In the Beginning ~ Part 3

TUF Critters

Let's take this time to introduce you to the fabulous ((and most adorable)) critters who live at The Urban Farmhouse Saskatoon. Some have been with us for years while others are just babies. Each is unique in their own way and all have a special place in our life and heart.

Grab a coffee, sit back, relax and let me introduce you to each of the TUF Critters.....

Hallie - American Cocker Spaniel. Hallie is our oldest baby at 10. She joined our family at 4 months old when we lived in Texas, and became a Canadian resident when we moved home in 2011. Hallie comes from champion bloodlines and is a former agility star. Hallie is a kind soul and can be a bit shy when around new people. Invite her onto the couch to sit with you and you have a friend forever.

Daddy Kitty - Stray Old Man. Daddy Kitty arrived a few years ago and we named him Daddy because we believe he's the Daddy to the kittens that were born and raised here. Daddy started out being a very thin, afraid and extremely hungry visitor and has now ended up as our pain in the butt door greeter. Some days he makes it impossible to go in or out of the house because of all of the rubbing up he does on your legs. Daddy lives outside and he recently got a new insulated house for winter. He is also besties with the ducks

Kemah - Bearded Dragon. Kemah arrived as a Christmas gift for Crystal on Christmas Eve 2014. She was a year and a half old then and quite skittish. But with daily handling by Crystal and Brielle, she came around quite quickly and is now the most absolute laid back, friendly, spoiled snuggle bug ever. Kemah can often be found sitting in one of the windows in the kitchen. She loves watching everything that happens both outside and inside. And some evenings she can be found snuggled under a blanket while Crystal watches tv.

Maisy is 3 years old and arrived at about a year old. She was handled a bit when she was really young but then her previous owner didn't spend as much time with her as she got a bit older. When we got her she was very flighty and would bite when you put your hand in to get her to step up. But with time, practice and lots of handling she warmed right up and now loves being where the action is in the house. Maisy has a presence amongst all of the other animals in the house and when she wants to be on the floor to find us or just wander around, nobody bothers her....even the cats. We've been working with Maisy so that she'll step up for strangers and it's been going well. She's definitely become a very social girl. And at bedtime she can sometimes be heard saying "night night."

Cairo & Kihei - Hermann's Tortoises Cairo & Kihei arrived at a month hatched. They were so tiny that they were about the size of a Loonie and fit on the top of a Keurig K Cup. Adorable!! They were hatched on different days and Kihei has always been slightly bigger than Cairo. They have very different personalities. Cairo is very active and high strung while Kihei is calm and laid back.....but he's the first to try to nibble on your colored toenail polish!! Now that they're 3 years old we've discovered that they're both males and have had to be separated. If they're not separated, they fight non-stop and can be quite mean to each other. In this pic they were together for literally a minute and during that entire time they were eyeing each other up and displaying dominance. During the warm summer months they each have an outdoor enclosure to enjoy and in the winter they live indoors.This winter we're going to hibernate them for their very first time.

Tucker - Teacup Yorkie Tucker arrived less than a year ago and is 2 years old. He came to us when we weren't even wanting another dog but after meeting him, we were hooked. He's cute, cuddly, energetic, silly, naughty, fun, bossy, a big suck and a tough guy all rolled into one 5 lb. dog. Our lives would be pretty boring without him in it.

Tao - Sugar Glider Tao is a male sugar glider that arrived in May of this year. We know absolutely nothing about his history but what we do know is that he is super adorable and is very sweet. He's always good with head scratches when we interrupt his sleep during the day (he's nocturnal) and when we take him out to hold him, he never, ever bites. At night he's extremely active and loves exploring and playing with all of the baby toys, bells, boxes, ropes, trees, hammocks and anything else he may have in his enclosure at the time. There's one thing in particular that Tao loves more than life itself and that's cheese. He would probably be convinced to do back flips for even the tiniest piece of cheese.

Rowdy & Cinder - Spoiled Rotten Kittens They're a year and a half old and yes, we still call them kittens. Truth be told, we probably always will. Shortly after building we had the sweetest cat arrive and stay outside. Not knowing anything about her we housed her for the winter and in the spring she birthed 5 babies just outside of our door. When the babies were 2 weeks old Mama Kitty got hit by a car and so we were left to bottle feed all 5 babies. And after falling in love, we ended up keeping two. Rowdy lives up to his name. He's a giant trouble maker, is extremely outgoing and is still a big baby. He loves to sit on anyone under a blanket, kneads with his front paws and sucks on the blanket. True bottle raised kitten. Cinder is small like her Mommy was. She's not quite as "rowdy" as her brother and she likes her alone time much more than he does. Cinder has a special bond with Brielle and will do pretty much anything Brielle swindles her into. The two can often be seen snuggling together watching tv.

The Ducks - Pekin (White) & Pekin/Roan Cross (Black & White) This summer we had the worst infestation of grasshoppers so we made the decision to enlist ducks to the rescue. They were 11 weeks old when they came to live at TUF, were free roaming in the yard during the day while we were home and were in an outdoor dog run at night. Now that they're older they've been upgraded to a large penned area of the yard, close to the house. They love listening to music outside, enjoy when the dogs are outside, absolutely love Daddy Kitty and the lawn mower. Yes, they love the lawn mower!! Dark Wing is the largest black duck and is definitely a male. He likes to peck at the others while they're swimming. His goal is to get them out so he has the water all to himself. He's often successful. Daisy is the smaller black duck and is by far the funniest girl we have. She's the only one who has a giant quack that sounds like she's laughing her little duck butt off. Sonny is the largest white male and he's become the leader of the pack. If there's a decision to be made, he makes it and the others follow suit. The five are inseparable Elliot is the smallest of the white ducks and always has been. He's highly excitable and is usually the first to start running around like a crazy duck when something fun is happening. It's very much like an excited dog running around with its tail between its legs. Sweet Pea is the shyest of the ducks. She's typically last to do everything and seems very cautious. I think she's smart to wait to see how the others handle a situation before she dives in. She's playing her cards right! The ducks are used to being locked up at night. Sometimes they're ready for bed before we go out so they stand in front of the pool room window and stare us down until we come out to escort them to bed. Other times we're ready for them to go to bed but they absolutely won't leave their buddy, Daddy Kitty. Silly ducks!!

Fluffy - Hamster Fluffy is about 6 or 7 months old and is Brielle's very first pet ever. She got to pick him out, help decide on the proper enclosure, food, etc and got to name him. It's also her responsibility to ensure he is fed and has water daily. I'd like to say it's 100% her responsibility to clean his cage but well, we all know how that goes. All in all she's been pretty great with him. He's an absolute sweetheart and puts up with a lot from a 6 year old. I think the thing that amazes us the most is how much he can actually fit into those cheeks!!

Olivia Nibblesqueak - Skinny Pig Olivia was born on August 28 and finally got to come home when she reached 200 grams in weight. She was hand fed and spoiled long before she arrived so all we had to do was take over. She's so adorable and we like to call her our house hippo because she's the closest we'll ever get. Olivia is a happy little piggy and it's fun to watch her "popcorn" which means run and jump and hop and buck all over the place in excitement. At night she can usually be found snuggling for up to 2 hours on Crystal's neck.....especially if she has a hoodie on. She curls right up and has a great little snooze.