Monday, January 30, 2017

Working Outside

It's hard to remember that this is how things looked at the beginning of January with our New Year's dump of snow.  Larry dug a path for one of the flocks of hens down to the trees.  It was snowy under the trees, but was thin on the ground, so after a few days it did melt there.

For the last two weeks it has looked like this.  Sooo much better for everyone!

Nice to see the girls out on the green grass again!

The weather has been surprisingly good.  Generally mild and dry.  We've had a bit of rain now and again, but not like we CAN have rain, and we've had sunshine too, which is such a bonus.
We've been working outside a fair bit.  We started pruning the fruit trees, and as of today I finished the Bartlett pear and Larry finished one of the apple trees.  We've got an early start, so at least don't feel the panic of some years when we are at the end of March and the trees should have been long finished.  The raspberries are pruned, although not tied up yet, and some other pruning has been done.

It's been dry enough for Larry to get out in the hay field and drag the chain harrow around.  There were a ton of mole hills which have now been spread around and the field is so much smoother.  I'll bet the dogs appreciate it too, this is where we play fetch and soccer and Tucker and Chy race and wrestle.

We had a massive pile to be burned at the back of the barn from when Larry had cleared there last summer.  It had been covered with plastic over the winter, so was fairly easy to get started.  There was a lot of soil in it though, from blackberry root balls, so the whole pile wasn't able to burn away.  After it burned down, we started gathering other stuff to throw on.  There is a seemingly endless supply around here. 
See Ramona taking herself out to the hayfield for a bit of grazing?

And then there is always the dogs.  One wanting you to throw something, one wanting you to kick the ball, and a puppy that if he isn't playing, is finding something, anything, to chew on.  He particularly seems to like little plant pots.

Chy chasing Tucker chasing Luna chasing the ball.

Always entertaining!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January Funk

I've been in bit of a funk this month.  I've really not been very productive at all.  I haven't blogged much, and feel like I haven't done much of anything. I think part of it is because there is something that I have been procrastinating about for a long time, and I knew I needed to deal with it, but could not seem to get myself started.  I made the first steps forward with that this week, and am feeling better about myself now.
 I guess what I have done is spent time puppy sitting.  Little Tucker is now about 23 lbs and 17 weeks.  He's a real live wire, into everything, a real chewer, a real chewer, oh did I say that already...well let me say it again.  He chews. Just about everything. I have a rubber boot that now has a scalloped top shaped like a cowboy boot.  I don't have a lot of puppy experience.  Calli was the last one, and that is 17 years ago.  I do remember that she was an easy puppy.  And then it's 40 years ago to the puppy before that.  That was the one that my parents must have spent time looking after, because I was going to BCIT and working up north.  And the only other puppy before that was way back when I was 12, and I don't remember a thing.  All the other dogs in my life came after the puppy stage.

Tucker and (Chy)enne (David's girlfriend's dog) are best buds.  They play sooo well together.  Lots of chasing each other and it gets very rough and tumble, but Chy is really good with Tucker and although she weighs three times as much, she knows how not to be too rough, or to be rough enough to keep Tucker under control.  It is fun to watch and I'm still attempting to get some decent video of it.  Jake has nothing to do with him, and Luna has a bit of interaction.  Tucker loves to 'herd' Luna when she is pushing her soccer ball around.  She gives him heck if he gets in her way, but he just bounces right back.  

Tucker was born on a ranch, so had some experience with other animals.  He's good with the chickens as long as one doesn't suddenly start running.

The gang hanging around while I cut up slow cooked kidney for dog treats. Luna is more interested in Nelson than the kidney.  Poor Nelson, he puts up with a lot from Luna.  Tucker mostly ignores him.

It's so nice that the snow has gone (except for some large patches in the back field and the bush).  I managed to fall twice on the ice a few weeks ago.  After the first fall I did dig out a set of those pull on crampon things.  All was good until one day we were taking the dogs for a walk around the block. The road was clear so I took the crampons off, and then managed to fall on our icy driveway before I even got to the gate. Landed on the other hip and knee this time, but not as hard.  Thank goodness, that is the side I sleep on.  The other side was still sore and I couldn't lay on it for long.

I don't think I mentioned that Larry and I took up Round Dancing last Fall.  Wow, what an adventure that has been.  In case you don't know (I didn't) Round Dancing is ballroom dancing done in a circle with other couples, and like Square Dancing, there is a caller telling you what step to do next. Now we did take some Ballroom Dancing about 35 years ago.  Never used that knowledge after that, and like they say, 'use it or lose it'.  Anyway, it has been a struggle, and still is, but at least now we can laugh at ourselves and not feel the urge to break into to tears (me mostly) when it got a bit too frustrating.  It's a two hour session, with a 15 minute break, and it can be exhausting.  The last few weeks we have been doing a lot of full dances, now that we know (sort of) the steps that are in those dances, and less time learning new steps.

Here's Larry, after collecting the day's eggs, practicing dancing with Chy, ha ha!
And not an egg was broken.

Well I could ramble on about a bit of this and that, but I'll say goodnight and try to blog again in a few days. 
Jake says goodnight too.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Day I Tried to Poison the Puppy

We have been looking after Tucker during the day while David is back at University and his girlfriend Melissa is at work.  Kind of a paying it forward situation.  I got my first dog when I was going to BCIT. My parents looked after her during the day.  At the end of my two year Survey degree I went north and worked on the Alaska Hwy for six months.  Megan stayed home with my parents.  There was some discussion as to the timing of David getting a dog.  He had a degree to finish, didn't know where he would be working afterwards etc, and I said the timing wasn't good.  But then I remembered the timing of my first dog, and I changed my mind.  So now we have a grand puppy!


He is 14 weeks old now and about 20 lbs.  He went to his first puppy class on Tuesday.  He has slept through the night since he arrived, and goes to the door when he needs to go out.  Good Tucker!
We take him on the bush walk in the morning.  He is on leash in the bush for his own safety and our peace of mind. (Think coyotes!)

He checks this bit of ice every morning.  There was a slight dusting on new snow on it today.

David had a short day today, so was able to take Tucker for a walk with us this afternoon.  We were coming back down the road, and I saw three pills on the edge of the road.  I picked them up and put them in my pocket, so that no dog would eat them, and then promptly forgot about them.  When we got back home we went out to the field so Tucker and Shy, Melissa's husky, could have a good play. Tucker came running to me, I gave him a treat, David called him and rewarded him when he got there. I called him back and rewarded him with another treat (I carry tiny treats in my pocket to reward him for doing something 'right').  As he got it and started chewing, it hit me that I hadn't fed him a treat, I had fed him one of the pills.  I frantically tried to scoop in out of his mouth, but I couldn't find it.  I checked my pocket, and could only find one pill, so I must have fed him two?  Panic!!! 

I handed David the pill and asked him to see if he could read the numbers, he could only make out a possible 5 and 0, and then dropped it in the snow.  We raced to the house and called the vet, but he was not in the office and the office staff couldn't help me.  Thank goodness we had Hydrogen Peroxide.  David googled the dosage and we shot it down Tuckers throat.  He certainly wasn't happy about that.  We gave him a bit of food to help with vomiting.  He ran to the door and went outside and vomited numerous times in the snow.  I was scooping it up off the snow with my bare hands into a dish and checking for pills.  Poor Tucker, he just kept vomiting, and I kept scooping and checking for white pills.  In the end we didn't find any, but I was hoping that some of the mucousy stuff that came up contained the dissolved pill.  We did find quite a bit of bird seed that he had mooched off the ground, and bit of hard plastic that he chewed off a container he snagged, as well as his lunch.  The big worry was that we didn't know what the pill was.  David found a site where you could try to figure it out by size, shape, colour, markings etc.  The conclusion was it was most likely Acetaminophen or Vitamin C.  Vitamin C wasn't a problem,  and we kept checking for any symptoms of Acetaminophen overdose.  Tucker obviously didn't feel well.  I wouldn't either, after having a disgusting liquid syringed down my throat, and then vomiting out everything except my stomach lining.

David kept watch and Larry and I walked back up the road in the dark, with a flashlight to try and  find white pills on the edge of the road or on the snowbank (where I found pill #3).  You can imagine how that went, the old 'needle in a haystack'.  No luck, but when we got back, Tucker was feeling somewhat better, and continued to improve.  When Melissa got home, she gave David heck for not phoning her (she works for horse vets who sometimes treat dogs, she said). She phoned one of the vets and he said the fact that we got the hydrogen peroxide into Tucker quickly, and that he had lots of food in his stomach, would have prevented his body from absorbing much if any of the pills.  

He was back to his perky puppy self pretty quickly, thank goodness.  
I think it took me a lot longer to recover.  The adrenaline was still pumping round this old system for a while.

I was given the wise advice to not pick up pills ever again, but instead to grind them into the ground.  Probably not the best for the environment, but at least that way I can't poison puppies.

Larry looked at Tucker tonight and said he could have been called 'Seven'.
I saw it right away, can you?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Most Spectacular New Year's Day

This post is a picture overload, but I was just overwhelmed on Sunday morning by the beauty of all that snow that came down on New Year's Eve.  We were teased by a bit of a colourful sunrise, and blue skies a bit later, but it never really did clear up. I was measuring snow on the deck just outside the back door, but as we slogged around doing the morning chores, it seemed more like 8-10 inches, and not just the 7 inches I measured on the deck.  
And funny, as I type this, the news is on the TV, and I just watched the weather forecast.  Abbotsford supposedly got 12cm of snow, which is about 5 inches.  Ha, certainly more than that in this section of town.

And this one is my favourite!!

The forecast for the next few days is for sunshine and temperatures around freezing during the day, and below freezing at night.  I don't think this snow is going anywhere fast.  More snow predicted for the end of the week.
The last winter that has been comparible to this one was eight years ago when we adopted Luna.
I suppose we are due.