Category Archives: Animal Husbandry

National Wascally Wabbits and Zombie Babies Day

April 26 is National Kids and Pets Day and although I have only one kid, we’ve had plenty of pets over the years. Right now we have three dogs, 9 goats, 2 horses, and 5 chickens. Kitty, sadly, has disappeared. I keep hoping she’ll be back, but it’s been two weeks, and nary a hair of her has been seen. 

I’m compiling another book about our animal kingdom called Puppers and Nervous Nelly Goats or something along those lines. Jolina, the Puppers, Red, and Lady all have starring roles. It’s not done yet because there are still so many stories to be told. For instance, Jolina is pregnant and we are anxiously awaiting the little Jolina 2 or Jolino. I can’t imagine what sorts of mischief Jolina’s kid will bring. 

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Anyway, since I’m not qualified to be on the front lines battling COVID-19, I’m doing my part to help you through this social distancing period by offering Wascally Wabbits and Zombie Babies FREE for your reading pleasure over the next few days. In it, you’ll be able to watch my son grow and meet the animals we’ve had since moving to Mexico. So go ahead and download your copy from Amazon and enjoy!

 

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Training Terry

If you remember, a few months ago we were given Terry, a Belgium Shepherd dog whose owner could no longer care for him. He came with some behavioral issues that we are still working on. 

He and George still periodically growl at each other through the hole that Jolina made in the door. He’s totally jealous of any attention Fred and George get from my son and carries on something awful. Walks are difficult because we can’t take all three dogs at once–Terry and George can’t behave.  

Terry’s neurosis and fear of being left alone have lowered but not gone away completely these past few months. He is not a big fan of being tied either. His high pitched whimpering is grating on the nerves, but sometimes he needs to be tied if only for a few minutes so we can move between the animal area and the backyard without a brawl ensuing between the two would-be Alpha dogs. 

Since he is a shepherd dog, we thought maybe he should get some training in his breed’s profession to help him overcome all this neediness he has. The first trip out off-leash wasn’t a success. He certainly tried to round up the kids, but mama goat wasn’t having any of that and hit him with her horns. Terry panicked and ran off. He must have gotten lost because he didn’t turn up for three hours, traumatized and shaking.

Several weeks passed and we gave it another go. Terry decided wide circles were the best option for herding and the mama goats approved. So for several weeks, he’s been going out in the morning with the horses and goats and my husband. He likes to chase Red around and I think Red likes the game too. terry

He’s been behaved and returns to the house when everybody is ready to be put in. He then is as happy as can be the rest of the day, snoozing in the shade. 

But we can’t take Fred and George for a walk while Terry’s out minding the goats. He has a sixth sense and comes from nowhere to take down George and since George is leashed, Terry has the advantage.

For the most part, the morning romps have been going well until recently. The chicken feather guy’s female boxer dog is in heat AGAIN! If you’ll remember, the hormones that saturated the air led to Puppy’s demise. Well, apparently, she’s pretty potent and her heat cycle has attracted the biggest and the baddest canines around. Gangs of huge dogs have taken up residence in La Yacata in hopes of paying court. 

So a few days ago, Terry was out with the goats and one of these humongous interlopers was slinking along eyeing up the kids in the herd. Terry became defensive and attacked, which is exactly what he should have done. The interloper ran up the hill and Terry gave chase. The two ended up near the chicken feather guy’s compound. Terry whipped the other dog’s behind and came back to the herd.

Then the chicken feather guy came down following Terry saying that he has been biting his cows and horses. Several weeks ago he stopped my son when he was with Fred and George and said the same thing. Perhaps if he fixed his dog, there wouldn’t be packs of dogs around every few months. Perhaps if he didn’t let his animals out at night to eat other people’s crops because he doesn’t want to buy food for them, they wouldn’t get bit. Whatever! You can’t reason with stupidity. 

The hormones in the air have also been affecting Fred and George. Two days ago, my son was walking them and a strange dog arrived. George just went berserk–letme at ‘im, letme at ‘in. In the melee that ensued, he bit my son’s hand accidentally. When everybody was back in the Flores compound, George was extremely contrite. He moped around the rest of the day. Every time my son came out, he tried to make it up to him by wagging his tail, licking his face and climbing on his lap.

So, because of the high level of hormones in La Yacata, the dogs are in quarantine for the time being under stay at home orders. It doesn’t mean that one of the neighbors won’t get it into their heads to poison our dogs again, though. We can only hope that social distancing will prevail.

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The Great Goat Escape

The other day, my husband sold one of our nameless goats to his buddy. He made sure there was no mix-up with Jolina, his princess. Nameless goat was taken away and we went about our afternoon and evening activities.

We were awakened at 2 am by goat bleating. My husband went out to investigate, but all the animals were sound asleep. I happened to peek out the front window and lo and behold, there was Nameless goat clamoring to get in. 

My husband went to open the door, but it since it opens outward and it must have scared Nameless because she ran up the hill. It was a moonless night, so chasing her around in the dark wasn’t an option. We settled back into bed and hoped she’d return.

About an hour later, we heard some goat screaming and were sure she’d been eaten by the coyotes. However, in the morning, she was waiting by the door again.

The fact that she returned troubled my husband greatly. He was sure his buddy was dead or had an accident. He even sent a search posse of other buddies who were unable to locate the guy. 

All of that worry was for nothing. Two days later, the buddy showed up at our house demanding the goat he had bought and paid for back, as if it was our fault she jumped ship. And that’s literally just what Nameless had done. Apparently, good buddy was already three sheets to the wind when he loaded her up and didn’t properly secure her in the back of his truck and she escaped.

He didn’t notice until he got home but couldn’t come look for Nameless because he had to recover from his overindulgence or continue with it, which was also the reason the posse couldn’t find him. 

Nameless is now safely housed in buddy’s goat shelter. Since he has a habit of leaving his critters unattended while foraging for long periods of time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nameless makes another break for it in the future.

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