Thursday, 31 January 2013

Granny's Birthday!

Dearest Granny, today it is your birthday!  We tried to go to the shop to buy you a card, can you believe it mules, ponies, dogs and cats are not allowed in?!  This seems very ridiculous :-(  We wagged our tails, waved our ears and miaowed but to no avail, it would seem that Muleteers and Co cannot buy a card for their Granny Human.

Oh well GH we will have to send you neighbrays, whinnies, miaows and woofs through the blogosphere.  Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, if you get any carrots, bones or salmon for your birthday will you please share?  We are always willing to share in birthday fun, especially of the edible variety (FH says no birthday cake though.... boring!)

Sending our Granny Human lots of love from 'Her Darlings' xxxx

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Finally.... Back to Work!

Mule ears.. the original radar!
Finally!  A weekend with no rain, no snow and no ice.  Back to work, thank goodness! Oh Muleteers I had nearly given up hope of ever wearing my finest cowmule gear again, the weather has not been helping my need for speed.

Yesterday dawned and the sun peeked out from behind a cloud, FH finally made an appearance and muttered something about getting out quick before we met the hunt.... hmmm I could show them a thing or two about hunting, wonder if the hounds would like to feel what it's like to be chased by a mule with mulificent dog defenders?? Not really our thing so best get out before they all arrive with their posh coats and noisy canines.

FH and I went off on our little expedition, we spent lots of time refining FH's communication, I am so clever, she now knows to ask me to stop with the tiniest lift of her hands and then I can turn with a shift of her weight and a lift of one hand, when she concentrates it all comes together.  We met some of the local riders who were having a few problems, *sigh* I really am not a monster and it really is not necessary to communicate this untruth to your short ears.... I stood quietly while they bustled past making a right old racket!  Onwards and upwards, a nice trot to the top of the hill to look at the view!  It was so nice to be out :-)

Slightly puffed by this hill, time for a breather!
Back home and I was a very happy mule, I am never happier than when I've done something.  After a brush down and a snack FH got my rug out and threw it on...this is a good sign as normally it only goes on when I'm working the next day (stops me from experiencing the full mud pack experience!)
I benevolently watched my mini friends eat to their hearts content, I was happy to snooze in the sun and dream of more adventures....

This morning dawned and my cow mule attire was brought out again (FH has even cleaned it, she must be feeling ill??), apparently Smiley Human is coming to take me out while FH does the chores... excellent I get to work and miss out on stable duties!
This mule's ready to ride!
Smiley Human climbed on board and then FH made me do something called 'standing still' practice.... yawn!  Apparently I need to apply myself more to standing when someone gets on board, for some reason stepping off at high speed is not encouraged?  Anyway I stood rock still watching the flappy washing in the neighbours garden and was a perfect muletta :-)

Standing still = boring, but necessary!
Oh ok!  Now I see why I'm standing still :-) Here comes my boypony Salty!  He really is my hero but don't tell him because I like to pretend that I'm in charge and know best (being a woman) but really I do like going out with him as he is so brave and handsome.  Somehow I've forgotten how to stand still, he really does need to see my moves.... anyway seeya FH I'm off with my mates!

Mule Hero!
A lovely ride was had by all, I had much fun showing off to Salty, he really is delicious!  Would you believe it Muleteers, while I was out those naughty minis took the opportunity to escape and steal all the nice green grass, they really are always getting up to no good!

Have a lovely week muleteers and let's hope that next weekend brings sunshine again, I am planning the next best way to impress my boypony.... I really must persuade FH about that pink hoof paint and bridle I've got my eye on... seeya!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Introducing... The Pocket Sized Labrador!

Woofs and Wags Muskehounds!  The mules have taken pity on me as I am house and lead bound after my little accident.... oops.... I am now 3.8 legged and well on the way to recovery.  I have been so bored that those long ears have allowed me to steal a blogging spot!  Maybe this blog should be called Dogtanian and The Three Muskehounds like the original inspiration?  So as I'm the longest standing member of the clan I guess I should introduce myself, I hope you'll forgive the fact that I am not an equine.....

Name: Murph, also known as the Pocket Sized Labrador

Age:  7 1/2 years going on 6 months.....

Breeding: Labrador Retriever of the gun dog type

Size:  Pocket Sized!  I wasn't fed very well as a puppy before I found my mistress so I didn't grow, I am a very petite labrador which means I can comfortably sit on your lap or the sofa, you'll never notice me, honest.

Coat Colour: Black with a few salt and pepper marks to show how distinguished I am, if you'd lived with FH most of your life you'd be grey too... just ask MH, hehe!

How did you come to be a Muleteer Muskehound?  In a galaxy far away (I try not to remember) I was an unwanted labradorian.  My old humans got me as a puppy and kept me locked in a room all day long on my own and then beat me when they came home because I had been bad (I was teething and had to chew something!).  I never walked anywhere and didn't know what the world was except for shouting and the four walls I lived in.  One day when I'd nearly given up a kind man came and carried me away, he looked after me while he set about finding me a new home, would you believe he knew FH!  A very unsuspecting FH got more than she bargained for in her first dog - me!  We had to learn lots together, I had no idea how to travel in a car, how to walk on a lead, how to socialise with humans or dogs, how to wag my tail... you know I don't think I knew how to live.  With time I found my wag and found out life was brilliant, I stopped dipping my head away from hands and started forcing my head in to hands :-)  After a while FH even found me my old friend Indy and MH, it was nice to have some boys around!  I still don't trust many people but those I do trust I love fiercely, although I don't mind sharing the humans with The Muleteers they are not allowed in the house - woof!

Favourite Pastimes: Chasing my ball, giving the 'hungry eyes' to my Granny and sneaking on the sofa with FH when no one's looking ;-)

Favourite Food: Everything! I will eat anything except for polo mints, they are the work of the devil.  I have been known to eat garlic, whole chillies, a whole bag of flour (I turned myself white, the mixture of drool and flour was very sticky...MH was not impressed), the majority of a sack of dog food, FH's coat pockets when she leaves treats in them and anything else that's left in sight.....  I have gotten in to a little bit of trouble with my eating habits in the past, my finest moment (not) was the consumption of enough grapes to kill a St Bernard (I picked them delicately off the vine), two avocados and a kiwi fruit in one sitting, the vets were staggered, I however, was fine :-)

Favourite Drink: River water ingested whilst swimming for my ball. 

Favourite Car: I DO NOT like cars.... when I first arrived with FH many doggy years ago I was very traumatised about life.  One of the worst things for me was going in the car.  I was sick every time, FH had to do months and months of training with me, we ate our dinner in the car, we played in the car, we went to the park in the car, all to no avail...FH needed to take out shares in car upholstery shampoo.  The secret to my tolerance of cars now?  CHEESE!  That's right folks FH used to drive down the road chucking cheese to me in the back of the car to take my mind off feeling sick and trick me in to thinking cars were nice.  Guess it worked ok, I will tolerate cars now and we don't need the upholstery shampoo anymore but my favourite car is one that is not moving!

Favourite Movie: Lassie Come Home - Classic!

Favourite Music: Anything that MH plays, his music taste is more sedate than FH's, hers is too loud, it's no wonder I need flappy ears is it?
GH...supplier of banned substances!
Favourite Book: What's a book? Can I eat it?

Favourite Words:  W.A.L.K.  the humans think I don't know what this means, gosh they're really stupid if they can't spell!

Favourite Person: Granny Human for supplying banned food substances like sausage rolls, bits of her meals and providing ample cuddles and sympathy, Granny also allows me on the sofa, throws my ball and calls me her darling a lot :-)  I do love my FH and MH too but nothing beats the naughtiness of a Granny!

Unique Talent: Wagging so hard that I regularly knock things over including myself.  I can also 'speak' on command and sing.  The humans taught me this to stop me from barking at things... I have simply widened my vocal repertoire :-)

Guilty Pleasure: Lying on the sofa in MH's place when he's not around and placing my head in FH's lap for cuddles and attention.  In our house we all pretend this doesn't happen, dogs don't go on the furniture.... ermmm no one told me.

Least Favourite Thing: The V.E.T. or the car... I'm also a little uncertain about new people I don't know.

Favourite Vice: FOOD!  I'm an eating machine, well I am a labrador?

Favourite Clothing: My Argentinian Polo dog collar, I show that Dragon mule who has the nicest bridle leather in this house.  Apart from that I need no clothes I am invincible!

Favourite Possession: Doris Donkey my favourite toy.  Doris needs to be paraded and presented to the humans when they return from work, she is my very favourite toy at the moment, I show her this by carrying her around and drooling on her.

Alternative Career:  Chief Crunchy Biscuit Tester

Describe Yourself in Three Words: Loyal, Starving, Obsessive

Favourite Quote:
This would make the world a better place :-)

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human.  The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.
Edward Hoagland

Your Perfect Day: 
Wake up slowly, no need to tax yourself too much...

Eat breakfast and then become turbo charged

Hopefully it will be a Granny Day, I know Granny's car when she arrives and cry and woof until she hurries up and brings me chews and strokes!

Time for walk number one, this must include ample time with my ball, 

I would like to swim after it..

And then I can soak the humans and hear them laugh!

Then it's time for a little rest and some crunchy biscuits

Next W.A.L.K number two, this should involve some Moorland exploration with the humans

Time for a snooze now...

Finally after some dinner it's time for evening funny five minutes with Doris Donkey

Night night must be time for sleep now, I am an eating and sleeping machine :-)

Wags and woofs to you all, thank you for letting me get my paws on a blog post :-)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Women and Tea

Philosophically speaking women are definitely from Venus, what a variable bunch they are...  As we are British and enjoy a good cuppa most things end up being discussed and solved over a cup of tea.  This morning The Mini and I were having a little chat about our girls (when they weren't listening ;-) and decided that they are like tea!    We reckon the ladies here at Muleteer HQ have many similarities to our favourite brews, let us tell you more....

Firstly I must describe the many types of tea as some of our overseas friends may be a little less familiar with tea.....

Baby Tea - milky, standard tea that is not very strong, very comforting and the choice of FH
Standard Brew - A good mocha colour with a medium strength of tea and not too much milk
Builder's Brew - strong enough to stain your mug, tea bag dunked for many minutes, minimal milk.
No Milk - very odd this one, very definitely an acquired taste! Not frequently seen with standard tea but the choice of MH for his Rooibos (reminds him of never ending African skies :-)
Herbal Tea - fruity and unpredictable!  Smells of one thing, tastes of another... all sorts of wild flavours, good as a pick me up or for calming down at the end of a busy day.

Our Dragon friend is either a No Milk Tea or a Builder's Brew depending on her mood, Dragon is a very feisty woman with a little bit of soft thrown in occasionally (when no one's looking).  Things in her world are either black or white, soppy or tough, alert or asleep, she doesn't do things by half.... when challenged our Dragon is the strongest Builder's Brew in the world and is not to be consumed by the faint hearted.  Something spooked our Dragon friend this week and made her go in to full alert, we were awestruck, this 'momma' mule was adamant the pixie in the hedge was not going to harm us minis, even FH was slightly alarmed at Dragon's attempts at getting to her enemy, she was ready with dog defenders, radar ears and fire breathing, snorty nostrils.... in the end it was just the neighbour's dog, commotion averted...

Our Catanian is definitely a Herbal Tea, she is fruity, unpredictable and somewhat scatty, when in a sweetened state she is the apple of FH's eye, she purrs and head butts and manages to endear herself to all she knows and is great relaxation, when she is on the prowl she is certainly a 'pick me up' for every small mammal in the area!

Finally there is FH, well she is definitely a Baby Tea or a Builder's Brew depending on her mood, if all is well and her clan are happy she is the cuddly Baby Tea, if however someone makes waves for her clan she can be a Builder's Brew with about a hundred spoons of sugar... remind me to be a good pony?

So how did I get on to Women and Tea?  Well I heard a great quote from a very wise woman this week, this'll make you understand...

A woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong they are going to be until they find themselves in hot water!

Have a lovely weekend muleteers, here's to strong women, plenty of tea and time for a chat with friends :-)

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Right Clothes!

Mini shetlands are perfect!
There's no such thing as bad weather... just the wrong clothing. That's what my heroes the Royal Marines say, I know just what they mean!  Those mules always think they're perfectly adapted, hybrid vigour...blah, blah, blah.  Well my mule friends, move over... it's my turn to shine :-)

I just love this cold, snowy weather and wish it could stay forever!  As a Shetland pony I am in my element in these sub-zero temperatures.

My ancestors come from the Shetland Isles which is a tiny group of Islands many pony miles off the North coast of Scotland.  These Islands are harsh, it is very cold, very windy and there is not much vegetation, there are virtually no trees as it's too windy for them to survive.  My ancestors are perfectly adapted to life in this harsh landscape (see mules, you're not the only ones adapted to harsh climates;-)

Those nice ancestors of mine have given me some great characteristics to survive this nasty  perfect weather!

Have you noticed how big The Mini's ears are?  Hmmm can't miss them can you.... they're not great in this weather though, they lose a lot of heat!  Donkeys have those nice, bigs ears to help dissipate heat in the desert, not much good when it's freezing!

My ears are petite and fluffy on the outside and on the inside, no freezing winds are going to make my ears cold, the smaller they are the easier they are to keep warm!  

I also have an amazing beard and fluffy forehead, this helps to keep my head warm and helps to makes sure the snow doesn't fall in my eyes.

Mini ears for a mini shetland!

I have leg warmers, my leggies stay lovely and toasty, my leg warmers go all the way past my hooves to makes sure there's not a single bit of my skin exposed.  They are also very good for warding off the mud. 

Next up is my very plush mane!  It isn't just to look good you know ladies, it also keeps me warm.  My mane is a good inch or two thick and keeps my neck toasty warm, it is a very good place for the humans to warm up their noses and hands (I even throw in eau de pony for free!)

The Mane Event - Shetland Style!
Speaking of warming up hands, FH is always taking liberties.... guess I don't mind though.  Here she is delving in to my triple layer tummy fluff to check how warm I am, warmer than her I think.... FH often calls me her Polar Bear pony, I can't imagine why?

Next up is my perfect pony tail.  My tail is low set and covers my delectable behind, there will certainly be no heat lost from sensitive areas with such good thermal underwear.... Zoe this one's for you, I know how you like a good pony rear piccie!

The perfect pony tail!
Us Shetland ponies would be nothing without our ability to eat just about anything and survive on rough food like those mules, we eek the most that we can out of any food we can lay our lips on... my teeny, tiny mouth is perfect for finding every last scrap of food and I have been known to lick the remnants of the haylage off the ground...oops!  Well you humans lick the cake mix from the bowl don't you???

My biggest advantage is my size!  Yes I know I'm small but small is best!  By staying small and close to the ground there's less of me to feed, I'm not as likely to get blown over, it's also easier to find hiding places out of the wind and rain.... some might say my ancestors were stunted by centuries of wind, cold and rough grazing, I say that we became perfectly adapted :-)

Mini Shetland = Perfect!
Finally I have my priorities right, don't waste too much energy on things unless they're worthwhile!  When inspired by food I can have a fair turn of pace for one with such small legs... 


Anyway muleteers, I'm off to do some digging for grass!  Sending you all Roller Polar snuffles to keep you warm xxx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow Mule

Hey Minis!  Something odd has happened, we've been turned in to a black and white film!  Where's all the grass gone?  Oh My Mule, it's cold!!!

I'm sure when I went to bed last night there were greens and browns in the world and those fields over there had lots of grass on them.....

It's alright Dragon it's only snow, we don't get it often but it doesn't bite!  Where's Roller?  He knows all about snow being a Polar Bear in disguise you know, I'm sure he'll put your mind at rest and show you what to do.... Roller where are you??

Sorry ladies! I'm coming....if only I could wade through this stuff it would be sooo much easier, oh to have long legs!

Even those humans with much longer leggies than mine seem to struggling a little bit.... they don't have the secret weapon of the Polar Bear coat though!

Phew that was such hard work I think I need a lie down.... now then Dragon, this is lesson one!
Snow is brilliant for rolling around in, it's lovely and soft and fluffy... you should try!

That's it Dragon you've got it, you can be an honorary Polar Bear too! 

Hey Roller, I'm going for the camouflage look!  What do you think, do I look mulificent??

Now where is The Mini?  Last time I looked he was busy wasting time snuffling the humans....

Here I am!  Brrrr I've told those weather folks before that I am a desert animal, not made for wet stuff.  Can you see now FH why I needed those few extra pounds?  I may freeze after all your dieting of me.... what's that you say about looking like a bison??? Hmmm charmed!

Hey Mini, I'd forgotten how cold this stuff is when you eat it.... my tongue feels a little bit numb.  How ever will I warm it up??

I've got it!  Snuffles.... FH will you just come over here please? A little kiss would just warm me up!

Miaow... don't forget about me!  I don't like the look of this..... where's the colour gone?  I've never seen this stuff before.....

Oh Miaowleteers it's too cold on my little paws and I may sink..... quick what shall I do?

Oh yes!  That's right... I've found the right solution to the problem.  Making the humans do my bidding is so easy.... Queen Diesel requires carrying everywhere please and if you would just keep that hat there I can shelter from the wet, cold things falling from the sky!

OK folks enough of this messing around, there's no grass so we need feeding.  Well done FH some nice yummy haylage - just the job!

Pssst Mini.... FH has put another pile over here for us..... Dragon likes to play with her food and is a bit clumsy standing on me in the process.....
That's better a portion just for us minis.... do you think my hair looks good with my winter highlights?

Ssshhh don't neigh too loudly, you'll wake the Dragon, she's busy scoffing at the moment!

Hey FH I'm done with eating now, can we go play?

Look FH it looks like nice weather for a walk?  Please.....

Would you believe it folks? FH won't take us out to play! Something about work to do and slippery conditions and even 4 wheel drive not working, well duh!  She's forgotten that we are superior all terrain vehicles, we have 4 hoof drive!  Maybe tomorrow?

I'm off to see what happens when a mini mule tries to make snow angels..... hmmmm

Hope you're all toasty and warm, snowy dreams my friends xxx