Thursday, 28 February 2013

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Travel

FH has left us again..... We are home alone and in charge of MH (he reckons he's in charge, who told him that?) and the woofers! Actually maybe Catanian is in charge as she's a cat AND a female??

Normally I am assisted a little bit with my typing so I will have to keep this short until my PA returns..... Although I have to say MH is more generous with carrots and food in general so it's not all bad :-)

Apparently our human is in foreign lands doing something called travelling, not too far but far enough to speak a foreign language, she is travelling to talk to other humans about long ears, can't she do enough of that at home??  I think travelling might be interesting but I have to say I'm a home-pony  myself and would like to lay my head on my own straw bed at the end of the day.

FH hugged us all goodbye and made us promise to be good (were the mules listening?), she said the best bit of travelling was the welcome home us Muleteers give her, we'll practice the neighbrays, whinnies, miaows, woofs and snuffles ready for her return!

Here's to the excitement of travel, only bettered by the joy of return.

No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old familiar pillow.
Lin Yutang

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What's your favourite noise?

What's your favourite noise Muleteers?  Birdsong? Silence?  The sound of the ocean? The crunching of leaves underfoot?  The favourite noise in our house is the sound of mules and minis eating!

Apparently the rhythmical sound of us Muleteers enjoying our favourite hay or straw snack is FH's perfect sound.  It is certainly my favourite sound as it means that I am busy eating!

FH reckons there is nothing quite so lovely as standing and listening (or if you're really tired sitting in the straw) and listening to the perfect chomp, chomp, chomp as we grind those delectable fibres in to weeny fragments.

We are always happy to assist with human relaxation therapy.... I am wondering if FH would give us a little more haylage so that I can help even more?  Honestly the straw is just not so exciting..... and I am wasting away, FH was prodding me today to check where my ribs were, honestly did she think I'd lost them?  It was alright though, she found them and was even happy that I had lost a bit more weight.... this is not good FH, honestly!

So we'll let you be the judge of FH's favourite noise. I have been busy showing off my best side whilst Roller and Dragon scoff away. You can see here that there are some very different techniques and pitches for the munching noise.  My chomps are delicate and proud, Roller's as rather petite and fast in tempo.  Hmmm Dragon's... well hers are as you would expect for a Dragon.... there is not much left to the imagination.  Her table manners are in need of refinement at a finishing school for ladies.... She gets very angry with that net of hers, although I could be a little smug about that it is actually because she gets more haylage than us minis (something about being a working mule, doesn't mule therapist not count?)

As you can see there is lots of noise, Dragon even gets up from the dinner table in the middle of a meal and even eats off the floor.  Oh well I still love her!

The final indecency at meal times.... FH decides on a commentary and soundtrack of terrible 90s pop music.  When is she going for her dinner again?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Cool For Cats....

The purrfect way to start the day!
Brrrrrrr Miaowleteers it is cold!  It has suddenly plunged below zero here and the wind has been making it feel even colder.  The humans have been providing me with nice plush beds and warmed food but I have politely refused all but the tastiest morsels.  They just don't seem to understand that the warmest place to sleep is curled up in one of the Muleteer's beds!  At the moment I am favouring Dragon's bed as she is more discerning with her bathroom habits, those boys just go anywhere....

There is one other place that is perfect for a spot of napping.... this morning I was feeling a little sorry for myself because I had been in a bit of a cat fight with our neighbourhood bully cat last night.  I had a scratched nose and wounded pride, not to mention my wild eyes.  FH decided that I needed some TLC and sat down with me in Dragon's bed (good job it was clean), I climbed on board and settled in for a stroke and snooze.  FH had bought some coffee so there we sat in -3 C for an hour snuggling, I think I even heard FH purr or was I just hearing myself?

We chatted about the icicles on the wall, the frosty ground and all the while we made each other happy.  I purred, head butted and blinked a lot and FH sighed with relaxation and pleasure.

What better way to be spend a cold February morning than warming your hand and your heart?  FH pondered.... she could be in a heated, indoor shopping mall with a Starbucks Mocha Latte in one hand and a Big Mac in the other, or maybe laying in bed until noon with telly on in the background catching up on the soaps?

....or this.... an easy choice!
Nah, not her style..... think she was pretty happy here with me, a room with a view, a companion with unconditional love, the sound of mules grazing, birds tweeting and crisp, cold air.  A warm lap and a gentle stroke for me and a piece of heaven for the human.  If only all mornings could be this purrfect!

For all you cat lovers out there, here is a quote we think you'll like :-)

I have felt cats rubbing their faces against mine and touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed.  These things, to me, are expressions of love.
James Herriot

Friday, 22 February 2013

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Grass

New Grass!! Yippee!  This week FH has decided that we have thoroughly trashed our winter paddock and eaten every possible bit of greenery (or brown twiggy things if you're a mule - yuck!).  That sounds bad but really it was good; this meant that we were allowed on to our other paddock which had... you've guessed it, grass!!

Nothing is as sweet and fine to my discerning palate as lovely, sweet, sweet grass.  FH is mean with our grass, she says it might make my feet sore if I eat too much, weird, humans are odd creatures, she seems convinced though....

The only good thing about the grass rationing is that FH manages to keep us some fresh grass in reserve all through the winter.  We get a little bit every day and it certainly brightens up my morning!

We saw FH playing with the zappy fence thing (I can tell if it's on by sniffing it, the humans marvel at my electric forcefield sense, I can't help it if I'm a super pony can I?), this normally means good things like new grass!

Dragon was out for working so The Mini and I waited, tapping our tiny hooves, come on, we're hungry!

Finally, the gate opened, yay, nice new grass! 

FH contentedly watched us munch away, she was telling us that one of her acquaintances asked her why our field got so muddy and why she lets us tear it up and doesn't keep us stabled more.....
Gosh I'm glad she didn't listen to them!  She said that she prefers happy Muleteers with ample mud whenever possible, occasionally it's time to stay indoors but we get out as much as possible.  

There's nothing like a bite to eat with your mate!

So that leaves me to impart to you some wisdom, although it refers to you hum-animals, I think we are classed as boys!!  

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass"; "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys".
Harmon Killebrew

Have a lovely weekend, here's to mud pies, skidding around and leaving brake marks and..... oh yes, munching on sweet, sweet grass :-) xxx

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Splish Splash....

The sun has been shining for more than a day - wow!  At Muleteer HQ this is a reason for celebration... Dragon style.  And what better way to celebrate that heading out for a ride?

I called up my neigh-bours My Heroine (aka Breeze) and The Sensible One (aka Chance) and asked if they fancied going out for a girlie day out.  Of course we decided we better take some humans as they come in useful for things like opening gates and directing traffic...only thing is we have to carry them!

So along came my friends and we decided it was time for a splash in the river, you may remember that my friend Breeze and I have been working on our splashing skills in case we ever need to earn hay money.  Breeze is an expert at the river splash with her front feet...

Here she is showing off (in a rather abstract way... appalling camera work FH) her skills.

Well anything Breeze can do I'm gonna give it a go too!  I eyed up the water, it was a little chilly around my mulificent feet but looked ready for some action.

I got on in there and splished and splashed and paddled to my heart's content :-)

After rather a long time of hilarity and some very soaked humans we decided that it might be time to stop playing in the river, my hooves were starting to feet like wet sponges!  So off we went waving ears at everyone we passed.

Eventually it was time to leave my neigh-bours and head off on my own.  FH had grown stiff and decided it would be a good opportunity to hop off and give me a break. She really doesn't realise how tough I am does she?

I had a little snuffle in the drain to see how much water there was, for once it was only a trickle. No raging torrents here at the moment, mmm now I think I'll just test the hedgerow too... yum!

Then back in the saddle and FH told me to take her home to the ranch.... hmmm I think she means petite English country cottage?  We passed under my favourite railway bridge, no trains to spot today which is always a disappointment.....

Nearly home I was struck by a funny noise coming from over the hedge, a high pitched bleat.

Whatever could it be?

Oh it's that time of year again where the lambs are springing around and calling for their Mums!  They are so cute and bouncy, FH and I had a lovely time watching them enjoy themselves!

Alas all good things must come to an end, a couple hours, gallons of river water, a few bouncy lambs and some good miles later I was ready for a roll and of course a bite to eat. Ready to do it all over again the next day.

Til next time Muleteers, happy riding!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Mule vs Midges - Round 1

It's that time of year again muleteers..  those pesky midges (or midgets as my friend Zoe calls them :-) are back with a vengeance.  Now I know you all think I'm super tough and capable of defeating the worst adversaries but there is one that I have yet to crack..... those pesky midges!

I am a delicate flower underneath my tough facade.  MH likes to joke about my 'allergies', hmmmm, but really they are awful!  I am allergic to midge bites (the humans call this Sweet Itch, I call it itchy scratchy annoyance!) and I'm allergic to pollen which makes me wheezy.  Thankfully the pollen isn't here yet but those midgets are out for my blood!

Every time one of the midges bites me they coat me with their nasty saliva (ugh I don't want to share sloppy kisses with them), I am allergic to this... it makes me itch and itch and itch..... I will rub on anything and anyone all the time.  I rub so much in the summer that my tail turns in to bog brush (toilet brush for my non-UK fans) and my mane looks very depleted.  Not to mention the scabs and sore bits :-(  My FH has tried lots of anti-midge devices, I have had various drugs, lotions, potions, rugs, bonnets and other such embarassing contraptions but nothing completely works.  

So this year we are trying something new!  FH has found me a second hand Boett rug to try, she says if it works she'll buy me a brand new one in time for the Spring, she says they are super expensive but definitely worth it for my handsomeness and they even come in the right size! That is 'Size Perfect'  

This Boett thing does come with some problems though....  It has no zips or anything so to get it on FH had to put it over my head and blindfold me in the process.  Can you imagine how hard it is to get it on and off over my mulificent ears.  I did protest just a teeny bit and started snorting whilst running around on the spot.  FH had a teeny weeny shout at me; my heart broke with disappointing her so then I stood still and trusted her to make it ok.

Well it was more than ok!  Check me out!  Do you like my new outfit?!

My Shield of Steel... errm fabric!
Don't I look mulificent?  

Even Diesel came to check me out!

My new rug is made of ultra stretchy soft but tough material and is designed to be worn all the time.... although FH warns me that it will needs to come off for daily grooming and fussing, hmm watch those ears!  

It covers me from neck to tail and even has a belly wrap.  After a little testing the belly wrap doesn't quite fit my errmmmm shape..... so I am currently wearing it without, this is not too bad as my belly doesn't trouble with midgets and they are not good crawlers.

I showed off my new rug to the others and then thought it was time to test it out properly!

Let's try for the rolling test first

Hmmm someone else is trying to get in on the action... yes Dragon we know you have your rug on too (ha that means you're being ridden this weekend and aren't allowed to look like a hippo) but mine is much finer.

I really went to town on the rolling.... Dragon and I are determined to turn our winter paddock in to mud soup, we heard that FH has been inspecting our Spring grazing which will be available for our delectation soon.  This paddock will soon recover... we hope!

Then the canter test

Enough of this wasting time!  There's one last test to conduct...
That's right the eating test!  If this rug is not suitable for munching in then I'm not interested.   

See Dragon you're not the only one with a posh rug.... I guess Roller has his own mulificent rug!

Well midgets, let's see what you make of my Shield of Steel!  I hope it works... I'd rather like another rug to add to my wardrobe - and this time FH make it a shiny new one please ;-)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Love

Love is for every day not just Valentines Day!  Dearest Muleteers I hope that you received roses and cards and hugs galore.  I was sending you all my Roller Polar snuffles.  In our house we are lucky to love lots, laugh often and live life to its fullest.  We hope the same for our friends.  Love is easy to give and receive, costs nothing and comes in all shapes and sizes.  Love does not have to be romantic (although this is nice), it can be friendly too.  Man, woman, cat, dog, pony or mule can survive without many things but without love and affection the world is a sad place.

Showing love is one of life's great pleasures; 

that secret smile, 

that trusting snuffle, 

that cuddle, 

that hoof, paw or hand that just says 'I'm here' 

or our favourite; silence... 

when you're with those you love it is enough to be companionable in silence.

Sending love to all our Muleteer friends; snuffles, cuddles and care to all :-)  With that I leave you with my thought for this Friday...

Love is a force more formidable than any other.  It is invisible - it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could. 
Barbara de Angelis

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Saddle Horse?

Saddle pony extraordinaire!
I'm sure you've all heard of a saddle horse? You sit your nice saddle on it when not on your equine and it keeps it off the floor?  Well Muleteers I am now a 'Saddle Pony'.  I have been cleared for work!

There I was having a lovely chomp on some haylage.  Dragon had been out for a ride and had been undressed.  FH was carrying her mule saddle through the yard when shock horror The Mini's wardrobe had malfunctioned and required adjustment.  Slight problem! It was raining and there was no where dry and safe to place Dragon's saddle in a hurry.

Enter my handsomeness!  FH took one look at me and decided that I being the bombproof, 'happy to do anything' chap of the gang wouldn't mind assisting.  She eyed up my back and thought yes that will be ok... FH regularly puts brushes, gloves and other such items on my back for safe keeping when she is busy although I've never worn a saddle before, FH didn't think I'd mind though.  Well Muleteers I was sooooo proud!  I had a good snuffle of the saddle, checked it was my colour and then 'Kept Calm and Carried On' in true Roller Polar fashion :-) Don't worry muleteers because this is a treeless saddle it doesn't weigh much at all so I felt my sturdy little legs could carry it.  The only problem was that the saddle was a little on the long side, I wonder if FH will buy one in miniature for me?

FH was so delighted with me she stopped her unscheduled adjustment of The Mini's wardrobe and marvelled at my handsomeness, why ever had she not thought of this before?  I could see her mind ticking.... hmmm one day perhaps a small person may like to sit on me too? I can dream!

Anyway I didn't want to get carried away with my new found career so went back to doing what I do best.... eating! This saddle pony is hungry after all that work!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A Puptastic Week!

Greeting Wooferteers!  My name is Milo and I am the New Kid on The Block... this is what my new big brother has called me so I think it sounds cool.  I have had the most exciting week ever.  Just a week ago I was busy chasing my Mum around trying to get her to play tag with me when these two humans arrived for a visit.  I was quite taken with them, they seemed to appreciate my handsomeness and were wowed by my puptastic paws (who wouldn't be?), I investigated them thoroughly, I checked for treats in pockets and made sure that they appreciated the wonder of a face lick.  Yep they seemed alright!

I was busy having a little doze when I heard that they were taking me away.... I had mixed feelings about this..... I love my Mum and all my aunts, granny and uncles but I am ready for an adventure.  I heard the words labrador, ball, mule, work and Dartmoor.... I had no idea what any of that meant but it sounded puptastic to me!

My Ma, isn't she gorgeous

Bye Ma!

The time was ready for me to wave goodbye to my Mum, bye bye, I promise I'll be back to see you soon, will you recognise me when I've got long, floppy teenage hair and I've filled out Ma?  I'm sure you will,  bye bye my humans too!  I will miss you and promise to visit for plenty of face washes and to  tell you all about my puptastic adventures!

My first week has been filled with adventures ....

First there was my new big brother the Pocket Sized Labrador (aka Murph or Bigbro), I don't think he looks pocket sized? He's massive!  He is big and woolly and makes an exceptionally good pillow to lie on, his ears also fantastic chew toys, I don't know why he grumbles at me after a while of chewing??  I LOVE him!  He is awesome and lets me play with all his toys... all at once... I want that one... or that one... or whichever one you're chewing...

Bigbro Murph is my hero!
Wherever my Bigbro goes I tend to follow.  There is also my new humans, they're quite nice really :-)

There is MH who is my master, he tells me how to behave and is brilliant for playing games with and cuddles (don't tell anyone he likes to pretend he is the disciplinarian, hehehehe).

The 'Discplinarian'

Then there is FH who is the soft one.  Quite literally!  She is very good to lie on, if she takes liberties sitting in my bed then I shall insist that she pays the Milo price ;-)

FH makes a good pillow
She is also very excited by face washing, she really does need to clean her face better Muskehounds, I found all kinds of tasty morsels stuck to her fur.
Face washing lurcher style!
FH carries around the great stuff called tea.  I don't know why she won't share?  I got my long nose well in to the cup today, yummy!  Please FH can I have some more, it soaks in to my whiskers and then I can lick it off later...lovely!   I have to say that there is one disappointing thing with my new FH, hmmm her errrmmm fashion sense is a little off.  Come on I'm not sure about those socks and stripes?! I think I may have to make those socks disappear... they look like a nice chew toy ;-)

Mmmm tea for puppy me!
During the week I have been perfecting my posing, this is something that I need to work hard at if I'm to be a famous pup on this blog thingy, the PSL tells me that we have to be on bestest behaviour as we are only borrowing from those long eared creatures.... 
Aren't I a handsome lurcher puppy?!
Speaking of which... I met one over the fence! Yikes this one is big!  She was checking out my puptastic handsomeness and was making strange squawky noises, apparently her name is Dragon, that sounds scary!  I had a little sniff and then showed her my moves. She seems less than overwhelmed? Better try harder next time... FH says I will not be on paw shaking terms with these guys, something about their dog defenders??

There's been lots of time for games galore!  Bigbro has given me some toys and I have been playing fetch the ball a lot. It's hard work when your legs are as short as mine.

I've also been teaching my humans some puppy moves, we've been learning loads of stuff.  My humans seem impressed that I can already sit, lie down and stay, duh?! Of course I can I am super pup! They are easily pleased, this is a good sign!  My next challenge is to learn 'paw', I've been watching my bigbro and he has this mastered, I am not too good at getting my legs coordinated, it won't take me long though ;-)
Teaching the humans....
Later in the week the 'work' word was mentioned.  What chasing bunnies for dinner?  No surely not?  I'm too young!  Oh... it would seem that I was off to work with FH.  She works at the place with lots of long ears and nearly as many canines.  Wow!  This is the best place ever.  I have found my newest friend Flint who looks a lot like my uncles.  He is so nice I have pinched all of his toys and tried out his bed when he wasn't looking but he still loves me.  While FH is 'working' it is my job to look cute, guard the office (this involves sleeping lots and having growly dreams) and greet my huge new fan club.  Can you believe it? Everyone loves me and wants to visit!

Working lurcher!
Test driving Flint's bed...
It hasn't been all fun and games though Muskehounds.  I have been busy assisting with the housework!  Today I helped MH bring in the logs for the fire, this is essential as I need the fire to keep me nice and warm while snoozing.  I particularly like it when MH brings in fresh logs as it means I can pick out a new one to chew, hmmm apparently I can chew sticks outside but not inside... these humans are so picky!

Well Muskehounds I've had a very lovely first week in this new place called Muleteer HQ.  The humans reckon I fit right in, apparently I shall be living a life less ordinary - sounds brilliant!  I shall survey my kingdom as it seems I might just stay.

Time to dream of adventures to come!  Sending you woofs and wags, especially to my Ma and my pup humans, I love it here, thanks for waiting for the right home to come along for me :-)