Meet Magpie

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St. Patrick’s Day two years ago marks the day we picked Magpie up from her foster home. The rescue organization that found her living in a car named her Maggie.  We renamed her Magpie (although we still call her Maggie a lot of the time). She was about three months old and absolutely irresistible! I don’t know if I was the first person to inquire about her after seeing her picture on petfinder.com, but I was smitten at first glance.  However, within a few minutes I knew she would be a handful. She had that look in her eye…

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But she was so ding dang cute, who would even hesitate to scoop up that little bundle of fur and take her home?  I now recall the wording in her petfinder post – something along the lines of “will need a home that can provide creative ways to harness her exuberant personality”.  So she has personality – even better!

Oh, how those words mock me now.

Seriously people - how could you walk away from that face???

Seriously people – how could you walk away from that face???

Since this blog is a chronicle of our journey to the farm and Magpie is part of that journey, it was high time to write a post about her.

Magpie is an excellent alarm system.  Just ask our neighbors…  She hears things.  Lots of things.  Half of it I don’t hear, but she takes her job as our great protector very seriously. I just hope that at some point [soon] she will at least be able to distinguish between everyday sounds we make in the house (i.e. closing a cupboard door) and potential threats.

Magpie is learning to be a pretty good Livestock Guardian Dog.  She is very protective of our chicken flock and just about comes unglued if she hears them call out and she’s in the house.  Magpie is still struggling with the difference between “Wow! I just laid the biggest egg ever!” cackles and the “OMG!!!! I think there’s a coyote out there!” cackles.  It doesn’t help that one of the young roos is a bit of a Chicken Little himself.  Needless to say, we are not popular with the neighbors between two crowing roosters at 4:00 am and the Barky Barkstress.

Magpie is an excellent travel companion.  Just like a toddler, she falls asleep as soon as we hit the road.  Magpie knows the two plus hour trip very well.  She always wakes up at the stop light we turn off on that puts us “in the country” and away from freeways and main roads.  I think it might be the change in smells that triggers her – after that turn we are in farm country.  She can hardly contain her excitement for those last 15 minutes of the trip.  The second we stop the truck in front of the gate she is ready to go – if the windows are open there is no stopping her.  While we fiddle with opening the gate lock she runs through the tall grasses, drinks from the puddles (these are some of the wetlands on our property) and hunts for field mice and voles.  We can barely see her unless she leaps at some little critter. As soon as we get back in the truck and start up our road to “camp”, she doesn’t even hesitate to leave her prey behind.  The race is on.  She LOVES to race the truck up the hill, probably because she always wins.  She’s a Heinz 57 pup and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have any greyhound in her, but when she runs like that you start to wonder.

Magpie is a great huntress. This will be quite useful on the farm for predator control – both for livestock and the gardens.  She spends a large portion of each day catching field mice and voles, as well as chasing rabbits and deer.  The downside is that she REALLY likes to dig…

Wow - this smells good! I think I can get my whole head in there

I’m pretty sure there’s a critter in here somewhere

catching voles

catching voles

Magpie loves to play. She will make a game out of just about anything. If you don’t have a ball or a stick to toss, she will make her own even if it means chomping a branch off of a tree or shrub.  Too big?  No problem, she’ll just break it into to “fetchable” sized pieces for you.

WOW! Look at all of those sticks!

WOW! Look at all of those sticks!

wanna play ball?

wanna play ball?

Perhaps a nice game of fetch?

Perhaps a nice game of fetch?

They have special parks just for DOGS?????  Magpie's first dog park.

WHAT????  They have special parks just for DOGS????? Magpie is overcome with joy at this new discovery.

Magpie is super duper helpful.  No task can be done without her.

helping dig ponds

Helping M dig a pond

Helping me dig up potatoes

Helping me dig in the garden

Don't dump it there!!!

Just a little more to your left…

I think you need more dirt up here

I think you need more dirt up here

I'm an excellent driver

I’m an excellent driver

Magpie is a water dog.  Nary a puddle, pond or creek escapes her attention.

playing in ponds

How about a swim?

Mmmmmm.... freshly drilled water

Mmmmmm…. freshly drilled well water

Get your muck boots on - it's pretty muddy in here

Better get your muck boots on – it’s pretty muddy in here

After a hard day of work and play, it’s time to head home.

it's long road home for a tired little pup

it’s long road home for a tired little pup

A mid-day nap is so refreshing

A mid-day nap is so refreshing

playing is hard work

I play hard and I sleep hard

going...

Going…

going...

Going…

gone!

Gone!

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About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
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12 Responses to Meet Magpie

  1. Magpie definitely has oodles of personality – it shines through in all the photos. My favourite is most definitely the one of her supervising the digger. Well, maybe the one where she’s completely flaked out by the camp chair. Or maybe the going, gone series – SUCH an adorable face that I’m sure that just as you would with a toddler, you forgive all her shenanigans when you see that peaceful, trusting, contented face. She clearly LOVES your farm, and was born to be a busy outdoor gal.

  2. She adores going to the farm – we call it Maggieland. And yes, it is waaaay too easy to forget the frustrating aspects of Magpie’s “overly exuberant” personality when you look at that sweet face. Never a dull moment when she’s around. When we are at the farm she doesn’t care if it’s raining, sleeting or snowing – she is happy to be out all day, but I notice when we are home, she’s a bit pickier about being out in the elements. She prefers to curl up in the kitty bed in front of the woodstove.

  3. Bill says:

    These are all delightful photos but I especially like the one of her crashed out on the dog bed. How I wish I could sleep like that!

    Farm dogs have a great life and every farm needs at least one good dog I think. Magpie reminds me of our Ginny. It’s great that y’all have such a good companion. 🙂

  4. bruceweir171234622 says:

    What a great dog!

    • Thanks Bruce! She’s a sweet pup. and thanks for stopping by our blog. I tried to figure out how to follow yours but was unable to. Do you still keep up with it? I noticed your post on the asparagus was from 2012.

  5. emjayandthem says:

    Aww, I could not resist that face, either!
    I came over from DM’s blog – and I’ll be back 🙂
    MJ

  6. So sweet! I think animals with personality are the best – I much prefer a sassy pet than a predictable one. Magpie looks lucky to have you!

  7. I nominated you for a Liebster Award.
    Here is the link back to my blog with all the info:
    http://sophisticatedjerseygirl.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/liebster-2/
    Cheers!

  8. Mighty kind of you – many thanks!!
    OK – Just read the rules – might take me a little bit to get to this – we are heading out to the farm for a few days – but I promise to do it!

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