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Minnow was her name from the start ~ we just had no idea how well that moniker fit!
Anytime Minnow sees water, she is going to get wet. By choice. This shepherd loves to swim!
She will strike the surface of the water with a paw & then bite at the flying droplets. She 'snorkels' ~ actually shoving her face straight down into the water until her head is submerged all the way to her ears. She blows bubbles under the water, & then whips her head out and snorts her nose clear.
Bet you've never met a scuba diving bitch before, have ya?
Lest you think that she is part fish, we can assure you Minnow is ALL DOG.
Also know as the Mighty Hunter Shepherd Bitch, Minnow hunts & kills all manner of varmints & birds, generally eating all her prey.*
We have actually witnessed her snatch a yellow bellied sapsucker from mid-air & run down jackrabbits!
Minnow lives up to her duties as a farm dog by alerting us to 4Shoes visitors, enthusiastically accompanying us on every horseback outing, & vigorously protecting the horses from predators.*
*Except muskrats, because they're just plain nasty, stinking buggers.
*This is black bear & timber wolf country.
The newest member of the 4Shoes clan, Pixie is a red miniature pinscher born in March of '13.
The min pin breed is typically very active, curious, & smart as whips. They are driven by instinct to vigorously dig holes (dammit), and will enthusiastically hunt, kill, & eat vermin of all kinds.
One day Pixie came into the house carrying a freshly caught mouse. I wish I could say that only happened once...
Min pins in general are clueless about their relatively diminutive stature. Pixie has NO horse sense whatsoever, so she is banned from the barnyard.
Minnow patiently allows Pixie to jump up against her and to freely pick morsels from her dinner dish; they romp and play as though they are of similar stature.
Harley turns a scolding eye towards Pixie as she darts around, occasionally yapping at him. He threatens her menacingly with one paw...
To start, Blitzen was not at all inclined to be friendly, preferring instead to gaze down upon her playful but rowdy antics from the safety of a comfy fork in a tree. Blitz has since decided Pixie makes a better friend than not, runs right up to her, and rubs his big head all over her body, purring non-stop.
Pixie makes 4Shoes life more interesting!
We adopted Harley when he was 5 months old; a straight up city kitty reborn as a barn cat, he took to the life like a duck to water.
Or, maybe that should be like a Minnow to water...
Harley is an accomplished hunter in his own right ~ one good look at his paws and you will know why.
This polydactyl Maine Coon cat has a total of 23 toes; one front paw has 6 toes and the other has 8 toes!
Harley can put the serious smackdown on any mouse, vole, rat, gopher, garter snake, or barn swallow foolish enough to darken his doorway.
Fierce as he is, Harley is also a major cuddle cat & a master shoulder rider.
The shoulder riding part is cool, the landing can be a little rough though...
Harley has a fondness for lounging around on top of the tack room, the straw stack, or the top of a 4" post. Often he drops down onto a shoulder from about a 10' height...
Having long hair can be a curse for most barn cats, but Harley loves to be groomed. He will throw himself onto the ground in front of me as I walk, or leap onto the tack room desk and mewl until he sees the slicker brush come out.
The sound of purring is nearly deafening as he stretches himself out so all his bits are brushed nicely. All done, he will rap his enormous paw on the coffee can containing the Temptations.
More floor rattling purring ensues.
Blitz was a snowy white kitten born in a barn; only when his unique markings & dark points began to fill in did we recognize him as a lynx point siamese.A lynx point is a cross between a siamese & a tabby cat. This cross results in the cream & brown colours of the siamese breed accompanied by the expression of tabby cat patterning.
BarnBoy#1 (Harley) was once attacked by a hawk. Soon after that, friends watched on in horror as their adult cat was carried away by an owl. Blitzen stayed in the house his first summer, safe from birds of prey, later moving out to the barn to shack up with his best buddy.
Anywhere you see Harley, Blitz will not be far behind. Go into the barn & the 2 of them can often be seen curled up tightly together on top of a bale or a saddle blanket.
Blitz also enjoys sunning himself atop the waterer and climbing 40' oak trees. Actually, any tree will do, it doesn't have to be an oak. Blitz has also been known to be seen up on top of the old farm house and the workshop, though we have never figured out how he gets up there...