This evening, before putting the barn guys to bed, I decided to take Copper, Dexter and Trevor for a run in the lower pasture. Copper, daisy around his neck, charged off to check out every corner of the property, happy in his own little world. Dex and Trevor stayed close to me, happily loping along, chasing sticks, running back to me, Dex wheezing and coughing, Trevor stopping to scratch his itchy skin every now and then.
As we headed back, Trevor decided he could use a drink from the pond. But the pond was frozen - sort of. It was frozen at the edge, and then looked progressively thinner and slushier toward the middle. I've felt nervous before when the dogs ventured out on the ice, but....Trevor? Trevor is our tripod, our three legged fairly large furry mutt - maybe part Australian Shepherd, part something else and a whole lot Muppet, sticky-out ears and huge laughing mouth and all. And because he is a tripod, missing a front leg, he hops.
So there he is on the ice, one large Muppet hopping along, trying to find water. And with every "HOP" comes a "crack" a "snap" and a "pop" - and it wasn't a rice krispies commercial.
I do like swimming, and I'm a fairly good swimmer, but I prefer my dips to be in a clean heated pool, not a murky, mucky, icy pond with a wet, furry, panicky Muppet to be rescued. Of course, Trevor's selective hearing kicked in, so he studiously ignored my calls. There I am, crazy woman in the meadow, jumping up and down, flapping my arms, stomping my feet, whistling, calling, singing, in a vain attempt to get Trevor to cautiously back off the ice and get back to solid land.
Thankfully, he also thought I was pretty weird and therefore worth investigating, and with furry ears flying sideways and big laughing mouth with tongue hanging out, he hopped his way back to me before the ice gave.
The other excitement for the evening was finding the barn doors wide open, catch broken once again, and two renegade donkeys trashing the joint - including having invaded Petunia's stall to pull the llama and sheep feed boxes to the floor, spilling everything, pooping everywhere, and generally making the barn look like a cyclone had hit.
The barn now sports a new, heavy duty latch and carabiner clip which Spritely, Gideon, Carl, Swinger and the sheep all were very carefully watching me install - I suspect so they could figure out just how it works in case they feel the need for a little snack during the day when no one is around. The donkeys didn't get to observe - I barricaded them in their stall on the other side of the door so they couldn't be the first to test the new lock. They knew they were in big trouble - they were uncustomarily quiet and avoided eye contact until I was all done with my chores. They were particularly somber when they saw the teeny, tiny rations they got for their dinner tonight! But all is forgiven on both sides - Jenny gave me my good night kiss, and Winston nuzzled my neck as I dropped the hay over their stall wall, and even a crazy woman tired from hauling hay and mucking floors and chasing dogs can't resist the soft, soft nuzzle of a sweet donkey face.