We fixed that though because we couldn't afford to buy that much feed. Charles built a fence from the barn to the edge of the front of the property. It didn't take very long and the grass was so short it couldn't grow. I started leading him down the ditch alongside the road. He couldn't be trusted to stay in the yard like Dandy. It had been hard to get the farmers to part with any of their pasture, even when we lived in Denton we offered to rent some pasture from them and no one would. Every year they would say "It's going to be a hard winter!” No matter what kind of winter it was, it was always going to be a hard winter. Those two years it was a hard winter with allot of snow. When we still had Dandy, it wasn't a very hard winter but we had snow on the ground. Dandy was so slow and acted more like a dog than a horse. Charles put Chucky on Dandy's back. He was supposed to lead him around and get him used to riding. Dandy was so easy going that he thought Chuck would be alright letting go of the lead. As soon as Charles let go Dandy knew he was free! He took off and headed across the road. Chuck fell off into the ditch filled with snow! I about had a heart attack. I’d never seen that horse move so fast. Terre would never have done that. We got the horse and Chuck got up and walked across the road towards the house. It was hard to get him on the horse after that. Our little cowboy we couldn't wait for had no interest in horses or wearing a cowboy hat etc. We couldn't get as attached to that horse as we did the others.
One day we saw that there was an oval above ground swimming pool in the paper, cheap! We bought it and Charles prepared the ground and went to work putting it up. We had a big sand filter and a skimmer, all the accessories we needed. When we got it up and filled Charles built a big wooden deck around it. It was so pretty and the water was so clean, the liner made the water the water look blue. We had to watch Stony to keep him from leaning over the side and getting a drink.
We invited my family over one Sunday for a barbecue on the deck and swimming. Everyone including Bobby and Barbara, Clyde, Mary Ann, Floyd Mae and Kathryn were coming. They had spent all morning cooking and getting ready to go. We were all excited about them coming over; no one came over any more. While we were waiting we had decided to go to Rockport north of St Joseph to check out something we had seen in the paper about horses. Thinking we would only be gone an hour or so, we left. We didn't realize how far away Rockport was from St Joseph! It was about three o'clock in the afternoon when we got home. No one was there yet. I called to let everyone know we were home and everyone was mad and said they weren't coming now! Barb had made fried chicken and potato salad etc not counting what everyone else was going to bring. Everyone always follows Clyde and he said he had to go to work on Monday and he wasn't coming so late on a Sunday. So no one came. I was so disappointed and felt so stupid to leave when we had planned a barbecue. We didn't realize Rockport was sixty-five miles north of St Joseph. It took us over an hour to get there, plus time there and another hour and a half back. We couldn't get anyone to come up there and see the pool and the deck again.
We had several rabbits in hutches down by the barn. In the summer it was close to 100 degrees. The rabbits were getting too hot. They would not move around as they usually did. I realized what was happening and carried them to the pool. The pool was four feet deep and I could barely reach over the side but I held those rabbits one by one and slid them back and forth in the cool water and revived most of them. One rabbit gave a scream and died of a heart attack in my arms. These weren't your every day ordinary rabbits. There were white ones and some that looked liked Siamese cats. They all were named after Disney characters from Bambi. I didn't have any luck breeding rabbits. They killed their young soon after birth if they were ever pregnant at all. It gave new meaning to the old saying” breeding like rabbits".I didn't know what they meant because we sure couldn't get those rabbits to breed. I always wanted to sell bunnies at Easter. But every time I thought they were due, there wouldn't be any bunnies to sell. We always bought books for every critter we had. We followed the books to the letter as far as housing, nesting materials, breeding boxes, sexing-males and females, when to put the male in and when to take him out. We followed gestation timetables, the whole rigmarole. Very seldom would we have little bunnies to sell for Easter.
One day Charles went to St Joseph and brought home a beautiful collie named Bobby. I don't know why she was named Bobby. We didn't name her that. She was so pretty. He said he knew I had always liked Lassie and brought her home to me. I brushed her hair and the kids played with her. King thought he had died and gone to Heaven. When it came time for her season we took her to Wathena where there was a man who had a collie just like her only male. He kept her for a week until the "deed" was done. Sixty three days or so later a litter of seven was born. She didn't seem too interested in lying down and letting them suckle and I complained to Charles about it and he just said" let nature take its course." The puppies cried continuously and were practically screaming at times. Slowly one by one they began to die. Bobbie’s teats were full of milk but every time they would latch on she'd get up and move so they couldn’t. I began to prepare the lactating milk that we had left over form the calves and tried to hand feed them. They were either too weak by this time or there was something wrong because they would not eat. I didn't have a bottle except the big bottle for the calves. That, of course, wouldn't work for their small mouths. When they were born they were active and fat and fluffy. Finally there was only one left. Bobby would whine and be so protective of this last one. She licked him constantly and kept him so close to her. One day I heard something outside the door on the front porch. She had had the puppies in the barn which was quite a ways from the house. I checked the door to see and there was Bobby with the last puppy. It was dead and she had licked all the hair off of him trying to stimulate some life into him. It was so sad. She whined and kept pushing the puppy toward me as if I could bring him back to life.
Bobby would chase and kill the few chickens I had left. We started tying her inside the barn but the chickens would try to get the dog food out of her bowl King and Bobby would join together and chase my white Angel cat away from the house. Charles wouldn't let me have a litter box in the house so I had to let her out. She met her fate in front of a combine.
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