Category Archives: pets

Dog Beds

Guinevere has multiple beds.  YA can’t resist them so there is one in her kennel in the breakfast room, one in my room and one in YA’s room.  Recently we’ve changed up sleeping arrangements; during the day Guinevere and Nimue pretty much ignore each other but nighttime is a different matter. The last month or so, Guinevere has moved from my room to YA’s room at night.  Every day YA moves the dog bed from my room to her room because “Gwen likes that bed during the day”.   I noticed today that both of the upstairs dog beds are still in YA’s room. 

Beds & Lambies

In addition, Guinevere has FOUR lampchop chewy toys.  This is in addition to a huge basket full of other balls and toys, but the lampchop ones are definitively her favorites.  YA and I used a giftcard last spring and bought several of them, so we have extras on hand if the current flock gets nibbles too much.

Guinevere is also refusing to eat her kibble this week.  This happens every couple of years when she just decides that her currently dogfood isn’t fitting the bill.  While YA and I are both fine with changing her food, neither of us is willing to throw out half of a large bag of kibble.  I voted for letting her go hungry on the theory that she won’t starve to death and eventually she’ll eat what we have.  YA is frantic about the non-eating.  So far this past week on different occasions I’ve seen lots of delicacies added to Guinevere’s dish: peanut butter, vanilla yogurt, maple syrup, pumpkin and also some very smelly dog sauces in pouches.  Each of these items worked moderately well but we’ve still got at least 2 weeks before we’re ready for a new brand of dry food. Good grief.

Have you ever had a hand in spoiling someone?

September

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

Our two ducklings are doing well. Kelly has named them Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Rosie and Guildy for short. They seem to be afraid of everything. Mostly they spend the day hiding. But considering they’ve lost seven of their siblings, and the whole animal ‘fight or flight’ mentality, maybe they’re the smart ones and that’s why they’ve survived this long. And they just learned to walk up the board ramp to go in at night on their own, so that’s pretty smart of them! No more trying to wrangle them in at night. Now we’re trying to see if they’ll come out on their own in the morning so we don’t have to chase them out.

The other morning I watched a hawk swoop right down over the pen and then sit in a nearby tree. R & G weren’t out yet, but that might explain why some of their siblings disappeared. A few minutes later, when I was in the shed letting them out, a brown chicken hopped down out of the rafters right in front of me. Scared the bejezzus out of me. (By the way, when I dictated “bejezzus“ into my phone, it translated as “big Jesus” and I thought well, that works too). It scared the big Jesus out of me.

Still not much happening on the farm, beans are turning yellow, corn is drying up. I’m keeping busy with more summer projects at one theater and working on our fall show at the college. Sure has felt good to put on my toolbelt  again. Man, am I out of practice. Doesn’t take much to wear me out. Course I haven’t really done much this whole calendar year. Building up my endurance. I did haul a 50 lb bag of chicken feed over to the chickens and dump it in the wall feeder. And put two bags of water softener salt in. Progress! 

I’ve spent a lot of time sitting on the garage steps just watching our little corner of the world. It’s nice.

Our apples and pear trees are overloaded this year. In fact they are so overloaded they broke a few branches on the apple tree. Yeah, it needs to be pruned. I think they’re Harrelson‘s. They sure are good anyway.

Who knows anything about Minnesota pears? I think they were called golden? They’re small, and green and only get to be slightly larger than a ping-pong ball, and really hard and they do not taste good. Do they ever get better? What do I need to be doing with them?

Kelly and I froze some sweetcorn last weekend. Only four dozen; daughter helped me husk it, and then I cut it off the cobs and Kelly bagged. I remember doing that with my parents, and for a few years my sister would come out to help me and Kelly. It’s a fond memory I have with mom and dad.

WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO FEEL GOOD?

A Woman And A Racoon Walk Into A Bar. . .

Yesterday the Fargo Forum reported that bar patrons in Maddock, ND, who were in the Maddock Bar the night of September 6 needed to be aware that they may have been exposed to rabies. It seems a rather intoxicated woman came into the bar holding a racoon she had rescued days earlier from the side of the road. She was asked to leave the bar, but not before she walked all around the bar showing people her racoon. The racoon was reportedly injured when she found it, and she had nursed it back to health and was keeping it as a pet. It is illegal to keep racoons or skunks as pets here due to the threat of rabies. They are still looking for the woman and her racoon. The bar employees say they are going to dress up as racoons for Halloween,

When I was about 6 years old, I tried lifting a friend’s rather fat beagle into my father’s fishing boat that was stored along side the garage. The beagle was not amused, and bit me on my face. It was just a nip, but my mother was panicked about it. The beagle’s owners refused to lock the dog up the required number of days to see if it was rabid, so I had to have a series of rabies shots. I got the shots under my shoulder blades. It was painful. I wouldn’t want to go through that again. The beagle wasn’t rabid, by the way, and he and I remained friends.

Know any good bar jokes? What animals would you like to see in bars? What are your experiences with rabies or rabies shots?

Learning How To Fetch

Our puppy is a delightful little fellow who never misses an opportunity to teach us new things. These past couple of weeks he taught us to fetch. We didn’t even know it until recently.

Kyrill loves to play with balls. He rolls them around and chases them. They often roll under the sofa and love seat in the livingroom, and the space is too small for him to retrieve them, so he barks and we get them for him.

I became suspicious of the sheer volume. of balls that were going under the furniture. I draped blankets in front of the sofa and love seat to block balls from rolling under, and then I noticed him roll the balls under the unblocked ends of the furniture. He was doing this on purpose! This was a Terrier game!

The Cesky Facebook group told me this is typical of the breed, and they all have yardsticks close at hand to retrieve all the toys their dogs like to shove under the furniture. Who would have guessed?

What are you favorite and least favorite games to play. What have animals taught you? Who has been the most successful getting you to do what you don’t want to do?

Not For Human Consumption

Our puppy is an avid chewer, and we get him faux rawhide treats to satisfy his cravings. Rawhide is hard to digest, and the fake stuff is described in one site as made from “Human grade food ingredients that are nutritious, highly digestible and completely healthy for your dog”.

As I perused a new bag of chews, I noticed in rather large letters these words: Not for human consumption. These were flat and thin chews about 4 X 6 inches in size. There is certainly nothing about them that made me want to start chewing on them. Are there people who would actually think it was ok to chew on these things? Are people that ignorant? Have parents given them to their teething infants? What would make a company put something like that on their products? I just don’t know what to think!

What are some perplexing and unnecessary warnings you have seen on products? What foods do you think are not for human consumption?

Puppy Physics

Our Cesky Terrier clearly has never heard of the Pauli exclusion principle, which states that two objects cannot occupy the same space simultaneously.

Try as he might, Kyrill can’t fit two of his favorite small tennis balls in his mouth at the same time. He loves his balls and runs all over the house with them. Much of the time he looks like a soccer player, one ball in his mouth, the other getting pushed down the hall and around the room with his front paws. He seems to experiment at times with both on the floor in front of him, picking up one and trying to pick up the other, as though he thinks the rules might have changed and he can have both in mouth.

Cesky Terriers are some what different in temperament from other terriers, in that they prefer (in fact, they insist) on being with their people instead of running off and exploring. Kyrill is very conflicted when we are both outside with him, as he wants to be with both of us simultaneously, even when we are in different corners of the yard. He has, apparently, heard of the superposition principle of quantum mechanics, which essentially states that one object can exist in two places at the same time. I have no idea how that possibly could be true, but it appears to be an actual proven principle. Kyrill hasn’t figured out how to make it work for him when husband and I aren’t together in the same room.

What natural laws do you wish you could suspend? What is your experience with animal devotion or loathing?

Puppy’s First Pow Wow

Last Saturday we drove 70 miles to Twin Buttes, a small community on the Fort Berthold Reservation to see dear friends there at the pow wow. It didn’t go well.

Our friend, Linda, was back home and ill. Her husband was there in his camper, so we could hang out with him and his extended family. Unbeknownst to us, Puppy had ingested a whole bunch of grape vine bark from our deck before we left, and hurled in the van on the way to the pow wow. He was terrified of the drumming, even though we were in the campground and fairly far from the arbor where the drums and dancing were. The dancers in their regalia frightened him. (He is Czech, you know and was expecting polkas.) There were lots of clumps of mowed and dried foxtail grass where our friend had his camper, and Puppy started to devour them in an attempt to hurl up the remaining grape vine bark. The grass stuck in his fur and in his throat, and he coughed and gagged, and he was not receptive to the attentions of our friend’s great nieces and nephews who wanted to pet him. He continued to hurl grape bark and foxtail grass for a couple of days after we got home. I am still combing fox tail burrs out of his fur.

What frightened you as a child? What frightens you now? What kind of dancing to you like?

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

When we got our first Welsh Terrier in 1990, the breeder, who lived in Mankato, was dismayed to find out we were both psychologists, since psychologists, in her experience, were not good at being consistent and structured with their dogs. They allowed too many misbehaviors and were too concerned with the dogs’ feelings.

We now are on our fourth terrier, and I must admit the Mankato breeder has a point. I wonder why it took me 30 years to admit she was right. It has also made me realize that I have too high expectations for the parents I work with to be consistent and structured with their children, and that I can do a better job in helping them do that, rather than roll my eyes over their failed attempts at positive reinforcement. This training stuff is hard!

Terriers are all heart and intellect. Punishment doesn’t work with them. They also need clear rules and limits. Children are the same. One of the first things I noticed with our new dog was our inconsistent message to him about shoes. Husband has a pair of gardening shoes he dislikes, and has allowed our new puppy to chew, shake, and toss them. Now, we both are well trained in behavior theory, and know that it is impossible for our dog to discriminate between shoes we like and shoes we don’t like. This has led to Kyrill raiding our closets for any shoes he can find. All we can do is keep the closet doors shut and praise him when he drops the shoes he has stolen. It is hard to be positive in those situations, rather than angry.

It is often hard to explain to parents how important it is to praise their children where they are rather than punish them for what they fail to do. For example, if the most positive thing you can say to your child is “Thank you for not using the F word at breakfast” then that is where you are. It is hard for for me to praise the dog when he drops something I treasure, rather than yelling at him for stealing it in the first place.

This is the first dog we have had when we weren’t actively parenting children. I think that has made me more aware of what I am doing, rather than doing what was expedient to get things done at home. Live and learn, I guess. We all have feet of clay.

What do you preach but don’t practice? What is hard for you to admit? What new things do you want to learn?

Baby Gates

Puppy training is going well. Kyrill bops his potty bells when he needs to go outside. He sleeps soundly with us for five hours at a time before he needs to go out. He even stayed close by us, unleashed, in the front yard for more than an hour on Sunday as we gardened. (That is highly unusual for most breeds of terriers, but typical for Ceskys. )

We have lots to work on in terms of thievery and his refusal to drop objects he isn’t supposed to have. He has yet to learn that our wine glasses and coffee cups are off limits on the lamp tables. He also has a love of cat food, and that requires a baby gate.

Our baby gates are somewhat decrepit, and hale from when we were training our second Welsh Terrier about 20 years ago. It was surprisingly hard to find new ones in town, and I had to order one from Target. We feed our cat in the basement. She, poor thing, has been sorely neglected since Kyrill’s arrival. We need to restrict his access to the cat food but allow her access to the upstairs. We have a strategically placed gate that allows her to jump over but keeps him out of the cat food and litter box. We also have a gate on the backyard deck so he can be outside when we work in the yard and be safe. He howls in frustration when he spies us and can’t get to us. It is hard to meet every creature’s needs these days.

When I was about 3, my parents had an enclosure in the back yard that they put me in so I could be outside but they didn’t need to watch me continuously. My mother said I got so upset when I saw the other neighborhood children running around that the let me run with them all over the block. No disaster ensued, but that was brave of my parents. Of course, this was in the early 1960’s, and things were different then.

What were your boundaries for roaming when you were a child? Did you have curfews? What are your experiences with baby gates?

Yard Work

Last night after work, Husband and I finally got our cabbage and cantaloupe plants into the home and church gardens. It has been a weird, late, planting season. I hope it isn’t too late for them. The replacement tomato and pepper plants go in tonight. We have to work quick, as our puppy has learned to scale his outdoor play pen walls, and we can’t have him outside with us in the front yard anymore. He howls if he leave him safely in the back yard. He just wants to be with us, but, being a terrier, he might dash across the street to get some prey, and we need to keep him safe.

One reason we have a vegetable garden in the front yard is so we don’t have to mow the lawn. Husband got a reel mower last year, but decided a cordless electric one would work better, and he got that last week. He still has this odd sense of pride about a neatly manicured lawn (although we have very little lawn to manicure). I am Dutch enough to pull every weed I see, but I don’t feel too overburdened with them.

I was saddened to hear that ND Senator Cramer is convalescing at home after a serious accident while he was doing yard work. I don’t agree with his politics, but any Senator who does his own yard work and gets his hand crushed by a boulder while moving it has my sympathy. He may need fingers on his right hand amputated.

I would like to see the neatly manicured lawn go the way of the Dodo’s. I detest the chemicals and water that are wasted on them. What grass we have looks awful, but people see our vegetables and flowers, not the turf.

What do you think is a good alternative to a lawn? What are your favorite and least favorite yard tasks?