Winter means it’s time for the wood stove, and every season the dogs remind us of how much they enjoy it. We heat the house entirely with the wood stove — in fact, we designed the house with the whole idea of heating it with a single wood stove, so it’s a simple, open floor plan where every room can get heat from the stove. At some point during the day, there’s almost always a dog or group of dogs laying in front of it. In the photo above, that’s blind Honey (also known as the “Hun Bun”) soaking in the warmth.
Here’s a recent group shot, with three-legged Tanner on the left, Cammie looking at the camera, blind Bugsy with his head down, and then stretched out in front of the stove is one of our diabetics, Daisy:
It’s always fluid, with dogs coming and going from the stove, singly or in varying size groups. Sometimes they’ll hang out for several minutes, sometimes for 30 minutes or more.
Here’s our cancer patient, Jake, on a mid-December evening:
Yes, his tongue is always sticking out like that! So adorable.
And just last week, another group shot. That’s Sunny on the left closest to the stove (he has a crippled right front foot), then Daisy, Bugsy in the middle, Tanner on the right, and one of our recent arrivals, elderly little Angel (now known to all here as “Aunt Maude”) in the back.
All the wood we use comes from our own land. Here’s a photo I took a few weeks ago after cutting up several wind-fall trees on one of our woodlots:
I used our log loader (a trailer designed for hauling logs) to transport them down the road to our log yard, which is where I took this photo last week:
That’s my logging tractor that makes all this possible. Nearly all the trees in that pile are either wind-fall (blown over in windstorms) or dying/diseased trees. The storm over Christmas knocked down several more trees, so I will be spending the next couple of weeks cutting, delimbing, and winching them out with the tractor, then bringing them over to the log yard. That pile will be substantially larger before I’m done.
Starting in the spring, I’ll be cutting the logs into rounds, then splitting and finally stacking the wood in the shed. By late summer there will be almost no logs left in that pile, and then a new season begins.
I’m always “one winter ahead” on my firewood … in other words, I go into each winter with two winter’s worth of firewood in the shed, so next year’s wood is already cut and stacked. That way I’m under no pressure to get the firewood dried in time for the upcoming season, because it was done the previous year. And if we have an unusually harsh and cold winter and burn more wood than expected, there’s always plenty extra in the shed.
Of course, the dogs don’t care about any of the work and effort that goes into this. All they know is that come winter, we fire up the wood stove and they start gathering around!
Julie Blaine says
Thankyou for all you do!
We’ve been following you since you lived in Montana (near Ovando I believe?)and also the Jack Hanna show.
Grateful for your caring for these blessed animals.
Gods Blessing to you,
Barb Ribinski says
Love those group shots!! You just wonder how they can be so close to the stove for more than a few minutes. I guess it’s like cats on the heater. They get so warm to the touch. It’s great to see photos of so many of the dogs. They are all looking good. I don’t think we’ve had a shot of Tanner for a while. And Cammie is looking very good. What an ordeal she had. What a wonderful group of happy dogs. That logging tractor must make the work easier. Happy New Year to you and all the blog readers!
Tonya Allen says
What beautiful photos. I love the contrast of the cozy woodstove scenes with the cold and snowy outdoors.
It must be a great feeling to be self-reliant as to heating. I know from experience that it’s not always much fun doing all the labor, but in compensation your heating isn’t affected by power outages. I always felt more secure when I lived in a house that had a fireplace or woodstove, and I hope one day I’ll have that again. I especially admire the way you were able to design your house to be heated by a single stove .
I’m surprised no one has brought their own bedding to lie on in front of the stove. 🙂 (Our dogs are always dragging nesting materials over to the radiant heaters.) Everyone looks so warm and happy in the glow of the fire. It’s a beautiful sight.
Shirley L says
Happy New Year! You are always one step ahead let alone one winter ahead. Such adorable pictures of the sweet doggies! Thank you for your devotion to these special ones!
Love seeing all the fur babies laying in front of the stove. You guys put in a lot of hard work and are amazing. Happy New Year to you…..treasure your posts, as always!