Life on the Farm 2017

I use to add events and news to the westie puppy page. When the original website started years ago I was always adding bits of things happening on the farm to random places. I had tried unsuccessfully match content on the page to the page topic. English is not my strong point, (obviously!) Now that the original website crashed I am going to try to keep more to page content. This blog allows me to add bits of whats happening at any given moment. None of the photos copied and pasted from the saved parts of the old website, so I will have to add them back on soon as I get the chance. Its much more interesting with photos!

Its not possible to put everything happening here, I would be typing day and night! Its also full of random ramblings. The newest note is at the top. All notes are dated.


11-17-17 Today I woke up to Art coughing. He caught the cold I had which caused me to cough for weeks. I didn’t feel very bad, just tired as I was coughing all night. I was able to do all my chores but not sleeping well I didn’t ever get enough rest.

He probably got sick because he is a light sleeper and my coughing prevented his sleeping. I got up and worked on trying to do both our chores while he attempted to sleep in. Being sick is never any fun! Then i went into panic mood! I realized families are going to pick up a puppy at 10am and I didn’t have the paperwork together, the house was a disaster (how does that happen?!!) and Aryne had called asking me t help her clean her new place before she moved her stuff in, well besides helping to move stuff.

​I can sound way too much like my mother. 🙁 Crabby snappy and just not nice. I lucked out both Kim, my daughter came over to work, and Art had got up. I asked him to clean house as its easier then doing the morning letting dogs all i and out, doggie breakfasts and all that. He also washed the puppies who were going to new homes.

​I emailed the family asking if they could come out at 11 or 11:30am, as I was very behind. They wrote back that was fine. Then they didn’t show up and it was afternoon.

I got a call from a family coming here on Sunday and they said “see you in a couple days.” I said “you mean tomorrow?” Then clarified “today is Saturday you were going to be here Sunday?” She said “Today is Friday”. Bells and whistles could have gone off in my head! Well that explains how I was mysteriously a full day behind in what I needed to get done before Saturday, and I was in such a panic, it was Friday! I did have the whole day that has disappeared.

​The night before I somehow started playing those little 10, or so quiz questions about personality and IQ, what color you are, and things like that on the computer. I was posting my results on FB. I think I was anyway FB is still a mystery to me most of the time. ALL the little tests said what a genius I was, how MD’s were the only ones to be able to pass the test and I was getting 10/10 correct. Here I don’t even know what day it is! I don’t think the tests are very accurate. My genius bubble has been seriously popped! Oh and I was suspicious because one of the tests was on grammar and I got an A+. Anyone who reads what I write knows theres something very off there! lol

​So once today wasn’t Saturday, things were much less stressful. Art took a puppy in for him to get his health certificate to fly. Kim helped me with the dogs. Aryne was in and out gathering up her belongings and taking them to her new place. Fortunately its only about 4 miles away. Then this evening my son brought a big car trailer over and we all helps load her larger furniture on the trailer. They insisted they didn’t need help unloading and putting it in her house. Art and I just worked on our normal chores the rest of the day.

Maybe I will even watch a movie with him. He often attempts to watch a movie but runs out of time needing to do more chores. Or he gets tired and goes to be about 8pm. I generally just keep working. My breaks are talking to family and Aryne, who is like a grown adopted daughter.

I’m so sad she’s leaving from here. She has been staying at my sons place since August. We helped him buy the property next door and she really was the only one who helped him move in and clean the huge mess the place was in.

I wanted her to stay here but she really needed more room then our house has. She and Keith are just friends so they each needed their own space. Also being an adult most people don’t want to live at home under the watchful eye of their mother (that would be me! so she’s 28 and doesn’t actually need a mother. She’s younger then my youngest, so that makes her my new youngest child! Keith calls her the baby, and princess!)

Her new place is a double wide mobil home she’s renting. Its in the country and they will allow her dogs. The kids have lots of space there and can run around and play outside, or inside. There’s 3 bedrooms, a huge kitchen, and giant living room. I think she will be much happier having more room and not trying to deal with so many personalities that are here. Living with a group of people does have its drawbacks sometimes. Also most people want time off. I’m a work-aholic to me time off is doing some kind of work project that you usually cant get to with normal chores and the unexpected things that keep popping up. I rarely even watch a movie without brushing the dogs at the same time. It perfect I can get a dog or several groomed all out the same time I get to watch a movie. I have discovered many people want to just sit. When I don’t feel well or am exhausted I too like to just sit. So when she’s here I’m always putting her to work….

10-14-17 It has been over 2 months since I have had even a few minutes to try and squeeze in and update.

​Today my daughter, and a good friend had a horse show at her mentors of the year ex-race horse show. They retrain races horses into 3 day event horses. It was perfect weather, although I’m sunburned, don’t expect that in October. We all had fun. Kim was no doubt a bit disappointed as no one could tell what the judge was judging on as the first place rider in many of the classes had some big mistakes. She and the lady buying the horse my daughter collected lots of points on were competing for the high end of the year award. I know my daughter couldn’t have won as the points stay with the horse not the rider, and today she just didn’t place near as well as usual. It was still a terrific day! I love going and have only made it to a couple of her shows this summer.

My son is all moved in next door. It was a nightmare! 2 days after moving in his bulldog puppy threw up blue stuff. They had found rat poisen all over the house and cleaned it up before bringing the dogs there. Well turns out he had it outside also! We called the vet followed his instructions and since she threw up and we gave her charcoal after having her throw up again ( having them drink some peroxide is how to make a dog vomit if needed) he said all we can do is wait. Well she was acting badly the next day, when she shouldn’t have, and spent 4 days at the vets in the hospital. Apparently she had found some and ate it the day, or 2 before unknown to anyone. She couldn’t have eaten it and got sick that fast. Boss the adult bulldog the next day pooped green. So he had eaten some too. They put him on vitamin K and he had no effects from it. The puppy did make it and seems to be doing just fine now. Talk about stressful. Learning the house is halfway needing to be torn down and rebuilt, and having 2 dogs eat poison! We were all so stressed!

He is still cleaning up the place. He found brisk and tenet pavers randomly thrown about the meadow looking yard and pastures. Apparently the guy wanted the mowers to get destroyed. He was having issues with the people he was buying the place from contract for deed. We have later learned he does mean things like that to get back at people, probably thinking the neighbor/original owner would be the one to mow.

It is slowly looking neater and cleaner. Buildings just piled full of mouse infested old clothes, carpet and you name it. We have a small dumpster there and Keith fills it over-flowing every week. Unfortunately it means he hasn’t been helping us here on the farm distracted with his own place….

All this as we were preparing for a family reunion here at the farm the end of August. The little house for my mom and aunt was completed as people were arriving! Done enough there were 2 working bathrooms and a counter in the kitchen, plus central air-conditioning. No kitchen sink. The floors and walls were done and we had extra beds set up. It was very stressful with Art working on the house while I was trying to still do most of his chores as I had been for 2 months while he concentrated on the house project. Plus I had my work to do and was trying to clean when everything was a disaster with all the building taking up more time then we had.

I have never had a family reunion here. I was fortunate that a couple aunts and my cousin came down a few days ahead of time and heaped clean up, cook and set up stuff. They then stayed and visited a few more days. So some family was here only a day and most 2 nights, some stayed 6 days.

My sister who only 2 cousins have seen in 15 years was willing to fly in. She is homeless in CA and has been for about 15 years. She has had a steady part-time job the last 2 years. She has a dog she got from the pound 14 or 15 years ago. Mooska came with her, a chi-weenie. He is very old and having some health problems. He is certainly a bit senile.

My sister was doing great until family started arriving and then all scolding her about taking the dog out more, no matter if he just had been brought back in. He was squatting and peeing pretty regularly. It was all hard on him too. He’s old, I think 16 years! We have hardwood and tile. Frustrating but certainly not worth all the fuss some of the relatives were creating. We are very tolerate of old dogs. Poor Leslie was way too stressed and couldn’t take it. She didn’t really recover until the bossy relatives all left and then took a few more days. I talked her into staying longer to help move my mom and aunts things to the new house. She was here almost a month. It was the first time I think in our life that we got along quite well. I grew up enough to understand some people really have issues. Its just life we are all different.

She was a huge help with hanging my moms pictures! She’s artistic and not afraid to put stuff on the walls. I am. I don’t seem to be able to balance things well and it really bothers me to the point I don’t hang anything. My hallway has some stuff on the walls. Everywhere else the pictures sit on things as I’m too afraid to make holes in the wrong place. Not Leslie. I walked around with various paintings and art and she said yes, or no we discussed it and then just hung it up. She made it so easy! We only asked a bit for my moms opinion as nothing wild get done if we had to actually have her approval. Leslie is the favored child so I only had to say “It was Leslies idea, and I think it looks good too”. Then my mom was appeased. She only hated one choice and took the painting down to replace it with another.

Leslie had to leave before they were all moved in. I spent another week getting their stuff unpacked and put away. It is really cute over there now. My mom has anxiety. When I said its all ready she still wouldn’t move over there. I ended up moving all her cloths and furniture in there before she would stay overnight.

My aunt was happy to go sleep there which helped. Aunt Carole is really easy going. She doesn’t care where anything is put for the most part, and is fine with it all. Because my mom is so opinionated and bossy, and my aunt is meek she took advantage of the fact I don’t back down from my mom. She would hand me little chicken pictures she wanted in the kitchen and whisper to me. I would then ask my mom where we could put them. My mom would have a hissy-fit saying “they are ugly and they are not going in the kitchen!” I would just tell her they are cute and start holding them up on the wall in various places asking her, how about here? Then usually I would have to lay it down and say well we’ll think about it. The next day she would be more agreeable and tell me where it would be ok to hang it.

My son walked in the house and said, “wow, it has been Grandma-ified”. It was really funny. They have lots of pretty vases, and cute things everywhere.

After the reunion Aryne was having a tooth ache. She said she had wisdom teeth problems in the past. It was pretty bad but then seemed ok a few days. Well you know how tooth things happen. It came back with a vengeance! I got her into the dentist we use who referred her to an oral surgeon. She was lucky they were able to do surgery a few days later and not the following week. Unfortunately I had the kids with us so had to watch them and couldn’t go into the room with her. She was a nervous basket case. I didn’t realize how bad. When your that nervous the gas doesn’t work as well. She was in tears when she came out. The pain killer didn’t hardly work. They cut out the bad wisdom tooth and it wasn’t numb. She recovered well but certainly it is going to be terrifying for her to go back to the dentist even worse then it was before. Next time, if needed, we will pay the extra $800. to have her knocked out completely like we did with Aunt Carole, who also has a dentist phobia. Aryne is like an adopted daughter to me. She’s 28 but still younger then my youngest, so a kid 🙂 Amazing how age changes your perspective!

​I cant even remember the rest of September. I know I helped my mom and aunt settle into their house, doing the little things to make it easier for them. They also have a lt of stuff so we kept unpacking. We had several litters of puppies born. My grandsons were in soccer and football so I tried to go to games they had on the weekends. Aaron was helping Keith with his place and not working much. I got the flu and was laid up for almost 3 days. The good thing about that was my feet didn’t hurt by the time I had enough energy to get back to doing chores. Aryne and Keith both had the flu, Art then got it. My uncle had it. Thank God my aunt and mom didn’t get it.

One of the 4 bulldogs we picked up for my son from the amish family died. It was 82, cloudy and only noon. She had been a really calm dog since we got her and she still had a blood tinged discharge, even though she was suppose to have been 9 weeks past having had puppies. I honestly thought maybe she was coming in heat and she wasn’t the mother of the puppies as they had said. We have them in air-conditioning but they were out to be able to enjoy being outside. We had checked them half hour earlier. Aryne went to check again and thought she and Boss were looking a bit hot. She was walking them to the air-conditioned kennel and the air collapsed. She picked her up and got her in the bathtub. Said she threw up a couple times. I didn’t know any of this was happening and my uncle came to get me. Boss was wandering around loose outside so I hosed him and put him in the kennel. He would get himself worked up just being out of a kennel. We were working on acclimating him to not get himself so excited he couldn’t breath by having him on little outings. By the time I got in a few minutes later Aryne was in tears sitting in the bathtub of water with the bulldog who had passed away in the tub. I tried to do CPR but it was too late. Looking back I kick myself for not having the vet check her for the discharge. She probably had a poorly done c-section and had been slowly bleeding a tiny bit, just enough to wear her out and make her weak. Its was just awful! It was the same day Keiths puppy had ate and vomited up the rat poison.

A week later also in September Keith’s other 2 bulldogs from the same place had cherry eye surgery and with the hours he works Art and I took them to the vet we like for delicate surgery up in Hannibal MO, 2.5 hours away. Then the dogs needed rechecks. Then the puppy bulldog got a cherry eye and had to go in. We have been up there now 3 or 4 times recently and 2 of them are having issues so we go back again Tuesday for re-stitching. The one dog when we bought from that amish family had double cherry eyes that probably had been out for 2 or 3 years, the other had one that sounded like it had been months. We don’t know how long as they really didn’t understand what the dogs problem was. Their vet said it was entropion. With so much going on with my mom, my sister still here, the reunion and everything I just wasn’t thinking about the connection of dogs with cherry eyes not fixed and a potential poorly done c-section, or even the fact they had bred the dogs 3 times in a row, which they always get c-sections. So the dogs didn’t even have a break to heal well before needing another c-section. It was just a terrible time!

October has been much better. We are all calmer with my mom in the other house so she’s not screaming at everyone, or the constant waterfall of negative remarks at anyone or anything, or even nothing. Most of the dogs are doing much better, even though 2 of his bulldogs need their eyes fixed again. The bulldog Boss disappeared. Keith had got him used to being able to be outside with them and the dog learned to go back in and lay down when he was too excited and breathing hard. Well he disappeared! We searched, called everyone , went to all the neighbors, posted flyers. Nothing. The one neighbor had made an odd comment when Aryne went to ask him if he had been seen. He asked “the white one?” strange as all the others are spotted. He has a variety of people going to his house all day long. We live on a dead end road. Only 2 other houses past Keith’s and they only have themselves going in and out the lane. We were very suspicious he had been stolen. I commented on the Facebook posting a week after he had been gone that we believe now he was stolen. 1 hour later Boss was walking up Keith’s driveway right to him! Only slightly thinner, he was gone over a week. Someone had him. We have had so much stress it is just the biggest relief he is back safe. We were so worried he would have died even if someone had stolen him. You have to be so careful with him as he had been only been a kennel dog prior and had only recently learned how to regulate his activity himself and not get himself overly worked up.

At the same time Arynes transmission went out on her car. We helped her get another used car (very used…) Art went to Louisiana for a full week. Aryne and Keith both managed to have the flu again and didn’t hardly help me at all while Art was gone. I worked really long days trying to keep up! It wouldn’t have been so bad but just a couple hours after he left I discovered one of the pigs was very pregnant. She was with the other pigs and he had not set anything up for her. Keith and Aryne helped me make a makeshift pen to confine her away from the mud wallow, where baby pigs would drown and away from the other pigs in case they would smash the new babies.

Moving a pig away from its friends turned out to be impossible. We ended up fencing around the hut they use for shelter. I didn’t know what else to do. So now all the other pigs don’t have any shelter. Well half don’t. Some could go in the barn if they wanted. We were all sure she was in labor then. I sat up in a chair out there until 12:30am that night and nothing. She moaned and flopped about, then fell asleep. I went to bed.

She waited 1.5 days and escaped the pen and I found one piglet in the moat, fortunately drying up enough it was walking on top the mud, cold, but alive. She had another pigglet with her laying by the hut, on the wrong side of the fence from where she was suppose to be. Took me 2 hours to finally get her back in the pen where she had 7 more babies!

I had left to check on aunt Carole, and while gone one was stillborn. The other 8 were all doing well. Figures she would have them when Art was gone and Aryne was sick. I don’t know what Keith was doing, think he was at work as he dos work full time.

The donkey also had her baby, she didn’t need any help though. And we had a litter of puppies born. The week he was gone as as busy as usual but with just me doing the work it was overwhelming at times!

He is back now and we have been getting less accomplished together then I did all by myself. I don’t get it. I have a big list of things I want done that I thought we would be working on. I think we are both just too tired and basic chores is enough for the moment. Its more like a typical work day for someone who works outside the home, instead of 1.5 jobs 7 days a week.

8-14-17 Keith got to get into the house we bought next door for the second time yesterday. We gave the people 30 days to move. They are hoarders so the first time we seen it you really couldn’t see it, due to so much stuff. Now its empty but filthy, I mean really filthy. They are suppose to clean today. I doubt they do. Plus we discovered one wall has mold all along the wall/ceiling. Ugh didn’t expect him to have to tear out walls and fix them before he moved in. He will have to be in it before the end of the month to avoid paying rent where he’s at now. I want him to help prepare for the family reunion. I know he will start fixing his new house so he can get moved over, and wont have time to help us. He is a really hard worker though and has a few friends he has helped so much over the years I am sure they will chip in and help him. Now to come up with the funds for wall board and stuff…..

It is exciting though. There are black berries, and fruit trees with lots of fruit on them. Just baby trees but still more then he, or we will use. I hope we can at least give a bunch to the hogs and horses instead of it going to total waste.

​I just wish the place wasn’t such a dump. The past person has literally dumped truck loads of construction debris, lit some on fire for burned mounds of nasty stuff, and has piles of crappy things that were probably useable until it sat in the weather, or a damp shed.

Having Keith next door will be a huge help for us. He has been doing all the yard care, and fence and pasture upkeep this year.

Keith loves the bulldogs (english bulldogs more common name) and the frenchies. We helped him get a couple bulldogs and then when trying to find a male a family who had 2 twin children who needed lots of medical care offered for us to take the 3 adults they had when we went to get the male puppy. So now Keith has several. He only has one frenchie and a cavalier, besides his rescued german shepherd, all as house dogs full time.

The shepherd is the skinniest dog ever. I have no idea why. Everything checks out fine. He has tried every dog food out there, including adding wet to her food. She runs non-stop and loves to play but she just has no appetite, and looks half starved. Bowls of food and water sitting out where ever she goes. She’s here a lot and a great dog.

Well back to work. I am behind on all the website updates and have a mountain of laundry.

​8-11-17 I never pay attention to the flu going around, as I don’t get sick for more then half a day or so when do get sick. Well apparently Keith, Art, Aryne and I all managed to get the summer flu. I was out for 2 full days and most of another. Art and Keith have been working all along but complaining of being sick. Aryne had a day down and also is still working but slow and complaining of feeling sick. What an absolutely miserable time! We are frantically trying to get the little house for my mom and aunt finished and them moved into it before 8-24 when people start arriving from out of town for a big double family reunion. I am worse them overwhelmed.

Anyone who has had the blog understands my mom is hard to live with. I tried to explain to someone who was very demanding and irritated that I had not responded to sending photos to her directly instead of posting on the website, and that it had been 4 days since I had responded by email and she had sent 2 or 3 emails in that time that I just cant work that fast at this time. Sorry but when I cant hardly lift my arms or stay awake I’m not going to do emails when I have to force myself to get up and help at least a little with taking care of the dogs. Or as it were I sat on a milk crate and Art told me go back to bed he would finish. I sent the person their deposit back. I broke out in a sweat from the way the email was written, it was for one of Ashleys puppies. Ashley also reacted in a panic calling me when she got the same email. So I felt better it wasn’t just me being stressed out to have found it that stressful.

For a few weeks now my moms yelling has been causing me to break out in a sweat. No doubt its why everyone got sick. We are all stressed out with everything, working 14 to 18 hours every single day and feeling guilty to even sit and eat a meal knowing I have not emailed nice people who have written.

I have never had a family reunion here. Some family I haven’t seen in 10 years. Next to none of them have ever been here. Its stressful. I grew up in nice suburban area, they are almost all from suburban areas and we now have a farm with farm priorities. Nice lawns, pretty flowers and sidewalks just aren’t here at the moment, its a rural farm, we have piles of farm equipment and weeds in the flower beds that use to be so pretty.

I do love flowers…. We have over grown flowers, shrubs, and now nice gravel walkway that at least we finally got mostly done last week when I finally told Keith what I wanted. My son-in-law and Keith are actually great at landscaping. Son in law has a real eye for how things look. He rarely helps here but when he does its really nice. Keith is very organized which also helps. And practical. I get stressed and wander about unable to stop and think. The house is almost done though!! I am so excited. We moved some extra beds a different aunt gave us out there into the bedrooms so we have places for more guests. Sweating now thinking how my mom is going to flip out we put an extra bed in her room….. She wont even sleep on a bed. She sleeps sitting up on the couch. Reminds me we were going to look into getting a lift chair. One big enough for my aunt who will be here and is in a wheelchair. Too much to do yet!

Keith and Art have been just working non stop. Well Keith takes some breaks and doesn’t show up every day. Art has been putting in long days trying to ge the little house done and do some of his chores that I just cant add to the list I already have.

My cousin is being a huge help in organizing the stuff I never think of for the reunion, food, drinks…. I am the worst hostess in the world, for friend or family who stay over I show you the kitchen and tell you to help yourself! Then I forget about it. If you look like you may fall over from thirst I might notice you may not have helped yourself. So this reunion thing is rough!

​Aryne has been having a really rough time. Some days she works sold a few hours and others she’s just a mess. It’s terrible how a bad childhood has such a lasting affect on you as an adult. Once this reunion is over with I am going to find her a counselor, or several so she can find one that is good for her and set her up with appointments. The nicest people in the world are the most affected by bad things. 🙁

I guess I was a brat, opinionated, bullheaded so it didn’t effect me as much. Then with making myself go to college educated enough to grow up and embrace the fact every day is a new day and so exciting, no time to dwell in the now far past! And who would want to, (except the good bits)?

​7-19-17 Almost caught up from last weeks moving trip. My son helped unload most of the stuff from the trailer. His new house we are suppose to close on Friday. (right next door to us! Help will be a pasture away!!) Well they emailed this morning and the person who has it contract for deed and has been paying taxes out of his payment as it was eschewed in the sellers are refusing to count the money he has paid for taxes to go toward what they are claiming is the tax bill. this place has been a nightmare. May, June and July each has had some new issue come up. 7 heirs had to sign, and the list goes on and on. They had even agreed to the payoff amount and now are changing it. The stress is too much! Keith has even started packing. We’re not sure what is going to happen.

​7-14-17 As usual we have been doing all kinds of things. One of my aunts, the very youngest of the 5 girls (besides the 3 brother, one brother Uncle Al, and 2 of the sisters, my mom and Aunt Carole, live with us. Anyway the youngest aunt sold her house in Wheaton (Chicago suburb) and is moving to what was going to be their retirement summer home in MI Upper Peninsula. Her husband unexpectedly became ill and passed away a year ago. Very tragic.

We have a truck and we keep an enclosed trailer here that is Art’s brothers with permission to use so we offered to help. We left 7-9 returned 7-13. It was a long busy trip. Besides moving her from Wheaton to the UP we then stopped at my mom and aunts house which is on the market and picked up as much more stuff as would fit n the trailer to bring back with us. I think their place is down enough it will all fit in the mini van. If it ever sells and we go up for the closing we can get the last of it.

Aryne was in charge of the farm while we were gone spur of the moment! One day was 103! She did a great job of getting ll the dogs in and out and no one got over heated. Its quite a job when your not use to doing all the critters. She was scared of the pigs so my son watered them, feeding is done from outside the fence. She also had a hard time milking the one goat who is fresh. My daughter came over when she found out the goat was all engorged. Our phone didn’t work at all for 2 solid days when we were in the UP. By the time it did was when she was super full. Aryne had been trying to call me but couldn’t get through. I didn’t leave an emergency number for problems of each kind of critter. With art doing the milking I didn’t even have the goat on the to do list. I usually have all the critters well outlined. With having one evening to prepare to leave, 2 puppies shipping while we were gone, another needing to go to the vets and everything set up in case I forgot any puppies getting picked up I just didn’t get it all down.

Fortunately all is fine.

​6-28-17 The weather the last few days have been terrific. Sunny but not at all hot. Great for working outside! I would rather be outside pretty much anyway but certainly love the cooler weather. Its a bit warmer today.

We have some of the cutest puppies currently. Well since they are all super cute they may not actually be the cutest, but at the moment they are! We are so lucky to be able to see and hold adorable puppies every day.

The 2 girls who have been coming by for the last couple weeks to “work” under request of their parents so they don’t sit around all summer have also enjoyed the puppies. They have been the photographers lately with minimal help from me. They learned how to trim toenails, teach puppies to walk on a leash, helped with vaccinations and giving puppies dewormer. Plus not as fun things like raking up rock, and weeding some of the flowers and veggies.

Uncle Al had them in one hot day just helping him move some boxes and furniture around downstairs so Aryne’s boys had a place they could color and do puzzles. They have given lots of baths, helped groom and basically helped do all kinds of daily jobs we do.

In addition they are polite and very nice. Everyone should be so fortunate to have such great company while working! What more could we ask for, great job with great people and furry friend company 🙂

6-18-17 Happy Fathers day! I hope all the dads out there have a great day!

6-17-17. I never hear anything about our little guest since a few days after he went home. His mom blocked me from FB, and blocked my cell. I have no idea why. Before she blocked me that first night he was back she had sent a text reply after I asked how he was doing. She said he had dinner, his jammies on, and was laying on the couch crying that he missed Laurel. Breaks my heart 🙁

Then day later next day, or so she said he is same old same old, lies, and everything and no he wasn’t better off his meds at all and she has him back on them all.

I have had such a hard time thinking clearly ever since. Its so depressing. Children may drive you crazy sometimes but they are just the very best things ever! With all the HEPA laws theres no way to know how he is, or whats happening to him.

He did so well here and had such huge improvements it certainly proves behavior modification works perfectly for him, better then medications. I can only hope someone will call me if he ever needs a place to go and that he knows I love him. I imagine he is being told the opposite. He’s only 7 and was only here 2 weeks but I feel like he is one of my own and would do anything for him.

​6-6-17. I miss our little guest (written about below).

I have been able to get some work done already though. Art is going to his brothers to have a day off. I’m going to work all day on photos, paperwork, laundry and cleaning all which I couldn’t do hardly any of when our young guest was here. Although my mom may run me out of the house. She hard to be around!

I also am going to try and get ahead on the things that are hard to get to so when he comes back I am more prepared. The place is trashed. Heaps of papers and kid toys all over. We didn’t really have a place for any of it since we didn’t know he was coming and then spent all my time doing activities with him that it was hard to even do laundry. Plus still working on putting away the things that had been in the guest bedroom that we emptied to give Aryne and her boys a place. So big work day for me!

Hope everyone has a terrific Tuesday!

​6-5-17 We have had a little 7 year old child at our place for the last 2 weeks. I had met his mom who had adopted him 4 years ago through rescue. She rescues cats and we often gave her donated cat food and litter a couple years ago. We hadn’t done that in quite awhile.

I thought the little boy in his car seat was just a doll and felt bad as he was scolded. Lately there had been posts on Facebook that his behavior was escalating, nothing seemed to be working and she was trying to find residential placement for him. She had added that she couldn’t find placement for him and had been trying for awhile.

I had commented on the post we have 6 adults here and could take him for awhile. I cant even imagine how hard it is for a mom and her boyfriend to have a violent ADHD child and feel so overwhelmed.

We wrote back and forth, I thought she was going to set up a time to bring him by like we talked about. I didn’t hear anything and a few weeks later when I checked in to see what was happening she said sure you can have him anytime. We went and met them halfway that very day. They live about 2 hours away I think. She has never been here, I have never been there.

When we arrived at the agreed meeting place he was running in the parking lot making me a nervous wreck, but had been scolded for picking grass and throwing it in the parkway. I asked about a car seat, she said he is over 80 pounds. He looked much smaller too me. Later I weighed him and he is 52 pounds and 50 inches tall. We bought him a booster seat. 8 years old, 59 inches tall, and 80 pounds is the requirements for size as I read for not needing a booster seat.

She handed me a bag of medications and was ready to leave. I had thought ahead and her sign a consent to treat in case of emergency, and also go over each medication. I had no idea he was on so much! 5 different pills.

Uncle Al had come with me to pick him up. We stopped to eat. The boy threw his napkin on the floor, shook his milk, screamed for a soda, tossed food about. Refused to eat half of what he had wanted. Then ran out the bathroom door and across Dairy Queen in a heartbeat looking at me like he was testing to see what would happen. He had tried to run in the parking lot on the way in but I had caught him. We talked about safety and I had him within grabbing distance. Leaving I held his hand explaining safety and his running in the store was dangerous and also not polite to the other people there.

He pushed, flung things about, yelled “no” to everything, and basically was a difficult child. We stopped at a park on the way home and I went over traffic rules again and was impressed he not only actually listened, but did follow the rules. He stayed on the playground even. He was talkative with the other kids at the park.

​I have never been around a child as defiant as he is. My uncle was a learning disabled teacher, and had counseling experience. He had seen and worked with much worse. He said he is oppositional defiant and may have some conduct disorder traits already. I don’t like labels and see a 7 year old who needs lots of love and very strict watching and coaching over each and everything that is going on.

I have had lots of experience with dogs who had not been treated well and had all kinds of strange issues and also young horses who you have to be firm, as in constant, but at the same time very gentle. Children are not furry critters, but they sure can respond the same way!

I felt he has already been through who knows what. His mom, who was a relative, had adopted him 4 years prior. I had only heard he had been locked in his room as a 3 year old before she adopted him and that he was not being properly cared for by biological parents.

She has only said he has ADHA and was out of control. 2 days after we had him she sent a text of what she said was only a short list of things he has done. I’m glad I didn’t know specifics at first to have a preconceived idea on any of his actions. We already were watching him 24/7 since she had said how “bad” he was, and his obvious impulse control problem. I also thought it was not good to have not told us more about what he has done as he could have put the other children in danger. She has all knives and scissors locked up at her house. I had let him cut up all kinds of boxes to make things and paper snow flakes. I seen no issues with what he was doing. I was watching non-stop though. He used a big part of a roll of tape and LOVED to build and create all kinds of things.

The fist day he was a bit of a problem to get to take his medications. Then he was so sleepy he looked like a wandering zombie grabbing at anything and everything. I asked about decreasing any of the meds and she gave permission to decrease the resperidone. That helped that he wasn’t such a zombie. A week later he dropped the 1/2 pill in his milk so I stopped giving it to him. He had no negative effects I could see from not taking it. He was getting better each day with both implies control and with sharing. The medication was not stopped cold turkey as we had already decreased it and it was such a small amount there wouldn’t be withdrawal problems. Her goal for residential treatment was to take him off the medications and try different meds.

I went over how to take the medications with him. It is “yes ma’am”, pop one in your mouth, then hurry swallow fast cause it tastes bad. He didn’t say yes ma’am very often but he took his medication without issue the whole rest of the time doing the pattern. I figured I couldn’t expect him to do what I want him to do in a way I would prefer without very specific short steps to follow. I had the impression he was told to behave but no one actually gave him the specifics of what that means. “Behave” is a pretty general term for an angry, hurt, little boy!

​She had said she wanted residential placement for his and others safety to stop his medication to find other medication that would work better for him. She didn’t feel like she could stop his medication as he was so out of control she was locking him in his room at night to prevent him “stealing food and hoarding it.”

She changed the date he was going to go home. He was very upset. Had been fine and not asked to go home until I had said he was going to go home and have swimming lessons.

Since the date changed and we were about out of another medication so I skipped it once, and then he had 2 days of not having it at all. I thought he was 50% better immediately with not taking that medication. Plus he was wanting to take a nap and sleeping better. He also ran out of his claritin. I think he is allergic to cats. We don’t have any in the house and he wasn’t sneezing like she said he did. They have lots of cats.

I told her about the medication. She didn’t comment. Hopefully she wont start giving it again. I think the adverse reaction of aggression and hyperactivity some people get from it is how it was effecting him.

I enjoyed having him even if it exhausted me. It wasn’t until the last 2 days Art felt comfortable watching him for more then literally a few minutes. My uncle watched him short bits and he played the “heavy” as he was worried I was being manipulated.

My uncle said he’s not a rescued puppy you don’t have time for him, so take him back within days of him being here. I replied no he is a child and much more important then a puppy. If this time, and any time she will let him come here helps him grow up to have a better outlook on life it is all worth it. Art agreed he is well worth the additional work and time commitment. Even Uncle Al was impressed with how much he improved being here. He thought being 7 and the problems he had was a more permanent thing, and not going to be helped by environment to the degree even a short time did.

I had a rough time as a child and can relate to a lot of how he is reacting to his environment. Also reading information on adopted children they often have anger issues and confusion about why their parents “didn’t want them.” As children, or even adults, they can turn negative thoughts into all kinds of emotional and behavior problems. Very well a part of his problems.

I spent the entire time telling him he is such a good boy. I explained am just going to help him learn how to use his energy appropriately and how to be more polite, because being nice is important. I tried to give praise every few minutes anytime he did the least little thing. By the end of 2 weeks he was repeating good behaviors to me and telling me when he was doing something good all on his own. 🙂 I loved how he validated that he is a good boy and he can do good things!

He can do a 100 piece puzzle in about 15 to 30 minutes and is only 7 years old. Exceptional fine motor control, plus smarter then any 7 year old I have ever seen. My oldest grandson, who is 10 now, was similar in intelligence. They are like sponges, they can watch people, they actually listen, have a big vocabulary of understanding, and really do get what is going on.

Hearing him say he is such a bad boy and all he wants is to be a good boy breaks my heart. His prayer at night was asking God to make him into a good boy. He really believes he is bad and that is just him. He even would say that his mom said she doesn’t know what is going to happen when he grows up he’s going to hurt himself, or someone else. I never heard anything positive at all from him 🙁

Hopefully we will get him often and they will take him off his medication, or at least the 2 he certainly didn’t need that he wasn’t taking here. He can sit and listen after racing me to and from the barn and back several times, burning off energy. He’s an active boy. I have always thought some children are just too “still”, and expected to be too still. They should be rough housing, running, playing, climbing trees, and doing activities to use energy, not TV and video games. Then only “still” when really needed, like school, dinner, and short times to be polite in society.

5-21-17 As usual we have had an eventful time lately. Aryne is now moved in. It took longer then expected. But going from a full size house to 1 bedroom, large closet and a place for storage is difficult, especially when you have 3 small children. Bunk beds are great. The room is long so helps fit a bit more in there then 10 foot wide would normally. The closet is the entire area under the stairs. We hung clothes rods and theres some shelves in there. Her small dresser even fit in there. Im not real sure how she did fit it all. I think she was able to pare down quite a bit.

​I did kind of forget how loud it is with 3 children. They are here half the week and with their dad half the week.

Yesterday it was warm and they had a great time feeding the goats and hogs weeds as we pulled them and tried to get my old flower gardens visible.

When they were tired of that they played in a water table and learned how to use the spigot and bucket to keep adding water. Didn’t think about them refilling and where the water is going. The first yard now looks like a muddy wallow in the grass right in front of the steps. Next time we will put it in the gravel driveway. They had a great time. Shoes and yard barely survived but well worth the fun they had.

The kids aren’t here now and the blaring TV my aunt is watching seems quiet in comparison suddenly! My aunt loves kids. she sent 2 days out on the porch just watching them play. She can usually be found in front of the TV, or taking a nap.

My mom on the other hand just finds fault in everything. Fortunately Aryne has the room downstairs and my mom hates stairs. She monitors them taking their shoes off and not knocking the blanket or pillows of the couch. Plus nagging them to finish eating and putting their toys away.

My uncle has most of the downstairs and he loves kids. He was a LD teacher for a long time. He is moving some of his stuff around to give them more space. He has plans to have games, coloring, and puzzles all accessible for them to play with. He has already given them a shovel and showed them where they can did in the grave that borders the house in “his yard”. They had a great time digging and playing with the dump trucks last week. He has SO many of the toys his kids played with still out. Footballs, soccer balls, board games, and all kinds of things. I wish he had been around when I was a kid! It would have been fabulous to have a male role model around.

​Poor kids probably don’t know what to think with suddenly having so many more adults around and all making sure they listen to their mom and don’t get in trouble. As they say it takes a village to raise a child!

They are great kids. I’m very lucky to have more kids around, as my youngest turned 30 last week! My grandsons live pretty close but their mom has a new job and I am not needed all the time like I had been. This summer when schools out hopefully they will also be here more. Amazing to be reminded how different just a few years make at this age!

Well back to work. Need to feed the dogs their second meal of the day and no doubt clean puppies again. 🙂

4-26-17 Yeah annual health clinic is completed! Well we still need to mail in all the forms to OFA in order to have it recorded on OFA and CHIC websites. Aryne mailed off the mountain of forms from the 3 previous years just a few weeks ago. Not sure just when we will mail these in. There is a fee for each form to be recorded with OFA and after paying for all the actual testing with the cardiologist and the ophthalmologist we are going to need to budget for awhile. We took all the dogs who are in our “foster to adopt” homes, our dogs, my Uncle Al’s Pugs, and my sons dogs. 3 vehicles which were as full as we could get them while leaving each dog plenty of room.

The dogs did terrific. Only Felicia potties in her crate which she then managed to get all over herself and poor Seth who was stuck with her. He was good and just sat there so had minimal mess on him. None of the puppies went which was amazing, as it was a long day.

The weather couldn’t have been better. We had an ice chest full to the brim of frozen water and soda bottles for any dogs who were acting hot. With the weather so nice we only needed to put them in the crate with Cecil, Uncle Al’s young pug, and Buster, the fawn frenchie male. Both simply get very excited with travel and being crated near girls. They worked themselves up even though temperature wasn’t hot enough to be hot.

My sons new bulldog, Boss got overly excited when inside and walking around but soon as you put him in his crate he lays down and relaxes. Its good but also sad since he’s a really lovable guy. It means he is use to being crated and knows its boring so you might as well take a nap. Being out and about he is so excited he gets himself too hot. When I purchased him a little over a month ago he had all kinds of skin issues, both bugs, and ringworm. Fortunately when a new dog is treated promptly its nothing more then a minor problem. He is now healing and much happier. Advantage multi works so well I don’t know why anyone ever has a problem with fleas, or lice. It doesn’t work on ticks.

Some products just don’t work anymore no matter who tells you they work. If you treat your dog by package directions and your still seeing live bugs and no dead bugs a day, or 2 later there are either so many hatching in the environment, or its simply not working. If its in the environment then it will take a month or 2 to see a huge improvement. The bugs hatching have to bite the dog to die. Treating month after month and not seeing an elimination of bugs means the product does NOT work. Even if you never treat the environment if every hatching bug bites the dog and dies then eventually they really will all be gone.

Back to Boss. Everyone loves him. His dad turns out is the Iam’s dog food commercial dog, and his dad is also the bulldog who skateboards in another commercial. Lots of champions on his pedigree. English Bulldog is a more commonly known name, and is the same thing as “Bulldog”. There are other kinds of bulldogs but all the other varieties have a 2 part name. French Bulldog, Victorian bulldog, American Bulldog, excreta. I wish their name was English Bulldog, not just Bulldog, since that is what everyone knows them by.

​Our new “potential Westie stud”, Archie, passed his eye exam too. He’s just a pup so not old enough for hip and patella exams and certifications. He is really cute and has a great personality. All the other dogs have had testing in the past. The puppies we held back for future parent dogs passed all their tests but one. Spanky, a frenchie boy we kept back, has a heart problem. He is gorgeous, show quality and its so shocking. He passed last year. Its the reason testing yearly or bi-yearly is important. We will have him neutered and he will be adopted out as a pet. All the others have good hearts and eyes so no reason to breed one with a heart problem. Sad that so many breeders don’t do any testing. You would never have any idea he had a bad heart. He is very athletic.

As the Dr’s explain you cant remove every single dog from breeding that either doesn’t pass, or has parents that didn’t pass all tests since in some breeds you would have no dogs even left to breed. The testing lets you know of any that are on the worse end of the scale to remove from breeding, and also to know not to breed 2 together who have the same problem. If its a problem that is relatively common, but plenty of other dogs to choose from, no reason to breed them. Like if we had a Westie who didn’t pass all the health tests we would spay, or neuter since most all of ours always do pass everything. In Shar Pei not a single dog ever passes everything so you have to know what are the strong points and weak points to pair them with a dog who doesn’t share the same problem. Or what we do and cross them to a breed that doesn’t have the problem at all. Shar Pei have excellent hearts so the Shar Pei/ Cavalier cross is terrific, shar pei give a good heart and Cavaliers don’t have amyloidosis. The puppies will have true hybrid vigor.

In addition to the health clinic preparation, building the little house for mom mom and aunt, my son trying to buy the property next door to us, Aryne, a friend who we hired back in December to work part time is now working more hours and is going to move in. She’s proven to work hard, be wonderful at most of the paperwork, and the dogs love her (A huge thing!) She has had a few life path changes recently and needs a place to go where her kids are also welcome. She has her 3 young boys half time, and their father has them the other half of the time. She did have them all the time until last summer. She needs a real attorney not the court appointed attorney who doesn’t hold a candle to her ex’s hired private attorney…. If anyone would want to help her out pro-bono she would be forever grateful! Meanwhile its a day at a time. Her boys are so cute, 4, 6 and 7 years old.

It works great for us as we couldn’t build the new kennel when we are building the little house, which means chores take longer then they should, and with all the other things happening Art and I are exhausted trying to keep up. Her help is a real benefit.

How to fit 4 additional people into the house is a bit of a puzzle when all my mom and aunts household things are still in our house. When their house is done and we can put all their furniture and stuff over there we will be able to breath. Once Aryne is moved in here she will be able to help me do Art’s basic farm chores so he can do more on the little house. Already he has the plumbing waterlines on and pressure tested. Keith can now drywall the big bathroom. Its a slow building process trying to keep up with chores on top of everything else! Keith and his friend did a ton of work over the winter. But now that weather is good they both have full time jobs so his friend isn’t working here at all. Keith is still trying to come by at least a couple times a week to work. The critter care, and keeping up with my aunts care is always the top priority. Everything else just gets done as we can get to it.

So back to work for me. I know the dogs are wanting to go out and potty again….

​4-21-17 Wow, its been over a month since I have made a note. I knew it had been awhile since we have been working on so many different things all at the same time its been a whirlwind!

​My son is trying to buy the property next door to us. I have been helping him with the phone calls and everything for the last few months as he has tried to find a place in the country. This place for me is ideal. Just by The 4.5 acres joins our pasture and would be wonderful to have more grass for the horses. 2 of the horses here he claims as his even though he doesn’t really do anything with them. The place is a fixer-upper. We don’t know how much of the massive quantity of furniture, parts of everything, and stuff in general will be left by the time he gets it. The current owners are just the nicest people. They plan to have an auction to dispose of the mountains. If they do it will probably be down to scrap and trash.

I am excited about it because Keith does a lot of work here now and with no drive time to get here he will be able to work longer hours. Well he may not look at it like that. He does have a full time job…. He loves the bulldogs, more commonly known as english bulldogs, besides frenchies and cavaliers. He currently lives in town with a cavalier, frenchie and a rescued german shepherd. He’s at his limit.

Once he is out in the country he will take the bulldogs to his place that I purchased when I found a guy retiring and selling off all his dogs. The males father is on TV. He is the bulldog who skate boards and is on the Iams commercial. Unfortunately turns out the male I bought is the father f the 2 1 year old females I bought. So we cant breed them together.

Then the annual health clinic is Sunday 4-23. I have been making lists and trying to have everything very organized as to which dog needs which tests. They have a cardiologist, and ophthalmologist who will to the exams. Different breeds have different recommended tests. On top of those they have reduced rates for rabies vaccinations and brucellosis testing. All the boys get a brucellosis test once a year.

We have quite a few dogs who live full time as house dogs with friends and family and we get the for breeding on the “foster to adopt” program we do. I have to round them all up also and bring them to the clinic. I have been really worried about the temperatures as the bulldogs and french bulldogs can over heat just when excited, add heat and it can be deadly for them. We have jugs of water frozen and are taking 3 vehicles just to be sure if the air conditioning goes out in on vehicle we have backup. It looks like we are going to have cooler temperatures which will be a huge blessing.

Then of course we are still working on the little house for my mom and aunt. The warm weather has been great that my mom spends lots of time outside 🙂

I also volunteered to have the family reunion here in August. Not sure what I was thinking. I think its because I know my mom and aunt will want to show off their new little house, and they both have a hard time traveling distance and staying somewhere overnight to drive home the next day isn’t possible either. Their oldest sister is in a wheelchair and their new house is wheelchair friendly, even for overnight guests. I know Aunt Marlene wouldn’t want to miss out on the reunion, it had always been at her farm in the past. So much do do, especially getting the little house actually finished….

And its tax season (well was). We have worked on them for over 6 weeks but still had to do an extension. Aryne, a friend I hired, has been a HUGE help. She’s doing all kinds of paperwork and is getting really good at trimming toenails, letting dogs out to potty, knowing the dogs by name, even taking photos and all kinds of things that if I broke my leg or something she would be able to do half of what I usually do! I am hoping she stays working here forever so she can know how to do everything I do. Plus maybe then Art and I could actually go on a vacation that is more then a long day, with doing chores before we leave and soon as we get home.

Art has lost his ability to remember names, among other things. He knows the males dogs for the most part, pets who visit, or live here and he can remember half the dogs who have a different color, or look so they are easier to tell apart. Like the oldest Cavaliers and the french bulldogs. I’m not sure whats going on there with his memory. It seems ever since he got seriously overheated at work and then his gluten intolerance came to a full head he hasn’t had the memory he did before. He use to have an exceptional memory thousand times better then mine. Now we joke over who’s memory is better and its about neck and neck. Keith wont do anything with photos, computer, paperwork, or planning. He’s great at anything outside. Between Keith and Aryne helping we are actually getting a handle on everything that has fallen apart since we moved my mom and aunt in here with is. Its wonderful!

Spring is such a blessing. Cant help but be happy with all the flowers and bright green grass growing 🙂

Well I had a break so back to working on health clinic preparations!

3-16-17 Aryne has been a huge blessing! She’s getting the mountains of papers under control. I use to be so organized and then not sure what happened but there was a paper explosion. (I think I looked at it and went hmmm, I probably need to go groom dogs, do laundry, clean the toilet, pretty much anything else….., I’ll do paperwork later!) By the way its a really bad system if anyone is thinking of trying it. It really is easier to do paperwork either daily as it comes in the house, or once a week and complete it all. I’m not back to that stage yet.

I think with my mom living here not being able to concentrate, or work without a loud stream of negative comments is too hard on top of the feeling of being overwhelmed with the paperwork to start with. When we started doing dog rescue is when I fell behind and never quite caught up again.

Aryne is also good with my mom. She talks nicely to her, answers the same questions over and over patiently, and helps her before my mom gets frustrated helping to calm her. Its actually great for me to learn new skills.

Its hard to understand my mom. If she was anyone else it would simply be dementia. She has many of the signs and symptoms. But she has always been this way. If she gets actual dementia it will be a nightmare if it makes her even more angry.

As it is now I just have constant flash backs to when I was a kid being screamed at, or argued with for things I was doing that had no basis. An example, when I was a young adult: We were feeding the dogs canned dog food on their dry. She went on and on forever about how canned dog food will give the dogs worms. I explained how canning works, its hot it kills germs and if there were worms would kill them too. We eat canned food, we don’t get worms. There is no explaining sensical things to my mom. She doesn’t get it. Now if she just asked, or held her beliefs herself that would be fine. As long as she’s not hurting anyone or herself.

Unfortunately she tries to cram the wrong information down your throat and will then start saying she’s going to call whoever she can think of with authority for the particle problem: police, animal welfare, children hotline to turn me in for this horrible thing I am doing. I admit I then blow up. I cant stand being accused of things I didn’t do, and would never do. Then being “turned in” for things like dog hair on the floor is going to give the kids leprosy. shouting at me “They need to take these kids because, they are going to get leprosy!!!”

Hmm trying to write a positive note and it turns into whining about my mother. I think I am just too stressed. Their little house is going way to slow. Its now been almost a year with the insides being done at a snails pace. My mom has been living here since October of November. Life will be so much easier when the constant barrage of accusations and negative statements are tempered by some space!

Ok I’m going to stop complaining, well try to stop.

Aryne also takes some of the dogs to her house so they get extra socializing. She has 3 little boys who just love the dogs and puppies. Her kids are so cute 🙂 They get to come here somedays after school. The oldest boy loves to be outside and “help” Keith. They walked the fence lines the other day and he now wants to fix fence every time he sees Keith. (Keith is my grown son, has been a huge help with getting the little house done and maintenance on the farm.)

I don’t think Art has done anything with the boys. I’m in the house doing paperwork and caring for my aunt, or the dogs. Nothing the boys really want to help with. When it gets warm I will make a point of all of us going outside to do critter chores. One has brought up the horses a lot so we will get Little Girl, the mini horse, out and they can brush and ride her.

Art likes kids but doesn’t really want to do chores with them. It does take longer. I love having them “help”. They are so happy to get to help feed and water. When its warm they love to water with the garden hose. If I have my grandsons enough in the summer we can get a regular pattern going and they are terrific. I’m hoping as they get bigger they will continue to enjoy it. Strong teenagers are a huge assistance! I think the company of kids helping to do chores just adds to the enjoyment. I’m stuck indoors too much anymore. Once we get the paperwork under control and a pattern going I will be going outside lots more often. I love being outside! I realized Arynes kids will be here a lot this summer when they are out of school.

​3-15-17 I was thinking again how easy it is for dogs 5 to 6 months old to be spayed or neutered. I get so many email updates saying the puppy has been spayed/neutered and he/she is already bouncing around acting like nothing has happened just the very next day.

So many people wait until they are 1 to 2 years old. The dogs often have started marking in the house, humping things (both male and female dogs do this), running out the door, and just acting out of control before having the surgery. The family finally “gets around to having it done,” or worse the dog becomes one of many dogs in the shelters/dog pounds.

Probably 95% of the dogs we have rescued at all different ages, are not spayed or neutered. They then all need new homes either because the family doesn’t want to deal with the mess they allowed to happen, or the dog is in the pound and no one knows why, since of course the family was also too irresponsible for the dog to have a tag, or microchip. It is one reason we microchip all the puppies and dogs that are ever here. We also have microchipped friends and families dogs for them.

If the dog at the pound makes it to rescue and “fixed” the dog is very sore for days to a week. Males even worse then the females. Their scrotum often fills with fluid and makes them terribly uncomfortable. Besides we still have to deal with behavior issues that are then bad patterns. Its certainly still worth doing as a badly behaved un-neutered male dog is a huge pain to retrain. Neutering helps. It takes about 3 months for all that excess testosterone to wear off and then training becomes much easier.

The females will stay dog dominant and I have never seen that change. They often start fights with other female dogs, and the bold ones even fight big male dogs. Spaying tempers it a bit so they aren’t cycling you don’t see the big mood changes. Its still so much easier when they were “fixed” before ever coming in season. The bigger dogs its more noticeable then with the smaller dogs. Or could just be our dogs are all well behaved and most of what we get in rescue are un-spayed large breed dogs. So probably its really the difference in training and not the size of the dog that gives me that impression.

Please spay and neutered your pets, and even friends and families pets (with their permission) between 5 and 6 months old. Sometimes they just need help being organized enough to get the appointment made and dog taken in. Or they work so its hard and they need help dropping off and picking up the pet. Or poor and even though the pet has a wonderful home they need help with that part. Consider it a wonderful contribution to the pet, and their family. It helps so much.

Ok off the soap box for now. 🙂

2-28-17. I come inside and my mom tells me, “oh yeah someone called.” I ask who? She doesn’t remember, says its written down. I ask where did you put the note? She doesn’t remember. There is a phone log sitting right on the counter, right next to where she put another note that is simply a name. I ask if this is who. She doesn’t remember. When did they call? well maybe it was today or yesterday, she isn’t sure….

I search in email, the name doesn’t show up. I look on caller ID, the name isn’t on there, first or last name. Cell phones are a problem with that. Hardly ever shows names. Well with no number and no way to tell which of the 50 calls in the last 3 days could be the person I was suppose to return a call too there isn’t anything to do but hope they will call back. She said, they acted like they know you. Well ok, that could be hundreds of people….

I have asked her not to answer the pone if she wont write down the full message, including: name, plus read back the phone number, and what its about. She simply yells at me that she doesn’t remember and its all too much of a mess. I’m not sure what my papers have to do with her writing down a note on the phone log, but thats the way things go with her.

I admit my papers are a mess. I would hope she wouldn’t add a note to a random pile. Aryne who I hired to help with the paper problem is working on it. I can see the desk again! Granted its now in boxes of mixed up mess, but she’s determined and good at working on bits of it as I am able to answer questions. It so nice to have capable help. Plus she takes really good phone notes!

Life on the farm has become so complicated!

​2-24-17 Last few days have been much more normal around here! yeah! Getting to concentrate on puppies and not trying to work with constant distraction.

We have a new friend who I hired to help with paperwork, but she also cleans house and has 3 little boys. She brings them over sometimes and they are so cute. 4, 6 and 7. Great fun age. They of course love the puppies and sometimes she takes puppies home, or Zander, our young Cavalier stud, home with her. Its so nice. The kids get to play, the puppies and dogs get socializing and variety. And she’s fast on the computer so helping me catch up on some stuff I was years behind on! They also love the horses. We haven’t pulled a horse out for them to ride yet but we need to.

In addition my son has been coming over lots more and helping work on the little house. Another friend who borrows our tractor off and on needs to rent a ditch digger thing for his house next week. He is going to also dig the ditches for the power and water lines to get them to the little house for us when he has the equipment. Its so nice. I have always believed the more you willingly give the more you get. Many times its just a nice feeling you get being able to help someone, but sometimes they can help you do something you didn’t even think of, like dig the ditches. 🙂

Finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Its still pretty dim and a long way off, but at least the progress is steady now on the house. When Art was sure he was going to work an hour here and there and get it all done by last November I was stuck in wait mode. I couldn’t beg anyone to help with him saying he was going to do it without stepping on toes. He can do any of the work and do it well but there just isn’t time or energy.

When my mom moved in here in October and by end of November and the drywall wasn’t even started I said enough waiting and begged anyone available to help with any part. No one did anything at first not wanting to step on toes either. Took a bit but Art asked them to help and now the little house is moving along.

We really have to much normal daily work to have such a huge project. When we were younger we had more energy and simply moved faster. I feel middle age now, and Art has so many aches and pains he is 1/4 the speed he was just 5 years ago. Plus not getting sleep is wearing us down. The moms and puppies are like having a fussy toddler in the house at all times. Some nights you can sleep and other night they have you up doing things all night long. Labor, bottle feeding, letting dogs out to potty, checking on why everyone is barking…. Always something. People have a hard time with one puppy. We have a few more then that, and its all year long. 🙂 I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.

We even have a new litter of baby pigs. I was so busy with my mom I forgot to write down when they were born! There are 8 of them and they’re all doing well.

Keith, my son, made a couple pig feeders for the bigger pigs. I told Art we needed an old fashioned kind. People didn’t have stainless steel feeders back in the pioneer days, and they wouldn’t be wasting all the pig feed either. Art’s technique was to dump it on the ground. He said if you put it in the plastic tubs they just dump it all out anyway. Which they did…. It was driving me crazy though. I would use the plastic feed tubs, even though they did dump a lot.

Art seen a feeder on an old western movie. He drew a picture of it and I redesigned it a bit so it could be near the fence so you don’t have to be in the pen to feed. Also made one side much higher so they don’t shove feed out with their noses. I showed it to Keith and he helped adjust it to the size of boards readily available with minimal cutting and wood waste. They work SO well!! We could have probably saved thousands on feed if we had these all along. Plus I am sure the pigs much prefer not having their feed dumped on the ground. They do love to dig up the ground and shove it all about making muddy wallows and all but less feed gets lost and they get to eat it instead. Being pigs I am sure they prefer to eat more of the feed, and eat it easier! I am going to have to have him watch the old movies for other ideas. So many things people were doing a long time ago really do work great on a small farm where you could use normal building materials.

2-21-17 Well its been to busy to post anything here, still is but I needed a break. I just spent about 20 minutes trying to understand how to defend myself from verbal attacks. It took me months to even understand a bit of what name to look for in order to even look it up. I tried researching communication and a variety of things trying to deal with my mother.

She moved in with us in late October. The new house we are building for her is not done. I knew we HAD to have a separate space for her, but its still not done.

It hasn’t been easy to say the least. Just today as she was ranting a raving in typical form when I realized it is verbal attacks. I really don’t know what I thought it was before. She’s not very smart, she’s mean, she has issues…. I didn’t know what it was. I started looking it up and also learned she is VERY verbally abusive. She has always been like this, worse at times, slightly better at other times, 90% directed at me, or whoever is closest to her, my aunt when its not me. Even Art is getting put down now.

My aunt must be a saint. She leaves the situation, or she avoids conflict by saying something unrelated. True she had become almost vegetable like retiring to her room for a “nap,” or watching TV and not paying any attention to what was going on when they lived together for years. It did work to not fuel the fire. I on the other hand react. They say fight, or flight is the normal response to a verbal attack. My sweet aunt uses flight, and I use fight. For a few weeks I could stay pretty calm, then it just kept slowly escalating.

We moved my moms sleeping to the downstairs bedroom against her wishes as stairs are hard for her. My uncle’s idea. A very good idea. He was going to be gone for 5 weeks. He cant deal with her well either so he didn’t want her downstairs but it was getting so stressful for me I think he felt sorry for me and hoped maybe the house would be done before he got back?

​His way of dealing with her use to be to walk around carrying a shovel. When she would start in on him he would start to dig a hole and tell her he will put her in the hole if she didn’t quit. She would wander off and eave him alone. He is a younger brother.

We had to take the whole couch down to the bedroom. She wont use a bed and was sleeping on the couch in the living room. I knew part of her crabbiness was due to staying up all night watching TV, then being kept from sleeping because we have daylight hours for all we do and she would get woke up. ITs not possible to tip toe around all day when we live here and have all the dogs to care for.

For the last month after she went downstairs things were de-fusing slowly and so much better. Suddenly she has gone off the deep end last few days and is in her most aggressive loud form. Why I was prompted to look on google and try to figure out what to do. I feel like I am about to explode. I feel guilty for not being more like my aunt and capable of letting it slide. Constant attacks has always been too much for me and why I moved 4 hours away to have distance from her. Now I moved her directly in here with us as she cant live by herself. She males very unsafe poor decisions. She walks her dogs at night, by herself in the snow. She would be frozen if they pulled her down and she was hurt. They did pull her down last summer. She had the biggest blackest bruise on her upper arm I have ever seen. I worked EMS and as a nurse. It was an impressive bruise. She never been went to the Dr. Shes a tough lady! By the time we were visiting her she said she can move it again. It had to be a torn muscle. Its fine now.

My aunt had become very ill and is now quite frail. She needs our assistance to keep up with daily living. My mom is unable to keep up with my aunt needs. She gets distracted with OCD and is incapable of doing something like supervising medications twice a day, about the same time each day.

They have lived together a long time. My grandmother died, my mom had lived with her her whole adult life raising my sister and I there. Grandma told Aunt Carole the she had to take my mom in when she died. My aunt never drove and my mom would take her where she needed to go. I thought that was a mean thing to do to my aunt, but my grandma knew no one else would take my mom in and thats what family does. My mom always helped my aunt when she needed it.

So if you visit and hear my mother yelling about something please keep in mind she has no idea what is going on around her and has an angry righteous streak 10 miles wide. If she doesn’t see if with her own eyes it didn’t happen. Like the dogs don’t pee when outside and they don’t pee when inside, because she didn’t see them go. I tried to get her to understand how they must being going outside, because they are not going inside. She cant comprehend the reasoning. Can you relate to someone unable to comprehend cause and effect reasoning? She believes the dogs are never fed, because she does not see food in the bowl right this second and cant remember 2 hours ago when there was food in their bowl. Now most of the dogs are a bit on the chubby side, some moms nursing babies do get a bit thin as any dog will when making tons of milk for healthy chubby puppies. But again even if the dog if fat, we are obviously starving the dog to death because there is no food in the bowl right now. No such thing as feeding a dog once a day. If thees not food 24/7 the dog is being starved. I think those kind of accusations are the hardest for us. We work non-stop to be sure all the critters in our care get the best possible care we can give and to be insulted a 100 times a day we are starving something, or not taking the dogs out to potty, or bla, bla, bla, is a lot of stress!

I have been so embarrassed as she has come upstairs 3 times now yelling about how we are starving the dogs in front of families visiting who don’t know us, and are here to see puppies. She cant reason that well lets see, they poop so much she complains about that too. They cant poop if they didn’t eat. I think I need a sign that say “Some of us here have dementia” and to be able to point to it when she is ranting and raving.

I lost it today and threatened to take her to walmart and dump her there. Telling her she can find her own place to live. I had been SO careful to bite my tongue and not say stupid empty threats, or dumb things out of anger like that. I had been really good, (well thats relative!) but then I just lost it. The puppies were pooping and she stands there yelling about them pooping (5 weeks old puppies do poop… and then she hit the mom dog because she was trying to pick up the one little baby puppy poop and here poor Fergie was all upset cowering down, being submissive and apologetic that this person was so angry. But being a dog she was cowering right there “in the way,” not understanding my mom wanted her to move so my mom hit her. I was on the phone and almost lost it so bad as to hit my mom. Now I remember SO much more from when I was a kid. I remember what it was like to have so much anger it was hard to control, or to be out of control. I remember breaking every door in the house by slamming them in such frustration over all the mean horrible things my mom would say and do. I was never a passive person. My sister was passive. She was homeless in CA for a very long time. She ran away from conflict. She’s in her 50’s and just now has started working part time at the homeless shelter. She calls my mom about once or twice a year. Mostly because she feels guilty if she doesn’t call.

I think most families have crazy people like us somewhere in the family tree. Fortunately the house will get done eventually. Art has been reminded many times WHY we need th house finished. I cant say its helping him motivate to work on it. The shell was done in April and the inside is still far from done. We do have drywall and paint in most of it Still need power and water and all that good stuff.

Once the house is doe and she is over there she willet so distracted dong her own thing we will get a break. Some things she does is really helpful She dusts, and she cleans up dog hair on the floor with a tissue. Not what you could call efficient there is a vacume that works great. She has a things about using a tissue to basically dust mop the floor.

12-20-16 Tried to make an entry yesterday but only made it as far as the date. It has been COLD! Yesterday -1 when I got up. Day before that was 1. Today it was 13. In addition to the cold its ice, only fell once at least. Right now its a heat wave of 26! Its suppose to get above freezing today which will really help with how slippery it is out there.

​I have caught a cold being out for hours on end and just not acclimated, as I have become a desk job person. Not by choice, just how it works out. Art doesn’t want to do anything like phone calls, emails, bills, photos, and all that stuff. Due to being inside too much I am also out of shape.

​Art had a days notice if he wanted to see this grandkids in LA (not CA LA, but Louisiana) it had to be before today, Tuesday. So finding this out on Thursday he planned to leave the next morning. I must say I wasn’t very nice about not having any prep done for him to to be gone 4 to 5 days on spur of the moment. We had a bitter cold snap forecasted, no roof on the new shelter for the donkeys since they are in a different pasture now, the pigs only had shavings for bedding and at $5. a bag not enough of them to tunnel in. The list went on and on. Plus not enough feed, or bedding here for it to last until his return so I would have had to shop on top of doing both of our chores. He put off leaving on Friday until Saturday morning. He did the feed shopping and bedding and some of the basic chores on Friday. Plus we made sure all the dogs who were going to be out at all had heated houses with lots of bedding.

My son, Keith came by after work on Friday, then a full day here on Saturday and Sunday. He did tons of winterizing, put a tarp over the donkey barn he had well started but no time before the cold snap to build the roof. He also went and got a big bale of hay from my daughters that wasn’t working for her horses.

He gave all the pigs a big pile of hay. Most pig farmers have these cold metal huts that look like a tunnel for the pasture pigs. Those open ended huts look miserable cold to me. Ours all have a 3 sided shelter with bedding, and the little youngest pigs Keith even added a heat lamp to their hut. He helped set up the double horse stall for the buck goats. They had a 3 sided hut, but goats really don’t like the cold and we have been having trouble with the health on 2 of the buck kids. All the does can get in the barn with the horses. We moved Casper, the bad donkey jack who goes through fences, to where the bucks had been. Donkeys do tolerate cold well if they are dry and can get out of the wind. He’s happy.

We put the ducks into one of the pens with a hut and heated house. We added the tiny pig who had been sick. He had been separated from his mom and siblings in order to give him antibiotics. Art put him back with his mom and siblings, he said a week ago. I kept seeing him out in the cold and not going in the shelter with the others at all. Art said he was going in the shelter but every time I went past he was out all by himself. Keith caught him for me and added a second heat lamp to the hut with the ducks so they could each have one. It worked really well. He even blocked them all into the hut since it was dark by then. Since they were just put in there we were worried they would be scared and huddle someplace out in the pen and not in the hut at all. When blocked in they had to stay where it was warmer. In the morning I was surprised to see all the ducks in the heated dog house and the pig in the hay under the light. I thought the pig would be in the dog house. I opened the hut for the day and Keith blocked them back in for the next bitter night.

The barn spigot we use for the 8 horses, 15 pigs, and 20 goats in the back of the barn froze up. When Keith wasn’t around I had to carry tons of water for everyone form the spigot on the other end of the barn. They drink a lot when its cold! I am out of shape! I kept telling myself people pay morning to get a workout like this!

Well I’m out of time again. Need to go carry warm water to the critters who don’t drink enough if its real cold water and check that the 2 big stock tanks Keith filled and put stock tank heaters in are working. It saved me from carrying water for the 8 of 10 horses and all the does also. Still have to haul it for all the pigs and the critters in pens. I should have went out an hour ago but drinking more coffee trying to get my very exhausted body moving!

​12-12-16 Well I have a love hate hate hate relationship with my computer right now. Last night I clicked on a mail icon that use to open up my old hotmail email. My computer desk top became flooded with hundreds of what looked like email unable to send all notes off the calendar, like they were email notifications that didn’t actually mail. I spent an hour deleting them all. I get all done and am working on the computer and realize the computer calendar is now blank! All my appointments, and notes are gone! Take a deep breath and realize once again I just don’t get this computer stuff. Again I think I really have got to just go back to pen and paper. I had just pulled out 10 years of old paper calendars helping my son figure out when he moved here and there. Still had them, easy to find. The notes were a bit rough and couldn’t find everything because I didn’t have notes on everything but it went pretty quick considering. Then my computer has ate all my notes and calendar once and I deleted the calendar a second time in just the last couple months. So the nice paper calendar I haven’t been using is going to be used. Its not easy to search back through, when looking for a name, but maybe if I color code other things things it will speed up the process. I am apparently too old for all this technology.

All this on top of spending an hour trying to pay a credit card bill with Citi that wont let me switch between 2 log-ins since citi will not combine the business account on the same log in as the regular card like every other card card does. I even called them on the phone, deleted cookies, or cacsh or something they had me do and it looked like it worked. We hung up the phone and I realized the computer was still “working” on loading the page. I hate the citi card website. I have problems every single time I log in. I should just pay that by paper too and be done with it. When the computer works for me it is so nice though….

So due to losing my calendar I got all ready for a puppy pick up this morning and waited for hours only to find it is for tomorrow.

But my mom has been pretty quiet this morning! Minimal nagging. She’s even outside now since the sun came out. The day is already improving!

I was going to write an update on the puppies or farm but now forgot what I was going to write thinking about all the techno issues I have had last night and this morning. Hmmm. Well I guess I will try again later. I hope no one else has as many problems as I do with computers!


​12-4-16 Its snowing! Well a wet snow like substance mixed with rain that melts on impact. I’m ok with the temperatures staying above freezing. If it gets any colder we will probably have freezing rain.

We are having a great time with all the new puppies. We didn’t have any puppies for a little while and now we have puppies in several breeds.

My moms favorite is the dark Cava-Pei puppies of Baby Bears. It’s interesting to see how everyone likes something different. She loves fluffy and fat faces. Uncle Al loves any with really mashed faces, the Pugs and Frenchies in particular. Art loves the cavaliers and frenchies but I think with him its not how they look near as much as how well they get along with everyone. He loves snuggly happy dogs which don’t tend to be bossy.

I love them all. I think about how if I could only have one dog what would pick. I think I would go to the shelter and ask who has been there the longest. Only thing I would avoid is people aggressive/ people bossy. Just because if I have one dog I would want it to also enjoy company, its just a hassle if they don’t like people. The rest doesn’t matter, deaf, blind, small, big, hairless, extra hairy it wouldn’t matter. I could do without massive shedding. Oh and it wouldn’t be a husky, or shiva ins independent type. For some reason their independence would just make me feel sad. I like a best buddy. I love terriers and collies and frenchies, and irish wolfhounds, and great pyrness, and the list goes on and on including mutts of no particular type.

11-26-16. Went to brunch with my daughter and grandsons. Now I have been stuffed for 2 days in a row. Probably not the best way to do portion control. 🙂

My mom, Aunt and Art didn’t want to go. Handy to not need to reschedule since Art was puppy sitting Sky, one of the Shar Pei. She was in labor and had 2 puppies by the time I had made it home. Once home I worked while watching her as she had the next 4. 6 big healthy pups total. They are adorable puppies! Check out the Cava-pei page, well I don’t have photos yet…. The cava-pei are on there, these are first ever Westie -Pei’s.

We had hardly any puppies for 2 months and then everyone wanted to have puppies at the same time. Makes me want to go nap thinking about getting ready for Christmas, company, finishing my mom and aunts little house, and keeping up with all the day to day chores that are already 3 full time jobs. Life is never dull, or stagnant here!

Talking to my kids is always great.

I don’t think I have ever talked to my mom one time the way my kids and I have conversations. I never really thought about that until now when she asked the millionth question of the day and I responded in a crabby manner worm out from pointless questions.

It really doesn’t help that her hearing is awful so on top of her not paying attention to the answer, or not liking the answer starting an argument she has to have everything repeated numerous times and then she misunderstands so it needs a 10 minute dissertation. No doubt it has to be frustrating for her. She refuses to think about, or agree to look into a hearing-aid.

I have been trying to get her to either have a normal conversation, the kind where you talk about what you want to do next week, month or year. What flowers she wants around the new house, colors of paint…. Anything except whatever she can see right in front of her to question. “does that dog have water?” well she could go look in the bowl. “Did you feed Lola, Ellie?” or whoever is within sight of her, about 50 times a day for the same dog, no matter what the answer is/was, or even if she fed them herself. Then its “they still look hungry.” “Are you giving them enough?” Well feed them again if their hungry. All day long, everyday. I am going to put a really large bowl down for free choice feeding. Not that a full bowl of water sitting there stops the “do they have water” question. It may help. Duchess use to eat way too much so we couldn’t have a full bowl down. Now I guess I can go back to that system.

Generally she is in the kitchen eating something throwing them bits of whatever it is when she is sure they are starved, because “look, they all look hungry.” Thankfully we don’t care if they get people food. I cant even imagine the issues if we didn’t want the dogs to get any people food!

Another is “Did you take that dog out? its by the door.” even when they just were walked minutes ago, you may have even walked right past her with them on a leash. (she cant remember any name except her dogs and recently she’s managed to get Lola pretty consistently. Everyone else is “that dog”)

Her dogs have accidents, often witnessed by Art, or I and she insists it was another dog, her dogs don’t potty on the floor. We seen them. Its really not all their fault. She just thinks they can wait for much longer then they can. Tinkerbell is also simply bad. She will have been outside but wont always go unless she’s out for an extended walk. Actually they are pretty bad so their new house is going to be all linoleum so its easy to clean. Thankfully we have tile and hardwood here and they mostly go by the door on the tile.

I just realized she can talk about movies. She loves them and will tell you the whole story line. She can even remember many of the names, or the actors and actresses! I pretty much hate talking about movies. A basic is it good, or not is good for me. I love kids cartoons, but don’t want to think and try to remember anything. The title would be nice to remember but I think my brain is backed up with info. and its just not rated as important in the scope of things.

Ok, well that was a run on post that is probably sounding as frustrated as I am with my mom underfoot! OR maybe it was funny. I will be so relieved to have the other house done so she can be over there at least as often as she is here. Today she wasn’t out digging up rocks as she had been and I haven’t been getting enough sleep. With dogs in labor, then newborns to check on when they squeak we wont get much sleep for a long time.

Its 7pm. Art just went to bed. No matter when i make it to bed I still get up at the same time as he does more often then not. I guess he is trying to make up for poor quality sleep. I am so lucky I can sleep anywhere and like a log. Although since I hate laying in bed awake boy I would get a lot done if I couldn’t sleep! I use to get up and do whatever I was procrastinating about and really didn’t want to do if I couldn’t sleep. It was like a punishment for not sleeping when I had the chance. I think it worked great. Now if I wake up and realize I cant sleep all I have to do is start going down the mental list of things I don’t want to do and next thing I can remember is waking up the next morning! I tried to get Art to try that system. He wont even try it, because it requires actually getting up and doing the dreaded chore. I look at it as win win, either you sleep, or a dreaded chore gets done. 🙂

11-25-16 I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have so many things to be thankful for I couldn’t list them all in a day. Although I must say my cousins moving back up north today overshadowed the day. She’s still going to come down about once a month to help me keep up with paperwork and everything.

I accidentally deleted the 10-18 post which was about us getting 8 little yorkies/yorkie mixes. They are on the rescued dog page. The four who needed homes including the blind guy have found terrific homes! Well Mop the blind boy went to a rescue in NY who I was so grateful for them taking him. Its a terrific rescue and they have the means and foster homes to be able to care for him and to help get him into a forever home. Here he would have ended up stuck in a kennel as we have a hard time finding homes for special needs dogs. He has such a terrific personality. I never have understood why so many people are afraid to adopt a dog who is different.

We had puppies also born last night. Shirley started on Thanksgiving and didn’t finish until 2pm today. I had 3 hours of sleep when I couldn’t stay awake any longer and got Art got up to take over watching her for a bit at 2:30am. I woke with a start at 5:30am hoping she had the puppy who was stuck. She hadn’t. I tried again to manipulate it into a better position, I could only feel the top of its head, when it should have been the nose. It was closer so I could reach it a bit better.

I called the vet emergency number sure we would need a c-section since I couldn’t even tell if I had moved the nose up or not for sure. I had tried twice before falling asleep and didn’t mean to sleep so long. While waiting for the vet to call back she actually managed to have the puppy. It sadly was stillborn. The placenta must have detached even though the puppy hadn’t been born yet. Sometimes stuck puppies are just fine and other times this can happen. No way to know what is going on in there.

I hoped it was the last since she was worn out, but I could feel another. She fell asleep for hours! Not unusual after working so hard. At noon I started rubbing her belly and taking her out more trying to get labor started again. I didn’t know if the last was alive, or if it had also detached. We hoped she wouldn’t need a c-section. She was pushing off and on and had the puppy without difficulty. It was very weak but alive.

​Meanwhile Brenda was packing up the rest of the things she was taking up north. We will keep the room as a guest bedroom for when she comes down once a month, and in general. It was Art’s “media room” which we never used. So other then storing movies we occasionally brought upstairs to watch it was just an only partially finished space full of unused stuff. I much prefer the space get some use.

When Brenda moved in we cleaned it all out and absorbed the stuff into the rest of the house. Some, like the movies, is still in piles that we haven’t had a chance to eat with. When my Aunt Carole moved into the original guest bedroom we had upstairs we had done the same thing. The house is stuffed with too much stuff.

With my mom now living here too and 90% of hers and my aunts things here from their house its really crowded. I cant wait until their little house is done so we can move their furniture and things over there! We are all terrible pack rats. My uncle is the worst so downstairs is crammed full of things. No chance of putting anything down there.

Art has been spending just a tiny bit of time on the new house. We are just so busy its hard to make time. I do his chores on top of trying to keep up with mine when he is working on the house, or just too tired to do anything. The house is still far from done. The goal was end of November at the latest, so my mom wouldn’t be in here with us but moved into the new house directly.

I spent the couple days before Thanksgivng also getting puppies photos taken and the pictures all posted on the website. They are so cute! I didn’t do too well with getting a Thanksgiving theme for the photos, but they still turned out well. I’m looking forward to Christmas themed photos!

With my mom now here full time it is really hard to concentrate. I am starting to adjust and get back to the level of things I was able to accomplish each day before she moved in. I took advantage of her OCD and love of having a pretty yard.

When we built the new house they dumped the pile of gravel that was used for the foundation in what will be their side yard. I explained to her where their driveway is, and how the gravel is actually in the yard and looks like such a mess.

I now have had wonderful long breaks as she will go out and rake gravel for literally hours on end! One day Art even put a light shining out the wnde=ow since she was still working in the dark. She is quite OCD. She has managed to uncover a very old sidewalk to the 1700″s log cabin next to her house that we didn’t even know was there. At this point I don’t care if she rototills the whole area raking up every tiny stray pebble. When she’s out there I can work in here in a calm environment.

She actually likes monotonous jobs like that and when she’s obsessing like that she’s not questioning and yelling at anyone, or anything. I think its actually relaxing for her. Plus the yard will look much better without the ugly pile of gravel in it! Win win situation! Since we have a long gravel driveway I don’t know if she will ever finish. She also has been known to spend days raking the gravel in the grass along the edges of the driveway back into the driveway. 🙂

​I am a bit worried what we will do when it gets colder out and she cant go outside. I will need to move the office to the barn to get away if she’s not in the new house by freezing weather.

I’m really looking forward to spring as she loves to garden and I really miss having pretty flower gardens. All the rescue we do took over the time I use to have to work on the yard and have pretty gardens. The weeds have turned into trees its been so long!

Life is certainly very full on every level! Well going to bed at 6pm because U had 3 hours sleep last night certainly messes with sleep patterns. I woke up at 11pm and its almost 2 am now. I guess I should go back to bed since no doubt I will be up at 5am when the dogs all want out. I seen a coffee cup that had “O get up early every morning” “I get up every stinking morning because I have dogs” I think its hilarious! When a couple more coffee cups break, so I have room in the cabinet, I am going to have to get that one. ​


​10-7-16 I didn’t realize it has been so long since I have made an entry.

I love fall! It’s my favorite time of year. The colors are pretty, well not here now but I see tiny glimpses of what I remember as a kid in the Chicago suburbs growing up. Some years its very pretty here. Art is getting to go north into WI and will get to see some beautiful scenery! I’m jealous. I’ll stay back this time to care for everyone, and help with the grandsons schedules car pooling to soccer and after school.

Brenda is still gone up north helping friends and family with the recent losses. She’s going to be back in a few days. The mail pile is a mountain. I planned to keep up while she was gone but instead made a “Brenda pile” of papers. She likes paperwork. I use to also, but anymore I lose the paperwork getting distracted mid-job. I can’t wait for her to be back!

Things are at least getting a nice pattern again. I have had time to get some dog grooming done, which I really enjoy doing. I got the table and counter clear of all but a tiny bit pf current papers, first time in almost a year I think!

My mom is visiting and for the first time too he’s not getting so aggravated she starts yelling she wants to go home. She’s referring to my aunts house that is still for sale, since the house for her here isn’t anywhere near done. My aunt is looking too thin. She doesn’t always want to eat. She has always had a sensitive stomach and we can’t quite figure out what it is that upsets her. In general she was more energetic and looking lots better then in April when she first moved in. This week she’s looking a bit tired, and coughing. I’m going to call the Dr. on Monday and see about getting her in. She tells me she coughs until first frost every year and its normal. I’m thinking she needs allergy meds, because its wearing her out. It may be also my mom is wearing her out. she has been spending more time in her bedroom by far then what she was doing. Their personalities are opposite. Aunt Carole is very passive and compliant. My mom isn’t.

​The baby pigs are growing and very noisy! I don’t think any of the other litters were as loud as these. They are in a more central location, so could be I can just hear them better. They are really noisy when Art feeds them!

​My daughter’s little dog has moved in for a bit. She’s a shichon. A bichon – shih tzu cross. A super sweet cute little thing. My daughter is overwhelmed with her last move and feeling guilty she is at work so much leaving the dog home by herself way too much. She sleeps with us since she has always slept with my daughter. So glad she’s a non-shedding breed. She was scared of the other dogs, but now plays terrific with Teddy and Angel. They are her size and only a few months younger then she is.

The 2 new rescued dogs, Beamer and Porcha, are doing terrific. Beamer is recovering from surgery, still has the cone on as he wont stop licking his belly. He hasn’t started to gain weight yet, but with all he had happening its not surprising. Porcha only needed to be de-wormed and she’s already putting on more weight. Both are growing hair over the raw spots the mats had rubbed on their legs. Just looking much better in general. They are well behaved sweet dgs. I had never met a Goldendoodle. I can really see the advantages of the breed cross. They are like giant sized Teddy’s, who is a cava-poo, or cavoodle as some call them. I can’t wait to get a photo of them sitting next to each other. The size is really the only difference! I can see why they are so popular and so many people love them.

​9-16-16. As usual things are busy. The baby pigs are doing fine. Mom pig has turned into an aggressive protector, can’t tell if its really over her food, or about the piglets. They are doing well though. Worried too much rain blew into the shelter and they may be damp. We have heat lamps for them and Art said they were fine. Quite a rain storm off and on all day.

Art has been sick for 2 days, gluten intolerance. We simply made some pork and beans with dried beans. Turns out unless they are grown and harvested gluten free normal dried beans may have been harvested with equipment used on wheat. I had no idea the beans could have gluten contamination. Barely makes more sense or processed things. Arts been throwing up, upset tummy, major head ache, tingling hands and feet, plus sweating. It happens anytime he eats something with very minor contamination. It lasts for days! Corn chips, a month or so ago got him sick. The bag doesn’t even list anything as a possible allergy risk. Normally on processed things they have an allergy warning. So irritating. He still insists on doing his chores. I would be whining and in bed if I felt as bad as I am sure he does. I don’t know how he does it.

Tomorrow were going up north for services, its not actually a wake, or a funeral. More of a luncheon for giving support for a friend and my cousin and his loss. Not sure what the proper term is.

Just makes me feel sad. I didn’t know him at all. He was my cousin’s ex’s only living blood relative that I know of. How does anyone deal with a loss of their brother, their only blood relative? I can’t imagine. Even if he had great friends it would still be unimaginable. I know some people are closer to friends anyway, so for those same for losing your best friend. Nothing good to say about death, unless its to prevent extreme pain and suffering. Even then its so sad there was any pain and suffering to begin with. A time nothing actually makes sense. There is no “understanding”. They were here and now they are gone.

​9-11-16 All the piglets are doing fine with their mom! But now we’re worried because mom hasn’t drank anything. The usually drink a ton. Googling it we found were they may not eat or drink for the first 24 hours. the other moms drank right away. Its been 24 hours just about now. Art has been trying to get her to drink. I think I will go out and see if I can get her up and drinking. She threw up yesterday 3 times just after we got all the piglets finally nursing. Hope it was just an upset tummy from having piglets and all the extra feed she got when we were trying to bribe her into the trailer. I need to get photos. Art took one with his phone but I am in it, covered in mud from working in the pig pen and wallow. I hate my picture taken. I will have to take some this morning. They grow fast and its shocking how huge mom is compared to how tiny they are!

​I also need to take puppy pictures. I don’t have any of Pippy’s 2 super cute babies.

​I don’t think we have anyone coming over today so I am going to groom dogs too.

Tomorrow we are going to go borrow the little trailer to finally get the mulberry needed to work on my mom and aunts little house. We just didn’t have the funds and it was so hot Art couldn’t get motivated to work in there, or dig the ditch to get the electric run in there t put a window air conditioner up. Our age is showing. We don’t tolerate working in extreme temperatures like we use to!

9-10-11 Plan was to go watch the grandsons first soccer game of the season and then go watch my daughter show her gelding Chance. Critters keep us hoping. Art remembered the buck goat needed his hooves trimmed at 10pm Friday night. He’s normally in bed long before then but the buck was limping. So we went out He held him while I trimmed and of course since we’er there I trimmed 3 of the does hooves that were getting long.

We were just finishing one of the goats and heard a really weird noise. You would be shocked at all the weird noises that are common around here but a new weird noise requires investigation. At the same time we looked at each other we thought about the pregnant sow who we didnt know when she was due and ran that direction. Of course it had thunder-stormed raining buckets so everything was wet, and we had put off making her an enclosure to be sure she stayed where it was dry. The pigs love mud and rain. Given a choice if the weather is warm, they lay out in the rain and make big mud wallows. It was relatively dry under their shelter, but with muddy pigs going in and out not a good place for having babies.

When we got to the pen mom was just laying with Fat Albert the big boar and there were 3 piglets huddled together wet and cold, and another running around calling for mom. This is the same pig who had 4 last time and wouldn’t have anything to do with them so I bottle raised them. We thought we would give her one more chance.

Well she was proving to be an awful mom again, didnt try to make a nest, didnt lay with the babies and didnt even care when we picked them up and they started screaming!

Baby pigs really scream when you pick them up! I’m sure its an instinct to alert mom they are in trouble, or she’s about the mash one rolling or something. We brought them in and put them in the bathtub. The place we put all newborn wet farm critters. We got them set up with a heating pad under a blanket, and a heat lamp. Tow of the piglets were really cold, one couldn’t even get up he was so cold.

We got frozen goat colostrum from the freezer, while it thawed and warmed I made sure the cold piglets stayed on the heating pad under the light. Two were quite active one cold one was warming up and walking around and the other still just shivered laying in the warmth. Baby things can get amazingly cold at birth and if warmed slowly, and not disturbed too much they will be just fine and none the worse for the experience.

I raised rabbits for a long time and sometimes mom would have the babies on the floor and not in the nest box in the winter so cold you would think they are not only dead but almost frozen. I would bring them in and put them in a big crock bowl over the pilot light on the stove. The crock would help distribute the heat and height would keep them in if they were alive and started to move about. Some would warm up and be normal little bunnies and other wouldn’t make it. Even in EMS their is a phase your not dead until warm and dead. So anyway this piglet was far from that he was just really really cold.

​I fed the 3 piglets a bottle and gave them probiotic we had from the last litter. The vet had said newborn piglets who don’t get colostrum wont live. They get sick and die. The last 4 all lived but got so sick I thought they wouldn’t make it. She had us give them the probiotic and amoxicillin. I few them tiny bits of goat milk and pedilight every 20 minutes and they slowly came out of the belly upset that was trying to kill them and all 4 lived. So knowing that I gave these some right away hoping to get a jump on it.

Art went out to check her again and she had 2 more! Also not with them back to laying with the boar. They weren’t near as cold since she must have just had them. This pig is not right. Mom pigs lay on their side almost in a trance state while they have piglets. They don’t move, they grunt softly a bunch. the piglet are born all on their own break out of the sack, which is usually broken before they come out, and they flop about a bit. then they lay there breathing and in a few minutes start to get up and instinctively circle their mom, always touching her the go around nudging her with their tiny noses looking for the milk supply. All the while mom lays stiff as a board grunting to them. The first time we seen piglets born we thought the mom was dieing but they kept popping out so we just waited and took them in the house as it was freezing cold out and if they were puppies they sure couldn’t be in the cold. My son-in-law said put them back! Moms do that and she’s fine and she’s going to be really mad when she gets up with you messing with her piglets. Her story is somewhere down on the blog. She was a great mom.

​This mom wasn’t with her piglets and was far from being in a trance like state. She got up and ate and looked to us to feed her, like usual. Had no interest in the piglets at all.

I stayed in the house and bottle fed all the babies and tried to wipe the mud off them. Art went back out to check and nothing. We thought she was done. An hour later he went out again and found 2 more! One was just born the other was getting cold. So glad it wasn’t a cold night! Just before we were going to bed he checked her again and she didnt have anymore. We finally went to bed at 2am. I got up every 45 minutes to bottle the babies. A walking zombie. Art checked mom about 4 am and brought in another piglet! Dogs have babies this way but pigs don’t. They lay down have them all within short period of time. Art got up checked her in the morning about 5 am and nothing. I feed the piglets and checked her again about 8am and found she had another one! It was dry and standing along the fence out of the breeze all by itself a bit chilled. Mom again was just laying over with the boar. This time though when I picked the pig up and it squealed she lifted her head and look alarmed. So did I! A mom pig defending babies can kill someone! I bruised myself climbing out of the pen with the screaming baby!

I brought it in fed them all again for who knows how many times and told Art what happened. I said I can’t feed all these 24/7. 9 piglets every 20 to 45 minute bottles. We need to see if we can get the mom to take them. Maybe her hormones are kicking in since she at least responded?

We set up the old stock trailer with shavings. She would not go in it. We decided to bribe Fat Albert into the trailer, hoping if he went in she would follow and then we would figure out how to get him out later.

It took hours. First the step up was too high. Neither would try to get in. Art got the tractor and lifted the first of the trailer so the back would be lower and less of a step. Eventually Fat Albert got in and she did follow. We had a laundry basket with 4 babies in it in the trailer thinking it may help her get in. She had no interest. One baby climbed out and was running around under them. It is so very tiny! Fat Albert had piglets born around him twice now and has never shown them any interest and didnt even care when they were by him while he was eating. Still scary to worry he or mom even may bite the baby.

Since mom had been in the pig wallow and was covered with mud I said we need to hose her. Art had the front of the trailer jacked real high so the water would run out. We tried to keep the shavings all at the front, Art didnt know I planned to hose her even if it was inside to wait before putting the shavings down. We had hosed her outside but she got in the wallow again. When its hot Art often hoses the pigs down and so they were use to being hosed and she didn’t mind too much. The water ran out the back and it worked well.

The trailer has a front section with a solid wall that swings in order to get from the front section of the trailer to the main area with. It also has a people side walk door to get in and out. We opened the swing door and managed to encourage and push Fat Albert through. Mom pig tried hard to follow but we got the door shut before she could get out too. Fat albert is an easy going boar. Why we got Large Black heritage breed in the first place. They are known to be easy to handle and even tempered. He jumped out of the side door after we lowered the trailer. to a normal level.

Mom pig was very upset. She could care less about the babies but walked around trying to figure out how to get out of the trailer and follow the boar. Then she somewhat gave up and laid by the back door that had a few inch gap underneath. She was literally peeking through the gap to see where he was. She was upright and not flopped over in a way she would nurse piglets.

We waited an hour or more. Eventually she got up and dug in the shavings. It was nesting behavior so we still had hope she may take the babies. She heard Fat Albert and went back to the door to lay down and look under. She then flopped to her side. I snuck over and rubbed her belly with a towel, the other times I had tried that she growled at me jerking away, not good behavior if you want babies to be able to nurse She rolled to hide her belly, but then with me rubbing on her side she laid over. I carefully put a piglet over there. The piglets were use to me and the bottle! They at first didn’t try to nurse at all but tried to come to me. I got one of the last ones born and we had thought he may have nursed. He did latch on! We slowly added more, they weren’t nursing but running around and piling in the corner by her feet. With lots of patience I got a few to latch on.

Mom got up and moved to the middle of the trailer floor. So much scarier since now she was facing me, but easier to work around and in the dry shavings. I also had to manage to get the piglets out of the corner and over to where mom was without alarming mom. Since they like to be touching each other, or me I gently pushed them with my foot as a group. It was warmer away from the gap under the door and once I sat down they were happy to huddle between me and mom pig.

She finally did the full roll way over so the piglets could nurse both rows of teats. The piglets were catching on too! I had several latched on and they were starting to latch on by themselves. One female pig was demanding I feed her and would have nothing to do with mom. I spent forever trying to get her to nurse. Thankfully mom was more in the trance state they seem to do when nursing and she was grunting to them so she didn’t mind my being there and messing with her and the piggies. I finally thought well if the one stubborn baby wants me I will have to trick her. I tricked the piglet by laying my hand on mom with a teat between my figures and she finally latched on! I slowly moved my hand way and she lost her grip and let go. We did this numerous times. But pigs are smart. She started finding the teat on her own.

At that point, all piglets able to nurse, I was so cramped up sitting on the floor I decided all was good and went in the house to get something to eat and drink. It was almost 3pm. We both checked on mom often. She was being a normal pig mom!! I am so glad. The piglets have the best chance to not get sick with their moms colostrum and I was just starting to get caught up on work. Bottle feeding pigs would set me a month or more behind again!

9-8-16 We had another long day. It was extra fun today though. A friend of a friend have a young girl who wants to be a vet, but is too young to volunteer at any of the shelters, or vet clinics since she’s 13. Our friend Ashely said “hey call Laurel I bet she would let her come out.” Of course, I was like her as a kid so I know how excited I was to go just be around critters any chance I got!

Sky got to come out a few times last year but then her mom had morning sickness and couldn’t manage to get her here. I thought about offering to pick her up but I don’t know them that well and thought they lived farther away then they do. Her mom is wonderful and wants her to have a chance to be around critters, any kind, since that is what she loves. Sky loves them all, dogs the most.

Needless to say Sky is being home schooled this year and they called again out of the blue last week to see if she could come out once a week.

Last week she helped me trim puppy toenails, take some super cute puppy pictures, deworm and vaccinate puppies. She’s is a huge help, plus Art doesn’t like doing any of those things so it got him off the hook!

This week we had a vet appointment and we cleared it with mom so she could tag along if she wanted. She helped me trim more toenails, did a bit of grooming and helped wash 5 dogs. We went over why and how to clean their face without getting water in their ears, or eyes, briefly spoke about anal glands, and how also to be sure and rinse throughly. All the parts of a bat h I see people either not do or do in a way it alarms me. I’m hoping she will learn some good basic skills which will help her out with her own pets.

When we left the vets we got to talk about the things the vet checked with the dogs and how dogs can’t tell us whats wrong, if anything so we have to look at them closely, checking ears, skin, nails, eyes, how they act and how they move. Plus some basics of are they eating, drinking, pooping, and peeing in a normal manner. Not stuff of an average conversation, but if your going to be a vet what goes in and comes out is very important information!

Brutus was seen for a red spot on his eye. We think he got a scratch, although we never seen anything. I had been putting eye meds in it until they had an opening available to see the dogs and she said it was working well and healing. Susie Q had an ear infection that we had her seen for 2 weeks ago. She didnt have an improvement so we took her back for a re-check. The vet changed the ears meds she was on to something more for yeast. Since she has had a few ear infections we decided to pay the chunk to send off blood for allergy testing.

We have done testing on 2 of the shar pei. Just by learning what foods they are allergic to and removing them from the diet it made all the difference in the world. Ear infections are often not due to the ears at all but from food allergies. Baby Bear is allergic to a few things, one of which is flaxseed. Who would have thought? Flaxseed is in every Fromm brand dog food. Its so frustrating because fromm is great food. Nutro works with her allergies but she hated it so badly she became skinny. Generally dogs will eat if hungry and not starve themselves into an actual weight loss less then a fit dog. She was getting boney. We are currently feeding her half nutro and half Iams puppy, which is the only other food that wasn’t extra high protein we could find on her list.

Shar Pei often develop kidney problems and high protein for them can be an issue. They just need average amounts. Baby Bear is much happier, she likes the Iams and put her weight back on pretty quick. BooBoo, another shar pei, is doing great on the nutro although she doesn’t like it much either. I don’t know what she’s allergic to she hasn’t been tested. I have been afraid to try anything new. I’m going to try the Iams puppy for her too and hope she doesn’t start itching. Shar Pei are the best ever but the few we have really do have more health problems then all the other dogs we have combined.

I would love if Suzie Q didnt have many or even allergies. She doesn’t have other symptoms but the ears for the most part. She was almost 2 years old when we got her and hadn’t really had any vet care.

Then Precious, a westie mom, was also seen. She had an unusual discharge. The vet thinks she may have retained a placenta when she had puppies, even though she doesn’t have a temperature and no other symptoms of being ill like usually happens if they retain a placenta. It happens sometimes. So she’s on antibiotics now.

Well I am super tired and writing way too much! No doubt putting anyone who attempted to read also to sleep!


​9-7-16 I thought I had made a post just a week or 2 ago. Its been almost a month! Time flies when your having fun as they say. I’m not sure who “they” are. “They” are very optimistic! It also flies when your too busy to think and simply going as fast as your can until you drop from exhaustion! I would rather be busy then bored!

My grandsons are both on the same soccer team. Makes it easier to catch games and for getting them to practice. I have only seen one practice and their first soccer game is Saturday. My daughter also has a horse show on saturday that she didnt want to miss and managed to get all her dressage ride times before 8 AM, so she can drive to see the boys game, then drive back to the horse show for the jumping portion. There about 1.5 hours between the 2 locations. I am debating if I will ride with her the whole day, or just help Art do chores in the morning, catch the game then drive to the show. I will probably do that. Art isn’t very interested in watching games, practices, or horse shows. I would love to see all the ones family is playing in! I still do my chores early and later in the day, so he’s not doing more work. He though seems to think I am getting to have fun and leaving him here to work non-stop.

Ford is also on a flag football team. First time I have ever seen the game! Its so fun I would like to play! He is one of the fastest runners in his peer group. He’s really good at flag football!

Fords also been asked to sit in as a substitute on the soccer team he played on last year. The coaches son is a grade ahead so every other year Ford is to young to be his team. One of their kids is out with an injury so they tracked Ford down to have him practice with them and play if needed. He’s in 4th grade and its a 5th 6th grade team. The team is terrific undefeated I think both in last years soccer and in indoor soccer last fall. A great coach really makes all the difference!

Maverick is a year younger so he may not get the chance to play on that team. He is also a terrific player, but so far he has had coaches and teams who don’t do more then a couple practices at all, and also coaches that don’t know the rules even. If his team won any games last year it was only because there were 2 really naturally good players who were capable of taking the ball down field and shooting the goal without any help. Maverick was one of the 2 boys who could do that. He had lots of fun so it doesn’t really matter if they win or not, if all the kids are having fun and getting some exercise.

I’m a bit competitive so I have to remind myself that often when get frustrated to see such talented kids and they don’t learn anything from simple lack of coaching. I assistant coached when my daughters played years ago and coached once due to no one else willing/available to coach for the girls team that year. I knew nothing. I seen Korys, my daughters, team play with an excellent coach every other year so I had the basic idea. The year I coached we rarely even had a full team on the field and I don’t think we had at most one girl on the bench for substituting. Despite lack of any rest and an awful coach (me) who didnt do more then put them in positions each child did best in, they only lost 2 of 13 games, and only by 1 or 2 points. The 2 lost were even against a terrific team that played indoor also and traveled, they were excellent! I was best at cheering our girls on and encouraging them to simply do their very best. I also had the advantage that the older half of the girls had been on the team that had a super coach, my daughter was one of them. Those kids probably knew as much as I did.

I’m so lucky I live close enough to my grandkids to see them play and cheer them on. We may be competitive but we also are happy to cheer on any good play done by any of the kids, including the other team. They are kids too. I love when any of them get a chance to make a good play, or even like the little girl on one of my daughters teams a long time ago who was so timid it took her a couple practices before she would even try to kick the ball. I think I was her only fan. The coach fortunately was encouraging too, or indifferent, and not one of the mean people who yell at the kids. Since I went to all the practices I was able to cheer on any attempt she made and like all kids a bit of encouragement can make a world of difference. She got so she could even stop the ball when it was in her area. She was so happy, makes me smile just to think how she went from scared and unsure to happy and proud of herself!

8-14-16 We had the most beautiful sunset last night. I have taken so many sunset photos, none of which are the color of the actual sunset I have about given up. I love taking photos, but if the camera isn’t auto enough I’m not able to adjust settings. Some day I may understand cameras. I would love to simply understand without the learning issue, same for the computer!

The printer went out. Went to office depot to be sure we got one compatible with a mac. The kodak printer has always given me fits. The nice guy helping pointed out none of the printers will work for the computer since I have never updated it in 5 years. They all require a newer program or something. Just before Keith was hurt I had bought an external drive back-up. I didnt want to loose the thousands of photos and things on the computer. I have never back it up either, just didnt get how…. So I plugged it in. It did stuff for hours! A time machine program or application popped up. It all seemed good. I hit back up before trying to upgrade. It seemed good so I unplugged it and then upgraded the computer to el captain, the current Mac thing. It did more stuff for hours!

I went to bed. This morning I have found most of the stuff is about the same. I don’t like the IPhoto layout as well. I can’t figure out how to add titles to the groups of pictures without going through a ton of steps, and then they aren’t visible unless you pick a photo to look at. Plus it looks like it will drag, but then it wont drop where I want it, or at all, it flys back to iPhoto.

One of the 2 worst things (well that I have found so far) is my notes for 2 years are gone. I am in a panic about that. All the deposits lists are what my notes are! The calendar is also wiped clean! I had lots of things on my calendar!

​All in all I am feeling most anxious and frustrated. I tried finding the missing info in the time machine/back-up drive but got nowhere. It has all the things that the computer still has but blank stuff on the missing pages of notes. I spent hours trying to figure it out. My daughter, smarter then me, pointed out the external drive has a phone number I can call for help. Hopefully its within the 30 days of free help.

The computer geeks need people like me in their test group when they want to “make things easy” for consumers. I don’t think they would be able to handle it. They would run away screaming…

​We sold another donkey. the adorable brown yearling jack. The family is heaven on earth for their critters. I couldn’t be happier, no worries at all where he’s going!

​Also the other jenny had her baby. I can’t remember when I think the 11th. Its a black jack baby. He and his mom are doing terrific. We will sell him when he’s old enough. We don’t need another jack. I had hoped he would be a she, but its just as well. Too much going on to be tempted to keep another donkey. We just sold the others to have less to care for.

My daughter showed both the horse of Steinmeier’s she has been showing 1 or 2 shows a month this summer, and her own horse, Chance Ta Dance, in several classes this weekend. Chance hasn’t been to a show in quite awhile. She did terrific! Got all first place in 7 classes, and one second when riding Turbo, the gray horse in the picture. She showed Chance in 2 of the classes she showed Turbo in, and got second in both classes. It was the 2 foot 3 inch jumping class. Last time no one else jumped that high so she wanted to have at least 2 horses in the class, why she brought Chance. This time one other rider showed in the 2 classes with her. She got a first in both classes on Turbo, a second in both on Chance and the other gal got a third in both the classes. I was so busy slapping nasty biting deer fly’s off whichever horse I was holding for her I didnt really get to see much of it in those 2 classes, Brenda video taped it for us since I couldn’t while holding a horse. Kim had to be able to hop off one horse and get on the other.

​She is so good with the horses. One of those special people. She loves them, they know it, and yet she will persist calmly until they “get it” and do what she wants. She’s had some super instructors to help with the issue we all have of trying to get our body to do what our brain is telling it. Dr. Steinmeyer has been one of the very best for her. He stresses steady slow walk trot and canter, with great stops. They raced TB’S forever and to think he stresses slow and steady training tells you he cares about their horses and their future after racing. They can still win racing, and then turn around and have a great riding career as a hunter or jumper. It was fun to watch and as always her #1 fan. Really nice after such an awful last week.

8-13-16 This last week has been off the chart. One week ago my son was attacked and shot in the hand. Fortunately there were 2 surveillance cameras, in addition to witnesses, which caught it all on tape. His brain has decided to block most of it, although he has a vivid memory of the gun pointing at his face, grabbing and pushing the gun away, a flash, and hearing at least one gun shot. He’s not sure in what order. They say his memory may come back in bits and pieces, or his mind may decide to block it forever.

We are blessed it was not his face, anything else, nor anyone else! Police say his friends prevented him getting shot again and others also getting shot by stepping in helping get the gun out of the guys hand.

I am grateful my son is pretty capable of defending himself, and he has some really terrific true friends who didn’t just run away. Someone of lesser ability probably would have been killed, or in critical condition. He had completely stopped going to bars quite awhile ago due to how crazy people can be, but it was a friends 30th birthday. Shootings aren’t at all common in our area. This was the third in all of macoupin county this year.

Art has been swamped again at home while I am with Keith and getting him to all the places he needs to go since he can’t drive yet, besides being the fussing mom. As he has had a bit less pain and anxiety he has been telling me to go home he’s fine. No doubt I annoy him with constant reminders to keep his arm elevated and trying to make him sit still and not pace… He’s going crazy not being able to work on top of it all.

It’s so sad what drugs due to people. The guy who shot him we found has a long history of drug and drinking issues, as does his grown son. His son was convicted of robbing an elderly lady at knife point.

Prayers for peace and healing (and ability to defend themselves) for all the victims everywhere, and also for the attackers who must have something dreadfully wrong with them and need more help then any person can give them. Or in one of my now many angrier moods may God call them home in a quick death before they hurt anyone else. Probably not something I am suppose to write, or think. I feel so bad knowing others in the past and no doubt in the future don’t have friends that happen to be right there to help them out, or physically don’t have any chance to defend themselves, or get away. 50 people were shot and killed in FL recently. It’s just heartbreaking what is happening everywhere. Will us humans ever all be nice and empathetic toward others?

To make things even worse one of my uncles has been in the hospital ICU. My aunt forced him to go last week when he wasn’t acting himself. He had some kind of brain issue with fluid and blood pooling. He was sedated and they tried several surgeries to try and fix the problem. Nothing worked and he progressively became worse. He has just passed away. It was so very unexpected. They had just spent most of last year dealing with his brother who was found unresponsive in his apartment. They believe he may have been down for a week before being found. He survived but is in a nursing home and is not at all well. Since that had happened my aunt and uncle had talked about their own wishes, and Uncle Dave had made it very clear in no way did he want to be kept alive by machines.

I think talking to friends and family no matter your age and preferably having a living will is certainly the best thing ever. It relieves those left to make decisions of the weight of not knowing what you/they would have wanted. When a serious illness, or injury happens is not the time to realize you don’t know what they really wanted.

​8-3-16! I really don’t know where the time has gone. The kids are going to be going back to school and we haven’t done anything fun with them. They do like going out and trying to pet the goats, only the ones who don’t want to be pet. The friendly ones they find too boring. Plus the baby pigs are now in the pasture with the goats. They don’t want to be pet either. I guess its the challenge. We do supervise just enough to be sure they aren’t actually chasing anyone. Kids will be kids!

7-27-16, Its hot out. I didn’t have air-conditioning as a kid, or even as an adult for a long time. I really like air-conditioning!

It brought back lots of memories of yuky hot cars. Also the memory of the horrible trip in my little old toyota hatchback car while on the way to the veterinarians for health testing several years back.

I was by myself and had the car full of crates with dogs. One of the dogs I didn’t know had never been in a plastic crate. He was 8 years old when we got him. It never occurred to me he had never been in a plastic crate. I had him crated only for short times in a wire crate. He wasn’t happy but it wasn’t an anxiety attack reaction. In the plastic crate he was having a bit of a fit, so I put it on the front seat so I could see and talk to him, plus the cold air vents could be directed right at him.

It was a big day for us to get the new boy, Sherman, and a couple of our girls and boys who had not had health testing done yet, or who were now over 2 years old, x-rayed for hips and examined for patellas to get OFA certificated, assuming they passed.

While driving to the vets, about 1/2 way there its almost 100 degrees out and the air conditioner starts to feel cool, then starts blowing down right hot air. Meanwhile Sherman is still panting, digging, whining, and having a fit. He was the oldest dog and has quiet a thick coat too. As the air got hotter he was looking more and more too hot.

There was no gas station I know of on the way, or a short bit out of the way at all that had any kind of covered, or shady area I could stop and get bags of ice for the dogs without full sun beating down on the already hot car. I was thinking I could pull all the dogs out of the car and put them in the shade as I ran and got ice, but there wasn’t anywhere with shade. I also had 2 dogs loose in the car with me. Stopping would cause all the rest of the dogs to have no air flow at all, sitting in a hot car in full sun windows and doors open, they would be in danger. And I couldn’t figure out how to keep the 2 dogs in if I had the doors wide open. I couldn’t carry 2 dogs and 2 bags of ice. I was feeling panicked and couldn’t think right not knowing how to get them cool and not stop at the same time. All I could think was the best bet is to drive really fast and get to the vets asap so I could get all the dogs into the air-conditioning where they would stay cool.

I worked on an ambulance for a long time and didn’t mind driving fast, except the risk of a ticket. I had already decided if I was going to get pulled over they would just have to follow me to the vets since I couldn’t stop. It’s mostly rural country. Only one town to go through.

Once at the vets I ran Sherman inside loudly got Andrea’s attention, one of the vet techs, telling her; he is having a heat stroke, the air went out on the car and all the dogs are hot as I was already running back out the door to get the rest of the dogs in.

All the other dogs were just fine, but Sherman was flat out on his side looking half dead. They were already getting him cool as I was carrying in the rest of the dogs.

Amazingly soon as they got his temperature down he woke up and was acting slow but fine. Once he was sitting up they put him in back with a big fan, IV and had wet him all down. He at least didn’t start to carry on again since the vet’s crate was a really big one with an all wire front.

I’m sure all the people sitting in the waiting room didn’t know what to think. This crazy sounding lady just barges in interrupts everything one, and everything, no doubt all red in the face, hair knotted and blown all over the place, (because I forgot my hair tie and windows wide open with long hair is just a mess!) running in and out of the door bringing in more and more crates of dogs.

I had called Art to come with the truck, which had working air-conditing to get all the dogs back home. I got to drive back in the hot car.

​Needles to say we didn’t do Sherman’s OFA’s that day. All the others were done. I can’t remember how many I had with me. I think 8 dogs.

Sherman was fine and never had another issue with heat. We were very careful to keep him in air-conditioning with only short times outside. Once anyone has had heat stroke they are more susceptible for I think its about 6 months, or a year, to have another one. We also later worked on crating him both in wire and plastic crates! I also made it a point to be sure all the dogs were well acclimated to being in a wire or plastic crate! He would have been fine if he was being anxious and hadn’t worked himself up into a complete tizzy. Going to the he alt clinic for his eye exam was an even farther drive, about 2 hours. I made sure he was in a wire crate where we could see him, just to be sure he wouldn’t work himself up again. He did fine. He earned his CHIC certification (means they passed all the breed recommended health testing, with exams done by a specialist.)

I also am sure to carry a full gallon of water in order to at least wet any dog down if we have air-conditioning problems again. I use to always have water in the car but somehow it had been taken out and not put back in that day.

Freezing a soda bottle with water in it also works great for mini cold packs. When showing rabbits we often had them in the rabbit crates. Rabbits get hot really easy and the shows always seemed to be on the hottest days. They work great for the dogs too but I didn’t think of the air going out.

7-21-16, 11pm. I have been up since before 5am, but theres SO much to do!

I had started this website last year when laurelswesties website had gone down for over a week and I was afraid it was gone.

Chris, the website guy, was able to get it running again. This time though he said its gone. He was able to save a lot of the text and some of the photos. The text is a nightmare. It must have saved every update I did since it was started! Plus its full of code characters. I finally decided to start from the very end of over10,000,000. million characters and work my way backwards, in an ah ha moment of the newest would be at the end. With all the duplicates I was going crazy trying to delete down to one copy.

Now I am copy and pasting little bits into the places I think they should go and then deleting from the end backwards as I go. Plus just retyping new info.

I have spent days while poor Art is doing all his chores and mine so I can get the website working. This is not only what we love but the farm is also our living. With extra people now under our roof who may also need our help its a bit scary for the added responsibility.

I must say my cousin moving in has been a huge blessing! She likes paperwork! She also has taken over my Aunts paperwork and her Dr. appointments and visits. She’s a dream! Sad she’s here under duress of a sudden divorce, but I think everything happens for a reason.

Ok time for bed. I may come across the missing blog text at some point….

7-5-16. Art drove up to get my mom for the fourth of July. My aunt lives here already so my mom would have been alone. My mom can say more insulting things in 5 minutes then anyone I have ever known in my life. My aunt goes to her room for a “nap”. I realized she had stopped going to her room for naps quite awhile ago once she moved in here, when my mom was still up north. Apparently its really just to get away. I wish I could be a bit more passive like my aunt is. I really don”t know how she does it, or how my Grandmother before her put up with my mom. I have a headache within 30 minutes of being stuck within earshot. She isn”t even trying to be mean like some people do on purpose. She”s trying to fix all the stupid things I am doing and everyone else apparently does wrong too, and trying to remind us of all the things we “should” be doing, all for our own good. So we really need the little house for her finished. I will be shocked if my aunt actually moves over there with her for more then just short bits of time so she can eat donuts and things my mom thinks she should be able to have, because she likes them, even if its terrible for diabetes. If my mom were of average intelligence you could say she was just mean and grouchy but when someone really doesn”t comprehend enough to “get it” then it falls on the rest to comprehend and let it slide, or spend 20 minutes calmly trying to explain. An example: dogs don”t and can”t get worms from canned dog food. Good luck arguing that one with my mom.\r\n\r\nMy mom is actually a happy person about half the time. She”s currently singing a bit in the background. I think its because she”s use to being quiet when Aunt Carole goes to bed. Normally if it was just Art in bed she would be as loud as ever, simply oblivious, telling me to do something or change something. She tries very hard to care for her sister and she”s protective of her. Aunt Carole use to stay home so she had a break when my mom came here to visit. With her sleeping its nice since my mom is trying hard to be quiet.\r\n\r\nI love my cousin helping with paperwork. She is so good at it! She”s also pleasant and says as many nice things as my mom says negative things. I don”t think if she talked nonstop though she would be able to say the 10 good things for every negative thing said by my mom as professionals recommend to help keep us all mentally healthy. She and my uncle are getting pretty good at going downstairs to their “apartment”. Art goes outside to care for the critters and I am stuck within earshot if I want to attempt to keep up with part of the emails and inside stuff that must be done. At least I did get her to talk/complain more quietly when I am on the phone instead of her yelling at me to get off the phone and answer her questions right now, as she was doing. Other then the constant headache and being reminded how I am not very good at biting my tongue things here are going well. Although I”m not keeping up with emails very well due to the circumstances….. Plus I get distracted mid-thought and then forget what I”m writing so it takes longer then normal for a short email reply.\r\n\r\nThe puppies at least are at the super cute stage. We get to play with them and have cuteness breaks. I even got photos done on time. They are so much more cute then I can capture in a photo. If I could figure out how to crop the video bits shorter it would be so fun to post bits of video. I”m just to tired and confused to even read directions with terminology I don”t know to try and learn. Its on the “some day” list! I love when families live close enough to visit and see them in person. Well off to bed. 11:35 pm is really too late. I will be crabby tomorrow if I don”t get any sleep. The dogs wake up between 4am and 5pm to get let out. Theres not really a good way to tell them to wait a bit I”d like to sleep in…. The Frenchies in particular don”t seem to be good at waiting even a short time once they wake up and need to potty.\

the internet is working again! Its hard to imagine how no internet for 5 days can just turn everything upside down. The bills are late, the emails are very behind, and I simply can”t look up anything when I can”t remember what it is I am doing. At the same time though it was almost like a vacation because even though I would check my phone for emails it only loads a few for some unknown reason so I was missing most. It meant I could work on all the other things that needed doing that Art wasn”t keeping up with due to the heat. With this hot weather we have to bring the dogs in much faster, and then out more often since they don”t get as much time outside, and it takes most of the day brining dogs in and out. Everyone learns to walk on a leash if they didn”t already know how is the only good thing I can say about this too hot weather!\r\n\r\nI am going to be gone helping my daughter move (again!) the 23 to the 27th I think. I have to look it up and haven”t had a chance since the internet is working again, and I forgot. I”m trying to label everything and to be sure all the dogs have collars on with names as it seems every-time I am gone somebody gets mixed up. I come home and look at them and get all confused as to why a dog looks like a dog who isn”t suppose to be there. I do sometimes mix them up after they have had a hair cut and I move several into new play groups and I forget who I moved. In general other then simply brain failure I find it pretty easy to tell them apart. There are only a couple like Muffin and Muppet, who may be identical twins who I have to check tags unless they have different hair lengths. No one else seems to be able to tell any but the boys westies apart. They see all white dogs, and if they get a hair cut theres no chance they will remember who it was even if they did know before. I even came home to find a male and female had swapped places and no one had noticed. Granted when its only one of us doing the chores it is exhausting so its hard to do more then work as fast as possible just to keep up

​​nThe last week and a half has been very busy. Several litters of westies turned 8 weeks at almost the same time. We wont have more then a few puppies turning 8 weeks old for a couple months now. The moms like to cycle at the same time in groups so we wont have any puppies then we will have a several litters all at once. It really can make it difficult to keep up when there is other things happen unrelated to the puppies at the same time.\r\n\r\nWe had a great family stay for a few days. They adopted Billy the rescue Cavalier, and one of the westie puppies. They spent some time sight seeing in St. Louis. I felt terrible we were running busy just about the whole time they were here and we didnt get to do half the things I had wanted/hoped to do. If I was better at planning ahead we probably could have rode the horses and had a bon fire but I seem to be playing catch up with all that has been going on over the last several months. I really am the worst hostess in the world. I really do mean make yourself at home as I am unlikely to remember to offer drinks, or something to eat…. Fortunately Rocky was terrific at dealing with chaos and even cooked several times for all of us. They set up tents in the new little house, so officially got to be the first people to stay there. Its far from finished, concrete floor and no amenities. We did run an extension cord for a fan at least. I enjoy company a lot.\r\n\r\nI had always dreamed of fixing the 1700”s log cabin into a guest cabin so those who come for a puppy from a distance have a historic cute place to stay, or even if they want a weekend at the farm. The log cabin is about to fall over, although still a very solid structure the foundation is sliding inward so its all tipping into the hole. Its a huge cabin for the era. There are 2 full size (small) bedrooms upstairs, plus the “basement/root cellar” was almost walkable height. Its rare to have those 2 things in a log cabin from the 1700”s. “Some day” I hope is soon enough we can afford to jack it up and put a foundation under it for starters to preserve it. Last year and this year is the house project for my mom and aunt. Next year we are going to build at least the first part of a better dog kennel. Hopefully if all goes well the following year we can at least get the log cabin supported. So many projects and things to do!\r\n\r\n6-6-2016 Things are taking SO much longer then expected. I guess when theres so much going on top of our already very full plates thats to be expected. Art is going stir crazy not being able to ride his bike a 10th as much as he would like to. So he”s headed off on a ride this morning leaving me to hold down the fort and prepare for him to be gone 2 days this week and prepare for me to be gone 5 days in 2 weeks helping Kory move again. For either of us to be gone we need the critter care all caught up, fences fixed so there no escapees for only one person to have to deal with, and anything that will make it easier for the other person to be doing all the chores themselves.\r\n\r\nHe”s go again to do a “Bun Burner” 1500 miles in under 36 hours this week, weather permitting. Last time he rode one he was riding through flash floods in OK and had storms almost the whole ride. He was going to be over the time limit due to trying to wait for the extreme rain to lighten just a bit and ended up just 90 miles short. Miserable weather! Hopefully this year will have normal weather for him. Meanwhile I am working until my brain quits and I find myself stuck in front of the TV Aunt Carole always has on, or helping her do a puzzle, or things like updating the blog. Then when I can think again I try to prioritize.\r\n\r\nBrenda, my favorite cousin has also moved in just recently. She is now 90% settled in and has been helping me catch up on the 4 month old pile of paperwork. She catches on fast so we have a pile of stuff to mail out already. She”s been a help with Aunt Carole too, making sure she gets meals and just around in general so I can go out and groom dogs. That job is also 2 to 4 months behind on some since I couldn”t go out and be in with Aunt Carole at the same time. When Art came in for breaks I would head out, but that wasn”t near often enough with all the time spent moving stuff around and getting everyone a place to live also squeezed in there.\r\n\r\nThe yard work is a complete mess. So many other priorities there is just no time to weed. I pull a few in front if I am walking a single dog. If I have 2 or more on leashes they get all in the sad landscaping and tangled up. If my phone ear piece would work while I am outside I use to do all the weeding while on the phone. But now my neck hurts so bad from holding the phone on my shoulder so many years I just can”t do it anymore. I thought the ear piece would be perfect but the range doesn”t work. I”m behind with technology. I imagine there is something that does work in these situations but I sure don”t know what it is….\r\n\r\nI do make a point to do family events! I feel its one of the best parts of life. Memorial day weekend was very full. My oldest daughter, Kory, flew in for the weekend last minute, which was terrific! I”m never going to be happy she lives to far away for easy visits!\r\n\r\nKim, my middle daughter, had a horse show on Saturday. She did fabulous again! The horse she”s riding had his last race 12-29-15. If anyone knows anything about TB race horses they understand they are FAST! Any spook can send them into a full blown run, in a panic. This guy has been a doll. Kim has a way with horses and even though he was scared every show he is tons better then the last show both in skill and in tolerating all the people, dogs, flags, and strange things that can panic even a seasoned show horse. Kory hasn”t seen a horse show since she was a teen. It was great she went and now can relate to what Kim is talking about.\r\n\r\nPhoto Kim with John and Holly Steinmeyer, the great couple who breed, raise, train and race their own TB”s, (Thoroughbreds) owners of Turbo Pup. They start their horses with real training so when they retire from racing the horses can move into another career, like Turbo is doing. Photo of Kim, Kory, and Ford showing off Kim”s Ribbons. Turbo Pup is in the stall behind them.\

​Kory stayed at Kim and Justin”s house Saturday night and they all went on a 10 mile bike ride Sunday. We have a very active family!\r\n\r\nKory and Ford, my grandson, (Kim, is his mom) ran a 5 K race on Memorial day. Ford is only 9 years old, and it was his first race ever. He has been wanting to run with Kory, but with her living in FL its hard. They ran in Belleville. Ford was the youngest in the race and finished 13th over all! He also won a medal for second place in the 14 year old and younger class! The boy who got first in the class was 3rd over all. He was very fast too! A couple of the fast runners came over to congratulate Ford and tell him just how fast he really is. He loved it! I think Kory has a running partner anytime she”s in the area. He”s so fast he finished 3 minutes ahead of her. She”s going to have to step up her pace!\r\n\r\nA couple pre-run photos getting ready, then the start, with Ford in the lead. He stayed in the front of the pack for over a mile! Then a post run photo with Fords younger brother, Maverick, showing his support. Talk about another fun day!\

5-15-16 We help rescued dogs and cats as much as we can. I was at a horse show helping my daughter yesterday when I got a call from a transport coordinator we often help out. She had called the house but Art isn’t good with accents so he had her call me as he couldn’t understand what she was saying. They were flying a dog from Texas to somewhere north in little leapfrog hops from one small airport to another. There is a list of wonderful pilots who have the small planes and want to also help get critters from a bad place to a good place. She said the weather was turning and hoped we could overnight if north of us kept the pilots grounded. I was at the show so called Art and interpreted for him. He was glad to go get the dog where ever they needed to meet bring her here, care for her and then take her back to catch her next flight out. This beautiful husky/mix girl is less then a year old, was in a pound where she was going to be euthanized. She got rescue but will take awhile to recover, she is still a bag of bones. She’s a happy girl. I will never understand how people can let this happen to their dog. From the breeder on down to wherever – whoever had her. Its cause for extreme depression so I don’t want to go there and we can’t take in more dogs as crazy as it is here at the farm at this time. Its heartbreaking. Please help relatives, friends and neighbors spay and neuter pets they can’t afford to get fixed, or are simply too disorganized to get them taken to the vets for surgery!

My daughter Kim showed Turbo Pup a gray Thoroughbred (TB) of John and Holly Steinmeyers 5 -14-16. It was only Turbos 4th ever show. He was just retired from racing after his last race 12-30-15. Kim has been taking lessons from John whom she took lesson from when she was a kid in Pony Club. They are a great couple and Kim really excels with John reminding her of the things she knew as a kid and riding was so much easier, and also getting her to progress farther then she has been. He loves her as she loves the horses, loves to jump, and is one of those rare people who the horses also love and do well for. They didn”t have a hard time talking Kim into riding Turbo for the 2016 show season. Its not a true hard core season as they both have families and still believe showing is not the end all, but that family comes first and any shows that can be squeezed in are icing on the cake. As usual for Kim she did excellent! Turbo has won high point for TB points for the Thoroughbred Helping thoroughbred association competition for ex-race horses in each show with Turbo so far. It really is a salute to John and Holly for starting their TB”s with great training and care so when they are done racing they can have a new career as a sport horse. A few pictures, 2 from 5-14 and 1 from the very first show. Not all the ribbons are shown. This last show she placed first or second in every class she entered. It was a windy cold day so hard to get your horse to strut his stuff, and not be spooking at everything instead! His not even afraid of ribbons flapping anymore, like the first show! Or when he about jumped out of his skin when I handed Kim a bottle of water. Horses scare easily in any new situation, its fight or flight. In just a few shows we can hand things to Kim, and she can even take off her coat and hand it over without any spooking from Turbo. He is a really terrific sane horse. He learns so fast!! Some horses can take months to get over scary things like that.

5-11-16. I guess this is the year of change! We spent all yesterday picking up my cousins personal belongings to bring down to our place as she’s now moving in also. Art had a room in the basement he called his indian room. He likes native american nick-nack type things, and he has a big TV, and a ton of movies down there from his old house. He has never watched a movie there or used the room so he offered it to my cousin. I had planned for the space to be a bedroom so it even has egress size windows fortunately. Not a big room, wish we had made it wider then we did but its ok. Now we have to find a place to absorb all the stuff that is in the room….

5-4-16. Its been too busy to post anything, or keep up with emails. I feel so bad I am weeks behind on most!

Aunt Carole has moved in as of last Wednesday. With 6 to 7 appointments a week, for Ot Pt RN and Dr, and supervising all her walking, plus making sure she has 3 real meals a day I have been pretty occupied. I have had more kitchen and slow moving time then I can remember. This sitting as a family and talking at meals like I always use to do growing up and with my kids has been terrific. I have wanted to have real meals for years but Art eats in front of the TV and likes it that way. I never know when Al is going to bring up his plate of food for me to have something at the same time. I could do without the cooking and dishes parts of it all. Cant say I miss that.

We also had a tiny almost dead puppy given to us. It was so sick I didn’t think it would make it at all. It was limp, had diarrhea, and was crying a most pitiful cry that he said it had been doing all night and all day. Said it hadn’t nursed at all since day before, just cried. Their vet didnt even check a fecal so she said. Vet said the puppy was fine. Sadly many vets don’t have a clue what to do with a tiny baby who is sick so I can believe they said they didn’t have anything for it. But why they wouldn’t at least do a fecal test is beyond me.

Today they poured the concrete footing for the new mom/Aunt’s house. We are going to nick name it “The Hen House.” My aunt collects chickens and duck figurines. The 1700’s log cabin next to them has been dubbed “The Cat House”. (Due to the fact farm cats hang out in it…) I think its really funny!

Morton building said they will probably be here the end of next week to put the shell up. I took some pictures of the building process but haven’t had time to download, or upload them. The plumbing was all laid out and the radiant heat floor tubing put down. Art did a lot of it but we hired a plumber he use to work with to figure out and supervise the actual plumbing stuff.

I’m scared to go see the finished floor. So worried the drains wont be the low spot like they are suppose to be, like every other place I have lived. I think Jay will do the floor right. We had every hold up possible. I love planning , love it finished but all this in-between actual building stuff is SO stressful!

My Aunt seems very comfortable in the guest room turned into her room here. I’m not sure she’s going to want to move over to the other house with my mom when its done. She has made it clear she would rather my mom live there and her here. Since then though I have been ordered to be sure she’s drinking 6 cups of water, or fluids a day. I think she is thinking she may prefer to be totally dehydrated and move in with my mom instead of being coaxed/pushed into drinking 6 cups of liquids. She was drinking at the most 2 cups of fluid. We’re not talking glasses but actual measured cups. Its of course not near enough fluid to keep healthy. I have been trying to give her soup or a wet type food for 1 or 2 meals a day just to help encourage more fluid going in. I need more ideas. She’s diabetic so some of the things she wants just aren’t good for her. She keeps asking for chocolate. We did stop and get a sundae after the dr office trip for a treat. I think I may get Hershey’s kisses and put one in the bottom of a couple cups of water. She’ll have to drink all the water to get to it. Brilliant isn’t it?! I told her that idea, she wasn’t impressed. ; )

4-19-16 Things I think may become just twice as busy as usual instead of three times as busy. My aunt is now in a nursing home only 15 minutes away instead of 2.5 hours away. It is now much easier to visit. Her Dr. will see her tomorrow and give us a plan for discharge. I think it will be soon, she is doing terrific 🙂

We have the guest bedroom changed into her bedroom. Unfortunately things we don’t know what to do with have been sneaking there way back in there. We also have piles of their belongings from their house stacked around the house. We have been so busy with driving, visiting her, puppies, and the once a year health clinic which was Sunday we just haven’t had time to keep up well with anything but bare basics. I did get 2 counters almost clear today. I got all the crates from the health clinic washed and put away, plus the dogs records updated with the tests they had Sunday.

Besides the health clinic taking all of Saturday and Sunday 2 westies decided to have puppies Monday. Billie Joe kept me up almost all of Sunday night. Then Monday Annie Oakley decided to beat her and had 3 puppies before Billie even had one. Billie Joe had her last puppy at midnight Monday night. I’m exhausted from lack of sleep. I worked on emails today and misc cleaning. Never a shortage of things to clean.

The yearly health clinic with the mountain of paperwork is done, well almost. I still need to finish some forms and mail it all in to OFA for them to record cardiac and eye exam results. I hope to get photos of the Westies studs who all had a fresh hair cut before they manage to get all dirty.

We are still working on moving belongings down to our house from my mom and aunts place. The new little house we are building for them is in full swing. The concrete guy, Jay, was here today and he and Art made wonderful progress getting ready for pouring footings. The weather even held out, 90% chance for rain and we didn’t get a drop! It will be such a relief when the plumbing is set and the in-floor radiant heat stuff is all set up so concrete can be poured. Keith is suppose to come by after work tonight and help with grading around the building. Chance of rain is 80% for tomorrow. Not sure we will be as fortunate tomorrow as we were today. Once the concrete is poured Morton Building will come back and put up the shell. “The shell” is the exterior walls, windows, roof, plus all the outside of the building parts. Its a metal building. They will then have done their part and we will need to do all the electrical, plumbing, and everything to finish the interior ourself. I say we and us but I really mean them. I came up with the plan and will help do Arts usual chores while he works on the house. Art is awesome. He can do anything construction, although having time to do anything is a huge issue. My family has been a huge help too. My son-in-law, Justin and son Keith, have come by and worked off and on. They also are really good with construction, but work full time and have the same time issue.

Billy too Round has a home! A family getting westie puppy in June are thrilled to adopt him. The vet thinks he is only about 8 years old. I don’t know how he can been sure to be 14 by the lady who had him for 4 years, and then guessed at 8. He looks more like 8 though. Healthy, and doesn’t have any age related problems but walking a bit stiff in the rear end and needing a dental. Both can be common for 8 year old dogs. We are thrilled we were able to help him get a home.

4-10-16. Well despite how crazy it is we had a call someone lost their house and had to move to an apartment that doesn’t accept pets. They found a home for their younger dog but they had called everyone and no one would take their 14 year old cavalier. We of course said we will take him and hopefully find a terrific home for him, as its a bit crazy here… But if not we love old dogs anyway. “Billy” is a doll!! (Art calls him “Billy Too Round”, as he is a bit pudgy) He’s perfectly housebroken, loves kids, great with dogs and cats, typical very sweet happy cavalier. She had insisted he was 10 when she got him and had him 4 years. I would have guessed him to be about 9 years old. He looks great, very cute black and tan. A bit on the pudgy side, and a bit stiff in the hips. He does stairs with no problem at all and can jump onto the couch too. He barks if he really needs out and no one notices, he slept in her bed, so we let him sleep with us. He likes to be at the foot of the bed. He does snore. I don’t think I have ever heard a dog snore as much as he does unless its a smash faced dog like a pug, or frenchie. He is current on shots. He does need his teeth cleaned. I don’t think she has had them down the time she had him. We wont have an adoption fee but will require he have an appointment made before adopting to have a dental done.

So please spread the word! He is a perfect gentleman and would be perfect for someone who wants a super easy cuddly dog. Also would be perfect for someone who simply would love to give a sweet old dog a great home and also wants a puppy. He would play with the puppy and a puppy would learn a lot about housebreaking by following him outside.

4-8-16 Its been a roller coaster week! Aunt Carole is doing great. Still in the hospital but hope to be discharged to here or skilled nursing in a few days. Waiting on test results. She didnt have a stroke it was some kind of infection. Yesterday they were very concerned about her mental status. We seen her last night and I again explained that she really seems to be quite herself. They were happy to hear the confusion isn’t a negative change in her status, but is really pretty normal. 🙂 She at least is a very sweet agreeable confused person. Cant say the confusion works the same way with my mom, who also would be considered confused by typical standards….

My mom is still here. They live to far for her to go home and be able to get a ride to the hospital in Peoria to visit Aunt Carole. Aunt Carole we believe will move from the hospital directly here, or after skilled nursing to here. Fortunately 2 of the 3 sons are all happy with the plan. We have spent days trying to move stuff around in the house to be able for them to both live here and have a place for their stuff until their little house is completed. The guest bedroom is coming in handy, but trying to empty it is quite the challenge when we have been moving both their belonging here all winter long every trip we have made up there. The loft is about packed full of furniture and stuff.

I can’t wait for the house to be done so my mom has her own space! I can’t get any work done with the million questions and criticism’s coming my way distracting me. I apparently have lost (or never had) the ability to concentrate with background noise!

4-5-16 Awful last 4 days, well 3 days. Saturday went to Princeton for my moms celebration of her 80th birthday with the family up that way. It was a super long day, 3.5 to 4 hour drive each way and then visiting. Plus had to run by her house to get more of her meds since she decided to stay with us another week, or more. She didnt think I could manage to take care of Duchess. You would have to be around my mom to understand her thought process, or lack of…. My aunt was actually is great spirits to have another week without my mom nagging her. She was happy and walking better then we had seen in awhile. All in all it was a great day to see family and my mom was as happy as she ever is.

Sunday about noon I got a call from the aunt who talks to Aunt Carole every morning about 8:30 am. Aunt C wasn’t answering her phone. She tried for hours and finally called us and another aunt. I called the neighbor. He went and knocked on the door. He didnt call back so I called him again. He had called my aunt instead of us to say he didnt get a response and the door was locked from the inside. That aunt was on her way he said.

I called the PD for them to go check on her and break a window if needed. They called and said the door was locked. I insisted they break in. A bit later they called back to say they found her on the floor. She was conscious but in a bad position and looked like she had a broken arm. They had an ambulance on the way. She was taken to the local small hospital. After the usual waiting forever for test results we heard nothing was broken, she could move all extremities but wouldn’t stay awake and was so weak she wasn’t moving much at all. I got to talk to the nurse and she said she believes they are ruling it as a TIA (mini stroke, since she really didnt fit typical stroke.) I was worried it was what my daughter brought up, DKA, which has to do with blood-sugar being to high. Still tests were all great and nothing was showing up. They admitted her. Her primary Dr. came in insisted it was a tiny stroke and sent her to Saint Frances hospital in Peoria after discussion with her 2 sons who had gone to the hospital to be with her. They wanted different hospitals but Dr. Chin insisted Peoria was the best. The aunt was really upset because she didnt look like it was a stroke at all and not happy they waited so long to get a Dr to give any orders for anything. It had been 5 hours.

On arrival at Peoria they said it was not a stroke and started treating her for an infection. Apparently her temp was barely elevated. They believe she had meningitis, or something similar. By this time she was unable to resound at all and appeared to be sleeping, or in a coma. This hospital seems terrific. I was so glad she was transferred.

We went to see her last night. She was opening her eyes and I know she recognized me even though she couldn’t really talk. She heard my moms voice and tried to find her with her eyes, no doubt also recognizing her. She even put up her hand a few times. She had her eyes open record time seeing my mom. Then back to sleep. We stayed a few hours, talked to her when she seemed awake and I adjusted her position a few times. She seemed restless. She did say “ok” a couple times. I thought she was doing great compared to what I had heard she was like last night when she didnt recognize her sons even. Once I helped her onto her side she seemed to be much more comfortable and fell into a deep sleep. Were going up there to see her again in just a few minutes after I do some puppy care.

Please say a prayer for Aunt Carole, and all the other people who are ill or injured and aren’t as lucky as she is to have a big family to worry about her and for visitors daily!

4-1-16 I couldn’t think of a single April fools joke today! Art did. Barbie Doll was in labor last night and he sat up while I got to nap first. When he woke me to take over he told me she had 5 girls! I was quite shocked as she had 2 when I went to bed at 11pm and only felt like she would have 1 or 2 more. I wish it hadn’t been a joke. Barbie Doll rested all night long. I took her to potty, rubbed her tummy, and waited. Finally after having oxytocin she went back into labor. She pushed forever. The puppy’s nose was tipped downward. Just a bit too far out of reach for me to straighten. She pushed awhile longer and when I could finally reach to move the pups chin up it came out in a gush. A nice fat little girl puppy. Didn’t have 5 but 3 fat girls.

Since I only had a few hours sleep it was particularly impossible for me to stay calm under the constant criticism, and insults bombarded at me by my mom. She has been here almost a week now. We reverted to when I was a teen yelling back and forth. I still have to get up and feed the piglets and a bottle puppy all night but hopefully I wont be so crabby tomorrow. My grandson had a karate test at 9 in the morning. My mom, his great grandma, doesn’t even want to go. She says she has “things to do”. Her typical list invokes picking up bits of fur on the floor with a tissue, (for hours on end,) wiping around the sink without actually getting the sink clean every time anyone uses the sink, and most important is sticking food and water in front of her two dogs admonishing them to to drink and eat and scolding them very irritatedly when they don’t. Fortunately she also falls asleep sitting in the chair, or on the couch and can nap through anything.

Art was going to bring my mom back on the same trip so we could celebrate her 80th birthday here since she does like to get away and my kids weren’t able to go north to celebrate their grandmas 80th. She was refusing to leave because the sheltie is old and was having a next to impossible time getting up the stairs to go back in the house. My aunt is very frail and couldn’t possibly get her up the stairs by herself. My aunt commented she was having her son come out the next day to have her put to sleep. Art went outside to call and let me know what was going on. I had Art pretty much kidnap my aunts sheltie. I insisted he tell her the dog is coming to our house. We can easily carry her up and down the front stairs. That the dog needs blood-work done to see if she has a thyroid problem, or to determine if there is a medical reason she is SO SO fat. Just because she’s older and has a bit of difficulty waking as long as she’s happy there was no reason to put her down. I bought the dog as a puppy for my aunt when she wanted a sheltie years ago. Since my mom didnt have to worry about the dog not getting up the stairs if she left she agreed to come visit. Her 2 shihtzu dogs always come with her.

We took Duchess to the vets. She is a little Shetland sheepdog, 12 or 13 years old now. She should weigh maybe 25 pounds. She was 49.5 pounds! She has a bit of difficulty getting her one back leg to work. She can’t get up the stairs she’s just too round and her hind legs have given up. She was only borderline low thyroid. They said she needs a weight watcher diet, and to start walking her twice a day as much as she can tolerate. Then to recheck her blood-work in 2 months. They felt it was simply an issue of way too many treats and not near enough exercise.

So Duchess is going to stay here for the time being. I can’t really tell what my aunt thinks about it. I just don’t think its fair to feed the dog treats all day long then put her to sleep because she has become so round she can’t move. She is now going down the stairs on her own already. She still can’t manage the top step coming up the steps which on our porch is a bit higher then the others. My mom has been taking her for pretty long walks when she walks her dogs. Duchess really loves to follow them. They are on a leash but she’s loose and just follows along. I think once we get the extra weight off her she will be able to move a million times better. I know I have gained weight and it has made it harder for me to move. I can’t imagine how hard it would be if I were twice my ideal weight. Its just hard on a body and understandable how difficult even simply walking can be.

Unfortunately my mom has decided she needs to stay down here longer so she can walk duchess. She doesn’t believe I will, or that I will have the time too walk her, or that I will stand over her to be sure she is drinking her water. Which is nice she is completely on board with getting the little dog moving better and healthier, but I was ok with her going home. I think if I don’t get more sleep to be able to be more tolerant and nicer I am going to just go move to the barn while she’s here though, or at least let all emails and correspondence lapse while I work outside all day (which I really love to do anyway…) I already can’t keep up with emails because she is yelling at me the whole time I am writing. She has informed me my job is to clean house! Being stationary in her vicinity leaves me wide open for a barrage of “you shoulds” and ” You can’t decorate anything to look good”, “don’t you know anything?” and an endless stream of questions about every aspect of anything all ending in something I am doing wrong. Art disappeared on a long bike ride today to get away (no doubt from me as much as my mom!!) and Uncle Al just laughs, argues with her, or goes downstairs to get away. He did drag me outside this evening to plant a few seeds and plants in the vegetable garden. He probably seen steam coming out my ears and decided I really had to go outside! He also has been giving me the hand signal to basically shut up. He knows any explanations or arguing is pointless so don’t get aggravated talking to a brick wall. Its actually very helpful for me. I may learn something new yet!

I am grateful we decided to build a small house and not remodel the garage. I had really forgotten how badly she can push my buttons in such a short time. Once she’s in her house it will be easier. She obsesses over what is in front of her. Coming over here to yell at me will be too hard for her to pull away from what she is doing to make it this far. I don’t know how my aunt has ever survived living with her! I do understand how she never comes down when my mom does because as she states she needs a vacation away from her.

Their house is started. The pillars, part of the footing are all up. We have rock ordered and 2x6s for the footings support also ordered. Art just needs to go pick it up. Our friend does concrete and is giving us a huge break on the labor cost. Such nice people 🙂

Well pig feeding alarm is going off…

3-27-16 Happy Easter!

Our Easter like any holiday and important event is ruled but taking care of the critters and family. Art is going to drive all the way to Arlington today as it worked best for the family adopting Kami to meet at my mom and aunts house. They have a bust schedule too and this was the best day for both of us.

He will load up a bunch of their belongings to bring back here. As much as were bring back the final move is going to be easy! He was going to pick up my mom too and bring her back also so we could celebrate her 80th birthday down here. Uncle and Al and I were then going to take her back home Friday and celebrate her birthday with the family up there.

Aunt Carol’s very overweight sheltie has been having problems getting up their stairs. I’m sure she has hip dysplasia, and with weighing 40 pounds when she should be 20 its just too hard for the little dog. Aunt Carole ran out of the dogs arthritis medication and didnt tell anyone. Poor Duchess was so sore they cant hardly get her back up the stairs into the house. My mom wont come down now because she’s stronger then my aunt and needs to be there to help get Duchess back inside. My other Aunt went and picked up the dogs medications when she discovered what was going on. She would have got it right away but this isan example of why they are moving down here. Aunt Carole simply didnt remember to ask about it. She said she was giving her an aspirin every other day or so. She doesn’t even know what dose aspirin.

While Art is up there he’s going to try and see if he can put in a quick ramp to the back door that is both safe for them and that will help the dog get up the stairs. They have only a couple steps in the back and 4 or 5 steps in the front.

Once the house is done here they wont have any steps at all. Both them and the dog will have a much easier time! I will also be able to check that the dogs get their medications and will be able to take Duchess in for bloodwork. She may have thyroid issue too. I tried hard to talk A Carole into letting Dutchess come down here with my mom and Art. Then we dint have to worry about her and the stairs. I also was going to take her to our vets for a check up. Aunt Carole doesn’t want her to come down without her, and she herself doesn’t want to either until they move down. She enjoys the time away from my mom.

The piglets are now doing terrific. We are down to feeding every 1.5 hours and just last night I tried every 2 hours through the night. I think I will do 2 hours in the day too and try to get them eating pig pellets. They nose around in them lots, but I’m not sure they are actually eating them. I have tried with milk and with water. They are just too messy and it looks like more is smeared all over them and the floor then eaten.

We discovered pig lice on the 2 big hampshires pigs. They are the grossest things ever! Pig lice are pig specific at least no other animal will get infested. Apparently they came with the boar we borrowed to breed them too. Amazingly googling it several people said vegetable oil will kill them. Art and I greased down the girls as best we could and it really seems to have worked. We only seen one bug on an ear that didnt get oiled. We re-oiled them again and haven’t seen any. The information said to be sure to repeat in 10 days to get any new ones that hatched. Never had a bug be so easy to get rid of and no nasty chemicals! The pigs are much happier. They aren’t itching and rubbing on things. Here we thought they just liked a good scratch… Poor pigs! In reading it sounds like some places have pigs who are just covered in them and miserable. They were so easy and cheap to get grid of I can’t understand why anyone has a problem with them. So sad. Its why I would rather raise it ourself. We may not be perfect but we try hard to be sure they are healthy and happy!

The 11 baby pigs the one big hampshire gilt had has are also doing terrific (was 13 originally but she did accidentally lay on 2 when they were tiny). They play like puppies, climb on moms head and pull on her ears. One found a stick and then another baby seen it and they played tug with it. She’s a great mom. She lays down very carefully trying not to mash her babies. The babies run all about then when sleepy they heap in a little pig pile. I can’t get over how much they are like puppies. This pig mom is easily as good a mom as the dog moms are. The only difference is just how much time even the tiny babies spend rotting. Its great the soil is currently nice and dry. They push dirt all over. Mom as rototiller her entire pen into fluffy dirt. When it rains its going to be a pig pen….

Ford, my oldest grandson, asked his dad if they could have a girl one. Dad pointed out they will raise it and eat it. He didnt like that idea. I suggested well take 2. you can raise and eat the boy and then send the girl back to our house. We were planning on keeping one of the girls anyway. His dads uncle had a huge hog farm he worked on growing up and he has no desire to have anything to do with hogs other then eating them. He did like to see the babies play and he’s not afraid of mom and scratches her.

3-23-16 Theres so much going on and I am too exhausted to even think! Baby pigs the first Large Black gilt had but wouldn’t take care of have been a huge unexpected project! One had a broken tail so the day they were born we took it to the vets and told them mom wont feed them. They said they will probably all get diarrhea and die. She amputated the tail as a broken tail is not a good thing to leave. The commercial pigs all get their little tails amputated so they wont eat each others tails. She said without that first colustrum they don’t really have a chance. They need to be fed often and we could try goat colostrum. I had already given them a couple bottles of goat milk and probiotics. Often was every 20 minutes! At night I tried every 2 hours the first night but then as expected one got sick and was very ill with horrible diarrhea. I was feeding every 20 minutes. First one looked half dead. I had to make him eat and he was throwing up. I added pedialite to their goat milk. I have seen puppies who couldn’t handle just milk and needed fluids that didnt require digestion. He was still taking a bottle but so weak. Then the next 2 got sick too. The fourth was doing great for a couple days. The male started to get better and the one who had her tail amputated looked so bad I didnt think she could make it. Bloody diarrhea. I almost took her and had her euthanized she was just so miserable throwing up when I made her drink and watery diarrhea. She was so sick it was terrible.

The healthy huge girl then got diarrhea. It was so awful. I kept putting the bottle in their mouth and making them drink little bits as often as I could. Very slowly they started to drink some on their own without me forcing it. The vet gave us amoxicillin for them and another kind of probiotic. It was all working. 3 of the piglets were getting stronger even if they still had the worst diarrhea I had ever seen. Little stumpy was so sick though. After a few days she started to get up and sometimes wanted the bottle! I kept expecting them to just lay down and give up. They are very tough little critters though!

Amazing everyone of them not only made it but now almost 2 weeks later they are fat robust healthy babies! I was even able to slowly get them down to feeding every 1.5 hours round the clock. Just yesterday Art started taking over the early morning feedings since he was up anyway. Not sure why he didnt sooner. I actually got to be in bed for 8 hours last night! not straight had to get up 3 times to feed the babies but to be able to sleep 3 hours straight this morning while he fed them and to be able to go back to bed made such a huge difference!

We got some pig pelted feed and are trying to get them to eat it from a pan. They are worse then puppies with making a mess and not much actually going in. So with the babies on the mend and slowly getting more time before feedings life is getting back to the normal crazy, but this over the top sleepless exhaustion. I really feel for parents with infants, ill children, or spouses.

3-6-16 I went out to enjoy the wonderful spring weather and sees all the critters I miss so much being stuck in the house while Art gets all the fun chores. Had to track him down to point out big pig wasn’t out eating with her sister. Pigs are pigs, not much will keep them from dinner! Labor will. We hadn’t figured out just what we were going to do for separating them. She was in the house they usually share. Art quickly boarded her up into the house so the babies couldn’t get too far away from mom and crazy pig couldn’t try to get in there with the mom and soon to be piglets.

Art kept feeding crazy pig to keep her occupied. I decided pallets could be put together to fence across the 3 sided shed and keep crazy pig confined that way. she is also due to deliver at some point. She likes to sneak up behind us and I am pretty sure will bite. Art is very handy and quickly put up a pallet fence and gate and we bribed crazy pig into the new enclosure with more food and locked her in.

Meanwhile big pig was very much having signs of labor and soon started having babies! We were mortified as she is so huge they would be crushed so we were carefully taking them out, drying them off, and I would run them into the house where they would stay warm. She managed to sit on one that Art couldn’t get her off of in time. Poor baby didn’t make it. She sat on another but we were able to get her off in time. We were able to get all the others out and safe. She had 13 total!! Once we thought she was done we started putting them back in terrified she would just eat them, or roll over on top of them. Son-in-law worked on his families hog farm and said they really don’t usually mash them, and when he learned I had them in the house adamantly said go put them back with mom! She was flat on her side shivering. We had put some hay over her which seemed to help warm her up. It wasn’t cold but 13 babies your first time has got to be stressful! The first little guy we put in ran along her side and then stopped laying right up against her mouth. We held her breath praying she didn’t just gobble him up. Instead she started making these low noises calling to him. Had to be the cutest thing ever. Really need to remember the video camera! We put them all back a couple at a time and the little things could run all over but lined up perfectly nursing. Mom didnt move. Then we were worried “oh no something is wrong with her!” Why isn’t she moving?

We had heat lamps and the windows covered over to keep draft out and checked on them often. Mom eventually got up and ever so carefully would be sure no one was under her, shoving them with her nose into a heap and then lay down flat on her side and call them. They would come at a run and all nurse. Its so different then any other babies I have seen. they are very agile, and look like perfect tiny replicas of mom! Mom does hold very very still flat on her side when they are nursing. [CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90]



3-5-16 Emergency c-section yesterday for Bellini, (we had her spayed since she needed a c-section) then we didn’t think she could pee this morning so back to the vets with her today. Driving back and forth to the vets is not at all what we expected to be doing for last 2 days. The 2 surviving babies look premie and mom has never had babies. She is a bit too rough so I am holding them while they nurse every 2 to 3 hours, for at least 20 minutes. They are in a box on a heating pad the rest of the time. Being consistently warm is SO important for newborns and even more so if they were a couple days early. Nothing better then moms milk either, or I could bottle which would be faster for me but not as good for the babies….. So back to being really tired with getting up in the night. Hopefully mom will relax as they get stronger, or I can sneak them into Skittles litter when she has babies. By then they should be a bit sturdier I hope. They seem to be doing well.

Today we need to move pigs around. 2 or 3 of them should be having babies very soon…. We don’t really have a great place if the moms can’t have them with the other mom in the same paddocks.

We keep hearing different things. One to separate the due mom to have pigs into a enclosed smallish space all by herself.

The other is to let them have pigs where they are. 2 gilts are in one huge paddock with a little “house” that was a chicken coop. They wallowed up their other shed they have in there so badly its too muddy now to be a second “house” or even a shelter at all. We’re thinking of ways to make the floor “pig proof.”

The other 3 are the purebred heritage breed Large Blacks, a young boar and 2 gilts in another paddock. They have a single house and all sleep piled up together. The pot bellied pig is fenced in the corner of their pen all by herself. If we take her out and put her elsewhere then they could have her house for a second house in that pen…

I don’t want the other pigs to hurt the newborns but trying to separate them all individually is a bit difficult…. They are getting quite large!

It’s so hard when you really have no direct experience yourself. We have only raised the 7 we purchased as weaned pigs starting 14 months ago. (2 were barrows and went to the butcher.) We have the 2 sister we got with the barrows, and then purchased the 3 purebred register Large Black pigglets last spring. We have no other experience….

Miss piggy doesn’t really count. She was a rescued pot bellied pig who all we do is feed and water her.

What to do what to do…. I think we will separate the big hampshire girls to each have their own space, and then leave the 3 Large Blacks in the pen together. They are much more mild mannered then the hampshires. We will take miss piggy out so they can then choose to have their babies in the second house if they want.

3-2-16 I had a full nights sleep last night! The dogs let me sleep until 4:30am. I went to bed earlier then usual so thats not as early as it may seem. One of the techs, actually 2 sisters who work at the vet clinic we go to all the time really likes bottle babies. She took both the cleft palette puppies home with her. I never use to let them go anywhere until they were eating food well and 8 weeks old. I think age has made sleep such a strong need that if someone is very capable and experienced and wants our bottle babies I am all for letting them be the one getting up at all hours. Plus I know they screen the families who will adopt them later. She also wanted a frenchie puppy really bad but couldn’t justify the expense, so we gave her one on a breeding contract. In brief the pup lives with them, we own until she’s done having babies for us and is spayed. They then keep her as a pet. They love the pugs too. When we/Uncle Al gets a brindle puppy female it will probably get to go live with her too. It works well for all of us. Dogs get lots more attention and get to be full time house pets. We have a couple dogs in homes like this now, Tucker our Cavalier stud who we can hardly use as he’s related to most of our girls, and Bea a Shar Pei. We are super particular as to who this may work with but so far its been great.

2-28-16. I have to say it again, how we meet the nicest people! Great family picking up their cavalier puppy this morning and another family who wanted to come see the Westies and visit in person before putting down a deposit. Both puppies are going to have terrific homes. I wish my brain held a ton more information because we meet the greatest people just all the time! But in a couple weeks (or hours depending on what my memory is doing,) I wont remember a thing unless I hear something specific that sparks the memory. I was born with dementia I think. Oh well, no one is perfect. Just please remember I don’t barely remember anyone, especially names, its not that your not very memorable if we meet again, or talk and I am at a loss. Why I really love emails. When I read them it really helps my memory kick into gear.

This last week has been record breaking busy; New puppies born, lots of them, 2 with cleft palettes that need around the clock feeding, moms who keep laying on their babies on accident so I have to be close and rescue the babies as needed, I had the flu, a snow storm one morning that was really impressive, and knocked out the power causing my computer to lose 2 weeks worth of photos out of iPhoto, really don’t understand why/how that could happen, and I’m sure there are more things that happened but I’m to tired and memory has left again. (boy that is a run on sentence if I have ever seen one!) Anyway I hate being sick. Poor Art wasn’t feeling great either and I would start on something then walk off telling him I have to go sit down and promptly fall asleep. I only managed to really keep up with feeding babies. I have not slept so much in I think 5 years, the last time I got sick like that. Time-lines are also my enemy, it may have been last year… I don’t think so though I have lots of allergies but rarely get sick anymore. Echenacia, an herb, is an immune system booster supplement that changed my life from sickly and forgetful to just forgetful. I only take it when I think I am getting sick, but the flu hit so fast I didn’t know it was going to happen! At least it only lasted about 24 hours. Lack of sleep making me loopy is going to last much longer with bottle babies….

All the new puppies are posted on the various pages. We still have 2 westies due to deliver soon. I think then we have a month before anyone else is due. Spring hit hard this year! At least all the goats were done proliferating early and the 5 older kids are almost off bottles, the last 2 will need them awhile longer. We may have 2 pregnant donkeys. We kept the jack separated from the other 2, well he is sneaky, we think we kept him from the other 2. Last year one of the spotted jenny’s had a solid brown baby. 2 spotted parents make spotted babies. Billy Jack, our solid black jack, had obviously managed to get through the fence. The boys were fighting when we found him on the wrong side at some point the year before and put him back in with his own girls. Apparently the 2 jacks weren’t fighting the whole time! The other baby was spotted and his mom solid so we know Jesse was the correct dad for him. They take 11 to 12 months to have a baby!

Well I hear an aggravated baby. Its probably “lost” either 4 inches away from mom, or on the wrong side of her and upset because its hungry and can’t find dinner. Poor babies really have it rough. Mom sits on you, steps on you starves you, and then just lays there while you are clearly completely lost and crying! We do have just a very few moms who will pick up their puppies if they creep away and bring them back. Minnie is very good at fetching her babies and putting them where she is going to lay down, also good at moving if she sits on one. Others get up and go sit by the lost baby, leaving the whole pile to then cry because mom left. Moms then get very upset not knowing what to do, then generally walk around too much worried, stepping on the babies and making them cry even more. Others just completely ignore the baby crying piteously. Just no response. Maybe they think, “well I am right here its your problem if you want to lay over there screaming”. I can’t imagine what else they could think?

Thoughts from the past. I had a German Shepherd a very long time ago. She tried picking them up, they screamed. She tried sitting by the “lost baby”, but then the others screamed they were lost. Amazingly she started staying where she was with the big group, and started howling which would get my attention to come fix the situation and give her the lost baby. She really was that smart. She had just kept trying until she hit on a solution. She no doubt watched me all day long pick them up and put them back with her anytime I heard them cry. I was usually at beck and call… Loved that dog, Kayla. Even when she howled in the middle of the night for me to get the baby for her. (She was wasn’t perfect, she was way too dog aggressive.) We would have to keep her in the house when her babies were getting adopted. I made the mistake once of having her out and when she seen her pup be put into that strange car she was going to go through the window to get it back. If she didn’t see it leave she didn’t count well so she was ok. We kept a puppy a couple times. The times we didn’t it was heartbreaking, she would search for the missing puppy.

Kalya loved people. Not obnoxious just easy going and happy. One time we had an acquaintance come visit. Kayla walked out and before the lady could walk up the porch steps Kayla had reared up on her hind legs without touching the lady , quite a feat for a big german shepherd, staring her full in the face not making a sound. It was very eerie. I got ahold of her collar and pulled her away. I had never seen her act that way toward anyone! I wouldn’t sell her one of my collie babies she had come to see, after Kayla’s reaction to her.

Later I learned the lady was not quite right. She found an adult collie somewhere else she got, bought or “found,” after I wouldn’t sell her a puppy. She said it was going bald. I was concerned asked a million questions then decided to just go see it. On arrival the air coming out the door made my eyes start to water terribly. The smell was overpowering, not just stink but ammonia from old urine. She was collecting up dogs she would find on the street. Her thought was well they weren’t taking care of them leaving them in danger like that so she would take them and keep them. She felt they had a good home with her and were loved and kept safe. One was someones purebred english bulldog. They weren’t just dogs. She had a extra tiny block house, lived in town where there was a 3 dog limit and was only taking them out to potty for short bits after dark, when she was home. The rest of the time most were in crates they barely fit in. Several roamed around. Pee stains on the walls, floor and furniture. She had 13 dogs and a daughter in grade school. I told her flat out, the dog both has fleas, as do the others but it also is completely stressed out. Its just too much being around all these dogs, in a small place and the air quality being terrible. I can be pretty blunt. I told her take the dog back to the place she got it. It is never going to get its hair back here. I probably tried to be politically correct. The poor dog looked very sad and very stressed. We discussed the situation. She didn’t understand. Now I know she was a hoarder. Not sure they had a name for it then. I know I gave her a really hard time about her making children cry not knowing what happened to their best friend, when she would just take dogs. Not all dogs are lost, and if they are they need help to get home, not hidden away! I think I did get through to part of her brain with that thought but she was SO set in concrete the people had to be bad people for their dog to be on/near the road.

My kids told me the daughter rode on their bus. That she smelled so bad getting on the bus the driver would make her put her winter coat into a garbage bag. Apparently state was already on the situation, but certainly not doing enough, fast enough. She had told me she did take the collie back but I don’t know what happened to the other dogs and I can’t remember if I turned her in or what I did. She moved not long after and her daughter I heard lived with her grandfather, I think she lived there too. So strange how some dogs really do know when somethings not right. I am so glad I trusted Kayla’s reaction, both by not letting her have one of our pups and insisting on seeing the collie who was going bald.

2-7-16. We have another set of twin goat kids born 2-5. Art found them very chilled flat out on their side. Natasha, who was one of the kids who was born on Christmas day 2 or 3 years ago and is on the website someplace, had them in what should have been a good spot in the barn. Kids are often born in chilly weather. Not sure why they got so cold. They must have been born just after Art was in the barn about 3 hours earlier. We have found them up walking in colder weather then this. So glad it wasn’t a super cold day! They warmed up fine and are doing well. Very spotted buck kids. Super cute, and as usual are now temporary bathtub babies.

We had 4 families out today, one to get a frenchie puppy, and see the farm, and 3 to see dogs and puppies. We meet the very nicest people! The family with small children loved seeing the pigs, horses, and goats. Their little boy had a big handful of feathers. Typical boy tossed the pretty peacock feather with the blue iridescent “eye” and kept the sturdy big wing type feathers he found. Its so fun to watch kids make choices. The little girls often do chose a mix of iridescent feathers and the sturdy big feathers. I think I am the only one who loves the little down feathers that are like a puffy cloud. If I were creative I could make all kinds of things with the huge range of feathers laying about. If you would like peacock feathers and visit please ask for some. I have a giant vase of them and often give them out to those who express interest. The peacocks lose all their tail feathers every winter. I try to collect as many as I can, both for the vase and to have plenty to give away.

Art taped the Puppy Bowl today! I only seen a tiny bit for the very first time last year. He taped the whole thing this year so we could watch it when we had the chance. I just love it! I think its the best thing I have seen on TV in forever. 🙂 We often watch our puppies playing and I love to talk for them. Too funny that someone smart put it all together on TV. Love they promote rescue! Trying to make video’s of the cute things we get to see daily is on the list of things I would love to figure out! Right now we could have a variety of puppies and new born goat kids bouncing about… I bought a great little video camera. I can even download into iPhoto. I can’t seem to figure out how to cut it or upload it to emails, or tell if its high definition or pixels or something or the lower kind. Its “file is too Large” the computer tells me. I can’t even figure out how to “back up” the computer, which I am suppose to be doing. Its pretty hopeless getting me to figure out what is now “average” techno stuff to most people!

Hope everyone had a terrific day!

2-4-16. Things have been SO busy. Every spare moment is used to catch up on paperwork, or work on the project of converting the garage into an “apartment” for my mom and aunt. In other words there is no such thing as a spare moment. I have been accused of being a workaholic and having ADD and OCD. I’m not sure why. Doesn’t everybody work nonstop, at either a “have to do job” or on hobbies, and don’t most people like things done in a way that is organized, and also wander about doing part of everything back and forth because everything overlaps? Like laundry you can’t just sit and watch it wash, you go do other things then start more laundry when that load is done. Then the phone rings so you can only do quiet things, that don’t involve reading, very hard (well really not possible) to read and listen at the same time, as long as you don’t need to ever straighten your neck again after trying to hold the phone on your shoulder while working on something for hours on end….. After 1.5 years just this week I learned how to use the ear piece Art got me to prevent the neck issue. My neck just hurt so bad being on the phone so much. I have too much to do to stop and just chat. The house phones have blue ray or tooth or something and if the ear piece is charged I can now really have my hands free without a kink in my neck! Its brilliant! I “should” have been brave enough to use it a long time ago. My neck and shoulders might not chronically hurt. I am so happy with the ear piece, even while I feel so dumb for not using it sooner! Techno stuff is not my strong point. Oops Art just walked through and seen the phone had “line in use” on. I guess I have to actually hit the off button for it to hang up, even if the other person hangs up, an example of not so good with techno stuff…. No wonder the phone hasn’t been ringing last couple hours!

My moms un-healing spot turned out to not be cancer. Talk about a huge weight lifted! I knew I was worried but I had no idea how much until the results were negative. I think she has a guardian angel watching out for her. Prayers for those who are fighting cancer, and those who are worrying about it for someone else! We each have this moment in time, never knowing what the next moment may bring. I try to smile and make the very most of this moment all the time. Worrying is so hard and exhausting!

The puppies have kept us hopping! My uncle is south for 6 weeks or so and we are taking care of his dogs too. He often folded the dogs blankets (I did tend to dump it into his favorite chair, when they were dry. hmm think that was on purpose?) I didn’t realize how much he folded until he was gone and Art or I have to do it! We wash a LOT of laundry! About 3 or 4 giant loads everyday just in dog stuff. Plus we kept his pug puppies in extra long because with the short noses they seem more sensitive to getting colds in cold weather. Its so much nicer when the puppies get to move to the indoor-outdoor kennel. They can take themselves out to potty, and they have more room to run and play. We just weren’t sure how smart they are to go inside if they felt chilled so couldn’t take them out with it being so cold out.

The baby goats (5) are all growing great. I finally dis-budded them. I really should have done it a couple weeks ago. Art gives them their bottles now so I didn’t see how big the horn buds were growing. Another doe is looking like she only has a few weeks and she will kid too. Iris one of our adult does is apparently male with all female parts. She has had kids, although none have made it probably because if strange hormones. She gives 2 gallons of milk a day when milking, much more then any other goat we have. She also acts just like a buck, both fighting with the buck and also reacting to the other does when they are in season. She would be perfect for the farm who doesn’t have a buck so they could tell when their does are ready to take to the bucks place to be bred. But here it has started to be a problem. The buck and her were head butting each other to the point they were going to be hurt. We had to separate them for a few days. The critters always have something going on!

3 of the gilts (pigs who have not had babies yet are called gilts, they will be sow’s once they have had babies) are looking pregnant. Only the 2 big hampshires were suppose to be but we seen the baby boar breeding one of the young gilts. We had no idea he could do that yet. We didn’t want to separate the 3 young pigs since he needed company too and he has been with 2 gilt babies since we got them as little babies. The 3 really like each other and always sleep snuggled up together, even when it was hot they would sleep touching. We really don’t know a whole lot about hogs but do like these LBH heritage pigs. The man we “rented” the huge Large Black Hog boar from to breed the 2 hampshire girls gave us lots of pointers. Photo of him farther down the page. They are so easy going and not scary and aggressive like the hampshires are.

The goose who we raised from an orphan baby never migrated. We thought he would. He seems to be happy to just hang out. His favorite spot is by the duck pen. We tried to get him to go in the pen so he could go in the hut in the snowy cold snap we had but he flew back out. Even the ducks didn’t hang out in their hut. They all sat out in the cold. It was weird. He fly’s into and out of the various pastures and pens as he pleases. Never into the dog pens. He intimidates many of the dogs when we are hand walking them. He apparently knows some would eat him and he doesn’t approach them. He snacks out of any bucket of feed that he can reach from any of the critters except the dogs. Fortunately he isn’t dumb and doesn’t stick his head through a fence where there are dogs. He will eat out of the pig pan and they have never offered to hurt him. Art is his very favorite and he will follow him around. I need to get a picture when they are talking to each other!

I hope to go to bed and get 8 hours sleep. I really do best on 8 hours. Art has been super nice and gets up with the dogs who want out a million times a night and lets me sleep most of the time. But then since I am crabby when sleepy it’s probably worth it to let me sleep! He unfortunately never sleeps well even if the dogs are quiet all night. I’m close to narcoleptic and he’s close to insomniatic. Its almost 9pm. I’m going to let all the dogs all out for the millionth time, clean up and start another load of wash, and then head to bed!

1-20-16. The new year has started out way too busy and stressful. Still working on moving my mom and aunt here every chance we get. With full schedules everyday all day it is much harder then I realized it would be. Seems so simple: empty the garage and build a few walls, plumbing and stuff. We haven’t even managed to empty the garage yet! We really appreciate the patience we have been given with those waiting for photos of their new babies, and paperwork. Although I do think I have caught up on all the paperwork more then a month old.

I had another aunt call me to tell me my mom had been to the Dr. 2 days ago. The same one who let me know my mom had a “mosquito bite” that has been bothering her for 3 months. After hearing about the bug bite I had insisted my mom go to the Dr. It took a few weeks of nagging at her, but she did go and get it looked at. The Dr. said any un-healing sore is cancerous. What I had worried it could be. Were waiting on the results. They did take the spot off right then and stitch her up. The fact they jumped on it so fast has me extra worried. We may need to hire someone to help us get this house project finished in record time if she needs chemo or radiation. They will both need lots more help then they can get up there. Plus someone to be sure they actually eat.

12-31-15 The last day of 2015. I still vividly remember 1999 turning into 2000. It was such a huge thing! yet it also was just another day and year gone by… Although I can’t say I remember any specifics at all other then my oldest was going to be graduating highs school in 2000.

This year has been a very bumpy road but wonderful at the same time. I believe in living each day to the fullest so don’t really do any new year resolutions since most days I try to do my best. Although I do believe in really thinking about how the past has gone and what I would change to have a more productive and helpful future. The start of the new year is a great time to think of the past year and what to look forward to in the next year. I probably need to be more realistic one of these years of what is actually possible to complete in any given day 🙂

Since I’m a workaholic all I can picture is lots of unfinished projects getting completed and all kinds of new ideas to implement! I really would love to build a huge facility for dogs to rescue out of animal control facilities, with volunteers who want to train the dogs and socialize them so they can be adopted into wonderful homes.

It has been so hard to adopt the rescued dogs into new homes. Even the lovely well behaved dogs often took a very long time. Now we only have a few lovely well behaved dogs still waiting, like Lassie, but mostly have the ones who are true projects. Since we don’t have any volunteers if I have a News Years resolution it is to work with the rescued dogs to help them be more adoptable. They may be happy here in their safe little space where theres not a lot of change. They don’t understand they don’t need a safe little space, that there is a whole world out there that would be fun to explore with a wonderful person, or family who thinks they are worth the time to teach them the world doesn’t always bite you!

Prayers for a Happy, Healthy, Wonderful, New Year for everyone!!

12-29-15 2015 is almost over! I can’t believe both how much has happened and how fast time has gone by with stuff not happening fast enough. I’m not sure how that can be, opposites…

Pippy decided to have puppies 12-26. Labor wasn’t progressing so we took her to the vets for another emergency c-section. He said it looked like 2 puppies were trying to be born at the same time, but everything was fine. She has 4 nice puppies. 2 were hard to revive and I watched them for hours to be sure they came both out of anesthesia and also just from stress of a delayed birth. I supplement fed them the first 2 days as needed. Nothing stresses a puppy more then being cold or dehydrated. Both are simple fixes to give them a good start. Mom and the puppies are all doing fine and I haven’t had to supplement them since.

Jelly Bean didn’t want to be left out of the full moon excitement at Christmas time. She went into labor and had 2 puppies in the evening. She then fell asleep and rested for hours. 6.5 hours later she went back into labor and had 2 more puppies on 12-27 early morning! All are doing great. Art and I were both exhausted. I woke Art up for the very early morning shift to get 2 hours sleep because we just weren’t sure if she was resting and going to have a 5th puppy. She didn’t have another. I had a few more hours sleep until the phone started to ring.

So 2 c-sections, another delivery and baby goats all within 4 days! Hmm it doesn’t seem only 2 days since all that happened!

Yesterday I went horse trailer shopping with my middle daughter. My trailer is not in good shape and I wouldn’t risk putting a horse in it. Kim has a big 4 horse trailer but its so big its difficult for just short trips to shows and lessons. Plus its a 5th wheel and we don’t have a truck that can hail a 5th wheel. We are set up for a bumper pull. We decided we could each only afford a nice lightweight trailer if we go in on it together. I rarely use a trailer so its fine its kept at her place 6 miles away. I like knowing one is available if needed. With horses I love the security of having a trailer available.

Other stuff has been happening too. My son finished the insulation in the barn shop. We almost have the garage empty. Really not sure what is taking so long. I think its just true lack of available time. We have hay being delivered again tomorrow. The horse’s, goats and donkeys have already ate 200 bales of hay and we still have green grass. I think all this rain is wasting a big part of it. It normally lasts much longer when there is still some grass out there.

The wind blew the big barn door off, tore sheets of tin off the barn roof, blew over the ducks hut, and the mini horses hut. Between so much rain which caused standing, or flowing water everywhere and the wind it has been a rough weekend! We spent hours digging ditches to keep water from puddling in the dogs exercise yards. Plus putting rock in the critters huts to raise them above the standing, flowing water. The poor pig had made such a wallow they ruined their nice dry hut. We had to take off the door for the old chicken coop so they could get into the little house where it was dry. Last spring we had torrential rains also. I’m so glad it wasn’t ice or snow. I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be if it was that cold! I remember seeing pictures of poor cattle in a pasture that had become a frozen lake a few years back. It was horrible. It makes you appreciate how much worse it could be. Prayers for all those who have been truly flooded or weather beaten and all the critters affected by this weather!

12-25-15 Merry Christmas!! New babies from yesterday, pug babies and mom are doing great, and goat mom and kids are all doing great. Art wants to go on a bike ride today and I hope to do some major cleaning in the garage. We did finally get 90% of the stuff moved out. (garage project into apartment for mom and aunt is in an earlier post). Hopefully my son will come to visit. Rest of the family is scattered, or at their homes and enjoying the day. Prayers for everyone on this special day!

12-24-15 Merry Christmas Eve!!

Never a dull moment! We had company for the last several days, my mom, daughter, and son-in-law. My mom is an interesting person. About everyone at one time or another was either going off to have a break from her, or responding in kind to her anger. Fortunately she mellowed out a bit once she was here a couple days and she wasn’t feeling as stressed.

Company all left yesterday evening. The house is now too quiet. I love having family around! (well when my mom is in a good mood anyway). This morning we got up hoping for an easy day to recover from the work part of having company and just catch up on a huge bunch of chores we can’t keep up with when company is here.

Easy day is not in the cards. Sugar, my uncles white pug, went into labor first thing. I stayed with her. Art went out to feed only to return and say Mary Jane, one of the goat does, was also in labor. She is the oldest of Dotties daughters I had kept years ago. I think she’s 7 years old or so now. Sugar had had a puppy and seemed to be having trouble having the next one (so no birth eminent) so I hurried outside to see what the goat was doing. Goats deliver fast unless there are issues. She was pushing hard. Nothing was happening and then I seen a nose. Not suppose to see a nose! 2 front feet are what your suppose to see first, then the nose between them. I washed up and checked. A front leg was bent back instead of forward so I straightened it out. A big push and then the other front foot was visible. It must have been held back by the leg which was out of position. With no problem at all once the front feet were out she had a big buck kid. (would have been a huge problem if we hadn’t been there! they don’t fit if they aren’t lined up right.) Then she had a big doe kid! Art mashed on her belly a bit and felt another. I took the first 2 in the house so I could check on Sugar. By the time I made it back out he was holding a beautiful spotted buck kid. Triplets kids and puppies born on Christmas Eve!

We keep the kids in the house for the first week or 2 so they stay warm and its easier on us for getting them taking a bottle well. Our goats are milk goats so we milk the does and bottle feed the kids. The goat kids are wonderfully friendly when raised on a bottle. We can also sell them on a bottle instead of keeping them until they are weaned. Its much easier to keep the kids safe and warm if they are in the house for the first couple weeks. So glad company isn’t needing the bathtub! Silly but the tub works excellent for keeping baby goats from making a huge mess on the floor, plus is very easy to clean. One of these days we will have a really nice outside area for the kids.

Born in the middle of winter (not our choice!) goats kids are a pain! They are suppose to be born in March, April, or May. Like other people normal goats. But not our goats like to deliver in December and January! If we are lucky they have them in February when at least theres warm weather in the near future. This December has been unseasonably warm, to say the least. Its like a spring day. I’m not even going to complain about the mud everywhere its so nice not to be fighting with frozen buckets and hands!

Sugar started by having a typical labor of have a puppy, rest an hour or more then start pushing again. It keeps me either sitting in there with her or walking back and forth a million times checking up on her. The pugs don’t uncover their newborn babies very well, or if at all, so if were not right there the puppy would suffocate. One of us sits with all the moms who are in labor even though some do everything really well on their own. Its just in case and to know how things are going.

The day with Sugar has now drug on. She only has 2 puppies so far and a very big belly. she’s not pushing but sleeping. We have had them get tired out and stop and rest for hours on end, once 12 hours and then had a live puppy. Its not uncommon for 4 hours. She’s now been resting almost 4.5 hours. We have taken her out for walks and rubbed on her belly trying to get her started up again. I am sure the vets don’t want to do a c-section in the middle of Christmas Eve night. Raising baby anything sure is stressful!

The goat kids all had a bottle, Their mom didn’t have much colostrum but I mixed it with goat milk we had in the freezer so they each had enough. they are big kids I need to weigh them. Roxy, my son’s cavalier, is also in heat. We need to get her bred to Red today also. He always needs help. Its now 3pm and I also need to get photos of all the puppies so families with deposits on them have them before Christmas.

We called the vet for Sugar. It had just been too long with her resting and not trying to have the last babies. He said we could try pitocin, so we did. She had a still born baby. 🙁 it had died a couple days ago. Wwere happy she had the puppy thinking she would have the rest. Then again nothing was happening, even with pitocin. It was already 7pm so I called the vet back. We drove the hour up to Carrollton and Dr. Matt did a c-section. She had 3 more puppies. One of them just wouldn’t breath more then a rare time despite everything known to try and get them going. She sadly passed away. The other 2 did great after a few minutes. The 2 puppies in the litter that didn’t make it were both brindles, what we were hoping for. The 4 that did make it are 3 fawns and a black. Adorable, but normal pug colors. Sugar did fine through surgery and he seen no reason at all why she quit mid-labor. Thank you Dr. Matt for being so gracious when drug out for an emergency call on Christmas Eve!

12-15-15 We had a horrible day. Dottie, our oldest, biggest goat had a foul smelling discharge. They are fed in a stall every day fortunately, or Art may not have noticed if they had stayed out on pasture. We rushed her to the vets knowing it was a dead kid. They worked forever to pull what turned out to be a huge single very dead buck kid. The vet techs hands are much smaller then mine, or the vets so she got the awful job. Dottie had acted like nothing was wrong at all but was not doing well by the time they finally got the kid out. We brought her home with the vet saying goats who have difficulty delivering often don’t make it. They don’t really know why. C-sections are an option but it decreases the chance even more the mom will make it. Dottie had antibiotics, pain meds, and oxytocin at the vets. We set up a warm stall with lots of heat lamps, tons of hay and shavings for bedding for her once home. She got up only 1 time by herself but was drinking warm water when I would hold it for her after helping her get up. By night she didnt want to get up at all and Art and I couldn’t even get her up with us helping. I sat with her a long time. I came in to get something to eat as I hadn’t had anything but a donut from a gas station all day. I wish I had stayed outside with her. Art went out to check her just a short time later and she had passed away. I got Dottie as a 2 year old doe when we first moved here to the farm years ago. She has always been perfectly healthy and sweet, the favorite of anyone who knows the goats. I always thought she would live to be 20 (years longer then normal goats!!) She was almost 14. If our fences had been better, or she had twins instead of a single big kid she probably would have lived much longer. The buck goat is very good at escaping when the does come in heat so at this time we only have one pen to keep him out and thats where the young does are that we don’t want any chance he will breed. The big does all prefer to be loose in the pastures to browse and wander around. Living in a pen is boring. I wish we had had buck proof fencing. We didn’t want her bred anymore as she was an old girl, she had other ideas. Having any critters you care for is difficult and losing them is always hard. Losing them thinking you should have done a better job even if it is preventing nature from taking its course is really awful. RIP Dottie. Hope your with your lovely baby boy who preceded you.

12-13-15 Been way too busy! On top of holiday preparations, which is really lacking at our house, we had 2 litters of puppies turning 8 weeks old this weekend. Several went to new homes in different states, several were picked up here and a couple we took to north to meet families wanting delivery option. Everyone was SO nice! 2 little girls got surprise puppies. The first was so excited she covered her mouth and was about in tears. Her parents were taking video of the event. All she wanted was a westie puppy for a very long time. The second I missed seeing her reaction. Uncle Al said she too was super excited.

I was walking Honey, one of our rescued dogs. She had a meet and greet and I was so excited that she did get a new home for Christmas! Our puppies always get wonderful homes. The rescued dogs often wait months to years for someone to want them. Honey hit the jackpot! Super nice couple willing to work with how shy she can be. Experienced and love intelligent dogs! I am praying it works out as well as it seemed like it was going to. Honey was very confused but hopped into their car soon as I told her too. It is so very hard to see their confusion and worry, knowing they know their world is turning upside down and unable to explain they are going to a new place full of love. We have to worry too wanting the best for them and also wanting to be able to have space to take in another rescue from a terrible situation. Please say a prayer for Honey and all the adult dogs out there that they get a perfect loving home for each of them!

Since we met at my mom’s house it worked to save me some time. We helped them pack boxes and I loaded the boxes and furniture into the mini van as tight as I could get it all to fit. I have never seen so many chairs come out of one tiny house. I think my aunt collects them! This was the third time we have loaded the mini van and brought their belongings south to our home. Their house is now looking much less cluttered and getting better set up for sale. Its on the market but not many homes in the north sells in the winter. Its a nice little house but was pretty stuffed so would not have showed well. I am hoping they will be willing to part with some of the stuff once they move down and we try to fit it all into an even smaller living space.

I also groomed Aunt Carole’s sheltie. They had her brushed and washed a month ago but she was felted -matted all around the ruff and back legs. Plus she had tons of loose undercoat. It took me hours to get her brushed out and then I gave her a bath. The poor dog is so fat she can’t stand more then a short time. My other aunt, Aunt Susie, had taken my mom, aunt Carole and their 3 dogs to the groomers the last time since my mom no longer has a car (and its best she’s not driving). They had a very hard time getting Dutchess into her car. None of them could lift the fat little dog. She’s about 40 pounds and should probably only be about 25 pounds. Turns out she was 49 pound pounds! Dutchess also was too fat to get up into the car herself, besides I doubt she wanted to get into the car. They ended up using a step stool and still had a hard time. Aunt Susie was grateful to not need to go through that again. My moms 2 dogs are smaller and they can lift them easier. I had wanted to wash all 3 but had no idea that Dutchess was going to be matted. I’m curious to see if she is as bad in a month or if the groomer had only brushed the surface of her coat and left all the tangles. I am a bit OCD about getting every tangle out. I use to raise collies and once brushed I remember them being easy to keep combed out. I just wish I had more time to brush all our dogs much more often so I could leave their coats longer. Its much faster when the Westies and Cavaliers are trimmed shorter so there are less tangles, and less for them to get dirty playing outside.

11-18-15 I forgot the farrier was coming out to trim the horses and donkeys hooves today. Had to hurry go out and start catching everyone up after Art came in to tell me he was here. We have a pretty good system. Almost everyone has a place along a wall somewhere that we tie them to in the colder weather for feeding grain. That way they each eat their own and the wimpy horses dnt get run off their feed by the bossy horses. Its also handy for keeping them at the barn for the farrier! They tend to leave and not come back in from the pasture if they know something is up and its not food related!

It was really windy today and horses often act a bit crazy in the wind. A couple were a bit difficult to handle. Most were good. The donkeys on the other hand were not so good. All our fault. We have been to busy to work with them and teach them to pick up their feet. The only time they get messed with is when the farrier is here. They hate having their feet picked up if they haven’t been trained. We all got a workout! I was on the phone and didnt make it out to help with Billy Jack. Art said he was horrible. Our farrier is the nicest guy ever. He never complains and is always agreeable. He is really wonderful with horses. We need to be better though since its not good for him to be the only one picking up their feet.

As if spending 6.5 hours in the barn while the farrier worked on the horses we (I) decided the 3 young Large Black pigs had to be moved. Today. Their pen is off the barn shop. We can’t work on getting water and heat into the shop to move the kennel there with the pigs at the door. We didnt really have another place to put them. I decided the flight pen where some of the peacocks were and Miss Piggy, the rescued pot bellied pig, lived would work. Its twice as big and has good fencing.

Miss Piggy HATED the idea! She charged and attacked the newcomers. She’s the size of the smaller boar and a fair bit smaller then the 2 young gilts. It seemed to be pushing and noise more then anything. Well the young boar took offense and pushed and screamed back. Art broke them up and then one of the girls was in on it. It looked scary but we didnt see any kind of injuries and it didnt look like anyone was getting hurt. We stood and watched, they would separate and each do their own thing, eat and root around then start again when Miss Piggy would be all huffing at them. One of the young girls was not happy and knocked Miss Piggy right over. She got up and ran. Then she hid and the boar went in her house and made a ruckus. Art broke them up again. Miss piggy hid in the hay pile while the others ignored her. She growled when they came close and would either come out at them, or after a bit she was just trying to leave. They would do a sidewise approach and threaten, or run into her if she came out. We decided it wasn’t working at all. She seemed like she was going to get hurt, she was scared, and they were getting worse and more aggressive instead of better.

Then we couldn’t figure out how to get her out! We fed the blacks so they were busy. We tried bribing her out of her corner and we could see she did have a scrape on her side of hair missing and it looked bruised. She would not come out and seemed very upset. I felt terrible! Since we couldn’t move her we moved her house next to where she was hiding, so once she would move she could go in it if she wanted. We got some big dog kennel panels and fenced her into the corner she was hiding in. The blacks couldn’t get to her and she had a safe place where she couldn’t get out. Ugh. I really thought they would fuss and then be fine. It was totally dark by this time. So now tomorrow we need a new plan….

11-17-15, 3am and I’ve been awake since 1:30. I gave up trying to sleep and started on paperwork. I’m morning person but I think 5 am is more actual morning. I even beat Art out of bed and he’s often up at 3am. I can’t sleep worrying about all the paperwork I haven’t finished yet. Taking a break by typing this. I don’t think my brain is awake enough to think clearly!

With cleaning the shop and closets and all these strange places over the last 2 months in an attempt to get the garage cleaned out to start building I have developed a bad case of allergies. Dust and mold have always been a tiny bit of a problem now its making me really sick. I think Art is having the same problem but he wouldn’t like to admit something as tiny as dust could make him sick.

I hired my sons girlfriend to help clean house. When you have dogs you have dust, the more dogs the more dust. 2 vacuum cleaners bit the dust in the last month. Sweeping is the worst! So Rachel is dusting and cleaning the things I just can’t get to with my different priority list. Its not helping yet as stirred up dust is worse then dust just sitting there. In the long run it will hopefully help. Especially if she can keep coming out so it stays more dust free. I’m so grateful to have the help! Plus I love a clean house!! The dogs really aren’t interested in helping clean and the seem to think stirring up dust by running all over the place jumping on and off the couch playing tag is a much better idea.

We have lots of puppies currently! Check out the various puppy pages for updates and I took some super cute pictures of Westie puppies. Need to do more photos, I was on a roll then it rained all day yesterday. Its raining now too.

We wanted to go see 4×8 insulation for sale on a craig’s list post at a terrific price but it was pouring down rain. I’m hoping its not all gone. Its exactly what we were needing to buy for both the shop and the future dog kennel next year. I did emails phone calls and paperwork all day and couldn’t get motivated to leave in the rain.

A few days ago we had to have the vet out. We have 2 big hampshire gilts (young girl pigs) that we needed to get bred. We have had rescued Miss Piggy for years now and is our only pig experience. Not saying much, you feed her fast or she may bite your leg! Mine anyway she seems to like Art better then me! We are on a farm and like to try to grow and raise our own food so we got 4 piglets last winter. 2 are now in the freezer and feeding us and the dogs. 2 were female so I decided we should breed them and raise our own from the start. (Imagine that, babies!)

I could be a vegetarian, I was for over 6 years at one time. Art isn’t and dogs aren’t either. I would rather raise it ourself then not know how it was raised, and unknowingly contribute to abuse and cruelty buy purchasing meat, or eggs if possible. Art would rather not think about it and pretend chickens are not kept bird to bird tight cages or houses with the tips of their beaks cut off so they don’t eat each other to produce commercial eggs and meat. Our chickens run around the farm. The ducks are in a pen because they aren’t very smart and would get eaten by a predator. The ducks are laying better then the chickens!

Anyway back to the vet visit. We borrowed a Large Black Hog boar (male). They are a heritage rare breed. Super easy going personalities, not destructive on pastures without the excessive rooting. They are suppose to be good moms that can raise babies out on the pasture so they all get to run around and do pig stuff. Basically a breed that can have a happy life out on the farm.

Well the 2 hampshire gilts are a bit crazy and scary. We never put them on pasture because one of them will still touch the hotwire that lines their woven wire paddock, often, like sometimes several times in a day. Smart pigs may only test it once a month, so I have been told. They can be fenced with just 2 strands of hotwire, so we have seen. Well one gilt goes by the rules and is pretty easy going and we very rarely ever see her touch the fence. The other zaps herself often and sneaks up behind you with an open mouth if your in the paddock. She’s scary. I think she’s a “mentally challenged” pig. Since the 2 girls are friends we didnt want to send her to the butcher and leave the normal girl by herself. So we borrowed a boar to get them both bred and figured we will keep a more normal gilt baby to keep the good pig company. Plus the baby will be half large black and should be a better temperament. They don’t have the big hams that the hampshirses have so hope to get the best of both.

Photos Art petting the Large Black boar, who is about 600 pounds, and also when he’s eating next to the 2 hampshire gilts that are about 350 pounds and a year old. The the mini horses and one of the gilts. Note how green everywhere else is, but the paddock is all just dirt. It use to have a little bit of green until we put the pigs in there. Little girl can’t have grass so it needs to be minimal green, or dirt is fine. (We feed them hay and feed.) The gilts just dug the whole thing up and made 2 pig wallows and basically turned it into a pug pen and its a huge area!

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In this paddock we also had 6 goat kids and 2 mini horses. We had moved the goat kids because trying to feed them, even with a goat house that was pig proof was still just too difficult. Plus the pigs actually let the goat kids eat out of their food bucket. For some reason they seem to like the goats. But feeding pigs sneaking up behind you and goats trying to knock you over for the grain bucket was just to much. The minis were easy to feed though the goats and pigs mostly left them eat in piece. The one would kick at the hogs if they tried to eat her food. The other is scared of them. We thought they were fine.

Art found Seastar, the one who will kick the pigs, with a bite wound on her chest. We thought maybe the boar did it since he was the new one in the paddock. Well watching them we think the crazy pig did it. The boar is amazingly mild, we can scratch him, he doesn’t bother the horses…. The crazy girl on the other hand is just a pig. We took both mini’s out and called the horse vet. I waited in the house until 2pm and the vet never got back to me. I called the vet we use for the dogs. They are great and I hadn’t realized they did farm calls. Unfortunately it was too late in the day to come out so they came out the next day.

With the shop all cleaned out we took Seastar into the shop so the vet could work out of the wind. She stitched up the full 3 inch laceration on her chest. The other laceration that was smaller had stuck itself back together so she didnt do anything with that one. Seastar is doing great and acts like nothing has happened. that first day though the poor girl looked very sore and the chest muscle was swollen.

Water therapy for some reason is the best for horse’s wounds or swellings. I had showed Art the first time how to basically just keep a hose running water over the wound in the past when we treated the neighbors horse when she couldn’t/wouldn’t years ago. So he has been hosing Seastar for 10 to 20 minutes, 2 times a day. She’s also on antibiotics which I mash the pills with a hammer and mix with powdered sugar. Art puts it on her feed and she eats it right up. Works great for getting a horse to eat nasty tasting pills…. Seastar is a great mini horse. She’s the one we bring out anytime small kids are here who want to ride or for get-togethers. The only thing she does bad is stop to eat. She can be led around for pony rides, or if a child knew how to ride they could ride her on their own. We don’t really have any who know how to ride so I get to lead them all around. Plus Seastar can be way too determined to stop and eat. She’s about 24 years old now, getting up there in age! I think what happened is she kicked at the crazy pig and the pig turned and snapped at her.

We now have only the pigs in the mini horse paddock, that was built for Little Girl, the matching pinto mini horse like Seastar. She had foundered when a nasty person was feeding her a bucket of grain a day knowing it would cause founder. She has to be kept on a “dry lot”. Basically she can’t eat fresh grass it makes her feet hurt. Foundering is a book all in itself. Poor pony can’t hardly walk if she’s left on pasture. The pen we put the goats in is going to be to small and get too muddy for 6 goat kids and 2 mini horses. Now we need another paddock….. Since its getting to be winter we may be able to turn Little girl out on pasture. once the grass look dead. Seastar has never foundered and could be on pasture, but their best friends and like to be together. Another project/issue.

Well its 5am, I’m sleepy now so going to try and nap then do paperwork until we can go see the insulation if theres any left. Have to pick up dog food too…. and really need groceries…. (other then goat milk, eggs and pork!)

10-31-15 Happy Halloween!

10-27-15 Uncle Al drove his AKC white pug, Sugar, all the way to WI to be bred to a AKC brindle pug. We (I helped AL with his pugs) didn’t realize it when we/he bought the 4 adults that Whitee and Sugar are full brother and sister. I had been told Whitee could breed all 3 of the females and they weren’t related when I asked. We have never bred a brother and sister and don’t believe its a good idea. Fortunately I looked over the paperwork before we bred them!

It took 3 days of searching in every “spare” moment to find a AKC registered pug to breed her to that wasn’t fawn and was willing to do stud service. Very frustrating. Uncle Al doesn’t use the computer which means I was enlisted. Since there aren’t any spare moments it was a version of taking a break from the other things I was doing.

I’m still doing paperwork as much as my brain will let me. I can only sort, search, and fill in blanks for so long before I have headache and have to do something else.

With the “mom” project of needing to empty the shop and have a place for more of our things that had been in the garage Art put up shelves in the bathroom for me. It has been on the list for 6 years. The house was suppose to have been “turn key” in 2008 but a nightmare with the contractors left tons of things unfinished, like trim and shelves.

Art is so fast it only took him a couple hours. I am SO happy to finally have a pretty place to keep bathroom things! You can only fit so much in a tiny drawer and one tiny cabinet. Its a huge bathroom, (I had built to ADA specs since I love the aging in place and planning ahead) space wasn’t the issue. Its not done, but it cleaned up a small bit of the mess that has been made with the other projects spreading things to all parts of the house. Plus it didnt cost a penny. We had the counter, now up-cycled into shelves from a bar his work had gutted years ago and we had saved some of the stuff. We used some of the counter first for my desk in the kitchen a couple years ago. Those who have been here may have seen my “office”.

He is going to add a shelf around the top of the closet so we can have his motorcycle gear in the closet instead out in the barn someplace, since it can’t stay in the garage. I would love if we (he) had time to add more shelves to the closet but if we just purged stuff we haven’t worn in 5 years, and probably never will, I think it will all fit, even with adding with his many motorcycle jackets and helmets. He has at least three times the clothes volume that I do.

Its a bigger closet then I have ever had but the builder style rod and single shelf doesn’t really help organize anything. Plus I had to have him cut off half of one of the 2 rods and shelf for me to put my dresser into the closet. When he moved in with his full bedroom set my dresser didnt match, or fit. I love it so I wasn’t getting rid of it.

I think my brain goes on strike and I wander away from work and do something that may not be needed right that minute, but it is needed for my sanity to not have everything everywhere a mess. Someday the trim may even get done in the bathroom….

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The mom project is going very slow (see past blogs for more info). My son comes out and helps as much as he can. If we didn’t have so much “stuff” (mostly construction materials that will come in VERY handy in building their apartment) its wouldn’t be near so hard. When Art moved in years ago his stuff was a mess from having been stalked by an ex, so not much was organized it was put in a bucket, box, or bag with other random things in order to get out of sight as fast as possible in case she came by. Once here we didn’t ever have time to sort anything and it was made worse by moving it from place to place. The problem with having a farm is there are a lot of places things can be put “to do later”.

We have enough small parts of stuff like outlets, phone bits, fuse box bits, tools, and all kinds of stuff to build a big house. It will save a fortune in building the apartment for them, and also then prayers for building a state of the art dog kennel next spring. The kennel in the shop is only temporary! So frustrating to need to do so much work for a temporary space. We have to add hot and cold water, heat and air-conditioning. Kennels put up, plus insulation needs to be added to the completely uninsulated ceiling, or our heating bill will be phenomenal this winter. The pigs need to be moved so we can use the pen off the shop to let the dogs out to play a million times a day. Moving the 1/2 grown pigs is another project in itself…. They are heritage rare breed Large Black Hogs. We love them! 2 girls and a boy who we have scratched and talked to so they are super friendly. They will eventually produce babies for our future food. I really hate that part! but, better then getting it at the store and not knowing how they are raised…. Plus it will add quality food to the dogs meals.

10-19-15 Life on the farm is ever changing! Grace had 3 puppies, adorable big healthy puppies. I was able to put Jewels 2 frenchie babies in with her so I no longer need to bottle feed them. Jewel needs to be on prednisone for awhile and she can’t nurse the puppies while on that medication. The puppies are all doing great. the prednisone seems to be working for Jewel. We are hoping she will only need one course of it. The vet thinks the puppies position was abnormal due to her having had so many c-sections in the past and the scar tissue. We had no idea, we have only had her since February. We had them spay her. We will find her a great pet home where she can be a queen in retirement like she deserves. She just turned 5 years old. The previous breeders must have bred her every single time, and maybe even she’s older then 5 and they have lied about her paperwork. We already know she is a Frenchie with a tad of Boston Terrier mixed in when she was suppose to be a purebred french bulldog.

Pickles also decided to have puppies yesterday. I was at the horse show with my daughter and sent a text home asking if she was doing anything. When I got home Art said she’s not doing anything. We all went outside and were working on the shop and chores. He went in and found she had snuck out a healthy male puppy. She had 3 more male puppies by 10:30pm. I was so glad to be able to get in bed by 11pm! They are all doing great and she’s a very careful mom.

Terribly behind on emails and paperwork yet. When we had 73 rescued dogs (at one time) in addition to new rescued dogs coming in and dogs being adopted last year and the year this also happened. We hired help with the paperwork to get it all caught up. We also realized we really can’t save them all and have adopted them out without saving more to keep the number down. It’s killing me, and very depressing. Please spay and neuter pets and feral cats! We are trying not to bring in any new dogs until we have adopted out several. We still have helped save a good number this year. We have 14 rescued dogs who have all been waiting a long time for homes, several horses that are permanent, and numerous rescued cats here now.

Unfortunately Theresa got a real job in May. Since then she was only able to come out once in August to catch up on most of the registrations that to be needed mailed out. I normally do them every 1 to 2 months. Right when I was all ready to start on the process was when my mom and aunt had their getting lost, car accident episode. I already work 1 hours a day, every day, only taking off time to go do family events; my daughters wedding, my other daughters occasional horse shows, and my grandsons soccer games. I have had to drop paperwork in order to take care of the situation with my mom and aunt. I am working on it every chance I get.

My son has been coming out to help with moving and organizing things in the shop and garage. Remodeling the attached garage into an “apartment” is a huge project when its currently our licensed kennel, and the shop was/is full of stuff. Art has so much building supply stuff we will be able to save a fortune in building the apartment. Its a Godsend we are both building supply pack rats! Well with Keiths help to actually be able to get too and find the supplies…

10-16-15 The blog was just started. It is a work in progress and I don’t really have time to do anything at the moment. Art was very ill for almost a week. I normally do 2 people’s worth of work, so adding his work on top of mine left a lot of my stuff unfinished. But feeding and daily care of the critters always comes first.

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In September 2015 my mom and aunt got lost. They drove all night long, very lost. They went into Iowa, WI and IL back and forth untold many times. They ran out of gas several times and when nice people helped them they didnt think to ask them if they could follow them back to the gas station because they were very lost and couldn’t find a gas station. They didnt think to call family, or 911.

In the morning when the sun came up my mom couldn’t see very well coming around a corner with the sun and hit a curb. The stretch of road they were on is outside of Galena IL, about 2 hours from where they live. They could have gone off a cliff, hit someone else, or anything.

This isn’t the first time they have been lost and drove for hours without getting help. She has a cell phone and didnt think to call 911. We bought them a Garmin, they had forgotten it at home. She doesn’t see the problem of what happened. Age is creeping up on us all!

We then went to work over what to do about the whole situation. No one is getting younger. After talking, visiting senior housing in the town near them and their sister, and many other ideas we came to the conclusion they need to be here. We can all drive them. It doesn’t snow as much, they have 3 dogs between them which would not be welcome in any senior center, and my aunt needs a reason to get out and walk. She loves chickens and ducks. She can take over feeding them, if she wants. She has really missed having the birds when they moved to their place in town even though its on the edge of town. She had broke her hip in the spring so walking and building up some muscle is very important for her well being. We all need motivation to get up and move….

We can’t afford to build a little house across the driveway, our favorite idea. We will have to remodel the attached 2.5 car garage that is currently our dog kennel into a small ADA complete apartment for them. Its a huge project since we can’t just hire someone with no funds and we will have to do the work ourselves. Art is awesome at building and can do about anything, except make more hours in the day.

Plus we need to move the dog kennel in order to start on the “house”. We have wanted to build a nice more convenient facility for the kennel starting this fall, but it will have to be put on hold until spring, or longer depending on how the housing project goes. The Goal is to have them moved in before Christmas. The dogs will have it as nice as they do now but its still hard on us as we let them all in and out in shifts at least 5 times a day to play and potty. We wanted a new kennel to have doggie doors on each kennel so we don’t have to let them in and out all day, every day. Some day….

Of course I’m behind on everything. there is no way to do more then as much as I can with the added projects of keeping my mom and aunt safe. I am lucky if I have 1 to 2 hours each day of not actively working on something. Even then the break is only because my brain refuses to work after a point. Thankfully most people are understanding! Doing this blog is actually break for me.

Paperwork is the first to fall behind 🙁 After the last 2 years of rescuing SO many dogs it was already behind. We hired Theresa beginning of this year, January 2015 and she got tons all caught up. She got a real job in May. She was back in August and did a bunch but we found more things that needed to be mailed afterwards. I am working on it as fast as I can….

10-12-15 Meanwhile Jewel went into labor earlier then her scheduled c-section on the 15th. We rushed her to the vets 2 hours away on the 12th at 6am. The clinic we usually go to is an hour away but they are closed on Mondays. Their sister clinic is 2 hours away. She had the c-section, we also had her spayed. She is a new dog we just got in the spring and was having all kinds of issues over the last 2 weeks. Trinket is the only other dog we have ever had that has needed to go to the vet’s so many times! We didnt feel she should be bred again. The vet isn’t sure just what is going on with her either. We had hoped it was the abnormal position the puppies were in causing pressure. Unknown to us she had many c-sections in the past and the vet said she had the most scaring she has ever seen, and she’s only suppose to be 5 years old. I’m so glad we had her spayed!

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She had 2 puppies, both big and sturdy. When Jewel woke up I didnt think she was acting quite right toward the puppies. She would pick them up and they would cry/scream, or they would start crying and we didn’t know what happened. Art and I took turns sitting by her, or once she was acting better and calm staying in the room to be sure all was ok. She was laying there nicely with her head on the puppies. I got up to do something and heard a puppy cry.

She had somehow bit the girl in the head. The pup was acting ok, but bleeding and had a gapping wound on the top of her head. Art rushed her 2 hours back to the vets. Amazingly the vet said it must have been a glancing blow/scrape and all she found was the skin tear on her head. The pup now has 3 staples! She is doing well.

We have the puppies in a box on a heating pad and I hold Jewel in my lap every 2 to 3 hours while the puppies nurse. She acts perfectly fine toward them but I can’t trust her with them now. Jewel is still having issues with having a hard time walking and very well its affecting her mentally.

She had a sad life. I think she came from a true puppy mill. She had never been cuddled in her life, knew nothing, and was terrified of being touched when we bought her as a 4.5 year old dog. It took months of petting her and picking her up, against her wishes for her to realize we weren’t going to hurt her and its actually a great thing. Now she lays on my lap and soaks up the attention. Once we know whats going on with her, if they can figure it out, she will be available to a pet home. She’s a beautiful girl!

9-14-15 Cupie Doll and Colt had 2 babies. 1 male one female! We waited and waited expecting her to deliver puppies and she pushed but nothing happened. We did an emergency run to the vets, almost 2 hours away. Our vet is closed on Mondays but the sister clinic is open on Mondays but farther away… She sat on my lap very relaxed until 30 minutes out and she started digging, and peeing on the floorboard (typical labor behavior when you have to go you have to go). Then 10 minutes before getting there she started seriously pushing and had a little boy. Apparently the car ride helped get him into a better position…… Since she had one we simply waited in the Vet”s parking lot until she had the second in case she had any trouble (I could tell there were only going to be 2 at this point). She delivered the little girl with no problems. We didnt need a c-section after all. So glad it was regular office hours, which rarely happens! Both puppies and mom are doing great. Her little boy has a cleft palette. We are going to switch back to the other dog food when the moms are pregnant. We had not fed this one during pregnancy before, grain free and a very good dog food. Cupie Doll’s milk was drying up with only feeding one baby so we gave her puppies to Barbie doll. I am bottle feeding her little boy and he’s doing great. Cupie Doll adjusted fast to being back with “the pack”. Her puppy with the cleft was adopted by family who has one from 5 years ago adopted the last one for her daughter and may want this one for her father. Everyone loves her westie and the other 2 she helped place in the area 5 years ago too.

July- August 2015 Art’s 4 “bonus” grandchildren were visiting for the last 2 weeks (in July) and he drove them home to Louisisna.

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When he returned I went to help my daughter in FL move for almost a week and returned 8-4. I have been doing website updates since I got back. Trying hard to catch up on photos too, and the ever growing mountain of paperwork. Plus I was motivated to try and “declutter”. I go by the motto, “waste not, want not” which works great until nothing will fit in a drawer and you can’t find what you need for repairs or whatever. So I am also going through each room and thinking about how to make it easier to clean (with so many dogs that is a must!) and what can go to have less to dust, and more room. Then I will start on the other areas on the farm! Its a year long project no doubt. Building materials mean Art needs to build something so its not wasted! I’ll plan, I like that part!

7-25-15 One of the families who just adopted a westie puppy left and returned a short time later. They had found the most pitiful kitten down near the end of the lane we live on. They thankfully didnt want to just drive past it and leave it and couldn’t take it with them. They handed me a little cream ball of fluffy kitty, with both eyes matted shut and very lethargic.

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The kitty was crawling with fleas and in even worse shape then the one a week before, see below about her. I don’t even like cats. Between families visiting to pick out their puppy I forced it to drink some goat milk and water, then washed it and hand picked off fleas for an hour. You can’t use any toxic flea killers on a sick critter, especially a sick kitten. They are very sensitive to chemicals in general and when sick it would kill them. This one is a boy, still no name. Today (day after finding him) he was sitting up but still refused water and goat milk which I forced him to drink anyway. Dehydration in cats is really bad for them. I added some dry food the other kitten likes and he dove right in! I was shocked. He probably had been eating dry food they set out for all the cats up there at some point. I think he only ate a couple pieces though. Little turd still wont drink, which eating dry food makes dehydration worse so I forced him to drink a bit more. I have had a heating pad under his crate all along, which he seems to like. Photo is what he looked like wet. You just can’t see how skinny a furry animal is through their fluff. When wet it is grossly obvious how bad they really are. Once he’s drinking well and pees I can start giving him the antibiotic the other kitten is getting. I am using the eye drops and he has both eyes cracked open a bit now and I didnt think they had ulcers. One eye did, it was just so far over the the side it was hard to see with his eye squinted shut. I need a new photo, with him dry and fluffy. Update 8-12-15 He, who still needs a name, is doing great. He is all better from the upper respiratory infection and his eyes are clear. The eye with the big ulcer is healing really well. He has gained a lot of weight and is still pot bellied and a bit too thin on top but a million times better then he was. It takes a long time for them to heal on the inside especially when trying to grow at the same time and the fact he was in such bad shape.

I went to the place where I believed he came from. She commented 2 kittens had just died last night and none of them ever live! The moms are almost wild. They come up to eat, there are 5 unsprayed female and who knows how many males. I am working to get them appointments to be spayed. She was all for the idea of spaying them but for some reason just wrote them off as “farm cats”. I pointed out the kitten someone brought us is doing fine now, that they need antibiotics and care. I offered donated cat food but she said she had 3 bags she just bought. I will have to figure out how to trap the cats so they will make their appointment. I offered to take any kittens they can catch and help medicate them. It’s really sick to me that someone who claims to love their critters doesn’t think to go to the vets, or do something about the fact they see untold number of kittens born and then slowly get skinny and die. Please spay and neuter, and Spay and Neuter any neighbors pets who run loose reproducing!! (it is good to get permission first, unless they claim the are just strays. There is a trap, neuter and release program in many areas for stray cats!)

Look at him now!! after photos! Healthy and fluffy, his eye is almost all better! He’s filling in, playful and adorable. He needs an indoor home! Long haired cats end up a matted mess outside. Please share him!

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7-20-15 Art was taking the kids to go visit his brother and passed a dead critter on the road, but when he looked in the rearview mirror seen it was a kitten that stood up. He stopped and brought it home. It was hot, dehydrated one eye completely matted shut, snotty ,and the other eye nasty. Just a bag of bones. It was very clean with no fleas though. No telling if it climbed onto a truck or up under a car and fell out later, or if it was deliberately dumped. Its friendly and not afraid of dogs the way normal kittens are.

I force fed her fluids since she refused to eat or drink and she perked up. We did have antibiotics on hand to start until we could get to the vets. Of course another vet bill. Eye drops and a different antibiotic. Still no name is doing great. Gained weight eating well, the huge ulcer on her eye is starting to heal and she’s not snotty nosed anymore. I need a new photo. This was what they sent me from the truck after picking her up. She has semi long hair and is very pretty. update 8-12-15. She is doing great! Gained weight is soft and fluffy and has the sweetest personality! Even after getting eye drops 4 times a day! Her eye barely has a cloudy spot now where there was a huge ulcer. It looks like it will heal completely! I need new photos!

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Look at her now! Her eye is better, she’s all filled in, and a nice healthy kitten. (more photos of her with her friend above.) She needs a home! If she gets stuck here she will be harassed by our already full barn cat population. She is a very mild mannered snuggly kitten! Love the spots and stripes makes her look like a wild cat mix.

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5-12-15 evening I seen a friends post about an emergency situation of 2 week old kittens needing rescue. Generally they get a rescue to take them quickly, but that didnt happen. I said I would bottle feed if needed, I love babies no matter what kind. They can’t “wait” for the right home they need care immediately. Next thing I know I am driving to meet and get the kittens. I was shocked how tiny they were! Needless to say we now have 5 orphan kittens that are likely 2 days old, most definitely not 2 weeks old. A huge difference! They have poor survivability if they don’t have a mom and are under a week old from what I read. These still have their umbilical cords and only weigh a normal new-born birth weight of 3 to 4 ounces each. They are trying to figure who mom is and trap her. Dogs were trying to get the kittens, it was very cold out yesterday/last night and they wouldn’t have made it if someone hadn’t stepped in. Will try to put updates on the rescued cat page that I never quite finished from 1.5 years ago. (which didnt happen) Just praying we can raise them. Working on getting a foster mom cat to help…. Always crazy around here. I’m not even a cat person, but they are just little babies….Update 5-14 We did borrow a foster mom, but only had the kittens with her about 30 minutes when the mom cat started sneezing and showed signs of being ill! I couldn’t believe she was sick when I specifically said we need a very healthy mom, or we would rather bottle feed then expose them to something…. Update: 5-18-15. Its been 6 days and the kittens have doubled their weight and are just starting to open their eyes! They were all doing well, then started to get sick. I called our vet and we put them on antibiotics. 4 of the kittens recovered but one of the black kittens just got worse, wouldn’t eat so I had to force him to and he still passed away. 🙁 I thought the scariest part was now over but someone who does rescue told me at 3 to 4 weeks old they can just suddenly pass away with no warning! They call it fading kitten syndrome. Puppies don’t do that unless there is a care issue, or a true internal malformation. Raising babies is such an emotional roller coaster! Update: The 4 kittens continued to do great and finally started eating kitten food well enough when they were 7 weeks old they were able to go to a rescue who is going to help with getting them adopted into homes. They will be spayed/neutered and UTD on vaccinations and health care, if anyone wants a cute kitten please contact me!

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Was SO busy with many many rescued dogs I didn’t type any updates that I can find. Just trying to keep up with basic chores and current adoptions kept us busy 24/7 365 days a year!

Some photos from 2014, some are rescued dogs who were getting adopted with their new families:

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Meanwhile the first 1.5 weeks of December 2014 a goat had quads (very unusual, goats aren’t meant to have 4 at one time!), another had triplets, both Shar Pei had puppies and my sons Cavalier, Roxy has had puppies, besides the new Westie babies! Art and I also both ended up sick no doubt from no sleep. 3 of the rescued dogs also got adopted to great homes!! Please always consider a rescued dog, or puppy before buying a puppy! Many are really wonderful 🙂 All dogs are wonderful!!

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Winter 2013/Spring 2014. This Spring started way too early, like last year. We have twin boy kids born 12-23-13 (goats!) We were going to leave them with mom since they were both boys and I have a hard time milking 6 does by myself, but one kid couldn’t get his legs under him. So we had baby goats in the bathroom while our company for Christmas was here. They are both doing great. Sadly Sweet Pea the next doe was in labor when we got home last night (12-30-13) with a red discharge, not very normal for a goat. She didn’t seem to be having the baby so after waiting a bit to be sure (she wasn’t in labor when we left so not sure how long she had a discharge) I got the lovely job of scrubbing up and checking her. Well the kid had one front leg back, which I was able to straighten into correct position then helped with pulling the very big kid. Unfortunately the kid had already passed away before being born. My guess is the placenta was in the wrong place and detached prematurely. My oldest daughter dislikes farm life because the entire life cycle happens on a regular basis and death is just so very sad.

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Since those kids were born we have a second set of twin boys, and a single boy who’s poor lower part of his ears and back feet were frozen when we found him. This bitter cold winter has been awful. Amazingly I guess because he wasn’t there long he thawed and has done very well. Limps on one hind foot which is improving with time and he’s doing great. I have heard of newborn starting to freeze but have never had to see it. So thankful we were checking on them often. Mom had chosen to have him in a warmer spot in the barn but he up and walked into the colder area!

Old info, I think it just gets more and more busy here! Spring 2013 started VERY EARLY in December 2012 when 2 does kidded, one had triplets on Christmas morning! Februray 2013; 2 more of the goat doe’s delivered triplets! one on Valentines day and the other the very next day. 6 new goat kids! 4 girls and 2 boys added to the 4 we already had. Dont seem to be having the run of boys in the goats like the puppies, we have lots more girls then boys. I am now milking 5 does (goats) twice a day and giving 10 baby goats bottles! ugh!

2012 fall/winter the plan was to get all the paperwork I was behind on due to extreme weather caught up before all the puppies arrived! (that unfortunately didn’t happen…. But I can see my desk, well part of my desk.) I appreciate those patiently and not so patiently waiting for months for their puppy applications while I dealt with the incredible nonstop record breaking days/weeks/months of heat and drought. The heat and drought had all kept me too busy caring for the critters health and safety in these extremes to be able to have time or energy to do paperwork. I am very sorry some took so long to send out! I really do appreciate the patience, but do feel free to bug me for any paperwork I am behind on, I may have not received it or it may be mis-filed!

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October 2012 has been a beautiful month! Normal temperatures, the rain has everything growing again, incredible fall colors! I have been able to catch up on a large pile of paperwork, its never ending though. The dogs love the normal temperatures and everyone seems to have more then a usual amount of energy. Even Jerry Lee with his spinal degeneration is running around like a puppy! Only downfall is my daughter broke her leg very badly. I have been helping her out and we have her horses here to ease the amount of work needed at her house, since the grass has grown we also don’t need to feed hay yet so saves on their year round hay bill. Her new horse is nicely trained she had hoped she would get me riding regularily again with her. Was a great plan, but I’m hard to motivate to do fun things when I have so much work. I’m going to try to “play” a bit and start riding the new horse so when Kim is ready to ride again the new horse will have been ridden semi-regularly and she can ride her to get her form back, plus I will be able to at least follow along when shes ready to start riding her gelding again. Kim will still be levels above me in ability! Sad she has to break her leg to get me riding again!! (Well its now almost December and I havent been riding yet. Just too busy doing daily chores….. no let up in sight. Spent the holiday cleaning the garage, which getting a project done is something I do love to do and think is fun!)

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August 2012; The record temperatures have not let up and with the drought it has been a rough summer! We spend a lot of time hosing the horses, the pot bellied pig, filling water troughs, and bringing dogs out only briefly so they didnt get too hot, which meant a million trips in and out daily.

July 2012 The extra, extra hot May, June and July has made chores take much longer then usual, plus we have 4 new baby goats born in the last 2 days (which means I am now milking 5 does morning and night, plus bottle feeding the babies), and did another visit to the vets for more health checks on some of our adult dogs.

May 2012: I will be posting new pictures of the horses and Wolf on the farm page soon. Wolf is now as big as Jerry Lee and almost as big as Bro! Visitors are amazed hes only 8 months old. One of our visitors commented Jerry Lee and Wolf are our “Wal-Mart greeters” here at the farm. I just loved that! In addition the old almost dead mare, Carlie, looks like a new horse, plus acts like a new horse she was cantering around the field yesterday!! It really isn’t surprising that just food can have such an impact, what shocks me is why people don’t take care of the critters who they went out and got, or just as bad to allow a neighbor’s or relatives critter to suffer without doing something about it. Please from now on speak up should you be in the position to be the angel to help save an imprisoned abused/neglected critter (or person of course!)

Jared Hanna of Jerseyville IL is still missing. He is a friend/co-workers son and was last seen 7-2-11, Over a year ago now 🙁 I helped when they had volunteers search where his truck was found. His black work bag was found all wet and muddy with his wallet and cell phone sitting on top of the bag all clean about 5 miles from where his truck was found. Please pray for him and his wonderful family! Please feel free to join the group on FB “Help Find Jared Hanna” The more people sending his information and picture around the better. He may have had a head injury and could be lost someplace. The way his belongings were located foul play seems to be involved, still praying for a positive outcome! His mom, and step dad I have known a long time and worked with both of them on Alton Memorial Hospital ambulance service, we were/are all paramedics there, they are wonderful people. He’s a good man and single parent with 2 little girls, who really miss their daddy. There is now a $5,000. reward offered in Clinton county IL by the PD for information leading to his location. I pray this helps bring some new leads, at least to his location! It has been a very long time and his sister cant even collect SS for the his children she now has custody of due to his missing status, finacially and emotionally draining. Of course it is taking a terrible toll on his family and friends. I honestly can’t imagine. Its the very worst nightmare, missing!

October 2011 was a very busy month and it hasn’t slowed down since (now December 2012!)

In October 2011 we rescued Carlie, a very skinny old horse, and a litter of 4 mix breed puppies from the same location as the horse we rescued in June came from. Read more about the sad puppies and rescue horses on the farm page. All this extra work, on top of the previous rescues and newest rescues has kept things extra busy here, but I do my best to help the other animals who need help, even if they weren’t my responsibility to start with. Check out Carlie and Wolf on the farm page. Carlie is gaining weight at a very normal rate, I couldn’t be happier! (well if the horses had been given good care, and the rescued puppies had been cared for appropriately, and had a better chance to survive before I got them, or better their parents had been spayed and neutered before producing an unplanned and sadly unwanted litter I would be happier!) Please spay and neuter pets!

I am very blessed to live in a place where I can bring home critters that need care 🙂 In addition to have a wonderful man who feels the same way.

Unexpectedly Christmas morning 2011 I had got a call from my son that a neighbors adult potbellied pig had showed up at families house and apparently was eating the dog food on their porch (he was there visiting) and all the big dogs had attacked it. So we were setting up for the rescued pig when our Christmas company from Utah arrived. They helped with getting her from the trailer to the stall. Nothing is ever “normal” on our farm. See updates about “Miss Piggy” on the farm page.Blog coming soon!

DreamCatcher Hill Puppies and Rescue