And Now For Something Different

(C) 2023, JJ Shaun

First Reader and I spent the last few days house-sitting for friends. When their original house-sitter fell through, they reached out and asked if we’d be willing to look after their house and the animals on their ranch. So, here we are, looking after a couple dozen chickens, two horses, three cats, and two dogs. The cats and dogs are nothing new. Taking care of chickens and horses, on the other hand, is a bit out of our wheelhouse. We figured, why not? First Reader wouldn’t mind having chickens, and I’m fascinated by horses.

(C) 2023, JJ Shaun

We drove up for lunch a little more than a week ago, to meet the critters and get a first-hand view of the routine. They showed us where they store the chicken feed and house the chicks. Our friends left a note with instructions so we wouldn’t miss anything. They turned the horses out to pasture, but the girls have access to the corral and cover. They’ve been coming in daily to slurp water and nibble carrots from my hands.

(C) 2023, JJ Shaun
Carrots for the horses.

The small critters, two dogs and three barn cats, have accepted that we’re their caretakers for the time. Despite what our friends told us about the cats being standoffish, they’ve been coming up for ear skritches every morning when I fill their food bowls. The dogs have each selected their respective “person” for the duration, because that’s what dogs do.

Today is our last day. Our friends return home this evening, and we go back to our home away from home. It’s been a great experience, not to mention a break from the rut we’ve been in for the last couple of years. First Reader and I decided we would probably do this again if given the opportunity.

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