Finally I have resurfaced after seven days at the day job. I now have three days at home with Angus (aged 8) who is on half term (Sue is at her day job this week), and of course, all the Patou animals.
It has been a somewhat 'interesting' past four days. Kira, our big beautiful Newf has had a touch of gastro-entiritis. Now if I was going to select an animal to live with that had a 'touch of gastro-enteritis' it would not be a Newfoundland. She isn't big for a Newf by any means but still tips the scales at over 40 kilos. That is one large poop production plant. Sue and I have been entering the kitchen with trepidation over the last few days to see the extent of the, well what shall we call it, I think so as not to offend we will call it 'the outage'.
Can you imagine how much 'outage' a fully grown Newfoundland can produce? No, add a bit more. No, more still, it's more than that. That's it, you've got it, that's how much 'outage' a fully grown Newf can produce. That is a lot of cleaning up. Our kitchen floor has never been washed so much so often as it has over the past four days. It is, periodically, spotless. Then it is not, if you get my drift.
Anyway, we seem to be on top of things now, a trip to the vet was eventually required and medication has been administered. This morning she was given food again, only chicken and rice, but she has had an 'input'. We await with a kind of 'peeping out from behind the curtains' feeling to see what the 'outage' will be and where and when it will appear. Sorry if I have put you off your breakfast, lunch or supper but I felt the need to share!
A tough decsision has been made this week. We have decided to reduce the show team from five down to four. A further inspection of the lovely Runa, daughter of Lily, my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, has revealed that she hasn't quite hit the mark fleecewise. She is now officially withdrawn from The Futurity. She is the blackest of our black weaners (and the only one out of a black mother) but her fleece is less dense than the others and she doesn't have that 'wow' factor when you look inside her fleece that the others have. There is no point in putting her through the show when we know she will not do well. The others, we think, have a chance but Runa will stay at home with the rest of the herd.
On the subject of the Futurity, Sue and I are becoming increasingly more excited about attending. The necessary arrangements have been made for the care of 8 year old son, dogs, cats, chickens and alpacas. We have it all covered and now our attention has turned to getting the show team in the best possible condition to be judged. Last year I travelled up in torrential rain and I just couldn't get Penny, who was being shown as a fawn, dry. She was still sopping wet in the ring. She still picked up a third place in a large class but I reckon if she had been dry she might have bettered that.
A modification will be made to the trailer over the next day or two to prevent the rain getting in this year. We will be travelling up on Thursday afternoon to get the team settled in during the evening. Being coloured they will all be shown on Friday morning I expect so should be in good nick. We have a couple more halter training sessions to get through and then we will be ready.
Let the fun begin!