn floor- piles of winter hair from using the shedding tools and curry brushes. Like a mulit-color fluffy snow in and around the barn. Long hair strings from detangling and pulling manes and tails were played with by the barn cats and carried away by birds eager to finish spring nests. After the equine beasts were groomed, watered and put away, we sat our filthly selves outside the barn in the fading sunlight while the kids ran in the fields 'being horses' to expunge the last of their energy.

Aaahhhhh. A couple hours of tiring barn therapy and warm sun were JUST what I needed.

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