TONTON AND BABIES

TonTon does not much like babies. But his job is to be wherever I am and in fact anticipate where I am going to go. And he is very good at that. But put him in with a passel of piglets and he will take on a ten-foot gate to get out. Yesterday I commanded him to stay put. 

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He is usually not allowed in with the piglets when they are little but I was in there so long yesterday trying to get the nose to nose shot that he simply could not contain himself and had to come in to see what was going on, then before he could get back out he was told to Go Down and Stay.

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Usually, Ton has something in his mouth to indicate that he is working and on instinct he keeps his head turned away from the little ones. This is an animal thing. Direct looks are interpreted as challenges. Animals use their peripheral vision with greater confidence than people. We turn our heads this way and that as our eyes see best straight ahead. But pigs and dogs have their eyes set into the sides of their heads so they watch using their swiveling eyes. Movement attracts attention.

I see this a lot in pigs too, they will wait very still and watch from the side of their head, their eyes unblinking, then when the dummy who is sneaking up is close enough they attack using the sides of their heads as their first weapon. Ton will watch from the corner of his eye, trying not to attract attention for a long time then when the piglet gets too close,  he quickly stands up and moves away.  In these images he is being commanded to stay still so as not to scare them. And he does not like it one bit.

BooBoo behaved and stayed on the other side of the fence. Molly would have chased him out so he was on command to stay behind the fence.  And Boo is more than happy not to get in the way of a protective sow.

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See how Ton’s ears are quite flat. He wants to be out with BooBoo not in here being inspected and nibbled on by babies. (There is a very sweet Instagram video of this if you want to scroll down and join me in Instagram world).

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This image below is probably my favourite of the set. The wee piglet under her mother’s ear. Nose to nose.

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By this time of year, the piglet’s garden is looking a bit derelict.  I hope I get time to resow it in the spring and get some good growth before  Poppy’s next farrowing comes around early next summer if all goes well.

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Here is a picture I took with my iPhone of Sheila doing a sitting bull imitation.

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She is such a glorious creature, is Our Sheila.

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Today I will make these images into Zazzle postcards so you can buy them if you like. This might be my favourite shot of Sheila this year! Shame it was with the phone and not the camera. The phone images are nice small but can do weird things when enlarged.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

WEATHER: Another good drying day.

Wednesday 10/18 0% / 0 in
Abundant sunshine. High near 70F/21C. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

Wednesday Night 10/18 0% / 0 in
Clear skies. Low near 50F/10C. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Sun
7:07 am 6:07 pm
Moon
Waning Crescent, 2% visible 5:45 am 5:58 pm

 

40 Comments on “TONTON AND BABIES

  1. Poor Nanny Ton Ton!
    They look quite big already – all that extra milk. Sheila looks quite content to have escaped all the baby nonsense.

  2. I love the piglets with their noses to mama. It looks like she is telling them to behave and not bother the dog and they are saying “mama we weren’t doing anything”!

  3. The sweetest collection of photos! I can see Ton Ton is not happy hanging out with the kids. 🙂 Sheila is just gorgeous. Tell her I said so. All of us larger ladies need a compliment once in a while. 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh! My heart goes out to Ton! He looks very, very uncomfortable indeed!!! But he is so good, and so very well trained, and probably thinks you have a reason of some sort for putting him through the grueling encounter with the piglets! 🙂 And of course the piglets just love him!!! Super pics of the rendezvous! And wonderful pics of Sheila!!!

  5. Oh Ton looks miserable with his ears batted back and every thing just looks down….. He is a wonderful co-worker though. Molly and the babies are so sweet. They would make great sweet cards. (Hum, Mother’s day cards?…. I’m giggling over that idea even)

    • Just went to Instagram and looked at the 3 babies from 10/7 to now – LOOK how much they have grown in 11 days! Do all your babies grow this fast or is it because it is just 3 and they have a huge milk bar to partake of?

    • Mother’s Day is a wonderful idea – when I make greeting cards I leave them blank so anyone can write anything in them! Plus I am useless at putting txt on photos.. c

  6. What a wonderful batch of photos today, and so very hard to pick ‘the special one’, in the end (I think) my vote has to go to the last one of TonTon nose to nose with a curious piglet, but then the one with the baby under Molly’s ears great too! Then what is not to love about Queen Sheila 🙂 Laura

  7. I have seen this body language and lack of eye contact, with the wild mammals as well. I have learned also, as a human being the main predator, not to bare my teeth in a smile, lest the animal run. I speak softly, if at all. And I do not look directly at a wild critter unless I am able to take on the challenge. I keep my look downward, hooding my eyes – not making eye contact – and as you say, use the peripheral scope to keep watch. It becomes natural to me as a frequenter of the woodlands. If I want to get any decent photos or approach wildlife, this kind of respect and communication is of utmost importance.

    Your favorite photo is also my favorite. And who can deny Sheila who looks so contented? Maybe there IS something to lazing in the mud.

    • Thats right – when I was training Wai to come to me I would always look away slightly. I think this is why animals hate having a camera lens pointed their way. It is a visual challenge so they immediately drop their heads. It took me a while to train the cows to close-ups.

  8. Love these shots of TonTon and the piggies!!! He’s a grand one!! And Queen of the Farm: Sheila!!!

  9. LOL, what a sorry-looking fellow!
    Hopefully now (after being subjected to this “terrible” experience; ) Ton will be able to resist entering the pig’s enclosure? (Or perhaps he won’t think it’s quite so bad after all? ; ) How old is he?

    • Deb, excuse me, but I’m hitchhiking a ride on your comment so I can get through to Ceci – seems everything I’ve written lately is signed ‘anonymous’ and today my comments aren’t even going through (I’ve written three – this is #4). Thanks for letting my borrow your space, Deb! Signed, Sunny

    • TonTon must be close to eight but he actually should not be in there – it upsets the sows to have a dog close to their babies. This was probably half the reason he was uncomfortable in there – waiting for me to yell at him to Get Out!

      • Yes, he certainly had a hang-dog expression all right: ) Hopefully having those wee ones get so “up close and personal” might be just the deterrent he needed, hey?

  10. Nothing, I mean NO-thing is more fun and cuter than squeaky, squealie babies inspecting your person! Ton should be happy he’s so loved!

  11. Something weird going on here, Miss C.! I’ve noticed my comments lately have been written b ‘anonymous’. and now they are not even coming up. Can your or the computer lady help me out? HELP!!!! Sunny sunnylois19@sti.net

    • Her name is Samantha and I have left her details in the cottage industry page. Just send her an email if you would like to hire her – she is happy to do little jobs too and will write wee tutorials for you. But it seems to be happening to other people too today – I have no idea why… c

  12. Ton is a real tribute to your good training. To go down and stay even when he knows it’s not normal and right, and to submit to wriggly piggy attentions, he is a star of a dog. And the Divine Miss S in her glorious coat of mud and her brilliant smile – thank you! It has been a real day for smiles 🙂

  13. Oh I just watched TonTon and the 3 little pigs. His eyes!! His eyes!! Worried and wary!! As you said, he never looks directly at them–but it’s worrisome —especially the one who went directly behind him. It’s not like they’re sheep!

  14. What a happy day of wonderful photos! Am too late for original comments as usual but love the psychological comparisons twixt animal and human behavioural patterns . . . . both canines really do exhibit wonderful composure . . . . oh, hello Sheila: you pose very stylishly indeed . . . .

  15. I am an old curmudgeon, and when I see a photo of Sheila, she brings a big smile to my face. I hope you don’t mind, but I used Sheila’s photo for my background on my laptop. I will not use it for any other purpose, but to put a smile on my face. I think she is gorgeous! Thanks Celi, and hope everything down on the farm is grand.

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