Thursday, May 22, 2014

#15 No More Playpen for Rachel (she says)

My normal day with Rachel begins by getting all of her necessities ready for a day in her playpen; fresh water, her food, and pick up any droppings from the day before.  Then I get her out of the kennel and turn her loose in the playpen.  At night, when everyone is ready for bed, I put her back in the kennel so she can feel safe and sleep well.

This routine had been going on quite smoothly ... until it didn't. One day she jumped out of her playpen.  Well, you know, once that happens, there is no going back. 

 Oh crap!  This thing is slippery.
 I'm coming to see you, mom. See how I can tightrope walk?

So, okay, let's see what happens.  John was concerned that the barn cats would hurt her, I was not.  I saw the look of terror in the cat’s eyes whenever she came near them.  I could see they did not trust her and were not interested in eating her.

What I found worked really well was to let her escape in the morning and run around the barn all day (after the horses were let out, of course) and then put her back in the playpen during afternoon feeding.  I would bring her her apple as a snack in the afternoon and she would follow me into her playpen.  Miraculously, she would stay there until bedtime.  I guess she had had enough of playing and poking around and was content to just be in the playpen the rest of the afternoon.  Until she wasn’t.

One day, maybe 3 weeks later, I came out to put everybody to bed and lo and behold, there was Miss Rachel running around the barn.  Oh darn.  This is not acceptable.  With the horses inside now, it was too much of a risk of her getting stepped on or scaring the begeezus out of Romeo.

Now at afternoon feeding, Rachel has to go back into her kennel.  I was, at first, doing this after I brought the dogs over to eat.  However, one day Rachel decided to get up close and personal with Max and say hi and Max almost had a very fresh lunch!  Feathers brushed his muzzle.  That was too close for comfort.  So now I put her up before I bring the dogs over.  She doesn’t seem to mind, she gets her apple and more fresh water (she loves to drink out of the bottle as I pour it into her dish).  She seems quite content.  Thank goodness.

Sorry I got a little behind in the girls’ escapades.  There is more to share very soon.
Namaste and Aho!