Tag Archives: dogs

Family Reunion across the Rainbow Bridge 

13 Feb

Maeve 

I recently wrote a post about my 14 year old girlie Zelda and how I felt some sadness of the passing of the years.

Zelda


My Uncle Bill commented, “They have to move on to make room for others!”  I replied, “that’s why God gave us big hearts!”

Apricot Sara


I’ve frequently heard people say “I had a dog (or cat) once but I loved them so much that when I lost them I decided then I would never get another one because it was too painful.   My response has always been “I guess so, but if you lose friend or family member does that mean you never make another friend or love a family member?” Some odd responses to that question!

Nisha


 

Each time I’ve said goodbye to a beloved, human and furry, I’ve kept their memory and lessons learned from each.  Lord knows, I still miss Digger, Cherry Merry, Agnes, Iago, Jeremiah, Kaya, Apricot Sara, Nisha and Maeve (my furry family) and of course my cousin Kevin, Grandma and Grandpa, my Dad, Aunt Pat and all of the rest of my Aunts and Uncles and friends too that have passed to a place beyond my frail human comprehension!  Sometimes I think of them all at some celestial Family Reunion with soft grass, soft warm breezes and of course fabulous food.  Love surrounds everyone with their/our dogs, cats, sheep and pony frolicking about, all part of that love!

 

 

Please Mama, don’t stop!

11 Feb

Yeah l know I recently posted about our girlie Zelda, but this morning was just to sweet not to share!




Our 14 year old (98 in human years) has retired from active Physical Therapy Rehab doghood.  Which makes me sad on several levels.  It means she’s getting closer to the “Rainbow Bridge” and I’m pretty sure the special understanding of the folks on the Huntington’s unit during her work days had enormous positive effects on her skittish nature…they still miss her!  



They still remember her name…from 2011!  They don’t always remember my name for crying out loud!   She’s become much more affectionate, tolerant and accepting of strangers.  That makes me sad too because I wish we could give her all the affection she so deserves!





Franklin John McCarty

7 Feb



 

 Otherwise known as Frankie J, he is the youngest canine of our household. 



 He is also the “small” dog I never wanted. He’s 14lbs and don’t call him a little dog, never mind.

Frankie wanted nothing to do with those small tennis balls… even as a young pup… I’ll take the regular tennis ball.

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 And what’s this puppy food business… I’ll eat what all the other canines in the house eat… Thank you very much!

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He likes to think he’s fearless but he is a bit intimidated by a few things…chickens for instance. 



And goat videos…of all things!



He’s also not too sure of our new kitty Oliver as he’s not used to cats who actually bat at him with claws.  Our two old cats never struck out at the dogs when they harassed them.  Maeve and Nisha just meowed and ran away.





But he seems to be working at getting along with Oliver.





Frankie’s got a few more hobbies than playing ball and chasing cats.  He loves to go kayaking and hiking.





And bothering his sweet big brother Tanner.  One of the most frequent expressions heard around our house is “Frankenstein, leave your brother alone”!  Note the long suffering look on Tanners face!



But one of Frankie J’s favorite things to do is go to work with mama even when we worked in different places when we did travel PT on the other end of the state.  We call it Frankie Friday now and he’s a darn good physical therapy dog!  He should since he started when he was 2 months old and he’s 8 and a half now.





He’s pretty tired after working all day…after all it is quite exhausting being adored so much!



And he really is adored from one end of the state to the other…we call him the “Gateway Dog” since even people who don’t like dogs are charmed by him.  It’s kinda hard not to be!



Love, love, love this boy!

Another Beautiful day up here on our Mountain

6 Feb

 

Finally some snow up here!  The chickens really appreciated the pathway back to the coop provided by our amazing Farm Help.

Next year’s fire wood slumbering for the fire pit!image

 

The old dog/puppy Zelda (14) dancing, making “snowdog angels” and finding her way back home in her ever graceful self

All of us here at Coyote Crow Farm are really grateful for the land and the warmth and the fire that makes this place home.

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A year ago today…

5 Feb

Last February was a crazy month in terms of Winter weather up here in the Northeast.  We had storm upon storm creating 3 and 4 feet of snow at a time.  I really do like having 4 seasons including Winter.  It’s why I live in the Berkshire’s.  However  last year was a bit much especially since I was working my way through some health issues + dogs and chicken responsibilities. 





It’s been mostly ice, mud and Yaktraxing across our mountain with the dogs this winter



We woke up to this unexpectedly this morning.  I’m so looking forward to snowshoeing with the dogs and Oliver chasing along tomorrow!  #atlovingwinterandthebershiresforareason 

Still working with Natures beauty!

4 Feb

I was recently nominated for a 7 day Nature/Animal photo challenge on FB.  I’ve finished my 7 days but wanted to keep going.  So I decided to continue on my blog cause it was way too much enjoyable to stop.

Zelda was only a few years old in this picture we call “Zelda on the Rocks”.  Someday I’ll invent a drink with that name…it just sounds right!  She is 14 now and thinks like a puppy.  She still acts like a goof as do I. Obviously we were meant for each other.

Love my girly!

 

Loving, departing, scary stuff and renewing the pledge of love!

24 Aug

It’s been quite a year up here on the mountain.  We fell in love with and bought a log cabin on 13 acres and fell in love even more with the cabin and land.  We’ve now had almost a year up here and how could we not!



And that was just fall!  As we settled in to our first winter we realize there wasn’t enough wood.  We needed to hire someone to plow and a scary new health issue reared it’s ugly head, meaning shoveling the many paths needed over and over again was challenging.  



Ya, I had to pull out my lined farmer overalls and hand knit hat and then go rest between shovelings.  It was hard on the dogs, on the chickens and us!

But Spring , early Summer, new chicks and new life arrived up here on the mountain.  So did better health, wonderful young farm hands, a new garden and a new appreciation of the slow but steady way of approaching physical labor!  We got new spring chickens this year…and well I’m not one of them!



We’ve lost a few more of our elders this year…it’s been hard as our family is so closely bonded and beloved to each other!  I know we’ve missed all of them in our own ways…I can still hear all of their voices in my head.  And now we become the elders of our nieces, nephews, grandchildren and the parents they remember.  It truely is the cycle of time and family.  I’m not sure any of you will ever know my memories and love of you all.









And then our animal companions.  Not that everyone understands this but in some cases almost as important as our ” human” family.  Chichi, Digger, Iyago, Tilly, Cherry Merry, Agnus, Sherlock, Shirly, Bernie and Charlene, Lance and Jeremiah.  Yup, I’m pretty sure these are names my siblings and cousins would remember.

Loss is coming to our home as time marches on.  Nisha the Tuxeto kitty is gone now, Maeve kitty is 17 and hanging on best she can, Zelda is almost 14, losing a bit of speed, face color and hearing, Tanner will be 11 this fall and Frankie our “baby” just turned 8!  The joy and sorrow of loving our companions…I can’t stop loving them even as I know the sorrow to come.  

I will not stop opening my heart to family and friends as I will not stop loving the animals that become part of my heart…my heart is big enough for you all!

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

16 Feb

We’re not going out one last time, no, No, NO! And you can’t make us.

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Can’t say I blame them. My wife’s iPhone app says -25 with wind chill. May everyone’s version of God be with anyone outside tonight!

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I thought about going snowshoeing today. It looked so beautiful once the sun came out.

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Until I took the dogs out and witnessed the wind first hand. I quickly changed my mind. Tanner was the last one to leave the pen and the first to the porch…by racing past Zelda and leaping over Frankie. No fool that boy!

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Elizabeth and I left our place once this weekend to have lunch. This is what our driveway looks like.

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Becket General Store is 1 of 2 places around these parts to eat and grab a few essentials like milk, ice cream, bread or beer. An out-of-town first time visitor came in while we were there.

You might ask how we knew he was new to the area? I’d say it was probably the shocked look on his face when he realized there were no green vegetables to be had unless he drove around and down the mountain to Pittsfield or Lee.

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We’re learning it’s different up here in the hill towns. You’d better keep what you need close at hand and travel in 4-wheel drive vehicles to get to town. Most of us have roof rakes, spiked boots and heat with wood.

It’s a close-knit community and folks are starting to recognize us. Heck, half the town knew where we lived before we actually met them. So we wave and offer help to each other and practically blow kisses to the plow guys…especially this first winter! It’s feeling like we’ve finally come home to the warmth of hearth, love and community.

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What I think most people want and I am blessed beyond measure by having the wife and life I’ve always dreamed of. No fool this girl! Especially in my lined farmer pants!

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May you all be as blessed with the warmth of love and shelter on this cold, blustery and star filled February night.

Settling In at CoyoteCrow Farm

22 Nov

While Elizabeth and I are still working at emptying boxes making this new beautiful space our own, the animals are settling in…each in their own way!

Maeve being the cat and incarnation of Bast hangs out pretty much where she wants to even unto the dog beds!

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Tanner meanwhile is grateful for everything! Note the wolffish grin!

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And if anyone wonders why Zelda is so skinny, it’s because she is constantly doing laps around the place…we’re wondering how many pedometers it would take to accurately measure the miles! She does occasionally rest, usually with a baby of some sort and is always the last one to accompany me upstairs to bed at night.

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His Royal Frankie-ness takes advantage of his size to sit where he fits. We’ve had to add extra sleeping arrangements on the hearth since he and Maeve kept vying for the same warm spot!

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The Chicken Palace has finally been moved up the mountain but the Chickens have to make do with their FEMA trailer coop until the palace is completely predator proofed. They are loving their new home!

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But 3 out of 4 of the indoor critters agree the best seat in the house is right next to the roaring warmth of the wood stove!

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Zelda is too busy pacing!

Beginnings and Continuity

3 Nov

The sun has set up here on Housewarming Weekend.

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And what an amazing weekend it’s been for our household and CoyoteCrow Farm! The dogs haven’t moved in an hour or more, Maeve kitty is blissed out on catnip and the Chickens are safely tucked and locked up in their coop. My wife Elizabeth and I are enjoying some wine, soft background music and relaxing into the warmth of the wood stove and love of friends and family.

Friday night brought 2 past and dear friends up the mountain in renewed connection for our House Blessing. It was a simple but straight from the heart affair…a perfect way to begin enfolding who we were into who we are and who we are becoming. Thank you so much Kacy and De’Anna!

Saturday brought waves upon waves of old and new friends and family. At one point it was standing room only with a plea to step away from the front door so yummies from the grill could be brought in! The bounty of food and gifts was almost overwhelming. By the end of the evening we were begging people to take home food not wanting to waste the bounty…after all there are only 2 humans in this household and my Irish Catholic background forbids waste of that kind. Everyone wanting to share in the joy and amazement of where we find ourselves.

One of the most fascinating aspects of all the gatherings I’ve been a part of since I was a child and especially as an adult are the connections that are made between the various parts of my life. I love, love, love that some of the oldest friends I have here in the Berkshires have connected with someone I work with now and also with one of my wife’s knitting group members.

Our Chimney sweep and his partner (yes they were here) we met as a result of a friend’s party years ago who is still a beloved member of the group of women who were here Friday night. And so it continued all weekend long. The weavings of past and present kept popping up.

I gotta say one of my favorite moments was when my rehab buddy’s all high fived over the fact that the bathroom is handicapped accessible and OT approved! We can’t help ourselves…occupational hazard to notice these things away from work!

The blessings of the weekend continued on Sunday with the sleeping over of a rehab friend from the North Shore who lived with us as family during her traveling time last summer…the dogs totally remembered her! Shortly after she treated us to breakfast at the general store, my cousins from NH arrived with simple but thoughtful gifts for everyone including treats for the chickens…honestly who remembers the chickens during a move…I certainly didn’t! It’s also why Maeve kitty is blissed out on catnip.

A particular joy this weekend was seeing the kids and grandkids of the cousins and co-workers of Elizabeth and I play catch, run the dogs and check out the chickens over the wide open spaces of our place. As I remarked to my cousin Kathleen, it reminded me of our youth romping over our Grandparents home acreage.

From friends we met at workshops at ColdAntlerFarm traveling from out side Albany, NY, to my sister and her husband from central Ma, my In-Laws from eastern Ma, my cousins from NH and friends and co-workers from all over Berkshire county and beyond, Elizabeth and I so appreciate you being here this weekend. You all helped us celebrate our new beginning and also celebrate the continuity of community we are still a part of!

The cold winds have been howling all day…thanks Chloe for howling with me and the wind! The clocks have been turned back and the darkest, coldest time of the year is upon us.

We will not fear the coming winter months as we have learned to embrace the wheel of the year. This is the time to know the skeleton of the trees and the bones of the land when introspection and uncluttered vision is upon us. We will be sustained with the fuel and food and friendships we have cultivated in the less lean times. We will shelter in place out of the wind and cold in this log cabin in the woods and up the mountain with the warmth of a wood fire and the memory of love and good will. Thank you to all our friends and family for helping keep us warm and loved. We love you back!