Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Stunned

I found a link to the article about the puppy mill Maddie came from 5 years ago(see "Maddie's Story"). There's actually a picture of her in the cage she was kept in! I did NOT expect to see her when I clicked on the pictures. You can see her distinctive wishbone on her neck. Me and my mom always say those are her wings and she's really an angel.

I've never seen pictures from the puppy mill and I never saw her puppies - who died soon after being rescued. I always wondered what it was like for her and where they had kept her. No wonder Maddie hates those kennels. No wonder she's so excited about every meal she eats. I Just think about how panicked she used to get when I had to leave her in a kennel. There was a time when she could escape from one of those kennels in 30 seconds flat. She had spent so many hours staring at those stupid black wires that separated her from food and water and freedom. My poor girl. I think about how close she came to death and how different my life would be without her.

I've never seen a dog who appreciates laying in the sunshine so much. She rolls on her back and stretches and yawns. I think of how she longed for sunshine on those cold winter days. (the puppy mill was busted in January and animals were kept in a barn). She didn't even have any hair left to insulate her...or body fat.

I think about how good she is with the chicks and little animals around the farm. I'm sure she was a great mommy to those puppies.

I just fed her extra big portions tonight for dinner. And for a happy picture to follow up a horrible one. Maddie and Yombi the other day snuggling with my big tree in the front yard.

Maddie and Yombi sitting in a tree...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Sad Day

Bella, the pygmy goat, had a c-section today and lost the babies. I noticed when I got home from work yesterday that she had a vaginal prolapse. She did not go into labor or act uncomfortable, so my vet said to wait and see if she was going to have the babies overnight. She did not go into labor overnight (she was happily munching hay right up until I threw her in the car today) so I brought her in this Afternoon. The vet palpated her and said she was fully dilated, but she couldn't feel the babies and they needed to come out, so Bella got anesthetized and cut open. She had twins that were sharing the same uterine horn (normally there would be one on each side) so neither one of them could pass.
Bella would never have been able to give birth that way since they were blocking each other. Bella was either bred the week before I got her, by accidentally getting into her dad's pen. Or she was bred the week after I got her, when she got loose and spent a few days crossing the countryside. When I finally found her, she reeked of buck musk and there are several big herds of goats around my farm.
The vet said it was possible that she could have been bred by a 150 lb. Boar goat and in that case, she would never have been able to carry the babies to term.

The twins looked to be almost full term, but after 30 minutes of stimulating them their little hearts gave out almost at the same time. Dr. thinks their lungs weren't developed enough for them to breathe on their own. They were beautiful little babies; one boy and one girl.

Bella was stitched up and she is recovering here at home. She's feeling pretty rough after all she's been through, but she should be fine. My friend, Kelli came over and we buried the babies under a nice shade tree on the hill. Since Bella's a first timer, she probably won't realize she's lost babies, so I don't think she'll grieve. I'm sure she's just wondering what kind of magic mushrooms she ate to cause such a bad trip.

I'm sorry the babies didn't make it. It would have been easier if they had been DOA, but after rubbing them and feeling their hearts beating and holding their perfect little bodies, it sure is hard to lose them like that. I'll probably camp out in the barn tonight just to make sure Bella doesn't have any complications. She's been sleeping a lot and really thirsty. I picked all her favorite weeds to try and get her to eat, but she only nibbles a bit here and there. I'm hoping that was enough to get her rumen going after surgery.

I Keep saying I need a truck, but the Corolla hasn't let me down, yet.

Bella at home. Her whole right side is shaved and that line is her stitches.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Peroxide: Man's Best Friend's Best Friend

When I came home from work yesterday, Maddie and Yombi greeted me at the front door. I was surprised since I had shut them in the bedroom when I left...Well, not that surprised since Maddie has asserted her knowledge of door mechanics a few times before. Not only had she let herself and Yombi out of the bedroom, but she managed to open the back door that leads to the mudd room where I put the garbage until I can take it to a dumpster (garbage pickup out here is $30/Month and I can't even fill one herbie in a month.)

In the garbage was discarded blackberry cobbler and a rich dark chocolate torte that I ate maybe 1/3 of before deciding it was too old to snack on any longer. Both of these items were not to be found among the mess of trash strewn about the small doorway. Upon second glance, Maddie did look strangely bloated (as in "full"; not as in "gastric torsion").

I looked up recipes online for tortes and most of the flourless wonders contained anywhere from 9 to 16 oz (1 pound!!) of baker's chocolate. This was not a good situation for Maddie, although she seemed quite pleased with herself.

So I went to my little animal pharmacloset in the bathroom and pulled out a 10 cc syringe and Peroxide. I went outside, bottle in hand and called Maddie in my sweetest "You wanna treat?" voice. The dosage for dogs is about 5cc per 10lbs, but I've found that even half of that does the trick. So, I put 15cc down the hatch and waited. 7.4 minutes later: out came Chocolate torte, Blackberry Cobbler and half of the bag of treats from the top of the kennel that I should have used to restrain Maddie while I was gone. I've never been so happy to see vomit before. From what I could see, the entire chocolate torte was undigested on the ground before me.

I gave Maddie another 10cc's just to be sure we got everything out, then instead of dinner, she got a tablespoon of yogurt with a tablespoon of baking soda and some digestive enzymes to ward of gas and bloat (as in "gastric torsion"). She was a little queasy for the rest of the night. I suspect that was the result of the chocolate. Usually with peroxide they throwup and have a look of "What the $%!@ just happened?" for about 10 minutes, then go back to being their normal selves. So I think she must have digested just enough of the chocolate for it to make her queasy and thirsty, but she didn't have an elevated heartrate, wasn't restless and didn't have muscle spasms...and believe me, I was looking out for anything unusual.

Maddie slept through the night and is feeling much better and was very hungry this morning. I should add that my vet is only a phone call away and would meet me in the middle of the night in an emergency (and has before).

Every dog owner (I believe it works for cats, too, but don't quote me on this) should have 3% Peroxide for times like these. I can think of at least a few times a year that I use it, especially when they eat too much of something. With a boxer, bloat is always a concern, so I would rather empty their stomach of the food than wait to see if it causes problems later. They will throw up their entire stomach contents with this route. There are a few other tricks for getting dogs to vomit, but none of them are guaranteed to empty the stomach like Peroxide. This will only work within the first few hours after ingestion. After that, the food moves to the small intestine where toxins will be absorbed. I think the fact that Maddie ate all those treats off the kennel first kept the chocolate from going right through.

In other news, I finished laying laminate in the back room and am getting ready to start on the center hall. More on that later. I have pictures, but probably won't get around to posting them until I get my desk back in here...since I use the printer to plug my CF card into. So it's back to work for me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I drove to E-town today and picked up some Blue laced red Wyandotte eggs and a few Silver laced Wyandotte eggs. My Black Copper Marans hatched this week (8 out of 14). I'm a little disappointed with that hatch, only because I feel like I must have done something wrong. I picked the eggs up myself, so I can't blame the PO. Oh well, 8 is a good start. I just need to get some more Faverolle eggs and hopefully get a few hens out of the hatch and I'll have a good start to my breeding flocks.

I'm still having a terrible time getting rid of the 25 roosters from the first hatch. Things are getting backed up because I have no where to put the 50 5-week old pullets until the roos are gone. The pullets have taken over the storage shed and I finally just turned them loose in the backyard and lock them in the shed at night. The Rolle Patrol have front porch duty and are STILL sleeping in the house at night. I've been trying to find an idiot proof design for a small coop for them. Any ideas?

Friday, March 13, 2009


Step 1: Admit you have a problem.
Step 2: Admit you have a problem to the enablers on your favorite message board. They will nullify the "dark side" of the problem, and introduce you to a new breed of chick you don't have ... yet...
Step 3: Purchase new chick that you learned of in step 2.
Step 4: Deal with coop crowding situations after the fact.
Step 5: Admit (again) you have a problem...
Step 6: Build coop even larger than necessary so you have excuse to buy more
Step 7: Buy more
Step 8: Buy the incubator because you can't order chicks in some of the more rare varieties you are dying to have. Write off cost of incubator as health care expense on taxes because you were 'dying' to have it, so it must have saved your life by purchasing it. Definitely a health care expense.
Step 9: Clear out closet in spare room, put little muzzles over chick beaks and tell 'significant other' that the noise coming form closet is just mice and you have that under control. If they persist use the old lie that women use for new clothing-"Oh, that old thing? Had that for years, your just not very observant.
Step 10: Add on to Coop!! Assure hubby it is the only addition. (Till the all the eggs you just bought come in and hatch!!)
Step 11: Move just so your chickens have enough space to free range, no other reason....
Step 12: GIVE UP FIGHTING! You're an addict, get used to it!!!

Only for me, step 8 came right after step 2. I didn't have anyone to tell me no. What can I say?

New Floors

I've decided that before the new Wood Stove is installed, now would be a good time to tear up the carpet (which I loathe) and put down nice laminate wood floors. After much contemplation and bringing home lots of samples from Lowe's, I picked this one. Wide planks and an aged finish. The seems won't be that obvious once it's installed. I'm pleasantly surprised by how realistic the laminate looks. Each plank in the box is unique with variations in color and grain. I was skeptical that it could look as good as wood, but I think it will. Yay!

Since I'll be tearing up the carpet to install the floors, I decided I should go ahead and paint the walls because it's a known fact that it's impossible for me to paint without getting it on the floor. I use the drop cloths and am always careful, but nevertheless paint ends up smudged on the floors and I end up on my hands an knees trying to pick little dried drops off without damaging the finish.

I ripped up the carpet today and while the back room looks good and level the hallway was a wreck.

Ahhh!!!! What is this??!!!

I love my old house. I love my old house. I love my old house.
I should know better by now than to think anything could be an easy weekend project.