Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Play ball with me!

As I've mentioned in the past, Trail is ball obsessed. Specifically his "Chuck" ball.  There are times that he is very demanding and refuses to be ignored when he thinks that ball needs to tossed. Sometimes "Chuck" appears on the kitchen table.  Not a place that a slobbery dog ball should be.

Of course, placing the ball on the table works. It gets tossed lightly across the kitchen or bounced for Trail to catch. No, that really isn't teaching him anything but it really doesn't matter too much.  He is somewhat considerate in the fact that he tends to place it on the edge of the table and patiently waits with just a slight whine or two.

With the upcoming holidays, we won't be posting too much. To all of you, from all of us... Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Have you ever had one of those times when you've been in the right place at the right time and said the right thing?

Last week I commented to the Produce Manager at the grocery store that the squash wasn't selling very fast. He agreed and said that he was reducing the price again. Initially it was selling for $1.49/pound then was 99 cents a pound. The new price was going to be 49 cents a pound.  I said that perhaps I would get some for the hens. The Produce Manager said that by Monday whatever was left would be a "free-for-all". I asked what exactly he meant by that and he said that I could have what was left over - for free!

So, a simple comment resulted in this -

We received two banana boxes of assorted squash!  This was very surprising because none of the grocery stores where we live are allowed to provide any scraps or cull produce to anyone. It all must be thrown in the garbage/compost. (Yes, it is a disgusting amount of waste) The reasoning is that someone could eat it and become sick and the stores don't want the liability. It doesn't matter how much I try and convince them that it is for the hens.

Now, to be honest with you we are all going to be eating this squash. There is nothing wrong with it, so we cooked some up and made treats.

Very simple treats, just some squash, a little flour, some oats and water to hold it all together.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Power Outage, Snow, Power Outage

Thursday morning here was dark. Unusually dark. Uh-oh, power outage. From early in the morning until after lunch we had no power due to a motor vehicle accident which severed a pole and brought down wires. Then, overnight Thursday into Friday morning there was a snow storm resulting in another power outage, this one lasting around 5 hours.

The snow was very heavy and wet which destroyed our hen's outdoor pen by collapsing all the wire fencing. 

It did make for some pretty scenery.  This was the view out our back door.

Callie and Trail both liked the snow, Bill, Hiker and Brook shivered as usual.

Today the sun is out and the temperatures are around 5C/41F so the snow is melting but we know that this was just a brief preview of what is to come.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Mischief

We've mentioned previously how blind Hiker is a hoarder uh, I mean a hunter-gatherer. Whatever she can get a hold of, she'll take it into her crate. Socks, shoes, Nylabones, plastic of any sort, etc.

She found something that she couldn't get into her crate.

Hiker was very happy and proud of herself (see the blurry tail wagging) for finding this hanger but somewhat disappointed that it wouldn't fit in her crate.

For a while, we were hanging with the Hikes!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

One more barn cat?

A few days ago I was out in the barn.  I filled the two cat food dishes and then went in and fed the hens. As I exited the hen's "house", out of the corner of my eye I saw what I initially thought was one of our barn cats having her breakfast. 

A quick second look and I realized that it was not one of our barn cats. (In my defense, it is a very poorly lit barn and we do have a black and white barn cat.)

I left the barn, went to the house, got the camera and came back. It was still eating.  Over the past few days it has settled in nicely and the cats have accepted it to the point where they all eat together now.

Many people have said "get rid of it". That was considered but as a Natural Resources person pointed out, removing the skunk (we'd relocate not kill) isn't solving the problem. Something else will take the place of it. Whatever is attracting it must be removed. Well, that is the cat food so that is not an option. For now, we'll leave it.

Not to worry, the dogs are not allowed in the barn so there is no real concern about them encountering it.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Our small flock of hens continue to lay eggs every day and now that we have a total of ten hens we gather eight to ten eggs each day.  Even with that, there are not enough eggs to supply all the people that want to buy them.  Perhaps there might be enough if our customers were the priority but of course, they aren't.

Two hard cooked eggs shared among five dogs doesn't give them much but they sure do appreciate the occasional something special in their dinner. 

The paying customers will have to wait another day for their dozen eggs.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ready To Go!

It seems as though there might be some travel in our future. Plans are apparently being made. 

Hiker has her travel mug ready.

Trail has some "money". It is actually Canadian Tire money but hey, money is money, right?

We aren't actually going anywhere. It is just Hiker being her usual self, grabbing things and taking them into her crate. Trail has a love of paper and will grab whatever he can.

But I can't help but wonder if they are trying to suggest that maybe we should go somewhere.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Critter Watch - Summer Edition

You may recall last winter when we had a critter watch going on.

Bill, Molly and Hiker and pigeons

We've recently had a summer edition, featuring Hiker.

Yes, you're right, Hiker is blind and not really watching anything but she sure knows that there is something over there outside the barn in that enclosure.  She can hear them. There is landscape fabric around the enclosure that has been gradually pulled back to get the dogs used to seeing the critters.

This is what Hiker is hearing -

Kramer, Priscilla and Priscilla

The rooster was named when we adopted him, all three brown hens are named Priscilla because they look identical and there is a fourth hen, a smallish white one named Belle. 

Not only is it fun to watch them, we get these -

With three to four eggs being laid a day, there are enough to sell once in a while for $3.00 a dozen. I was surprised that once word got around, people were asking me for eggs. We need some more hens!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

How We Do Things

Recently there was a comment from our blogville friend Melon regarding Callie on laundry day. Melon wondered if Callie could ever be in the same room with the others.  Well, the answer is not really. 

When it comes time for Callie to go outside or come inside, she is separated from the others for everyone's safety.  

We use an exercise pen that is unfolded.  There is lots of sniffing and tail wagging between the dogs but no actual contact.  Just in case you're wondering if maybe they could be together....there was one evening a few months back where I had thought that Trail had gone into the living room after coming inside but he didn't. He was by the back door and I didn't see him.  I arranged things for Callie to go out and she pounced on Trail and had him into the corner, biting him within a second of seeing him.  Luckily, nobody was hurt but it sure scared the you-know-what out of me and Trail too.

If you've been following us for a long time, you may recall seeing pictures of Callie and some of the other members of the pack and some foster dogs too.

Over the past few years, Callie's tolerance of others has diminished.  She has always been quick to "discipline" others and as she ages, she is more cranky.  Way back when Hiker was first adopted, Callie was responsible for breaking Bill's leg.  While Hiker and Bill were playing, Callie seemed to think they were getting a bit too rowdy and she got between them and bit Bill, resulting in his front leg being broken.

Bill's orange cast.

It wasn't an aggression action, just Callie taking charge.

Fast forward a few years and rather than take chances, it is just easier for Callie to have her own space.  She can see the kitchen where we spend most of our time and gets the most one-on-one time of all the pack. Bonus - she never has to share her toys!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You're In My Spot

One of the joys (and sometimes frustration) of having many dogs is that there are very distinct personalities. Add in some physical handicaps and it just gets more interesting.

Both blind girls, Hiker and Brook, are creatures of habit when it comes to where they like to lay. The big chair from the livingroom was moved into the kitchen for the coming winter since it is one of Hiker's favourite spots. Yesterday, there was somebody in her chair. 

Yes, it was that darn cat Arthur.

I think the look on blind Hiker's face seems to ask why he is not being removed.  She was probably wondering why I was taking a picture and not getting him out of her way.

Even though the cat is small and there is plenty of room for them both, Hiker won't lay with him. If her buddy deaf Trail wants on her chair, that seems to be okay.

Then blind and partly deaf Brook had a problem with Bill.  Brook likes to lay on the left side of the couch before supper and after supper, she will lay on the right side.  It's just her habit and when she can't, she gets a bit upset.

After about a minute of whimpering and whining, during Bill showed no intention of moving, I asked him to move over, which he did, somewhat reluctantly.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What do you have?

Yesterday morning while I was getting the peanut butter cracker treats ready, blind Hiker was nowhere  to be found.  This is highly unusual and I knew that something was going on.  She never ever misses the peanut butter and cracker after breakfast.

Then I heard a slight crunching noise.

"Hiiiikkkkeeeerrrr......what do you have?"

Thump-thump of her tail on the inside of her crate.

"Hiker, come here."

She came out of her crate, tail wagging and something in her mouth.

"Hiker, drop it. Good girl."


Another plastic lid.

For some reason, Hiker is obsessed with chewing and eating plastic, especially lids. She often takes them from the cat Arthur who enjoys playing with them.  I've watched her "look" around and sniff until she finds it and then she takes it into her crate to chew and sometimes eat.

A blind dog who enjoys plastic. No idea why.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It came back...

Stripe the barn cat disappeared for a few days after he was in the house again.  Once his abscess cleared up and he had some antibiotics he was returned to the barn and then vanished. 

Not to worry, he came back.

and was not too pleased about not being allowed back in the house.

Trail was guarding his yard from the potential intruder.

Friday, October 16, 2015


You may recall that Callie hangs out in the laundry room.  It works very well for her since it is off the kitchen (where the rest of us hang out) and she can see everyone and be a part of what is going on without being too close since she "doesn't play well with others". The only time this doesn't work very well is when there is laundry to be done. Callie hates the washing machine (probably the dryer too but it doesn't work!). Having her in the kitchen doesn't lessen her anxiety when there is a load of wash going so a new solution was needed.

Simple really when you think about it. Leave a crate in the living room and she can hang out there until the laundry is done. 

Banished  Relocated

Callie lay down and relaxed, the laundry got done.

Then after the laundry was on the line, it was time for frisbee!

A few rounds of frisbee and then back inside for a nap.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

One of our favourite fall activities is to go apple picking.  Here on the island there a few pick your own orchards and after hearing that there was a dog friendly one close to where we live, well, we had to go!

As always in situations like that, the decision has to made - who gets to go?

Callie doesn't do well with other dogs.

Bill is more interested in running than walking on leash.

Blind and partly deaf Brook is also a runner.

Deaf Trail had a lot of extra play time the past few days.

So, it was blind Hiker's turn to go!  

Just to be sure, when we arrived, I asked the man at the entrance if there was a place that Hiker could get out of the car and wander a little.  The smiled and said, "Of course, dogs are part of the family."

Trying to pick apples with an excited blind dog wasn't an easy task.  Hiker was very interested in all the smells of the orchard and had a great time checking things out.

The trees were loaded with apples and at this particular farm there are more than 40 varieties of apples to chose from. 

As you can see, Hiker is no longer wearing a collar, she must now wear only a harness. Doctor's orders. The veterinarian that we see for acupuncture said that even though Hiker can't wear he collar, she can (and should) still wear her pink bandana because it looks so cute.

We picked a few types of apples, just for eating and will go back again to get more for making applesauce.  All the apples are only 70 cents a pound.  Yum!

Next time, maybe Trail will get to pick apples.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Mischief on a Tuesday

It seems as though the acdMom has not been around home enough lately.  Having taken the opportunity to work an additional 31 hours in nine days made for an upset pack.  Well, in all honesty, it was really only one dog that expressed his displeasure in an obvious way.

Trail was doing some figuring...

to try and determine when she would be home.

Then he tried to write a note about how much he missed the acdMom...

Reading a book to pass the time wasn't such a good idea...

An Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

Trail ended the week with the declaration that it was TIME for the acdMom to spend more time at home...

a battery powered alarm clock

Not to worry, the additional hours are finished and the acdMom is home and spending lots of quality with the entire pack and giving Trail a few extra hugs.

Trail making sure that the acdMom doesn't leave his sight!

Friday, October 02, 2015

A walk on the beach

Yesterday's Wordless Wednesday post was Brook and Bill at Panmure Island beach.  It was a much needed bit of peace and quiet in our lives.  Things have been a bit hectic the past week and a half.

After the barn cat's abscess cleared up and he was returned (somewhat reluctantly) to the barn after four days in the house, we had an attack on the hens and rooster. Initially it looked like it may have been a coyote because of the size of the scat that was left as a calling card, but after speaking with someone who hunts, it seems likely that it was a raccoon.  

Going out to feed in the morning and finding the rooster and two hens dead/gone was very upsetting.  As you probably know, they are more than livestock, they are pets.  

The remaining four hens were removed from the barn to a dog crate in the yard for the day for repairs and clean up.  Once they returned to the barn the dogs were allowed outside.  

As always, Trail was very interested in what had happened in his yard.  (yes, a little hen poop was there too)

I found it amusing how he lay in almost the exact place that the crate was. He spent quite a bit of time snuffling through the wood shavings that spilled from the crate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to receive a bag of corn on the cob. A big bag.  Five dozen cobs for free!  
My main intention was to dry it on the cob for the hens and the rooster to have as a treat over the winter months.  Typical Trail, he had to be a part of the husking process.  

All the other dogs were content to lay on the couch or a dog bed and occasionally glance over to monitor the process. Not Trail, he has to be a part of everything.

I was tempted to give him a cob just to see what he would do with it but I knew that there would be four others wanting one too and that would make a big mess. Besides, I didn't want them eating the cob.

There are over three dozen cobs hanging upstairs in a spare room drying out for the hens. I've never done this before but so far it seems to be working well.

Not to worry, there were a few kernels that made into the food dishes that night.  There are also a couple of bags of kernels in the freezer too.  

Later, there were carrots...

Monday, September 21, 2015

You still there?

Are you still there?

Yup, we're still here.

We've been away from blogville for a little while because we had company.  From away.  That is how everyone here refers to people who aren't from the island. They are from away.  Our company has now gone back west and things are back to what we call normal.

Normal meaning that the dogs are now the number one priority and getting all the attention once again which includes going to the beach at sunset.


We hope that you are still there and continue to visit.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dog Bed....Cat Bed?

Since we have both dogs and cats in the house, we tend to be all about sharing.  As previously noted here on our blog, sometimes that sharing isn't all that popular.

Arthur tends to have a little bit of an attitude.  Once again, he was on the dog bed.  Trail wasn't sure that he should be.

When staring at him didn't make him move, Trail moved in to physically remove him.

After a little bit of tussling, Trail found something else to do and along came Bill.  He enjoys the dog bed and was determined to lay there even with a cat.

Later, once again, Arthur had the bed all to himself.

All this does is reinforce Arthur's opinion that cats do indeed rule.

The dogs totally disagree and besides, the cats are outnumbered!