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Barks N Bits with Bella ® Muncie, Indiana

Barks N Bits w/ Bella

Babies & Poo

by Bella on 08/16/16

Well, Duke is back. He seems to be trying to keep his visits down to once or  twice a week and only for an hour or so at a time. I’m not sure what his new philosophy is, but it works for me. His visits are frequent enough to give me a break from the outside dogs and Annabelle, but not so frequent that I have to watch for “deposits” that are larger than me every time that I walk out the back door.

This time of year is so fun on the Ranch. The babies are coming! We have one here already and there are more on the way. By babies, I mean little horses. They are littler than the big horses, but still much, much bigger than me. And, oh, how those babies love to play! I like to try to get close enough to smell noses. Sometimes that is easier said than done depending on how mama horse feels about Jack Russel dogs, and a couple of the mama horses around here aren’t too crazy about JRs. I have to be extra careful or extra fast to get a nose to nose with a baby.

This is not a game that interests Princess Annabelle. (Takes too much energy!)

I did catch the “Princess” outside on the manure pile today. I thought it was kind of funny to see a “Princess” on top of a giant poopy pile. It gave me a chance to think up some new titles for her. I would elaborate, but instead I’ll let you use your imagination.....besides, there may be kids reading this and we don’t want any name calling, do we?

Our favorite little Princess of Poo (sorry, couldn’t resist) was accompanied by our neighbor, the Grand Duke of Manure Hill. The two of them are quite a pair when seen together. Big ole’ lumbering Duke (the slightly chunky oversized yellow lab) and Annabelle (the prissy little black and tan weiner-dog) were nibbing around in the wet pile of horse droppings and sawdust after a recent rain. If that wasn’t cause for a good bath, I’m not sure what would be.
 
I watched them for a while, thinking up more names for both of them as I chuckled to myself about the impending bath awaiting Annie. She would surely attempt to enter the house later and get stopped at the door. There would be a detour awaiting her that would take her straight to the bathtub.

Ahhhhh....with a few extra dog years comes wisdom......Manure piles and inside dogs don’t go well together, especially if said inside dog does not like baths. (As I do not.)

So I say, “No bath for me.” I find no fun in playing with that kind of royalty anyway. I’ll stick to playing with the babies and take my chances with the JR hating mama horses.

Until next month....
Stay out of the poo and love those babies....
Bella

Neighbors...... and Being Neighborly - Part 2

by Bella on 07/04/16

Big Ole’ Duke, the neighbor dog, hasn’t been down in a while. I think his owners got tired of running down here to get him every other day. I’m not sure if I should say this or not, but I guess it can’t hurt since the other dogs around here can’t read. I wouldn’t want them to think I am getting soft - since I am the senior dog around here. But, I have to admit that I kind of miss the big lug. I know last month I complained of him hanging around all the time and all, but he really wasn’t so bad. He kind of kept the three big dogs busy so I could get in some good mousing time out in the barn.  Although I don’t miss the Duke droppings....they’re probably not as easy to miss now that the snow has melted.

I was right. Annabelle found my Christmas present. It didn’t take her long either. Now my brand new dog bed has been “Annified.” And for those who are wondering what the definition of “Annified” is, it is simple....in one word it means “ruined.” That’s right, she got ahold of it and once again - green stuffing now on the outside of the bed, not the inside. Of course, the one person in the house who finds her in the act would be the one who has also been “Annified.” (Once again - the definition is “ruined” - Annie has ruined her.) In a nutshell - Princess Annabelle has her wrapped around her little paw....so when she was caught with the green stuffing hanging out of her mouth, all she got was an “Awww, Annie, are you being bad? Or do you just want a bed of your own?” OMG!!! (FYI - I text 2 - lol!) Poor little Annablle chews up bed number two for yours truly and then she gets sympathy because she doesn’t have her own bed to chew on. I give up.

Did I mention that it is finally warming up a bit here? It is great, I can actually stand to go outside and stay for a while. It’s nice to get away from the little bark box for longer than what it takes to “do my business.” She usually ends up out there with me when the people go to the barn. It doesn’t take her long to beckon the “Annified” one and she has this one convinced to carry her back to the  house whenever she yips. Like she couldn’t use the excercise! It is pitiful. She’ll look at me and say “Watch this” and then give out a little yip. Then, here comes the “Annified one” and it’s “Awwww, Annie, are you cold? Do you want me to take you to the house? You poor little thing.....it’s too muddy out here for you, Princess.....” Then as she picks her up, Annie gives me a “sorry about your  luck” look and she’s swooped off to the house. All I can say is “GOOD RIDDENS!” More alone time for me.

One thorn temporarily removed from my side, now where is that Duke? I could use a distraction for these three big outside dogs so I can get to mousing.
Until next month....
Don’t get “Annified”

Neighbors...... and Being Neighborly

by Bella on 05/31/16

Since last month’s freeze out and the New Year’s involuntary diet resolution (I still protest), things have gotten very busy around here at the ranch. There has been a lot of activity going on at the barn - most of it revolving around the two new stallions that have taken up residence here with us. I am not quite sure what all the fuss is about, they eat and require a wheel-barrow to clean up after  them....just like the rest of the horses in the barn. (I’m sure the people around here wouldn’t like it if it required a wheel barrow to clean up after me.) I suppose if I were a female horse I might be a little more excited about these “studs”....but I’m glad I’m not a female horse.  I get to sleep in the house in my own bed and they don’t.

Speaking of beds, I mentioned last month that I got a new bed for Christmas....well, it should be no surprise to learn that my prediction came true......Princess Annabelle has already taken a stab at destroying my comfy new napping place. Thank God, one of my people seen her attempt at sabotage in process and moved my new bed to a safer location. We’ll see how long it takes her to find it and try again.

I do have to admit that the little black bark box -slash- “brat”wurst has not been as much of a nuisance lately because she doesn’t move around a lot when it is cold. On the other hand, I have a new thorn in my side. The neighbor dog. He is a yellow lab and he is HUGE.

He lumbers down here to visit every time someone heads to the barn. It has gotten so bad that the people even try to sneak out quietly without him hearing them. Too funny! When the people start banging around on the buckets full of ice....here comes ‘Ole Duke. He pushes his way in when the people start passing out the pats and praises and there’s not much left for the rest of us, especially the short ones like me! He probably doesn’t mean anything by it, but he is just sooo big, no one else stands a chance. He even does this thing where he  smiles” (I’ve dubbed him “Smilin’ Duke”) at the people and then they actually feel bad for the big lug and let him hang around. I’m just glad they don’t feed him. There there would be NO food for any of us....forget the diet, it would be considered fasting.

I ran across some Duke droppings the other day. I expect the people will be building him a stall soon if the wheel barrow size “you know what” is a sign of stall status.

I’m thinking that I am going to have to take control and join up forces with Princess Annabelle and the outside dogs to take back what is rightfully ours.
Until next month....
Bella
Goodbye, “Smilin Duke.”

Did I say Burrrrrrr...........?

by Bella on 04/08/16

I’m thinking that I mentioned the chill factor last month....but being the persistent breed that Jack Russells are known to be.....I will mention it
again this month........ Burrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!”
It has been unusually cold the last few days here at the ranch and this morning when I went out for my morning business, they forgot me!! (Well, not completely, but five minutes is a long time when it is 5 degrees!) I am quick to get the “job” done when it is cold outside.  Probably because I don’t ask to go out until I just absolutely cannot hold it any longer. Then it is , wham, bam, thank you ma’am......now let me back in!!
This morning, I’m not sure, but I think my “lady” got distracted with trying to get Princess Annabelle out of bed and that’s what took her so long to come back to the door and let me in. Waking “Your Highness” seems to be quite a chore lately, probably due to the cold winter days.
Princess Annabelle thinks she should get to stay under the covers where it is warm and sleep as long as she wants. I am sure that the recent lack of activity has contributed to her newly found “full figure.”
She has caused us to be put back on the “doggie diet.” I am getting a little tired of this program that I am forced to participate in because of my roomate. We  had Thanksgiving and Christmas and there were no doggie leftovers!! Woe is me. “No ham or turkey for you this year....you puppies are on a diet.” Merry Christmas.
I did get one great Christmas present this year. Santa brought me a new doggie bed to replace the one that the Princess destroyed last year. We’ll see how long this one lasts. I am sure Annabelle was on the naughty list, but she still got a present....I think it was a “ringer” from the one lady that is craaaazy about that little black bark box...I’m sure it wasn’t from Santa Claus.
If there is anything I do like about being outside when it is cold, it is when we get lots of the fluffy white stuff that the people call snow. I’ll admit that it is fun to play in the snow with the outside dogs - the running around keeps me warm - and the snow seems to make jumping and running a little more entertaining. Although, if it is too deep I have to do more hopping than running to get  around.
I do not think that Princess Annabelle likes to go out in the snow. Possibly because her unproportionately short legs put her belly awfully close to the cold wet white stuff. Her tracks - or should I say “track” - is one long wide trail through the snow, there are no footprints.....use your imagination here.
Until next month....

More from the Archives

by Bella on 03/01/16

Burrrrrrrrrr....................

Well, living in Indiana has it’s benefits....but I am not going to talk about those today.

It is December in Indiana and that means it is COLD! This means that I have to deal daily with doggie-wear...not only for myself, but for the fashion diva of the ranch - Princess Annabelle. Anytime we go out for more than a potty break - doggie wear is inevitable. Since I haven’t much choice in the matter, I have learned to be completely happy in my minihorse- type blanket. I have had it for several winters and it is your basic blue quilted-type blanket with black trim and straps....nothing fancy. It is very functional and allows me to run and chase  rodents without too much trouble. It also keeps me toasty warm while I am out in the barn on a cold December day. Needless to say, I wear it without any  qualms.

Princess “Hoity Toity” Annabelle is a totally different story. She will not settle for your basic mini-horse-type blanket. Oh, no. Just ask her, she is way above functional. She pitches a puppy fit and starts biting at it and trying to pull it off the minute that one of the people begin putting it on her. If she doesn’t like it, she won’t wear it. She is waaaay to picky about her doggie-wear if you ask me. She doesn’t like the blankets, she doesn’t like sweaters..... if it isn’t pink and fuzzy and “princessy” - she declines - in her own spoiled little black bark box way.

I do however have to admit that it is comical watching the people try to dress the little fashion diva doggie. They’ll put a blanket or sweater on her and as soon as they turn around to bundle themselves up, she is in a pile on the floor with fuzz in her teeth as she attempts to remove or destroy her outfit - protesting their choice of doggie wear. Then the battle is on. They put one on, she takes it off....then another, then another. It is funny, but it gets tiring waiting on her to agree to wear something.
If you ask me, they should just let her go outside and freeze her long little ears for a few hours....she might change her tune the next time a functionally warm blanket is the choice of the day for her. But no, they would rather add to her ever-growing wardrobe. Pink jackets, fleece pullovers and fuzzy-necked frilly doggie clothes are lying in her overflowing basket on the back porch. And guess who gets all of her rejects.....yours truly. That is right... “if she won’t wear it, Bella will.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that lately. I was
totally fine with my functional blanket, now I am wearing girly doggie
sweaters....the outside dogs chuckle at me when I am not looking, I know they do. But I don’t care, if girly is just as warm as functional, then bring it on, I won’t complain.
I guess there is one benefit of living in Indiana in the winter - snoozing in
front of the fireplace.
Until next month..
Bella

A Puppy in a Cowboy Hat
Isn't that just the cutest thing you've ever seen?  Yes, that is me as a cute little ball of puppy fur and puppy kisses.  This picture was taken the week that I met my family.  I had left Georgia and made my way to Ft Smith, Arkansas where my new family picked me up and then brought me to this marvelous place where I live now...Indiana.
Princess Annabelle
This is the reason I write.  I had to start letting off steam somewhere, somehow.  When this precious little bark-box came into my life, everything changed.  I guess you could say she brought out the best in me.  You could say that.  Anyway - if you're trying to catch up on the Who, What, Where and When....she is part of the "Who."  (And not the rock band.)
Books in the Works...
It's finally happening!  I'm going to put together some books to share my adventures.  I thought I's give you a sneak peek of what is to come. Do you remember Seven the donkey?  (Artwork by Vicki Piebenga)

​Our visit to the barn gets the standard laugh from the ranch’s latest animal authority on obnoxiousness, Seven, the donkey.  He would most likely outdo Annabelle, "little black bark box" in my book if I had to bring him in the house too.  He laughs at everything!

Of course, he has the most annoying and loud laugh I have ever heard. Heeeeee Haw Haw Haw Haw....Heeeeeeeee Haw Haw Haw. I mean, come on.....really? Who laughs like that?

Seven has became a topic of laughter from all points of view, but none get as many laughs as the donkey himself. I can assure you that most of the time, I just don’t get it.

Honestly, I think Seven just has a twisted sense of humor. Most of the things he laughs about are “incidents” created by the little pot stirring donkey himself.

Excerpt from Barks N Bits, October 2011
Kick The Dust Up
(From the pages of The Horse Resource Magazine)

I know I've complained in the past......
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