Got home from milking this morning and caught this bit of footage of Ernest playing with sisters Bertha and Sasha playing in the November sunshine. Frost last night, but although cold it's bright and lovely weather for walking dogs.
In the video I mention having a coffee and some toast. When it's very cold in the morning and I'm milking I tend to have two breakfasts. A coffee and a bowl of cereal before I leave for milking and a coffee and a bit of toast when I get back, or else by lunchtime my stomach is creating 'ell of a din. That reminds me. I must put marmalade on the shopping list.
Some photos of Sasha who came back to us yesterday Just maybe some things are meant to be Very sweet today when she meet up with Mum Primrose who is now enough off heat to be back in the pack and indoors.
Had a phone call yesterday from Stephanie who had Sasha from our last litter of Brittany/Cavaliers. She had made the very hard decision to ask me to have Sasha back. Pays not to over analyse things when they don't work out. It is now doing the best for Sasha. So Stephanie brought Sasha back today. I know if someone decides to bring a puppy back to me, they do it after a lot of soul searching and honestly, feeling like they have failed, but the failing would actually be to carry on with something that is not working out for the both of you. I try to make the transition as easy as I can, so we can all move on knowing the puppy's best interests are being served.
I know it would of been a long drive for Stephanie back home after dropping off Sasha, but we all make mistakes in life and as I've said before, "It is the manner in how we handle the mistakes we make that defines us." Thanks Stephanie for getting back to me and giving me the chance to have Sasha back, she truly is a credit to you. The children are over the moon, as she was their favourite of the litter and she will be staying put with us now. I'd be a fool to fight it. Just maybe some things are meant to be.
It was also our Wedding Anniversary, seventeen years and although milking either end of the day, I took the morning milking off this morning so we could go out for a meal without worrying about having to get up real early the next day. We eat at the newly refurbished The Park Hotel. The food I could not fault to any degree that would not sound pretentious, but maybe due to being newly refurbished, the ambiance was a bit clinical as was the service. The Maître d' was a little tense and abrupt in her manner seeming to lack natural rapport that a head waiter should have with customers and was reflected in the rest of the very young staff, but as I said before, "this might be due to the newness of the place." You can have the best food and surroundings, but get front of house and service wrong and you will struggle to get a return and word of mouth trade. Last night there was a lack of warmth at The Park Hotel which may be just a teething problem as it finds it's niche in the market. Maybe though, there is a big market for cold clinical eating out and I'm the problem. Lol
This note though was the one that I don't enjoy reading. I looked at the note, "Jane. Please put 669, 513 and 9 up in the pens. Thanks." This note I knew from the numbers was a cull cow note (cows that will be going of to be slaughtered). All old girls in reasonably good health, but barren, and come the cows coming in for the Winter most Dairy farms look to cull out what we call "barren cows."
You try not to, but you do get cows that you get a bit more attached to and on that list was one very old girl I was hoping this day would never come for, number 9. She was a rarity in herself, a Holstein Frisian that was 17 years old. She attained her Gold Ribbon (she produced over 100,000 kg milk in her lifetime) from the Holstein UK association. She was on a twice a day milking system, milking off grass through the summer months. She never had mastitis during her lifetime and had no trouble with her feet. She did not attain really high yields, but kept to a steady 8,000 to 9,000 liters of milk each lactation, producing very good milk quality. The herd runs on an annual butterfat production of around 4.6% butterfat (which is pretty amazing for Holstein Frisians), most Holstein Frisian herds that are producing crazy amounts of milk from cows are lucky if the butterfat is just over 3% which farmers who have stayed with producing a quality product rather than a high volume product would classify as white water from cows.
So yesterday morning as usual number 9 trundled in on the second row and as she left the parlour I walked out in front of her to swing back a gate to divert her up in to the pens. Never a cow that was overly comfortable with being petted, but an easy cow to move about the place, she passed by me in to the pen and I shut the gate behind her. I stopped and cast an eye over the old girl knowing it would be the last time I would set eyes on her. Emotion waved over me, but reason sometimes has to take precedence She looked unperturbed by being in the pen and I went back to attend to the rest of the cows that needed milking. The farmer I work for books his cull cows in at 2 to 3 at a time and takes them to the abattoir himself. They are pre-booked in and are slaughtered not long after arriving at the premises.
Number 9 had, had a good life. Her only ailment was a bit of arthritis in her lower back. Her life was longer than a wild bovine could ever hope for. In the wild death does not come with any speed. The quickest death you can hope for when so big in the wild is a predator clamping around your windpipe and suffocating you to death and the others already starting to feast on you. For number 9 it was either culling her whilst she was in reasonable health, giving her a quick death or waiting for catastrophe to hit. Reason is often the kindest emotion.
She was the end of an era, as she was the last cow left in the herd from the herd being restarted after the whole herd was culled due to foot and mouth in 2001. She leaves behind a legacy though of her offspring and this Autumn saw the calving in of the set of twin Frisian heifers she gave birth to two years ago. Long live number 9.
Got a lovely email from Charlie the other day. He is the Dad to Smudge and Primrose, so the Granddad to Blottie, Bumble and Bertha, the three B's. Charlie visited us back at the beginning of October Granddad Charlie's annual visit He is nearly 11 years old now.
Lovely to see what you have been up to Charlie and thought you might be interested to know that one of your Grandsons is in the Christmas advert for Photobox Photo Mug. Barnaby featured in the advert is from your daughter, Primrose's litter born this July and the Dad is Henry our Brittany spaniel dog. You can view your Grandson in the advert at this link Photobox Christmas Ad 2016 (Photo Mug)
Had a lovely email a couple of days ago from Sue, who has Dottie. They meet up with Felicity who has Dottie's litter sister Lottie. Dottie and Lottie are from Primrose and Reggie's litter of Cavapoos born May 2014 It's six
Thanks Sue. Lovely to hear from you and thanks for the photo of the two of them together.
Finally the UK Kennel Club have approved a Cavalier Heart Scheme for Cavalier King Charles spaniels, after working in association with the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Kennel Club. Apparently "the decision follows a 2016 scientific paper that was published on the decrease of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) prevalence following the use of the existing heart programme for Cavaliers in Denmark. This prompted the Kennel Club to open discussions with specialists from the University of Copenhagen, the Danish Kennel Club and the Danish Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, with the aim of setting up the programme in the UK to benefit the breed in this country."
They say it "will help to dramatically improve heart health in the breed." Well, that will only happen if like the Danish Kennel Club they make it mandatory, because the key to the success of the scheme in Denmark is that it was made mandatory. The UK Kennel Club end their press release by saying, "Updated breeding recommendations for the breed will be published." Which sounds like this scheme will only be recommended to be used. Which as we know from experience with the Kennel Club recommendations, nothing will really change then.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!