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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring is in the Air & Baby Animals are EVERYWHERE!

Tonight's agility classes were seriously derailed by nature. For once, I'm not talking about snow, hail, floods, avalanche or heat....nope, tonight it was all about animal babies!

The arena where I teach agility is on a working ranch and in the Spring, we're surrounded by the cute, the cuddly & the amazingly photogenic! It's a perk we all enjoy and look forward to each year.

The evening started off with everyone -dogs & people - being overly giddy thanks to the rare & sacred sunshine. When you add in the Spring ranch life surroundings, their brains quickly went to mush.

I feverishly tried to keep classes on track, but with competition like those featured in the pictures attached, it was a loosing battle right from the get-go. I finally gave in and admitted that the animal babies were easily up-staging me and were far more interesting than some plain old agility exercises. So, I stopped pretending to teach and let my students gaulk, cooo, awwwww and take videos and pictures to their heart's delight. 

Those that have been with me for the long-term know the routine, which is that each Spring babies of all types join the ranch life. My students come prepared with their digital devices and even bring their grand-kids, friend's kids and a list of questions for the owners. After all, the babies are enthralling!

As a recap to the evening, first there was the 1 week old lambs (Borox the white lamb is pictured).

Next came the turkey's who combined their nests for a grand total of 19 eggs (picture attached)! Of course that meant that the Tom Turkey was also around strutting his stuff (sorry, no picture - he's very big and I wasn't going near him!).  Then, for some reason the turkey's came OUT of their nesting area and paraded around on the agility course! Luckily the dogs were only mildly curious as they'd seen the turkey's almost weekly now for the last 3 years.

Then there were the kittens (pictures also attached) found in the horse trailer where the extra hay is stored. Apparently a rogue cat commandeered the shelter for warmth and nesting for her new babies.

Last, but certainly not the least, several of us stayed around to watch a lamb being born.  Attached is a picture of the cute little baby within seconds of her birth. It was amazing to watch her work to a successful stand within 10 minutes of entering the world.

This event was particularly meaningful to one of my dear friends & student. She is a vet tech and one of her duties for the day was to ease a little Pug by the name of Daisy over the rainbow bridge after being hit by a car. To go from death to watching a birth all in one day was healing for her.

Another added bonus was that the little lamb was a girl and so the owners of the ranch named her honor of the little Pug she had cared for earlier that day.

While we're all serious about our Agility, it's nice to know that the beauty of the natural things around us take precedence. It really was an unexpected and enjoyable evening for all.

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