Saturday, June 23, 2018

Back at Mooloolah Valley

The humans and the animals welcomed us back for our last 10 days here.  The humans flew off yesterday and here we are again.

Just before we left for our two days away, Maxi and Cino had started playing together but Oakley was quite jealous.  Maxi now regards herself as part of this pack and every time the dogs run off and investigate and bark at something, she joins in with great zest.  The two big dogs,Oakley and Nellie take no notice of her and she and Cino play together in a limited fashion when Oakley is not paying attention.  The game is usually at Maxi's instigation and on her terms.  Cino is used to more rough play and he continues to do this with Oakley in preference.  This suits Maxi fine as she is only interested in a small amount of dog frolic.

Oakley is a big boy.  He is 75% Labrador and 25% Golden Retriever and he is a big Lab.

And like all Labs, he loves food.  And he steals it.  We were warned but we had to experience it the hard way for ourselves.  First a loaf of sliced bread in its packet disappeared from the kitchen.  Next a half a tub of margarine, container and all.  This morning, I grated some cheese for the omelettes I was making and I stepped out into the garden to cut some parsley.  On my return I found almost all the grated cheese from the bench had disappeared.

Here he is, a little while later, snacking on small stick from the garden.  Obviously the cheese was insufficient and he is on to morning tea.  He is a lovely, good natured, affectionate dog and well trained.  But he cannot resist food.  From now on we will be forever vigilant.  Anything vaguely within reach and slightly tempting for him to eat is a temptation that he cannot resist.

A couple of kookaburras in the tree as we sit outside.

Having a cup of coffee and doing the crosswords and puzzles at the Mooloolobah civic centre.  While we don't do this every day, we go quite often, sometimes riding the bikes.  It is a 15 minute bike ride away from the house.  A quiet change from the hustle and bustle of dogs, horses and cows.  But we will miss all that hustle and bustle when we leave here.

This calf (no 7) was born yesterday in the teeming rain.  It had difficulty standing and Andrew rubbed it down with a towel and it then stood up.

But the drama began this morning when Andrew could count only six calves instead of seven.  We had no idea which of the seven calves born in the last week or so were  missing. A search party ensued and after an hour of searching the calf, the newborn one, turned up in a nearby paddock where the horse Henry is fed each day.  We think the mother, a first time mum may have been a little sore after giving birth maybe not let the calf nurse so it wandered off looking for food.  Mother and calf are shown here reunited and the calf is suckling.  So, all is well that ends well.

So much for the cows being no trouble, Or that no more calves will be born while we are on our own.  I say that with a smile however.  We are still enjoying it all, in spite of all the hard work.  Andrew loves wondering around the paddocks looking for calves and being busy.  He will not know what to do with himself once we leave here :-)

And, after all the rain we have been having there are more mushrooms...................................

Bovine playschool.  Some of the cows and calves came to graze near the house.  The calves are generally quite playful and bold.

Andrew washing the horse feeding buckets.  They get very muddy and sticky.  Oakley generally likes to lick the buckets if he gets a chance after the horses have finished their feed.  Labs never forget a meal.  I think he has stolen my new beeswax cheesecloth with some cheese in it.  It has disappeared completely like the half loaf of bread had.  I think it is likely that he will have eaten the cheesecloth as well as the cheese, the greedy guts.

On a walk with all four dogs.  The two little ones off lead on this deserted forest path but the big ones are not trustworthy enough to be allowed off.  They are confident and and if they see something that takes their fancy they would be off like a shot.

Maxi and Cino playing together.  Maxi is a changed dog - relaxed and playful, some of the time.  Cino being used to playing rough with Oakley is no pushover and he is quite assertive in their play.  Here is Maxi is lying down on her back in the submissive position which is not her usual stance.

Mist over the paddock.  Nothing too out of the ordinary but it is nice and we want to capture it for our bank of memories of this place.  It has been nice and relaxing, in spite of the hard work.  Sitting out on the covered verendah soaking up the morning sun over breakfast will stay in our memory.  Surrounded by dogs too.  A heaven for dog lovers like us.

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