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Happy Tail - The Grass is always greener

A beautiful day provided more adventure than expected - a canine/equine comedy of chaosm with horses escaping - some onto busy street, Sparksville Road - and canine volunteerism run amuck with herding challenged dogs sending herd in wrong direction, and a chihuahua-wanna-be-heeler trying his skill in he wild roundup. Just 'Another day in the life at Sugarfoot Farm. Never a dull moment,' Peg Schaeffer writes.
Next earlier Happy Tail: Happy Tail: Tia, rescued in Knifley, KY, has new home with (KY) New Zealanders Posted April 20, 2014.

By Peg Schaeffer
Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

I was having writer's block this week but the horses came through, as usual, with a story. On Saturday I went to an estate auction. It was supposed to be a "dog free" day but it didn't happen. I shut the gate on the deck and started down the driveway only to be stampeded by the dogs. They managed to open the gate and weren't letting me leave home without them. Back to the drawing board - round up dogs, put some in crates, climb over the fence and try to escape. It couldn't be done without taking Kelsey, Thumbelina, Darryl, and Diablo. Tillie, Bambi, and Snoopy tried to convince me to take them but I was already four over the limit.

Bought far more at the auction than she had intended

The weather was beautiful and I bought far more than I intended. I get caught up in the bidding and just can't control myself. By the end of the sale I had purchased far more stuff than I could fit into the back of the truck. So I went home to get the trailer.

Keith had been home with the dogs so it was his turn to escape. He hooked up the trailer and grabbed his friend, Nick, and off they went to pick up my deals. Just before he left Keith told me he had opened the back gate so the horses could enjoy the back pasture. That was a big mistake.

Horses discover greener grass and and exit

First of all you never put horses in a new pasture without checking the fences. Although the horses had plenty of fresh green grass they discovered a spot in the fence that a tree had fallen on and decided they needed an adventure. They tramped through the woods and into the hayfield which has plenty of lush, green grass. Was that good enough for them? No. I own 120 acres of land. Could they stay on my land and eat the fresh grass? Nope. It's much more fun to go in the road and graze on the side of the road.

I was in the house and saw the dogs race to the upper end of the yard barking and wagging their tails. I thought Keith had come home already but instead there were five horses and a mule. The fence surrounding the yard needs to be replaced. The posts are starting to rot and some of the rails are falling. Most of the dogs respect the fence but there are those that are Houdini's at escaping. They either jump the fence or crawl under it. We keep repairing it but when we fix one spot they find another. So when I saw the horses in the road I knew my first task was to find a way to get the horses without the dogs helping.

Dogs 'round up' sent the horses in the opposite direction

A group of dogs got out and began to chase the horses. It would have been okay if they had chased them back to the barn but instead they chased them in the opposite direction. I was racing through the field calling to the dogs but they ignored me. The horses stopped and began grazing so I was able to get in front of them to head them back home. But instead of staying behind with me the dogs ran ahead of the horses and chased them in the wrong direction again.

For a back road our street is very busy. It seemed even busier with horses and dogs in the middle of the road. I had opened the barnyard gate so that when the horses headed back they could go right in. But as with the best laid plans of mice and men it didn't work out. As the horses got to the open gate two dogs raced out and the horses proceeded up the road.

Bear, a Chihuahau, escaped to try his horse herding skill set

In the confusion Bear, a Chihuahua, squeezed out the fence and decided to try his skill at herding horses. I had to scoop him up before he was squished, so I had a dog under my arm and was trying to direct horses back with the other. I saw a car coming over the hill and got into the middle of the road and waved to it to slow down. No necessary - it was the Sheriff's department. They had received a call about loose horses in the road. The deputy tried to guide the horses with his cruiser but the dogs prevented that. Luckily a few minutes later Keith and Nick came back from the auction. So they parked the truck. I went back to the house with all of the dogs following me like in the Verizon commercial. The horses tired of their game and marched back into the barnyard.

The first thing Keith did after that was to close the gate to the back pasture. Another day in the life at Sugarfoot Farm. Never a dull moment.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2014-04-27 05:06:04
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Happy Tail: King of the Mountain

2014-04-27 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
New Playground
I bought a staircase at the auction Saturday. Daisy, Lil Bit, and Lena found it a great new playground and were playing King of the Mountain on it as soon as they discovered it. - Peg Schaeffer Clicking Readmore accesses a delightful Sunday read which is as much about horses as about dogs: A hilarious Happy Tail: The Grass is Greener. Read forewarned; the author's impetuousness may be contagious - one may find oneself wanting lots and lots of dogs and horses.

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