October 26, 2009

All of the ladies in Asia came in the other night. Just before dinner we checked to see where Miss Shirley was (she had been down Lake Road all day), and she was heading back to the barn all on her own, without any prompting from anyone. It was not cold enough that the ladies would have had to come in the barn, but most of them seemed chilly, so it was nice to see Shirley coming back. We talked about it being a nice change from the multiple hour (or sometimes all night) walks back to the barn, when the temperature made it necessary for the girls to be in, but they didn’t seem to think so.  And we were happy that Shirley would have the night to warm up since it’s been wet and chilly for days now. As Shirley came in the barn though, the sad part of the scenario hit us. Every night, and I mean EVERY night, that Shirley and Bunny would come in, they would have a celebration when they walked through the door. There would be trumpets, rumbles, squeaks—enough noise to make the floor shake. This was even though they had been together all day and had even come in together; that’s just how they were. This night, Shirley just walked in quietly and ate her dinner next to Tarra. She had on her big grandma smile as she was coming around the corner; she did not appear sad, and she has been doing great, but there are just certain moments where Bunny’s absence is palpable, that you feel Shirley’s loss of her loving sister, and this was one of them. 

This past week Tange and Flora have been in the Barn overnight a couple of days. When you go to let them out they pretty much run away into the woods. Lots of sun bathing, weed eating, and, as usual,  knocking down trees.

Even in chilly weather, Miss Frieda is determined to spend as much time as she can outside. She eats her meals in the small Annex yard right outside the Phase I barn. When she’s finished, she’ll stop in the barn to say hello to Liz and Billie, but then it’s right back outside to where the caregivers have just cleaned the yard and put fresh hay out.  A few days ago, it was Lizzie’s turn to be eager to go outside.  She shot past Frieda into the main Phase I yard, and had her breakfast out there instead of inside like she usually does. The Girls are always full of surprises.

And most recently

The ladies have all been enjoying the mild, sunny weather immensely. Naps are high on the list of things to do during the day. Today the girls displayed some wonderful silliness during afternoon feed...a caregiver drove past Minnie and Lottie on the opposite side of a creek bed. Min went into the creek bed, spun and went back out the way she came. Lottie continued after the caregiver far into the 60—apparently dinner was her number one priority today. Minnie stayed next to the road, head held high, trunk swinging, mouth wide open. She seemed to be utterly lost in joyful play. She continued to spin, then suddenly went down to her knees in front so that her trunk was on the ground. With her rear end still high, she bull-dozed her way across the ground effortlessly. Then she stood and ran toward the fence dividing the 40 and Night Yard Extension. Deb and Ronnie watched curiously as this went on. After a loud blow and a bit more head tossing, Minnie decided to head out and join Lottie for dinner.

As a second caregiver returned from emptying a wagon, Debbie and Ronnie now took up the happy-dance. They spun tightly around each other, trunks up and ears out. Squeaks from Ronnie, and Debbie was even trumpeting! They saw the bright orange wagon, and Debbie ran playfully toward the fence with her ears out and eyes bright. Ronnie stayed and spun some more. Both ladies continued to spin, vocalize and run into the Night Yard. Everyone was overcome with warm-weather fun!

The two caregivers on the 4-wheelers sat and watched the Girls immersed in their own version of Oktoberfest and laughed right along with them.

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