Well, photography had been a hobby of mine for many years. When I decided I wanted to make it a career, I began classes, followed by more classes, and, yes, even more classes. And then, of course, there were the dogs.
Our farm is named Silver Mark Farm, not for any reason other than we live on Silver Mark Drive and we aren't very inventive people. I am limiting my blog to ONLY the dogs who live on our farm, or we might be reading until 2022.
We do have a pack of seven at the moment. We just recently lost our Bethy (who was almost 17). She was dog number eight, and we had been at eight for quite some time. In fact, there was a time when we were at 10. (Yes, you read that right.) But our older dogs transitioned to spirit and we promised ourselves we would not replace them.
We have rescued a dog, in the-name-of-a-dog-that-has-passed, for many years, but we now have decided that we are getting to an age where we have to consider what might happen to our dogs, and other animals, should something happen to us, so we need the numbers to be manageable in case other people must step in. It's a serious thought, I know, but with the issues the world has been dealing with in the last two years, you never know what the future holds.
MEET OUR CURRENT DOGS:
Let's start in alphabetical order with Billie. Billie is a "she" and we kept the name (see not really inventive above). Billie was adopted from Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in 2012 at the approximate age of two. She had been a stray, was found with her sister, Molly, and was pregnant. Billie had six puppies in the shelter. All were adopted. I know where three of them are located, and we have met her puppy Miles again. She is a wire-haired terrier type, but I did have someone tell me she looks exactly like a Bedlington Whippet, so I did my research, and sure enough, that is exactly what she looks like. Depending on whether or not she has been groomed, she has very different looks. In the photo below she has just had a haircut.
Danny (no name change here either) came to us in January of 2011. He was a dog brought into rescue by the then Ohio English Setter Rescue (now since changed to Our English Setter Rescue). Danny had been taken in by another family at first, but they did not know how to deal with his fear issues. We thought that Danny might be able to benefit from living in a pack of dogs, so he originally came to our farm for evaluation. Within a few months it became quite clear that Danny's fear issues were extensive. Rather than uproot him again and move him into yet another changed environment, we adopted him. He has his own Facebook page devoted to his story and transition. While Danny will never be fully "normal," he has come a very long way and is a good and contributing member of our pack. Danny is an English Setter. He does love walks in the woods, but never car rides. Spring and summer are his times of year. He loves to nap in the grass.
We adopted Luke in March of 2016 at the age of 10 months from Jacks Galore Russell Rescue. We had never owned a Jack, but we know plenty of Jack owners and were familiar with the breed. He may also have a little whippet in him, as he is lankier and taller than a normal Jack. His name was Duke, and we did, in fact, change it--but as you will notice, we found a name that rhymed so he might recognize it faster. He has the very best ears on the planet. Luke is a really great little dog, and our granddaughter just LOVES him to pieces, and he loves her. He can't wait until she visits. Luke does not walk or run, he boings from place to place. He loves Billie.
Lilah came from a local breeding facility. She was the runt of her very large litter, and the breeder was kind enough to allow her to find a home. At the time, I was helping someone else pick up a new pup at the facility, and happened upon Lilah. Her eyes were the biggest thing on her. So she came home with me. She was so tiny at eight weeks, she wore a cat collar and a sweater from a stuffed teddy bear we happened to have stored away. Lilah joined us in January of 2013. Lilah is a whiner extraordinaire. I am definitely her person. She is a head sniffer. Lilah can definitely find birds in the field, trees, the sky, just about anywhere. She can be Miss Growly Pants, but only when she is stressed. She hates thunderstorms and hides under the bed. Lilah loves being in my studio and will pose in a minute, or get herself onto any set up I have put together, then sit and expect a treat.
Moe was adopted from Another Chance for English Setters in 2006 at the age of four months. He will be 15 years old this year. His name was Sherlock, when we met him, and we changed it to Moe (short for Moriarty in keeping with the Sherlock theme). He is the most laid back dog I have ever met, and I have met a lot of dogs. Vets love him. Moe knows how to spell his name. If you spell M.O.E., he knows that's him. He had severe allergies in his first few years, and very little hair. After seeing various vets, we finally found a skin specialist and got it under control. Moe thinks through things before he acts on them. Even now at 15, he will walk around the fence line until he has made up his mind about what to do next. Every night at dinner, he sits to my right and waits quietly for his piece of something. As the oldest dog, he knows that is his privilege--a tidbit from the table.
Piper is our unassuming, totally deaf Border Collie. Piper was adopted from Glen Highland Farm's Sweet B Border Collie Rescue in May of 2009 at the age of six months. If you visited me, and did not know he was deaf, you still would not know. He knows over 20 signs, watches our body language, and knows our routines better than we do. He is a rough-coated border collie. His breed is very different from any other we have ever owned. When we adopted him, we had another deaf English Field Setter named Burton. Our knowledge and training of Burton, our first deaf adoption, was what allowed us to adopt Piper. Piper is scary smart. He manages all of our kitties, and they all love him. It's his BC job. If you ever want to teach a border collie not to nip, don't. Let your other dogs do it. Piper learned in one week not to nip, because he was chastised by our non-border collie dogs about nipping. He has not nipped since. Piper is a lovely, gentle dog, and it's hard to believe he will be 12 years old this year.
If you've made it this far, our latest and final addition to our dog family came in June of 2020 (you remember, that year we could not go anywhere or do anything, so we brought dogs home). Talley was born in April of 2020. Her hearing test showed she was bilaterally deaf. We were home, and knew we would be for a long time, so taking in another puppy seemed feasible. Talley joined us at the age of eight weeks. She has been the best puppy. Arriving at the beginning of the summer months was extremely helpful in her potty training process, and Talley, to this day, has never had an accident in the house. Being home is important to puppy rearing. Puppies really should not be left alone for long hours. Talley has already learned a number of signs. She loves to point bees, eat flying bugs (we really keep her from doing this as much as possible), and torment all the other dogs.
Well, as long as no one minds head sniffing, they all get along just fine.
This week's blog circle theme was Photographer's Choice, so I am excited to see what everyone picked to write about. Join me by starting with Jemma Martin of JM PHOTOGRAPHY based in East Anglia in the UK. Specialist Pet Photographer. Look for the links at the end of each blog to move forward to the next one. Enjoy your weekend!