Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Scamps Kibbles and Bits

Kibbles and Bits
Yesterday I had to follow up visit to the vet for our latest rescue pup, for the removal of his stitches, after having his kibbles and bits removed. Having left work early, I did my grocery shopping, hit tractor supply up for feed (with my 10% off coupon) and picked up a bale of hay and trying to get as much done as possible in one day.

Arriving home I run in and try to grab a leash without the dogs noticing, I failed miserably. Pumpkin and Max are beyond excited; the leash means someone goes for a ride. They all think they will be the one going for the ride, even if the leash is clipped onto the Scamps collar. Everybody heads for the front door, making it literally impossible to open the door and get one dog out. Time for trickery; running to the other side of the house calling all three dogs, hopefully I can get Pump and Max to follow. Then I can shut the doors to that side, run back to the front door with the pup and escape before the two can run out one dog door and get back in using the other dog door. There are dog doors on each side of the back of the house.

So it begins: Run, run, run, bark, bark and I only accomplish to lock out Pumpkin, run, run back and to try to get out with Scamp, without letting Maxi out and I failed again.  

Maxi took full advantage, ran over the top of both Scamp and I, he is frolicking happily around the street. Scamp becomes frantic; he wants to run with his Maxi, not happening. I’m holding the leash while trying to get Scamp to the passenger side door and stuff him in. Picking him up in the muddy driveway I stuff the squirming, barking, whining dog into the Volvo. Yes the good car, leather seats, wood trim now accented with mud and dog saliva and lots of mud.

Stupidly I think I’m doing well, I have the dog in the car and the keys in my pocket; last time I didn’t and had to fight my way back into the house and out. At this point Maxi thinks he might want to go for a ride, runs back to the car and begs to be let in. Once again I’m stupid, opening up the car door for my good boy Maxi who at the last minute runs the other way. Not missing a beat, the pup leaps out of the car, luckily I grab the leash. Scamp is beyond frantic at this point wanting to run with his Maxi; once again I have to wrestle the little beast into the car, mud, saliva, whining, I jump in at the same time. 

Maxie does a lap past the car, Scamp is leaping from seat to seat, dash board, licking and biting the windows. I’m starting to pant myself, starting up the car while trying to calm down Scamp who is inconsolable. He heads for the back of the car, squeezing himself between the passenger seat/head rest and the window, ending up stuck. Maxi is now heading up the road; Scamp can see him running away and jams himself even more between the seat and window. Grabbing his back legs I try to lift and yank him back to the front seat, which was successful.  

Immediately I turn the car around, head up the road, catching up to Max. Max has a big doggie smile, tongue hanging out running next to the car. I do live on a dead end; this is not as dangerous as it sounds.

Scamp goes ballistic, proceeding to climb over my head, slipping down between the head rest and the window on the driver side, becoming stuck again. Driving past my neighbor who looked at me very confused, I then boost his butt into the back of the car and onto the groceries. After doing a few five or six laps around the back of the car, he decides to crawl on top of the hay bale settling in for a nice ride to the vet.

Slowly I’m trying to access in my mind the damage done; one white shirt trashed, front of car and windows muddy, groceries a little trampled, howling dog still in car, my sanity gone.
Luckily the vet is very close, it is a quick trip. We arrive, Scamp who seems to have recovered from missing a frolic with Max happily goes into the vet office. I on the other hand not such a graceful recovery; as he runs behind the counter to greet everyone, I drop the leash and ask them to please take the little f***er. They of course are all laughing at me; take the boy into a room to remove his stiches.
Not two minutes later out come a tech to announce he does not have any stiches, the vet had used dissolvable stitches and that I did not need to bring him there.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Goosy Lucy

Lucy Goosy

Our little disabled Lucy Goosy is growing up into a beautiful white goose. She no longer has any yellow fuzzy down, just a luxurious covering of white feathers over thick white down. Lucy still runs over to greet me making her baby goose noises but does not let me pick her up for goose hugs any more. She walks with a slight limp and you can see she has to work harder than the other goslings to balance herself. Every now and then she wobbles a bit. Lucy and I have long conversations some days but it's hard with all the other goslings interrupting our bonding time. Lucy has had several fans come to visit her and she is always delighted to greet them. When her visitors see her crooked foot they realize what hard work it is for her to get around and she is to have survived. Goosy does not realize she is crippled or disabled in any way. She runs a little slower than the other ducks and goslings, when climbing over rocks or into the barn she takes careful deliberate, wobbly steps but she always makes it.

She will always be a special goosy girl.

Speckles and Bossy

Speckles and Bossy
This past spring John and his wife Joann bought four hens from us to raise for eggs. They live in the village of Chatham and could only raise hens, no roosters for fear that the crowing would disturb their neighbors. When they picked up their birds the inquired into what type of feed we used and I explained how we mix our own organic feed. One thing led to another and they now buy their chicken feed from our farm. By doing this we have been keeping in touch sharing chicken stories.
The other day John sent an email commenting on how big his one hen, Bossy is getting, she is growing like an ostrich. My immediate thought is Uh Oh; some body has gone cross chicken gender and turned from a hen to a rooster. It happens, not the cross gender thing but every now and then a bird will fool you and turn rooster. I have also had a hen act like a rooster for a six month then start laying eggs (Coco my show girl believe it or not!). I question John if by chance; he has heard any crowing or something like a crow or screech. He said no, no, they all just happily cluck around. Okay, but I'm still thinking if her name is Bossy, she bosses the other hens around and is growing like an ostrich? Sounds like rooster to me but we have to wait and see. Know how attached to their birds the John and Joann are I'm hoping my thoughts do not come true.
The very next morning I get the email from John mentioning how he may have spoke too soon, there was crowing coming form the coop. I feel horrible; their birds are like children to them, darn, darn, darn. I've always told our customers if a hen turns rooster, bring them back and I will swap out the roo for a hen (hopefully). John agrees to the swap, I have a young hen available and they need to stop over for feed anyway.
Off I send Bruce, my poor husband out into the back yard to hunt down Speckles. Speckles is a young pullet (female chicken) Cuckoo Maran that hatched out with the turkeys. She thinks she is a turkey and is very happy hanging out with the giant gangly beasts. Speckles feathers are a dark black/gray color with lots of tiny white speckles all over with dainty little feathers going down her legs. Her best friend is Willow and those two are always together day and night along with their turkeys. Now that I think about it I haven't seen Speckles in a day or so, but with all the babies running wild out there it's easy to miss a bird for a day or two. Bruce looks high and low for Speckles; for once he even knew which bird I'm asking him to look for! Willow is in the barn, the turkeys were hanging out, outside the barn but there is no sign of Speckles. Now I start to get worried, a few weeks ago a couple of Elvira's chicks vanished. They had a very bad habit of sneaking out of our perimeter fencing every day to visit the neighbors. Bruce and I figured Foxy Loxy may have had a paw in their disappearance. While I'm hunting for Speckles my hope sinks, I fear she may have decided to sneak out also, which she has never done before. They have a whole acre, why do they need to visit the neighbors? Then the old adage rang true in my head "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence", darn birds.
John and Joann arrive and we explain our situation of Speckles missing. They agree to wait a few days to see if She turns up, if not they will adopt younger chicks. I'm still hoping to find her lounging out somewhere having a chicken party with a few other hens. Now for Bossy, I have to find him a place to stay for a few days so he can meet the other chickens slowly. When introducing a new bird to the flock they need a slow introduction, everyone beats up the new kid on the block. This is especially true for a young rooster.
Reaching into the cat carrier I take out Bossy, he is absolutely beautiful! He is almost all white with black accents around his neck with spectacular rooster feathering. Immediately he stuffs his head under my arm, shaking from fear. I could see the pain in John and Joann's eyes, giving up Bossy was not an easy task for them. I Assuring them that he will be fine and carefully place him in a pen alone that is within view of all the other bird in the barn. He can meet everyone behind the safety of chicken wire to ensure he is not beaten up or picked on. Bossy is not happy about this, he had never been alone before in his whole life, he starts prancing back and forth trying to fine a way through the fencing. The next morning I go out to check on Bossy first thing. He is still prancing back and forth but seems more frantic then the evening before. Going into his pen I pick the boy up, he squawks and stuffs his head under my arm, desperately trying to hide. Hoping is as gentle as he seems, I place Bossy in with all the younger chicks for company. He can still be seen by all the big birds but not be all alone. Ta da, he is thrilled, Bossy starts strutting around the baby pen, clucking and bah burring to any chick that would listen. As far as he knows, he is still a young chick also. This solution will keep him safe until I think the other roosters will accept him.
Meanwhile another day goes by and there is still no sign of Speckles, my heart slowly sinks a little more when all of a sudden Bruce comes rushing into the house announcing he has found Speckles! She had fallen behind a board, slipping into the wall of the barn. The poor girl has been wedged in the wall for three days! Carefully Bruce extracted her from her predicament and places her next to a water and food bowl. Speckles can barely stand up but she manages to wobble over to the water dish and starts to drink. After what seemed an eternity she stops drinking and turns to the dish of food for a nibble. It looks as if her feathers have been squished upwards on each side and compressed. Speckles is wobbly and shaking but she is eating and drinking, that’s a very good sign after her ordeal. A few more minutes go by; she must have had enough water and food for the moment. She then wobbles over to a sunny spot on the barn floor where quietly sat down and closes her eyes. I can see her tail feathers are shaking, Speckles is not out of the woods yet.
My mind is racing what could I give her to boost her strength. She needs electrolytes, juice, sugars something to get energy into her weak dehydrated little body. Back in the house I'm digging around for something to give her and I came across Gatorade, why not, I'll try it, chickens love sweet stuff. Then I cut up a peach into tiny bits with some cucumber and lettuce. Placing this tiny feast in front of Speckles I feel better; hopefully it will work for her.
She opens her eyes and I splash my finger in the Gatorade water, this gets her attention and she leans over to take a long drink. Speckles then notices the fruit and cucumber and slowly nibbles on just a tiny bit, then closes her eyes resting in her sun spot. There is nothing more I can do but let her rest. Every ten or fifteen minutes I went out to the barn to check on Speckles progress. Slowly she is improving, walking around the barn from feed bowl to treat dish to water bowl and the Gatorade dish, taking a sip or nibble from each. Willow came into the barn discovering Speckles and seemed very happy at the return of her friend, together they wandered happily around the barn burbling. How I wish Willow could have told me her friend was stuck in the wall.

After a few hours I call John and Joann to give them the good news about Speckles, they are excited and offer to adopt both girls as soon as Speckles is well enough to travel. Speckles has made a full recovery, she is inseparable from Willow. The two girls will be ready to be adopted by the weekend. Bossy is still living with the baby chicks, we may have a family that will hopefully adopt him (please, please, please). This will save him from going through the trauma of being the low rooster in pecking order.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Lovely Mud

My Lovely Mud

When I was a kid I used to love to play in the mud. I would collect old stray containers, empty butter tubs, old pie tins, any thing that could be used to form the mud into different gourmet delicacies' of dirt. All of this had to be done in secret, if I was ever caught playing in mud or with mud, mom would kill me! Usually I would go way out back on a rock in the woods with my tools, after a rainfall when the mud would be plentiful.

These would not be any old mud pies, there would be wild onions, scallions and any available flower or fauna in bloom at the time used to season my creations. I would sit there on my rock serving meals, making dirt dishes for hours. When I went back to the house my mother would be furious, wondering how I could possibly get so dirty. All her friends little girls 7 or 8 years old and they would be sparkling clean with cute little pig tails and white socks. I was a crusty mess, torn pants, cuts, bruises and scrapes, covered head to toe in my lovely mud. My mother would throw my clothes out and of course I would get a beating but it was worth it!

All those bitter sweet, dirty memories came back to me as I look out my back door, watching the ducks diving through the mud. How could I have loved something that I hate so much now? Those ducks were diving; running in circles, splattering mud and muddy water wildly in the air, they are having a grand time. They love the rain and the mud it brings to life.

Suddenly I'm tempted to get out my plastic containers and old pie tins, go pick some flowers, chives, garlic scapes and create a muddy delicacy for my husbands' dinner. I could join the ducks and share their innocent joy of frolicking in the mud. How long do you think it would take before Bruce has me hauled away or the neighbors call the paramedics? Look the lady next door has finally snapped. Not to mention all the bird poop mixed in with that mud.

I've decided to be a sideline spectator, let the ducks have their fun amongst themselves. Watching them gives me the opportunity to experience their joy that is good enough for me. Someday though I may be tempted again to join them and I just might do it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Freebird Goes to the Vet

Freebird goes to the vet

I know that I've not mentioned Freebi in a while but he is still around. About one month ago his middle toe on his right foot became infected; its one of those bent, deformed bird toes that happen every now and then. Noticing him limp around the yard one Saturday, I went to pick him up and check it out. Free's poor toe looked like a swollen sausage about to burst. I try not to panic but or course I do and call the vet, Freebi is may special boy.Once again, we are very lucky to have a vet that will take care of fowl farm creatures. If you can bring it to him, he will take care of it. The vet said to bring him in immediately.

Off we go to the vet, my mother-in-law drove and Freebird road on my lap (with a towel under him). That rooster sat in my lap happily making his burrrr burrrrrr noises with an occasional grrrrrrwwwwwl, that’s a rooster growl by the way. As the care started rolling Free hunkered down and decided he better hide his head under the towel, smashing as close to me as he could get. The ride to the vet is only five minutes and surprisingly uneventful (when have you ever heard me say that), Freebird is one good little rooster.

The bird and I go into the office while mom waits out in the car. You would have thought that these people had never seen a chicken before, let a long a pet rooster hiding its head under a towel. Freebird had the attention of every one in the waiting room and the vet staff. Slowly I try to get him to lift his head up and come out from under his towel. It took me a few minutes of cooing and talking to get Free to looking around; finally he did and realized it is not all that scary, until he saw a dog in the same room. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrwwwww, back went the head under the towel. People now have their cell phones out ready to take pictures of the rooster at the vet, I really didn't see the thrill but I guess this is not your every day occurrence.

Freebird starts to get a little antsy and pops his head out to take another look around, click, click click; he is now famous with his vet office paparazzi snapping pictures. One woman comes over asks if she can pet him. Free takes one look at her and gives a screeeeeeeeeeeeee grrrrrrrrrrrr, which means back off lady. This makes me laugh because he is the gentlest bird on the planet. I tell the women give me a second to turn him around so his back is to her, he loves to be scratched. This way he could not see who is petting him and he was happily facing the wall, no more scary people or dog. Freebi starts to give his content burble of burr baa burrs waiting for his turn in examination room. Meanwhile I'm answering a barrage of questions about the star rooster.

The vet tech calls Freebird in and two more techs come with her, they all want to pet him, take pictures and look at Free. One tech gets a bowl with warm soapy water to soak his foot in. The other tech is preparing bandages, scissors and tape while the other tech is still snapping pictures as Free is nervously posing. I'm holding him while his foot is soaking in the warm water with the tech gently massaging his toe and foot, debriding it. What the heck? I don't think I have ever gotten this kind of care or attention at any doctors' office!

Finally the vet comes in, examines Frees toe and tells the tech to antibiotic gel it and wrap it up. He fixes a couple of syringes, one for antibiotics the other for pain, yes pain. My freaking bird is getting the good stuff, heck I'm the one who has to pay the bill, where is my shot? I'm holding the spoiled brat while his foot is being wrapped up, he gets his shots and we are good to go.

By this point Freebi is has his head back under the towel, clinging to me and there is no way I can set him down to pay the bill. Of course the receptionist kindly takes my debit card out of my pocket for me, process the payment and slips it back into my pocket, how kind. I'm told to bring Freebird back in two days for another injection and he may need one more after that. Honestly I don't remember how much that initial visit cost me, I'm probably blocking it out of my memory but this is my Freebird, he is worth every penny.

We go back through the waiting room, Freebi is now hiding from his paparazzi and mom drives us home. I think to Freebi's amazement, he survived the ordeal. When we get home I let him loose in the house, shaking his feathers he cautiously struts off; tap thump, tap thump, tap thump, burrrr babaaaaa burrrrrr. Pumpking runs up to Free and is desperately attempting to sniff the bird head to toe; where have you been, whats that smell, ahhh butt checks. I'm running around to get his special water set up and arrange a place for him in the barn where he can keep his precious toe clean.

When I come back looking for Freebi, I can't find him anywhere. He was raised in the house as a chick, in a cage on our table, he knows the house well, and he could be anywhere. I do a few laps through the house and eventually I notice he is sitting quietly on the back of my over stuffed leather chair, right where he used to sit with me in the evenings when he was a chick. There is a lot more to those feather brains then they ever given credit for.

By Freebi's second vet visit he was strutting across the counter, posing and even gave them a good old Cock a doodle dooooo. Pictures were being snapped; I explained how he likes to be rubbed under his wings (wing pit rubs). By the third visit, he was a pro and rode in the seat next to me on his towel all by himself, like a big bird. He let anyone pet him and strutted around the waiting room, the counter and his exam room, he owned that office.

Every evening after work, I go out to to the barn to get Freebird for his soak and foot massage. The toe had looked very good, almost healed and then he relapsed. Freebi stands on one foot with me holding him up with his other foot in a hot water soak. Slowly I'm starting to see an improvement again but his toe is obviously going to take a time to thoroughly heal. He has been very patient and a very good patient, not many roosters would tolerate the foot soak but the massage must make it feel better. After each treatment, his foot is wrapped up with antibiotic gel and he gets his treat for being such a good boy. When I let him down to run around a bit, giving him a little change of scenery from the barn; he does a tour of the house then stomps off to his chair, tap thump, tap thump, tap thump, baaa baaa burrrrrr.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Some days are easier then others

Some days doing chores can be more difficult then other days. It is tough sometimes to be outside at 6 am in the dark during a winter snow storm, or a torrential down poor or even on a very humid 90 degree plus day doing chores twice a day. Bruce usually lugs all the large three to five gallon waters around, filling and placing them where they are needed. Then there are the small waterers, the feeding, egg collecting, herding babies, locking every one in for the overnight. Chasing down those darn ducks, doing head counts are we missing any one, who or how many hatched out in the incubator? There is always some sort of trauma, drama or event that makes every day unique and interesting.

The other day we went about our usual morning duties. We were having trouble with everyone; the goose would not get off a duck nest, the turkey hens needed to be checked (to much boy activity), the tom turkeys were fighting (normal), one turkey poult caught its head in the feeder and was bleeding, Elvira took her chicks and went to the neighbors house (which she does daily) and the baby ducklings are running wild (normal).

Where to begin, the checking of the incubator, I carefully lift the lid and it is loaded with more chicks then I can carry. Okay it takes me several trips to the incubator ferrying my fuzzy little cargo. Change their water, add feed and adjust the heat lamp. Onto the next thing, turn the goose eggs in the other incubator, then it's out the back door with the buckets of feed for everyone outside. As I pass by the coffee maker I can grab a cup, Bruce always makes the morning coffee before he goes out to fill the big waters for the birds. Our paths cross out in the back yard, exchanging morning greetings, Bruce tells me that the goose will not get off a nest, and I'm off to the barn to remedy this situation.

Since I'm a huge multi-tasker, on my way to the barn I need to fill the food troughs for the birds. I'm almost to the first building and something is bouncing off my legs. Pepi is sneak attacking me leaving little perforation marks up and down my shins. Pepi is our bantam Millie Fleur with a serious attitude problem. Using my pail I block his next attack and then I start chasing him. I stop, he stops, while I'm turning around to go back to filling feeders I hear his little feet scurrying across the yard to attack me again. Spinning around I block pepi with the pail and reach down to grab the evil little bugger. Pepi eludes me scurrying off just out of my reach, slowly I turn back to what I was doing, and here he comes again. Now I'm reduced to a screaming lunatic, chasseing Pepi through the yard, in my jammies. The neighbors must love this. Finally Pepi gives up and I make it to the barn, a little bloody but I make it there.

Hansel and Gretel are our very large Emden geese. We had to take Gretel's nest away and stash the eggs in the incubator; Hansel had decided to kill any bird that went near her nest. Now Gretel has found a nest to steal with a few duck eggs in it. Hansel is outside the barn honking, she is in her broody funk, contently resting on her new found eggs. I try to push her off the nest, no luck. Next I decide all I can do is pick her up and carry her out of the barn. That shouldn't be too hard, she seems calm, once outside I can lock her and Hansel out of the barn.Her it goes, I bend down and quickly wrap my arms around Gretel, getting a firm grip I pick her up. Holy crap, obviously I did not realize how big she is. Having a good grip on her, my face is smashed against her back, she starts kicking I start running for the door. Now she is attempting to flap her wings, kicking wildly, squirming and honking her brains out, my ears are ringing. Hansel starts honking in a panic outside when he hears Gretel's honks. I would recommend that no one ever try this at home or alone. My grip is starting to slip; she is squirming and can almost turn her head face to face with me. The kicking feet are claw at me, she is hissing madly and I drop her outside the barn door just in time and immediately step back in to slam the door before Hansel could get me.

It's a good thing I didn't shower yet, now I'm onto check out Whisky and Clover, the turkey hens. The two girls were still roosting in the main barn, which makes my life a little easier this morning. I have check them daily make sure that there are no injuries to their backs from the toms, Cecil and Dinner mating with them. Whisky's back looks pretty good; she still has a nice covering of feathers, onto Clover. Clover's back is naked, not a feather to be seen. Now I have to reach up and lift her off the roost for a closer examination. This is easier then it sounds, the turkeys are very gentle good nature creatures. Except for being heavy and huge they can be carried around without a struggle. Carefully I pick up Clover and carry her into work area of the barn for her examination. She just looked at me chirping with her big brown eye, wide open and worried. Clover's back did not look as bad as I thought it was, she was doing okay and didn't need her hen guard yet to protect her from those nasty boys. She proceeds to climb all over the work bench checking out the baby turkeys in a cage there, terrorizing them. While she is on her tour of the work bench I notice one of the little turkeys has a bloody head. The cage they are in is so large that I have to put my head half my upper body into the cage to reach the injured bird. I get the bird and tangle my hair in the wire of the opening of the cage, shifting myself I then snag my jammie top on the bottom of the wire in the door way and now I'm stuck in the cage with the turkey in my clutches.

My thoughts are how the hell? Just ten minutes ago I was pretending to sleep, I've hardly had a sip out of my coffee and I'm locked from the inside, in the barn, and snagged to a cage from the inside. Clover is happily chirping and bouncing all over the work bench, normally the birds are now aloud in this area of the barn she is having a blast. Bruce is in the shower and would never hear me, even if he could. So now I'm trying to get my other arm in the cage to untangle my hair out of the wire and yank my top to un-snag it from the cage doorway, with out dropping my turkey. Luckily these guys are still pretty young and don't think eye balls and ears are tasty yet.

I'm out of the cage, I still have my turkey, picking up my pail I'm now trying to shoo Clover out of the forbidden barn zone. Finally I get her out the door after a few laps around the work table; outside the door that darn gander Hansel is still waiting for me. Gingerly I scoot past him, he's calmer now he has Gretel all to himself. First thing I need is more coffee then dump the baby with no skin on the back of its head in the brooder and finish feeding the other birds. I'm almost to the backdoor then suddenly Zilla bounces of the back of my legs.

Zilla is our giant buff Cochin; he has been a little cranky lately. He prefers to have a snack of sunflowers hand fed to him twice a day. Since we have been out of sunflower seeds and Zilla has not been a happy rooster. One of the other roosters had also been beating him up making him was a very unhappy boy. I managed to give away the bully rooster but Zilla still needs some time to calm down, get over his insecurity complex and dam I had better have his sunflower treats!

Spinning around, using my red pail to block Zilla, he only catches on of my thighs with his claws and spurs. Great, now I'm a bloody mess from front to back, top to bottom. Little puncture holes in my jammies, half my hair is in the turkey cage and I'm no where near done with my chores. Sprinting away from Zilla I make it into the house drop the bucket, grab my coffee and head to the sun porch to dump the baby turkey in the brooder. On the porch I realize I need the stupid bucket and the antibiotic gel for the turkey poult. Sprinting back to the other side of the house, I find what I need and head back to the porch. Now I have to catch the poor little turkey again, take it out of the brooder and smear the gel on the back of its blood encrusted head. The little thing is clueless, chirping a long happily, which is good.

With that done I toss it back into the brooder and watch to see how it acts; will it live, is the injury to shocking, does it huddle in a corner, tick tock, tick tock, I have more chores to do. The little bugger starts balancing on one leg and uses the other to scratch at the gel on the back of its head and flops over. OH MY GOD, now I’m having a heart attack, I killed the baby turkey by putting antibiotic gel on its head. The little shit hops back up and proceeds to scratch its head again and flop over. Now her head is starting to bleed, she's scratching, I'm freaking, what can I do to keep it from doing this?

Sprinting back to the other side of the house I retrieve the box of band aids and scissors, maybe I can MacGruber something to protect its head while I'm at work. Meanwhile Bruce is still in the shower, my coffee is slowly getting cold and I'm attempting to put a band aid on a small turkeys head. It took me two tries to realize that a freaking band aid was not such a good idea. The turkey was more frantic to get it off and kept flipping over. That’s when I made an executive decision to put the turkey down and walk away. If it scratches its little brains out that is just too bad.

Grabbing my stupid red bucket, filling it with feed I head out the door to finally finish my chores, Zilla promptly jumps me and now my thighs have matching puncture wounds and claw marks. Calmly crouching down to talk with Zilla and tell him that despite what he has done to my legs, I'm going to wear a dress to work today! Slowly I walk past Zilla to finish my chores; this is after all only the first twenty minutes of my day.

That darn little turkey survived and loves to ride on my shoulder, Zilla still has an attitude problem and my legs look like I jog through brambles!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First thing in the morning

First thing is that stupid alarm clock going off, no wait actually it's Chester, Herman, Maddie or Carmella, the cats. Who can get the best spot; find the softest place to knead their paws and wake me up for head rubs. Chester, Herman and Carmella get along pretty good but if Maddie thinks that there might be a hint of another cat in the same room, she sputters hisses and growls like a rabid animal. There is always a chain reaction when one cat does something whether it be hissing, fighting or waking Pumpkin and I up.So at about 4 am it all begins, cats marching up and down my body; Grrrr, hissss, purrr purrrr purrr, knead, knead, knead, thump, someone finally plops on top of my stomach. The other decides my legs need to be pinned down. They all avoid waking the orange beast, which would cause a grumpy grrrr and feeble attempt to chase them off the bed. Everyone settles in by about 4:15 am, nice and quiet, I'm safely pinned down; Pumpkin did not have to evict any one.Usually between 5 and 5:30 am the fox decides to circle the house barking. You hear this horrible noise that sounds like someone put a cat thru a wood chipper, Braaaatttt, Braaaatttt. Everyone is now wide awake, Pumpkin is up, standing on the bed, looking out the window Grrrrrr, Grrrrr, bowwww wowwww woooo grrrrr, she bolts off the bed, scattering the cats. Still believing that there is some slim hope of getting more sleep, I refusing to even open my eyes or acknowledging the ruckus around me. Bang goes the dog door, I had to have one with heavy duty hinges and springs, Bowwowwww, Grrrr, bowwowww through the back yard. It will only take Pumpkin a few minutes to assess the extent of the fox invasion and return to bed, a girl needs her beauty rest after all. Bang, the dog door now sounding like a gun shot and she jingles her way back upstairs to bed; name tag, rabies tag, doggie license all properly attached to her collar so we never lose are baby girl. Hopping on the bed, Pumpkin sigh contently, yawns, gives a snort and goes right back to sleep, the farm is safe.Then it all starts over again with the cats, purrrr, hissss, knead, knead…. Ugh, I realize how badly I need to go to the bathroom with 15 pounds of Herman on my stomach. Finally every one is all settled back in their spot; I still have a chance at getting a little more sleep before the alarm goes off at 6 am. In the distance, while I'm pretending to get much needed rest, I faintly hear Zilla crowing in the barn. Then Pepi chimes in which of course wakes up Freebird so he needs to join the other two and that wakes up the tom turkeys, Cecil and Dinner. Cocka doodle doooo, urta urta ooooo, gobble, gobble, gobble, now the guineas chime in, it does not stop once it starts, until they get let out of the barn. Slowly Pumpkin starts to stretch, giving a nice long beagle moan, noisy yawn and a few good snorts, it's going on 5:55 am and she knows my alarm will go off at 6. Do you know how long five minutes is to a little orange dog? Obviously it is an eternity. Pumpkin now lying on her back starts to moan, groan while kicking her paws in the air, wiggling her but back and forth from side to side. My little forty pound darling starts making louder moans along with other noises protesting my laziness for not waking up to rub her exposed belly. I'm holding fast to my do not make a move idea, I'm still sleeping, I have at least three more minutes before the alarm goes off. Finally the clock radio starts blaring at me and I roll over to hit the snooze button. Max will usually jump up to smash with me and the cats until the snooze alarm goes off. This is always one step to far for Pumpkin. She bolts up the bed starts licking any exposed skin feverishly. Then she leaps off the bed tears down the stairs and starts barking for me to join her. Heck no, I hit the snooze, I have eight more minutes. Now she is tearing back up the stairs, throws herself on the carpet and repeating her performance, belly up, feet now kicking wildly in the air, but whipping back and forth, moans, groans, whimpers coming from the orange body writhing on my floor. I have five more minutes, I'm not budging, and that’s when she realized its time to pull out the big guns. Starting with a little whine that sounds like she is very desperate, something terrible is wrong, Pumpkin tells me how she feels. Slowly this will escalate from the whiney whimper of dog talk to a madly barking crazed spinning Pumpkin. That’s when I give in, what the heck, there is only seconds until the clock goes off. Sitting straight up in bed I holler "let's go", Max leaps off the bed and Pump goes barreling down the stairs, still barking madly with an occasional spin. I'm halfway down the stairs she is tearing off into the house, returning only to bark at me; making sure I'm really following her. Every now and then she grabs Maxi by the leg attempt to drag him along with her. This performance does not stop until we are out the back door, checking out the new day with my special little orange girl.