Meet the Animals
Pickles is a 6 year old Australian Cattle Dog/Queensland Healer. She was raised as a breeding dog by the Amish in Ohio. Barbara found her chained up in a barn in 2014 when she was in Ohio for an Amish event called “Horse Progress Days.” Barbara was visiting an Amish farm where they bred Percheron Horses, but they also had a dog-breeding operation. Barbara set her eyes on Pickles and knew she had to have her and would do anything she could to get her. Pickles was 2 at the time and had already had 2 litters. The Amish boy said she might be pregnant again and Barbara had to wait until they knew if she was or not, so two weeks later, when Barbara was home she received a call from the boy telling Barb that Pickles was not pregnant and she could come buy her for $125. Barbara drove back to Ohio to get Pickles (9 hour drive from Virginia), got Pickles and brought her home (another 9 hour drive). Pickles had never ridden in a car, never been inside a home, never known what life was like off of a chain. She had a tough transition at first, not understanding English (she only understood Amish), and Tessa helped Pickles learn how to use a dog bed and a dog door and how to feel comfortable inside a house. It took Pickles 2 months before she understood what a dog toy was but as soon as the lightbulb went off in her head with the understanding that the tennis ball was for her to play with, she never looked back. She is totally ball crazy now and lives her life running next to the ATV and sitting on the back porch looking out over her farm and snuggling on the couch with Barb. Pickles has been spade and will never have another litter. She can live her life now as a pampered pet. She is lovely, happy, very friendly to humans and other dogs, somewhat strange but adorable dog and a total hoot!
Sid is a 4 year old Australian Cattle Dog Mix. Barbara did a DNA test on him and discovered he is 75% Australian Cattle Dog and the other two parts are German Pinscher and Welsh Corgi. Sid is of smaller stature but he has a big personality. He considers his job as watchdog and Barbara’s companion to be a serious responsibility and he does not take his duties lightly. Sid’s litter was found in the mountains of West Virginia and Barbara adopted him at 9 weeks in February of 2015 from Lonely Hearts Animal Rescue in Maryland after seeing a picture of him online. Pickles and Sid are best friends and rarely spend any time apart. Sid is a bit shy with strangers but once he gets to know you he is very sweet and cuddly. He runs like the wind.
Ollie was waiting by the farm entrance one night in late October of 2017. Not knowing what to do with him, Barbara brought him to her house. Within a half hour Ollie had scarfed down a can of cat food and was spread eagled on one of the dog beds. Barbara and the dogs did not believe what they were seeing. Ollie assumed he was one of the dogs and immediately became part of the pack. He uses the dog door to go outside and when Barb put down a litter box for him he looked at her like she was crazy. Ollie uses the dog doors to go outside and take care of his personal business. He is now 2 years old. Ollie has a big personality and always wants to be with you. He goes for long walks on the farm with Barbara and the dogs. He is always looking for affection and cuddles. Everyone absolutely adores him.
Banjo is a 4 ½ year old mini-American horse. He also came from Ohio. He was another animal Barbara spotted at the time when she was visiting the Amish to learn farming skills in July of 2014. Barb saw Banjo with an Amish family and “made a deal”. With the help of Barbara’s former partner, Banjo arrived on the farm right around the time Pickles came to the farm. Banjo has a strong personality and really lets you know he’s around when you are near him. He wants attention and affection and for you to feed him on a constant basis! Banjo always wants everyone to understand that he is NOT a mini-donkey but an actual horse, albeit a mini one! He finally got a mini-horse friend to hang out with when Moonshine came along.
Moonshine was adopted at the Orange Equine Auction in June of 2016 so Banjo could have a mini-horse friend. He was raised by the Amish and he learned some great skills growing up like how to pull a cart (the art of driving). He and Banjo immediately bonded and he is very happy to live at Edgewood Miller Farm. Moonshine is about 11 years old now. With proper care and love mini-horses can live to be 25 to 35 years old so he has many great years ahead of him on the farm.
Trixie is a mini-donkey. She is now 5 years old. She was adopted from a mini-donkey farm in December of 2013 when she was about 6 months old. She came to EMF with her friend River. Mini-donkeys bond to each other and Trixie and River were inseparable for years. Unfortunately River unexpectedly passed away of unknown causes in July of 2017 which was devastating to us all, but especially to Trixie, so then Marley was found at Virginia Donkey Rescue so Trixie could have a new companion. One of Barbara’s dreams was to see a baby equine being born and after a stud-donkey named Blackjack visited in September of 2017, 13 months later Trixie became a mama to baby boy Pluto in October of 2018. Trixie is very affectionate and a great mother and a sweet mini-donkey.
Marley and Trixie are always together so it is difficult to get a photo of just one on their own. Marley is a mini-donkey and she is about 11 years old. Marley’s back story is unknown. When she was adopted Barb was told she was pregnant. Well, that was not the case. Turns out Marley has probably had a baby or two in her past and it has left her with a bit of an unfortunate round figure. But she’s a sweet girl and Trixie and baby Pluto love her and so do all her caretakers.
Pluto was born October 20, 2018. He is the sweetest, most adorable, friendliest, cutest baby donkey that ever existed!
Dex was adopted by Barb September 26, 2014 as a small kitten from the Charlottesville SPCA. He has always been an extremely sweet natured cat. He and his buddy Ella Blu have a tight bond. He lives in the small barn and gets along with everyone. From the moment baby Pluto was born Dex has watched over him and they formed an extremely close relationship. It is very sweet to watch them together.
Ella Blu was adopted by Barb from a lady that had a litter of kittens. She lives in the small barn with Dex. She has always been feisty and talkative. We said from day one that her name should’ve been “Ella sings the Blues”. She is very friendly and sweet and an incredible mouser. She loves Dex and dehydrated chicken treats.
Shirkon came with the farm. She was about 6 in 2013 when Barb bought the farm. She lives in the big barn. She is the matriarch of all the cats. She is sophisticated and self-assured and lovable. Every June she gets shaved because her long hair is impossible to control no matter what is done and she needs to get her dreadlocks cut off and cool off. She is a good hunter and a cool character that rarely gets irritated. She loves her electric bed and cuddles. She is a sweet girl.
Lainie was adopted March 1, 2014 from the Madison/Greene animal shelter. Barb fell in love with her yellow eyes. She is a sweet cat but extremely skittish and nervous (for no explainable reason). She lives in the big barn with Shirkon and is an excellent mouser. She has a great appetite.
RESCUE HORSES SUMMER & MANNY
Canadian Summer is a 12 year old chestnut Thoroughbred mare. She stands just over 16hs. Her pedigree through her sire goes back to Gone West, Seattle Slew and Secretariat. Her racing career was pretty successful until she was sidelined by a stifle injury. She finished in the money in eight of her thirteen starts with four wins, three places and one show.
Once Canadian Summer was no longer earning her keep, her owner basically neglected her. She was found in a field with little more than weeds - her ribs showing, her mane down past her neck and her hooves untrimmed. A woman who had watched her during her early racing years was determined to give her a better life. She prevailed and bought Canadian Summer for a dollar to keep her owner from trying to take her back when she was restored to good condition.
Since Canadian Summer’s benefactor lived in the mid-west, she needed a sanctuary home in Virginia. Edgewood Miller Farm was happy to provide pasture and shelter for such a deserving horse.
Manny, registered name Manse, is a 19 year old dark bay Thoroughbred gelding. He stands just over 16hs. His pedigree through his sire goes back to A.P. Indy, Seattle Slew and Secretariat. In spite of his great breeding, Manny only raced once, finishing third, before he was sidelined by an ankle injury.
Manny came to Edgewood Miller Farm after quite a few years of turnout life at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) farm on the grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier. TRF provides sanctuary homes for Thoroughbreds who are not suitable for athletic careers after their racing days are over. They also try to find adoptive homes for horses so they can take in more. Manny’s adoption by Edgewood Miller Farm helped support TRF’s mission.
Tessa was the best Bull Terrier. Loyal companion and great traveling buddy, unfortunately she passed away in December of 2014. But she enjoyed the farm for more than a year before we had to say goodbye to her. Her ashes are buried in Edgewood Miller Farm’s Pet Cemetery.
Dino lost his life in an accident at only 5 ½ months old. He was a sweet, loving animal and we were terribly sad to say goodbye to him.
Rooty was taken from us at 7 ½ months from the terrible illness Feline Infectious Peritonitis. We surmise he had caught this illness in the animal shelter he had been adopted from. We were so sad to see him go as he had the best personality, was super friendly and smart and an all-around amazing animal. We gave him a happy life here, but it was way too short.
Star was a pit-bull that lived on the farm when we first moved here. She was a beautiful dog and losing her was a terrible loss.
We lost River unexpectedly July 16, 2017. He died of unknown causes. He was only 4. He was full of personality and Trixie was extremely lonely and sad until a few days later when we adopted Marley. Then she made a new friend and was happy again, but we’ll never forget sweet, funny River.
We lost Gracie June 28, 2018. Gracie, registered name Relic Peace, was a beautiful bay Thoroughbred mare. She stood 15.3h and was a great-granddaughter of Northern Dancer. She started thirteen races but never won. A severe tendon injury ended her career.
Gracie was retired to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation facility at Montpelier. When a companion was needed for Canadian Summer, Gracie was adopted because of her quiet manor and her appreciation for the attention of the TRF volunteers. She was a favorite. Anyone could work with her.
Unfortunately, Gracie developed a “quality of life” condition that became unmanageable as time went by. We had to let her go in June of 2018. She was nineteen.