Some updates and a question of fences

1) Bronte’s catalog win from Sunday is now up at this link.

2) Bramble is sore and very whingey and has that anesthetic smell, but he’s fine. I absolutely love the work my vet does – she leaves no external stitches for spays or neuters. As far as I can tell she uses a sort of purse-string technique with an absorbable suture and then covers it with skin glue. So the incision looks like a little whorl that, in a few days, will relax into a tiny line. It seems to bother the dogs not at all; they don’t lick or worry at the scar and there’s no prickly sutures or staples left in.

3) I am going to be switching to my own domain name in the next few weeks, and will be able to have a REAL wordpress install instead of this one (this address will stay the same, but I will be able to run all the bells and whistles that a native wordpress install gives you). Hooray! However, I am having trouble deciding on The Name. Not of this blog, of my site. Here are the possibilities (all are available):

a) http://www.blacksheepcardigans.com

b) http://www.blacksheepcardis.com

c) http://www.blacksheepcorgis.com

d) http://www.bscardigans.com, maybe even bscardis.com

Anybody have any smart ideas?

OK, here’s the big one.

Some of you may remember that just a few weeks ago we came home with this:

fence

The design, of course, was to fence Cinnamon in. Which we did. Just in time for her to head to the great beyond.

So now we have a conundrum. We have a beautiful little run-in shed (it’s about 10 x 18) that could be completely closed in. We have a total of 500 feet of this rigid fencing, and another 300-ish of 5′ welded wire fencing that is not as heavy-gauge.

Here are the options:

1) Leave everything as is. We have a 100 x 100 dog exercise area and an empty horse pen. So be it. This is Doug’s favorite option. Pros: no work, no expense. Cons: lots and lots of wasted space and fencing, and my sad heart every time I look out there and see the empty barn and fence.

2) Adopt another horse or donkey. This is the kids’ favorite plan. Pros: Yay! Another horse! And we get to save one, which appeals to me. Cons: we were being helped out in the expense of taking care of Cinnamon because she was technically my little sister’s horse. I am really not sure we can (actually, I’m pretty sure we CAN’T) take on the feeding and vet bills associated with another horse all on our own, especially since hay is through the roof right now.

3) Put two goats in the barn and fencing. This is my favorite plan. I adore goats and I have been jonesing for them for years. Pros: much less expensive to feed and vet; we get the milk and the excess kids go in the freezer for the dogs. Also, the dogs can herd something that’s meant to be herded. Cons: I am worried about the noise. Dairy goats are not screamers, but they do yell if they’re hungry or in distress. We have 2.5 acres but our lot is only 200′ wide. Neighbors might get very tired of the goats.

4) Hugely expand/section off the dog area, and use the barn as a giant dog house/puppy area (the dogs will never “live out” but they would enjoy having someplace to play and run into and out of). This may be the option that makes the most “sense.” Pros: Gives me the ability to section off areas for dogs that need to be separated; gives the dogs a ton of room. Cons: Takes away the possibility of doing something else with the space. I don’t actually have anything that needs separation, and won’t for at least a couple of years (if I keep boys to show and breed, which is honestly not my top choice because I much prefer a household of bitches). More space sometimes isn’t the best idea. I generally recommend to people that they don’t fence in giant areas unless they supervise the dogs pretty carefully; dogs who think they have a ton of space tend to get more prey-oriented and a little more “wolfpack”ish. The area we have keeps them very happy; we are already planning to expand it by twenty feet in each direction so they can really run full-tilt.

So you can see my dilemma here. Nothing is just right.  Any opinions? Anyone with a very bright idea that’s not up there, please speak up, because I want to make a good decision that will be sustainable for the next several years.

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17 thoughts on “Some updates and a question of fences

  1. You should buy all those domain names and then decide. Lest you decide and then go to buy and someone else has.

    I vote for goats. My boyfriend’s neighbor had them and we never heard them yelling or making noise.

  2. I think you should buy all the domains with blacksheep in them and then decide. Either of those are good. BScardigans just makes me think of… well, you know!

    I also vote for goats. Maybe ask your neighbors if they’d mind? (If you’re close with your neighbors?) Think of how much noise children make anyway.

  3. I say separate out an area for agility…you know you’re going to start doing it with the cardis and you CAN’T do agility without your own equipment 😉

  4. On the domain, I vote for blacksheepcardigans. The reason is because using a shortened nickname (like cardis instead of cardigans) can get confusing when you tell people…is it cardys? cardis? cardies? People don’t know how to spell it, and they can’t remember it. While the whole thing is obviously LONGER, it makes sense and doesn’t require anyone to remember any funny spellings. I’d also suggest, like others have, to avoid anything starting with just “BS”.

    I also vote agility yard! 😀

  5. I say adopt a miniature horse or Shetland pony. If you do a Shetland pony the smaller kids could even ride, and the costs are much less than a standard horse. And you would still be saving an animal.

  6. blacksheepcardigans — that’s what you call yur operation and there’s no question about it.

    Agility area.

    No Shetlands — they take advantage of children (first hand knowledge here)

  7. Hey there. I see Bramble has had a few things removed lol. I am glad to see that he is doing well and looks so great. How is Elvis (if that is still his name) doing? He looks really great as well. Does he ever have all 4 feet on the ground? I swear in the pictures he is either flying or laying flat on his back lol.

  8. Have to put my 2 cents in here. The horse market is in really bad shape right now due to the economy, so there are lots and lots of good horses needing homes right now. Lots of free ones. I suggest checking the “Farm and Garden section of your local Craigslist. Adopt an old horse who just needs a place to retire. Avoid the young ones unless you are willing to put the time and money into training them. Nothing worse than a young, spoiled pet horse.

    As for Shetlands, we have one for our daughter and he is a total sweetie. Just depends on the individual pony.

    As far as goats, we have 5 (three Pygmies and 2 Nigerian Dwarfs) and we love them. They are very low maintenance and fun to watch. We have all weathers (fixed males) so no milk or kids for us, but fun nonetheless.

    Be warned that when you first bring your goats home, they WILL be noisy, but once they settle in (2 to 3 days) they are pretty quiet unless you are late with dinner. Goats do like a routine and will complain if you mess with it.

    Oh and if you are hoping to breed them, be aware that bucks are VERY stinky. I suggest maintaining a herd of does and just rent a buck to breed them. Living with one can be a nightmare.

    Hope that helps!

  9. The advice I always give my web clients, is to register the names that you think people will type in looking for you, and have those all redirect to your correct domain name.

    For example, I have a client who has the word ‘vineyard’ in his name. But people always misspell it ‘vinyard’. So he’s registered the misspelling as well as the correct one and we’ve redirected it.

    I would register your actual kennel name. I remember web names more when they are the actual name of the biz, group, whatevs.

  10. I like blacksheepcardis.

    As for animals, I love horses, I love having my horse around. But I would probably go for goats. Talk to your neighbors first if you think they’ll mind, explain that you’re getting goats and they may be noisy for a few days as they settle, and let them know to address you if they have issues rather than complaining to someone else. And yeah. Bucks stink bad.

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