Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just a Wednesday at the Rousseau Ranchette

Just your typical day at the ranch...the dogs lounging on velvet pillows, the hens relaxing in the pasture and the donkeys taking their midday naps! And Boulder wandering around, trying to fit into all of it...he has been following me around lately and has a knack for showing up whenever the dogs go out. I even saw him near the wild turkeys today!
Solo goes to the vet first thing in the morning for a teeth-cleaning!

Chasing the wild turkeys off. They don't move that fast anymore. They know I'm not that serious.
Boulder and the poppies.
The hens in the pasture.

Hard to get a decent photo at arm's length!
Nap time.

And play time!

Excerpt from a speech that Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society gave today- pretty amazing story:
Every so often you come across one story that captures the big picture in animal welfare. And I found one the other day about a whale who was hunted and killed by native hunters last year off the Alaskan coast. These self-described subsistence hunters hauled in a bowhead whale only to find that they were not the first to hunt that particular creature. Embedded in the flesh of the whale were the fragments of a bomb lance, traceable to a type of shoulder gun last used before 1890.
Only in recent years have we learned how long whales live, and this creature killed in the year 2007 was at least 130 years old. The lance carried a small metal cylinder fitted with a time-delay fuse, but it had failed to kill the whale, and he survived the span of the entire twentieth century without further harm. When Edison was at working on the phonograph, this whale was feeding on plankton and diving in Arctic waters. Before Wilson was president of Princeton, much less of president of the United States, this whale was learning his migration routes.
He lived all that time, only to be slaughtered by men with harpoons, dodging the orcas that are the only other predators he would have to face. But the hopeful side of the story is how much the world can change, in a hundred years, even in the life of a whale. It was a century that began with the old economy of hunting and killing whales and ended with a new economy of appreciating whales and watching whales. It was a century that began with a lonely few animal welfare groups, a scarcity of laws to constrain human greed, and a worldview that animals were there for the taking. But by the end of that century, there were hundreds of new groups, thousands of new laws to shield animals from cruelty and abuse, and an emerging attitude that we are custodians of the other creatures—called to defend them and to be their voice. A lot can happen in a hundred years, or in much less time. And the life and fate of this single creature teaches us that change for the better is not only possible—it is certain, in our lifetime and in the generations to come.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Haircut, A New Pup (not ours!) and More at the Ranch on a Tuesday

Got a haircut today--keep getting it shorter--this time with layers, so although it may not be noticeable on the blog, it is quite a bit different-- and saw one of the world's cutest puppies- friends of ours got an adorable 9 week old French Bulldog. I might have to dog-nap him!! My dogs were sniffing me when I got home and were very suspicious as to my where-abouts. It is pretty hard to compete with a puppy- but I still think my dogs are cute!

Toby and the clouds.
One of the hens at Camille & Tim's place.
Tim with Oliver the pig!
Baron, one of the world's cutest pups!
Tim, Camille & Baron. Too cute!

My new short & layered hair. I love my hairdresser- she is so much fun.
Tim and Baron.
Oliver the pig again.

Camille and her new "baby"!

Maybe I can sneak him away and they won't notice...
The boys scratching!
Deciding how to spend the day.
Baron on the move.
Proud parents.

Photos don't do him justice!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Merely a Monday in Animal Paradise at the Rancho-Paradiso

Not a lot going on today- which is fine with everyone here. After reading about the earthquakes in Reno, I realized I am not quite up to snuff with earthquake-preparedness, esp. when thinking of the animals to feed and water. So I've made a list and will make sure we have adequate supplies should something ever happen. Luckily we have a creek below us that if I had to I could get water out of for the donkeys. I further freaked myself out but stumbling upon an "Equine Emergency" website that talked about what to do in other disasters, like a fire- and how horses (and donkeys) should be trained to board a trailer if evacuation is necessary. Number one, we don't have a trailer (I think I will start looking for one)...and the idea of training Paco and Luigi to board one (especially after recalling their one and only venture into transportation thus far in the BMW) is not that appealing. The website even suggested training to load in the middle of the night, so everyone is used to doing it in the dark! Worse case scenario, we'll have to walk them out- so I think we should invest in some saddles soon so they'll be able to carry the dogs, hens and Boulder should we all need to leave the property!

Paco rather likes the idea of going some place.

Watching Farmer Randy.
Boulder in the grass.
The boys come in for dinner.
We have a zillion lizards this year.
They're everywhere!

If I were Toby I'd always have a sore neck.
Scratching on the metal post Randy put up to support the oak tree.
Sophia relaxes.
Kiss from Toby!
More kisses from Bravo!

Solo chats with Boulder.
Isabella stands guard.
Moth in the morning.
Hanging out at the benches.

Howard Lyman
Ethical vegetarian and fourth generation cattle rancher- turned-vegan for his leadership in the animal rights movement.

He was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in Sherborn, MA on April 12, 1997

"I would love to see the meat industry and the pesticide industry shaken up. I would love to see feedlots close and factory farming end. I would love to see more families return to the land, grow crops for our own species, and raise them organically. I would love to see farm communities revive. I would love to know that I've wandered into my nation's heartland by the sweet smell of grain and not the forbidding smell of excrement.
When you can't take it with you, all that really matters is what you leave behind."