Wednesday 25 February 2015

Our Barn

For our family and friends who are not on Facebook,
you may not know,
 that we lost our barn to a fire yesterday.
We, are devastated, sad and tired.
So, here are the posts, I have posted on Facebook, yesterday and today.

24 Feb 2015

Dear Friends
Our barn burnt down last night, killing all but 1 pup, some of the sheep and lambs in the barn.
 I am totally devastated.

Dear Friends
Thank you for the outpouring of love. We felt it. The many kind words are a balm to our sadness right now. Our grief, is of course shared, with the puppy owners who have also lost. Many would have received their pups this week. They too, are feeling the loss and sadness. They and many others have followed the weekly progression of these pups, have seen the videos of them frolicking with the lambs. One of the shar pups managed to escape and I think that reminds us to have hope. This pup (Brown), was always one of the really naughty pups, a challenge to keep in the pen, the escape artist among the pups; these talents, is what kept her alive. She made it out of the barn, through brambles and thorn bushes to our front door. Amazing, for a pup that has never been that far away from the barn and never been to our house before. I suppose, we shall name her “Lucky”. Unfortunately, Border Collie Ginger and the remaining 7 shar pups, and 30 ewes and lambs, and two cats, were less fortunate.

This loss of animal life is incredibly heart breaking.

For those who asked, our Meco (our Macedonian pup), did survive as he was not in the barn last night, so did Katcha, the mom of the pups, as she was being weaned from the pups.
We are thankful no human life was lost, all the adult dogs, the main flock of ewes, the horses and the cows are safe. The material damage is enormous, we lost our tractor, other equipment, feed, panels, troughs, waterers, gates, augers, a trailer, kennel panels, water pumps and so much more. Our barn was a huge structure (300 feet long x 80 wide by 24 high), and it is now leveled to the ground. Fortunately, barns can be rebuilt, and equipment can be replaced.
We need to stay focused, as our ewes are due to start lambing in 10 days’ time, we need to find a way to set up some form of shelter, or wind break, re-order lambing supplies, build some panels and focus on doing what needs doing.
We are grateful to our neighbors and friends who have jumped in to help, loaning us water tubs, and a tractor and whatever we may need. Their support and help is very much appreciated.
It feels so daunting and overwhelming right now, and spontaneous tears and sadness wells up at unforeseen moments. We are resilient and we will get through this.
Thank you for kind words, the hugs and kind thoughts. It really is very much appreciated.

25 Feb 2015
Another day.
We have more acceptance today. We are not as shell shocked as we were yesterday. The tears, and sadness are still, just under the surface. I personally do not like to “talk” about it, as I get a little emotional. Being emotional, exhausts me.
I, do not want to go to that deep dark place of horror, thinking about the animals and their fate. It is simply to tragic to “go there”.

Unfortunately, we are still partially in that “what if” stage. What if, under the rubble and roof, a pup did survive in a small pocket somewhere? That thought prompts us to go and look. Independently today, Eric and I both went and looked, if maybe, the border collie Ginger, may have survived. Moving through the rubble and the smoke, pushing the metal sheeting aside and peering under it, looking.
The realization that none of the animals survived, is seeping into our consciousness. Roy, spent most of the day yesterday combing the area around the barn, looking under bushes and trees for any remaining pups. That act alone, brings tears to my eyes, it is just so sad.
So, I try not dwell on it.

The work has started now; the claim to the insurance agency, writing down what we had in the barn, getting quotes and planning cleanup. 
We have to put a value to things, stuff that has been collected over the years. The wooden oak panels that came from the Netherlands with us, the tools that you gather over the years, handy things like duct tape, rope, chains, even baler twine. Dog collars, leads, food bowls, buckets, nails, screws, hose pipes. The little things that you have on hand are gone. I am sure, we will run more and more into these little inconveniences as we go along.
Their is an urgency to get power and water back on. These are priorities now. Fortunately, the big flock and the cows are used to eating snow for their winter water supply.
I have read a few comments and seen some people rallying to possibly set up a “gofundme” account, however, Eric and I were talking, we really do appreciate the support, however, we feel there are so many other “worthier” causes. If anyone feels a strong need to send us something, a card, a photo, a quote or a little heartening message would be welcomed.

Monday 16 February 2015

Puppy pictures - 8 weeks old

I posted some pictures to Fb last week, as I did not have time to post them here,
I may still post the, as that marks their 7 week milestone.

This week the pups are 8 weeks.
they have been dewormed, heath checked and vaccinated.
The pups spent about 7 hours in the vehicle and all were pretty relaxed about it all.
They all got a clear bill of health.

This week the pups have been exploring further afield,
they are happy to go for walks, see the other dogs, see other sheep, visit with the heifers through the fence.

They characters have changed a little, so here is a little update:

Green: he is pretty independent and a little on his own.
He is not overly sociable with people, but is calm about what he does.
He is the biggest pup in the litter weighing in at a hefty 22lbs.

Blue: he is still a middle of the road pup. Confident, likes to visit with people but is also happy to move along and do his own thing.

Gray: well he is energetic and a mover and shaker. He is the lightest in build and very active.
He is sociable and always one of the first to come and meet you.

Purple: could be Blue's twin brother. Similar size and similar temperament. Also very middle of the road. Happy to have some attention but by no means an attention hog.


They have changed more than I thought they would.
The two movers and shakers among the girls are Yellow and Brown.
Both pups are so similar it is hard to tell them apart. Both are very dark, fluffy and both are the smallest girls in the litter.
They are feisty, energetic, bold, confident. Sociable, but both like to be back "at work".
These are the first ones out, first ones exploring and first ones getting into trouble.

She is the largest female, very laid back, middle of the road. She used to be more energetic but has quietened down somewhat. She is a thinker.

She is middle of the road, she is the talker. Always willing to say a few words to you. She is a quiet and calm pup.

Is one of the bigger females, however she is shy. She is not so into people and likes to do her own thing. She is getting better, but is not the social butterfly of the group.

So, in random order, here are the 45 photo's from today..

From, this litter we still have a few available to select homes.

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