Sleeping Angels

Can words describe these angels?



































BeautifuluntitledNov 12_-326DGoldensTreasure

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So long for now…….stay tuned for the next post “The Definition of Cute”

The Great Escape

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other SideImage

As I meandered to the kitchen sink to rinse out my coffee cup Friday morning Rockin Roy calmly informed me of the fact Rosie and Francis were OUT.  The burro’s getting out is a HUGE fear of mine as I am convinced they will say “screw you Jo, we are finally free again and are going back to were we came from”

Fortunately for me they did not take off so fast.  From the kitchen window I could see them happily munching away on our overgrown lawn.  Maybe I should just let them stay up here for awhile I thought?  That thought did not last long.  Visions of fresh budding roses chomped down to the nubs prompted me to make a move.  I grabbed my camera (of course) slipped into muck boots, put a smile on my face and was out the back door.   No big deal I told myself, with all the loving and training we have been doing these gals will just follow me right back to the barn.  Well not quite.  After a few more munches of lawn Francis took one look at me in that cute way looking down, and Rosie too using her monocular vision.  They had other plans for the morning.

ImageOff they went into our newly tilled vegetable beds.ImageWhoa……what nice soft dirt.  But where is the grass?ImageHere it is!  ImageAt this point it was apparent the donkey’s had plans other than following me to the barn.  And food is always in their plans.   I called out to Rockin Roy who unlike me was getting ready for his work day.   I NEED TREATS!!ImageWell so much for that plan.  I guess they did not see orange.  At least today they did not.  They were having WAY to much fun being knotty.ImageImageOh….. maybe they are going to run right back into their stall for breakfast.  ImageNot a chance.  Francis wanted to show me how beautiful she looks in a more natural environment. Image
Francis looked at me as if to say goodbye and Rosie started to travel down into the canyon.  This is when I thought my worst fears were going to come true.  Rosie and Francis were starting the next chapter in their life titled  ” The Wild Burro’s of Rock Creek Canyon”

But no sooner than I could say BOO…..they made a swift decision to high tail it back up the hill and back to the ranch.  There were many things to investigate.  Like the pool pump, and the picnic table.  I this point I had to stop and think about how far they have come since they arrived at Sundog Ranch.   They WERE actually curious and investigating and NOT being scaredy cats.

ImageImageImage     OK I said,  you guys have had way too much fun today.  While I have you on the OTHER side of the fence how about I put into action some of the training we have done.  Time to put down the camera, put down some grass hay then grab a halter and lead.
As soon as the grass hay went down Rosie made no bones about it and trotted right into her stall.  OMG big smiles from me!!!  However,  Francis being the girl that she is decided she was not going anywhere quite so fast.  But she DID stand quietly and allow me to halter her  HALLELUJAH!ImageImage     Francis then took one look back at the canyon as if to say “so much for The Wild Burro’s of Rock Creek Canyon”.   At this point I had to AGAIN put my camera down and get down to do some serious training…..or so I thought.  Francis did eventually allow me to lead or DRIVE her into the stall.  I can honestly say I did not get kicked or run over either.  Let’s just say we need to work on leading some more and put off that video presentation we thought we’d do.


Needless to say my day got a little off track.  Rockin Roy was off to work and I was living on donkey time.

Adios Amigo’s

Goats Head Soup



                                                                                                                      Cinnamon    Feb. 2013     “I don’t need no stinking braces”

      Cinnamon make this face at me with one of the burro’s placed perfectly right behind him.  I happened to have camera in hand.  It was maybe a second in time but I caught it!  So cool because it is so goatish.  Is goatish a word? No.  But I am going to make it one.  Goats make funny faces and expressions.  They do very odd goofy things. When the weather warms up I promise you I will spend some time videotaping them IF I can catch them at the right time.  Once every few days they have these spontaneous intense play sessions which last for about 10 minutes usually spurred on and lead by Sweet Pea. It is HILARIOUS!  Their faces and watching their daily antics is what makes you to fall in love with them.         Image

         Cinder at the gate.  2010     “LET ME OUT”  A common pose among goats.

When Rockin Roy and I first got Cinnamon and Cinder it was for practical purposes.  I was a city girl becoming a country woman!  I told Rocking Roy we have to learn how to manage this land.   Every spring the grass and brush start to grow like crazy and over take this place.  Can we say FIRETRAP?  Rockin Roy had to spend hours with the weed wacker and I was the lucky one kinda resistant to poison oak who spent hours in the spring and summer cutting brush (when I could have been riding) then burning it in the winter.  Goats were the answer I thought.   Rocking Roy being the saint he is agreed to sign on to the goats.  So we started with two adults.  Long story short now also have 5 growing babies who are all coming up on their first birthday here real soon.


       I have a few photo’s here showing their weird kind of beauty if you can call it that.  Taking photo’s of goats close up with a wide angle lenses is a challenge.  Their first inclination is come right up to you to investigate the camera.


Topaz  Feb 2013                    “Can I eat that thing you are sticking in my face?”


  “If not I’ll just go strip the bark of this redbud since the leaves won’t come out”  NOT!!

Redbud when it is leafed out is their favorite.  Lucky for this tribe of goats, we have plenty of it around here.  Did you know a herd of goats is called a tribe or a trip?  My goats are a trip!  Goats are browsers and go from one scrub to another.  We have plenty for them to choose from.  They like grass but prefer scrub oak, poision oak, manzanita, toyon and  buckbrush  just to name a few.  The only problem is that most are not leafed out in the winter so unless we feed some grass hay they start to strip the bark off a lot of things eventually killing the plant.  NOT good especially on our propagated trees that we need for shade around here.  Another  lesson I’ve learned while becoming a country woman using goats to manage this land.   Image

       Sorrel    Feb 2013            “Doing my job on the Buckbrush”


  Sweet Pea Feb 2013                         “My Sultry Look”


                                  Sweet Pea’s Halo


                     Dublin  Feb 2013                    “Weird Goat Beauty”

Dublin is our biggest challenge.  He is first at the gate, first to knock over the grain bucket, first to jump up on the hood of someones car.  If fact the only one of my goats that will do that. He lost his brother and buddy Dingle to a mountain lion last fall so poor guy does not have anyone to pair up with like all the others do.  Maybe that is why he is a challenge.  But isn’t he handsome?  He is a Alpine goat and his black and tan marking have a special name that I forgot.  I have to message the vet from New Zealand who told me.  I will find out.  Here is Malachite below getting a drink on a hot day this summer.  Fish in the tank to keep it clean is another trick I’ve learned becoming a country girl.   Boy the stories I can tell about that subject.  I’ll save them for another day.  Signing off for now.


          Malachite           Aug. 2013                     “Goats Head Soup”

                                             Hope you enjoyed my goats for the day.

                             Stay tuned to the drift for more goofy goat stories to come.

                                                             Adios Amigo’s

Ahwahnee One Eye

     ImageThis is a hard post.  Life does not always go as you wish.  Our little miracle baby Sundog, Ahwahnee, born 1/27, seen above in the China bowl is going to have a challenge in life.  But he does not know it.  Life is going along just fine as far as he is concerned.  You see today we found out that Ahwahnee is missing his left eye.  Or at least that is what the vet determined.  Ahwahnee COULD prove them all wrong since he IS the miracle puppy.

        Ahwahnee wants to share his story “FIRST VISIT TO THE VET”

                Here we go. Snow, hail and frigid temps did not phase us.  I was scared at first but soon learned all was good once the engine started up and my human turned on the tunes.


We arrived at the vet and got checked in.  I chose to stay sacked out in the basket.  Just too much stimulation and were the heck was my real MOM????   ImageThe nurse came right in to see us.  She held me down and stuck some things in me but I was a perfect gentleman.ImageThe big dog on the wall was a little worried about me I think.ImageI weighed in at a whopping 2lbs 3oz.  After my cat nap the vet was worried because she could not find the GLOBE behind my shut eye, whatever that is.  She thought I needed a bigger examination and to be sleeping deeply.  If I could talk I would of told her I would have held still for her.  ImageMy human mom started to get quiet and I got kinda worried.  THEN they put us in this really nice but kinda sad room to wait for my big examination.

ImageMy human was wiping her face with the wipes in a box.ImageI don’t remember this part.ImageNext thing I remember is I was back in my basket and my human kept checking on me.ImageNope……….. I’m not waking up till we get back to Sundog Ranch.  My REAL mom greeted us the minute we stepped in the door.  Thank goodness she waited for me.ImageI was SO hungry!!ImageImageAND I needed a little cleaning up.ImageAfter this wonderful feeding I got to go back to my buddies and back to sleep.ImageImageImageWhen I woke up I had a new American Indian name….Ahwahnee One Eye! Image My human tells me I am already famous.  I’m not quite sure what all the fuss is about.  I am just happy to be home.  Until next time…Big Puppy Hugs and Puppy Breath to everybody.


I lied.  I have some secret new family members at Sundog Ranch.  They are a litter of three week old Golden Retrievers.  Let’s just call them the THE SUNDOG BABIES for now.  They are babies of our Miss Maisie Rose and her special friend who lives in another town, Black Jack Casanova.  Whenever we have a litter of new Sundogs we have a puppy name theme. This year we have named these babies after American Indian tribes and names.  Here we have Chinook, a big white male with a green ribbon.  He is seen here cuddling with Tenaya, a girl,  in lavender.   As you can see they are very comfortable with each other.untitledNov 12_-97DGoldens

Are they some of the cutest things you have ever seen?  At this stage it is hard for me to get anything done around the house.  I just want to watch them, hug, smell and kiss them all day. untitledNov 12_-92DGoldens

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Here goes Tenaya.  She is on the move.  She has places to go.   She likes to do this and yelp at the same time every morning around 6 am.  WAKE UP everybody.untitledNov 12_-77DGoldens-2

Here we have Shoshoni in the our farmers market basket.  He was not into this photo shoot.  Please let me go back to my whelping box and sleep who ever you are with that big black thing in my face.

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Here is Shoshoni again showing his pretty golden color.  He’s under a tiny huddle BEFORE the crazy lady with the camera whisked him away to the basket. He is smothered by our little Ahwahnee with the yellow ribbon.

untitledNov 12_-72DGoldens untitledNov 12_-70DGoldens Here is Ahwahnee showing his size.  He too wants to go back to sleep in this photo.  If fully awake he would of been out of this bowl in a second.  We think Ahwahnee is so tiny because he was a little premature.  Some how the biological parts of his mom and dad must have hooked up later in the game.  He has not quite woken up like his siblings YET and one eye is still closed so say your prayers for him that he is just a little behind and will catch up in no time. untitledNov 12_-37DGoldens

Here we have Lakota.   He thought hanging out in the basket was just fine.

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Mom is checking to make sure he is OK.untitledNov 12_-31DGoldens

Next we have our big girl Cheyenne.  She too was cool with the basket but soon became bored and tired so after this photo shoot back to the whelping box for everybody.untitledNov 12_-24DGoldens

Here I am.untitledNov 12_-16DGoldens

Here I am again in a slightly different pose, showing off my new claws.

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I’ve had enough, out of the basket.untitledNov 12_-7DGoldens

Time for a nap again.  That photo shoot in the basket was hard work.

Meet the Family: Part 3

The Sundogs

Image                                From left Sasha, Maisie, Yolo, Lassen, Nevada

In my first two posts you met Sasha our youngest and her mother Maisie.  In this post I’ll introduce you our three other Sundogs starting with Yolo.  Yolo for some reason ALWAYS ends up in the middle of the group,  and I don’t plan it that way it just happens.

Yolo is short for YOLO BOLY ROLY POLY HOLY MOLY   hard to spell but you get what I mean right?Image     Here he is looking very regal with his signature color GOLD surrounding him.  Yolo is 8 years old and known as our “special needs child”  He has a intense desire to be a lap dog even though he weights upward of 80lbs.

Next we have Lassen, otherwise know as Mr. Lassen.  Lassen and Yolo are brothers and have lived their whole lives up here at Sundog Ranch.  They are BIG TIME BUDDIES!

Here is Mr. Lassen relaxing in the arena this morning while I do my chores. Boy does he need some grooming.Image

Image     Here is where Lassen hangs out while we are cooking dinner.  Notice his eyes pointed towards the kitchen making sure no morsels fall to the floor and go uneaten.

Next we have Nevada or Nevi for short.  Nevada is Yolo and Lassen’s sister.  Why you ask did we keep 3 DOGS from our first litter?  That is because we tell all our puppy buyers if you ever have to give the dog up you can bring it back to us.  So believe it or not Nevada came back to us at age 7 since her family hit hard times and could not keep her.  With our 04′ litter all the puppies were named after counties in California and they all still have their puppy names.  Here is Nevada looking very happy and pretty in Tahoe last year.Image

Below Nevada is not looking so pretty.  She had just pulled her head out of one of many dirt holes she likes to play in.Image

Next I have to introduce you to a very important member of Sundog Ranch. He is my SECRET.   For purposes of this blog lets just call him ROCKIN’ ROY.  Why Rockin’ Roy?   Because ROY ROCKS.  Without Rockin’ Roy  Sundog Ranch would not be possible.  Besides he is the nicest guy I know, he is my other half.

To start with Rockin’ Roy is very good to the Sundogs.ImageImageAlmost every night while I have a glass of wine or a cocktail, Rockin’ Roy cooks me dinner EVEN after he works hard all day.Image      Roy is a duck hunter and brings home wild duck for us to feast upon from time to time. Roy is happiest when duck hunting with his buddies at the Napa River…as you can see by the smile!

Image                    And that is not all why ROY ROCKS.  Rockin’ Roy has done many projects (urged on by yours truly)  to make Sundog Ranch what is is.  Just check out some of the cool things he has done here.  To start with Rockin’ Roy installed windows in our whole house ImageImageImageThen he built our very sweet shed row barn, seen here on New Years Day 2011.


Check out these cool vegetable beds Rockin’ Roy just put in last weekend!  And he will grow the vegetables in them this spring!Image                Roy put in ton’s of custom rock around the house starting with……         The pool decking which caused him to loose about ten pounds while he was doing it. Image

This nice rock wall for our Sundogs to pose on.Image                                           This rock surround around the hot tub .Image                                  The entry stairs to our humble abode.Image        The entry way of my dreams, and also the pump house in the background.                      Image      And I can’t even begin to show you a fraction of all the fencing and gates Rockin’ Roy has put up over the years.ImageImageImageImage              One more thing not pictured here.  I have not showed you the “Puppy Palace” that Roy built.   That comes in another post with another secret.

Signing off….hope you enjoyed meeting our family.  Bye bye for nowImage              Yours truly,  Jo Jo,  Johanna or Jo for short, happy in the sun with her Sundogs.

Meet the Family: Part 2

ImageSince I ended my last post with a goat I will start with my most famous goat in this post.
Meet Dublin, a Alpine goat.  This is a goat you don’t know whether to hug or strangle.  He is into everything, the hay room, the tack room, the treat bucket, you name it.  In this photo he has his head stuck in a gate.  I decided to leave him there for a few minutes to see if he would learn his lesson and not stick his head everywhere.  Mean of me huh?  Guess what?  No lesson learned.  Fortunately despite his annoying traits he is very loving too, so he gets to stay on the ranch and not end up in someone’s taco.



ImageNext we have Malachite and Topaz.  They are brother and sister and are a Nubian and Toggenburg cross, hence the airplane ears. The Toggenburg give them that pretty chocolate color.  Their passion is jumping into and eating out of wheelbarrows.Image


Topaz and Dublin working on the ranch earning their keep.

ImageSo that’s it for the goats.  Maybe someday we will have babies but I think these guys have everything under control.

Next we have Hanna.  Hanna is 17.  It is amazing she has survived this long living among five dogs who regularly chased her up and down the staircase for the first 8 years of her life.   Present day her survival skills are still intact.  Poor thing still has to contend with the five dogs.    After moving to the country Hanna decided to become a indoor kitty.  Smart girl.


For years her house was in the master bedroom exclusively. Here she is looking out the window.


Occasionally she would venture out to the living room to try out a new spot.




This is her present day spot.  Near the fireplace graced behind with photography by your truly.

And last but not least I’ll save my BIGGEST animal for last.  Meet GQ.  His fancy name is RDL’s Prince Elite.  He is a grandson of the famous Appaloosa stud Prince Plaudit.  GQ is 18 and has been in the family since he was 4.  He used to be a Western Pleasure show horse but now he has the pleasure of living a placid life on our ridge and going on weekly trail rides.ImageLet me tell you this horse has given me a run for my money.  I have “come off” this horse in more ways that I care to admit.  But it is all good now.  You see despite the fact I could of been hurt I felt sick to my stomach when I thought about divorce so I decided to learn Natural Horsemanship.  Long story short with a lot of patience and work we are now big time partners and I would never dream of giving him up. I’m a much better horsewoman too.Image

Fall or winter this is the guy for me.

Believe it or not I still need a “Part 3” to finish introducing you to the whole Sundog Ranch clan.
I have the rest of the Sundogs to entertain you and a secret.  Stay tuned for Part 3 of “Meet the Family”.


Meet the Family: Part 1

   In the last two posts you met my two youngest Golden’s Maisie and Sasha, on our vacation in Tahoe.  Now we are back at the ranch.   In the next three posts if you have not met them already I will introduce you to everybody at Sundog Ranch.

     Meet the newest members of our clan Francis on the left and Rosie on the right.  They are two wild burros (donkeys) adopted from the BLM last October.  Francis is about 10 and Rosie 4.  They were rounded up in the high desert region outside of Susanville, Ca. compliments of our government’s new screwed up policy on wild horse and burros.    Their job will be as guard animals for our goats.  Francis actually belongs to my sister Susie and will guard her sheep at her property later this spring.  It is my job and gift to my sister Susie to gentle Francis along with my Rosie.  They need to accept us humans.  Soon I must put some markers on them to tell them apart…just look at those SHAGGY COATS which are keeping them so warm in this chilly winter weather we are having.Image

As you can see they are not too shy anymore and becoming fond of the camera.  Are there any treats in there?



ImageBig shaggy ears and faces are our trademarks.


Next meet my crazy horse Chiron.  He is one of the funniest characters in our clan.  He is a 6 year old quarter horse and loves to play.  Here you see him on his daily morning routine of running around like a manic which always includes coming up to say hi to me, flapping his nose around and sticking it in the camera just like the donkeys.


In part 2 or 3 maybe I can get my other elusive horse, GQ, to come around.

     Meanwhile meet some of the goats.  Mr. Cinnamon on the left and Cinder.  They are brother and sister Nubian and are pretty much inseparable.  We got them as adults a few years ago to try having goats clear our brush land.  Are they cute together or what?


     And since the land clearing by Cinnamon and Cinder was not quite going fast enough and we loved their company we decided to get a few more mouths to clear.

     Meet Sweet Pea, she was born of a litter of quadruplets last spring and is quite the little Princess.  We just love her to pieces.  She is one of the main reasons for the guard donkeys.  We have mountain lions around here, no kidding.  (No pun intended)


     We also have Sweet Pea’s sister, Sorrel, who just today (I think) learned to drink from the automatic waters.  I am such a proud mom.


Hope you enjoyed this post.  Feel free to post your comments.  Bye Bye for now.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Meet the Family.

Winter Stroll on the Lake

untitledNov 12_-103DGoldensSasha’s White Magic

I have a good excuse as to why this post is so late!   Maisie had her puppies January 27th  and I have been keeping a watchful eye over them.  One of the pups was extremely  tiny so I had to put my nursing skills to good use and supplement the poor tiny guy so he could put some meat on his bones and compete with his brothers and sister for some much needed momma’s milk.    I’ve lost a pup before and I was not going to let that happen again.   Stay tuned for puppy pics coming soon.

So go backup about a month which will take you to these images BEFORE Maisie’s puppies arrived.    We had a blast playing in Tahoe before all this puppy work started.

Being with my dogs and camera in the powdery snow in my favorite place in the world is heavenly.  Not only heavenly for me but for my dogs.  Even in the dead of winter my dogs want to head for the water.  Last post you saw Maisie and Sasha near and IN in the Truckee River.  This post shows Maisie and Sasha at Lake Tahoe.  I put the brakes on swimming this day.  Was afraid Maisie’s puppies would get too cold inside her and I was not in the mood for wet dogs in the house since the backyard was literally covered in sheets of ice and snow.

In the mornings and afternoon I pry myself away from the computer and we journey to the lake.

Here is Maisie shadowed in the late afternoon, temperatures plunging,  looking out to the most beautiful lake in the world.  What do you suppose she is looking for?  Most likely something moving.  Birds, buoys or maybe just the gentle mountain breeze ruffling across the ice-cold water.


Here is my beautiful Sasha posing for the camera.


Sasha posing again with Mom looking on.  The very long Tahoe Taverns Pier in the background.  The temperature started to plunge, my hands were frozen and it was getting late so we did not venture out to the end.

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I get frustrated when they keep sticking their heads in the snow.   I don’t want to photograph your butts all the time you guys!  I honestly don’t know what they were digging for.  Probably some poor critter trying to stay alive.

untitledNov 12_-30DGoldensThe next day on our morning stroll by the lake Sasha leads the way to the pier.  I just love the way the sun shimmers on the water.

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More digging and butt shots.  Still not a clue what they are after.  It seems to be driving them AND me crazy.  Hope you enjoyed my SUNDOGS IN THE SNOW vacation.  Next post back to reality at the SUNDOG RANCH….reality is not so bad.

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