madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
Is tired. Big surprise, I suppose, since this may be a frequent description. Work is coming along on matting pieces for the upcoming Necronomicon Art Show, more to go and likely to come down to the last minute (as usual). Planning on getting up to eight pieces framed, and some duplicates of those pieces matted and sleeved to take along. All of this, as usual, fits inside other business such as Going to Hospital for work tours, Ranch Chores and Duties, and now an additional bit.

Month and a bit ago, Herself and I adopted four kittens who'd been fostered at a friends place. All of them were either gathered or otherwise turned in to the next over county Animal Control Service, and as quite young kittens though with their eyes open already. First week or so proved interesting, though we provided the Young Kittens with a private space to slowly introduce them to the KittenzOfApocalypse. This proved a successful plan and over then two weeks or so from first introductions the elder KittenzOfApocalypse accepted the Young Kittenz. Perhaps the introduction of the 'Red Dot' (a laser pointer to play with kittens) helped...

The Young Kittehz )

Chaucer proved the slowest to warm up to Houdini Border Collie Bro. Houdini, for his part, felt some concern. He grew up with cats around, and indeed the KittenzOfApocalypse are good friends with him. The newcomers didn't seem so friendly at first, often exhibiting 'Leaky Kitty Pressure' syndrome with hissing and bottled tails. Bleau cottoned first, he being quite the extrovert, and with the example of their elders the KittehzOfApocalypse even Chaucer calmed down when Houdini was about.

Chaucer received his name from the Agency; he was found near to one of the major library buildings on University campus, alone and wee as mentioned. I started thinking a dog probably caused his separation from mother and siblings. Given some additional data, I am much firmly of this opinion.

Then, last week and because we somewhat lucked into the connection, we brought another youngster out to The Ranch.
Vel & Houdini First Meeting )

This is Vel, or Val, short for Velvet Valkyrie. She was the only surviving pup in a litter of six, the other five being stillborn. Her dam would not accept her, what with the rest of them all being dead, and that family contacted the Animal Control folks for help, being unable to cope with an infant pup needed every two hour feedings and such. Local Animal Control Agency has a network of volunteers willing and able, and as it happened the volunteer who received Vel gets her goat milk supply through us. She told us we might be interested in this pup, and indeed we are.

We felt some concern at how Houdini would cope with a new addition. He grew up with his brothers, and there is some exposure to other dogs in his life. Not all of them were friendly. Based on evidence so far, Houdini is an excellent Uncle. Including that prerogative of Uncles to turn the youngster back to the 'parents' when he's had enough.

However, we are now also re-learning just how much energy a seven week old pup sports. Interrupted sleep is Us. Officially we are 'fostering' her for another three weeks until she hits the age at which Animal Control Agency will adopt out. It is our intention to adopt her at that time.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
For those of you following the Sandy Sandpit Stray Saga...

The past week saw a major breakthrough.

A couple months ago, I replaced the plastic barrel cap he'd been using with an old kitchen pot from my bachelor days. At first (as with all change) he wasn't sure he liked that. After a few days, though, he started playing with it, and moving it about. So going out to feed him often became Find Sandy's Bowl game. Because, yanno, nearly all Dogs are Gamers. ::nods::

He'd been coming up to me when I went out to feed him, and up to Herself, though not as close, when she went out to feed him. Still No Touchee though.

Then a couple weeks ago, he started nuzzling my hand while I walked, and not backing off when I put the food in his bowl. By the end of the week, he accepted pets on the head. Start of last week, he would let me be squatting down next to the bowl and start to eat. So Herself came out with me the next day. Oh. Change. He hung back 20 feet or so. Next day though, just me going out, he forgave me and came right up, bouncy, playful, happy to receive petting on a dogs head.

Friday, he was outside the back door (been hanging out there often) and Herself went out to sit on the steps. She took some leftover french fries with her. He came closer. She tossed him a fry. He snuffled and ate it. She offered another. He came closer and snuffled, then took it from her hand. Third fry... he climbed the steps and sat next to her before she could offer.

He's stuck his head in the door and snuffled, not sure he wants to come inside though. However, from either of us now, he's quite happy to see us around and about, not only at mealtime either, and will accept strokes.

Now it's just see if we can convince the Bros that he's OK to stay, even if outdoors, out on the back side.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (harrison ford)
We apparently are entertaining, after a fashion, an uninvited visitor to teh Ranch. Over the weekend while heading out to do evening rounds I heard a dog barking further back from the Big House. Didn't see one, and our property line and fence is comparatively close in that direction. Barking dog could be other side of the fence on that neighbor's side. Still, mentioned it to Herself as stray dogs and young kids do not mix well.

Day before yesterday, Herself confirmed presence of said dog with a visual confirmation, and on our side of the fence. Dog took off when it saw her coming, though that may of had to do with her carrying her 20 Gauge Featherlight. Today I saw the dog, and meandered over that way just myself. Dog barked at me, and I stopped my wandering about 18 metres / 20 feet away, on the other side of a bowl-shaped depression and sat down to just talk with this dog. Not a lot of barking on dog's part after that, though some growling. Then again, carcass from a recent death here on teh Ranch was within six feet / two metres or so and I expect dog felt some concern about loosing that bounty.

Following about a 20 minute chat about weather, carcasses, scared and hungry dogs with collars and broken leads on them, I got up and walked away. During the chat, dog settled down in a down position, but the growling continued, though lower. After claiming the Bros and feeding Horses and Cows and Bros, I took some kibbles over along with an old stock pot with water, and left it about as far away as I'd been while chatting.

Not sure what happened here, never will know. Still, dog has collar, and that broken red nylon lead. Rather hound-dog appearing, mutt though as there are characteristics of, well, Dawg about it. Not even sure, yet of gender or neuter status. Not getting that close.

I'm hoping we can get dog calmed down enough to get some control, and very much hoping there's a tag on that collar as well. If this is a lost dog, may hap we could reunite with their person. If it's an abandoned dog... well, that's an issue for other authorities. Or potentially, we may be able to move this dog along in a Rescue. Don't know, insufficient data here. Until we can get close, and control, this is a stray with potential for big problems on a working ranch with young livestock about.

In dogs favour is that we've not seen any sign of it up by the goats.

We'll see.

Indoor Dog

May. 17th, 2010 07:09 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Houdini and the Sleeping Place )

He definitely is enjoying the perks of being 'Indoor Dog' as we move into the Hot Season. This is from a few days ago, apparently he experienced a rougher day today since the 'Sky Grumblers' (thunder storm) were hunting him. And yes, that is the tip of his tongue sticking out...


18 Dec. 11th, 2009 07:04 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Moll)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has marked as possibly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. )
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
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I don't have any favorite Scooby-snacks. I do think it's pretty cool Scooby and I share a birthday. *G*

And I think it's fair to say I've involved several of my dogs in crazy adventures.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Studio 318)
These dog crates could be furniture, and actually are probably designed with that in mind. Link should open in a new window/tab. I followed this link from an ad while reading G-mail.

I've been somewhat amused by the Google ads. So, I suppose they're working then, from an advertising point of view.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Default)
It's very early, and dark on a Christmas morning. I'm awake with an achy back, and that's what it is is back. Oh noes say the readers another blow by blow recovery post. No; no, it's not. It's an achy back.

On KP Ranch the Business )

The KitnzOfApocalypse Units Business )

Meanwhile, Back On KP Ranch )

So when bytheby passes we expect he'll still be there.

There've been several posts yesterday with folk commenting about naming holidays or saying holidays. Nothing offensive, actually sounding more like it's OK to call it what you want.

Hey, this part of the year seems to concentrate a lot of holidays into it. I hold that's related to Northern Hemisphere Solstice; for whatever reason when it's getting cold and winter's starting, people pretty much want to keep their spirits up so they party. Sure, it's good to party just because, but it's always better to party for a Good Reason. Wow, here I go doing much the same thing, saying much the same thing as lots of other people.

Which is't what I set out to do. I think. Then again, yes I am still taking my pain meds. At night. This is night, I remember mentioning that at the start of all this.

I grew up in the Christian tradition. I celebrate the season; for Christians (specifically Catholics) it's Advent. I'm not a church-goer, I include New Years in that, maybe moreso than my parents did. It's just the Season is what we did growing up, the whole season, Advent.

My Dad included a letter in the Christmas card after we'd had our goat herd a couple years, and it was beginning to grow. He told the legend that on Christmas Eve, the animals can speak Human, to celebrate the Nativity.

It's true; I've heard them.


Aug. 1st, 2007 10:55 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
Tired. Brought Houdini into the house yesterday evening because of severe thunderstorms. He stayed in overnight, with a brief sojourn outside around midnight. Side door left ajar with a bungee on it to keep it closed (there's a screen door to the inside); near midnight Smudge sounded off. Mamma Mudge, and Houdini, both bolted out the side door.

Went out to check, Mudge came back but not Houdini. Looked for him for a bit, no response to our calling and whistling. Headed back into the house and bed, Smudge sounded off again about 45 minutes later. Went out to check, here come's Houdini.

Glad he's OK.

Herself tells me there's a new sinkhole over in the cattle paddock. Joy.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
We are down another goat. I saw the carcass this morning on my way out to work, and Herself confirms it is a canid kill. This one isn't eaten at all, which is leaning us to think that we've got neighbor dog problems again. It's an old and ongoing story for us, an ugly one too. One neighbor who doesn't believe in keeping his dogs in control, and who's response to Herself years back to a request to do so to avoid livestock kills was, "You live in the country now. Things like that happen." The dogs are just doing what their genes tell them to do, something which our dogs do as well, though under control and with training so they don't hurt the livestock, they only herd the livestock. But the dogs lose in this equation, because the owner can't be dealt with the same way.

This same owner and I had a direct discussion; that discussion followed a visit on another occasion when the Alachua County Sherriff deputy explained, and had them read, the appropriate portion of the FL legal code, that a dog attacking livestock can be destroyed by the livestock owner. Said owner stated he didn't want any trouble. I explained to him that I don't either, and for me trouble starts when someone lets their dogs loose after my livestock, since they represent dollars, not pets. So some dog killing livestock is the same as stealing from me.

Fine. We live in the country now. Dog may not come home one day. Things like that happen, too.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
So. Even with a daytrip drive to Deltona and back. Even with a hustling extraction of bootie from the U-Haul truck on Sunday to get unloaded before the skys opened up. Even with several (brief) power outages from lightning strikes and the very close presence of a certain Border Collie Brother who is afraid of thunder. I hereby declare it a good and restful weekend.

We did indeed truck on down to Deltona to pick up the majority of the last of the schtuph which Herself is bringing home from Mother Mary's house. Uneventful trip. That's the kind we like. I used to laugh about U-Haul's slogan, "Adventures in Moving" because as a good friend of mine used to say, that's the least preferred time to have an adventure, when one is moving their own household. Houdini travels very well, and appeared to enjoy his adventure.

We got the majority of things unloaded into Studio for temporary storage before the first round of rainfall, then paused and waited to unload a new mattress and box springs into the Big House for that rain. As it began to slow down, we received a pleasant surprise and brief visit from Skippy and MK of [ profile] fatfred's place, after which we moved the mattress & springs. Just in time, too, because the sky opened up in earnest at that point, which started the series of power supply blips.

When that died down, we loaded up (including Houdini) and returned the U-Haul to Williston. Houdini came with us because it looked like more storms on the horizon. Following the drop-off (no drop box for the key, though, but hey, this is Williston. Herself will drop the key off today) we spun past the grocery store and then headed home for steak, portabella mushrooms, fresh zuccini and home-baked buscuits for dinner. Ate dinner while watching some of the episodes from Firefly we've not previously viewed off the recently acquired DVD set. I do so enjoy Herself's cooking. Yum.

Then off to bed expecting to be woken by severe weather again (actually, probably by a Houdini telling us about severe weather), but either he simply sacked in next to the bed or the weather passed us to the north. Either way, back to Hospital today.

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