We are certainly not at a loss for pretty faces at the farm.
Now before you go thinking we're quite vain and taken with ourselves, I can assure you I am talking about the pretty faces on the animals. The humans are usually adorned in baseball hats, carhartts and knee-high boots. We rarely point the camera in the direction of the humans.
But really, who wouldn't melt at the sight of the ever lovely Dottie Biscotti.
There is so much personality packed into this face it radiates from her.
However, she is certainly not outdone by Grady.
That's a whole lot of Border Collie packed into 40 pounds.
Grady's best friend in this big, wide world is Jack.
To meet Jack is to love Jack. He will greet you with kindness and closed eyes, perhaps with a moan of happiness escaping his lips if you happen to scratch behind his ears. He has one purpose and one purpose only in life and that is to be loved.
I guess if one names an alpaca Brigitte Bardot, one should expect a bit of attitude.
Brigitte is too cool for us and enjoys looking down her nose at the farm's mere humans.
Not to worry, Dottie will keep on eye on her and keep her in line.
Over the many months I've been writing this blog, I've introduced you to the two border collies that live and work at That'll Do Farm.
That's Grady on the left and Moose on the right.
Both are wonderful dogs with totally different personalities.
Moose thinks you're ALWAYS going to play with him, even if he has to wait for a long time. He doesn't know how to relax. He is always on.
Grady is a bit, let's see . . . dare I say smarter. How about laid back. That sounds nicer than smarter.
He knows if he's sat in the back of an SUV for a long period of time, there is no need to sit at attention. Ball playing or sheep herding isn't going to happen.
Why not lay down, get comfortable and enjoy the wait. Now that is a smart dog.
But recently I saw a YouTube video that takes the cake when it comes to border collies.
Move over Moose, there is a dog that is more obsessed than you. In fact, after this video, you are looking down right normal. And Grady, you could teach this dog a thing or two about relaxing.
Borders collies are said to be the smartest dogs in the world. I don't know. You tell me.
Today, it almost feels like Winter. We've had a dusting of snow, which, compared to last year at this time, shouldn't even count as snow.
Moose doesn't mind. As long as he can play ball, it can snow all year long.
Annie didn't mind either. It's much easier to hunt varmints with a bit of snow on the ground to slow them down. Snow doesn't slow Annie down.
Nor does it bother the goats and Joey, the llama. They do what they always do.
Eat. Eat. Eat.
However, Raphael thought he would face the snow with a bit of holiday bling.
Nothing says Christmas like a goat with bells in his hair.
This is the first time little Dottie Biscotti has ever seen snow.
She can't quite believe it. She went to sleep last night and all was right with her world. This morning, everything has changed!
Not to worry. Dewey calmed her down.
Dewey explained that a little bit of snow doesn't change anything. There is still time to sit on your favorite hill and watch the world go by.
Have you ever met a Border Collie? They are not a normal breed of dog. They are hard wired to be active 24/7/365. If they aren't busy, you, as the human in their life, are in for big trouble.
If you've been out to That'll Do Farm, you have seen this up close and personal.
This is Moose.
He's the unofficial farm greeter. But don't get the impression that he runs up to meet you because he's actually happy to see you and you are oh-so-special in his life.
No, you are the conduit for his obsession: Ball, ball, ball, ball, ball . . . . I think you get the idea.
Last year, we chronicled his hunt over the summer for lost baseballs at the local field.
He started with one.
And for a short time, he was happy.
But he soon realized that there were more out there.
So we collected them,
and soon he had his own personal basket of fun. Visitors come to the farm, and he runs off to get one of these because he knows, deep down in his little Border Collie heart, that you came to the farm just to play with him. And so you throw the ball, a thousand times, until your arm is worn out. The dog is not worn out, just your arm. And Moose is a happy dog.
But, as with anything in life, it's not all fun and games. There are dark days, too. Days Moose can't remember where he left his baseball after his last play session.
So he puts his extra large Border Collie brain into action. This is a farm, he thinks. We grow things here, he reasons. By golly, we must grow baseballs here someplace. And off he goes on a hunt.
Early in the season, he came back with tomatoes he pulled off the vine. They are, after all, round. However, after a few throws, the ball wasn't so good at rolling anymore. So he ate it and went on to find something else.
He's dug up onions and pulled apples off low hanging trees. And yes, he ate those too.
But now that fall is here, he has found the perfect home-grown ball.
It doesn't fall apart after two or three throws. You can put your teeth into it to get a firm hold. It rolls well. And they are just laying there in the field. All you have to do it go and yank it off the vine. Easy. A no-brainer. Border Collie heaven.
Sure, after one day, it's shot, but not as quickly as the tomatoes.
At home, squash are not growing for his personal use. He has to use a tennis ball. On CSA pick-up day, he waits on the patio, watching the gate, waiting for his first visitor.
And his next visitor. And the one after that. And the one after that.
Moose loves CSA pick-up day. He waits, knowing full well that somebody will play with him.
Don't worry too much about Moose. He has more in his life than baseball (or squash ball.)
He has sheep.
But that's a story for another day. If you think he's obsessed with baseballs, wait until you hear his sheep tales!
How do you feel about Winter?
I like it -- for the most part. Today wasn't bad. Somewhat sunny, not too cold.
Joey the llama likes Winter. It makes him smile.
Dewey, the Great Pyrenees, likes the snow, too.
She likes it so much she sleeps out in the front pasture. Sometimes the sight of her sleeping in a snowstorm stops traffic on the road in front of the farm. Like it's unusual to see a huge dog asleep in a snow drift!
Moose likes the snow, too. But he likes to sleep inside. On a fluffy bed. They say border collies are the smartest dogs around and I think that proves it.
The chickens, rooster and guinea hens don't venture too far from their coop. In fact, this is pretty adventurous for them.
For the alpacas, even the babies, a Winter day is just another day. They are toasty and warm, covered in their fleece. Ahhh, to be an alpaca.
But the goats, they are constantly asking questions. When is it going to get warmer? Can we have more food to help us keep warm? Why do we live in Ohio and not Texas where they don't get snow? You know how goats are. Never happy unless the're up to something.