Tall Timber Gypsy-Teal is her registered name; her call name is “Gypsy.” She’s almost 8 weeks old, and she’s been at Mule Springs Farm four days.
Gypsy’s list of firsts:
First trip to Home Depot with Poppa Bruce to shop for farm parts.
First ride in the Polaris Ranger four-wheeler with Poppa Bruce to make daily morning rounds on the farm. (Poppa Bruce is the name the grandkids use for Bruce, and for at least a few more weeks, I’ll refer to Gypsy’s human as Poppa Bruce, because “babies” (and she is “so baby”) deserve a poppa to get them started in the world.
First experience with short tie-outs at the barn while Mamma Sherbear feeds the roller and homing pigeons, waters the garden, picks tomatoes, and feeds the donkeys. (Again Sherbear is a nickname used by family and seemingly appropriate for a few weeks while I help Gypsy find her way).
First creek crossing.
First experience sleeping in a crate at night.
First meet and greet through the fence with the donkeys Chippo and Ziggy.
Learning to recognize special smells like donkey poop and able to return to the spot a day later where she found the first ball of good stuff.
First burrs caught in her coat – the Beggar’s Catch-weed.
First de-burring process initiated by Poppa Bruce. Gypsy submitted readily to the comb.
First experience of having her foot stepped on by Poppa Bruce when he didn’t know Gypsy was underfoot.
First experience of being rolled over on her back and restrained by her humans while they stuck fingers in her mouth, ears, and in between her toes. (Training to be handled and examined during medical emergencies or for routine exams.)
First trip to the farm ponds and wading in warm water up to her knees.
First escape (and put Mamma Sherbear into a panic) under a farm gate and outside the protection of the three acre fenced house pasture. (We need to put a temporary fix on the gates, because she’s currently small enough to go under gates.)
First realization that she cannot have everything she wants when she wants it!
First of a series of short evening hikes with the family: Poppa Bruce, Mamma Sherbear, Skookum and Ouzel exploring farm plantings, creeks, and ponds.
Bruce noticed Gypsy trotted into her crate yesterday morning when he placed her at the entrance, and last night she did the same for me.
We raised a puppy ten years ago; I thought I had forgotten all but big events and general details, but as I work with Gypsy, so much comes back to me about Ouzel’s first three months.
Gypsy and baby are equivalent.
Her hair has noticeably lengthened in two days.
She runs to her water bowl and plunges her muzzle into the water—without drinking– just for fun.
And finally, Skookum, “uncle” Skookum, our seven year old full male– wirehaired pointing griffon. He continues to show patience and restraint with Gypsy. Gypsy, on the other hand, picks up quickly on his subtle cues– let’s play or leave me alone, and she gets it. I’m impressed – signs that Gypsy is really bright.