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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Great Escape

Being my birthday and all, I'd expect nothing less of the Barn Bunch.....

First of all, I have to say that it's hard to blame this on the cats, but I still think they had something to do with it - cats are NEVER innocent.

I journeyed out to do chores this morning, same as usual, I was running a BIT late, but nothing horrendous. The first thing I decided to do was to go check in on Yani and the puppies. As soon as I opened the door, Yani jumped up and came over to meet me.

I knelt down in the hay and started to rub her side. I was actually surprised when she nuzzled in closer to me, put her face up next to mine, and closed her eyes. She even sat down to enjoy her rub. It must have felt pretty good - I could have probably put her to sleep if I had kept going much longer. As it was, I had to take care of other things.

I left the "dog pound" and decided to get everyone else fed before I milked, instead of the other way around, so I filled buckets and doled them out.

Everyone was happy - everyone, that is, except - the COWS....

I had noticed Belle and Chuck "Horsing" around one of the trees in their paddock on my way to the barn.

Wait - can COWS actually HORSE around? Hmmmmmm....

Anyway - the fun stopped abruptly when they saw (or HEARD in Chuck's case...) me coming across the yard. They immediately headed for the food pan (Chuck) and the barn door (Belle) to wait for breakfast. Mabel was already at her station by the door, waiting for it to open.

I guess the wait was NOT amusing to them....

I could hear Mabel snuffling and snorting through the door, her patience growing thinner by the minute. When I DID finish with everyone else, and opened her door, she practically ran me over to get to the stanchion - Belle close behind.

By this time, the goats were fed and happily munching on hay. I think there were even some scoffs and tongue spitting when they saw the cows come in - sort of a goat version of "NA NA NAA NA NAA NA....".

One of our LGD's has taken to hopping the fence and sleeping (when he sleeps) in the driveway at night. I went out the other morning after a heavy frost, and found him curled up in the middle of the drive. He got up, and left a dog shaped, frost-free, spot on the ground. I figured he had been there awhile.... He follows me into the barn for morning vittles, though.

This morning, he was in with the cows. At first, I thought he was chasing them around, so I was about to make sure he knew not to. I was fixin' to yell when I realized he wasn't running THEM - THEY were running HIM! The two cows were playing and he was caught in the middle. He almost got kicked on several occasions. He finally decided that watching from the sidelines was far better than a concussion, so he sat down to view the show.

Like I said, he eats in the barn, so here they are - Mabel, headed for the stanchion, Belle headed for her pan, and Bozo.....er ...Shadow trooping in at their heels. Everyone happily chowed down on the morning fare. I did a "round one" milking of Mabel, then headed out to put a hay bale in the cow's feeder, before coming back to finish milking. I was gone for MAYBE 2-3 minutes. When I got back, the outside door to the milk room was open - and Belle was GONE.

I peered out the door and soon found Belle - molesting the small feeder that I used for the chickens. I felt Shadow brush against me so I looked down to see what he was up too. The look on his face said it all - he spotted Belle, did a double-take (complete with head turned to the side...), and couldn't believe what his eyes told him - Belle was OUT!

He shook his head, then nonchalantly walked out the door, and in the OPPOSITE direction as Belle. Just when he had me believing he hadn't earned his breakfast, he did a remarkable thing. When he knew he was out of Belle's sight, he turned, headed up the driveway - and FLANKED her!

He came out of no where behind her and came up so fast that I don't think Belle even knew what she was running from! All she knew was that her life had passed before her eyes and to head for the hills. In this case, the hills being the open barn door that lead her back inside.

I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I was standing in the path of a 400# calf with a monster on her tail....

As luck would have it, I managed to slide out of the way, just as the charging Rhino zipped through the milk room. Thank God I could get behind Mabel, or I'd have been mush.

I stuck my head out of my hole just in time to catch a glimpse of Belle's long tail as she cut around the corner of the haystack, and out of the back door. It took a bit for me to get to the door, but she was still running with her tail in the wind - she was a good 150 yards from the barn before she slowed down. She apparently wasn't aware that the "monster" had quit chasing her before she even ENTERED the barn.

Maybe a name change is in order - instead of "Belle", how about "Greased Lightning", "Flash" or even "Chicken"?

I turned back to finish my milking, and met Shadow about halfway back to the milk room. He came up to me, sat down and looked up to say "Yeah, I got her....where's my bone?

Through all of this, the cats just sat on their perch and watched - they even seemed to think it was funny when Belle streaked through.

It DOES have me wondering, though.....

Just WHO opened the door?


  1. Well see, maybe it's a good thing that he can get out, that way he can watch the escaped animals too! LOL Good Boy Shadow!!!

  2. What a dog! (Even if he isn't a Dachshund!) ;-)

  3. It makes me think that he has some shepherd in him, which can be good and maybe that is why he watches the goats as he does. From what I’ve read, GP’s don’t herd things, they just guard them.

  4. I don't know...I've seen BOTH Shadow and Yani herd the goats away from "danger". He learned it from her.

  5. each day your adventures are a joy to read. have a happy day sherrye


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