Bella is . . . well, Bella

We’ve got a new rescue dog. She’s pretty much blind as a bat and is now a bit over a year old. She’s the toughest dog I’ve ever had. She spent the first 8 months of her life either tied or kenneled outside, we don’t know which, but she knew nothing about manners or proper behavior when she came.  She was frantic for people’s attention but to a lesser level of obnoxiousness now though she is still finding people and pack-mates by running into them. She’s getting better but it’s going to take time.  Everything she does is brim full of enthusiasm.  She has her full share and more, maybe six dogs worth.

Bella, after about three months of being free, learned not to run everywhere at full speed.  She’s now sitting to get treats and petting (not very still and not very long) and I’m marking it as progress. In the beginning she plowed into rocks, vehicles, people, other dogs (which Chloe absolutely cannot abide), buildings . . . she continues to get better though she sports rotating patches of missing hair from her “finds” and has a constant bare neck and chest from running through unmown grass and weeds at absolute full tilt. With 12 acres in which to run she spends little time doing anything as mundane as walking. So far she hasn’t split herself open on anything though yesterday she showed up with a new mondo scratch on her face.

At some point I’m going to have to make a decision about her eyes.  She has some vision, though mostly just shadows.  She’s pretty much completely blind in full sunlight or dark but she can see enough to get around and I’d like her to be able to retain that ability.  Because her eyes are undeveloped her upper eyelashes poke the inside of her lower eyelids which causes irritation.  So the decision is, do I stick with the status quo and leave her what little eyesight she has and figure some other solution for the poking eyelashes or do I have her eyelids sewn shut to prevent the irritation and remove what little sight she has.  I cannot decide.  Maybe not deciding is deciding.  You know us. Life is ALWAYS interesting.

New dog!

Border Collie cross puppy

Say hi to Buddy! He’s about 8 months old and is a real character. He’s got Border Collie energy and intelligence but whatever the other half is, it’s not small. He’s about 4″ taller than a BC already and I suspect he’s not quite done growing.

Buddy came to us because he was overly protective of the children in his previous home.  Biting the grandparents when they came over to visit made him just a bit unpopular and no-one in the home was very dog savvy. A new home was a must.

If he’d gone to the animal shelter he would have been put down as a biter and he’s much too nice a dog for that fate.  Plus he’s dead funny!  Watching him harass the girls, tease them and drag his rope around is worth the price of admission.  After the small back yard he lived in before, he loves the extra room to fun.  He spends all the time smiling and having fun.

He leaves the chickens alone and doesn’t bother the cats.  He’s learned to be polite and wait his turn for goodies.  He’s learning not to jump on people.

In the month he’s been here we’ve had one near-bite incident.  While he’s learning to be comfortable with people coming to visit, by the end of summer he should have a firm grasp on bark, DO NOT bite.  Having older dogs to show him how it’s done is helping a lot.  He’s physically tough and supremely self-confident and he’s learning to play gently with Chuck.

Adolescent eggs

Adolescent egg compared to a standard small egg

When the young hens start laying, invariably their first egg is significantly smaller than a standard small egg.

The smaller egg pictured at the left is longer the average adolescent egg.

It had one more unique feature . . . no yolk.

Let’s call it the perfect diet egg!

Football, dinner, dog

Guess who's waiting for his share?

Tell me this doesn’t happen at your house.  Chuck knows he’s supposed to be sitting on his blanket all the way across the room, not at Wadly’s feet . . . but Wadly’s watching Sunday football and not paying attention so that’s where Chuck’s little butt is parked.  His little ears are pointed at me and he knows he’s in trouble . . . I can hear him mumbling “Mom, don’t notice.  Mom, don’t notice.”

Chucky, version 2.5

Limp and snoring

It’s been two and a half years since Chuck came to live with us.  When he first arrived I had to chase him down and corner him to touch him.

Through the months we went through many stages of acceptance and trust.  He came to accepted we would touch him but I couldn’t reach for him with both hands.  Then I couldn’t touch him if we were outside.  Then I could touch him outside but with only one hand.

Just recently he’s started rolling over on his back to have his tummy rubbed.  This is a 180° shift from the dog who slept with one eye open with all legs tucked under him prepared to bolt to safety.

As his trust and confidence grew he changed from a scared little mite who would bolt in a heartbeat to a regular guy, confident enough to follow me around the hardware store among strange people.

The picture on the left is Chuck, version 2.5, sound asleep, upside down and snoring.  It’s not very dignified but it makes me smile.

You’ve come a long way, baby.

Carlos is coming

Lorr (our son) has discovered wholesale rot under the window and into the floor and floor supports where his 60 gallon aquarium housing Carlos the turtle, two gigantic plecos and a couple really fat goldfish.  Moving the tank is a must so it looks like Carlos is coming to stay.  The big concern is keeping Carlos comfortable.  The goldies can join mine in my 100 gallon tank outside and the plecos can go to the aquarium store.

Wadly’s next day off is Tue.  We’ll drag the big aquarium out of the loft, clean and set it up for all Wadly’s fish.  We’ll leave the smaller aquarium set up to accommodate Carlos temporarily while we get is larger tank set up and up to temp.

To keep both tanks using the wall, I’m going to have to install a sump.  I haven’t done that before.  It should be a learning experience.