The Farmhouse Menagerie


The Dogs…

The white dog of
 Oh, this dog….where do I even begin?  She was a hurricane from the very start.  A freight train with no brakes.  All muscle and inertia, she is a mass of wiggling kisses and love, and I never really believed that it was possible for a dog to have a sense of humor until she came along.  And that face!  There is just nothing like a boxer face.  Except another boxer face.


The little brown dog of Farmhouse38.comThis puppy is all puppy all the time; precious when she’s napping, a maniac when she’s awake–the boxer shenanigans never quit. For the record, there is truly nothing more entertaining than two boxers joyfully boxing one other. It’s my favorite sport.

The Birds…


The original chicken of Farmhouse38.comI’ve had this bird for 20 years now.  And she will probably outlive me….yep, didn’t read the fine print on that one.  She is an African Grey parrot with the approximate verbal skills of a three-year-old child.  If that three-year-old curses and belches like a sailor.  I have no comment on how or where she picked these things up.  Aside from that, she chatters all day long, yells at the dogs, serenades us with songs that she’s learned and also songs that she’s made up, and constantly startles us when she interjects into our conversation with a witty remark.  It is endless fun to watch her toss food out of her cage to one of the dogs, wait till said dog is busy eating the bait, and then slide silently down to where she can reach that beak out and pinch the poor dog in the butt.  You’d think they’d learn, but bird seed is just so darned good.

Miss Gertrude Featherbottom:

Miss Gertrude of

Gertie is a saucy little thing.  If you are doing something that she does not approve, you will be sassed!  She is an incessant talker, a champion layer, and a mischief master.  She’s sweet to me (the keeper of the food), but she’s a little brat to the Texan; they have quite a love/hate relationship and he’s got the ankle scars to prove it.

Miss Eloise:

Miss Eloise of

Ellie-bellie is a princess.  She approaches everything with the self-entitlement of a gorgeous, busty blond who is used to getting by on her looks.  She does not like to get her feet dirty.  She does not squabble with the other girls over treats, she comes straight to the source and expects me to hand-feed her.  Accordingly, she lays the most perfect, petite lady-like eggs; not every day like Gertie, just when she feels inclined to be generous.

Darling Clementine:

Miss Clementine of

We often refer to Clem and Eloise as ‘the twins’, for obvious reasons, but their similarities end at their color and breed.  Clementine is something of a…lumbering oaf.  She is HUGE and inherently ungraceful, and when she comes running down the driveway to greet you, you can feel it in the ground like a herd of stampeding cattle.  When she squawks, it doesn’t sound like a sweet clucky little chicken…good lordy, it sounds like an angry goose on steroids.  In fact, up until she laid her first ginormous egg, we were convinced she was a he.  To say the least, she is the awkward sister.

Veruca Salt:

Veruca Salt of

I mean…look at this girl. A lovely, lavender Orpington, she is! All eyelashes and silver-feathered sweetness. I thought my other Orps were ‘fluffy’? Saltie takes the cake. No seriously, if there was cake she would take it.

Annabel Lee:

Annabel Lee of

This pretty Easter Egger girl has the distinction of giving me my very first blue egg. And though she’s not the friendliest (is it just me or does she look about a second away from pecking my eyeball in this photo?), she will hop up and sit in your lap as long as you don’t dare try to pet her.

Beatrix Potter:

Beatrix Potter of

My other lovely, bearded Easter Egger lady. This one held out on me. She didn’t lay her first egg until she was around ten months old (most hens start laying around four months), and I had long since given up on her. Then suddenly: green egg! They were so worth the wait. And I just gotta say…that is one, epic, blond hipster beard right there!

The Cats…

The Stewart:

The Stewart of

So fancy for a barn cat–look at that tuxedo.  He was the Texan’s first-ever cat, and still loves to be held like a baby.  But only by the Texan.  The Stewart doesn’t have time for my attempts at affection.


Brix the cat of

We busted Brix out of the slammer not long after we got Stewie.  Stewart was going through a rebellious, teenage-angst phase, and we thought he might simmer down if he had a lady-friend.  Especially one with big blue eyes.  Strangely enough, it totally worked.  Brixie is a sweet, sweet girl, and because she is part Siamese, she is a chatty-catty; always talking, always saying hello.


Ole Blue of You're my boy, Blue!

Blue is actually my mom’s beloved cat, and when she moved and couldn’t take him with her, we, of course,took him in.  He is the last living (going on 20 years old) of three kittens that my mom literally found under a bush.  He is the old-timer, but still as spry and quirky as ever. And damn if he isn’t the best mouser of any cat I’ve ever known.


Voodoo cat of

“The Dude”. This guy is one of two rescued ferals that was going to be euthanized because he was not fit for rehabilitation.  I took him in because he’s actually a really, really sweet cat, but has been absolutely terrorized by people.  After several years, he will actually finally come up to me for pets; he likes his cushy, quiet life. He doesn’t care much for cameras, and proves very difficult to catch on film (living up to his name).

Gandalf the Grey:

Gandalf the Grey of

Gandalf is our other feral.  This poor guy, we think, had his hind quarters and tail run over, with no medical care afterwards.  He is missing half his tail, and his back legs and hips are pretty funky (though he gets around just fine).  He too, is just getting to a place where he’ll let me pet him, and he talks at me with the most adorable, tiny kitten voice I have ever heard on a grown man-cat.

Honorable Mention…


The Frog of

Ok, well, he’s not really our dog. Milo, aka ‘the Frog’, belongs to my brother’s family, but comes on doggy-vacay frequently to the Farmhouse.  This dog is pure comedy, 24-7.  He is best buds with Abbie and Phoebe, and they act like it is Christmas morning when he arrives.  He is even gentle with the chickens, though, the same cannot be said for the chickens.  I often look out in the yard and see Milo being hotly pursued by a certain ginger-hued hen.

In Memory:


The yellow dog of

What I wrote: My thirteen-year-old, tree-climbing, squirrel-hunting, tug-of-war-cheating yellow mutt.  His age doesn’t slow him down, but it’s just a number, right?  Because no one believes me when I tell them he’s that old, anyway.  Especially when he’s running amok with the neighborhood kids or climbing trees.  Sigh.  He’s my sweet little ball of sunshine, gentle with everyone and everything (except squirrels).

Miss Mildred:

Miss Mildred of Farmhouse38.comWhat I wrote: Millie currently wears the Queen-of-the-Yard sash.  She rules the roost, but is also the sweetest, cuddliest girl; she didn’t get voted most popular for nothing!  Always on my heels, she is my little, speckled shadow while I am working in the yard, and if I rest too long in any one spot, she is immediately in my lap.


The original brown dog of

The funniest, slobberiest, sweetest ball of boxer-love.  Fiercely protective, fiercely loyal, and yet, the biggest ball of mush around his people.  My Hogie-bear.


“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ― Anatole France

25 Comments on The Farmhouse Menagerie

  1. Charlotte Zweigoron
    August 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm (3 years ago)

    How I love African Greys!!! I wanted one for years but, unless I found a pretty old one, it would definitely outlive me… I am over 65. Soo, my hubby and I just pal up with the ones in the pet stores. We do have a love bird and a cockatiel, both of advanced years and both males. They tolerate each other because their mates have passed on. They remind me of The Odd Couple. No medication known can help me with my cat allergy but I do manage the dog allergy well enough to have a Chihuahua mix little girl named “Sara Lee” ’cause nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee….

    • farmhouseK8
      August 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Love it! Yes, fortunately, I was 15 when I got my Grey (sheesh, is she really almost 20 now?)–so hopefully we will have many years together….such an amazing animal. I have my moments when I want to throttle her, but most of the time I am doubled over laughing at the stuff that comes out of that beak. :-)

  2. Anna
    October 15, 2012 at 6:58 am (3 years ago)

    Where are the ducks?

    • farmhouseK8
      October 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm (3 years ago)

      The ducks were too noisy for this neighborhood and we had to relocate them to an actual farm. Which was a really hard decision, but I think it was the right one. Someday we will live somewhere where we can have them!! :-( I loved my duckies!

      • Anna
        October 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm (3 years ago)

        Aww! :( But yes they are noise makers for sure! We have two Pekin ducks… on 10 acres… and wow at the noise, and the mess!

        I asked because I saw a few pics of the ducks, then now, none. Just wanted to make sure nothing bad had happened to them. Glad they have just relocated. :)

        • farmhouseK8
          October 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm (3 years ago)

          Yeah….I was so sad and mad about it that I couldn’t bring myself to post. But, yes–they are safe and happy and have lots of duck friends!

  3. Emma
    November 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm (3 years ago)

    I LOVE that Abbie!!!!!!!!!!! She is such a cutie. She photo bombs right? So dose my Cindy. Tell all wild animals I say Hi.

    • farmhouseK8
      November 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm (3 years ago)

      Ha! Yes, Abbie is the professional photo-bomber–in fact, it is downright hard for me to get a shot without her in it. Even taking photos of the front of the house, she is usually peeping out a window. :-)

  4. Sarah
    December 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm (3 years ago)

    I noticed Abbie being all white, is she deaf?

    • farmhouseK8
      December 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm (3 years ago)

      Nope! She’s all white, but has three pencil-eraser-sized brown spots on one ear, and then her eyes are hazel— so she’s not an actual albino, just a 99% white boxer/freak of nature. We get asked that a lot! :-)

  5. P.E.A.C.E.
    January 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm (3 years ago)

    How adorable they all are! In our household we have myself along with my hubby, and our 20 year old son, and a beloved dog and 3 feline divas – so we joke that we’re outnumbered by our four legged kids, but wow – do you two ever have us beat! I love how you call them your ‘little troupe of entertainers’.

  6. home, garden, life
    March 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm (3 years ago)

    Will you share photos of your cat enclosure? Sounds like the perfect, safe place for kitties. Search my blog under cats to see my wonderful and sad kitty essays. Sans kitty now, I need to have a kitty house inspiration, as I never let my kitty roam unattended. 😉

    • farmhouseK8
      March 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm (3 years ago)

      I actually do plan on doing a post about it at some point! Just haven’t gotten around to it yet! Stay tuned! :-)

  7. Joy - Joyful Sounds Farm
    March 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm (3 years ago)

    I would also love to see a picture of your cat home. I have too many inside cats and some with too much energy and not enough to do so I am planning on something like that in my yard. Need some ideas.

    • farmhouseK8
      March 30, 2013 at 3:38 am (3 years ago)

      I will definitely post about it soon–promise!!! :-)

  8. Emma
    April 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey, It’s Emma again. I LOVE the update work. I’m Guessing that, even though that Play-Doh pic is now based on Abbie, having her in it was not your intention. Correct?

    • farmhouseK8
      April 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm (2 years ago)

      No, I took the photo because she was so intently watching my nephew play with it–it was really cute! But you’re right that she usually ‘appears’ in photos when it isn’t my intention! Haha! Professional photo-bomber.

  9. Emma
    April 23, 2013 at 12:23 am (2 years ago)

    Wow! You could look and see if any one wants to hire a Professional photo-bomber. You could make money off of that profession. ;-D

  10. Emma
    June 20, 2013 at 4:35 am (2 years ago)

    You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve visited this page. Not to be pushy or anything but can you please add a shenanigan or two. I know you have plenty to spare. Lol

  11. still a dreamer
    February 12, 2014 at 9:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Such wonderful photos of your animals – really enjoying them. I grew up with Boxers; years later, working in a shelter, I found that the one closest to me hadn’t been a Boxer at all, but a fawn pittie, and it wasn’t long after that I started my own APBT rescue. You’ve also reminded me that my sense of humor needs to be out and about a bit more than it’s been lately, too – so thanks for that! :-)
    Great blog – Jeanne

    • farmhouseK8
      February 13, 2014 at 12:05 am (2 years ago)

      LOL–thanks Jeanne–lovely story!!! Very cool about the rescue. I love pit bulls, too–they are amazing dogs. :-)

  12. Heather W
    March 14, 2014 at 1:23 am (2 years ago)

    I don’t even know where to begin. I love everything about your pets, style, mild sarcasm and the chicken coop is to die for! I’m using so many of your ideas in the back end of my yard. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    • farmhouseK8
      March 14, 2014 at 1:26 am (2 years ago)

      Awwww–you’re so sweet!!! Thank you so much, Heather! It is my complete pleasure!

  13. Sheryl Chamblee
    December 8, 2014 at 3:02 am (10 months ago)

    love how you love your animals and talk about them in such a cute way! enjoyed this more than anything on any blog I’ve read.

    • farmhouseK8
      December 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm (10 months ago)

      Awww, thank you, Sheryl! I do enjoy my furry little family!!! 😀


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