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Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!


We have a beautiful sunny, blustery day.

Our goats are finding new grasses coming up, finally.

Our rooster Bojangles decides to guard any hen on her nest. We have a rooster for all 3 breeds, but he takes care of all hens.

No tulips yet but some blooms are coming around Gullringstorp.

The sky is a beautiful shade of blue with fluffy white clouds.

A beautiful day at Gullringstorp!

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Good Afternoon from Gullringstorp


Good afternoon from Gullringstorp !

It was a cold night here at Gullringstorp, -3 !

It’s a cold day but the goats are out and happy.

One little girl has a nice warm fluffy coat with winter wool coming to the surface. I think she needs to hang on to it a but longer, with these cold temperatures and wind. All the white tips you see is her winter wool on her black fur.

Surprise is as sweet as she looks.

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A Lovely Day at Gullringstorp


It was a beautiful, cool but sunny day at Gullringstorp.

Our goats were very happy. Great day for getting a bit of warmth. Our goats, and us are waiting for the grasses to grow in both enclosures.

It was even a day to open stable does and windows.

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A Visit to A Goat Dairy Farm


During the holidays, I had the good fortune to meet a lovely lady Kristina, who also had goats. We shared a room at the Löfstad Slott Christmas Market. Kristina, from Hejtorp dairy farm was selling her goat cheese and I my goat milk soap.

We had a lovely time together and quickly became friends and business associates. We decided that we must each make a trip to the others goat farm in the spring. I was the one to make the first visit for a couple of reasons. Kristina was and still is much to busy with her new baby goats being born and I just had to see them. We both have our goats for our businesses and milk is very important. There is a slight difference; Kristina uses her milk immediately to make her cheese and I freeze mine to make my soap. There needs to be a constant flow of milk at a cheese maker’s dairy but not so at a soap making farm. With two freezers filled with goat milk, I and my does are taking a break from breeding, giving birth and being milked.

We spent a wonderful afternoon amid many new mothers and more baby goats than I have ever seen. With 70 does giving birth to 1, 2 or maybe 3 babies, the count was up to 86 babies! There were many does who had not given birth yet, so that number will rise shortly. I understand that last year the count was up to 123 new baby goats born.

As a goat owner and breeder, it’s always a joy to visit other goat owners. You see how they house their goats, what they feed them, and how they have outdoor time.

There are several differences between our goat farms:

At Hejtorp the does all live communally in an open barn.

At Gullringstorp all our goats live in boxes in our stable.

At Hejtorp, the does can go out and come in as they wish. they can walk right out of their barn home into their pastures.

At Gullringstorp, our goats are led out to their enclosures because of proximity of our stable to the enclosures.

At Hejtorp, there are 4 boys or bucks who live outdoors all year long with an outdoor shelter.

At Gullringstorp, there are 6 boys or bucks who come inside every evening.

At Hejtorp. the goats are an indigenous breed, Swedish Lantras.

At Gullringstorp, our goats are West African miniature dairy goats, Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy.

I have learned so much from watching how Kristina manages her goats and its always good to find out new ways to do things.

Mothers about to give birth are moved to birthing pens

Mothers about to give birth are moved to birthing pens

Brand new mommies and babies sit warm under heat lamps

Brand new mommies and babies sit warm under heat lamps

This is the open space in which the does at Hejtorp live

This is the open space in which the does at Hejtorp live

All the mothers relax as babies find their places to rest or play

All the mothers relax as babies find their places to rest or play

Some babies stay close to mommy

Some babies stay close to mommy

Other babies prefer the company of other babies

Other babies prefer the company of other babies. I asked how do they get fed? Mommies find their babies in the crowd of tiny goats

This little  one just found mommy

This little one just found her mommy

Sweet babies sleeping together to stay warm

Sweet babies sleeping together to stay warm

Some mothers need a little help keeping their babies fed

Some mothers need a little help keeping their babies fed and Kristina happily steps in to help.

The open barn has open areas at the top to allow for good air ventilation. The cold air may co

The open barn has open areas at the top to allow for good air ventilation. The cold air may come in at the top of the barn, but the mothers and babies are quite cozy and warm at the bottom.

This mommy and baby were reunited at snack time

This mommy and baby were reunited at snack time

What a cutie!

What a cutie!

This mommy had twins that stay close by her

This mommy had twins that stay close by her

What a beauty!

What a beauty!

Time to refill the hay racks

Time to refill the hay racks

A sleepy baby

A sleepy baby

Really nice hay racks. Little hay loss

Really nice hay racks. Little hay loss

Natural light come into the barn through large openings at the top

Natural light come into the barn through large openings at the top

Milking stations for the does

Milking stations for the does

This little baby had made its way to the wrong side and was brought back where she belonged

This little baby had made its way to the wrong side and was brought back where she belonged

Every baby is registered and banded

Every baby is registered and banded

After enjoying the beautiful goats, I visited the farm boutique.

It was great to see between 20-30 varieties of goat cheese available .

Looking around I spotted Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap on display!

 

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Thank you Kristina from Hejtorp Dairy Farm in Doverstorp, Östergotland for a lovely afternoon.

www. hejtorp.se


An Afternoon at the Opera


For all my followers who know me and those who have just found me,  I am a city girl turned country gal, living in the Swedish countryside. It has been some time since I have had an opera evening to share with you. My business Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap is keeping me quite busy. As much as I love my farm and life in the countryside, I still miss and enjoy when I can, city delights. One such delight is being able to watch live HD transmissions of opera direct from The Metropolitan Opera  in New York. Yes, I can attend and enjoy world class opera just 20 minutes from Gullringstorp! Yesterday I had the pleasure of viewing an opera that sat unfinished for many years. Prince Igor, by composer Alexander Borodin. In true Metropolitan Opera fashion, this Russian epic required and received a stage that was filled with the most wonderful chorus and the costumes and sets that transported you to the towns in Russia that were depicted in the opera. It was a story of power, protest, loss and recovery. Sound familiar? I could not help but think of the present day struggles that are now going on around the globe , most especially the struggle in Kiev, Ukraine. It was very beautiful and moving with a musical score with vocals sung by some of the finest opera voices from  Russia, Ukraine and Georgia. The orchestration and vocals along with the world class Metropolitan opera chorus, were magnificent and really touched my heart. Here are reviews from The Metropolitan Opera site:

Prince Igor

Approximate running time 4 hrs. 15 min. Borodin’s defining Russian epic, famous for its Polovtsian Dances, comes to the Met for the first time in nearly 100 years. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production is a brilliant psychological journey through the mind of its conflicted hero, with the founding of the Russian nation as the backdrop.

Star bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov takes on the monumental title role, with Gianandrea Noseda conducting. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s “wonderful staging is dreamlike, wrenchingly human and viscerally theatrical. The impressive cast, with many Russian singers, is headed by the compelling bass Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role… His Igor has moments of Italianate lyrical refinement. He brings passion, even a touch of neediness, to his exchanges with his devoted wife, Yaroslavna, the Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka in her Met debut. She is a classic Russian soprano with a cool, penetrating intensity, fearless high notes, and a glint of steel in her sound.” (New York Times)

“The charismatic Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili brings her plush, big voice and a sultry physicality to the role of Konchakovna.” (New York Times) Gianandrea Noseda “led a vibrant and textured performance… [conveying] the Russian character of the music, while conducting it with clarity and precision. The Met chorus is at its glorious best.” (New York Times)

Prince Igor’s triumphant return: the Met makes a masterpiece of an unlikely opera. [A performance that] would be the jewel of any opera company in any golden age.” (New York Observer)

“The Met has returned a long-absent marvel to its rightful place in the repertoire.” (New York Magazine)

“The hugely talented Tcherniakov [is] a director who also designs his own sets. These were terrific: neither abstract nor period medieval, they took us into more universal realms of fear, longing and despair.” (Bloomberg) “Ildar Abdrazakov masterfully probed Igor’s guilt and regret.” (Wall Street Journal)

There was much to understand and comprehend in this opera. As with any war or civil unrest, like a chess game, there are many moving pieces. to understand exactly what the opera was about, I have included, from the Metropolitan Opera website,the SYNOPSIS

Prologue The city-state of Putivl. Together with his son, Vladimir, Prince Igor gathers his army for a military campaign against the Polovtsians. A sudden solar eclipse frightens everybody. The people and Igor’s inner circle of boyars (nobles) take this as a bad omen and plead with Igor to postpone the campaign. Unnoticed by the army, two soldiers—Skula and Yeroshka—decide to desert: they do not want to risk their lives and are determined to stay behind in Putivl. Igor’s wife, Yaroslavna, pleads with Igor to remain at home, but he cannot be persuaded. The Prince bids farewell to her and leaves her in the care of her brother, Prince Vladimir Galitsky. The army of Igor and Vladimir sets out on their campaign.

Act I The Polovtsian steppes. The battle is lost. Igor’s army is destroyed, and he is taken prisoner by Khan Konchak, the chief of the Polovtsians. In his mind, the tormented Igor replays over and over everything that has happened. The beautiful Konchakovna, who is in love with Vladimir, appears to him. Then Yaroslavna appears. Then Ovlur appears, urging him to flee his captivity. Then Khan Konchak appears and offers his friendship as his guest of honor. Igor has a vision of the overwhelming joy of living life to its fullest.

Act II In Yaroslavna’s palace. Terrible nightmares and dark premonitions haunt Yaroslavna. There has not been any news from Igor for a long time. Young maidens come to Yaroslavna accusing Galitsky of going on a wild rampage in Putivl. They complain that Galitsky has abducted one of their friends and ask Yaroslavna to step in and demand that the girl be returned to them. Yaroslavna doesn’t have the power to deal with her brother. Galitsky behaves impertinently with his sister and threatens both her and Igor. In the court of Prince Galitsky, the men are having a drunken feast. Seeking still more power, Galitsky would like to exile Yaroslavna to a nunnery as part of his plan to replace Igor as the new Prince of Putivl. Skula and Yeroshka now support Galitsky’s claims. The young maidens come directly to Galitsky in a desperate attempt to save their friend, but the mob laughs at them, chasing them away. The drunken brawl reaches its climax; everyone prepares for revolt. Yaroslavna’s palace. The boyars bring Yaroslavna the tragic news of the army’s destruction and of Igor’s captivity, sending her into turmoil. In the meantime, Galitsky and his followers take advantage of the moment and revolt. Alarm bells announce imminent danger: the enemy advances on Putivl and in the ensuing panic Galitsky is killed.

Act III Putivl is destroyed and left in ruins. Yaroslavna has lost all hope for Igor’s return and weeps over her husband’s loss. Igor, who has in fact escaped from captivity, suddenly returns to destroyed Putivl. Torturous visions continue to haunt him. The tipsy Skula and Yeroshka discover Igor. In order to escape deserved punishment for treason, the cunning Skula suggests to Yeroshka that they be the first to summon the people to share the joyous news with them. Igor interrupts the crowd’s jubilation and addresses the people with words of repentance. He blames himself for all that has happened and calls upon everybody to unite and rebuild their destroyed lives.  

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Here is a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZHtISoeGWQ

I may be a little goat herder in the Swedish countryside, but I step out of my world to enjoy wonderful culture whenever I can. As soon as I can get the score on my iPhone, my goats will  have a real treat in the stable.

Thank you for a wonderful and moving experience spent with the Metropolitan Opera of New York.


Good Evening From Gullringstorp


Good evening from Gullringstorp!

As the sun set, our gang were so ready to come inside. They ran like the wind to the stable. Even my ladies in heat who normally try to stay by the boy’s fence.

Once inside, everyone quickly ran home to their boxes. In addition to the regular dinner of fresh water, hay and grain, each box received a fresh layer of straw! Yummy!!

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Good Afternoon from Gullringstorp


What a great day for our goats to be outside.

So, they are !

What fun they are having and what fun I’m having watching them.

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Good Morning from Gullringstorp



It is with sadness in our hearts I inform my followers and kind supporters, that this morning our Rosie could fight no more. Leif and I decided that we would take her in to the vet this morning because her struggle to survive was becoming too tough for her.As I lay in bed this morning, I had already let her go. I felt her spirit leave but I felt like a boulder on my chest pinning me to that bed. Indeed she had left us just within the hour I could not get out of my bed.

As I walked into what is usually a din of goat chatter from every corner of the stable, it was deathly silent. I knew. Each and every goat looked as though time had stopped and they had turned to stone. All I could see was the knowledge that they all had lost Rosie. I saw it in their eyes. I have never seen anything like it before. The sadness in that stable was absolutely palpable. Still is.

In time I let everyone out of their boxes. They comforted each other and found their way to her box, to sniff and stand in silence. I went in to comfort each of the bucks who looked shell shocked at me through the bars. Each one wanted and expected to be held close and kissed.

We will have her body shipped to the north for autopsy to determine exactly what caused her to become so ill that nothing we did could save her. We just need answers.

We will all miss our little Rosie. Farewell Rosie.

Thank you, everyone who gave your loving support to both myself and Rosie. Your kindness will never be forgotten.

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You can read about Rosie and her illness on my Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/gullringstorpgoatgal.gullringstorp


Our Goats are out!


Finally, a day without rain, snow or crazy wind.

There’s just nothing that makes me happier than to watch my goats run and jump from the sheer joy of being outside! They just couldn’t be happier.


Pals


Pip and our iguana Little Lady are best pals!

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Chickens in the Snow


After a day of rain and snow yesterday, we have a day of winds. Cold winds blow through Gullringstorp.

The snow is melting but unfortunately, not enough for our goats to be out in the enclosures.

The chickens, on the other hand, are enjoying being out.

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Rainy Day


Our day started with a cold humidity that eventually brought rain. As the day progressed, new snow fell.

Our herd remained indoors yet another day. That didn’t stop them from having fun!

Our Pygmy ladies and babies had a ball!


The Big Melt Continues


The big melt continues at Gullringstorp.

We are busy today preparing the enclosure for our goats to go out tomorrow. Weather permitting, of course.

Fingers crossed and Swedish thumbs held.

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Melting


With +4.7 c temperatures, the big melt begins here at Gullringstorp.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOSSE!!!!


Last evening we spent a fun time with dear friend Bosse and our neighbors here in the Swedish countryside. We celebrated Bosse’s 60th! What fun we all had. Fun conversation, food, drink , games and music. We had a few neighbors who were unable to attend but sent their wishes and hugs to Bosse through iPhone posts to me. All those who were unable to attend were sorely missed.

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Vintage items fill the walls of the pub

Vintage items fill the walls of the pub

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We were served a Swedish specialty. A cake made with bread, mayo, shrimps and cucumbers

We were served a Swedish specialty. A cake made with bread, mayo, shrimps and cucumbers

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These are bracelets made by Sweden's indigenous people, the Sami

These are bracelets made by Sweden’s indigenous people, the Sami. They are so beautiful!

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Happy Birthday Bosse!

Happy Birthday Bosse!

Game time ! A multiple choice test on event in Bosse's life. Games are very serious at these parties.

Game time ! A multiple choice test on event in Bosse’s life. Games are very serious  fun at these parties.

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We all had a wonderful time. Gifts were not expected because of the request for each of us to send a contribution to the Swedish Children’s Cancer Fund. Many of the guests really couldn’t resist to bring another gift for Bosse. I was one.  We brought a lovely Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap and a pack of Marilyn Monroe napkins for the pub.

Wishing you a wonderful Happy Birthday and a fantastic year Bosse!!!


Two Does in Heat


We have two does in heat tonight. We let the ladies out of their boxes to try and relieve some of the pressure. They meet each other, eat hay from the big bale and get their mind off their condition. Our bucks get quite upset with all those hormones wafting through the stable.

Our poor Balder was the most upset. He just wanted to get out to meet the ladies.

Just as our ladies have quite individual voiced when in heat, so do our bucks when they are “bucky “.

The banging you hear is Nanna in the next box wanting to come out to play. And play she did, hop scotching the full length of the stable. You didn’t even need to watch her to know she was having so much fun.

Balder, on the other hand, was not.

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Today at Gullringstorp


Today we have sunshine, wind, snow drifts and hare tracks all over Gullringstorp. 9

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Beautiful Blooms at Gullringstorp


Colorful blooms in the middle of winter:

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Winter at Gullringstorp


Snow in all its beauty and silence:

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A Chilly Winter Morning at Gullringstorp


It has been a very cold night here at Gullringstorp. The sun came up to a chilly -17C this morning.

We have a heater on one end if our stable to keep the pipes from freezing. We used to carry buckets of hot water to the stable during winter months. This tiny heater keeps everything from freezing so we have water on hand for the goats and the chickens.

With the body heat of our 25 strong herd, the temperature today is just above 0C. We are careful not to open any doors unnecessarily that would let the cold in. Everyone has, by now a nice warm bed of straw and hay built up over the recent months. This makes a nice warm bed for them.This also means that in addition to their warm thick winter coats, they are cozy, not crazy warm, but very comfortable.

Outside my dinning room window I can see our covered pond is buried under fluffy snow. I know our koi are in their hibernation state and we will see them in the spring.

I can also see our garden birds enjoying their meal here at Gullringstorp. There’s seed in the many containers as well as seed spilled to the ground. Soon it will be time to refill the seeds and lard balls that sustain them during the bleak cold winter months.

Just a tiny look into winter here at Gullringstorp.

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Good Morning From Gullringstorp


It’s a brisk -6 this morning and the snow continues to fall. They are big fluffy flakes.

They fall softly and quietly.

There is a protocol when it comes to shoveling snow here in Sweden. You can’t let it build up too much or you will have big problems. So, the shoveling is an ongoing endeavor.
It’s all about getting too packed down and ice.

I took many if these photos from various windows while still indoors.

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An Update on Phillip


Phillip slept most of the 3 hr journey to his new home. I consider that a good sign that he felt safe and comfortable to not just lay down but to sleep.

Once there, they put him on a lead and walked him around the property to meet everyone. He met chickens, a pig, a dog and of course his new herd two ladies. He was even out together with them in the enclosure.

Phillip seems to be settling in and the ladies are the boss. That’s ok, the herd dynamics are sorted out by the strongest or most dominate goat. He will be at the bottom until he proves himself and they will become his harem.

I’m very happy for everyone but most of all for Phillip,


Taking Care of Gullringstorp’s Birds


Normally, this time of year we are buried in snow, here at Gullringstorp in Sweden. Our snow
seems to have gone on vacation to the US and Canada. Every winter
we make sure the beautiful birds on our property, are well
nourished during the cold months. It’s a cold and wet winter and we
still take care if our birds.

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Phillip Gets a New Mommy and Daddy


Good morning from Gullringstorp !It’s 5 mins before the buyers come by to pick up Phillip. I’m not happy at all. This is necessary but I’m still not happy. There’s a knot in my stomach and a tear waiting to fall. I made a Phillip Baby Book for them so they can see him from his first day.I sure hope they are nice people.

I knew all along I had too many bucks, I have 7 and many were born here at Gullringstorp. They have grown up and with the weather as it’s been , they can’t                                           always be outside. Boys will be boys and they wrestle a lot. I feel its not safe for them to be confined during the rainy days. We of course expected snow to confine them but now it’s rain. I will keep his two brothers, but I am so sad today. I can read people within seconds and I’m rarely wrong. If I’m not comfortable, he stays put.
They have arrived and they seem like really nice animal people.
I stood outside of our stable watchng the road that would bring the people who wanted to buy our Phillip

I stood outside of our stable watching the road that would bring the people who wanted to buy our Phillip

We introduced our selves and at this moment I could not tell you their names. My thoughts were only on Phillip as they spoke.

We introduced our selves and at this moment I could not tell you their names. My thoughts were only on Phillip as they spoke. Once inside, they met all our goats and learned a bit about each one.

Phillip's new mommy and daddy

Phillip’s new mommy and daddy. See, don’t they look nice?

I took Phillip out and they let him take his time coming to them

I took Phillip out and they let him take his time coming to them

His new mommy came down to meet Phillip. I stayed close for reassurance, but I eventually pulled back to allow him to bond with his new parents.

His new mommy came down to meet Phillip. I stayed close for reassurance, but I eventually pulled back to allow him to bond with his new parents.

Both of his new parents wanted to meet and introduce themselves to Phillip.

Both of his new parents wanted to meet and introduce themselves to Phillip.

I spoke about what he is used to. I made sure they understood that as an adult buck he can no longer have grain and that he needs to  have hay. The spoke about ensilage but I let them know it was not good for goats and that he could die from bloat, too much gas in the stomach. Larger animals like horses and cows can eat ensilage with no problems, but goats are a bit different.

The boy's were a bit confussed when Phillip left the box, without them. His brothers Winston and Little Man were wondering what was happening.

The boys were a bit confused when Phillip left the box, without them. His brothers Winston and Little Man were wondering what was happening.

Time for Phillip to leave us. He was reluctant to walk with his new mommy but I came close for extra reassurance. I backed away after a bit so that he could feel comfortable with his new mommy

Time for Phillip to leave us. He was reluctant to walk with his new mommy but I came close for extra reassurance. I backed away  so that he could feel comfortable with his new mommy

 

Phillip wouldn't move for a bit. He was looking back at the stable and talking with the boys inside

Phillip wouldn’t move for a bit. He was looking back at the stable and talking with the boys inside. His new mommy was very caring and understanding.

See how far away I stood?

See how far away I stood?

 

She was very patient with Phillip as he kept glancing toward the stable door. She waited and let him walk when he was ready

His new mommy was very patient with Phillip as he kept glancing toward the stable door. She waited and let him walk when he was ready

Well I had held up fairly well until I watched Phillip’s new daddy place the hay in the truck. I just had to walk away as the tears began to fall.

Phillip's new parents had prepared a nice bed of straw for his ride to his new home, in the back of their truck

Phillip’s new parents had prepared a nice bed of straw for his ride to his new home, in the back of their truck

I filled a basket of hay for Phillip's trip to his new home

I filled a basket of hay for Phillip’s trip to his new home

I could see that Philip was very comfortable in the truck just before the lid was closed.

I could see that Philip was very comfortable in the truck just before the lid was closed.

I am still sad that our Phillip has left us , but I am so happy that Phillip’s new parents will love him. they have lots of animals: 2 does, a mini pig, cats, a dog and hens. Now they have a buck.

I hope that Phillip doesn’t have a hard time settling in to his new environment. I hope he settles in real fast. I hope he doesn’t miss his pals too much. It will be all new for him but I am sure he will be happy and cared for with love.

Goodbye my sweet little Phillip!

 


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