Besides being an accomplished chicken catcher, Bella is also quite adept at playing hide and seek. I’m not sure that is her intention however, I frequently find only parts of her sticking out from under various objects.
Most recently I found her under a couch cushion.She is particularly fond of the blanket on the couch and can get herself completely under it. (That’s Tucker’s tail. He was looking for her.)Sometimes she gets completely under the sheet.Other times she leaves her head out.She also likes to be under the table – especially when we are trying to eat.Most of the time she just lays in the middle of the floor – tongue out. Being Bella is very tiring.
Tucker had a girlfriend come visit this summer. Her name is Olivia and she is an English cream long-haired dachshund.
It was a productive visit and 8 puppies were born on October 4.
This is a very large number of puppies for a dachshund.Unfortunately two of the puppies were very small and died within 24 hours.
That left 6 healthy puppies – 3 boys and 3 girls. We were promised pick of the litter as payment for Tucker’s services. It was not an easy decision.
We settled on a female named Penelope – Penny for short.One of Brian’s coworkers wanted a male and chose Max. The puppies were in another town so when Rachel went to get Penny, she also brought Max home so Brian could deliver him to work. Having two puppies in the house was fun for a couple of days, but Rachel was glad to see Max go as he is much more energetic and vocal than Penny.
Max’s new family owns three other dogs. Unfortunately, they did not check with these dogs before bringing Max home and one of the dogs was particularly unfriendly to Max.
So Max has come back to our house and we are looking for a good home for him. He does have an eye condition which will require minor surgery. The droopy eye just makes him look a little sad to me.
I’m trying not to get too attached. I’m afraid Max’s new home may be further than next door.
Know anyone who wants a long-haired mini dachshund?
While Rachel has been at home this summer, we have established a routine of walking the dogs in the evenings. The girls next door like to go with us and we appreciate the help. This week, however, Rachel has been housesitting so I’ve been on my own.
I faithfully walked next door to see if anyone was available to help. This particular time, one of the girls wanted to go but wanted to ride her scooter instead of walking a dog. That left me with our four dogs and Miller who was staying at the Miller Farm Hotel while his mom was away at camp.
With five leashes, I felt like a sled dog driver.
We walked passed a friend’s house and he commented that the leashes looked like a May Pole.
The school where I teach celebrates May Day each year so I knew exactly what he meant and he was right.
When I got home, I decided it would be much easier to take all the harnesses off the dogs without untangling the leashes. That way the dogs could go get water and rest while I worked on the “maypole leash.”
Our younger daughter came home for Easter. While she was here we went dress shopping – that seems to be the norm for home visits. We were looking for a blue dress for a concert at her school. After much looking and trying on we were successful.
But more exciting was the shirt I found for me:
For those who don’t know or remember, we are the proud owners of 4 long haired dachshunds (Bella, Sadie, Tucker and Coco) who have been the subject of this blog on several occasions.
Fortunately the shirt was on sale and I had a coupon because I was ready to pay full price.
I wore it to church on Easter Sunday. It may not have been a traditional, normal Easter outfit but then no one expects Chicken Wrangler Sara or anyone from Miller Farm to be traditional or normal.
I get up, swim, let the dogs out, and let the chickens out. Then I feed the dogs and the humans. In the afternoon, I repeat that last part – feed the dogs and feed the humans.
Recently, Bella started barking about 5:30 p.m. and continued until I feed her supper. This was not a welcome addition to my routine so I began to pay close attention to see if I could figure out why she had started this.
I discovered that some mornings, Bella goes directly to the couch without eating her breakfast.
This was hard to discover as Bella usually takes bites of her food on the couch to eat. I had to watch carefully to see that she was simply lying on the couch and not eating.
Since her bowl was still full when the other dogs finished their portions, they ate her food also. This meant Bella was missing breakfast – the most important meal of the day.
This would explain why she was hungry and insistent on eating every afternoon.
Bella now gets breakfast in “bed.”
I’m willing to spoil her a little if it keeps her quiet in the afternoon.
The whole scenario reminded me of when the kids were little. They always seemed to be underfoot while I was fixing dinner. I tried to have some activity ready for this strategic moment as feeding them breakfast in bed did not solve the problem with them like it did with Bella.
As expected, keeping up with six dogs, two cats and many chickens for the weekend was chaotic. I survived, but I’m so ready to return to plain old “Chicken Wrangler Sara.”
It was quite a weekend filled with adventures and misadventures!
I thought feeding the cats would be the easiest chore. The food had been left at our house and the bowls were left by the neighbor’s truck. Only problem was when I went to feed the neighbor’s cats, I couldn’t find the bowls so I used some of ours and put them by the truck in the neighbor’s driveway.
Upon reviewing the text message, I realized that the bowls were supposed to be at the back door. Not sure how I mixed that up.
By this time, it was dark outside so I couldn’t find the bowls by the door either. I moved our bowls by the truck to the back yard. Both cats seemed excited to have the food.
When I checked on them Thursday, however, only one cat was around. Now it’s been a while since I had cats, but I remember them being pretty independent so I didn’t worry too much. Today I confirmed both cats are still at the house or nearby.
Whew – I didn’t lose a cat.
Jengo offered more of a challenge. He is still a puppy who likes to chew. I came home Friday after chapel to discover white feathers all over the kitchen. My first thought was “Oh no, he got a chicken!” Then I remembered the chickens are outside. The feathers were part of Brian’s fly-tying materials.
Whew – I didn’t lose a chicken.
On Thursday, while I was teaching piano, I heard noise coming from the kitchen. I assumed it was Brian and so didn’t think much about it. When I finished teaching, however, I discovered a bag of potatoes strewn all over the kitchen. Jengo must have been hungry. It only took him three potatoes to realize he didn’t like them.
I moved the unsampled potatoes out of reach.
Jengo is also unstoppable. The gate at the kitchen door was not a deterrent. At all. Too many times over the weekend I turned around to find him right behind me. It was like having a toddler again. I only wished he went down for a nap.
The chicken wire over the gate to the chicken yard was also ineffective at stopping Jengo. He regularly followed me as I checked on the chickens. Fortunately, Jengo lacks Bella’s killer instinct and simply sniffed the chickens.
He wasn’t too sure about the chicken feeder especially when it started swinging.
He was also very curious about the bees. Since he is a puppy, I was able to distract him before the bees got too irritated.
Whew – I avoided treating a bee sting on a dog.
The cats are now back in the care of their owners and Miller and Jengo are once again in their own homes.
Whew it’s quiet around here. Well, as quiet as the Miller Farm ever gets.
I met in the 99 cent store today who said she needed to get rid of a miniature long-haired dachshund……… I didn’t even hesitate to say NO.
I’ll stick with four daschunds and thirty-something chickens. Thank you very much.
Jengo and Miller are staying with us through the weekend. Remember, they are our friend’s two daschunds and visit often. Jengo’s the puppy. We shared lots of fun times the last time he visited.
It’s always a fun time when dogs outnumber humans 6-4.
Then the neighbor texted last night asking if we could feed their two cats while they were gone for a couple of days. Okay, that’s doable. Mixing the cats and dogs under the same roof, not so much.
Since Beekeeper Brian and I were in Abilene at the time, the neighbors just left the cat food on the front porch. When our son Matt got home before we did, he simply moved the bag inside. He’s learned it is better sometimes not to even ask.
This brings the total number of four-legged animals under my care to eight — not counting chickens. We know from previous posts that we have more than 30 chickens including quail.
So this weekend, I’ll be keeping up with thirty-four or more animals if you count all the fowl. Let the fun begin!
I’m sure there will be some interesting stories for next week’s Miller Farm blog.
Monday was a little hectic on Miller Farm. I didn’t have time to get the chickens food and water before I had to be at school to play for Chapel so I just let them out.
When I got home an hour later, I went out to fill water jugs and check on the food status. Of course, all the dachshunds went out with me.
Tucker brings his ball out for me to throw as I carry water. Sadie looks for lizards and Coco just follows me around. Bella, on the other hand, finds other ways to occupy herself.
I caught her “playing” with one of our Dr. Seuss birds, but alas, I was too late to rescue it.
As I disposed of the body, I couldn’t really fuss at Bella. The chickens have been warned not to come over the fence.
I went in to start laundry. I guess Bella felt a little guilty. She decided to “help” me.
How could I be mad at that face!
I sent the picture to Rachel and told her about the reduction in the chicken flock. Her response was “Well it shouldn’t have flown over the fence. Plus this means I can hatch more!”
I told her we still had a billion. She reminded me of chicken math – where for every chicken you lose you have to have at least four more to replace it in case one or more dies or turns out to be a rooster.
I texted her “I’m not listening nananana.” Fortunately, she is off at college and can’t really hatch chickens right now anyway.
Our flock will remain as is unless, of course, some other chicken who didn’t witness the demise of the gray Dr. Seuss bird and decides to fly over the fence.