Tag Archives: eddie

Remembering Eddie the Sheepdog

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Eddie the Sheepdog passed away on Wednesday.  Even though he was old and sick, and we knew he had a good life, it’s still hard to lose a beloved dog.  My brothers and I reminisced about Eddie on Wednesday night, and here were some of our favorite memories.

We got Eddie when I was a junior in high school, in 1997.  We had an Old English Sheepdog in the past, and my dad had a couple while he was growing up.  We love their goofy, rebellious personalities, and joke that they’re untrainable.  We went to a breeder and I picked up a cute little dog with one blue eye and one brown eye.  At that very moment, a spunky little dog bit at my shoe laces and untied them.  It was if he was saying “Not that one, pick me!” And so we did.

We decided to name him Chester.  He was a little ball of fluff, and we loved his personality.  Later that week my whole family gathered in one of the barns for a Saturday coffee break.  My young cousin walked in and asked “Where’s Eddie?” Everyone looked at him, and we said “Who’s Eddie?” My cousin looked at us kind of funny and said “Your dog!” We all laughed and somehow the name Eddie just stuck.

We joked that Eddie was untrainable.  After many tries, we think we finally got him to learn “sit,” but it may have just been that he got tired of waiting for his treat and sat down.  As he got older, we tried and tried to teach him “paw,” and on a few very rare occasions he actually did give his paw.  We’d get so excited and tell him what a good boy he was, and he’d love all the attention and praise.  But when we’d ask for paw again moments later, he had no idea what to do.

We all had fun talking in Eddie’s voice.  I know most families have a voice for their pets, and Eddie was no exception.  Eddie would say the things that everybody was thinking but nobody wanted to say out loud.  Silly Eddie, he didn’t know any better!

My dad invented a fun game to let Eddie burn off some of his spunky energy.  He would hold on to Eddie, and one of my brothers or I would run around the house, calling Eddie the whole time.  He wanted to play so badly, and my dad would let him go when we got half way around the house.  When we came back to the deck, we’d quickly run up the steps and take a seat.  True to his breed, Eddie had fluffly hair in his face at all times, so he didn’t see so well.  Eddie would run, full speed, around the house, wanting so badly to catch his playmate.  We’d laugh and laugh as he kept doing laps, looking for us, as we sat on the deck.  Sometimes he would change directions, and once he even came up on the deck and looked at each of us while we tried to hold in laughter.  He then decided that whoever he was chasing wasn’t there, and went back to running around the house.  After a few minutes, we’d let Eddie in on the joke and he was always so happy to catch us!

We also played tag, or “ghost” which was kind of like a night-time game of tag.  We’d tag Eddie, and the fun was trying to stay away from him so he couldn’t tag us back.  He didn’t know what was going on, but had fun running around the yard.

When my future husband, Ed, came to pick me up for our first date, Eddie the Sheepdog ran over to his green truck, which looked a lot like my dad’s work truck.  Eddie was getting ready to jump in the open door, when my mom yelled “Eddie, get away from that truck!” Ed, who thought he was just there to pick up his blind date in his brand new truck, looked perplexed.  We all laughed when we explained that Eddie was the dog and my mom wasn’t talking to Ed!

As Eddie aged, he became less of a hyper dog and more of a mass of hair on the floor, always laying down in the way, so we had to be careful to step over him.  He became a grump, and was happy to put the puppy Duke in his place.  Still, Duke and Eddie because best friends, though Eddie always made it clear he was boss.  We loved Eddie in all of his grumpiness because it was his own, unique personality.

Though it’s hard to say goodbye to Eddie, we prefer to think about how he brought so many years of happiness to my family.

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Bill and Eddie Update

While Bill and Eddie aren’t in top condition, they’re hanging in there!  I visited both of them this afternoon.

I love that Eddie’s using a rusty chain for a pillow here.

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Eddie and Bill

 We’ve got two animals on the farm that aren’t doing so well.

Eddie the sheepdog is showing his age.  He has a hard time getting up, and his back legs are really weak.  He barks for no reason, constantly, making us think he’s senile.  He’ll growl and bite when you try to help him up, and he’s having some digestive issues.  Eddie’s about 13 years old.  I think we could best describe him as a grumpy old man, but the lovable kind.

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Bill the Percheron draft horse isn’t doing well either.  He has had tumors for a few years now, and in the past week or so he’s started acting strangely.  He lies down a lot, which he never does.  He doesn’t eat his grain, and he even had some convulsions last night.  Today, he seemed to be off in his own world when I went to visit him.  I’m guessing he’s about 18 years old, and there’s not really anything we can do for him except make him comforatble and let him spend time with the other horses.  His teammate Vinny lives in the pen with him, and Annabelle and Isabelle are right next door.  Yesterday, I went to visit him and they were out to pasture.  It was a beautiful view of Bill lying on the hill, the sun setting through the old maple tree on the horizon.  I didnt’ have my camera, but I’ll never forget how pretty it was.  Here are some other pictures of Bill.

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Bill’s on the left

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Bill’s in the middle (1999)

While I’m hoping that both Eddie and Bill will make full recoveries, I know that’s unlikely.  Growing up on the farm, I learned that death is a part of life.  While I’ll certainly miss these animals when they’re gone, I take comfort knowing that they had long, happy lives here with us.  We love them, and they love us back.

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Flowers, Veggies and Eddie

Sunday Stroll

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This week, we staked the peony buds.

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This is our first rose this summer.

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The sunflowers are starting to pop up.

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Not sure why, but the chives are blooming.

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I finally set up the birdbath that my aunt and uncle gave us last summer.

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The tomatoes on a plant I got from the farm market.  These will tide me over until my little plants kick in.

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All of the lettuces need to be thinned, and I’m going to use the thinnings for a mixed baby salad.

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mixed baby lettuce

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Here are the experimental potatoes.  I had some that were sprouting, so I decided to try growing them.  I guess they look good so far.

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Finally, here’s Eddie.  He’s an Old English Sheepdog, and he’s about 12 years old.  He recently got a hair cut for the summer, which is why he doesn’t look like a big, shaggy mess.  My parents and brothers are away for the long weekend, so Ed and I are stopping by to take care of Eddie, which really only means we have to let him in and out, and check his water and food.  He sleeps for most of the day, but we thought he must have been lonely because he was in a playful mood this morning when we let him out.  He bounced around, chasing a squirrel, and ran over to us to get pet.  I’m sure he’s alseep now after that little burst of energy.

To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Cows on the Loose

Last night, while going out to celebrate my dad’s birthday, we got a call from my uncle that the neighbor’s new cows were out and grazing in our hayfield.  He and the neighbor’s kids tried to catch them, but they’re not tame and kept running away.  When we got home, my dad and brothers went out to see if they could find the cows in the dark.  They were by the pond, in the middle of the farm, so we figured they’d be safe for the night.  Our biggest concern was that they’d run into the road and get hit by a car, hurting themselves and the people in the car.  When Ed and I left, we saw them by the road so I called to let my parents know.  They managed to scare the cows back away from the busy road and into the orchard, where they slept all night and this morning.  

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Thanks to the zoom on my camera, I was able to get a good shot of them through the apple trees.  Then Nathaniel convinced me to move closer…

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We went to the end of the row they were in, with them obviously watching us the whole time.  I loved the look of the red herefords on the green grass, with yellow and purple wildflowers blooming in the apple orchard.

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When one of them got up, we decided that was enough pictures since we didn’t know where they’d go, and since the neighbors would be coming over to get them soon.

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While there, I couldn’t help but take pictures of my other favorite animals.  Annabelle is doing well, eating constantly and getting bigger.  She doesn’t like being told what to do, which is very different since our Percheron team is so obedient.  However, they were trained as draft horses and she was just raised in a pasture, so she’s used to doing her own thing.  She gets lots of visitors who come to pet her and take pictures, but unless they bring her snacks she’s not interested.  She gobbles up the carrots and apples then goes right back to grazing.

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Duke sits patiently, watching my dad work on the farm market.

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As I was getting in the car to leave, I glimpsed Eddie through the split rail fence and just had to take this photo.  I think it’s my favorite from the whole morning.

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Animals in the Snow

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On this chilly, windy afternoon, I stopped by to visit my favorite animals on the farm.

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Dukie loves snow.  He rolls all around in it until he’s covered.  Here, he’s licking snow off his little black nose.

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Sorry, Annabelle, that playhouse is for the goats.

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Eddie was barking at me in this picture.

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Annabelle strolls through the petting zoo, looking for little bits of grass to eat.

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Dukie got tired out and decided to lie down.

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Annabelle walks by the big mulch pile that the goats love to climb on.

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Fun with Annabelle

By the time I got to the farm this morning, my dad and brother had already brushed her and taken her for a walk around the farm to meet the other animals.  Fortunately, Nathaniel took a break from the sap house to take her out again so I could get some photos!

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Annabelle in her new home.

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Annabelle with Nate.  Don’t be fooled about her size, Nate’s 6’5″, so you can imagine how big she is!

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Annabelle poses in front of Eddie and the excavator. 

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Annabelle visits with Bill and Vinny.  They seemed to get along and she didn’t want to leave them.  She’s also bigger than they are.

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Annabelle with me.  For reference, I’m 5’7″.

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Taking a walk back to her barn.  Look at that long tail!

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Duke enjoyed visiting with Annabelle, and even licked her face.  I think they’re friends already.

Update: Ed and I went back to see Annabelle late this afternoon.  Here are some more pictures.

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Duke, Annabelle and Dad.

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We buried Eddie in hay.  No wonder he’s always so grumpy.

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The cupola on the roof of the stand.

You can see even more pictures of Annabelle at flickr.

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