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Posts Tagged ‘pets’

postheadericon Happy 241st Anniversary of Independence Day America

Enjoy the 241st anniversary of America’s Day of Independence and all that it brings.

Red Barn Blue Skies Happy 241st Anniversary of America's Independence

241st Anniversary

2017 just happens to be the 241st anniversary of America’s independence from England. On July 2nd, 1776 the Continental Congress took a vote and approved the resolution for independence.

Two days later on July 4th, the historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson (assisted by John Adams) known as “The Declaration of Independence” was signed by representatives of the thirteen colonies. This date has been celebrated as the birth of America since that date and was officially made a national holiday in 1941.

An interesting side note that is on July 4th, 1826, which was also the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, two past Presidents of the United States of America died within hours of each other.

These men were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams – the two men who created and also signed it fifty years prior. A third President also died on July 4th five years later in 1831 – James Moore.

Pet Safety

Please keep the safety and security of your pets in mind during the many celebrations. Plan to keep them inside with a radio or TV on to mask the noise outside. Don’t think they’ll be ok outside just because they have been in the past. As they age their perceptions change and their fears may grow.

241st Anniversary America's Independence Chandler and Celie at Red Barn Blue Skies

July 5th has the unfortunate distinction of being the busiest day of the year at animal shelters in the US. Dogs and cats that have escaped their yards or broke their leashes panic and look for hiding spaces.

If you do lose your pet, check the shelter regularly. Many pets aren’t found immediately.

postheadericon Greta Does Goat Parkour Like a Jedi

It is never a good sign when you find one of your animals in an unexpected or unwanted place. It is even worse when you can’t figure out how they’ve done it.

 

Goat parkour with Greta at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

Two days ago I finally learned just how Greta the (baby) goat was getting out – she is a master of goat parkour at only 5 weeks old! Or she’s a Jedi – I can’t decide exactly how she rolls, jumps or flies. Whichever way it is, the Force is obviously strong in this little one. Fortunately, just like her mama Nibbles, Greta can be bribed with goat treats and head scratches.

 

Goat Parkour with Greta at redbarnblueskies.com

 

You met Greta and the rest of the goats a few weeks ago. Well, despite everything we “thought” we could do to keep them contained, we failed. We knew we’d have to eventually relocate the bantam chicken coops to the other side of the runs/pens, but Greta forced us to do it a little sooner than planned.

 

Greta started bouncing off one of the chicken wire covered panels with all four feet when she was about two weeks old. We didn’t think anything of it except that it was cute and very acrobatic. That is until she figured out how to use the rebound from the panel to throw herself against the side of the coop and right up on top of it! She obviously saw someone doing the sport of parkour in another life and decided to turn it into to her own brand of goat parkour.

 

Greta the Goat demonstrates goat parkour at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

What Is It?

(People) parkour has its roots in military training exercises. The aim of parkour is to get from one point to another in the quickest and most efficient manner using only your body and elements in the environment such as walls, rocks, rails, etc.  Jumping, rolling, crawling, bouncing, swinging or just about any other movement that can propel you is used in parkour. It is most often seen in more urban settings, but parkour can be practiced anywhere.

 

Goat Parkour

Greta’s goat parkour is definitely not being performed in an urban environment and hopefully isn’t militant in nature. When not being performed with the intent of escape, I think it may be more reminiscent of Stuart from MADtv when he exclaims “Look what I can do!” right before doing something goofy.

 

Goat Parkour post with Stuart from MadTV

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Greta practices her moves daily in our temporary goat pen using the fence, the coops, her mother, and anything she can bounce a hoof off of. She tries to coerce her twin brother, Groot into joining her, but he’s much more mellow than she is. (It may have to do a bit with a small procedure he underwent recently. More on that later.)

 

Once we determined exactly how she put her moves to use to get OUT of the pen, we decided to do some redecorating. The photos below show Greta and Groot supervising the hubby as he removes the two bantam chicken coops from the area. Hopefully, having one less level to rebound off of and on to will keep Greta’s four little feet mostly on the ground.

 

Groot and Greta Goat supervising coop removal at Red Barn Blue Skies for goat parkour

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that they can’t crawl into the coop and do chicken impressions.

 

Goat parkour in the Chicken Coop with Groot and Greta at Red Barn Blue Skies

“Bawk, Bawk”

 

postheadericon The Goats Have Landed – Our Lives Will Never Be Boring Again

For many years the hubby told me that he didn’t care what type of animals we had, as long as there weren’t any goats. He had apparently been traumatized in the past by a little pygmy billy goat that had it in for him.

 

The hubby claims that the guilty-until-proven-innocent little goat ate parts of his Jeep. He supposedly broke the windshield on his other car by using it as a goat parkour springboard. I advised him that if there aren’t photos or a chewed up Jeep as proof, it didn’t happen.

 

Goat with tilted head at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

So I went along with this edict without complaining, much. After all, we have horses, cattle, turkeys, chickens, dogs and cats. HE even had a Red-tailed Boa Constrictor as a pet snake for a while. It’s not like we are missing out on too many things.

 

But, anyone who is online these days knows the internet is overflowing with videos of baby goats. These kids are shown bouncing around and bringing joy to the lives of those who own them. You know I wanted to be one of those happy people. When hubby told me NO for the 500th time, I sounded just like my nephew at age 3. We had to tell him the pink Hello Kitty purse was his sister’s and not for him, “But I neeeeeeeeeeed it!”

 

(And before anyone protests that he should have been able to have a pink Hello Kitty purse if he wanted one, his sister was wanting to use her purse at that particular moment. We offered to get him his own, but he was immediately off and running to his next interest and adventure.)

 

Lawn mowing at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

I used the fact that our spring has been one of the wettest in decades. We are overrun with tall grass and lots of weeds. My husband didn’t fall for my logic that if we had goats, he wouldn’t have to mow every few days. He couldn’t be swayed by the cute and bouncy videos I kept sending to his phone.

 

I reminded him that I would have access to fresh goat milk instead of canned for making cheese and soaps, he still said no.

 

 

 

Goat in Tree at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

I know these things are true, but….. Then one magical day, he just gave up. My persistence/pestering/pleading paid off. A good friend of ours needed to sell her two pet does. She had to find someone she trusted to care for them like she would. The hubby graciously caved and told me I could get the two girls. I made the deal.

 

Of course, I sorta forgot to mention that one of them was pregnant, very very pregnant, but he’s a good sport. “In for a penny, in for a pound” or in this case, “What’s one more little goat?” OK, so I may have also forgotten to let him know that she had twin bucklings her first time…

 

Goats Cookie and Nibbles at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

So without further ado and fanfare, meet The Goats aka The Goots.

 

The Goats

Cookie is a Toggenburg doe who is just over a year old.

redbarnblueskies.com Cookie the Toggenburg Goat

 

Nibbles is a LaMancha doe around two years old.

redbarnblueskies.com NIbbles the LaMancha Goat

 

And then, we have the kids: Groot (mostly black) and Greta (mostly white) are the bouncing baby goats (called kids) born to Nibbles on March 27th. Their father is a wandering Kinder buck so they are half Kinder/half LaMancha. They obviously didn’t inherit the itty-bitty ears of their mama.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Groot and Greta goats

 

The hubby won’t admit it, but he is smitten by all of our newest additions. The very first night they were here he ended up sitting in the pen with them until after dark. He has also admitted to looking forward to some of my goat milk cheese with herbs in the near future..

 

I am so blessed to have married a man who is just as big of an animal lover as I am – even when he pretends otherwise. Our life is full of love.

 

Please join us again soon as we continue to share the adventures of Groot and Greta along with the rest of our menagerie.

 

By the way, have you ever seen those darling little miniature donkeys?

 

postheadericon You Are My Sunshine – Sunday Selections

I’m famous in our family for my lack of singing ability. It’s a sad fact that I was absent when talent and tonality were being handed out. Of course, this hasn’t stopped me from belting out a song now and then – much to the delight chagrin of my critters. You Are My Sunshine happens to be a favorite.

You are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine with Toot, Celie, and Hammie

Toot, Celie, and Hammie

You make me happy….when skies are gray

Kitties in the Sunshine at Red Barn Blue Skies

Lily, Celie, Porkchop, Toot, Hammie

You’ll never know dear…

Porkchop at Red Barn Blue Skies for You Are My Sunshine

I swear, Porkchop really is a cat – NOT a potbelly pig

How much I Love You

 

Sheena at Red Barn Blue Skies for You Are My Sunshine

Sheena aka Sha Nay Nay aka Old Lady

Please don’t take… my sunshine away.

 

You are my Sunshine at Red Barn Blue Skies cats on quilt

Badger, Tory, and Bugsy

For those that may not enjoy the melodic renderings such as mine, here are a few other ways to enjoy the song and the message.
          

postheadericon Drymate Cat Pads Review

I was recently sent a Litter Box Mat and a Cat Bowl Mat from the nice people at Drymate cat pads review.  I wanted to put the products to the test so I could give you an in-depth, cat herd approved opinion.

Red Barn Blue Skies Drymate Cat Pads Review
First, we have the Cat Bowl Mat as demonstrated by PeTOOTnia.  I thought this mat was cute with the little paw prints (especially since it hides the real ones).  With nine cats and two dogs slopping water a bajillion times a day, this mat has really been put through the paces.  One feature they tout about their mats is that they are absorbent and waterproof.  I found this to be very true, even with the probably half-gallon of water the “children” spill from the waterer every day, it has held up to that claim.  It’s also very easy to just wipe clean. 
(I really did plan to take the photo without the critters, but Toot had to be in the pictures.)
Drymate Cat Pads Review at Red Barn Blue Skies
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Bugsy at Red Barn Blue Skies for a Drymate Cat Pads Review
The second product we tested is the Litter Box Mat.  I used it a bit differently than they intended, but it really works for me.  My litter boxes are on the other side of this kitty door (shown above with Bugsy peeking in).  I’m using it as a little mat for when they come back in the house from the boxes.  I have found that it really does catch that last little bit of litter that they tend to track in.  I think the different patterns they offer are really cute. 
One of the things that I did with this mat is to put it in the washing machine.  I hung it up to dry and it looked as good as new.  It took a bit to dry as these mats are all VERY ABSORBANT, but it was well worth being able to wash it.  The cats seem to enjoy it.  Celie demonstrates below how she uses it to sit on while keeping Bugsy from coming back inside.
Celie at Red Barn Blue Skies for Drymate Cat Pads Review

From the website:

The Cat Litter Box Mat controls litter mess. Cats love to walk on this soft fabric. Place in front of the litter box to protect floors and reduce litter tracking. This mat will aid in pulling the kitty litter from their paws. Machine washable and dryable.
♦ Absorbent, Attractive Fabric
♦ Waterproof, Bonded Backing Prevents Leak Thru
♦ Absorbs All Drips
♦ Protects
♦ Easy to Clean with Soap & Water, Simply Hose or Power Wash Off.
♦ Durable & Stain Resistant, Will Last for Years
♦ Lightweight, Easy to Use & Move
♦ Slip Resistant Backing Keeps Mat in Place.
♦ Can be Vacuumed
Celie and Bugsy Red Barn Blue Skies Drymate Cat Pads Review
Petootnia (Toot), Celie and Bugsy home you’ve enjoyed their Drymate Cat Pads Review as much as they did. Drymate offers several styles and sizes of these decorative and absorbent mats. They have one sure to fit everyone’s decorating style.
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Disclaimer: I received the above mats for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own (and the cats’). I was under no obligation to offer a positive review.