Our Dog Chloe, All Grown Up…Almost

Dog Picked Up Out Of The Road As a Puppy

This is Chloe.  Back in the spring of this year my daughter and I were driving to an early morning farmers market to sell soap, about 2 weeks after having to put our labrador, Onyx down, when we saw two tiny puppies in the road.

One puppy was huddled up on top of the other, shivering and trying to get comfort from the poor little pup underneath that had been hit by a car and was dead.  We gathered up the live puppy and moved the dead one off of the road into the grassy ditch.

We named our little “road kill” puppy Chloe, just because we couldn’t think of anything else, and this is her now.  Mostly grown up.

To pay us back for saving her life and getting rid of the hundreds of fleas and ticks she was infested with, she has made it her personal job to escape the fence every single day and pick up all the litter along side the road and bring it home to us as “gifts”.

I do appreciate the gesture, but honestly, we have enough trash here already.  And the road is dangerous, and she really doesn’t need to temp fate any more than she has already.

So we fixed the fence and made it Chloe-proof.  We hope.  When we put up the fence we were mostly concerned about making it goat-proof, not realizing that Chloe just sees a fence as a minor impediment to her “litter gathering” duties.

She can make herself as flat as a pancake, or as skinny as a toothpick, and get under, through, or around, just about anything.

She really doesn’t like to be in the house for more than a little while.  Besides picking up litter, she has also hired herself out to be Malachi’s personal exerciser, and she takes that job almost as seriously as she does her litter patrol job.

Poor Malachi stays exhausted, but well exercised, all of the time.  His barker still works though, and that’s what keeps the goat-eating preditors away.


Washing Machine Complaint

I just realized this morning that I have not complained about my new washing machine in quite some time.  And this machine sooooo deserves ample complaint.  I’ve really slacked.  Today, we do not need MORE goods and appliances, we need BETTER QUALITY goods and appliances.  Spending $600 dollars on a machine that leaves clothes looking worse coming out than going in is hardly what I had in mind when I decided to go with this new “High Efficiency” machine.

The machine in question is a Maytag Centennial High Efficiency machine that is two years old and cleans clothes worse than the broken machine it replaced.  The spin cycle is wonderfully quiet and doesn’t shake the house at all.  But that is the only thing good I can say about the machine.  And looking back, we should have returned it right away, instead of me thinking I just didn’t know how to operate it and trying different solutions and cycles and expensive detergents.  It’s out of warranty now, of course.

Here is a pair of pants I pulled out of the washer this morning.  This is normal.  This is everyday.  This is highly annoying!

Missing Cell Phone

Somewhere between the hours of 8am and 9am yesterday, July 11, 2010, I managed to lose my cell phone so thoroughly that in two days of searching, it has not yet been found.

We don’t have a regular house phone anymore.  We tried to get one when we moved here, but every number we tried to call was long distance, so we told them to take it back.

Not only is my phone lost, it’s also dead, and it’s so dead that it won’t even sound out a text message or an alarm.  Now, that’s dead.

I had ruined the screen on it anyway and needed a new one.

But I didn’t want to buy it this week because I also need new tires for my trip to Charlotte on Saturday.  I’m going to a hoof casting clinic.  It’s already paid for.

So, if anyone out there is physic and knows where my cell phone is, please email me and let me know.

I’ll be waiting.

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What Is That Pecking Noise?

I kept hearing loud pecking noises while trying to get stuff done this morning.  It was very strange and I couldn’t figure it out.  I’ve still got the guinea chicks inside, but the only thing they had to peck on was a half a watermelon and a dish of food.

So, I when I went to check it out, this is what I found.

If the guineas look wet, it's because they ARE wet. They were wading in their watermelon and are covered in watermelon juice! Good thing it's not winter or I'd have to use the hairdryer to dry them.

Four of the goofy looking guineas had jumped out of their box and were pecking like crazy on the firewood next to their temporary house.  It probably did have bugs in it.  This time of year everything has bugs in it!  I was even attacked in my bed last night by a disgruntled horse fly, who was in the process of trying to commit suicide by hurling itself from one wall to the next and then smashing into me on my bed.  He wasn’t having much success at the suicide mission, so I helped him out a little.

SUCCESS!  And I could finally sleep.

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These fireworks were all photoed at a local fi...
Image via Wikipedia

Happy 5th of July.  It’s my daughters 19th Birthday.  Happy Birthday Shannon!

Besides just being the birthday of my daughter, it’s also a GREAT day for a couple of other reasons.  Yesterday I got home kind of late from trimming horses….around 7pm.  I wanted to make sure I got home and got chores finished before firework time.  We live about 1 mile up the road from the only local fireworks display in the area and it’s a big deal here.  The horses had never been that close to any fireworks so I wanted to be sure and be here to keep an eye on them.

Well, I got here while it was still light.  CG had hot dogs and hamburgers ready on the grill…nope now raw burgers, but hey, it’s the fourth.  I was STARVING!  We ate dinner and then went out to do chores.  I was milking the last goat…and the sky was still light, when the fireworks started going off.

I got Mikey milked…no feet in the bucket either despite all the sudden noise, and CG was just giving the horses hay then too.  They ran around a little, but once he threw out their hay, they settled right down and ate without incident.  Except Caritas.  He’s in his own paddock and he did NOT like the noise.  We could only see a little of the firework lights.  They were kind of off down through the woods and were just barely visible through the trees, but we could hear them well.

As I was coming up from milking CG asked if I had seen Malachi, which I had not.  He had saw him running across the yard when the fireworks started. We called and called.  No Malachi.  We finished chores and then CG took the truck out looking for him up and down the road. The traffic was crazy.  This is a quiet road, but on the forth, there are hundreds of cars driving up and down the road and some of them are driving very, very fast, and some of the drivers are drunk.  We worried about our dog.

While CG was looking for Malachi, I checked on my guinea chicks.  They seemed kind of quiet.  When I looked in their pen, I saw one of my babies hanging upside down from a fold in the chicken wire, and instead of being six chicks, there were only 3.

I quickly got the one chick disentangled and brought all three of them inside.  We decided it was that possum that had been visiting us that must have pulled the other three chicks out of the pen the night before.  I had been in too big of a hurry yesterday morning to check on them.

I was broken hearted because I loved my little guineas’ and always hate it when something bad happens to things.

Well, I went to bed around midnight and fell asleep, only to be awakened about 30 minutes later by CG who wanted me to come out and look at Amira…plus Malachi had come home!    Amira, who had had a colic episode a couple of weeks ago, turned out to be fine.  CG had been outside calling Malachi and he said all of a sudden the big white dog came running up out of the woods.  We’d been calling him for 3 or 4 hours.  He must have ran a long way.  Poor thing.  We didn’t even think about tying him up or putting  him in the goat pen for the duration of the display. But, we were happy, and he was happy to be back home and promptly finished his half-eaten dinner.

This morning I got up  and looked out the window like I always do to check on the horses.  There, out in the pasture, were my three little GUINEA CHICKS.  They were pecking and digging around in the dirt and were happy as could be!  My little babies hadn’t got eaten by a possum!  I don’t know where they had been hiding, I had looked everywhere I could think of  with no luck.  But there they were.  The hard part was catching them, but I got it done and they are all inside the house until I can get their pen fortified.


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Caritas’ New Feet

These are Caritas' feet while he was still at the track. I'm assuming the bandages were covering where he'd been pin fired. He's still got the scars.
These Are Caritas' feet right after he came to live with us. He's still got a shoe on the bottom of this hoof although it was so loose it wasn't doing much good.
These are Caritas' feet after about a month of shoe removal and natural hoof care principals being applied. You can clearly see the line of healthier new growth coming out at the coronary band.
This is a closeup of what was causing a lot of the hoof problems in this horse. His feet were loaded with necrotic, diseased tissue, laminae, etc. There was no connection between hoof wall and the coffin bone inside the hoof. There were billions of bacteria eating away inside the hoof and even in the sole.
This was about 3 months into rehab. Still got a lot of toe. I ended up taking most of it off and booting him to get proper hoof mechanics going on. Without his boots he was very sore on the rocky divoted pasture he was in at the time.
This is Caritas' foot today. It looks a lot better, but it's not a healed hoof. He's still got thin soles, and that is causing some bruising inside the hoof capsule, which has led to the formation of another absess...first one since the winter, thank goodness. A lot better hoof, but still a ways to go before it's "gravel crunching" sound.
Hoof sole today. He's got great frogs! There is still some heel contraction in this hoof although you can't see it in this picture. His heel is still a bit high, and hoof wall is sparse. He's got a sore spot at the end of the frog, which I am assuming is a brewing absess. I trimmed the lumps and bumps away and filled the collateral grooves in with some anti-thrush sole packing and then applied casts to the lower portion of his hoof for comfort.
This is Caritas' casted hoof. It all goes below the hair line and below the soft portion of the heel bulbs. They should provide a bit of comfort, but the real reason for using them is so I can get more practice with them. There are a lot of little steps with the glue and hoof packing that make it more complex than it seems. I alway end up covered with the stuff. And nope I can't take pictures of the process unless I had a helper. I'd end up glueing my camera to my nose or something!
And finally, here's the big guy himself, modeling his new "shoes" for me. I'm hoping the casts will increase sole depth. They have to be removed and reaplied every two weeks. They are very expensive too. About $15 bucks a wrap...luckily, I got both hooves done with one wrap. I also used 4 mixing tips for the sole pack and glue. Those are expensive too, but I can't remember how much.
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New Hay Colics Horse

Earlier this week I picked up some new hay, just cut this year.  It is a grass/clover mix and is nice and dry and smells wonderful!  The horses loved it.  The clover content is low, which is why I wasn’t too worried about it causing problems…but my little grey mare must have decided it was a bit too palatable and ate more than her share.

Tuesday when I came home from trimming horses, there she was , all sprawled out in the sun, while the other horses were down in the shade.  I had just picked up some baby guinea chicks and needed to get them out of their small cardboard box before they suffocated and so was washing out a rubbermaid tote to put them in and so I watched her while I washed.

She was up and down, up and down.  Rolling up near the fence, then hiding behind the garden fence, lying down…in the sun.  She wasn’t swating flies or trying to graze.  I got the chicks out of their hot cardboard box and into the bigger tote with food and water and then went and drew up a syringe of banamine for Amira.

By this time I was in somewhat of a panic because I lost a horse to colic once, and this colic looked kind of serious.  I couldn’t remember the dosage  for the banamine.  (Banmine is a powerful pain reliever and is what vets use for horses that are colicing.)   My computer was out of bandwidth because we had watched too many videos the day before so I couldn’t look up the dosage.  Finally I thought to look on the label, and yep, there it was…in tiny, tiny, print…the dosage.

I hoped I was reading it right.  I had to wash out a syringe because it was the only one I had that would hold the 5 CC’s I’d decided she needed.  (I have been meaning to order new boxes of syringes and needles but haven’t gotten around to it.)

I went back outside once I’d gotten the banamine shot drawn up and found Amira covered in pine needles, hiding behind the compost pile, groaning.  I gave her the shot, and she didn’t flinch.  She was letting the horse flies eat her up and she was covered with blood from them and over heated.

I let the banamine work while I went and found a halter and lead rope.  By the time I got back to her and put the halter on, she was willing to get up and even walk.  I took her out of the sun and put her under a huge walnut tree with a tie hitch in the back yard.

I got some of my peppermint soap and gave her a nice long bath.  I rubbed and massaged her back and stomach and she seemed to really enjoy it.  The horseflies didn’t appear to like the peppermint soap much and took off.

After her bath I walked her around the yard and up and down the road for a while.  Finally she started putting her head down to graze and looked much happier.  I put her back out into the pasture that’s on regrow so she could graze and I would not need to give her any hay.

She’s been fine since then and none of the other horses have had a problem with the hay.  There is no mold in it, I just think it was a little fresher than her normal hay and so she overate until she gave herself a stomach ache.

You know the old saying…too much of a good thing…

Amira, about 2 hours after her bout with colic.  All better!

My new guniea chicks.
Ciara, checking out the new hay. She thinks it's great!
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One week RAW!

Well, I was trying to avoid detox, but it caught up with me!  I’ve been feeling lightheaded and pretty weak, even eating over 2000 calories per day (an estimate) and not all raw!

I made some chevre yesterday (from raw goats milk of course) and ate a little last night, but apparently it’s not toxic enough to get me back off the detox track!

Exercise seems to help.  Yesterday I trimmed a couple of draft horses and then a couple of other horses and felt great.  Then I went and cut CG’s yard at the house he’s trying to sell.  I started slowing down after that and by the time I met him over at his rental to help with the yard work over there I was positively dragging butt.

So I left and went around the corner  to Fresh Air, the health food store in Lynchburg, and picked up some seeds and nuts and dates and a few organic avacodos.  I ordered the auger for my Samson Juicer, and can make nut/seed butters with it once the auger arrives.

My broken auger. I broke one of the spirals off when I used a fork or something to push something I was juicing down into the juicer. It came with a plunger especially designed for that. Next time, I'll use it!

Sunday I bought some kale and cut the leaves off the stalks and then cut those leaves up very tiny and added ground almonds, olive oil, some salt and two limes.  I let it wilt for about an hour on the counter before eating and it was totally awesome.  It lasted two days but now is gone.  Darn.

My ExCalibur Food Dehydrator doesn’t know it, but it’s about ready to come out of retirement too.   A mouse chewed the cord soon after I bought it years ago and it still works, but I’ll have to get CG to fix the cord.  It makes me nervous.  And it needs some serious cleaning.  It’s been in the shed, the garage, upstairs, downstairs, under the stairs, and now it’s a shelf for something else.

It makes fantastic flax and other seed crackers.  MMM, something tasty to spread my chevre on.

Oh, it also was used as a soap dehydrator…There’s probably quite a few soap flakes left in it too!

Around the farm CG got my fence posts planted so I can hang up a real gate!  I’m so excited about having a real gate.  The other gates are electric and the electricity has to be turned off before you can open or close them.  (they were only designed to be very temporary).  Now I just have to get out and buy my new metal gate.

In the picture below you can see the two fence posts, and then another smaller wooden post off to the left side, which was already there and we decided to leave it there. This will be a walk-thru for the goats.  I’m putting a small gate here, which can be opened or closed and will allow the goats to go out into the pasture with the horses if they want to, but won’t allow the horses access to the goat area where they have their alfalfa and feeds.  I’m not sure a heavy bred doe will fit through the pass-thru, but right now they can walk through it. I’ll run an electric wire over it too, just to keep horse heads out of it.

My new gate posts.

I have to go out today and pound about 3 more t-posts and then string up some wire, and the horses can then go out on this pasture.  I’ll also be able to plant in the garden as I’m fencing that OUT of the horse pasture.  I still need to take down some of the fencing and replace it.  Almost all of the rest of the fence, back in the woods and along the road uses trees as fenceposts.  Over the long run, the trees grow and fall down and get defaced by the wire, so I’m cutting it all off of the trees and giving the trees back their freedom!

Happy Wednesday!

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My Track Horse and His Trees

I went out and got a few pictures this morning of Caritas, our off-the-track ex-race horse.  He’s in a pasture all to himself.  (Goes out during the day when I’m home, and back with the herd at night.)

He still needs some weight, but at these camera angles he doesn’t look too bad actually!  He wouldn’t get out of the tall grass long enough for me to get a good picture of his feet.  I’ll try again later.  We just switched his grain from Safe-Choice by Nutrena to Purina Strategy and added the supplement “farriers forumula.”  The sugars in the Safe Choice aren’t any lower than any other feeds, so I don’t know why it’s called “Safe Choice”, and isn’t safe at all for foundered horses.  I’d prefer to use Triple Crown Products, but they are not available in this area any more.  Southern States used to carry them, but switched to AgWay products, which I know nothing about.

Carrot is pretty comfortable walking around, and even running around at times, but does have a little bit of trouble on sharp gravel and divoted areas that have dried, where he’s more careful about where he puts his feet.

Ex-race horse
Caritas and his dogs, Onyx and Malachai.
ex-race horse
ex-race horse
Caritas...he was just turned out so of course, he wouldn't lift his head for a picture!
ex-race horse
Caritas. This pasture won't hold goats....yet. We need the goats out here to eat down these young, tender, trees and briars. Once they turn woody, they're not nearly as palatable.
Virginia Trees
A few of the trees in the pasture.
bad fencing job
This is some of whats left of the fencing I still need to replace. This actually doens't look so bad. A lot of the fencing was saggy barbed wire. At least this is somewhat tight. Most of it is attached to trees, some of it is so old that big trees have grown around it, meaning I'll have to leave the wire in the trees, but cut it flush. I really dislike that idea, but short of cutting the tree down, there's nothing else to be done.

I wish you all a happy Monday!

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