One of Those Days

Jun
24

Readers have often noted over the years that I’m very patient with critical comments. Most of the time, I am. Sometimes, I’m not.


The photos in this post aren’t actually posted in order, by the way. The first photo was actually the second to last taken at that point. If you want to know why I was taking photos of the fawn and the dogs, asking is a good solution, and probably what people would do in person where on the internet they feel much freer to criticize or attack.

This is actually the first photo taken when I got to the scene.
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These two were the last two.
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How I present photos in order in a post is generally for storytelling, not for “covering my ass” in case someone takes a hankering to attack me for daring to even take photos.

I woke up late. The kids were still sleeping when I heard a bleating from outside. I was wearing a t-shirt and underwear and house shoes. My camera is almost always at hand and I almost always grab it on the way out the door. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have stories to tell about unexpected events, which is part of what I do for a living. I didn’t put my boots on at this point because nine times out of ten when I hear a frantic bleating outside, it’s a goat complaining about their day for no good reason. They do that. I went out to the driveway, using the zoom on my camera to figure out what was going on. I was not standing right outside the fence. I was standing on my driveway. In my t-shirt, underwear, and house shoes. I took several photos while I was zoomed in, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t even have realized Gwennie bit the fawn’s neck as I wasn’t close enough to really see what was happening. Often, it’s only afterward when I look at photos that I know what happened. At first, I didn’t even think the situation required my intervention, thought the fawn would turn tail and run to the back of the field and escape on its own, didn’t think the dogs would actually hurt a baby deer. I was taking photos while the fawn was running along the fence line, trying to throw itself through the woven wire and sometimes trying to run back into the field. When I saw the dogs circling it and then biting it WITH THE ZOOM LENS ON MY CAMERA, I realized I was going to have to intervene. This all happened in the space of a couple of minutes. I do NOT haul on my boots and race to the field every time I hear bleating, I’m sorry. First, I figure out what is going on, and depending on the situation, I may stand there for several minutes or one second before I make a decision.

I didn’t, in fact, go straight to the fawn even then, once I realized it was in trouble. I had to go back inside and get my boots. I didn’t take the time to puts pants on, by the way. I went back outside and to the field in my t-shirt, underwear, and boots. No photos were taken after this point other than in “calm” moments, like when Chloe was behind the gate of the goat yard and Gwennie was sitting “guarding” the fawn and when the fawn was walking the creek.

(To answer another question, I considered taking the fawn to the woods outside the fencing. I was afraid Chloe would get out and get to it. I saw no safe place for the fawn once it was down other than the barn.)

I didn’t take photos while, in my t-shirt, underwear, and boots, I was hauling one 100-pound dog after another OFF the fawn and across the farm. I didn’t take photos while I was carrying the fawn up out of the field. I was BUSY then, trying to save the fawn’s life. And yes, I went to the back door of my house with a large fawn weighing down my arms and banged on the door with my boot to wake up my 20-year-old son, in my t-shirt, underwear, and boots.

And I didn’t take photos when I took the fawn out of the barn and put it in the back of my Explorer and did what I had to do with it next either.

So unless you did ANY of that today in your t-shirt, underwear, and boots before you had coffee, including deciding while you’re still in your house shoes whether or not you should jump into the middle of livestock guardian dogs doing their job with a wild animal intruding into their field–ask polite questions the way you might like them asked to you if you had been the one in your t-shirt, underwear, and boots hauling 100-pound dogs off a fawn before you had coffee. And I shouldn’t have to explain any of the above, and wouldn’t if I hadn’t expended so much emotional and physical energy trying to save that fawn’s life. Some stories are more intense than others. This is one of them. But unless you were the one picking that fawn up out of the creek, it’s not as intense for you as it is for me, so I’m going to take a selfish moment and say if you don’t like that I took photos of the fawn before jumping in to save it, back off. You weren’t the one picking the fawn up out of a creek in your t-shirt, underwear, and boots after hauling two 100-pound dogs off it. And you didn’t have to subsequently safely dispose of its body where your dogs wouldn’t bring it back in pieces to your porch. (Someone even criticized me for taking a shower before calling the DNR. If you were covered in mud and fawn fur, you might be eager for a shower, too. And no, the DNR has not called back, which I suspected would happen, so that wasn’t exactly a crucial phone call on my priority list.)

P.S. I’m wearing pants now.
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RIP little deer.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 24, 2013  

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  1. 6-24
    2:57
    pm

    You do the best you can at the moment. Yes sometimes being a farmer is tough, but the joys far out weigh the sorrow. Sometimes there are people who just don*t understand how it works, but remember the others far outweigh them. You are doing a great job, here is a high five from all of my furry and feathered friends.

  2. 6-24
    3:01
    pm

    It’s never easy putting yourself out there to tell the stories of what’s going on in your life. People often have knee-jerk reactions without really knowing all of the facts, or thinking through what it would be like to be in that position. That being said, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that many, many, many people truly appreciate the time you take to share your stories Suzanne… good, bad, ugly, funny, heartbreaking, they are all a part of life. Without folks like you to tell the stories, a lot of us would really miss the really amazing things you have to share. We wouldn’t be as inspired to try out all of the cool things we do because you did it first…Keep sharing please. We do love your blog. :hug:

  3. 6-24
    3:05
    pm

    RIP little dear. Honestly Suzanne, it amazes me that people would criticize you at all. This is YOUR blog. This is YOUR life. What you choose to do with it is YOUR business. You are letting us into YOUR world, and you can stop at any time too. (I hope these trolls never get you down so much that you would want to stop.) People need to relax.

  4. 6-24
    3:14
    pm

    You are a wonder woman and may your critics be challenged to do what you do. The bold honesty that you share inspires many. Keep on keeping it real Suzanne. :hug:

  5. 6-24
    3:15
    pm

    Unfortunately this happens. Guardian dogs know their animals, and know when someone doesn’t belong. Had it been the predator that took the sheep last year, you wouldn’t have received criticism. My dog caught a robin when he was less than a year old, and he is always trying to catch one certain rabbit that likes to be in our yard. His hunting instinct is strong (lab) even though he is essentially a “house lap dog”, just as LGD’s have their instinct.

  6. 6-24
    3:19
    pm

    It’s not all convenient and pretty on a farm. I so appreciate that you share your stories with us – the good, the bad and the ugly because that’s just how life is! Although I didn’t read your previous post yet, I’m sorry that you had to deal with pettiness.

    And I just glanced at what denisestone wrote – I hope you don’t ever stop writing. You crack me up!

    Beth

  7. 6-24
    3:21
    pm

    Glad you have your pants on and you go girl! You took a lot on this one, I saw. I am sure that sharing the whole event was exhausting not to mention how physically and emotionally draining this whole experience has been from the beginning. You put yourself out there and when you do that, there are ALWAYS going to be critics. Personally, I think you are a dang brave woman for doing it. All of it. How many would even venture to pick up an even innocent fawn… that alone would have scared me. (how many of you critics have actually been face to face with a deer?) Try, please try, to not take to heart any comments that you know to be well um, shall we say, ignorant.

  8. 6-24
    3:22
    pm

    I don’t understand how people could criticize the necessary split-second decisions you made while trying your best to save a wild animal AND run a blog that we all enjoy FOR FREE (though I’m looking forward to buying your book!). I didn’t say this this morning, but I thought it: I think it’s probably good that the “oops, I’m easily trapped in fencing” gene carried by this fawn has left the local deer populace.

    (And I didn’t mean to sound critical when I said “tighten up the fence” – you asked “what would you do?” so I answered…)

  9. 6-24
    3:28
    pm

    Susanne,

    You certainly acted in a far more humane way that I would have done had this happened on our place. Nature is not compassionate toward crickets, voles, squirrels, quail, bunnies, or little fawns. Sometimes things just take their natural course.

    One day while my wife and I were out walking on our property our Bassett Hound wandered into the underbrush following a rabbit. She gave the distinctive howl Bassetts use when “on trail”. A few moments later the howl turned to a yip. The kind that can mean only one thing; “I’m hurt or in desperate life threatening trouble!” I waded into the woods to find her and see what the problem was and came face to face with a large buck in full “rut-induced” fervor. He and I faced off until (luckily for me and our Bassett) the buck decided to back down. My wife was standing on the trail when first the rabbit, then a doe, and finally the buck came racing past her. Many things could have happened in this situation. As it turned out, everyone left unharmed, but it could easily have gone differently.

    Situations faced on the farm are dynamic and you never know what the end will be until AFTER the event is over.

    You did well, Ma’am, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

    Your occasional neighbor,
    Larry

  10. 6-24
    3:29
    pm

    You know better than most how to “put on your big girl panties and deal with it!”. We who live the life know exactly what you do and marvel at it still. Very high farmgirl five for all you do!!

  11. 6-24
    3:30
    pm

    I think someone in the other post had the right answer when they said that cuteness plays a part in some of the responses. My heart immediately went out to the fawn. But..if the dogs had been protecting your farm babies from a true predator I would have not had that same “awwww” moment. Sad that this adorable animal was killed but you have to feel great knowing that your dogs are indeed going to do their jobs. They are, after all, farm workers. (Beautiful ones!)
    What would I do? Not a thing. I would only read about this online…in town… with two cats and no farm animals, living vicariously through you because I’m too chicken and don’t have the energy to do it!
    Thanks, Suzanne, for letting us all see that it’s not *all* fun and parties on a farm.

  12. 6-24
    3:31
    pm

    Glad you are now wearing pants. And I do hope you were able to have at least one cup of coffee, too.

    Haters are going to hate, and the internet seems to host too many who feel the need to share their venom. You did what you could given the circumstances this morning.

  13. 6-24
    3:32
    pm

    Hoping Suzanne has time to take a nap today.

  14. 6-24
    3:34
    pm

    Suzanne, I read your blog almost every day. I don’t know how I missed this one, but I went back and caught up on it and it’s comments. I rarely comment, but want to offer my support here.

    I’m so sad that the little deer met such an unfortunate demise. That said, I know you did everything you possibly could to save it and must have been wrenched by the whole awful episode. No, you shouldn’t have to explain why you take pictures. It should be obvious (duh!), although, I never thought about the fact that you use your telephoto as binoculars. Good idea.

    Anyway, I’m cheering you on for delivering to the critics a well deserved rant!

  15. 6-24
    3:37
    pm

    Good for you Suzanne. You keep telling ignorant people to back off. You had a very traumatic morning, being woken up to it. Knowing the love you have for all animals this was a very very traumatic event for you. May the little deer rest in peace and may peace come back into your soul. You did your best. Youdid good.

  16. 6-24
    3:43
    pm

    Just a few questions after you gave us a run down of what you were wearing- did you mess up your pedicure? I am certain you lost a nail in the ruckus, right? And I am guessing you had a bikini wax recently right? Because otherwise you wouldn’t have dared run out in your panties, Victoria’s Secret by any chance? :devil2: :heart:

  17. 6-24
    3:44
    pm

    I think you did the right thing…getting between any dog and what they what is dangerous enough, but when it’s a LSGD it’s a whole other ball game. They were just doing what they were bred to do on instinct with no bias as to the type of animal that they are protecting their herd from. It’s sad, but they and you did what you had to do. I have seen two Pyrenees fight and it is not pretty or something you want to be in the middle of.

    As for those that will be haters or are ignorant of the things that happen in life…suck it up buttercup because on the farm life and death happens and it’s rarely pleasant!

  18. 6-24
    3:51
    pm

    “Discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome.”

    On that note, VikingMiss has a point. IF they would have saved your sheep at this farm, or IF they would have saved your sheep at the other farm, you probably wouldn’t be getting criticism. But hey, they saved your goats from that big bad baby deer. I remember thinking when you told those other stores, “Where the heck was that big bad guard dog?” Boomer did a better job than that. Think I’ll stick with my Chihuahua and a shot gun. And I also have a problem with stopping to take photos as well. Shoes or no shoes, I would have gotten those dogs off that deer — not stand there and take pictures of it. I really could have lived my whole life without seeing that dog’s mouth around that fawn’s throat. I’m not a “city slicker.” I have a farm with over 30 sheep, 4 horses, dogs and cats here in West by god Virginia. I’ve even raised 2 fawns so maybe that’s why I’m so critical. Call me a troll if you wish, but that’s just my “differing opinion.” I’m done now. Literally. Good luck with your farm and all it’s drama.

  19. 6-24
    4:04
    pm

    Good riddance, Merino Mama.

  20. 6-24
    4:12
    pm

    I should have gone out there to wrestle two livestock guardian dogs off a wild animal in my house shoes, Merino Mama? Seriously? I wouldn’t have had the footing to succeed if I’d done that. IT WASN’T EASY. Note that I had two strong children in my house but didn’t take the time to even wake them up to help me at that point because I didn’t think the fawn had that much time. As I already stated, when I first went out there, I wasn’t sure that my intervention was necessary, and it took a few more moments for me to decide it was even prudent after I determined it was necessary. I do consider my own life and safety more important than that of a wild animal, cute or not. I don’t dive into a fight with multiple LGDs and a wild animal without taking a moment to THINK. And get my boots so that I have sure footing before I jump in to pull them off it. You’re even criticizing the dogs in your comment! (Obviously they can’t win for losing!!)

  21. 6-24
    4:14
    pm

    Wow, you had your share of drama this morning!

    The only craziness around here that I had to deal with was a baby (mine) screaming because he wanted his breakfast Right Now, and wasn’t going to put up with any delays.

    I had even less clothing on at the time! But… I was inside, and there wasn’t any blood.

    :sheep:

    Keep your chin up – the day can only involve less adrenaline from here on out!

  22. 6-24
    4:27
    pm

    Suzanne, I back you 100% on your actions. It’s very easy for anyone who wasn’t in your shoes during this incident to play Monday morning quarterback – i.e. say what they would have done in your position. None of us can know for sure what we would have done. We do what we think is best at the time, and that’s exactly what you did. Don’t second guess yourself – it will drive you nuts. Just ignore the Merino Mama’s of the world who exhibit such a “holier than thou” attitude. You don’t need to surround yourself with that kind of negativity. Take a moment to just breathe, eat some chocolate, and realize that 99.9% of the people who come to your blog love you and respect you and SUPPORT you. Hugs.

  23. 6-24
    4:36
    pm

    I would have to agree that you did what was necessary for the moment. I would have done the same thing. Dealing with wild animals makes things like this difficult to deal with. So don’t worry about what other people say because they weren’t there with you so they have no idea what you went through.

  24. 6-24
    4:43
    pm

    I’m with you 100%, Suzanne.

  25. 6-24
    4:46
    pm

    We had 11 sheep mauled by our neighbors dogs. It is not pretty. I have been covered in blood, dirt and wool. Some animals I could nurse back to health, some I had relieve them of their misery. It is not pleasant, but is a part of raising animals. I commend your courage to show how life on the farm really is.

  26. 6-24
    4:59
    pm

    oh Merino Mama, I see you took from my comment what you wanted and left the rest. You say I have a point–but you completely missed it.

  27. 6-24
    5:10
    pm

    :wave: Oh my I joined at a bad time. I thought I had it bad rescuing a cactus wren from a cat one morning or burying a family of baby quail whom walked into an Olympic sized pool (cat litter pan). I should of had a ladder. It’s not one of those the best part of waking up is folgers in your cup kind of days. Mean people everywhere. Be thankful your not being bullied and unloved like Paula Deen. I am sick of what the regular shows are doing to her. You sure you want to open your life up to this? They do shows on Bullying and then they talk negative about you from past. Where is the love anymore Aarghhhh! :snoopy: Thank you for the delicious recipes and what happens always ends and starts again. We must always Hope for the best forever & ever. :dancingmonster: (I’m to sexy for a shirt)

  28. 6-24
    5:10
    pm

    Oh merinomama. Anyone who has ever lived on a farm knows that it is as DRAMATIC as it gets. Geesh, the only one causing unnecessary drama is you. Get over yourself.

    Good job Suzanne. It’s miller time.

  29. 6-24
    5:32
    pm

    Suzanne — you did what you had to do. For those that are critical you can do differently on your own farm. Having spent my entire life on a farm everyday brings adventures where we have to make spur-of-the-moment decisions. Many, if not most, of these scenarios involve risks to all parties involved. We make the decisions in the blink of an eye and nature sorts out what’s left. I say Great Job on what you had to deal with. Keep up the great work and continue to keep us posted on your daily dealings with all things FARM. By the way, I bet you were quite the site.

  30. 6-24
    5:34
    pm

    I have two negative comments. #1. Why post a dog attack? #2 I think I see 3 dogs in the attack. Is that 3rd dog a ” livestock” guardian? Once a dog who is not specially bred to guard livedtock.one needs to be careful about that dog turning on other animals.and even humans. You are obviously a good perdon. but.in my opinion it would have been better left out. And we did get the picture of you in underwear and slippers..haha….

  31. 6-24
    5:42
    pm

    Hindsight and all that. For the record, I’d probably would have put on pants first. I’m a shutterbug so I know how small a space you took these in. Besides, I love this site because it has so many pictures. What a sad way to start your morning, wrestling with large dogs (which I know weigh a lot more than 100 lbs when they are in an ornery mood) and trying to rescue the poor fawn. I hope you took some time to rest. :ladybug:

  32. 6-24
    5:58
    pm

    You GO girl. I love the saying “your opinion of me is none of my business”. But it is one thing to believe that from a safe distance, and quite another to try to put in in practice when you put yourself out there in a blog. I recently has someone accuse me of being a trustifarian and being “privileged” on my blog. I deleted the comment. But I’ve been writing replies in my head ever since. And all they had to do was ask “so, how are you able to afford to live like you are living”. I would be happy to share. I’m an open book. Sigh.

  33. 6-24
    6:00
    pm

    Ok my little rant: Why post?! Seriously? I guess life on the farm is just supposed to be SUNSHINE and ROSES? I thought this blog was the real life happenings of Suzanne. Sure not everything gets posted, she is entitled to keep some buffer from the rest of us nosy nellies. But I for one want to hear about the good the bad and the ugly. Suzanne, thanks for letting us into your life. I know the negative comments are hard to bear. But you can’t please everyone.

  34. 6-24
    6:03
    pm

    Oh Merino Mama, to put it bluntly? Fuck off. You are a troll plain and simple. You’re not sharing a “differing opinion”; you’re showing your ass. There’s a huge difference.

    The same goes for anyone else who feels like they have some sort of leg to stand with their absurd criticism. Please, get off your high horses. No one is forcing you to read anything.

    She made the best decision she could given all the factors present, and that should be good enough for everyone to accept. Honestly, the woman doesn’t own anyone an ounce of explanation about what happened.

    Yes, sadly, the fawn died, but that isn’t the earth shaking news some people seem to be making it. It’s a deer, people, not a Panda cub. West Virginia is full of them.

    (p.s. And I can’t believe people are actually criticizing the Pyrenees for guarding the farm. That’s like going to a Mexican restaurant and then complaining because they serve tacos. Heaven forbid !)

  35. 6-24
    6:05
    pm

    Suzanne, my biggest question is why in the name of heaven do you even reply to the negative comments? Someone above said it very well when she said this is YOUR blog, YOUR life, and YOUR choice to share or not to share with the rest of us! You did the best you could in the situation you were in! Your dogs were doing their job. They can’t tell the difference between a baby and a full blown attack. It’s simply ‘stranger danger’ with them, as it should be. You showed common sense regarding your own well being. Had that deer not already been weakened or was a little older, it could have sliced you to ribbons with its hooves! I wonder if she even thought about your camera being your eyes on the situation before you realized the danger and who cares what order the pictures were in? So, Darlin, you just keep on keeping on and don’t let some self-righteous hack get you down cause they think they could have done better! Thanks from all of us who enjoy your pictures and the words you share of your farm life. No, it isn’t always pretty and can be really heart-breaking at times, but for those of us less fortunate to live on our own, we are so privileged to be able to share your farm.

  36. 6-24
    6:07
    pm

    I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself, Suzanne. Like everyone, you did the best you could at the time. People who sit on the ‘net and MMQB (Monday Morning Quarter Back) what you did have never been in that situation in the first place. That’s why they’re on the net reading about it, instead of out doing it. I have always, and will continue to always, be very thankful for your honest portrayal of farm life. People need to see that it’s not always like Little House on the Prairie or whatever other ridiculous nonsense television would have us believe. Good on you!

  37. 6-24
    6:24
    pm

    I raise Chinese Cresteds who are 10 pound dogs. The other day a ten pound sick mole thing got in my yard while I was gardening and my sweet adorable, trained, lap raised Cresteds remembered their breeding as ship ratters and attacked. It took me and my 13 year old son (and we were both dressed) an hour to get the dogs off and in the end I was hysterical, son was pissed, the dogs were bloody and the mole was dead. Say what you want when you aren’t in the moment but we all do the best we can with what we got. And if you don’t believe that – you haven’t dealt with it. Thirty seconds to take a picture or thirty wouldn’t have made a bit of difference.
    LOVE your blog, Suzanne. Thanks for keeping it real.

  38. 6-24
    6:33
    pm

    Suzanne, as I said when you were criticized when your baby goat died, please don´t delete nasty/snide comments, and use your writing skills to answer. To the people who differ; grow up! Enjoy what Suzanne has to offer every day, which is a lot, and if you don´t like what you read, go elsewhere.

  39. 6-24
    6:34
    pm

    I’m very sorry this has happened, Suzanne. I feel for you. And I thank you for being so brave and true and for sharing your life with us. And I’m sorry to hear any negativity. I’ve always felt safe coming to your site and I know you do your best to keep it that way.

    All the best and here’s to peace, love and understanding.

  40. 6-24
    6:45
    pm

    I’ve never commented and went through the signing up to wordpress thing in order to. I enjoy your blog a lot, even though I’m a new reader. I’m also a blogger.. and I have a farm and raise animals. I love animals, all of them, and while this is an unfortunate thing to have happen, bad things do happen. I knew when I saw your post you would get a lot of flack for it- so many people take things in so many different ways. It’s hard when you are not the person living in that moment in that situation to judge or to say how you would have acted or responded. It’s fine that we might have acted differently in our heads, but reality is always something different. It’s an unfortunate thing to have happen. I have Pyrs and I know their guarding instinct. They accept and protect a chick if they know it belongs there, and they take down any animal that they don’t accept. Mine would never hurt any of my rabbits (I’ve had chance to see many times) but they will take down any other rabbit that comes in their fenced areas. I even have one wild one they have accepted because I let it come in the barn (loose of course, it goes as it pleases) but they’d kill any other one. it’s a complex thing with the dogs and they reacted normally, even though it’s really sad. I would have been terribly distraught by the entire situation but I don’t see how you could have really changed anything. And as someone told me recently when I debated sharing about my illness on my blog, “it’s your blog and you can share whatever you want to, if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read.” And really that’s how I feel about this and your situation. So I hope you don’t let this get to you too much and your day improved!

  41. 6-24
    6:48
    pm

    Just FYI, I haven’t deleted any comments. All comments made have been posted. It’s actually very rare for me to delete a comment.

  42. 6-24
    6:53
    pm

    Life is hard…and farming life is even harder.
    What a horrible experience. (and I don’t mean the whole thing with the fawn) It’s too bad that some folks feel it necessary to be so mean when it’s obvious that they’ve never faced a similar situation.
    I’ve been out to check on things here on the hill in my pajamas more times than I care to count. I’ve taken pictures of stuff that I’m certain some find disturbing. However, there is no way to predict what might happen, or prepare for it (otherwise, you might always wear pants….lol) Part of being a good storyteller is to take your reader with you. Pictures tell a story that words cannot.You are keeping it real, and folks should respect that fact!
    Your stories and struggles resonate with me. We farm in the Valley of Virginia. I’ve done milk cows and sheep and gardens…et al for years. (www.homesteadhillfarm.com)
    Hang in there. Keep the faith! ’cause haters just gonna hate…

  43. 6-24
    6:59
    pm

    Can I just say to those who are quick to judge…WALK A MILE IN SUZANNE’S T-SHIRT, UNDERWEAR AND BOOTS, before you open your mouths! I feel as though Suzanne is doing a fantastic job. My God, I couldn’t see myself doing what she does and I am tough!
    I wish that all those who don’t get it would just back off!
    Suzanne…I love what you do!

  44. 6-24
    7:00
    pm

    I have read your blog for years and rarely post a comment. However, I feel compelled to offer my support and encouragement, Suzanne. You have repeatedly demonstrated great compassion and dedication to your animals. I grew up on a farm in Spencer and your actions seem far more humane than most. Deer behave in inexplicable ways. Case in point: the numerous carcasses I see along Rt. 33 when I visit for a weekend. Livestock dogs are going behave according to their natural design. You risked danger to yourself when you intervened on behalf of the fawn, and many farmers would not have done that. And, yeah, the boots were a must during the crisis. No sane farmer would wrangle animals in house shoes! Boots, yes. Pants, optional. :)

    I hope Merino Mama stops commenting, and as far as I’m concerned, please feel free to immediately delete those nasty-grams. You don’t need it, and it sounds like the rest of us aren’t interested in it. I am not pro-censorship, but in this circumstance, those comments are far outside the community norm. And, this is YOUR blog, not a constitutional democracy. :)

  45. 6-24
    7:55
    pm

    Merino Mama…Really? I agree, yours is not a differing opinion– YOU are the drama

    Good riddance- don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out-

  46. 6-24
    8:19
    pm

    Thank you for sharing the reality of your farm life Suzanne. Anyone who dislikes it can and should avoid reading it. Farm life isn’t sugar coated and anyone who thinks it will be should move on to a make believe blog.

  47. 6-24
    8:28
    pm

    I’m sorry, Suzanne that some people are so crass and heartless. Take comfort in all of those who support you and understand–kinda–what you go through on a day-to-day basis, thanks to your kindness in sharing your life with us. I’m glad you got it off your chest though. Hugs

  48. 6-24
    8:51
    pm

    Please continue to share your life with us. I’ve learned so much about farm life, and am starting to apply it now that we have our first chickens. (Goats to come!) Don’t let the naysayers get you down…….

  49. 6-24
    9:37
    pm

    Good for you, Suzanne!!! Atta girl!

  50. 6-24
    10:34
    pm

    Gee, my dog attacked a groundhog a few years ago. I did not intervene. He also will kill a mouse any chance he gets….again I dont step in to save the mouse. Someone better string me up and flog me for being irresponsible.

    More than likely the fawn died from adreniline from the fear rather than from the injury. and an adreniline charged wild animal, even a young one, is not a passive cute little baby, it is a DANGEROUS WILD ANIMAL.

    Suzanne, you have guts girl, to intervene in that with TWO large dogs to wrangle away.

    Once again, your post tells the untold side of farm life. So many idealize living in your situation, but also they really DO need to know that is not all cute little lambs and a pretty horse in the field.

    Your blog rocks and it inspires me to attempt many things i have thought about but had not yet had the courage to try, and to try things that i never even thought about. The many that love your blog outweighs the negative comments of the few.

    And seriously folks, anyone that does not like this blog, the exit door can be accessed in the upper right corner….its marked with an X. As for me, I will be back daily!

  51. 6-24
    10:35
    pm

    I think you lived out the moment the best way you saw fit to at the time…and that is what matters the most. In a world where so many things are romanticized, I for one are very glad that you are so real…and not at all staged. I agree with so many others, that the situation may have been sad for the “cute” factor, but you did very well dealing with your difficult situation. Don’t second guess yourself. Life on the farm comes with unexpected adventures, joys and sorrows… I like a good happily ever after the same as others, but life on the farm doesn’t always deliver that. Thank you for being real!

  52. 6-24
    10:40
    pm

    my 2¢:

    It’s Suzanne’s farm.
    It’s Suzanne’s blog.
    They are Suzanne’s photos.
    They are Suzanne’s stories.
    It’s Suzanne’s life.
    It’s Suzanne’s livelihood.
    We are guests and voyeurs.

    Where do you think Suzanne
    got the stories/photos for her
    soon-to-be available book?

    Where will she get the stories
    for her second book?

  53. 6-24
    11:08
    pm

    Well I thought the over kill on the rain in our area yesterday was bad. You win or lose or need a stiff drink or three. I use my camera with the long telephoto lens that I bought especially to see far away objects for figuring out what the heck is going on all the time. I can find the camera in seconds, nobody dares to borrow it like they do the binoculars. I often take pictures in the process because I end up with some really cool shots that way that I would have never gotten so I totally get that reaction. I’m not sure I would have waded into the dogs attack. maybe just don’t know. I probably would have told the story but not used the pictures because I’m not able to take the criticism as calmly as you. The fawn may have gotten spooked by another person, animal, noise and ran/fell over your fence. It may have been one of those fawns that didn’t follow its mother’s instruction to remain hidden, went adventuring and got itself into trouble. It may have died of shock. The dogs could have caused internal injuries. It could already have had injuries before the dogs got to it.

    And to the person saying the dogs were not good at their jobs by not saving the goats and sheep from before, other than Casper (the follower), neither of the Great Pyrs involved were on the farm when those things happened. Suzanne only had Coco then, who in one case was in with the goats and not the sheep. And as in human tragedies, sometimes.in the protection of many one may be lost.

    I also agree if this had not been a cute little fawn people would not be near as likely to find fault.

    I think you are handling this well and with grace.

  54. 6-24
    11:14
    pm

    Suzanne, you do a wonderful job on your farm and your blog. I’m so thankful that neither you nor your dogs were hurt. You go, girl!
    A forever reader, Pat in Eastern NC

  55. 6-24
    11:15
    pm

    :wave: Hey Suzanne
    OK for one I glad that the critics have such wonderful(boring) lives.

    I am very PROUD of the way you handle all the strange things that go on at the farm.
    It isn’t every day that all hell breaks loose(while you are in your undershirt and undies) and you have to deal with huge dogs(that you love)doing such a sad thing. But that is what they are trained for to protect the farm from WILD animal. Cute maybe but wild none the less.

    Remember you will always have critics. When they live in your skin for awhile then maybe they can have an opinion.Until then not so much.

    Love your blog and like I said I’m proud of all you have accomplished and how far you have come. :hug:

  56. 6-24
    11:31
    pm

    Suzanne, I just wish some people would keep their DAMN mouths shut and NEXT time I hope it is their dogs, but then we have to remember they are shitty slickers and living vicariously through you. I suppose someone will flag my comment, but I am TIRED of people who don’t know and would probably faint if it happened to them.
    I live on a farm and I know what you go though, I sympathize with yo and you having to put up with that.

  57. 6-24
    11:40
    pm

    Suzanne,

    So sorry that so much hubbub occured because of your honest post. Death happens, wild or domestic, it IS a farmer’s way of life. Unfortunately a number of people jump in with ill-conceived comments, not taking enough time to THINK…they weren’t there, they didn’t need to make the split-second decisions. You handled it well. In having taken photos you help educate us all to the possibilities that may occur rurally. Hey, and doesn’t it always seem the case that the “official” help is offline or unavailable?!!

  58. 6-24
    11:51
    pm

    Further to my comment above…I once thought to intervene between fighting animals…my dog and a stray…I wound up with a broken finger!! You were brave to do what you did.

  59. 6-25
    12:14
    am

    Can’t please all the people, all the time. Lucky if you can please some of the people some of the time. Sh*t happens.

    I hope tomorrow is a better day Suzanne

  60. 6-25
    12:15
    am

    I think you have loads of “city” people reading your blog. There are much worse things happening on most farms, things that cannot be helped.

    I think you did right by setting those folks straight. They sit in their homes reading your blog, living vicariously…all the good stuff but are horrified by the “bad” stuff. It is stuff farmers and ranchers deal with regularly. Not for the weak-willed. Or city folk sitting in judgement. I can only imagine how they would react to butchering rabbits or chickens, etc.

    Good for you Suzanne!

  61. 6-25
    6:51
    am

    Aw sweetie. What a load of CRAP you have been through! I think that angry critical people are one of the chief reasons I don’t blog as much as I used to. No matter what you do, not everybody’s going to agree – as you are well aware! I’m sorry they have gotten under your skin. Love reading you so much!! :hug:

  62. 6-25
    7:58
    am

    Oh my what a terrible thing to happen. Nature did take its course. On one hand its sad such a beautiful animal died. But on the other if it was a fox, coyote, or bear it would be different. Those animals are beautiful also by the way but not ones a farmer would want on their farm. The dogs did their job like they should. Even Casper. As a dog owner I realize that even as friendly as my dog is he is capable of attacking something if he had a mind to in order to protect me and my family.

    Actually it was a good idea that you looked though your camera first to see what was out there. You could of walked into a worse situation.

    This is the facts of life and this is what happens. I know people would rather not think about it, see it or even deal with it. But these things happen. Its not pretty, its scary, and sad. In the end those dogs did their job. I would be happy about that. I would be a little more concern if they was playing in the field with it.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Frankly I”m kind of amazed at your bravery that you got in there and pulled the dogs off with out getting bit!

  63. 6-25
    8:10
    am

    If that fawn had been a oppossum, I bet there wouldn’t have been an uproar.

    Every year our dog kills at least one fawn…we try to keep him close to the house during the spring, but the does sometimes leave the fawns in the meadow behind my house. Our sweet and loving pet kills the fawns when he runs across them. It happens.

    I think someone should take her chihuahua and her shotgun and……

  64. 6-25
    8:25
    am

    Farm life is not all rainbows and sunshine and crappy things like this happen. Suzanne, I would have tried to save the fawn too. You have my support; farm life is challenging – all day and every day!

  65. 6-25
    9:08
    am

    I don’t think you should have to defend your actions for the random farm life happenings. It’s nature occurring as it does – it’s National Geographic up close and personal – I applaud you efforts for trying to make a bad situation better – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Farm life is tough which is why farmers have to be tougher.
    Hang in there!

  66. 6-25
    10:04
    am

    As someone and as a descendant who was born and raised in the farmland of East Texas for more than 47 years, I think I’ve earned the right to say that not all farmwork is sunshine and sweetness. You must do what you think needs to be done for any species at any unexpected moment. Sometimes it is harsh, but in the long run, best for that particular species. In my opinion, Suzanne has demonstrated good, sound decisions over the years and unless you’re ready to “put up or shut up”, then tend to your own business before getting into someone else’s . She deserves a special reward because she has tried for so long, on her own. You’re doing a wonderful job, Suzanne!!

  67. 6-25
    10:59
    am

    Okay, so against my better judgement I went ahead and read the comments after I had previously skipped them. I have one comment. Unless you own a Great Pyrenees……..you have no clue! I have had dogs all of my life and only recently acquired a Great Pyrenees/ Great Dane mix. She is only four months old but with the strength of a grown man. If you think taking those dogs off that fawn was a walk in the park then you are seriously wrong! Good work Suzanne. You did the best you could with the situation at hand.

  68. 6-25
    12:50
    pm

    Suzanne,

    Don’t spend one more second of your life thinking about any criticism that may come your way. We do the best we can in the circumstances we are given. No one has the right to judge. No one.

    Rose

  69. 6-25
    2:49
    pm

    Hey Suzannne,

    Just had to say how much I love you and your blog and books!!! You are the best and your website is one of the really good things about the internet. I am thrilled to see many more positive comments than bad here. That’s because that is all you deserve. You are a ray of sunshine. Take care.

  70. 6-25
    4:25
    pm

    We’ve lived on a farm since October (we are city folk). I appreciate hearing stories like this to learn from them and be prepared to deal with situations we are not used to. Thanks Suzanne!

  71. 6-25
    4:45
    pm

    Luv – I don’t comment very often and I am not a farm girl tho I have had pets so am not completely unfamiliar with animals but – You do run that farm – in that you are the one to make the difficult decisions – maybe you have help with the doing of things but… about the fawn – I didn’t take the time to read alllll the comments but I wonder why it was on the farm, it seems like this is an unusual occurance because I don’t remember you posting anything like this before so maybe it was sick or injured before it ever got to you? we will never know but you tried your best to save it.

    your wonderful dogs did their best to do what they are there for. even if the fawn was not a menace, the dogs are not people and just know that the fawn was not supposed to be there and might hurt the animals the dogs are there to care for. so they did their jobs.

    as far as hauling them off the fawn, I have had basenjis before I ended up in a wheelchair and tho they are only about 20 pounds they are incredible fast, agile and really strong and its amazing you managed what you did with your giant puppies as I always think of them because I have been reading your blog for that long.

    taking photos – I too use my camera zoom as binoculars from my balcony so understand. glad you shared this with us – your blog makes my days easier to bear and I take the good with the bad – if its something I don’t want to read – I don’t so there to the people who want to criticize. either don’t read the ones you don’t care for or don;t read at all and let the rest of us who appreciate you enjoy.

    know that you are not alone tho Suzanne – I was just told – told mind you – by a younger relative of my deceased husband that I am not allowed to post pictures of injured and/or abused animals on my facebook page despite the fact that I do so to support the rescue agencies because she doesn’t like to look at them. I quote “cute animals are ok”.

    some people!

    you rock, I support you and can’t wait till your book is out.

  72. 6-25
    5:02
    pm

    Awwww!! The Good, The Bad, and the ugly, this is what keeps me reading your blog. keep up the reality~~I’m loving it.

  73. 6-25
    6:31
    pm

    I am calling PETA!! :devil2:

  74. 6-25
    6:35
    pm

    Just Kidding!! You did a great job, crap happens. make sure you didn’t get your panties in a bunch when you finally put your pants on. Love your blog. PICTURES and ALL! Hugs! :hug:

    I wonder if you had gone down with your gun if that would have been more acceptable?

    :shimmy:( That shimmy should be holding a spoon over a pot.)

  75. 6-25
    8:02
    pm

    A perfect example of how sometimes life outside the city isn’t always pretty! Your dogs were just doing their jobs as LGD’s.
    As for those that criticize- if you don’t like the contents of a reality based post, perhaps you should go read something based on cotton candy fluff! Suzanne- I have been reading your blog for a long time now….you totally inspire me!

  76. 6-25
    11:13
    pm

    I read and commented on the original post, and Suzanne I hope you will look into my suggestion of finding a wildlife rehabilitator and keeping their number handy.  NOT that it would have made a difference in this case, but someday it might.  It doesn’t surprise me at all that you have yet to hear back from DNR, and I bet they would have told you to shoot the fawn if they had called.  It is their answer to many situations.
    I really like reading this blog, and I think it is something special.  I think I am almost caught up from the beginning, and I’ve only been here a few months.  Still working on the recipes!  I am surprised sometimes how you let commenters get under your skin, and I think that is charming.  I think these couple of derogatory comments bothered you because you were so upset by the whole incident to begin with. 
     By the time I got to comment #60, i had to go back reread Marino Mama’s post to see what got everyone so worked up.  At the risk of being flamed, I do think she is also entitled to her opinion, (which is welcomed, right?) although she didn’t say it very kindly.  Some of us care about all animals, and not just OUR animals.  I think Suzanne feels that way most of the time or else I wouldn’t be here. I think the people talking (bragging?) about all the wild animals their dogs have killed, or how some species are “vermin”, are pretty unkind too.  Just because some incidents are “facts of life” doesn’t mean you can’t feel upset or dismayed about it.
    Thanks for the blog, Suzanne.  Hang in there, you are blessed to have all this emotional support.

  77. 6-25
    11:50
    pm

    I’m about ready to walk away from this blog. I have enjoyed reading it for a few years, but lately the content and tone have changed. I used to like reading new recipes but those are few and far between. I liked hearing about West Virginia history and what it’s like to live there. After all the tempest in the teacup about the baby deer drama and the camera, etc and all the vitriol and name-calling, I’m pretty close to done. This quote from Holstein Woman is sticking in my craw:
    “but then we have to remember they are shitty slickers and living vicariously through you”.

    I live in town. That does not make me “shitty”. You don’t know my background or the background of anyone else who reads this blog. My grandparents and their parents farmed in Michigan for years. Real farming with animals that died sometimes (sheep) and crops that were worked with the seasons. My folks still live on farms. I live in town. This does not diminish my worth as a reader or as a person. An “us vs them” mentality will not serve this blog in the long run. Lots of town people read this, will continue to read this and support Suzanne. I’m just not going to be one of them.

  78. 6-26
    7:19
    am

    I really don’t understand how people can get so emotionally invested in a baby deer or why they would create so much drama around a situation in which they weren’t involved. The trauma was experienced by Suzanne and her farm residents. It isn’t a great societal issue that needs our help to be resolved. It IS an accurate and emotional account of what happened on her farm one day. And I would have wanted to write about it, too, to help me process and deal with a traumatic event. I’m glad she wrote it, I don’t mind the pictures. This blog is incredibly educational, on many fronts. AND it is very professionally done, unlike so many other blogs which are not only boring, but full of bad photos and grammatical errors.
    Can’t wait for the book.

  79. 6-26
    4:43
    pm

    You know, if you had tried to intervene sooner, most likely you would have been bitten accidentally. When animals get that worked up, it doesn’t matter how much they love you if your arm gets in the way of a bite.
    You did the right thing.

  80. 6-27
    12:30
    am

    I am glad to see the ferocity of those rising up in your defense! You did all that you could, and afterwards you posted a raw episode about the life of a farmer. There is life and death, happiness and sadness. If you are not willing to post anything but the happiness, it is not a true reflection of the life of a farmer. Thank you for sharing the good AND the bad.

  81. 6-27
    1:37
    am

    Death is a part of life. I think we as a society have become so far removed from this fact. Yes, it’s sad the fawn died, but these things happen every day. Farm life isn’t all sweetness and rainbows.

    Nature is harsh. Animals have animal instincts. We can’t change this, no matter how hard we try. I’m learning this fact, and learning to leave it in God’s hands.

    I think you’re super strong, Suzanne. Thanks for allowing us to share in all your adventures — both the pretty and not-so-pretty ones.

  82. 7-3
    12:10
    pm

    Clearly I’ve been busy with the garden and work since I’m just getting around to weighing in on this…

    I’ve done some pretty terrible things without pants on. Suzanne, I’m with you.

    I have to admit. I’d probably have let the dogs do their thing and not intervene. Just too dangerous to get between a LGD and their job.

    And thank you for sharing the ugly stories of farming. As the husband and I are on the cusp of making our dreams come true for our farm, I really need to be reminded of reality sometimes.

    Stay strong girl!

  83. 7-6
    2:30
    am

    God Bless you young lady. Sounds like you did everything you could and did it right. Then you had the courage to share a terrible experience that would rip the heart of any animal loving person such as you and it flushed out some fools – an inherent danger of blogs and forums, and of our society in general I’m afraid. There are so many that will jump to negative conclusions without politely asking questions first. Thank you for sharing some real life with us, you inspire and encourage more than you know.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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