New Life and Poppy’s Triumph

A while ago, Margaret (the farmer whose land surrounds most of the Priory) bought a cow in calf, and the other day, long, long after all her other calves were born we had a new arrival.
He’s a very handsome chap and I can’t but marvel at how clean he is.  He looks like he’s been scrubbed in a bath of buttermilk. Margaret denies that she bathes her calves on a daily basis but I remain suspicious.
Itchy ear
I went up to her farm today for a chat.  For the last few days there has been barely suppressed excitement in the farmhouse kitchen.  Poppy, Margaret’s youngest dog, has been heavily pregnant with her first litter of, according to the vet, three puppies.  She’s a beautiful and lovely tempered dog and we were all sure she would make a fantastic mother.
The night before  last, from 10pm till 2am, Margaret attended as Poppy (her real name) gave birth.  She was two days early and labour was a long protracted affair with the last puppy being breached.
She is a Sprocker spaniel (a springer/cocker cross) and one of the nicest dogs I know.  She and her mother, Bunny, always bark loudly (and at length) when I go up to the farm.  Then, when I’ve opened the gate, they run up to me, launch themselves at my feet, roll over onto their backs and invite me to rub their tummies.  A bit like this:
A chip of the old block

Poppy surprised us all with delivering not three puppies but four.

Having paid stud fees, Margaret had planned to sell all the puppies.  However, she is now so excited and joyful at the new additions to her family that she’s talking of keeping them.  All  of them.  Can’t say I blame her.

Mother and puppies (and Margaret) are all doing well.

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12 thoughts on “New Life and Poppy’s Triumph

  1. Yes, Shawn they are. Margaret had to count them after I'd left just to make sure one or two hadn't made it into my pocket.

    I love that, GS; Aster deciding she didn't want to be called Poppy. And quite right too. It should be her decision. When I grow up I want to be James Herriot.

    Not sure, Helen. It's a big farm and Margaret's got a lot of energy …

    You'll need to get in the queue, Jane, I'm afraid.

    Sara, I am smitten by the calf though he hasn't made up his mind about me at all. Keeping a good distance away. I think M will certainly keep two and possibly three. Then again maybe four!

    Petra, are you alright? Come over here and have a sit down. Would you like a glass of water?

    Hi Janet, well their eyes open at the end of next week so things will certainly liven up a bit then …

    Hi Diana, no it isn't but I will check it out. Thanks.

    Stacy, after giving me a couple of hard stares for poking my camera lens a LITTLE too close Poppy dozed off for much of my visit. She seems to be pretty relaxed and very chilled. And yes, I'm sure if I'd ever had a litter from my dogs, I'd now have a pack curled about my feet instead of just the two.

    Dave

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  2. What beautiful markings that calf has! He still looks a little unsure of his place in the world. (Or maybe of yours.)

    I hope Poppy gets a good rest soon, as good as the one the puppy in the last photo is enjoying. No wonder Margaret is thinking of keeping them–if I had a whole farm for them to run around in, it would be a hard temptation to resist.

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  3. Ah how wonderful. I love the first shot of the calf, all bandy-kneed and certainly looking as if it's been soaked in the bath and towel-dried…
    And those puppies! Gorgeous. I agree with Helen though, as they get a bit bigger that's going to be a lot of energy bounding around!

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  4. Wow, it's like “All Creatures Great and Small” at the Priory and its environs. (I tried naming my dog, Poppy, but she didn't go for it and never responded so now she is Aster.)

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