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Friday, October 21, 2011

Technical difficulties

The radio silence has been because of rather spotty internet the last couple of weeks. But a tech is coming on Monday and I've got a minute right now to let everyone know that everyone at Arrows Flight Farm is doing well. Including the puppies!
Also contributing to my lack of posting is that all I want to post are puppy pictures and the camera is GONE. No idea what happened to it. I'm hoping we didn't lose it out somewhere and not notice (though that is entirely possible) but that it just got tossed into a box and packed up, as getting some construction done around here has inspired a fit of cleaning and sorting and we have the bad habit of leaving the camera in bags and pockets.

But the puppies are very cute, and getting big and I even bought a disposable camera so once I develop and scan them there shall be pics!!
Trapp has grown to be the biggest one. His ears are little triangles on the side of his face, which wrinkles expressively, and his coat is short and velvety. He and Judd are both longer then tall.
Judd is getting an appealingly houndy cast to his features. He has this serious little face which totally belies his character. He is an active, playful little clown.
Kimon is very square. He has a square little face and a square little body and is tiny and very sweet. Trapp already has a home that I think he will be VERY well suited to, and I would love to find a family for Judd and a single person or perhaps a couple for Kimon, as Judd needs a family to rule and Kimon needs someone to be just his.

In other news, we sold Trouble, the buckling. We are happy for him because he is going to be someone's herd buck/pet, and the folks who got him are very goat knowledgeable. But we do miss him, and we're pretty sad for Honeysuckle. His mother isn't upset that he's gone, but we didn't think that poor Honeysuckle would grieve so and it gives me a pang in my heart every time I notice her looking off for him.

It's been getting cold here, the last couple of nights were below freezing, so we made arrangements for this weekend to get our woodstove hooked up and our pig butchered. So naturally, this weekends forecast is in the 70s. Yay timing!
On the one hand, this kind of fall weather is very nice, on the other, the Northener in me rebels against having to worry it may be kind of warm to butcher a pig the third week of October

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Three days in one!

I know. Tomorrow passed without puppy pictures.
To make up for the Nearly Unforgivable Sin of late puppy picture posting, today you are getting 3 days worth of posts in one.

Because it's been an interesting couple of days.
And for blog reading sanity, I put them where they should have gone, because it seems as if it would make more sense that way.

Last night's adventure.

We have a kinda movable pig pen.
We have 4, 16 foot cattle panels, firmly fastened at the corners to make a square. We anchor it down with Tposts and have a tarp semi-permanently and firmly rigged over and down a corner for shade and rain protection.

This is adequate, as the pigs will be at Camp Kenmore before they need anything more substantial, like protection from cold.

But it would be pretty durn small and muddy and dirty and gross if it always stayed where it was. So every day or two we yank Tposts, move it over and anchor it down again. The pigs greet the move with great delight and much rooting, even though they just got the old spot comfy when we move it.

This is a pretty easy job for two people, but varies from deserving a cold ice tea after to needing a far stiffer beverage when done alone. So unless they have really ripped up their old spot and need moving now, I wait and do it with Handsome.
  This has an added benefit. Handsome is bigger and stronger then I, so he pounds the Tposts back in. Which is great, because it really is a lot easier for him then for me. I am, uh, vertically challenged so I can't even lift the Tpost driver up and over the top of the Tpost. My arms don't reach. I have to lean it over, slide it on, then straighten it up, but can usually get the driver off without having to step on a handy rock once the Tpost is in the ground.
  It is an especially chivalrous gesture because Handsome hates driving Tposts.

This hatred is why he was rushing last night. He was lifting the driver up very high and slamming it down really hard when he lifted it a little too high and instead of slamming down over the top of the post, the edge of the driver caught the lip, flipping it - with the full force he was putting behind it- down on top of his head.
  I was turned away to get him the next Tpost when I heard a thud, curse and crash and turned to see him staggered so hard I still can't believe he kept his feet. I helped him inside where he was ready to sit down and rest it off. But men don't get that luxury with a woman around so soon the EMTs were here.
  Handsome didn't fully split his scalp, but he did bloody it up pretty good. The EMTs weren't worried enough to just pick him up and throw him in the ambulance, so I let him stay home. But that meant both of us staying up For the next 12 hours (all night), him in case of concussion and me to watch him, catch any slurring or anything and drive him to the hospital if he took a turn for the worse.

He didn't. Handsome is fine, besides a very sore and bloody scalp and a 6 inch long knot on his head. It looks like someone tall took a baseball bat and swung it straight down on him. I did manage a couple of hours sleep and he's sleeping it off right now.

I think I've had all the interesting I want for the rest of the week. Bring on the boring!

I must have a sign

Because look what came running up to me, crying And just where have you been???, as I unloaded everything from the car after the massive, all day event that was taking Spud to his developmental assessment.
  Which brought the very good news, btw, that while he is behind, he is not on the autistic scale. Yay! Behind - that's nothing. This kid is already 7 different miracles for being born 3 months early (and every time you read that, please think about it just for a second. Three months early. That's 6 months pregnant. That's "Is she pregnant or just getting fat?") Compared with all the problems we could have been facing, behind is nothing.

Anyhoo, my brand new long lost friend,
Isn't she pretty? She's between 3 and 4 months old and I've no idea where she came from. None at all. Punkin is calling her Natasha. Like many strays, she goes cross-eyed with purriness if you so much as look at her.
In honour of yet another foundling, one of my favorite poems. This poem is commonly found on the internet as "To Love Again" and attributed to Anonymous. And, for some reason, he is changed to a she. But here is the original, unglamorous title, substantial author and everything.

by Francis Witham 
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth, and food

For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.

He scratched the furniture, and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.

So if you really think, oh Cat,
I'd willingly relive all that
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well...don't just stand there...Come on in!

My sign says Welcome.

Puppy Pictures!

With their eyes open, the puppies look much more like puppies, and less like fat little sausages.
It's not just the eyes. They have reached the Week of Great Change. over the next seven days they will change more then at any other time of their lives. It's pretty amazing. It also marks The End of Life As I Know It for me for the next few weeks. By the end of the week, I'll have had to overhaul my living room to give them Spud's old play yard and will have started feeding them solid food. Most of which they will wear and I will do roughly my body weight in laundry every day.
Some little things that I have wondered about are resolving themselves. Judd has definitely got some shading in his coat. He may be a dark sable, or even fade quite a bit, like some German Shepherd pups do. Kimon will definitely be the smallest, Judd the biggest.
But many, many more things just become greater mysteries. The shape of their faces change by the day. Just how much will they change? The father could be anything, or 3 different anythings. Hopefully none of them have inherited Katie's bite. Poor girl. If her adoptive owners don't feed her right, she could easily become one of those 5 year old dogs already losing teeth.
However they turn out, some things are certain. They are wicked cute, and we are happy to have them here and safe with us. The lady who has spoken for Trapp is a great person. Kind, caring, responsible, big-hearted and fun. Now to find people as good for the rest of them, and work to make sure the pups will be great pets for them.

Did I mention wicked cute? Look at this!
I can walk, kinda

Monday, September 19, 2011

They can see me!

At least, Judd and the re-named - and spoken for !!! WOOT!!- Trapp, formerly Sandy, can SEE us out of their brand-new-to-the-world eyes!
Doubtless little Kimon will be joining them by morning. I'm sure that little fellow won't be left behind for long in anything.

I'll have to get photographic proof in the morning as well. We are all wasted. We spent the day driving 2 1/2 hours to have little Spud evaluated by an developmental expert and he is NOT autistic!! She said from what she can tell the early intervention work we did with him brought him from borderline to not even on the charts. WOOT Again!!!!!
There are still more questions to be asked and answered and speech therapy may be in his future but as of now we are very relieved. If insanely exhausted.
Except for Spud himself, who's day consisted of a meal, a bath, a really long nap in the car, another meal and a long play session with a Very Nice Lady, followed by another long nap in the car and then a meal. That boy is raring to go!
And I am still up.
At midnight.

This is not as fun as it was when I was a teen

Friday, September 16, 2011

Puppy Update

 Up until now, there hasn't been a lot of puppy updates. Not that there hasn't been anything going on, just that unless I pose the little squiggle worms next to a ruler, it's hard to tell they are bigger, fatter sausages then they were before. See?

Fat little puppy sausages. 

But 9 days do make a difference. Especially to these guys. It seems like once they were no longer crammed inside Katie they could finally GROW. And grow they have. Picture of little newborns;

Compare that to a picture from last night;

Holy Exploding Growth of Puppies Batman!!!

They eat and sleep and grow and Grow and GROW.
   Katie has all the food she can eat. She has a bowl always down for her of the best kibble I could find, liberally supplemented with fresh goat's milk, eggs and raw meat. She isn't gaining weight, but she isn't losing any either, which is a win as far as I'm concerned. I mean, just look at the mass of the puppies this poor girl is feeding.

  Katie's getting less and less impressed with them.She doesn't neglect them, but she is less then thrilled with the whole mothering thing. She feeds and cleans them, then jumps up on the bed or goes out to the living room. She doesn't want any other critters in the bedroom and has to supervise any time a puppy is being handled. She worries and licks him and jumps in to check on him when you put one down - then jumps right back out again.

Here they are, from left to right, Kimon, Sandy, Judd.
Wait, Sandy's buried. Let's try that again;
There we are, one second later Sandy has bulled his way under Kimon and semi-flattened Judd.
This is a more typical pose for them.

And they're off! 
They can't see yet, and barely hear much but by Jove no self-respecting puppy is going to just stay still and make picture taking easy!

  An advantage I've found to the BioSensor work is that because you are handling the puppies in such a stylized fashion, it really shows you the developing personalities. Sandy protests. He wiggles and squirms and wants to know why someone isn't feeding him Right Now. If there isn't food involved there is no reason to stand for this! Even snuggling him is going from snuggling a sleeping puppy to trying to snuggle a squeaking, nuzzling puppy who is squirming everywhere looking for a teat. I am forever rescuing his brothers from being sucked on.

Kimon is active and alert. At least, as alert as a blind, deaf, semi-mobile slug can be. I'm certain that he is going to find the world an increasingly interesting place. He gets a little wiggly when you first pick him up, then settles right down and relaxes. Snuggling Kimon is picking up an awake puppy who quickly falls asleep on you.

Judd is just mellow. Nothing really bothers him. He's the least vocal of all the pups. He twitches healthily in his sleep, nurses actively, seems to enjoy being handled, so I doubt his mellowness is a sign of anything wrong, he's just pretty ok with the world and everything that is happening.

  Yesterday they got baths. It is wickedly young and I don't recommend it, but they are a little young for Frontline and I can't treat our whole acreage, and it would seem every flea that we drag in on a pants leg finds the puppies and Frontline on Katie is not enough.
  I filled a deep bowl with warm sudsy water and one by one held each puppy in it, well supported. They got to soak in it for a few minutes to stun the fleas, then had warm water gently poured over them while I rubbed to rinse the suds and stunned fleas off.
  Sandy didn't mind the soaking part. The water was a little warmer then body temp so he may not have even realized he was wet. I rubbed him gently all over and he enjoyed that. But when I held him up to rinse that meant moving his body around in all different ways and there was much wiggling and woe-is-me until he was wrapped in a towel, sucking on Punkin's finger.
  Kimon was the most difficult. He started to snuffle - something smelt different and he needed to find out what! He wiggled and tried to drown himself until he managed to find a bit of suds on my hand. He sucked it off and then fell asleep. Rinsing was fascinating and ...zzzzzz.
  Judd settled his little head on my hand and konked out. He woke up when I went to rinse him and konked out again when the water started to pour over him. He did not like the toweling. How can a fellow sleep with people rubbing him like that? He was almost offended by the time I was done and handed him back to his mother.
  A full belly cures all ills though.