a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020

Do I Want Another Dog? Should I Get Another Dog? Are There Dogs Who Might Appeal To Me?

SUMMARY: Those are not the same question.
From Facebook again--some editing and additional links, etc.

A friend (Carol S, parent of many pets both feline and canine) emailed on Dec 24:

Merry Christmas to you all.  My sister-in-law sent me this wonderful 2020 take on the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas", (from Chewy.com, "'Twas the Year Our Pets Saved Us") and I thought it would bring you all a smile.  Consider it your present from our Irving Menagerie - I wouldn't let the dogs and cats out to shop during the pandemic, so this is all there is!

May we all have a better 2021! - Carol

That (poem) could serve as a blog post all on its own. Charming illustrations, too.

BUT I can't stay silent of course.

Sad/mixed feelings addendum:  So, read or not. Short version is: I think I might want to get a dog to fill the void left by Chip in June. But maybe I don’t. But maybe it doesn’t matter because there are no dogs available.

Two days before Christmas, last week, I was trying to explain to a friend why I’d want to get a second dog now. 

Chip leaving in June was bad timing because of COVID's effects on my life in general. OK, seriously, no  time is good timing for a barely 9-year-old dog suddenly dying. I vowed not to immediately fall in love with another dog’s face like I did with Chip as Tika's heart was getting bad, or right after Tika and Boost died in 2015 and I was left with only Chip and then saw that big-eared mixed-breed's face. I think I shortchanged Chip, myself, and the new dog (Luke, aka Zorro) by not having reasonably dealt with my grief. (Here’s at least one of my blog posts on this topic-- Do Not Get Another Dog Right Now.)

So it’s been 6 months. I find that this thing drives me: I don’t want to suddenly find myself with no dog in the house.  

Dogs die unexpectedly. Or vanish (have at least 4 friends that has happened to). That’s also a down side to knowing so very very many people with so very VERY many dogs— seeing all the ways that the dogs leave us.  But that’s not what hits me—it’s wanting to have that happy tail, the dangling exercised tongue, the sparkling eyes, the fun and the mischief always. That unconditional love. That companionship as I do the laundry or take a nap or work in the yard or go for a hike. (Spouses or partners are fine, sometimes, but sometimes not.) 

I went through this after Amber died in 1992, which was lonnnnng before I knew many Dog People. We still had Sheba and for two years I couldn’t face the idea of trying to *replace* Amber because no dog possibly ever could and I didn’t want my heart to break so badly ever again. But, as Sheba turned 14ish, I realized that I did not want to wake up one morning to a dog-empty house, and my stomach clenched but my heart opened to new possibilities and that’s when Remington appeared.   

I've had 2 or 3 (briefly) dogs ever since. (If you’re not tired of reading, here’s one of my blog posts on that topic: Maybe I Should Try Not Having A Dog.   Oh.  Erm.  And another one: One Dog, Two Dog, No Dog, Three Dog )

Now I’ve had only one dog for 6 months. And am thinking about... do I want another dog? I know that Zorro misses having a yard buddy, but I always tell people, don't get a dog for your dog. But he and Chip enjoyed each other much more often than not.  —but again curse COVID, there are no dogs available! [this is not technically true: nearby shelter has maybe 10, but they’re all bigger than I want these days (I’m hoping for 25-40 lbs) or special needs that I’m not prepared to deal with emotionally right now.  Rescue groups I’ve checked (and I have a ton of friends who foster and do rescue) say that their cupboards are bare.]

Soooooo I don’t have piles and piles and miles and miles of dogs to choose from! This is great for the animals. Probably great for me, really, seriously, because when I’m feeling as down as I do too often in the last couple of months, probably not a good time to get another pup anyway.

All of my dogs except maybe Sheba have been pure luck and falling in love with a pretty face. (Blog post—which clearly needs updating, and doesn’t really look at things from this perspective, but close. Choosing A Dog)

My first views of some of my dogs (which were photos, not the actual dogs); who could resist?

What I want is to be hanging out at a dog event and someone walks by with a gorgeous friendly dog and I admire her and the person says, I’m fostering her and she’s looking for a home.  Or someone posts a dog’s face on Facebook and I fall almost in love almost immediately.  But: No one is posting photos these days of available dogs because there aren’t any!

So maybe I’ll go back to making the house puppy-proof (aka new-dog-proof) again and then try again in a while.

Oh, BTW, while struggling with the emotions over all of this-- I turned to Facebook and of course my dog peeps are Total Enablers:

Ellen Levy Finch

December 22 , 2020

Shared with Your friends

Is this a bad time of year to make off-the-cuff decisions about adopting another dog?

I'd say the answer is yes.

But suddenly all day today I can't stop thinking about it.

I'm pretty sure it has something to do with xmas being postponed for another year or 2. 🙁

But the local shelter is slashing adoption fees for adult dogs until the end of the year.

I wouldn't get a puppy anyway.

And Zorro is lonely for a dog yard-buddy; I know that to be true.

Talk me out of it please. 🥺

[and so it begins… 80 comments!!]

 Narae Kim Ellis
Go for it!!


 Adina Pierce
I say yes!


 Elayne Fletcher
Talk you into it? Yes, absolutely.


 Kerry M. Forni


 Marla Cooper
You seriously expect your dog loving friends to talk you out of it? Lolol. Get the dog!


 Lloyda French
Go for it....


 Vickey Meyer


 Karen Marcroft
I wouldn't know how to begin. Clearly the things that deter me have no effect on you. 


 Sharon Williams
Do you really want to risk another severe illness when this new dog is diagnosed? Fingers crossed that either way it will be the right decision.


 Ellen Levy Finch
I think they're self-selecting out--Zorro is and Chip was about 35 lbs and that's good for me; their lightest dog at the moment is 44, a Sibe, and I don't want another; already did that.


 Gwen Jones
Ellen - you’ll know, and Chip will confirm 


 Ellen Levy Finch
Well, Zorro might. I don’t get messages from Chip. A lovely thought, though.


View 2 more replies
 Ann Levy Burns
My only question would be whether you can handle two dogs, since you said that it was much easier with one dog going for walks and stuff


 Ellen Levy Finch
Ann Levy Burns Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.


 Ellen Levy Finch
The thing is, it was typically very easy going for walks with Tika and Boost. It was not easy going for walks with Zorro and chip. So, it depends. I am trying to ignore the fact that it took lots of training and experience to be able to do that with Ti… See More

 Tina Scott Jeffrey
Is it EVER a bad time for a new dog?


 Tanya Lee
We are all enablers....you should know this by now...


 Cynthia Heyman
Tanya Lee right? Lol and when we take our puppies to trials everyone is so bad and let's puppies jump all over them. 


 Ellen Levy Finch
Cynthia Heyman That’s the worst for sure!


 Aostara Kaye
I would never talk someone who gives dogs such a great home out of adopting another, unless you can't afford it either financially or emotionally


 Susan Fallon Paulsen
Do what your heart says

 Dorothy Diehl
Think of poor Zorro.
Go for it and please post a picture!


 Leslie Halliday
Actually, the comment about easier to walk one dog than two is valid. I think it depends on your energy level. Because we know yard dog buddy won’t be the end of it.


 Marla Cooper
Leslie Halliday True. I have 6. Yes. Crazy dog lady. I walk one at a time.


 Ellen Levy Finch
Marla Cooper Walking six dogs one at a time is what’s crazy!

View 3 more replies
 Deborah Lage
Play GIF


 Penny Larson
Why not!! Zorro would probably like a pal too. There’s somebody out there waiting for you!


 Nancy Gyes
What about another special puppy that you plan for. Your last one turned out very wonderful . 


 Joni Grace
Good luck! I won’t talk you out of it because I think it would be good for you and Zorro. You’re a great pet parent!


 Christine Louise Armstrong
PetHarbor.com: Animal Shelter adopt a pet; dogs, cats, puppies, kittens! Humane Society, SPCA. Lost & Found.
PetHarbor.com: Animal Shelter adopt a pet; dogs, cats, puppies, kittens! Humane Society, SPCA. Lost & Found.


 Bruce Garlinger

[posted several animated gifs of happy dogs]

 Millicent Conover
Go for it!!

 Julie Rice
Don’t expect me to talk you out of it. Raising Winnie was a great thing to do while i waited for my grief over Zodi to subside. Getting Trissy has made me smile and laugh again and it’s been a long time since my heart has felt so light.


 Gailanne Molver

 Dawn King
Remember how easy it is to take a hike with one dog v.s. two? Remember how you can keep the vet bills/food bills/toy bills cut in half with one dog? Half the wear and tear on the yard. Probably easier to get renters if you only have one. Oh heck. … See More


 Ellen Levy Finch
Dawn King Thank you, Dawn!

 Janelle Stroschein
My only worry is a Siberian too much dog to take on as you are still healing?


 Ellen Levy Finch
Janelle Stroschein Never again a Siberian. No worries on that count.


 Janelle Stroschein
They are awesome dogs but I weighed the possibilities that come with certain dog types. I like a nice older dog. Just because I’m getting older too. Not old yet!!!


 Cat Springer
Oh, golly, *another* dog? I just don't knooooow. (Heck, yeah!)

 Cat Springer
Buster shakes his head "no". (But then, he shakes his head *everywhere*.)

 Cat Springer
Play GIF

 Fiona Gillies
In Australia it’s apparently quite difficult to get a rescue dog as so many people have adopted in the pandemic. If you are able to adopt where you are, maybe that’s a siiiiign


 Ellen Levy Finch
Fiona Gillies It looks like all of the smaller dogs are have been adopted. In my previous life, I’d have gladly taken something the size of a German Shepherd, But I’m not there now.

 Ellen Levy Finch
Fiona Gillies (And it’s unusual not to see a ton of small dogs, particularly Chihuahua mixes, available from every pound and every rescue group. Now, not so much.)

 Julie Stokes
I say go for it. One will be available when the time is right. But go small


 Billy Vitro
I’ve been looking at getting another little dog. It’s always good to have a spare. 


 Ellen Levy Finch
Billy Vitro Dave Barry would call it an emergency back up dog.


 Billy Vitro
Ellen Levy Finch you got the reference! Damn, we’re old...


View 1 more reply
 Kathleen Carlsen
What’s one more? Keep looking for the right one. I think you will have plenty of enabling friends to help you

 Cathy Barber
I have the same desire. I want a dog for Sparkle. Doodle Bug is mostly cat in a dog’s body and doesn’t play with Sparkle.

 Brenna Fender
It's the best time! Do it!

 Cheri Scannell
It’s been a good year for rescues. There must be a reason for that. 

 Lisa Williams
The responses crack me up. Your friends are enablers! I would wait for the right dog that may not be available right now due to the high adoption rate during the pandemic.


 Ellen Levy Finch
Lisa Williams I know that I should’ve expected it. But I thought that maybe my sad face was compelling. 

 Mary Schultz
Wrong audience to ask.


 Mary Schultz
How about a kitten, or a robot? Or me?


 Ellen Levy Finch
Mary Schultz Can you sleep curled up in one corner of my bed? On top of the covers? Without bumping into me during the night? I have high standards.


 Mary Schultz
Ellen Levy Finch while I don’t look forward to my dogs’ demises, I do look forward to a one dog home


 Sue Dowell
Definitely yes

 Ronald Horii
Do you feel comfortable going to the animal shelter and vet during the pandemic?


 Ellen Levy Finch
Ronald Horii I’d have to make an appointment with the animal shelter if I see a dog that I’m interested in. I cannot roam the adoption areas. They will bring out just the dog of interest. I have been to my vet during these times, and they seem very goo… See More

 Wendy Gurney Bruce
if you feel a heart connection to a particular dog, then the timing/cost is irrelevant. Trust your heart and your gut to connect you!

 Linda Levy
Want the link to the group we got Abby from?

 Ellen Levy Finch
Linda Levy ok.
The rescue through whom I got Jake (indirectly) and Remington has no dogs available for adoption at this time. The nearby animal shelter doesn’t have any medium size dogs really. If I could see them in person (In canine), it might have c… See More

 Linda Levy
Ellen Levy Finch https://www.coppersdream.org

Copper's Dream Rescue Home
Copper's Dream Rescue Home


 Charlotte Dodie Duncan
Nope. Not talking you out of a great, and well-timed decision. Why would I do that?!?

 Sara McAulay
So... how are things progressing, decision-wise? I’m having serious puppy envy— not that I’d get a puppy under any circumstances!

 Ray Fischer
Here in B.C. there's been a shortage of available dogs

Shelters struggle to keep up with skyrocketing demand for pet adoption during COVID-19 | CBC News
Shelters struggle to keep up with skyrocketing demand for pet adoption during COVID-19 | CBC News


 Ellen Levy Finch
Ray Fischer Here, too. Everyone I know who does fostering and rescue and works at shelters has been talking about that for months. And yet there are still plenty of dogs who are larger, or who have special needs, or who are older. I just haven’t so far… See More


 Mandy Book
Talk you out of it? What kind of friends do you think we are? Lol


 Libby Myers-Buhite
Merry Christmas!


 Ellen Levy Finch
Libby Myers-Buhite awww!

 Nancy Shanken Damarodas
A friend knows someone in bc rescue fostering some border collie/ springier spaniel pups- if interested I can get you more info

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Goodbye, Mom, Four Years Later

SUMMARY: My story, or Mom's.

Backfill: Remembering Dec 27, 2016.  [posted on Facebook , then added and edited here, Dec 27, 2020 ]

Four years ago--

Today minus 3 or 4 days [or it might actually have been Christmas morning, but I think it was earlier]: Mom had been bedridden in the den for some time,  a month? two? Less? More? Weaker physically and mentally all the time. She missed Dad so much. 

I and other people were in the house. I wandered into the den, and Mom already displayed a big smile. 

"You look happy," I said.

"I am!"

"Care to share your happiness?"

"I'm waiting for my ride!"

Me--puzzled--"What ride?"

"Grandpa is coming with the sleigh to pick me up!"

Me -- "Okayyyy..."

We said other vague pleasantries--she wasn't talking much now. I wandered back into the other room and mentioned this to someone. 

Or it was an uncle rather than her grandfather, I don't remember now. 

She had old sleighbells that had belonged to that sleigh when she was a girl, and she loved those memories. She'd hang the bells on the door each Christmas season, so every arrival jingled a joyous welcome.   I wondered whether she was thinking of that.

She was so weak.  I went home and spent hours working on a slideshow of her and dad, realizing that no physical gift would matter to her at all now, but that she would like this.

Four years ago minus two days: Christmas morning. It became clear when I walked in that she wasn't going to be watching a slideshow or doing anything else. I think that she was just awake enough to say I love you when "I love you" is first offered, but not much more than that. I wish that I remembered more details.

Because, four years ago today, I was still surprised--were we all surprised?-- when she slipped away after my sister called us but before any of us arrived.

Did her grandfather arrive with his sleigh? I've often wondered. It must've been a glorious ride through gleaming unsullied upstate New York snow.

As I stood on her front lawn, watching her being driven away,  the skies saluted in the only way they could.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Vise Grip Vices

SUMMARY: Saving dogs from choking. Maybe.

I put vise grips on rawhides and bully sticks and other larger chews to keep dogs from choking on the last pieces. [I swear that I have explained this, with photos, multiple times, but it doesn't seem to be in my blog anywhere. And only a couple of quick mentions in Facebook that I can find. So--now here is a post!]

[On FB: Jan 22, 2016, 8:57 AMEllen Levy Finch commented on her own post.
Large bully sticks (long and thick) with a vise grip firmly clamped in the middle is the best bet so far.]
[my FB post Jan 23, 2016, 9:18 AM  Don't you hate it when the dog gets down to the last 3 or 4 inches of a bully or rawhide or whatever and gnaws it until it's softish and then starts to swallow and gags it back up, repeat? Used to worry me. Then I discovered vise grips. (Doesn't this sound like an infomercial?) I believe that Sarah George Johnson (or Holly Newman?) came up with this idea. [[Correction from comment below-- Mike Scannell's idea! (attn: Cheri Scannell )]]  (All of whom are long-time agility friends.)

Three benefits--two to me: Dogs no longer hork on the last bit and also it usually takes them a long time to work on the last bit left in the grip (assuming that you fastened it tightly enough); one benefit to the dogs: They use it as another handle while chewing! Tika and Boost demonstrated back in 2012.

After it has been chewed on for a while

[On FB Jan 23, 2016, 9:15 PMEllen Levy Finch replied to Cheri Scannell's comment.
I wouldn't use clamps that, if the dog gets the bully stick out, would clamp down on the dog's tongue. That's why I like the vise grips. Even if the last bit comes out, they won't close on dog.]

[On FB Jan 23, 2016, 9:18 PMEllen Levy Finch commented on her own post.
I like the vise grips because (a) if the dog does get any part of the bully out, they won't clamp down on the dog's tongue, (b) they're not too heavyweight, (c) the dog can't chew them up (the vise grips), and (d), if you tighten them enough, the dog isn't going to get a big chunk of bully at the end--you just have to really get the screw so tight that you can barely close it using a lot of strength. ]

[FB May 2, 2017, 9:19 AM Ellen Levy Finch commented on Peggy Clark's post.
What has always entertained me is that the dogs then use the vise grip as a second handle on the chew! Here's Tika, for example. 

[FB May 24, 2019, 5:41 PM : Ellen Levy Finch commented on Leslie May's photo.
Yep, that's why my dogs get "clampy things" on their chews. Hope he feels all better.]

[from FB May 24, 2019, 5:52 PM   Ellen Levy Finch replied to her own comment.I thought I had done a Taj MuttHall post on this--but it must've been on Facebook, I guess. I use small vise grips and the dogs have, all of them, used them as a handy handle to help get some good chewin' in! It doesn't solve them somehow chewing off a huge chunk, but it does prevent swallowing the last big chunk.
Boost photo (taken May 25 '12):  

[FB Jan 11, 2020, 11:10 AM : Ellen Levy Finch commented on Ellen Clary's post.
This is why I clamp most chew treats with a vise grip in the middle.  
Glad she's fine.]
[Email w/sis Aug 30, 2020 -- 

From her to me:

    Can you send me a photo of the “clamp on a bully stick” thing.. so I can see where on the stick you clamp it, and why you clamp it? Dog just eats around whatever we clamp on it...

From me to her: Here are images: 

    Yes, they do chew around it— my goal is to avoid them trying to swallow the whole last 3-5” piece when I’m not using the vice grips. My pups have always chewed down from each end to the clamp, and then there’s a small bit left in the clamp that I can just toss or give to them depending on my mood.…and if that’s the only photo that I have of Chip with his clamped bully, I will be sad indeed.

Meanwhile--what if someone [ahem, TIKA!] leaves one out on the lawn and Human Mom can't find it?
Read https://dogblog.finchester.org/2020/12/vise-grips-past-imperfect-and-future-to.html

Vise grips past imperfect and future-to-present feeling tense

SUMMARY: Finding what was lost, but perhaps a little late.

I put vise grips on rawhides and bully sticks and other larger chews to keep dogs from choking on the last pieces. (Read https://dogblog.finchester.org/2020/12/vise-grip-vices.html .)

Tika always used to take hers out to the lawn next to the deck, and a couple of times I couldn't find the grips afterwards. And then I never did find all of them.

Because the grips sometimes go walkabout for a little while anyway-- I had more than just a couple.

I started out with 7 [vise grips] that I bought specifically for this. I'm now down to 2 functional, another very rusty that I finally found in the grass... and who knows where the others ended up. 

[From FB Dec 13, 2015, 4:23 PMThe mystery object--any idea?

With Ellen C's Knee for scale. We (mostly she) had been digging by hand.

Here's the story: I thought that Luke likely buried a vise grip that held a large rawhide. Haven't found it by poking around. (He had it in the living room, then went outside, then back in, etc a few times, then he suddenly no longer had it.)  

Thus it came that I invited Ellen Clary to bring her metal detector and help me look for it. For some reason she thought that would be a great idea. So there we were, scanning the yard (found a nail! And a teensy round washer!) and discovering that there's metal EVERYWHERE (sprinkler heads, dogwalks, fencing, pipes, etc.) in the areas that I think are likely burying areas.  

So she scanned around in the center of the yard (which has been greatly enhanced by additional canine development work). Got a strong beep. Dug down a little. The beep changed location a little. Dug off the the side a little. Beep changed location. Dug off to the side a little. 

I joked that, the way it was going, we'd have a hole 5 feet across and 3 feet deep in the middle of my once and future lawn.

Anyway--with Ellen doing almost all the digging while I yelled encouragement such as "I see another dog poop over in the corner; going to go scoop that up," we ended up with a hole verging on 5 feet across and 3 feet deep. Well, perhaps 3 feet across and a foot deep.  

And we found the edge of a Thing, and the ground around/under it fell away in places as if there had been empty space, or something else around it that had decayed away. Seemed to be chunks of rocks and concrete under and around it. Metal, rusting, large circular--

It's hard clay, so not the easiest stuff to dig, and I truly didn't WANT a hole 5 feet wide in my yard at this time, so we closed it up and left it as an exercise for a warmer and sunnier day.

We speculated that it might be a very large metal pail or basin or firepit (although didn't see signs of ashes as far as we went) and not sure how deep it is or otherwise shaped, since we just have the edge. Anyone have any ideas? (This land was farmland before the house was built in 1970, but the house's previous, original owner had done quite a bit of digging and installing stuff, also.)

While we were at it, I also took the detector and used it around the lawn areas where Tika used to lie, looking for grips that she might have lost in the lawn. Nuthin'. Anyway, never did find any vise grips that day.

Ellen Clary
 even came down with her metal detector to help me look, but we were thwarted by the fact that there is metal *everywhere* in my yard. So, yeh, someday maybe they'll reappear!

[UPDATE ON  Facebook,Jun 8, 2016, 9:16 PM -- 

Well, surprise, surprise! Found today: This was one of the the things I was hoping to find with Ellen Clary's metal detector, which she came to visit with. Except that this was about 5 feet beyond the area where I had expected Tika to have been lying, way back when, and therefore where I ran the detector.

Vise grip is at bottom of photo below crook of stick. 
For Tika's losses, I ran the metal detector from the vicinity of Chip and closer to the house.
I'd been looking for this for a long time. Suddenly it emerged, nestled among roots of grass.
I'm guessing that this one isn't salvageable even with a little WD-40.

UPDATE on FB Mar 26, 2020, 5:19 PM!
Ellen Clary
: Found another one. In exactly the same place that the others have gradually been reappearing. It is so odd that we couldn’t find them with the metal detector. They might’ve been buried under grass roots at the time. And of course every time they come through with the blower week after week after week it’s blowing away some of the soil on top.

[FB: My response to a comment on my post asking what it was: Rusty old vise grips that Tika left on the lawn and I didn't pick up right away and then couldn't find.]

Preserving Land, Wildlife, Waterways, Endemic Plants and Flowers--and Sanity--

SUMMARY: Open space around me
Backfill: In response to a friend's blog post showing many lovely old barns in her area (Michigan) while musing on Christmas music and years past.

[NOTE: I'll clean up links & things later. sorrrrrrry....]

We lose rural landscape or any available open space so quickly here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We are so lucky that a lot of open space has been preserved, by Open Space Districts (funded via donations and voted-on taxes, including the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District (fondly called MidPen  https://www.openspace.org/), the East Bay Regional Parks district...) , the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (relatively new compared to the other two https://www.openspaceauthority.org/), city parks, county parks (where I live: Santa Clara County Parks (ParkHere.org)), and organizations like hte Committee for Green Foothills  (recently rebranded Green Foothills https://www.greenfoothills.org/), all of whom work towards purchasing lands like these that could be converted to public spaces for hiking, biking, picnicking, wildlife preservation, and so on.  

When we moved here in the '60, barely any of it existed as public lands.

All those organizations, and more, fought for years and recently have been fairly successful at staving off or forever preventing major development in the historically rural Coyote Valley between south San Jose and Morgan Hill to preserve wildlife corridors at the very least (https://www.google.com/maps/search/coyote+valley/@37.1631954,-121.77322,27776m/data=!3m1!1e3).

I don't expect you to follow the links--they're just data--but yet there are so many times that I drive south or east out of the area and see malls or housing developments going up where there used to be lovely old buildings like those in your photos. Which remind me of my grandparents' old old used-to-be-red barn.  

My grandparents' barn/farm (early 1950s photos)

This is not in California. Looking past the farmhouse at the barn
This is also part of why my grandparents started going to Florida every year during the winter.
When I was a kid , the barn wasn't looking nearly this sturdy.
It was eventually taken down some time after the farm was sold.

From higher up in the farm (I think it was 20ish acres): Red barn (actually storage) to the left, white farmhouse center, brown chicken coop (actually storage) to the right. 
The property ended at the road and at th big tree visible between the barn and farmhouse.

Barns in preserved parkland around here

Old barn, still usable, being preserved, at Martial Cottle County Park  near my house
(CA state and Santa Clara County park cooperative). 
The hills in front are privately owned ranchland still,
but behind that might be the massive Henry Coe State Park.

Old barns being repurposed at the massive Henry Coe State Park, 
over 87,000 acres of rough terrain east and southeast of us.

Old barn in what is now Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve in the eastern hills, after purchase but before open to the public (2014). Not sure whether this barn stayed.

Family's old farmhouse in the same park. This was the first weekend that the park was officially open to the public. We asked about whether it was going to stay, and I *think* that the answer was yes but as you can see considerable work would need to be done. (Such as the door that opens 3 feet in the air.)

At Rancho San Antonio County  Park, in the west foothills, very popular hiking area,
barn still being used at the time. (2008)

Barn at Pichetti Ranch Open Space Preserve in the southwest hills (was a winery--still is, to a certain extent, also used for educational purposes) (2016).

Barn at Santa Teresa County Park (2004), just south of here and where I used to hike a lot,
still being used at the time.

Not sure whether this is the same barn, but I think so (the old Norred barn when this was privately owned and you could board and rent horses here) (2009).

Old barn along the Coyote Creek Trail somewhere (southeast valley).
Note the deer. (2012)  I don't know whether it's still preserved or had to come down. 
I need to be able to get out hiking again....