Tag Archives: dog

Cat Walk

With my new and improved schedule (See Transition Year), I am able to take a morning walk and sometimes an afternoon and evening walk.  Puppy absolutely adores our walks.  He’s able to sniff every corner, expand his marked territory and run off bigger and badder dogs emboldened by my presence.

Sometimes my husband or son go with me.  After all, it’s just not fitting that women walk alone in Mexico.  I shrug.  I’m only going around the block and there isn’t any real danger that Puppy can’t handle.  But if they want to come, that’s ok too.

I take my camera just in case there’s something worthy of posting on Instagram later.  Sometimes I find some pretties.  Sometimes I don’t.  One day I found 7 tomatoes that fell off the produce truck.  Salsa!  Another day I found a bag of grouting the exact color we are using to finish the second floor.  Score!

We recently brought Kitty from the little house in Sunflower Valley to La Yacata.  She’d gotten too big to be content in the enclosed space.  She SO wanted to go outside and lay in the grass.  When we didn’t allow that, she would literally throw a fit on the floor, meowing and rolling about.  So, we moved her to the backyard in La Yacata and she was happy for awhile.

She noticed that while Puppy is inside at night, at first light, he got to go outside.  Inch by inch she gathered her courage and moved toward the door.  After a few days of watching Puppy and I go for our walk, she ventured beyond the gate.  She decided she’d come with us.  

She complained the entire time!  Having been an inside cat since kittenhood, this was a LONG walk for her.  She was a bit out of shape.  But she stuck with us and made it around the block.

Puppy didn’t much like the new walk companion.  I mean really, she carried on so.  Then she’d get lost in the tall grass and get hysterical so he’d have to go and find her.  So he tried to discourage her from going on the walk with us.  

Eventually, she stopped accompanying us.  Instead, she comes out when we head off and waits by the door.  She knows that eventually we’ll come back and feed her.  Puppy’s satisfied with this arrangement as well.  Glad we could work that out.

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Chokis

chokis

Last night, someone finally killed our dog Chokis. He’d had several attempts on his life these past few weeks. We’d almost come to believe he was invincible.

One day we came home, and he rushed up to us to show us the wound on his head where a bullet had grazed him. His hard head protected him, but he was puzzled by the injury. Then last week, I was sure he was dying. He didn’t jump up when I opened the door with his dog cookies but lay there thumping his tail in pleasure and bleeding. It looked like he had a confrontation with another dog and sustained injuries. Well, he was now a teenage dog, and these things will happen when there is a lady love involved. Slowly, he recovered and was up and about again. But last night was the clincher.

He had ingested poison. If you’ve never witnessed death by poison, let me assure you that it is horrible. (See 101 Perritos ) We had a puppy accidentally poisoned once, and so knew the symptoms, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch. Chokis rammed the door and gate several times trying to outrun the demons pursuing him. When he couldn’t get in (we were afraid to let him in) he turned and defended his family from the phantoms with the last of his agonizing strength. He finally lay down at his post, even in death putting his body between us and perceived danger.

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The list of who did NOT poison him is much shorter than the possible assassins. (See Hate Thy Neighbor, and Good Fences make good neighbors unless your neighbor steals it)

The borrega guy mentioned once he wasn’t happy with Chokis as he found him inside his animal corral. There was an opening for the borega guy’s own dogs to go in and out freely and Chokis just followed them in one day. Well, the borrega guy’s own dogs were killed a few months ago. So maybe he didn’t do it.

Then there is the cow barn guy. He lets his chickens run free, and at times, there are fewer chickens that return than went out. He blamed Chokis. I will admit, Chokis does like to chase chickens. For that reason, we banished him outside the gate. Not that he eats them, mind you. He just chases them and well, sometimes they just die, of fright most likely. He doesn’t eat them. I don’t think he likes the feathers.

Then there is the chicken feather guy. He is always a likely suspect. A few months ago, my husband’s brother B’s two dogs were poisoned and his house broken into. At the time he didn’t have anything worth stealing in there, but of course, the would-be thief didn’t know that. B is pretty sure that the chicken feather guy did it.

Or it could have been the horse guy. He recently returned from El Norte (US) and is back to his old tricks. He likes to prowl about in the early mornings and “forage” for construction materials or food for his malnourished horses. Chokis’ barking kept him away from our street, but his presence did not go unnoticed.

Chokis will be missed. He was a bit exuberant, but his love for us was never in question. He accompanied my son with the goats. He provided an escort for me wherever I went in La Yacata. He slept in front of the door and kept away strangers. He waited under the mesquite tree for us every single afternoon.

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The last picture of Chokis. He loved my son’s archery set!

It’s hard not to become depressed when death is such a constant companion here. The trick is to focus on the brilliance that is life and acknowledge but not bow to the shadows such brilliance creates. For today, though, we will mourn Chokis. The remembrance of his faithfulness will live on in our hearts.

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Our Family Hobby

Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes.

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A family hobby? Us? We are so busy in our day to day lives that we don’t often have time for leisure activities like travel or bungee jumping or arts and crafts. But we spend time together as a family and we enjoy the time we spend together as a family. So what do we do together as a family? Our daily discussions, activities, and lives are centered around our animals. Animal husbandry is our hobby.

We play around with animal husbandry, not in the Wikipedia definition of Animal husbandry as “the management and care of farm animals by humans for profit,” since we certainly do not realize a profit, but more as the now obsolete meaning of the word husbandry as a “steward” of a household. We are definitely stewards.

Since moving to Mexico, we have been involved in purchasing, raising, caring, breeding, healing, feeding, selling, butchering and sometimes burying all sorts of animals.

Afternoons will often find us settled on the back steps watching some aviary antics.

Mrs. Macho setting on the eggs.

Mrs. Macho setting on the eggs.

We have been host to domesticated pigeons escaped from the tiro de pichon (shooting range) and watched them raise generations of babies in the eves of our animal area. Eventually, Mrs. Macho moved on when we had to change the roof slant, but it was fascinating to watch the love and care both Mr. and Mrs. Macho took by sitting on the eggs and feeding the ugliest little broods. We enjoyed watching the babies growth and their first practice flaps and then rejoiced as they left the nest one by one.

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Codornices are small, native quail.

We have also had codornicess, which are a small native quail. We noticed most how the little guys would come to greet us at feeding time, even pecking at our shoelaces when we were slow to acknowledge them, hopping up and hooting just like in the cartoons.

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Chicken hierarchy

Of course, our mini-homestead has chickens and chicken culture is amazing. Their socialization and hierarchy are as intense as any telenovela (soap opera). We have watched young roosters make their first macho challenges to the current head mucky-muck. We watched as Henny Penny gave up the will to live when the love of her life was no longer there. We chuckled at Jovencita’s attempts to adopt every single chick hatched and shook our heads at the poor mothering done by Hilda. We were horrified in the pecking death of Gringa, for the crime of being different from the others. And we are on hand to cluck over the newest batch of hatchlings. (See Why did the chicken cross the road?)

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These goats are less than a week old and already playing bump heads!

One of our daily activities is taking the goats out to forage. Some days this is a run for your money if Duchess or Twiddledee get it into their heads to head for the hills. Most days, it’s a relaxing afternoon under the mesquite watching the antics of the goat kinder (kindergarten) as they play king of the rock or a rousing game of bump heads. We have even had kids that wanted nothing more than to sit in your lap, although this tends to be a bit cumbersome as they grow. (See Separating the sheep and the goats)

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Beauty getting saddled up.

Sunday afternoons will often find us spending time with our hoofed animals, which currently includes Fiona, the donkey, Beauty, the yegua (mare) and Shadow her colt. It is not unheard of for us to take a family ride up and past La Yacata and back, sometimes further. We have even been known to have donkey races just for fun. (See Donkey Races, A horse is a horse or not, Beauty’s Babies)

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Smile for the camera now kitty!

I must not forget to include our long list of puppies and kitties that have come into our lives, sometimes for an extended period, sometimes for just a few days. Their personalities, travasuras (naughtiness) or amiableness, have made them such a pleasure to come home to. Currently, we are hosting 2 dogs, Hershey and Chokis and one cat, Little Miss Licorice Stick, otherwise known as Licky. (See 101 perritos)

Whether we have been strictly observers or had a hand in their daily lives, we have enjoyed our foray into animal husbandry. We have come to know that animals are sentient beings and that our actions and attitudes towards them affect their lives, sometimes drastically. Ahh, a hobby with moral value. What more could anyone ask for?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
  • Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
  • Helping Himawari — Sophelia’s family at Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
  • The ‘Art’ of Having FunMarija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
  • How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
  • Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family’s favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband’s, will shape her children’s passions as they mature.
  • Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
  • Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
  • Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
  • Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.

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