Pug Life

Peggy with a tuna fish jar

I don’t think it’s possible to truly know a breed until you live with them. Case in point, I had no idea how happy and intelligent the pug is until we had a couple. Our latest is a 4-year old and she’s vastly entertaining.

So . . . the dog door story. We live isolated in the country. Our home is in the middle of 12 acres of south sloping pasture. Our dog pack swells and shrinks but it’s a gradual thing. Sometimes we have lots. When our Chow cross died we were down to just one dog, a lab mix rescue who is bitey.

Our dog door has a long runway on the outside to keep the weather out. It was cobbled together over time out of pieces of plywood and wood framing of wildly varying dimensions. For Buddy (young, athletic, good vision) it worked fine.

Our son had a friend who needed to rehome an aged pug. He could no longer care for her and we had room, time and love to spare so here she came! She was an absolute darling with cataracts. Dealing with the long dark tunnel outside our dog door was just too much so we rebuilt the run with a better base, glass roof and wall panels for visibility and a string of icicle lights for lighting at night.

The day the dog door run was finished she was happily using it without issue. Score!

Literally the next day, she died. I am not kidding, puked on the carpet, keeled over and DIED. That really sucked.

In less than a week another pug needed rehoming. It’s so funny how things come about. This one was young, just turned four. She had separation anxiety something fierce. She needs people 24/7, the more people the better. Because one of us is always home (or she can go with us if we leave together) it’s worked out really well. She’s vastly amusing, adores Wadly and is happy here with us. Score!

Canned Tuna

I can’t eat commercially canned tuna and I can’t rely on family to can it for me. They simply cannot can enough. I have a solution that works for me. Wadly buys frozen tuna steaks. As I need canned tuna I use my Instant Pot to “can” it. It’s not processed in a way that gives it a long term shelf life. I don’t need that. I need tuna I can make sandwiches out of now, today.

Because I like my salads with everything but the kitchen sink (exaggeration but you get my point), I add all sorts of things. Today’s favorite is green onion, radish, cucumber, olive slices, pimento and Sir Kensington Classic Mayo. SO good! I would have added grated carrot but . . . no carrots.

When I can tuna I pack the tuna in a half-pint wide mouthed jar, add a little salt to the top, add the lid and process it in my Instant Pot (9 minutes on high pressure, natural release, leave until cool) I usually start it in the afternoon or evening and leave it until morning.


Once the jar is empty of tuna I give it to our pug. She adores cleaning out the jar, picking it up and carrying it around to whichever spot suits her. Because her muzzle is so short it takes her quite a while and quite a bit of effort to get all the goodies out.

Dead dog, new dog

Squish (Paisley) rocking her dog bone.

So let me tell you the dog door story. We got an ancient pug. The young man who had her couldn’t keep her any more so she came here. This is not the first oldster we’ve taken in and we make adjustments to accommodate. This girl was very nearly blind but such an awesome personality. So, we rebuilt our dog door to glass it in (visibility) and updating the ramp so she was easily and happily going out to do her business without us opening the door. We had literally just finished it and she died. Yup, THE NEXT DAY. She vomited on the carpet followed immediately by a seizure. Then she flopped over, dead pretty much instantly. Not fun. Fast, for which I’m thankful but not fun.

Continue reading “Dead dog, new dog”

Doggie update

I started Chuck on Jarrow Colostrum this morning.  I added it to a little bit of bacon grease and, like the girls with their pee pills, he sucked it down.  I’ll update this post in a week or two when I know what affect it’s having.  For Wadly and I, it’s made a huge difference.  I’m hoping for the same sort of miracle for Chuck.

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.

The spring of Chuck

Warming up after an outdoors foray.

I think I’ve finally got a solution for keeping Chuck relatively comfortable.  Fleas have been driving him nuts.  I had a flea collar on him for a while and that did nothing noticeable, even when  I sprayed him with Cedarcide each time he came in.  The Cedarcide helped, but it only kills the fleas that are on him and does nothing to discourage more from jumping on.

The combo that appears to be relatively effective (I hope) is a combination of Ortho’s Home Defense sprayed on the rugs (one application lasts for ~12 months), Zodiac Flea and Tick Spray on Chuck (good for ~2 months) and a quick once-over with Cedarcide when he comes in from outside.  No, I am not going to try and treat our property for fleas.  I have free range chickens and we have 12 acres.  Between the chickens and the property size, treating the outdoors for fleas is not a reasonable idea.

There remains a very small amount of scarring on Chuck’s right eye which doesn’t significantly impede his vision.  I think the surface of the eye has healed as much as it’s going to.

Critter litter

Bug stuff

This is just under the upper rim on the outside of my upper biofilter tank for the outside aquarium.  Anyone have an idea what buggy thing this is?  Click the image and enlarge.

I know it’s buggy, just not what flavor of bug.  Whatever was inside the mud or exudate shell is no longer there.  The outside is covered with round . . . they can’t be seeds.  They might be eggs but they aren’t like any egg I’ve ever seen.  They’re round with a tiny dimple in the face.


What a difference a food makes

I switched dog food.  OH MY GOSH.  What a difference.  In one way it’s bad (Chloe is even MORE frenetically happy and bouncy) but in all other ways it’s good.  My oldest dog is perky and says she’s comfortable again.  My youngest dog is getting the nutrition she needs and is less worried about food.

If you’re wondering, I switched to Diamond Adult Dog Beef and Rice.  No corn, no soy, no wheat.  25% protein, 15% fat.  Everyone’s put on weight . . . okay, Chloe and Patsy didn’t need any more weight, so plus side, I can cut down on their food just a bit.

So what if this food is more than two times more expensive . . . <sigh>  The result is definitely worth it.

Not graded for size

Guess which is the store bought egg

As the weather gets colder I seem to cook more breakfasts.  My favorite is a not-omelet with whatever ingredients I have at hand.  Sometimes it’s scallops and shrimp, other times it’s sausage.  At some point I’ll get pictures of the non-omelet process to share.

Chickens go through a laying/setting cycle that contributes to our very occasional lack of eggs.  Part of the derth is related to having free range chickens and dogs who love eggs . . . when they can find them.  Because smart hens hide their eggs where dogs and people can’t find them, we have a fairly consistent supply of new chicks to offset those lost to old age and/or picked off by scavengers when the dogs get inattentive.

The eggs we get range in size, shape and color because our flock is a real mix of breeds.  We have medium to small hens that are part barred rock, australorp, banty and something with feathered feet.  We now have a silky rooster who was added to our flock by a family member.  The one baby we’ve been able to identify as his looks more like a grouse than a chicken.  Very cute.

The difference between our eggs and those that come from the store is really obvious when they are cracked into the same bowl.  The store bought egg is yellow.  The free range chicken egg yolks ranges in color depending on the age of the chicken and what they’ve been eating.  The richer the color, the higher the nutrition.

The store bought egg in the bowl was a grade A large brown egg.   You can see one of  our eggs is slightly smaller and one is quite a bit bigger.

Air Conditioning

Overworked yellow jacket

The pump house has a temporary roof which just begs for critters to build their nests therein.  It’s a fav spot for yellow jackets, though the space is tight.

The yellow jackets started their nest under the metal in much more temperate weather.  Though it’s barely 9 a.m., it’s already promising to be in excess of 80º.  The yellow jackets have already got the air conditioning going full blast.  This little guy is working his wings off to get the air moving up the channel to cool the nest.  It’s a bit difficult to see in the picture but he’s got his body canted in such a way as to direct the flow of air up the channel.

Carhart warmth

Warm rice in a sock and a blanket and this boy's all set for chilly weather

We’re having a “cold” day.  It’s chilly out.  Not cold enough to run the heater but not warm enough to do without the basic comforts of warm bean bags.  Chuck feels the cold pretty quickly.  He looks pathetic and shivers.  Wadly kindly donated a Carhart sock to act as Chuck’s “stay warm” rice bag.  His pretty red one bit the dust a while back.  The sock makes a nice replacement.  I can dump the rice into another sock while this one’s being washed.


Chuckster, no longer a special case, now he's "just a dog"

I took all the dogs to town with me a couple weeks ago and Chuck went into Home Depot with me.  Riding in the basket of my cart, he let strangers pet him without flinching or backing away.  That’s such a huge milestone.  When he came to us he was so traumatized I had to chase him down to touch him.  It was months before Terry could touch him.  Now anyone can.  Chuck’s deepest injury has finally healed.  This is huge.

I don’t quite know what to say . . .

Chloe had a hematoma the size of a softball when she came to us. It was just behind her left jaw where another dog had bitten her and left tooth plaque in the wound. I’m telling you this because I think the final outcome relates to treating all the dogs with sodium chlorite (notice that’s got a “t”, not a “d”).   I have no other explanation why a hematoma Chloe’d had since we got her suddenly vanished.  To that I want to add . . . I think if I’d known about sodium chlorite when Max got sick we would not have lost him.  I’m sure Dan’s thinking the same about his mastiff Kym, who now rests here on the farm beside Max.

So here’s the story.  We had some animal vandalism about 2 months ago. We live on a dead end gravel road which runs through our property to the homes of the other two families who live on our road.  All the dogs were fine when Wadly fed at 9pm.  They were all fine when I got up the next morning.  By nine that morning we had three injured dogs.

The week prior I had given all the dogs a 3-day course of sodium chlorite drops as a chemical detox, anti-parasitic and to start treating a sinus infection (Chuck) that just wouldn’t go away.  (Cute little dogs are not cute when they have runnels of fluid matting the hair below each eye.  Yuk.  Wake up, people.  Runny eyes are not healthy.)

As to the injuries, we suspect someone staying with a neighbor’s family deliberately struck all three of our dogs with their car.  The injuries were all on the left side indicating the dogs were traveling together nose to tail along the shoulder of the drive in the same direction the car was traveling.  Someone had to deliberately swerved into them to injure all three dogs where and how they were injured.  (Mean people truly suck and anyone who would deliberately harm animals has no productive place in society.  I’m with Fiona (Burn Notice).  “Can’t we just shoot ’em?”  JMPO)

Chloe had a broken back leg (compound fracture inside the left hind leg between the knee/stifle and the hip joint) and the hematoma on her neck had burst internally with the fluid running loose inside the skin of her neck.  Of the three dogs she sustained the most injury.  Happy had a shallow three-corner hole on the outside of her upper left front leg and Patsy had a sore left shoulder, some edema in her upper left front leg and a broken tooth.

With the fluid portion of Chloe’s hematoma dispersed, we could feel the “seed” of the hematoma (hard, round, about the size of a ping pong ball and fastened firmly to the muscle of her neck behind her jaw).  I thought the hematoma would fill with fluid again but it didn’t.  I kept an eye on it to see what would happen to the seed.

Happy’s wound was relatively minor and situated where she could easily reach it to keep it clean.  Patsy’s soreness went away after a couple days.

We couldn’t touch Chloe anywhere except on her head without her scooting away.  Wrestling with her to look at the leg would probably have compounded the damage.  If she stood in just the right spot I could turn my upper half upside down and crane my neck like crazy and get a peek at the wound.  It was on the inside where it couldn’t come in contact with the ground and she was keeping it clean.  In the beginning there were two gaping holes I could have stuck my finger in to at least the knuckle.  Every time I checked, the wound looked awesome; no infection, clean and obviously healing.

Within three weeks Happy was fully healed and Chloe was putting weight on her leg. Shortly thereafter her leg wound closed completely and within six weeks she was running around on her leg like nothing had happened.

So just this last week I noticed the seed of Chloe’s hematoma is gone. The filling around the seed never came back and now there is no longer a lump/seed. How weird is that?  I know sodium chlorite is awesome stuff.  It kills bad bacteria, viruses, detoxifies (chemicals AND heavy metals) and eliminates parasites.  Is it the reason the hematoma seed vanished?

If I hadn’t already started an SC cleanse that got all three dogs so much healthier, what would the injury outcome have been? Would Chloe’s leg wound have developed an infection? Chloe’s got some scarring on the inside of her leg where the bone sliced and diced the skin, but watching her tear around the farm you’d never know she’d ever had a compound fracture.

If you want to learn more about sodium chlorite, go to MiracleMineral.org and download the free e-book.

Salamander eggs

Aluminum Chevy hubcap buried in the ground by the pump house hydrant acts as water dish and receptacle for salamander eggs

In the dog’s water dish we have a raft of salamander eggs.  I wish I’d taken a picture last week when both parents were still visible.  They’re in there, just hidden below the eggs.