Before I begin this post, I wanted to say that Alayne and I are very grateful for all the heartfelt comments and condolences we received in the past couple of days about losing Avery. He was a special one, and it was wonderful knowing how many people were touched by his story. Thank you for all of your support!
On a happier note, one of the things we wake up to every morning is the sight of blind Cash and Bill the Belgian (the other half of our BillyBob duo), roughhousing with each other over the corral fence. They started doing this a few months ago, not long after Bill and Bob arrived here. There is a complete mismatch in size, as you can see in the photos -- Bill is a couple of feet taller and several hundred pounds heavier than Cash. Yet these two just have a blast playing with each other first thing in the morning.
I had to take the photos from a distance because every time I get close enough with the camera, they stop playing and focus on me ("does he have anything we can eat?"). So the best way to see the photos may be to click on them for a larger version.
In the first one above, Bill is reaching over to nip on Cash's neck.
In this next one, Cash has turned his butt to Bill, which only gives the big guy another chance to take a bite of some neighboring horse flesh:
Here Cash is getting a nip of his own on Bill's neck:
A second bite is as good as the first:
And here they're both taking a bite out of each other's neck at the same time:
Cash is small for a horse -- not even 14 hands -- but he loves mixing it up with his big friend on the other side. And Bill could probably pick Cash up by the neck and lift him over the fence if he wanted to, but he is as gentle as can be with his little blind friend.
We wish he were as gentle with the corral panels, though. He and Bob have started crushing the top rail of one panel by simply standing over it with their necks and pushing downwards. <Crunch!> These are lightweight Priefert corral panels that are fine for regular horses, but can't stand up to a Belgian who wants to "flex his muscles." We had to do emergency repair last Saturday morning when we came out to find BillyBob had reduced the panel to the left of their feeder to chest height ... and were contemplating vaulting over it. Our temporary fix was to chain up a much heavier "bull panel" against the crushed panel (too frozen into the ground to pull out). If you click on the photos for a larger version you may be able to make it out.
(The gray things in the foreground are upside down Rubbermaid stock tanks.)
Someone will ask why we don't just put them together in the same corral if they're friends. That's because when it comes to feeding time, the boys would keep Cash away from the feeder, and the competition might end up with him getting kicked -- and a big Belgian kick could do serious and perhaps fatal injury to a little horse like Cash. (Don't forget, they can see and he can't, so that increases the risk factor even more.) Plus, Cash already has the beautiful blind Lena for his companion; she's just off to the left and out of the camera frame. So ... the big boys are for goofing around, but Lena ... Lena is for love.
The new Shelter Challenge started Monday, January 9 and ends at midnight on March 18. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner for Week 4 in this current contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.