Our *Updated* Menagerie

I'm asked from time to time how many horses we have, what kinds of dogs, and what about the cats? So here's the current stats on our animal roster, updated July 2011.

Our Horses

Close to 27 years old, Murphy is the most senior member of the herd. He's a registered quarter horse, and true to his breed, pretty darn laid-back. I think he's lookin' pretty good for 27 - Purina Equine Senior food sure helps keep him in good horse shape!

At only 11 years old, Stormy girl is just a kid. Don't let her burst of energy here fool anyone - she loves her food and would rather be a pasture ornament than work too hard burnin' calories. This was her first day in the big pasture, early spring 2009. She's just showing off her quarter horse style.

Paint horse = king of the herd. It wasn't always that way - Murphy was the reigning king until we added Stormy, and then with the 2009 let-out to pasture, the herd dynamics changed. Adding the mare had something to do with it, we're sure, and even though Murphy and paint horse are both geldings, well, they're still guys at heart. Paint horse is 11 years old, and only green broke. We hope to finish him.  Someday.

Our Dogs

Ringo is the ranch dog, although he has managed to squeeze his way through the screen door on numerous occasions, especially when it's too hot or too cold outside. He's a chocolate labrador, close to 8 years old, and has honed his mouse and rat killing skills better than the cats. Oh, and the occasional opossum who tries to steal his food.

Update:  Ringo is no longer the ranch dog. 
He absconded guard duties to the guineas. 
He is now a low-ranking house dog.

Tori Mae, my blue merle australian shepherd rescue, was adopted from Heartland Aussie Rescue just north of Columbus, Ohio (no longer in operation). She's almost 8 years old, and is THE frisbee fetch queen. Get a frisbee out, and prepare to seriously damage your rotator cuff. This girl will not stop until you hide the frisbee. All toys are now put away in cabinets in the house, else we are constantly having them thrown in our laps. She's quite serious about her job.

Trixie Lou, the cuddlebug, is 8 years old and not the least bit interested in fetching anything. She's learned her lesson and stays far away from Tori when that girl is working; Tori will mow her down! Trixie is approximately 7/8 australian shepherd and 1/8 border collie, and also a blue merle. The vet said her nerves never stood a chance (she's a big sissy most of the time).

Our Cats

We currently have 4 cats - two inside the house, and 2 barn cats. We had 3 barn cats until 2009 -- the mom, Boogie, mysteriously disappeared. She was the most affectionate of our barn cats, and was the first to jump into our laps and take a nap whenever we sat outside.

We miss you Boogie!

Fluff is Boogie's daughter. She's a great lil mouser, and she loves her big brother Ringo. She especially loves curling up next to Ringo in the autumn.

Barack is Fluff's kid. He's another fantastic mouser but has a bad habit of including some of our resident birds in his catches. Bad cat! We've had both Fluff and Barack "fixed", so here's hoping they hang around for at least a few years to amortize our investment.

Finally, there's Baybee. I rescued her from a litter of feral cats in Ohio. She started spending more and more time on my enclosed front porch there, especially in the winter, until she became a part-time indoor cat. Since my move to Kansas, she has become a full-time indoor cat. I'm not sure that the resident barn cats would take a likin' to her, and I'm afraid she might become coyote bait since she's not accustomed to the wide open prairie.

Newest member to our cat family is CiCi aka Seesers.  She was rescued from the side of the road at approximately 8 weeks old when I was driving home from a visit to Ohio in June 2010. I was only 3 miles from home when I saw her little head whip around sideways as I passed,  and my curiosity got the best of me, so I turned around and went back to see WHAT THE HECK was that - baby owl?  Ohmigoodness, a teeny baby kitty, who came right up to me meowing, wanting to be picked up - definitely not a feral cat!

I kilt that pesky toilet paper, mum.

And now, finally, her and Baybee are buddies.  Well, sort of.
It's an uneasy truce at times.

Our Birds

We started out with 5 guinea keets in the fall of 2010.  This meant we had to remodel, er, rebuild, the chicken coop on our property - hubby tore it down to the studs, and started replacing boards.

Next, we got 8 chicks in the spring of 2011.  Two Plymouth Barred Rocks, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Buff Orpingtons and 1 Ameraucana.  We bought pullets - really didn't want any roosters - then we decided to buy one "pan-fry special" (which means, rooster).  So that upped our Barred Rocks to three chicks.

Now, we have THREE roosters (so much for spending extra for pullets!) and five hens.  Two roosters will be heading to freezer camp within the next 4-8 weeks. One buff orpington and one rhode island red ended up being roosters, in addition to the barred rock rooster we bought ON PURPOSE.

In the last few days, we have added 2 more guineas to our flock.  Well, they are not officially added to the flock yet.  They just hatched a few days ago, so it will be awhile before they are integrated into the coop with the other birds.  It was quite an experience, trying to hatch our own eggs using the incubator!

Last but not least, I have to include my buddy Greystoke even though he's no longer with us. He lived a pretty long and pampered life for a dalmatian (12 years). As my mom used to say, it was a good thing he had such a great home with us; anyone else probably would have dropped him off at the local shelter. He chewed EVERYTHING. He was especially fond of kitchen or bathroom trash; I quickly decided that closed trash receptacles was the way to go with him. I still use them to this day. I mean, why tempt the next generation of dogs?

Next he decided he liked money. He even ate a $20 bill one time; I waited for it to magically appear in the back yard. When it did I took it to our local credit union in a baggie and told them my dog had chewed it up. Well. He did. I didn't lie.

You will always be my first doggie love!


  1. Wow, that's quite a gang. I bet they keep you busy and loved. Don't know which one I like best, they are all beautiful. Cute story about your dal. I have a friend whose golden loved to eat paper. Harry ate a $50 once. It came out in pieces which they taped together brought to the bank.

  2. They are ALL beautiful! I am such a sucker for animals and wish I had the room for every single one I come across...or better yet..that gravitate towards me..LOL! It is so fun to watch the first turn out in the spring with the horses. You know where the expression "horsein' around" came from!

  3. That a good looking bunch, must be the photographer. I'm suprised that your lab hunts, my Indy just wants to fetch and chew. When my husband was alive, he wouldn't let him chase rabbits. Maybe that's why he just a boy toy.

  4. There is never a dull moment with 4 legged kids!
    I have a cat named Stumpy he has a stumpy tail like Boogie. He came to out house and came in, very brave for a cat with 3 dogs in there. That was 10 years ago and he still acts like a young kitten!
    I have had my share of eaten things I think the worse was my cell phone, all I found was the peaces!

  5. I just love these! Boy, if I could live in the middle of nowhere- with just beauty and nature surrounding me- I would be in heaven.

    (the animals...i adore them!!!)

  6. I was not familiar with your kitties until now. All your animals are so beautiful, and I feel your pain re: Greystroke.
    You are so lucky to be able to have so many animals! You know us city-folk have to be content with just a few!

  7. Awww they're lovely and where would we be without our animal friends.

  8. Wow - sure there's room for you and hubby? By the way, you can keep the $20 thanks

  9. What a beautiful menagerie you have!! I loved the photos and reading their stories. I love your Aussie w/the tail! My parents' have an Aussie mix, maybe w/some Border Collie, she has a similar coat to Tori (but longer.) Paint Horse is beautiful. My sister had two "green broke" horses at his age too, and they turned out to be really nice horses!

  10. Wow! I thought I had a bunch of animals on the farm! Your place reminds me of mine!
    They are all beautiful! Love your Aussie's! I have 2 and love them!
    I got my Arab at 9 years old, very greenbroke, it's been 5 years and she is turning out to be an awesome horse!

  11. Now that is one funny $20 bill story--I wonder if the folks at the credit union got hazardous duty pay for helping you that day.

  12. Awww! What a beautiful menagerie you have! Did you really take that $20 back? That just cracked me up :-)

  13. What a beautiful bunch of critters you have. Love them all! Enjoyed their personal stories too. I just cannot imagine life without our menagerie here. How boring that would be! :) -Tammy

  14. What a great life you have with wonderful pets! You are so lucky. Nice to see Greystoke too - he was extraordinarily handsome!
    Loved the story about the 20dollar bill!!!

  15. Just to warn you - if all your animals disappear one day, it's me...they're too cute not to share!

  16. Awww! You have such a wonderful animal animal family. They are so unique and beautiful, too. Fluff may be the prettiest cat I've ever seen. Really! Her markings are just stunning.
    Baybee reminds me of my Oreo....just ...fluffier. lol!

    And I especially enjoyed seeing pics and reading the stories behind the horses, too.

    Have a great week,

  17. That's a lot of animals. Cute as cute can be. Looks like you have a lot of fun out there.

  18. Wow - I love the horses - and the cats, too! I'd have a house full if I could - but then I'd have to move to Kansas, too!

  19. What wonderful pictures and stories too of all your animals. I just loved learning about them.

  20. I LOVE and ADORE all your critters! If I didn't know I was going to Heaven your place would be my second choice of where I'd want to go when I die.

    I don't even mind cleaning up all the poop!

    Chester's Mom ;0=)

  21. A wonderful menagerie! I would feel right at home at your place and you would at ours, hehe. We have 3 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, but also 2 adorable pigs and some chickens. Love the story of your 20 dollar bill. Did you really? Hehe. I bet they don't often see dirty money like that at your local Credit Union.
    One of our dogs ate two mobile phones. The guy at the mobile phone shop laughed really loud the second time I showed him the poor remains and pushed me into buying an additional insurance for the new one. Of course the dog never ate thát highly insured phone ;-)

  22. Hey Susan! I saw your Trixie in the Grit magazine that I bought a couple of months ago...yes, I know, I am a little late in reading it. LOL But I did see her and she is sooooo pretty!!! She is a celebrity now!!! :-)