Tag Archives: dog

The first attack on the homestead…

Back in November, around the fifth at roughly 11am, I was at the computer working on bills and heard my three free range hens start squawking up a storm. Thankfully my computer is right next to the back door. I opened up the door to yell at them (we’ve had some minor pecking issues), only to realize that one of the neighbor’s dogs were attacking them at the compost pile. I screamed a few obscenities at the dog at the top of my lungs. The dog took up over the hill, but at this point the chickens had all high tailed it into different areas of the property, which is mostly swamp and gulley.

I called the hubby and he rushed home from work. It took close to an hour and a half before all three birds were found. Thankfully, we lucked out and none were hurt. They’re in the coop for the afternoon until I can be outside with them while they’re out as the animal control officer won’t be available to talk to the owners and see if the dog has been located until this evening. She did let us know that neither dog to that address has been registered. So, even through she can’t do a thing about the attack on the birds per say, she can fine them pretty heftily for the lack of registration.

On the plus side, at least we know that all three of them know to high tail it. I’ve heard too many stories of birds that just stand there and get eaten. But on that same note, it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t. I kept an eye out for him to snap a photo of him on our property, but never saw him after that. He’s not normally lose, either. It looks like he snapped out of his collar.

Apparently he was out for about 8 hours lose. The attack happened at 11am, and around 4pm I decided that the girls should come out to stretch their legs and scrounge. I stayed outside pretty much the entire time with them and our border collie (Belle) on her leash as she was freaked out about her chickens going missing earlier (she’s super protective of them). When my hubby went to come down the road on his way back from work, apparently the dog attacked the truck. Belle had been barking and snarling every once and a while, but I figured it was a combination of smelling the dog from earlier and having the crap jumped out of her by a squirrel. Hubby called to let me know that the dog was still loose. Needless to say, Belle and I backed the girls into a corner by the compost bin and I grabbed the nearby pitchfork just in case. Hubby wasn’t able to finish coming down the road until another neighbor (thankfully in a vehicle) was being harassed by the dog. Once hubby got home, he took Belle in and called local dispatch to let animal control know and we got the girls in the coop.

When animal control showed up, he chased her car down the road before going back and sitting on his property. Needless to say, she was planning on having a hell of a talk with the owners. Hubby’s going to call and follow up today, even though normally that’s not the norm around here. We just want to make sure things have been taken care of.

The scary thing is that this is a highly aggressive dog (the animal control lady couldn’t even get out of her blazer to approach him with the pole) who lives at the same residence as a child. It also seems like there are possibly signs of abuse from what the control officer said. I’m nine months pregnant and expecting our first child. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be afraid to walk down my own road. They also have a huskie and the two dogs don’t get along at all, which is why this one was tied up outside for 8+ hours. You better believe any slight infraction will be called in from here on out. We try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I’m done.

I’m so thankful everyone made it through okay! (And that I didn’t go into labor dealing with all of this…)

Family Fat Camp

So it seems as though a good chunk of us here need to lose a little pudge in the Raymond family. Jacks, the mini-rex, has a bit of a dew-lap that could be smaller; Ashes has no waist to speak of; Belle eats for exercise I think; I just need to lose about 20 lbs to hit my goal.

Jacks (mini-rex)

I’ve noticed that with Jacks, there seems to be a downturn of his energy levels if i cut off pellets, so temporarily, he’s on 1/8th of a cup of pellets in the morning and 1/8th at night, totaling to only 1/4 cup. I’ve also increased his hay dramatically. I now give him a new handful morning, noon, and night, instead of just at night. This is outrageously important since rabbits need a constant flow of hay to keep their digestive track stable.

Belle(Border-Collie mix)

I think the key thing right now with Belle is to increase her activity level. We’re getting more gutsy with leaving her off the leash when we’re outside, so stick fetching (one of her favorite activities) may end up happening a bit more often. Also, we need to keep a better eye on her food consumption. One thing that may actually help is what we’re going to try to do for Ashes, but I’ll get into that in a bit.

Her “walks,” which are just loops around the house, will be increased. When we first got her, we took her on daily one-mile walks, but she seemed to be getting stiff, and not knowing if she has arthritis or not, we did not want to take any chances, and cut back on the walks on the road; the impact of the non-giving tar on the road can severely damage joints after a while.

Ashes (Maine coon cat mix)

Right now, Ashes is my main concern. We did not realize how bad he was getting until I looked down at him the other day and realized he was almost the same width as Belle. I’m putting him as around 19 lbs right now. He really needs to lose about three. I’ve been doing a lot of reading the past couple days and have come up with what Joe and I feel is a pretty good plan.

Ashes has been getting for food….

* 1 cup of Iams Weightloss (dry) split into three meals a day

* 3 – 5 tartar control treats in the morning

Now, the dry food suggests that you feed 1 1/4 – 1 3/4 a day to maintain weight for a 16 lb. cat, and 1 1/4 to lose weight. He’s been on the 1 cup “diet” for close to a year now. Granted, he is getting older and went through a very lethargic period when we got Belle, but he’s gained a lot of weight. About two months ago we tried him on a more “natural” food with no corn — he ballooned up. I think that the rice fillers in the food was the main culprit. Regardless, we’re back to the Iams, but we’re going to try a few adjustments.

In trying to find a way to increase Ashes’ protein from meat and decrease his protein from plant matter, I spent some time looking at wet foods at the local grocery store. There were a few points I was looking for:

– Max crude protein – This should be at least 8% and should be primarily from meat. You can base that off from the ingredients.

– Max crude fiber – Should be considerably lower than crude protein, especially if you also feed dry food, as that has a lot of fiber.

– Max ash content – This should be as minimal as possible. After all, do you want to be eating ash?

– No “for pet consumption only” labels or anything in that regard. To me, if I’m feeding my animal food, it better be something that my future children could consume without me having a heart attack.

In looking at a wide assortment of grocery store carried wet foods, I decided I might also check out Agway’s selection at some point, but that’s neither here nor there. The wet food that I did decide to go with? Surprisingly, Fancy Feast Appetizers. Let me start by stating that for one, these little things are mislabeled. In no way should this be an addition to your cat’s regular meal — it should be one of the meals. (A rant for another time is that we Americans tend to fatten up our animals the same way we fatten up ourselves. We add snacks to meals, instead of creating it into the meal and adjusting our portions. ) The ingredients were very minimal with no artificial anythings and no filler. You can see that it literally is just meat in a sauce. The greatest thing is, with how picky he is on wet food, he loved it!

The game plan is thus…

* 3/4 cup of Iams Weightloss dry food a day split into four meals

* One 2 oz. serving of wet food a day as a meal

This doesn’t seem like much fo a change, but the trick is to eventually get him to a half and half diet, or all the way to wet food with dry as a supplement, the reverse of right now. We will have to keep an eye out, however, to make sure he does lose too much weight too quickly.


Don’t bake so much this winter and keep going on my walks…even if it’s cold out!