One of the chicks I brought home from school disappeared last week. I looked everywhere and didn’t find nary a feather. I was concerned mostly because I was afraid the kids at school would ask about the chicks and I would have to confess to losing one.
The other morning Max was very intently looking at the pen where the chicks had been staying with the rooster. He started growling and I figured there must be something there.
I hesitantly entered the coop fearful that I would encounter a snake. I saw a bunch of white feathers under the coop and realized they were attached to a bird.
I carefully lifted the coop, thinking the bird was surely dead. I was wrong. The poor chick wiggled out from under the coop and stumbled over to the water.
I was pleasantly surprised. I kept an eye on it and made sure there was plenty of water and food. It seems to be none the worse for the experience.
I’m glad Max was insistent. He gets credit for saving a chicken. He only needs to rescue 6 more to replace all the chickens Bella has caught over the years.
And now I can honestly report that all the chicks are doing well.
My collection of children’s books includes one with the title “Circle Dogs.”It begins “In the big, square house live the two circle dogs” then goes on to trace a day in the life of two dachshunds repeating this line at the end.
I could write a similar book.I would have to change the first line to “In the not-so-big square house live the six circle dogs.”
One of the nice things about living in one place for a long time is maintaining friendships.
My friend Greta and I have known each other since our oldest children were in elementary school. These “kids” are now 24. We have laughed and cried together many times.We still do.
Greta has gotten chickens from us and supplies fruit and vegetable scraps to both flocks. I bring surplus food to her from the volunteer work I do.
Last Saturday, upon returning from an early morning meeting, I discovered that Greta had dropped off a bag but not for the chickens.
It was a gift bag and in it were two pair of slippers – one for me and one for Rachel. They are wonderful!I love the slippers especially now that the weather has turned cold. However, I value the gift of friendship most of all.
A fellow teacher at my school shares our love of dachshunds. Not quite as much as we do – she only has one. Her dog’s name is Elvis and he is not fond of being put in a kennel. His mom asked if he could possibly stay with us when they went out of town. He came for a play date and everyone seemed to get along so it was settled.
Elvis came to stay over the Thanksgiving Holiday. He arrived on Tuesday and seemed to be excited to join our 6 pack at Miller Farm.
Then Beekeeper Brian got a text from Miller’s mom. He needed a place to hang out also. Had Brian not said anything, I might not have noticed. After all what’s one more dachshund.
Miller arrived on Wednesday bringing our total to 8 dachshunds. It went remarkably well.
I decided to do an intermittent mop of the kitchen floor. I put everyone in the back yard but they began to bark so I brought them back in. A neighbor who works nights has asked us to try to keep them quiet during the day. That seems reasonable even if it is difficult.
So I put them all in the living room so I could mop the kitchen without help. They didn’t mind that at all. In fact they all climbed on the couch for a nap. Elvis and Miller, the two black and tans, nearly blend into the sofa in the top right corner.
Rachel missed out on all the fun. She was pet sitting for a couple who have 3 Great Danes.
She sent this picture with the largest who weighs in at 180 pounds. I think I’ll stick to large numbers of small dogs rather than small numbers of large dogs.
In the summer, I go to the pool a little later to swim. This means it is light when I come home. I don’t mind so much in the summer. Walking from the car to the house in my swimsuit and cover up makes sense. In the winter, however, when I am wearing my pink fuzzy robe over my suit, I am glad it is still dark when I get home.
Because it is light, the puppies are up. They don’t know how to sleep late.
Brian and Rachel put them outside and they are watching for me to get home. They are usually sitting at the gate while I hang up my towel. This morning, Penny was overcome with the temptation to jump on her brother.
They are quite the pair. They chase each other all around the kitchen until we put them outside where they have much more room to run. And they do run. And run and run and run.
Until they collapse.
While I was unsure about having six dachshunds, I am glad we ended up with both puppies. They would be lonely without each other.
Penny has discovered Aunt Bella is fine if all you want to do is take a nap.
It has been 8 years since we have had a puppy on Miller Farm and now we have two.
One major issue I had forgotten was the chewing. They chew on everything. Rachel has provided them with multiple acceptable chew toys, but Max and Penny seem to prefer non-chew toys. These include but are not limited to:
shoes – especially when on feet
I devised a new dance – the “puppy shuffle” which involves moving my feet in such a way as to avoid stepping on a puppy or having them grab my shoe.
I finally surrendered and gave them my socks. I figured it was better for them to chew on my socks when they were not on my feet.
It kept them occupied for quite a while. If only it would work until they outgrow the chewing – in about 6 months.
With the arrival of two dachshund puppies on Miller Farm came the arrival of 14,000 puppy toys. Well, maybe not that many but it seemed like that to Tucker, who was not allowed to chew up or play with any of them. In fact, Rachel put them all in her room behind a gate where Tucker could see them but not get to them. This was very distressing to Tucker. He was, after all, the first dachshund on Miller Farm and the father to the puppies.
Rachel bought Tucker his own toys including a spikey ball that squeaked. At least it squeaked until Coco chewed holes in it. Off to the pet store went Rachel once again. This time she bought a package of 3 spikey balls that squeaked. This gave us two BUBs (back-up balls).
Tucker’s favorite way to play with his ball is to have someone throw it so he can run and retrieve it so it can be thrown so he can run and retrieve it and so on and so on. This continues as long as the arm of the thrower holds out. This particular morning, I was the thrower.
I must confess, I was multi-tasking. I threw the ball as I was feeding the chickens so I wasn’t really paying close attention to where it went. It didn’t matter. Tucker would find it and bring it back to me.
One time I threw it behind me and I never heard it hit the ground. Tucker ran all around the yard and came back empty. I didn’t see it either so I looked in the neighbor’s yard. No ball. I looked between the fences (ours is chain link and the neighbor’s is wooden). Still no ball. I finally gave up and went inside. Rachel got out a BUB (back-up ball) and all was well.
Later that afternoon Beekeeper Brian called me into the kitchen where he was sitting at the table. “Sit down, look out the window and tell me what you see,” he said.
“I see the chickens, the chicken coop, the fence…”
There in the tree was Tucker’s ball. I could not have thrown it there if I tried. We got it down and now Tucker has two balls. At least until one of them disappears again.