Whenever we talked about moving to Poland, John said he wanted a dog.
When we got here, we realised we also needed a cat or two, too, to reduce the mouse and squirrel population (did ya see what I did there?). This living in the country is not without its downsides!
When we got settled at KW24 Rajmund went to the animal shelter in Krakow and picked an adult queen – tabby and white – and a little tabby boy kitten. With Twilight in mind, they were named Edward and Bella.
Bella (RIP little one) and Baby Edward
Both seemed to settle quickly, but sadly Bella died about a month after she came to live with us – we never found out what caused this – the vet thought she might have been struck by a car, or eaten something poisonous.
Edward grew and we thought he ought to have a little friend, so Rajmund went to the shelter again and picked Jasper, a little black boy kitten. The two have since become close friends.
Rajmund and Edward
A hypo-allergenic dog
Despite John’s allergies*, his family had always had a Shetland Sheepdog – ever since John’s Xmas gift in 1972. Looking at breeds, and wanting to perhaps get a puppy from a Polish breed, John picked the PON –Polski Owczarek Nizinny or Polish Lowland Sheepdog.
Perhaps it’s inevitable, therefore, that Rajmund bought John a black and silver miniature Schnauzer for his birthday in 2012.
*John spent most of his first 23 years in the country, allergy-free. The onset of allergies, with hindsight, coincides with a change to city living. Since moving to the Polish countryside, his allergies have been greatly reduced – though he still sneezes in bright sunlight! He has no allergic reaction to either the cats or the dog.
Schnauzers – giant, standard or miniature – are all pretty much hypo-allergenic
On the way to pick up the puppy, John and Rajmund were discussing the names the late Michael Jackson had given his children vs. names for the puppy. John said “Blanket … we might as well call the puppy Tea Pot” and there it was. TeaPot, the little Schnauzer, joined the family that afternoon.
Edward’s keeping watch, as the newer additions to the family sleep
Plans and developments
In the next few weeks we’re hoping to build a chicken house and run and buy our first chickens. There’s a place over at Chełmiec that sells chicks and POL (Point-of-lay) birds. We’re not sure what will be available, but we fancy breeds which will give us chocolate brown and light blue/green eggs, just to be different – brown and white eggs we can buy at Tesco!
Also on the to do list is a dog for Rajmund. He wants a white English Bull Terrier, and intends to name him Shakespeare. When the time comes, we’ll get a young pup and slowly introduce him to our menagerie. Shakespeare’s arrival may be delayed while we find and assimilate Rajmund’s other target – a white kitten.
Finally, we have goats. Or, rather, we do not have goats. We talked about keeping a couple of goats but there’s a fair bit of work and expense involved – more than we’re really ready to take on. That, of course, has not stopped people offering us goats. We’re pretty sure they would be billies – they smell, they fight, they have bad tempers and the meat is not good, so the poor boys are a waste of space except as neutered pets.
Oh, I forgot, we have a duck pond with goldfish in it. The previous owners built a duck house and stocked the pond with goldfish, but never got around to buying ducks and given the mess they cause, we’re not intending going down that road. For now, the pond has goldfish in it, they survived the winter, and we may add some more water plants this year. We’ll see. But the only ducks we might add are yellow plastic ones.
Duckhouse, pond, KW24, 26.4.13
We’ll update you if things change. For now, we’re just enjoying our little menagerie, as we hope you can see.
TeaPot at full gallop, ears in flight mode
Yup, still snow – late March 2013!
TeaPot learned to do “cute” at a very young age
The boys on patrol
Spring is just starting – 26.4.13