Sunday, 20 December 2015

Sunday in Australia

I think Roman has melted

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Photographer comes to Upsidownimal Farm

The awesome Nadine Andersen of Nadine Andersen Photography popped in for a few photos and a lamb roast yesterday. She was keen to capture some of the antics at our little farm (the chooker moles didn't want to participate). And of course, the animals were all ready to participate (except Moet, who hates cuddles). Here's some of the action - can you spot the supermodel?

No, Mum, dooonnnn't cuddle me...

Max was a bit keener

We tried to get them to sit up for a photo but, you know what they say - never work with kids or animals

Beautiful Baillie. She's nearly 9 years old and has definitely taken on the role of Nanna.

Roman demonstrating why it's called Upsidownimal Farm

Cheeky little Bella

Handsome Caruso will be 2 in January, he's such a smoothie boy (loves cuddles)

What? Carrot peelings for us? Cooool.

Num num num

Bella seem to have this photography thing down pat

Happy donkeys

You saw a what? Where?

Will model for treats

And smile...

Friday, 21 August 2015

A note from the Terrorist

Mum's been so slack with her bloggy thing, I thought I'd have a crack at it.
Hi, I'm Bella. My mum calls me a Terrorist but really I’m a Jack Russell Terrier. I’m only 8 months old and, yes, I’ve been adorable my whole life. My doggie brother, Roman, and sister, Baillie, are both Dogue de Bordeaux and weigh about 60kg each. But I’m bigger than they’ll ever be.
I love playing with Max the cat and the big dogs and gardening, with my specialty being digging up Dad’s lawn. I’m very good at chasing chickens and Mum doesn’t like it when I catch them and try to make them run again (don’t think the chickens like it much either). 
She took me to something called Dog Obedience a few times where I got to meet heaps of other big dogs like me (Bentley the Saint Bernard was my boyfriend) and she gave me lots of treats when I did things she wanted. That doesn’t happen any more – she said I was too smart for my own good (whatever that means).
Ciao, love Bella. x 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

RIP Irwin as terrorism strikes Clear Mountain

Sad bit first...

After 8 weeks, the neighbours gardner and dog found Irwin while driving down our shared, very long and steep driveway. Actually, the dog noticed him first (or smelled him first). Peter, God bless, went and found him. He had fallen into a deep hole, kinda like a cave about 8 foot deep, and broken his neck during the fall. When I went down and checked on him, he had obviously died instantly, there was no sign of struggling or anything. The ground above the hole was incredible steep and had lots of ruts in it caused by rain over the years, covered by dense grass. It looks like he'd tripped in a rut and fallen to his death. It was incredibly steep above the hole.

We went down there today to try and fence it off and MOTH declare it too unsafe. Guinness had also found him, with a few piles of relatively fresh poo sitting just above where he lay. So, we are confident the risk to the other two is minimal (as long as Guinness is as smart as he makes out).

The support and help from our local community was amazing. Through a couple of Facebook and poster campaigns and signs on local roads, there were quite literally thousands of people looking for him. I received more than 500(!) personal messages, many from strangers, on Facebook when we had found him. In fact even today, I had a man at the hardware store (who I didn't know from a bar of soap) give me his condolences over Irwin. Irwin went missing on 30 November.

RIP Iwrin.

Now, onto the other comings and goings on the mountain. The Terrorist (some call her Bella) has quite simply taken over our lives (cats and dogs included). Who'd thought something so small (1.2kg when we got her, now 3.5kg at 16 weeks) could cause so much havoc! But, we wouldn't have it any other way - she is simply adorable!

Bella helping me garden today - she would dig like a madman and then eat the worms - ew!
Last weekend Bella tried her hand (or should I say jaws) at electrical work (was plugged in)
No trying to kill (sorry - play) with Max the cat
Cleaning Roman's jowels and teeth - again, ew!
House training is 90% there and she is learning some basic commands. Just need to teach her not to touch cane toads or snakes (not sure how to do this but am keen for suggestions). I'm thinking screaming like a banshee might stop her initially and then the fear of hearing another banshee might put her off...


We have also had a new addition to Upsidedownimal Farm. Meet Caruso...

He turned one on 31 January and arrived just days before we found Irwin. Guinness was brave enough to pop into the horse float and travel 2 hours to go meet and bring home Caruso so he wouldn't be too scared alone in the float. They have quickly become BFFs and are inseparable.

Caruso will grow to be much bigger than Guinness so he's very happy to be the boss - for now.

Over the past few months, MOTH has progressed from making chutneys and cider to cheese - yummy cheeses, fresh cheeses and now - smelly cheeses. He has even surrendered the bar fridge from the shed to convert it into a cheese cave (blah blah blah keep cheese at the right temperature) but I know there's Stilton in there so Mum's the word.

Today's freshly made Haloumi and some ready to eat on the plate - it was yummy!
Guess who I got a cuddle from on Australia Day whilst at the neighbours place for a BBQ?

Now called Vege Burger and a little bigger than he used to be
Last weekend we were all battened down for Cyclone Marcia, which ended up being pretty much a non event at our place, except for more than 500mm of rain in two days. Slight landslide (nothing too major and the Great Gabion Wall of C stood up to its reputation).

Rain pouring into the driveway drains
Bella was very keen to help MOTH digging the drains in the lawn (to manage the run off).

The rain was pretty intense and the animals were starting to climb the walls. The donkeys got a little creative with interior decorating their stall...

Lucky for them, the farrier had been only the weekend before so their feet looked fabulous deerrrrlllling...

Guinness has a bit of a crush on Peter the farrier
It's still early days but I think Caruso already likes him too
And yesterday MOTH and I, along with femme mini MOTH (now a learner driver) headed to the vets with all 5 inside animals for their annual vaccinations and checkups. Only took one and a half hours for the consult and it all went off without a hitch. The vet was stoked to see such an integrated "herd" of animals who all get on.

Just remember peeps - what doesn't kills you makes you stronger (except for bears - bears will kill you!)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Terrier-ism hits UpsideDownimal Farm

Several years ago when MOTH and I were considering properties to buy we also discussed in detail what breed of dog would suit to keep Baillie (Dogue de Bordeaux) company. So we decided on a Jack Russell Terrirer, known for their big-dog-in-small-body attitude to life.

Then we bought Roman, the mentally challenged Dogue de Bordeaux - he really is handsome. Roman is, without a doubt, a small white fluffy dog in a giant red dog body. Matter of fact, he just now got stuck in the stock yard fence as I was typing this - true story!

Anyway, the time has come where Baillie is entering her senior years and has significantly slowed down over the past few months. She is healthy but nine is very old for a Dogue. 

Dilemma - let Roman teach a new puppy/dog the local tricks or get a new puppy now? The answer was pretty obvious. So, introducing MOTH's Christmas present, Bella...

Since joining us TWO LONG WEEKS AGO she has taken over! We love her to bits and she was very young (7.5 weeks) when we got her but man oh man, she's got UpsidedDownimal Farm sorted!

Max the Manx, who suffered a snake bite Christmas Eve has now worked out what's it all about and realising in a heavy duty play toy. They love each other. [sorry, couldn't upload video]

The Dogues are very patient and don't really like being barked at in their faces (nor do I - and my hearing isn't what it used to be two long weeks ago) but they are very patient.

Mo√ęt, the princess cat, kinda likes her cause she's a baby but also does not hesitate to give her a quick swat.

MOTH is totally besotted in his baby girl and she can do no wrong (although I have started to broach the suggestion that she really might be a terrorist)...

So, she slept on the bed for the first week or so. And with a 2am and/or 5am trot outside for a quick wee, everything had been fine. Then we introduced the concept of sleeping in your own bloody bed - did not go down so well. But I learnt that I can apparently sleep through anything - MOTH, not so much... Last night he weakened and at 4.45am I was woken from my deep slumber by a pull on the ponytail by Miss Bella. I didn't let her on the bed - just sayin'

We have a cunning plan to keep her safe when we return back to work but nothing under .5m may ever be the same in our house again. Antique rug has been put into storage.

No news on poor Irwin, which leads us to think he was more than likely stolen. It's been really sad, especially since Guinness has taken up opera singing... The whole valley is also now really sad. Who knew donkeys were that loud? Have started looking for a new friend for Guinness but it's slim pickings this time of year and I would rather put the effort into restoring a rescue donkey's soul and faith in humans than just go out and buy a new one.

Anyway, happy new year to you all. Let me know what your plans and dreams are for 2015. I think I might write a book!