Pardon me? Have you lost your mind?
Run! Everyone run! She’s lost the plot!
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.
Why is she looking at me when she says that?
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).
You want eggs? Go the grocery store, beeyatch.
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.
But she’s so cute, I kind of give in to her demands to climb my hair and be the tallest chicken ever.
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.
Silkies are “fancy” chickens, but to me they are just plain old hilarious looking.
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?
Thanks to Spring, Wootie is finally losing some weight, as she wrestles with him more or less constantly, and whether he feels like it or not.
And she and Dexter are total besties.
We’re not besties! She’s a girl! EEEEWWWWW! *runs away*
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.
Stop fabricating excuses. There’s only room in this house for two bitches – me and you. And I’m bitchier than you.
Well, time for farm chores … but one more time, for good measure:
*SPROING* *SPROING* *SPROING* “PEECAAACK!”
Spring has always reminded me of my Olivia whippet. AKA She-Who-Could-Not-Be-Housebroken. I think this is a sighthound trait, so yeah, she could be whippet or IG.
So glad Twooie is ok!
Laughing. So. Hard.
Although my heart breaks about Tweed. I have an old(er) dog too. Don’t want to think of a time when she is not here.
Laughing so hard I am crying, and feeling terrible about laughing at Tweed being knocked down – stop making us laugh at things that should not be funny! Oy.
Of Pit Bulls and Patience says
Well, does Spring really count as a dog? Isn’t she just half a dog? And WooTWoo only counts as one… old dogs don’t count either in my book. So I’d say you really need as many dogs as you can get!
I am now chasing my dog around the house going “*SPROING* *SPROING* *SPROING* “PEECAAACK!””, and it’s all your fault!
On the whole, I approve of the “sproing” part of the story more than the “blaaaargh” part of the story!
Zoey is IG and Chihuahua (terrible, terrible breeds to cross, their conformation is AWFUL) at any rate — teeny tiny little bladder. After over a year of getting up twice during the night to let her out I decided it really wasn’t a training issue, gave up and started putting down pads. As you say, le sigh.
But she is the sweetest dog *EVEH* and gets along with everyone she meets.
So. You are keeping Spring. Yep, I see it now, the Food Lady is smitten!
OTOH, it’s a great reason to not take in any more fosters!
I had a Polish hen named Stella. She was hilariously dumb, and quite friendly. I’m fairly certain that was only because her crest prevented her from seeing very well. She laid pretty well for a decorative bird, too. Little white eggs. She met an untimely death-by-eagle.
You are becoming a chicken addict. And to think you didn’t even want to move to the stix in the first place. Hoot says chickens are a good thing. Good, like Twoo thinks they’re “good”…
I want you to keep Spring. I’m sorry, I know you don’t need another dog, but she is awesome.
Loving the chickens too!
I know how you feel about Tweed. My Kea is turning 15, definitely somewhat senile and 20 lbs to my excitable Shepherd mix’s 70. She gets slammed around so painfully all the time. Luckily her reaction is to get mad, rather than sad, so I don’t usually have to cry.
What a great title for a chapter in your next book!
Okay, the picture of Spring and Wootie wrestling– more specifically the face he’s making– just made me snarf my yogurt. (No vomit or chickens were involved, though.)
…”whoever adopts her and does agility with her. *whistles, looks off to the side*…”
Too funny. I have a 1.5 y.o. foster that I am smitten with. (She’s one of the 167 border collies from the Jefferson, TX confiscation this past Spring.) She’s extremely people shy but we’ve become buds and she’s hella fun and easy to be around. And for a young thang – she is so very polite, not bumping or running into my senior duo, who don’t seem to mind her being around… maybe that’s them giving me permission, ha ha!
“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.”
Ohhhhhhh, thaaaats’s the correct way is it? I’ve been doing it backwards all these years. How embarrassing. Gawd, I must have looked like an amateur!
I should have told you the Silkies had been sleeping in a crate at night in a garage. Maybe even brought a bit of the hay from their old crate to make the adjustment easier? I’ll remember that for the next( and hopefully final time ) Silkie drop-off to whomever. Thanks again for helping with this!!
How can you part with that adorable dog??? She’s small enough to not even count as a WHOLE dog. You can always fit in a half-dog, can’t you?
Woo managed to get to the top of the fridge? You have the wrong dog in agility me thinks!!! And how is it that Woo didn’t have the the same giant belly that Two did? I also vote that you keep Spring and train her to herd chickens for you. Maybe you can even train her to herd the WooTwo? That would be impressive. So is Twooie letting Spring wrestle with Woo?
I have a co-worker with Italian Greyhounds and she is constantly cleaning up pee and/or devising crazy holding pens to keep her two dogs from ruining the hosue while she is gone. They are probably about six years old.
Ooh! It looks like the flamboyance ™ is back!
I don’t know if you really mean that Tweed is getting senile, but my oldest border collie did get senile in the last year of her life (we especially noticed when she lined up at the wall instead of the door to get in or out of the house – sort of funny and also something that made us sad). Anyway, our vet prescribed something called Denosyl for her doggy alzheimer’s. I think it did help and thought I would mention it just in case it was something that could help Tweed. I love following your dogs on their adventures, even ones that involve licey (?) birds and vomit!
Twooie, you get fed plenty well. Don’t go making yourself sick; it worries your fans.
Those silky chickens look positively furry. Are they any fun to pet?
Jennifer Rose says
but if you get rid of spring, who else will twooie play with?
S, you’ve outdone yourself with this column. Hilarious, compelling, poignant. I cried. I LOLed.
You definitely need Spring. The Besties Team at Agility. Between Spring and Dexter, you’d be the most feared crew in the North American Continent.
Hey, they’d be in different jump heights. That’s gotta count for something, right?
OMGosh what a great post! LMAO thanks for the laughs Food Lady. I love the pic of Woo and Spring. He looks crazy! Love the chickens. I think you may end up keeping your new agility dog ;-)