After having a cool and wet spring and early summer, the heat has finally descended in our little corner of the state. We are in the weather pattern that Southerners fondly-and not so fondly- refer to as the “dog days of summer”. That means this time of year is not good for anything but laying around like a dog.
The only animal-or person-on our farm that has not slowed down is my Border Collie, Grace. Nothing stops Grace. Rain or snow, heat or cold, Grace can be found running a hundred miles a day, back and forth across our backyard fence. She has taken upon herself the job of keeping all the animals, including the flies, in line.
The big Pyrenean Mastiffs, Sampson and Delilah, barely stand up all day. They will find a cool place in the shade and lay there and lay there. Only in the evenings, when it cools down, do they get up to do their job of guarding our animals. We have put our granddaughter’s plastic pool in the barnyard for them. When it’s really hot, they will be found cooling off in the pool. One at a time; they both can’t fit in there.
The sheep handle extreme weather pretty well. Some don’t mind laying out in the sun. But on really hot days, most will be found congregating in the shade of my husband’s trailer that’s parked in their pasture. Who said sheep aren’t smart?
The alpacas don’t like hot weather. They will be found laying in the shade of the trees on the edge of their pasture. They were enjoying their water trough as a dipping pool for their feet until me husband put a stop to that. He had a platform built to put their water on high enough that they can’t put their feet in. Now their water stays much cleaner.
The cows don’t seem to care about the weather. Nor do the pygmy goats. All they seem to care about is where their next meal is coming from. The hens, however, have been laying more eggs during this heat wave than they normally do. I guess they like it hot.
Me? If you come by the farm in the next few weeks, I’ll be the one relaxing in my easy chair, with the air conditioner turned to high, reading a magazine and drinking some iced tea. Ahhh, the “dog days of summer”.