28 Nov 2014

A Brief British Road Trip by abbieredmon

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Here's a peek into my daily routine during my house-sitting gig in Cornwall before Christmas.

I had charge of a pony (Joe), 4 hens and 1 cockerel, and two dogs, a Dalmatian and a collie (the sweetest but most attention-hungry dog ON THE PLANET, incidentally).

Shortly after sunrise every day, the dogs and I head outside to put Joe in the field and let the chickens out of their hen house. Joe has to wear his jacket because he likes to roll around in the field. Since he also shits in the field, the jacket keeps him from rolling (at least directly) in his own shit. Joe is not the brightest horse around.

The chickens hop out of the hen house and head directly for their food.

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After Joe and the chickens are out and chowing down, I have to clean Joe's stable. Shovel the shit, hose it down, refill his water bucket, prepare a fresh slice of hay, and grab a few apples for his trough.

The dogs wait -- sometimes patiently, sometimes not -- while I go through this routine. Sometimes the Dalmatian (Purdy) has a nap on the hay while she waits. The collie (Gwen) is NEVER very far from me. Usually, I call her name only to turn around and find out that she is standing directly behind my legs.

After the stable chores, Purdy and Gwen go on a walk with me.

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Around 3:30 p.m., Gwen starts getting very anxious, because she knows it's almost time for afternoon chores.

"Is it time yet? How about now? Now? What about right now? Are you sure it's not time? I feel like maybe it's time now. How about now?"

After a hilarious amount of build-up, when I finally do open the back door to go out, she launches out as if she is on the chase. Purdy is not too far behind.

This is the morning routine in reverse. Bring Joe into the stable and take off his jacket. Attempt to brush at least SOME of the mud/shit out of his hair (REALLY, Joe?), and then move his fence so he has fresh grass for tomorrow.

If the last of the chicken haven't already put themselves to bed, I have to herd them into their house, which isn't too difficult unless one of them is feeling particularly feisty. Sometimes I find that one of them has left me an egg. If they have, it is usually sitting right in the doorway to the henhouse. Odd, but there it is.

Once the other animals are where they should be, Purdy and Gwen and I go for our evening walk. If there's a heron by the ponds, they get to chase it, which is apparently quite thrilling. Gwen is always immensely pleased with herself afterward.

The sky is always gorgeous. Cornwall is beautiful.