The things that are normal around here…

Over the years, I have obtained a new vocabulary in sayings that I picked up since I have dogs.  Just like a parent that learns and says new phrases when they get children.  It’s not typically something you may say until you have kids or dogs.  Some can be the same, but some are entirely different.

“ Don’t get a cookie”  you might tell your child and something you tell your dog is usually the same.  “Get off the cabinet” or “Get off the table.”  It's something that is said here at the farm on a regular basis.  

Just yesterday, I was upstairs and heard that tell-tell nose that all dog owners can pick up.  I was typing on this blog when I heard the rustling of plastic.  In the short time it took me to run down the stairs, an empty plastic bag was on the floor, and every homemade dog biscuit was gone.  Three dogs were within 10 feet of it and just wanting to know, I smelled their breath hoping to discover “who” was the culprit was.  No luck…

“Don’t eat that.” or “don’t roll in that” is a common occurrence here at the farm too.  We spend thousands of dollars on the best food that can be bought and they turn their nose up at it.  But what do they eat?  

How many times have we seen them eat mulch, sticks, rocks, deer-duck-rabbit or sheep poop?  It’s like candy to dogs.  We give them the best, and they treat us to the smelly breath of their favorite poop, what a treat for us.  Once, Clancy came to the back porch with a gift for everyone.  Don’t know how it happened or want to know but he came prancing up the lane with the hind leg of a deer, and everyone was excited but me.  Go figure…  

“Don’t stand there” is something I say a lot.  As you try to sleep, they will get into bed and make themselves comfortable laying on top of me.  I just wonder what they would do if while they are in their dog bed, I decided to get on top of them or scoot them off and take their place, they probably wouldn't care.  

While I do enjoy the closeness of a dog sleeping with me, I also do enjoy my space.  Once, for whatever reason, most of them wanted to be near me and I was being smothered.  At 3 am, I got up from the bed and went to the couch where they could be close, but I would have some breathing room.  I still had a dog on my lap, but I could at least breath.

This is said every day… “I don’t need you to help me poop.”  Dogs are fascinating creatures, and they love smelly things.  I know they want to be near us but really, can’t I go to the bathroom by myself and at times I need a little privacy.  As soon as I enter the room, here they come and stand in a semi-circle, ears perked up and prancing around.  Some have even stood in my underwear.  It’s like they never seen this before and they will watch with such intense and bewilderment.  They poop, it’s natural, but I try to give them lots of privacy, I don’t even shine the light on them if it’s at night.  One of our dogs is very private, and I have only seen them go to the bathroom twice, and they were at a distance.  I guess I should have run toward them and said, “what are you doing, need some help?”

You can brush them, take care of their teeth, wash them and ever put bows in their ears on some dogs.  But the best thing they can do to pleasure themselves is to roll in a fresh stinky pile of critter crap.  I can see them and even smell them 100 feet away, and it’s usually after a bath or brushing.
As I said, dogs are fascinating.  In some of the things they do, I will never understand, but at times I have to step back and wonder, “where does that come from.”  Ken

A very difficult week…

A day late with the blog and I will tell you, I am exhausted.  It has been both a mental and physically exhausting week.  As fall quickly approached and the choirs are piling up, I was running out of time and know not everything would get done.  At the first of the week and as I do each year, I will populate some of our forest with maple trees.  Brown County Indiana is known for the fall colors that are produced throughout the fall by the many colors of the fall tree foliage. 

When we first built the house, we planted many varieties of maple trees for that very reason.  As time has moved on, the trees have grown, and in the spring they send out seed pods.  After sprouting and leaving the saplings alone for a few years letting them get a few feet tall, I will move them to various parts of the forest to produce even more trees on their own with lots of fall color.  The falls rains have been pretty severe this year throwing me behind schedule, but we are making progress.  We have had visitors at the farm along with planting new grass and cleaning gutters, but we will manage. 

Clancy’s Dream has been overwhelming with paperwork and meetings, and at times I will be at my desk for eight to ten hours with paperwork and phone calls.  If it weren't for Leah Lamb, we would never make it as she is a God Send for us, taking care of all the internet work and getting us on Amazon along with working on several other sights promoting Clancy’s Dream.
With everything going on, as most know, we took Gabby to the vet for what we thought was a simple removal of a fatty tumor.  The news was devastating when we found out it was cancer.  With all of this going on, I purchased a new computer for the foundation and have had nothing but trouble with it.  After many three to four hour conversation with Dell and replacing the week-old hard drive, it has been determined that it needs to go back to Dell for repair and it’s only one week old, always something…

With all of this going on, and while in my safe zone in my recliner Sunday evening, I saw Gabby across the room staring at me.  She looked so pitiful with her bandage, and I sensed she needed me.  I only had to tap my armrest, and she came running to me and dove into my lap.  In just a few seconds, Abbie also joined me in the recliner and curled up right next to me.  What I see is two sets of eyes looking so intensely at me and soothing my mind from all the activity racing through my head and in an instant, all is good in the world. 

Two dogs with cancer are at peace without a worry in the world and are living the dream, and at times I wish I could be like them.  No problems, live and love to have fun, play and eat, sleeping well and running hard and enjoying a good nap many times during the day.  All of which I need to do.  I can’t begin to tell you how they all improve my life just by wanting me but what no one knows, is that I need them when my life is upside down…   Ken

Dog doors and stuff...

I don’t know about you, but with the weather is getting cold, I worry about the dogs when they are outside.  I always think they are just as chilled as I am and still fret about them.  The one time I worry about them is when they get into the icy water to get a drink.  Mine are notorious for getting into the lake and drinking, not standing with both feet on solid ground but always getting in the water for a drink of water.  
Even Molly gets into the water to drink
Several times in the winter after they got out, the water on their fur would freeze, but they never seemed to mind.  Now if you give them a bath and the water isn’t warm, they raise a fuss, go figure.

I installed dog doors in the garage and the utility room door that leads into the house.  This fall will be the first time that they have an opportunity to use them.  They are so used to zooming out the back door, some still have the need to make a race out of it barking and nipping each other as they run out to the driveway which is a calamity, to say the least.

Dutchess leading the charge
Some may remember a dog house I made for Doc several years ago.  It was very sturdy and looked pretty sweet.  I worked on it for about 3 weeks, and it had an all-weather dog door on it and was thoroughly insulated and warm, what more could a dog want.  I soon found out. 

Dutchess Helping
Never used
Everyone helped me with the doghouse, and when it came together, we all rejoiced.  The unfortunate part, Doc never went inside it, he always laid on his dog bed that was outside.  I did get a bed that plugged in that had a built-in heater, he did like that, but the dog house was out of the question, never to be used.  I would sell it, but someone would need a forklift to move it, it’s cumbersome and very heavy.

After I installed a dog door to the attached garage door and then one to the utility room, it was open season.  Once they traveled the "tunnel of happiness," it was an open door policy to the Shuck house.   All in all, it has been a very good experience for the dogs.  They get to come and go without any problems, and I get no quiet time.  I want them to be able to have the comforts of home but also do the necessary things that need to be done.  Not every dog will wear the hinges off the dog-doors as like Abbie.  She will want to stay outside and survey her domain but the others love the house.  Because Abbie likes to lay near the outside porch steps, I will move a dog bed to where she is so she will be comfortable.  
Probably looking at the dog door
Just this morning before posting this, after Doc got off "my" bed, I let him out the sliding door.  As I turned around, standing to meet me was Doc after going through the two dog doors and returning.  "Really," I said.  "No way you did your business" and back out he went.  Thank God for a cover that blocks the entrance.  He loves the inside...   The things we do. Ken

It’s 3:30 am…

It’s 3:30 am and do you know where your Border Collie is?  As a matter of fact, I do.  Elaine was in Louisville helping her dad with some Doctor appointments for a few days, and I was tending to the house and all the chores which have its ups and downs.  First off, the good part is you can leave the toilet lid up which also may help if the dog’s water bowl is empty.  

You can watch what you want on TV, eat what you like and, when you want to.  Sounds like a sweet deal.   The bad part is if you run out of toilet paper, there is no more.  If you run out of dishes, no one will wash them, and no one will fix my drink if I have a dog in my lap.  Life can be tough, and it was.

Related image

After staying up and watching the Discovery channel (no Hallmark channel tonight) at about 1:15 am, I was tired and ready for bed.  Usually, Elaine will take her group of dogs with her to her bedroom, and I will keep my team with me which works out nice, not too many dogs for any bedroom.  But Thursday night was a little different because they all stayed with me.  My area is a little unique because it’s our finished family room with a full bath and kitchenette and 2 sitting areas along with a king size bed.  I call it my apartment “B” and I love it, but we were crowded with Elaine gone and I had all of the dogs.

Everyone was happy, dogs everywhere with some on the floor and some on the bed.  Doc was outside because he likes to sleep in his dog bed when it’s not cold, all was at peace.  Just when I was dropping off to my deep sleep, Abbie suddenly jumped on the bed near my head.  She was more loving than usual, rubbing her head on my neck, laying down and staying close to me seeking attention.  In just a few minutes, she changed places and turned around a couple of times and laid her head on my back this time.  I was exhausted and didn’t mind too much.  It was loving, and I enjoyed her company.  This went on for 20 minutes, and I said “you really are affectionate tonight" as were several of the dogs.  Earlier Molly had climbed onto the bed and was working up between Annie and Gabby which is unusual, but nice.  Several dogs were walking on the wood floor, and I could hear them but thought nothing about it but wondered was going on.

With just a hint of sound I heard, I opened my eyes wondering what it was and then saw the problem… Lightning was flashing along with some very distant thunder, nothing terrible but they could tell.  Trying to calm them down was a chore because I had nearly every dog in bed wanting protection.  Everyone scooted closer smothering me, and it was time to get up and go to the recliner, the bed wasn't going to work.  While I was up, might as well take the dogs out to potty.  Doc was at the back door and came in, I felt sorry for him, what's another dog?   It got a little worse outside, and Shepp started going into the zone, so upstairs we went to get his “storm medication, ” but the only problem, it needs to be given one hour before and storm…ugh…  The storm lasted only 30 minutes or so, and I was wide awake, so I leaned back and attempted to get some sleep.  Nothing worked, and I was wide awake. I went to the cupboard and got a half bottle of Jack Daniels and supposed a night-time toddy would be in order.  

After watching TV and getting interested in something and having the rest of the JD, it was snack time at nearly 4:30 and Cheerios were in order.  After a large bowl with some almonds making it was a healthy snack, I was getting sleepy.  If I went to bed at that very moment, I would have two hours of sleep, seems like enough I thought.  Morning came with a vengeance in a very short time.  I awoke to dishes everywhere, an empty bottle and two dog messes to clean up which is very very unusual, must have been the Cheerios or Karma.  The lighting and thunder were gone except in my head.  Everyone was safe, but there was still no toilet paper on the dispenser.   What a night…   Ken