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1 Oct 2015

A Blogger & Her Pets | Wooden Windowsills

Hello Friendies! I am SO excited about this weeks edition of 'A Blogger and Her Pet' I talked to the lovely Alice from 'Wooden Windowsills' about her big family of pets. She has two deerhounds named Moth and Lark, a cat named Posy, an awesome curly horned sheep called Barnsley aswell as loads of chickens who she also has names on! I really loved hearing about all of these lovely creatures and Alice's lifelong love for animals. Grab a cuppa and enjoy!

1. You have so many animals! Have you always loved and had lots of animals throughout your childhood?
There hasn't ever been a time in my life without animals! When I was young I grew up with a whole bunch of chickens, some very naughty goats, dogs and cats, then we were steadily allowed animals of our own as we got older and I had some lovely guinea pigs and then the love of my life at the time, my rabbit Humphrey (who looked so wild rabbit-esque, I swear someone plucked him out of a field - but he lived until the ripe old age of 9 1/2! I was heartbroken when he died, but luckily had Borris, my dwarf lop eared white bunny to keep me company. 

Over many years we also had: a fat ginger guinea pig called Francois; ducks; chickens; quails (that we hatched from quail eggs bought from the Sainsbury's chiller!); a horse; fish; dogs; cats; hamsters; a rat and sheep.  Even adopted a cat when I went to uni - he used to hang around on our street and I missed having pets so I used to let him follow me into our house, which then led to almost daily visits for a few hours. He was huge and fat, grey and fluffy and was nicknamed Jamal - my housemate even had a special voice we'd do for him! I could go into so much detail about each animal I've owned or part-owned, but then this post would be never ending, but I can tell you that they were all absolutely gorgeous and I loved every single one - even all our chickens are named and have special personalities!

I also spent a lot of my childhood rescuing animals and looked after them myself - my asthmatic chicken Croaker, Lily, my chicken who was paralysed from the waist down and used to roll everywhere, Gerty, the duck with a broken leg, Poppet, the baby rabbit my cat brought in, various pheasant, pigeon and dove chicks - you name it, I've probably nursed it back to health in my airing cupboard! I also once adopted two orphaned male lambs from a farming friend who couldn't look after them. Horace and Stanley were bottle fed every morning at 5am before I went to school and were so tame they'd come when called and sit on my lap, even when they grew enormous!

2. You have two beautiful deer hounds. Do they require a lot of exercise and grooming due to their large size, how do you maintain them? 
Funnily enough bigger dogs don't actually need that much exercise. They go for a big long run around our garden about twice a day and then spend a lot of the rest of the day snoozing! They're very relaxed and gentle dogs, although they gallop like horses and fight like tigers with each other, but they're so kind and quiet with people. As for grooming, we don't take them to groomers but they do get occasional haircuts and we brush them when we can, although they really hate it!

3. How did you get to own your curly horned sheep?
As I hand reared Horace and Stanley the sheep together, when Stanley died from old age, Horace was awfully upset and was bleating all the time, so Mum put a lonely hearts ad for him on Gumtree. A guy got back to us saying his sheep Barnsley was in the same situation and would we like to take him on, so he came to live in our paddock and thoroughly enjoys running round amongst the nettles with his big wibbly bottom. Luckily he's also really tame so is very sweet to feed and cuddle.

4. Out of your two dogs and your kitten who is the one who requires your attention the most? and who is the most independent?
Posy, our kitten/cat, has quite a high temperament. I absolutely adore how feisty she is, but she's definitely not very cuddly, despite both mine and Lark's continuous attempts to make her love us back. Moth is Lark's mum, and we had puppies the day before Christmas eve a few years ago, so spent all Christmas sitting up in shifts making sure she didn't squash any of them by accident (because they're so big, they don't always realise). When they were born, I spent about 15 hours straight sat with Moth, helping calm her and delivering the puppies - some of which we had to resuscitate as they weren't breathing. Of the whole litter of 9, we only lost two - one from ingesting milk into his lungs and the other as she was always the runt of the litter and was brain damaged. We wanted to keep one of the puppies and it ended up being Lark. 

Moth is such a softie, she's getting quite old for a big dog now, but still runs and jumps around when she's outside, she's just not as needy and quite likes her own space under the piano or by the fire. Lark however is still very much a puppy (at nearly age 4!) - she always wants attention, loves being outside playing with a ball and sticks and will pretend to be a lap dog wherever you're sat - on the sofa, at the dinner table, literally everywhere. She definitely needs the most cuddles!

5. What do you like about owning chickens? Do you collect many eggs?
Chickens are so easy to look after, and they have the funniest individual personalities. We've always hatched our own which is fun as chicks are the cutest. Plus there is no tastier egg than one from a happy chicken, and ours spend all day rummaging around our walled garden so couldn't be merrier really!

6. If you could add one other exotic animal to your family what would you choose?
Ohh that's hard as we've had a lot of different animals! I'd quite like an alpaca as they're so sassy, or a donkey as they're pretty awesome too. My brother and his girlfriend have an African Pigmy Hedgehog called Timothy Pricklepin, and he's pretty cool, but I'd really really like a puppy of my own, not sure what breed yet, but I'm so dog broody at the moment! Adam and I just need to move house first!

7. Tell us a bit about your blog and share your links!
I'm actually quite new to blogging and have only being posting since April. However, I absolutely love it and I'd describe my blog as a mismatch of all the best things in life - cooking and eating delicious food, exploring beautiful new places, getting lost in a good book and discovering amazing new blogs to read with a few lifestyle and DIY posts thrown in for good measure. I live in two different places during the week as I work close to my parents so there's quite a mix of family influences from home, weekends with Adam in Plymouth and a lot of love for Cornwall too as I lived there for three years at university.

I've recently been taking part in The Bake Off Bake Along alongside The Great British Bake Off, so every week I've been posting a bake I've created from the show. This means a lot of my recent posts are quite baking heavy, but the final is in a week and normal blogging will resume!

Still, I'm always on the lookout for lovely new blogs to read, so please pop on over and say hi!

What an amazing caring girl Alice is. I think anyone who treats animals this well, and nurses so many back health is a sign of a great human! Don't you agree?

Previously in the series


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