Monday, August 17, 2015

Sheep, dogs & horses, oh my.


Guess I need to ad cat and rats to that.  Wow, it's totally quiet here without the puppies.  It's kinda nice. They say everything happens for a reason.  It's time to deal with horses.  It started slowly, 2 years ago both Stetson and Sterling's feet started showing signs of laminitis, commonly called founder.  An obvious ring around the hoof. Like when you smash our fingernail in the door.  Both horses had been to two trainers last summer and I supposed it was from rich alfalfa and grain they both gave the horses.  I would be very mindful of their diets for the next year.  Sterling's feet showed complete recovery as the ring grew out and was trimmed off without incident but Stetson's feet continued to get worse and worse and worse until this sad state he is in today.  He's lost 100 pounds and his hind end sways from side to side to find relief for his feet and his thigh muscles tremble from the pain. I am beside myself with the fear of having to put him to sleep.  I have only a few days to find a solution for Stetson before Marcel makes me call the vet out to euthanize my horse.  He just can't stand to see him suffer like this.  I am told that horses can come back from laminitis but I have never known one.  Things have changed a lot but I just remember when I was a child they would cut the front of hoof clear off and you could see inside the foot.  The horses suffered terribly and rarely ever recovered.  We still don't know what causes laminitis accept that fat horses and ponies all most always get it.  It can happen to any horse who gets a stomach ache, stress, rich feed, different illnesses come out in the foot for unknown reasons.
We added 3 female rats to our long list of pets.  They have a giant cage.  They smell and I'm going crazy looking for a better solution to keep their bedding from getting outside the cage and onto the carpet.  We've had rats before but only one at a time.  Three is a little overwhelming.  I think they bond better when there is only as they seek out your attention and company.
I swore I'd never have small cage animals again.  At one time I had several cages of rabbits, mice of different types and a couple of hedge hogs.  Now that was overwhelming.  I like rats a lot.  They are so smart. We are really enjoying feeding them bits of food.  I'm sure I'll end up making little agility obstacles for them and teaching them tricks.  Marcel laughs because they love me and come running to whatever corner of the cage is closest to me.
I'm anxiously waiting for our first ewe to lamb.  I didn't pick up our ram until late last fall and so we'll have later lambs than normal which is OK as it's warmer.  A woman in my swim class said she found several of her goat kids curled up and frozen in dark slumber next their mothers because they were born too early while it was still freezing during the night.  Yikes.  I'll take waiting till later any time. 
All that was left of a ram.
I'm down to three ewes again. I lost a couple last year.  Don't know why but we did have a large pack of coyotes eat a ram last year.  I couldn't even find the head with the giant horns.  I don't know how they got the horns through the fence.  Now none of my animals will go out on the other side the creek to graze any more.  The lush shaded grass gets as tall as I am but nope, scary things lurk.  Sterling eats his hay, one bite at a time, looking over his shoulder between each bite.  A few years before we had a mountain lion kill two ewes, my favorite ewe and her daughter the following year.  That lasted for three years until a local rancher shot the lion.  Many farms lost sheep and goats to that big cat.
I never thought I would be the kind of person to want to shoot wild animals or any kind of animal but when you have a farm full of animals you want to protect them.  Marcel shot the mink that was eating my poultry but of course we couldn't shoot the bald eagles for killing my goose and considering taking my barnyard full of Pomeranians.  All I could do is give my remaining poultry away and place all of my Pomeranians in safer city homes.
This is the reality of owning animals.  Lots of poop, making hard decisions and anticipating new life.  I couldn't imagine my life any different. 
Well, I'd better get out to the barn to make a dry place for my crippled friend Stetson to lay down and I'll check those ewes while I'm out there too.  One ewe is bagged up and will deliver any day.

Time goes way too fast

To all the youths out there:  It's totally true that time goes faster as you get older so ENJOY every moment of your healthy youth.  Life really is short.

My other advice is to take care of your teeth, your feet, your knees and your skin.  USE SUN SCREEN.  Especially if you're a whitey. Wear a hat, eyes can get sun burned too.  Eat organics whenever you can and don't use toxic chemicals in your body or in the home. Don't eat or drink anything that says DIET on the label and ladies, no birth control pills! They are the worst!  Don't use certain recreational drugs, prescribed pharmaceuticals AND over the counter remedies. NSAIDS are soooo bad for your kidneys............I can attest to that personally.  It's now common knowledge that these things cause seriously effects your health and as you age it all becomes apparent.  PLEASE care for you body and share the information with everyone you love and don't love.

It sucks to be in your 40's and start having all kinds of health issues you could have avoided.

Enough about physical health now I want to talk about happiness.  Humans can't thrive without love and friendship.  Nurture healthy relationships and leave any in the dust that don't make you feel good about yourself.  It's hard to know what that means when you are a child playing with other children but it is something we learn the hard way in short time if we have been raised with any sense of confidence and integrity.

Everyone has to learn to say NO.  Leave toxic relationships with any partner.  It isn't worth your time.  Remember life is short.  It isn't your responsibility to save anyone.  I'm not saying you can't help others but don't become co-dependent. Point them in the direction of professional help and let them make the decision to float or sink.  Most people have to hit bottom before they will help themselves.  I'm not saying bail on a marriage because it's tough but toxic isn't healthy for you.

Ladies, get a good education and be able to support yourself and any children YOU decide to have.  We have come too far to be angry with partners that don't support us and our children.  Be the provider and get over it.

Gentlemen, be just that.  Respect your partner.  Be your word.  Don't make promises you can't keep. Communicate openly and honestly even if it is a simple yes or no answer.  Be generous with your heart it doesn't cost you anything.

Lovers come and go throughout life but good friends are always there when your lover leaves.  Don't forget about them!  Keep in good communication.  Don't neglect them, they deserve your respect too.

Cultivate and nurture friendships with people that inspire you. Brilliant people come in all kinds. Both young and old people of all faiths and cultures can contribute to our educations as humans.  Them more we learn other people's prospective the more loving and generous we can become to the world. Take opportunities to meet new people.  Talk to strangers.  Pay it forward. 

TRAVEL as much as you can.  Even if it's just a car drive a few towns away.  Take a new way home from work.  Try new things you haven't done before.  Start a bucket list.  It gets harder to do some of those things as you get older so do them when you can and before you can't!

Happiness starts with feeling good about yourself.  Then and only then will you attract the kind of people in your life that share your level of integrity.  Only then will you attract a willing partner in life.

Happiness can be found in the strangest places.  In quiet days with blue skies, singing along with the radio playing your favorite while you pick dog poop up off the lawn.  Been there, done that.

Enough said.  I have to start my happy day with feeding hungry critters.  Have a good one.

Shiba health moving in positive directions

Wish I could go to Japan but the more I think about the imports the more I am happy with our Shibas here in the US.  We have the most stringent health checks in the world US and have some very good 4 and 5 generations from imports that are moving in positive directions.  There are imports that pass health tests but they still have poor grades of health behind them that need to be overcome and there are things like cream, long coat and other recessives that need to be weeded out.  Thankfully DNA can now let us track some of these genes and it helps us breed any good specimens that are carries to non carries and we can slowly eliminate that from our programs.  Of course there are all the other minor faults that show breeders deal with that we have to keep an eye on too so the whole thing gets complicated but conscientious breeders willing do the job and pet buyers can take advantage of it at no extra cost to themselves but not everybody is patient enough to do that and that is what keeps the puppy mill and other Shiba producers in the money.  These people have so little investing in their poor quality dogs that everything is 90% is pure profit for them.