Don’t listen to them, I haven’t lost my mind. While my sanity may always be somewhat in question, I’m no more or less crazy than I was the last time I spoke to you.
Although *somedogs* may be deliberately pushing my crazy buttons. But let me explain.
When I got home from work yesterday, the first thing I noticed was an almost empty 3lb bag of cat kibble on the kitchen floor. Which is odd, because when I left in the morning it was almost full AND it was on top of the fridge. This could only mean that something fat, orange, bad and greedy knocked it down, and something else brown, black, white and also greedy ate it. My gaze immediately found TWooie, who was looking decidedly uncomfortable and more than a little bloated. I offered him a piece of kibble from the handful left in the bag and he dropped his head, licked his lips, and moaned. A-HA!
My self congratulatory feeling of smugness about my detective skills was short lived, though, when I realized that 2.5lbs of kibble in an otherwise well fed but lean 20+lb dog was a recipe for a disaster called Bloat. Especially when TWooie waddled outside and started trying desperately and unsuccessfully to poop.
So I wrestled 10mls of hydrogen peroxide into his stubby little frame. This was no easy task as it is virtually impossible to force feed TWooie something he does not wish to consume (which is almost nothing, but it has happened from time to time). After some considerable Ultimate Fighting style of disagreement, I managed to pin him to the grass using a scissor hold on his abdomen with my legs and a pretzel like choke hold on his neck and forelegs and administering the contents of the syringe mostly with my teeth. I really hope nobody was watching me, as I was smack in the middle of my lawn yelling “You think you can outwrestle me, you little bastard? I’m a PROFESSIONAL!” as I did it. There’s something to be said for the relative privacy of living in the stix.
Even though yesterday was my Friday, and I was looking forward to pajamas, popcorn and an episode of Breaking Bad, I remained fully clothed and shoed for the evening as I waited for that kibble to come out at least one end. Around 8PM I was getting quite concerned as TWooie turned down Food From The Gods (ie popcorn) and his midsection was rumbling away like a freight train. I was just thinking it might be time to call in the actual medical professionals (as opposed to the deluded wrestling one that lives inside of me) when he rose to his feet, slunk over to a dog bed, and deposited three simple ENORMOUS piles of puke on the cover. Like piles the size of his head enormous.
Even though he smelled like puke, I insisted on cuddling him all night in bed, as I was very relieved. He, OTOH, was confused but delighted to receive praise for defiling a dog bed. And this morning he was back to his chicken harassing self.
What a relief.
The chicken TWooie is harassing most is the one that lives on my head. … but let me explain.
On the weekend I drove out to Chilliwack to a place called Beau Peep Farms to pick up three Welsummer pullets I had ordered online.
Welsummers are pretty little brown hens that lay dark brown chocolate coloured eggs that look like this. I thought it would be nice to compliment the blue eggs my Ameraucanas are allegedly supposedly to be laying for me (they are now 6 months old and still not laying me anything, BTW. I am sure at least one of them is a hen, and another one might be, but they may as well all be roosters for the amount of eggs they’re giving me).
While I was there, I went a tiny bit crazy for a very small white crested black polish chick that was just too damn alien-cute for words, and the nice lady at Beau Peep Farms let me take her too. I should probably have thought it through a little more carefully, because Head Chicken is so small she fits through the wire of my coop, and therefore cannot live outside yet. She’s in a (secure, TWoo-proof, wooden airline approved) crate in my mudroom. I have this secret concern that she will grow up to be emotionally stunted from living alone during her formative weeks, so I take her out of the crate several times a day to spend time with her. Moreover, the woman at Beau Peep told me casually that polish hens are very friendly and “many people carry them around on their shoulders, like parrots.” People should *never* say stuff like this to me, because it sticks in my brain and becomes obsessive in there. So I decide that Head Chicken should come for walks with me and the dogs, with her perched genially on my shoulder.
I’m sure you see where this is going. The polish chick does not wish to perch on my shoulder, she wants to dig into my skull with her ouchy little claws and sit on my damn head. Mama never told me I would grow up to be a nearly 40 year old woman with a chicken on her head.
Because I am, at heart, a rescuer, I couldn’t just go buy chickens without feeling guilty. So the same day I purchased my pullets and the Head Chicken, I also rescued 6 three month old silkie pullets from a blog reader helping one of her clients, who is a bird hoarder, downsize his collection.
There 7 silkies, but they could only catch 6 as these birds are crazy wild (but silkies cannot fly, otherwise I’m sure they would have flown the coop first chance they got). And I almost ended up with only 5 because during the hand off outside Chilliwack Animal Control (I was also picking up a foster puppy for rescue) one of them made a break for it and escaped into the grassy farmlands. This was disconcerting, as no human can outrun a chicken.
But Spring can outrun a chicken, and she happened to be with me at the time.
I will spare you the story, because it doesn’t retell so well in written format, but it basically went like this:
*SPROING* *SPROING* *SPROING* “PEECAAACK!”
Spring caught the chicken, I caught Spring, and then I had all 6 chickens again.
Incidentally, there are several more 3 week old silkies that will shortly need rehoming as well, so if anyone is looking for some silkies in a few weeks, send me a message and I will put you in touch with the woman who is rehoming them. Or you could take a few of these ones I already have here. I don’t really need 6 silkies; my hen house is not big enough for all these chickens. Right now the silkies spend the night in a crate (as they cannot fly, they cannot reach the roost in my hen house) – it took several nights of me chasing them around the coop to put them in the crate, but now they go in there on their own at dusk.
Spring continues to be a delight. She recently learned to leap up on the counter at work (37″ exactly) on command to greet customers, and I, uh, may have taught her to jump in the air using my thigh as a springboard so I can catch her in my arms. I figure it will be a crowd pleaser after a stellar agility run for, umm, whoever adopts her and does agility with her. *whistles, looks off to the side*
What I have not been able to teach her so far though, is appropriate potty habits. She no longer pees in the house when I am present, but if I leave her alone for more than a couple of hours she pees and/or poops on the floor. So I bring her to work with me, where she pees on inappropriate things like Angela’s lunch (sorry again Angela) when she gets excited. I’m starting to think there’s something to this notion of her being a pocket lurcher, as I read online that Italian Greyhounds can be virtually impossible to housebreak. Is that true?
But I do NOT need another dog. I do NOT need another dog. Etc.
Shut UP, Spring!!!
Although I really only have the one agility dog now, since Piper is broken, and the WooTWoo are Wuseless… maybe not totally useless. TWooie was helping me weed the garden this morning (and please don’t ask me what he was really doing, as I honestly have no earthly idea)
… and Tweed is like, senile.
Okay, that was mean. Tweed is not senile – maybe just a little. He is getting old though. Breaks my heart. When I let the dogs outside they are a roiling herring ball mass of undulating dog flesh (really, it’s insanity, I have GOT to train some polite exiting-the-house manners) at the door, and the other morning Tweed got knocked down, rolled and trampled by the rest of the damn soccer hooligans. He cried and cried, and that made me cry too. Poor old man dog.
Well, time for farm chores … but one more time, for good measure:
*SPROING* *SPROING* *SPROING* “PEECAAACK!”