Losing our Lab mix Luke left a huge hole in our lives. The house was too quiet. We pulled up all the throw rugs, moved the pet stairs away from our bed, cleared out and put away dog dishes, and gave the floors a good cleaning. I finally went through all the old dog toys and threw away the rattiest ones and washed the ones still in good shape. It was nice to have the house a bit more organized, but that was mostly just something to do to keep ourselves busy.
We knew we would get more dogs, but neither of us felt ready, even though we wanted to fill that lonely space. I’ve always followed many dog rescues on Facebook, and adorable faces popped up in my news feed daily. There was one dog who had started popping up when Luke was still with us, and I couldn’t get her out of my mind, especially since she kept appearing!
This was the photo that did me in:
I told my hubby that I wanted to apply for her. As much as I felt I wasn’t ready, I also felt that if I saw one day that she’d been adopted to someone else, then I would feel like we’d missed out. I thought it would be OK to just try, and if we didn’t get her, well, then it wasn’t meant to be. By the time I had filled out and sent the application I saw comments from other people who had also applied and then I knew I’d be sad if we didn’t get her, but I would accept that the time just wasn’t right and that we’d find the right dog(s) when it was.
The process took a few (agonizing) days, but when we found out we had indeed been approved to adopt Copper Sue, then I knew it had been right all along, and that Luke was guiding it all from above. More on her in a bit.
Before all that had even come about, we were talking with family about the prospect of getting barn cats. It was something we had talked about for a while, but I was unsure about having outdoor cats after so many years of only having cats safely living indoors. Long story short, my hubby went ahead and posted on Facebook that we were looking for barn cats, and in less than a week we had added three one year old feline boys to the farm family! We were only planning to get two, but they had three together, so why not? For those that might not know, in our area many of the shelters have barn cat programs, where cats who are not suitable for life indoors a home are adopted out to farms looking mostly for mousers.
Barney (barn cat), Mickey (mouser) and Mighty (mouser) are now our resident “working cats”. We’ve long had a big problem with rodents on the farm, and I read that simply having cats would deter those rodents from hanging around. In their first week, we already found the evidence that they were doing their job!
Barney and Mickey have gotten more used to us and are quite friendly. They enjoy being petted (though not picked up). Mighty has been far more feral, and is just now (after a month) coming out to us, though he still keeps his distance. Mighty and Mickey are actual brothers, and the only way to tell them apart is that the white on Mickey’s face goes up between his eyes.
So far, they’ve been good most nights about going into the garage to spend the night. We feed them canned food at that time, and they already seem on board with that routine. There have been a couple nights where one or the other wouldn’t come in, but they’ve been waiting for their breakfast in the morning when that’s happened.
The chickens weren’t too thrilled with them at first, but they are adjusting. Mickey likes to play with them a bit, running at them, but we can tell he means no harm. He’s wary of the guinea hens who play that same game themselves!
They are always around in the evenings and it’s fun to watch them mingling in the yard with the free ranging birds. Copper Sue enjoys watching them all too! We are going to need to work with her a bit to be sure she doesn’t get too excited about them (like Luke used to).
So back to Copper Sue…..she is a hound dog mix, a big hound dog not a beagle (think Bloodhound or Coonhound). She was 4 ½ months old when she came home. She was transported up to NH from Arkansas in mid-May and spent about a month at a foster home. Her foster Mom said she was 90% housebroken, but she’s been 100% for us; even after Max joined the family.
Oh, who’s Max, you wonder (unless you’ve seen my social media posts)? Max is a 3-month-old Pyrador (1/2 Great Pyrenees and ½ Labrador retriever), who came from a work acquaintance of my hubby’s. He came aboard one week after Copper Sue. We knew from her foster home that Copper Sue got along well with other dogs, so we decided she needed a sibling. We figured why wait?
Obviously, Max is NOT housebroken (but making progress) and he’s a typical puppy terror! He and Copper hit it off immediately and they spend hours playing every day. Max is a monster compared to Copper’s older puppy quieter behavior we enjoyed the first week. Now he’s brought the monster out in her as well! 😊
It’s not quiet around our house anymore, and that is such a relief.
It goes a little way towards easing the pain of losing Luke, even though we will miss him forever.
I will write more on the whole crazy crew soon, and get better photos, with updates on the young birds who are now fully integrated with the other flocks and have just started free-ranging themselves. Losing Luke really crushed my creativity, so writing has been a struggle. I’m just now starting to get back into doing normal things, but these puppies sure are time consuming! ♥
Bell Fur Zoo says
Love all the new additions that are soo adorable!!
Matilda & Mama
A full crew, now! I can understand the crushing silence of losing Luke. How difficult that must have been. And now, fun and games with new family. Congratulations, and best wishes with housebreaking Max!
Angel Binky and Granny says
Oh, what a happy post, I wished I lived there, Jan😺 Welcome sweet doggies! Loved to see the kitties. Thank You for bringing comfort on the passing of my sweet Little Binky. Very appreciated💗 Pawkisses from Heaven to you all🐾😽✨
This makes me so happy to see! Congratulations on your full home (and yard/barn)! The furries truly make a house a home.
That’s the truth!! Thank you!
Lynn Poitras says
Love the post, and the pictures are just awesome!! The one of the pups together (and I see they are next to Dad!) is adorable, and that one of Copper Sue on the coffee table, oh my! After seeing her on the big table once too, guess she’s a table lover, lol! Love the farm animals! (And it does help, but I still miss Luke too, forever- but I know he is happy for you!)
We are so happy for you! Copper Sue and Max are both beautiful pups and with the trio of new kitty’s, hopefully, you will never see another mouse!
Thank you! ♥
We’ve already seen a reduction in the chipmunk population, so the mice will hopefully disappear too! 🙂
Brian Frum says
Such a fun update and sweet critters. I can totally understand falling in love with that Copper Sue face! I’m glad the barn kitties are earning their keep. Brian’s home and doing okay, having a few challenges but he’s good.
Mary McNeil says
Great additions ! Not a farm without dogs and cats too !
That’s for sure!!
Susan from Bucks County Pennsylvania says
Welcome Copper Sue and Max and the trio of cats!! I am so happy for all of you!!
Thank you, Susan!! ♥
We are so happy you have an instant furry family. The time was right and your past pups and kitties would all be so happy to see the life on the farm again. It will be challenging for you at first, but fun, so enjoy the moments. They are all adorable. We could ship Bert to you as your fourth barn cat. He likes being outside and we are happy when he is not in the house, especially Mom is as she has never gotten along with him. Oh yeah, don’t forget to go to work at your store now and then. It will be tough with those adorable puppies at home!
Oh yes, going to work is definitely tough these days! I think Bert would definitely fit in here on the farm, I think he’s so cute!!
Cat and DOG Chat With Caren says
I am soooooooo happy for you and your FIVE new adoptions!!! Oh my!!!!!!! Love the adorable woofies and kitties! I totally get it. When my Angel Bobo passed in 2007, I had adopted Cody 2 weeks after he passed (and I had Bobo 18 years, I couldn’t handle life without a cat). When Cody passed in June of 2020, we adopted Roary in September 2020 and then Levi joined our family in November 2020 after Dakota passed in July of 2020. No one can say what is right for anyone. I’m with you that I will never, ever stop missing, loving or thinking about the ones who came before, but there is definitely something to be said about the newbies helping to ease the pain. Wishing you many happy, healthy years with all of them!
Thank you SO much, Caren! I know that you completely understand, and I’m glad that you’ve found a new furry family too. We still love and miss our angels, but it is good to have new love too. xxoo
Tails Around the Ranch says
Oh my gosh…what joyness news! Dogs and cats…woot, woot. Congrats to providing a home for all these pets; no doubt they will fill your heart with loads of loving creativity after the pain of losing Luke. Such adorable looking pups, how can you not just smile all the time seeing them together.
We are definitely smiling a lot more these days! ♥
Ellen J Pilch says
Congratulations on all your new additions! I am so happy you have cats again. Also happy your new pups are such good friends already. I look forward to reading more about everyone. XO
Thank you, Ellen. The cats are so sweet, I am very happy to have some again too. Having the two pups to entertain each other was a great move on our part too! LOL
The Island Cats says
Wow! Congratulations on all the furry family additions! No more quiet house for you. 🙂
There are times we might miss our peace a little bit….LOL! Thank you. ♥
Oh my goodness. You have two pups and three kitties. Good for you and they’re all so cute. Puppies are the best. Such fun and full of energy. It’s so good to see you with a farm full of love.
I linked this post to Awww Mondays. I’m so happy for you.
Have a fabulous day and week. Scritches to all the furbabes. ♥
Thank you so much for linking us up!!
My Golden Life says
Oh, Jan, I am so very happy for you and your hubby!! Having had an empty house myself for a while earlier this year, I know exactly what you mean by “the house was too quiet”.
So, welcome to the barn cats Barney, Mickey and Mighty, and welcome home Copper Sue and Max. BTW, I LOVE that photo of the two of them together! It is just too precious for mere words!! ❤️❤️🐾🐾
It warms my heart to see them like that too, and to know we made the right decision in getting two.
Thank you, Sue. ♥
Enjoy those puppies. Its the circle of life and it’s worth going through for the joy they bring to our life.
For sure. ♥
wow that are the bestest news ever!!! welcome to the farm and we would love love love to hear about your adventures O)
We will do our best to share as many of them as we can!
What a beautiful new family … welcome to all, and so happy for you (and for each of them).
Thank you!!! ♥
My goodness!! Your place has become a semi menagerie!!
Congrats on your new furry ones…form 0 to 5 in record time, LOL!!
Welcome Barney, Mickey and Mighty!
And then all your birds!
One big happy family! I love it!
Do you still have time to be at your little store?
Benji & Dalton say woofs and aroos to your new pups!
Thank you!! I have to make the time to be at my store, but I’d much rather be home with the menagerie!! 🙂
Woofs and aroos from Copper and Max to the boys!!