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Happy Tail: Beating the winter chills

The cold snap brought blankets for the dogs at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue - from from three different people - Debbie Bennett, Vicki Shivel, and Eden Bradshaw - and that made life tremendously better for the residents.
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By Peg Schaeffer

Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.

It's been hard just keeping warm

It's been a hard job keeping warm this past week. Our first concern is always the animals. We put blankets on the horses, extra straw in the stalls and dog houses, and try to keep the water buckets free of ice.


It's been a hard job keeping warm this past week. Our first concern is always the animals. We put blankets on the horses, extra straw in the stalls and dog houses, and try to keep the water buckets free of ice.

Even our most hardy dogs came in the house at night to escape the frigid weather. Luckily we received blankets as gifts for the dogs from three different people - Debbie Bennett, Vicki Shivel, and Eden Bradshaw. I put new blankets in all of the crates and then laid them on the floor. The senior dogs were always the first to claim a spot on a blanket - all but Max, our senior Golden Retriever. Max must have spent his life outside because no matter what the weather is he prefers to sleep outside. I have tried to force him to stay in by putting him in a crate but he barks the entire time. Funny thing is - when I open the crate door he'll lay back down and go to sleep. I guess he doesn't like to feel fenced in. Then he will lay by the pet door so a draft blows on him. Eventually he goes outside and disappears for a while and comes back when the chill bothers him.

The other night there were six dogs on on bed

It's practically impossible to walk with all the dogs sleeping on the blankets all over the floor. They pig pile - laying on each other. We have Kuranda beds and some are bunk beds. The other night there were six dogs on one bed. Sid, Tillie, and McKenzie were sleeping together on the top bunk and Snoopy, Cooper and Farfel on the bottom bunk. Alongside them were Shaggy and Ollie. Shaggy is a Chihuahua and Ollie is a Boxer mix. Shaggy had his head resting on Ollie's belly as he slept.

We have some die hard dogs that would rather sleep outside. They have warm, insulated dog houses and we have the kennel with straw in each pen with heat lamps to keep them warm. But they all can come inside if they want. We have pet doors upstairs and down.

The other morning when there was snow scattered on the ground I watched the dogs play from the picture window. Fluffy, the Great Pyrenees had a tug of war rope and was tossing it in the air and catching it. Zoey, as Husky mix, intercepted and the two of them had a great time tugging on the rope trying to get it away from the other.

Some of the dogs made game of catching snow billowing in the air

Some of the dogs raced up and down the lawn trying to catch the snow as it billowed in the air. Just like little kids they rolled in the snow. I wonder if they try to make snow angels.

Some of the dogs even have winter coats. Maddie and Thumbelina have hoodies. They look so cute in them. Diablo, my Chihuahua that's built like a football, has a poncho, complete with a hood. He loves to wear it. Kelsey refuses to wear clothing. It's just not dignified. Some of the tiny dogs have turtleneck sweaters to wear in the house.

We have a room that our two cats live in with Gertie, a senior Blue Heeler. The windows let the draft in so I put plastic over them and it's been a big help. I didn't realize how much cold air was getting in. You can see the plastic swell from the wind. Plus there are two heat lamps in their room. They love to lay under them. We have a teeny, tiny Chihuahua named Pebbles that can't weigh even 3 pounds. It's so cute to see her snuggle with Gertie under the heat lamp.

Less than 60 degrees is too cold for me

What about me and Keith in this weather? I HATE the cold. Less than 60 degrees is too cold for me. When I go out to feed I bundle up - turtleneck, sweatshirt, and army jacket along with thick gloves and a warm hat. Keith loves the cold. He can spend hours out there. He makes sure everyone is comfortable and warm and that they have water and plenty of food.

At night the dogs that sleep in the bed crawl under the covers to keep warm. Dogs snuggle in their crates and on the blankets strewn on the floor. Others sleep under the heat lamps or burrow in the straw. We try not to let winter get the best of us.

- Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Sugarfootfarm.com
sugarfootfarmrescue@yahoo.com
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675


This story was posted on 2015-01-11 09:24:45
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Six on a bed: Siesta time at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue



2015-01-11 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by peg Schaeffer.
Six dogs on the Kuranda bed. On the top bunk are Sid, Tillie, and McKenzie. On the bottom bunk are Snoopy, Farfel, and Cooper.

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Happy Tale: Dog life on Top of the World, at Sugarfoot



2015-01-11 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
Keith trying to get the blanket away from Elmo. Eden Bradshaw had donated her birthday presents to the dogs and Elmo grabbed one of the blankets and took off. It took us quite a while to get it away from him. I guess he wanted to be the first one to sleep on it. - Peg Schaeffer

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