Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday mischief

Things are getting back to normal with the pack and some things just never change.  Since we are living in temporary accommodations without the usual appliances and storage, I purchased a box of large resealable bags to store perishables.  Well, I turned my back for a few minutes and then when I went to grab the box of bags, they were gone.

Hmmmm....I thought they were right here.  Then from outside I heard  a slight rustling sound. Uh oh.

The canine paper/plastic/cardboard shredder had struck again.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Reunited and it feels so good!

After being at the house with only two pooches for almost two (horribly long) weeks, Callie, Breeze, Gerrard, Elsie and I made the long journey back to the farm to be reunited with the other pack members.  It was so fantastic to see them again and to be all together, the way we should be.

Gerrard and Elsie did good on the trip, only a few minutes of meowing at the beginning and then they were quiet the remainder of the way,  I kept checking on them and every time I peered into their crates, they just looked back at me, a little bewildered.

You can't really see them, but there is Gerrard in the top crate and Elsie in the bottom one.

We're getting settled in our temporary accomodations and we now have electricity! That means real toast for breakfast again.  The tenants who are renting the farm house - those wonderful people who looked after the partial pack and spoiled them - suggested running an extension cord so we would have electricity.  They are great people, offering their washer and dryer, the stove, the shower and also took my laptop (a gift from my friend TD) and did whatever it took so that now when I turn it on I am connected to their internet,.  The big metal barn blocks the signal so I sit in my car.  Works great!

I'll be getting back to posting about our continuing adventure here on the east coast (and Canada's smallest province).  I am looking forward to catching up on everyone's happenings.  I miss that the most!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Breeze's 1st Gotcha Day!

A little over a year ago I was browsing through the listings on the blind deaf shelter dog website (a site I can no longer even think of looking at) and I came across a photo of two 12 week old puppies.  One was listed as a blind Australian Cattle Dog mix and the other a Boxer mix, blind in one eye.  The day I saw the listing was a Sunday and they were to be euthanized on Tuesday.  

All day Monday I called the listed number and reached voice mail.  I left a couple of messages explaining that I had two blind dogs and was willing to save these two puppies. 

I decided that since I hadn't talked to anyone about them, that I would call first thing Tuesday morning from work, when the shelter opened and again offer to adopt/save their lives.  Well, best laid plans and all that.  I'll never forget watching the clock and thinking "only ten more minutes until they open and then I'll call."  That's when the plan fell apart.  An emergency call came in on the 911 line from someone who was using an auger to dig post holes. They had struck a natural gas line and could smell gas and hear it leaking. All thoughts of saving puppies was pushed aside as I dispatched the fire department, contact the gas company, the police and ambulance.

After about an hour and a half, the situation had settled down and I was able to make the phone call.  Was I too late? Had they already been euthanized?  The lady I spoke to said she thought they were still there, was I interested in just the white one or "do y'all want both?" (with her North Carolina accent) Both! I will save both!

A few minutes later I was providing my credit card number and was told that they would transferred to a veterinary clinic.  Hooray!  They were safe.  Then it was time to plan a trip to North Carolina and pick up these two little pups.

Breeze and Chance, first day in Canada
The male Boxer mix was quickly adopted by a wonderful couple that were highly recommended by our veterinarian and the little ACD mix stayed and was named Breeze.  As you can see in the above photo, Breeze wasn't very spotted.  She grew and grew and the spots got darker!

 What a difference a year makes!

Happy 1st Gotcha Day to our spotted pup Breeze!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Attacked by a robin

Yesterday, Breeze was outside in the yard, wandering around and enjoying the sunshine.  I could hear birds chirping and squawking as usual and thought nothing of it. I went to check on her (as I always do, just because I worry more than I really need to!) and saw that she had found something in the grass.  Oops!

There are no photos of Breeze and the baby robin together since I was too concerned with saving the poor little thing.  When I walked outside, Breeze was literally pouncing in the area she knew it was.  It was funny watching her stand and tilt her head trying to determine exactly where it was.  Luckily, she missed and didn't actually land on it.    I took the above photo the next day.

So, later the next day, I was cutting the grass when the little baby robin fluttered out of the flower garden.  I immediately shut off the mower with the intent of moving the little thing.  Well, that's when Momma/Poppa (?) robin swooped in and actually brushed my back as I was leaning over.  Yikes! These robins are very protective of their babies.  I never expected to be attacked by a robin!

We seem to be having a "winged" theme this week.  Late on Wednesday night I had the couch to myself (a rare treat) and I saw something fly past with the cat Elsie in hot pursuit. My first thought was that it was a large moth but it seemed too big for a moth so I got up to investigate.  Nope, not a moth.

Yes, that is a bat.  In our livingroom.

It was carefully removed to the outdoors much to the disappointment of Elsie and Gerrard.

Elsie:  "I almost had it!"

Gerrard: "We never get to do anything fun."

Breeze and Elsie

Since we returned to the house, both of the cats, Gerrard and Elsie are being very affectionate.  I think they missed us but not as much as Breeze missed her beloved Elsie.

It seems like the two of them can't quite get enough of each other.  

Yes, that is Breeze lightly mouthing Elsie's head. She seems to enjoy it.

Breeze does try something similar with Gerrard but he is nowhere near as tolerant. 

You may be able to see that Breeze's right "eye" (there is no eyeball) is a bit red. She has a slight infection.  Gee, wonder why....

Yet another container of yard waste that got rained on. She just had to stick her face in it. (love that underbite!)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The empty house

The house really isn't empty, it just seems that way. 

It was a difficult decision as to who to bring back to the house.  I decided that Callie should return since she doesn't always play nice with others and being that her stress level will be higher than usual.  For the second one, I chose Breeze since she still has some anxiety-type issues where she will growl and air snap for no apparent reason.

Callie would like to tell you about the advantages of there not being a pack at the house.

Hey there, it's me - Callie!


Since it's only me and The Breeze at the house, know what I get to do?

Can you guess?

 Me, all by myself, gets to....

...have the whole couch to myself!! 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Meeting the neighbours

Once the pack got settled in their new (temporary) home in the barn, it was time to officially meet the neighbours.

Here is Keeper, one of the three resident dogs.  

Keeper belonged to the elderly couple that I bought the farm from and the tenants agreed to to take her when the elderly lady moved to an assisted living facility after her husband passed away.  The tenants also have a yellow lab and a little poodle.  Pictures to come!

As you may recall, the pack already met one of the roosters. Here is the other rooster and the hens.  They were quite pleased with the clean up of the barn and enjoyed scratching and pecking at the old straw as it was dumped out the back of the barn.  

While I was cleaning out the barn, I saw something run along the top of one of the old pens.  It was bigger than a mouse and my first thought was rat. I wondered, Are there rats in the barn? If so, should the pack stay somewhere else?  Well, not to worry, it wasn't a rat, it was this little furry friend -

He/she (?) was quite relaxed and interested in watching the clean up process.  

Back inside the barn, I noticed that Hiker seemed interested in what was on the other side of a gate, located on the far side of where we are staying.  As I wandered over, Hiker was very excited about her new friend.

It was Valentine, the sheep! We later learned that Valentine loves dogs but they usually run away from her.  Maybe the two can actually meet without the gate.

Breeze was most interested in Chilli the horse.  She seemed to want to play and Chilli kept trying to reach over the gate to get at Breeze but couldn't quite reach.  Yes, Chilli loves dogs too!

As you can imagine, with the two day roadtrip, The Mom almost having a complete meltdown and then being settled into a barn with all the barn related sights, sounds and smells, the pack are having a great time!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Getting settled.

After meeting the chickens and a not introducing themselves nicely, I herded the pack into the barn and got them temporarily settled in.  The tenants suggested a part of the barn that wasn't being used and has two doors to outside so that a fenced area could be arranged. Since the area hadn't been used in years, there was a bit of clean up required.

Once the old straw was removed, window boards removed to let in some light and fresh air and the floor swept, it wasn't too bad at all.

In order to give the pack some inside space to play and relax without getting into the remainder of the unused section, a few boards and some chicken wire created a safe area.

starting to look like home!

For outside space, fifty feet of safety fence and a few heavy duty T-posts gives them enough room to wander and play.  The doorway is set high and needs a step but all the pack quickly figured it out.  Of course, there are those who think that taking a running leap through the doorway is the most fun!

We are so fortunate to have such amazing tenants at the farm.  They had given the location for the pack thought before we arrived and offered suggestions as to where they would likely be happiest.  As I write this, the tenants are taking awesome care of the pack and say that they are all wonderful dogs and so easy to look after.  I am so looking forward to being back with them in only eight more days!


Friday, July 05, 2013

Road trip!

Before we get to telling you all about our roadtrip, I want to thank all of you for your kind words and happy thoughts you've left in the comments.  We appreciate you!

Since the dogs had to be relocated and boarding was not an option (too costly) I contacted the tenants who are enjoying life on the 40 acre farm I own located approximately 1800km/1200miles away.  I explained the situation and asked if they would mind having the dogs stay in the barn for a while.  Being animal lovers - they transported their horse, rescue sheep, goat, three dogs and a cat over 2600km, they get it and instantly agreed that I should bring the dogs.  So, a rental cargo van, five crates, a cooler, a tent and we were on our way!  (Okay, I will admit there was a box of kleenex too since I was almost constantly crying).

The plan was to drive for eleven or so hours and then camp for the night and continue the remainder of the way in the morning.  Ah...camping!  We love to camp.  Granted, the most dogs I have taken at one time was three.  With the whole pack, well, it was a bit chaotic.  They all had to be tied and of course, they all got tangled up.

Once they were repeatedly untangled and I got the tent set up and they all had dinner, it was time to head into the tent for bedtime.  Now, doesn't that sound nice and peaceful.  Herd the pack into the tent and settle down for a nice, relaxing sleep.  HA HA HA HA!!

I led Bill to the tent and he was hesitant to go in, but did get inside.  I held the door closed as I called Forest over.  As soon as Forest started to enter, Bill ran out.  I called Bill back and stuffed him inside with Forest and called Breeze over.  No way was she going in.  Trying to convince a large stubborn blind dog to go into a tent where two dogs are that want out was not fun.  Then add in the blind one who would rather lay in the grass (Hiker) and the deaf one who kept looking away as I motioned her over (Azule) I was getting a bit frustrated.  While all this was going on, blind and partly deaf Brook realised once again that she was tied and went into panic mode, leaping and twisting at the end of the tie out. 

In the morning, more chaos as I had to leash and tie everyone on the way out of the tent!  Well, we survived it and drove for the better part of the second day.

The weather was rainy and cool but the scenery was nice.  We saw quite a few of these signs -

but no moose.  We did see an adult racoon and five little ones and a doe and fawn.

We arrived safe and sound at the farm late afternoon. 

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start when the pack saw the chickens.  None of us were thinking as the dogs exited their crates and got out to stretch their legs.  Azule spotted the chickens almost instantly and was gone.  Feathers were flying, the rooster was squawking, people were yelling...not a good scene.  Not at all.  The rooster is missing a few tail feathers but is otherwise unharmed.  It is somewhat amusing now but just about tipped me over the edge at the time!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Two dog limit

Where we live, there is a two dog limit.  Yes, we have been over that limit for a few years and until recently, nobody cared.  Our neighbors knew about the dogs and the fosters that came and went.  We had no problems until a few weeks ago when there was a knock on the door.

The person standing there informed me that there had been a complaint regarding the dogs.  Not about them being noisy or not cared for, it was related to the fact that there were more than two.  He went on to say that it didn't matter if they were foster dogs or not.  Two are all that are allowed.  We received a ticket ($180) and were given two weeks to "get rid of them".

Well, as I am sure you can imagine, my heart sank and I was on the verge of tears.  Yes, I know, I know, we were over the limit.  But after this long with no problems, well, I kinda got comfortable.  I am sure that you also know that "getting rid of them" is not an option.  So, into panic relocation mode.

For now, Callie and Breeze are at the house and the others are safely far away, enjoying life on a farm.  We will be together again in about two and a half weeks.  More on that in the next post.

I am trying to hold it together and get through the next couple of weeks until we can all be together again.  I will tell you about our recent advenutures including our big road trip and camping with seven dogs (not as much fun as it sounds!)

I will be getting back to reading your blogs and commenting soon.