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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: dogs

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About a third of our flock is now sneezing and/or coughing a bit. That makes it the 4th pet/livestock issue in a week. All four separate problems. And, there is another tropical storm coming (from the South West not the South East this time).

That tub has Poultry Cell Rooster Booster in it. It has vitamins, minerals and more. The current issue was starting up yesterday (or the day before – it’s all a blur), so they all had access to a big bowl of plain Greek yogurt. You shouldn’t give them this too often, so yesterday they got a bowl of coconut oil to help boost their immune response. It also adds calories to birds that may be losing weight from illness. Now that I am writing this I realize that it must have been Monday that this problem began.

See those hanging soda bottle drinkers? One has poultry cell solution and one has organic apple cider vinegar in it. I’ll probably put out a bowl of coconut oil again today, since it is not too soon to give them that again.

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In the meantime, our beloved old dog Deirdre can now stay on her feet for 10-15 minutes at a time post-surgery. She is drinking and eating and trying to spit out pain pills. But she likes the peanut butter I smear on her lips before popping the pills into the back of her mouth.

I keep chants ready in the back of my mind for challenging situations. Sometimes it is “It’s not about me”, sometimes it is ” I don’t give a f@@k”, sometimes it is “Relax your body starting with your toes, then your ankles and all the way up to your head”, sometimes it is “Keep practicing kindness not matter how horrible someone is acting towards you”…

The one in my brain now, as I am making my morning rounds filling water & food containers and checking in on everybody is: “Thank you for not being dead”.

 

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I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But,

Beatrice

“Beatrice”

Abbey

“Abbey”

Luna

“Luna”

Tony

“Tony”

Mozart

“Mozart”

Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl

Bantam Chickens

Bantam Chickens

Annie & Muriel

“Annie” & “Muriel”

Rocky

“Rocky”

Bigs

“Bigs”

“Now, Abbey! now, Annie! now, Tony and Rocky!
On, Beatrice! on, Bigs! on, Muriel and Luna!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.”

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And me in my ‘kerchief, and dadda in his cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

Crazy Bird

“Crazy Bird”

Button Quail

Button Quail

Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish

Deirdre

“Deirdre”

Cecilia

“Cecilia”

Penny

“Penny”

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

xmasMoonWbw

excerpts courtesy of

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

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Our dogs are our pets first. We love them and they love us too. If you care about your dogs, the will know it and will protect their family at all costs. Out on the country roads, you need the protection.

Thieves are very fond of the widely-spaced homes overflowing with lawn equipment and metal-laden supplies. These items can readily be traded for quick cash.

There are also coyotes and other wild predators that will gladly relieve you of your livestock. Our dogs treat our goats as their friends and protect them too.

There is a difference between guard dogs and watch dogs. Guard dogs are bred/trained to attack intruders. Watch dogs run around, announcing the arrival of visitors.

Our watch dogs are especially proud of barking at the mail/package delivery people. Their tails normally wag away while they do this job. It is only when they feel aggression from someone that their tails stop wagging.

We keep friendly dogs here on the farmette. Once introduced, any dog or human is welcome in their pack. This is why we are able to foster dogs so easily via OneBlackDog.

This is also why our guests are the not-so-eager recipients of sloppy dog kisses. The happier a person is, the more enthusiastically our dogs greet them. Children are favorites of our dogs.

Our two black Collie/Retriever Hybrids, are inside/outside dogs. The latter have access to our mud/laundry room at all times by the use of a dog door (sometimes they are inside along with our full time house dog “Penny”).

They lay out on the deck when it is cool and/or dry. Lounging inside is something they prefer in the warmer or wetter weather. When a vehicle comes down the gravel drive, you can usually hear the flap swishing. The sound comes from their scurrying outside to trumpet their presence.

Penny, Deirdre & Cecilia looking down into the fenced goat/dog yard.

We keep an auto-fill trough of water attached to the yard faucet. A few drops of bleach are added periodically to keep the well water bacteria free.

Our dogs are also provided with Iams lamb and rice dog food. Corn based food works for many dogs, just not ours. All three of them are prone to the skin/food allergies that come with Retrievers/Retriever crosses.

Sometimes farm dogs need cleaning too. They do not like baths much.

We used Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Mint Soap this time. Later tonight we will apply some “dog oil” to ward off fleas, ticks and other external parasites.

Cecelia is our son’s dog, so he was happy to help bathe her. He was actually glad to assist on scrubbing all three of our dogs.

They did enjoy the biscuits they get as a thank you for their cooperation during bath time. They have been taught to sit and patiently wait for treats.

No matter what the priorities of your home are, residential, country, city, farm, mobile, etc., dogs can add quite a bit to your life. You take care of them and they will take care of you – not only physically but emotionally too. They have the ability to put a smile on your face, no matter what your mood, as your enthusiastic, delightful companions.

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It is almost one year since my major surgery. We have been able to get a lot done to reorganize the farmette since then. The work has helped me to build up muscles (including the ones supporting my fused neck) and to retrain all the crushed nerves. Things in that medical arena are far from perfect, but my ability to move is vastly improved in comparison to the two years prior.

We built a new pony run-in just in the nick of time before the cold Winter weather really struck:

Old Run-in

New Construction


New Run-in


Decor added September 2012

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To bring the livestock count up to date:

Dogs (Pets, Watch, Retrieving, Service, Herding)
1 Female AKC Golden Retriever, 2 Female ACHC Gollies
(Golden Retriever x Rough Coated Collie)
Ongoing but not currently: One Black DOG project
pulling a pound dog from local shelter to re-home.

Goats (Brush clearing, Lawn mowing,
Milk – hopefully this Spring, Kid sales)
1 ADGA Young Nubian Buck, 1 ADGA Nubian Nanny,
1 Pygmy Nanny, 1 Pygmy Doe, 1 Pygmy “It” (female-ish)

Ponies (Transport pull cart/ride, Pasture ornaments)
1 (14 Hands) Blind, Quarter Pony Stallion /
1 (10 Hands) Grumpy 21 yo Shetland Gelding

Poultry (Eggs!!!, Insect control, Chick sales)
1 Chinese, Female Goose /
1 Shy, Free Range, Ameraucana/Wyandotte, Standard Sized Roo /
1 Angry, B&W, Polish, Top Hat, Bantam Roo / 1 Blue, Sizzle, Bantam Roo /
2  (Red, Birchen) Cochin, Bantam Roos / 1 Mille Fleur, Cochin, Bantam Hen /
1 Pair B&W, Ugly, Project Bantams / 1 Silkie x Cochin, Bantam Hen.
17 Young, Bantam Chickens for grow out (new breeders needed,
heat wave drove raccoons out of woods for giant raid on our main coop).

Inside
1 Parakeet that throws seed as far as outer space.
No particular use. But, he is very cute.
1 (55 gallon) fish tank w about a dozen fish.
Calming living room centerpiece.

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New coops are being built or re-built. The truly scrappy ones made from reclaimed everything were burned along with their hornets/wasps nests. Making solid, super sheltered, predator-proofed pens for our poultry was long past due.

One of the new coops:
1) Frame, 2) Digital Plans, 3) Final in use


We barter/traded our one man auger for a working nuc box of bees
(we lost our queen last year in our top bar hive and inevitably
lost that colony).


– The back pasture needs fencing, but has been cleared of coops.
– We need to move the two fruit trees to the front and plant the third
(still in pot from purchase months back).
– The farmette needs to buy a few pure bred hens for laying and
Spring chick sales.
– More coops will be necessary. Bobwhite quail, diamond doves and/or call ducks may be in the mix soon.
– A tree-house style goat house or two (with easy cleaning bases) need to be built, so that we can leave the well shed for storage alone.
– The pony run-in will have additions as time goes on.

The projects never end. Thank goodness we enjoy them!

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We recently started a VERY small canine rescue. The idea is to adopt one black dog out of Gaston County Animal Shelter and re-home. They charge $90.00 which includes vetting and spay/neuter. Our adoption fee of $95.00 will fund the pull for the next dog and so on.

The Gaston Shelter has a Facebook group (run by a very dedicated volunteer). I browse and re-post/share dogs sometimes to help spread the word for possible adopters. There was a very pregnant dog at the shelter.

We already have one black dog available for adoption. But, I could not stand the idea of putting down a dog that was so full of pups that far along.

That dog is here now. And here is a good story from May 20, 2012.

After checking in on Penelope, I worked outside for an hour. I headed straight in to get a freelance client pitch finished. I had switched the video camera back from the mudroom to the driveway for the day. That was a mistake. Our son Dorian heard pups squeaking. I am so grateful that he did. One half hour more of me being focused on something else would have guaranteed failure in Pup #1’s outcome.

In the mudroom was Penelope and 3 puppies. One was cold, not breathing and not moving. I don’t want to get graphic about what this looked like, but she was dead.

Don’t stop reading yet!

I had just been talking to one of my chick buyers (we hatch and sell chicks for $ to buy food for our livestock) about waking up a dead, cold chick. I have done it once and her mother had done it when she was a kid. Coldness preserves the brain.

Our son grabbed the hand towel I had left on the piano for when the pups arrived. Glad that was handy! I started rubbing her to get her warmed up. This resulted in a few movements. They seemed to be electrical responses only. Again, I won’t get too graphic since it was not a pretty sight.

The project that I had been working on outside was a chick hatcher. I wanted something where the chicks could hatch and not get the incubator dirty. It was now in the living room for testing and adjustments – being homemade. I grabbed the fan and thermostat out and turned the heat lamp on. The top went on with Pup #1 in it. Our son watched through the viewing window while I went to check on the other two pups.

This is where we start to see light.

After they were cleared of goo, I went back to evaluate the situation. She was making some gasping movements like someone just pulled up from near drowning.

Gasping was still her main movement, but the rib cage had a very subtle rising and falling. She was starting to breath. After a while, she started to move. And then to squeak.

What a strong puppy!

She was brought back in to her mom. I kept an eye on her while helpig momma dog get pup sacs open and clear noses/mouths. I slept like a rock last night.

Pup #1 is FAT and full term. She also has her mother’s life saving colostrum to boost up her immune system. This pup is acting no differently than the other pups.

Here she is one day later: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AANlSR_nA0

I grabbed the first safe thing I saw to tag her with. It is a pink silly band – shaped like a dinosaur. We’ll check her a bit more often than the other pups, but she is eating and squirming like champ!

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Dogs

Let’s have another introduction from the pack. Grace is dog #1. She is the oldest at six years and affectionately described as “Dumb as a box of rocks”. She is all about goofing around with toys, playing fetch and reaching a goal.

If the goal is on the other side of a fence, she will chew, dig, scrape, ram or anything that it takes to get to the other side. She could set her sites on a soda can and there would be no stopping her once it was the target of her fancy. So, unluckily, unless supervised, she has to be tied even though her area is fenced.

Grace - Golden Retriever

If you need a kid friendly dog, a Golden Retriever is a great breed. Pure breeding is focused on certain traits and can be used as a guide for temperament. Hybrids and mutts can be good choices too.

A calm puppy is the best choice any way you go as they will be the easiest to train. Training Tip: All dogs need meal time to be quiet and non-competitive. Making sure that your dog is used to hands touching them, while they are eating, is crucial for safety.

Supervised Meal Time

If you plan to bring an adult dog into the family, have it tested for aggression. Although fixable, it is not advisable to start with this type of problem if you have little humans in the house. People without vulnerable family members (having faces level with sharp teeth) are better suited to attempt repair on aggressive behavior.

When you get the right match and care for them properly, a dog will be your loyal companion, protector of your flock and source of unconditional love.

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