Monday, February 4, 2013

Runaway Dog!

This evening I finished placing the last of the railroad ties across the main front section of the fenceline. This meant that I had to saw a tie in half. I used a handy little handsaw that cuts superfast and was assisted by Farmer C. I loaded that tie on my very old worn out dolly and wheeled it to the gate. Farmer C was my gatekeeper, you know, because Max might get out.

I haven't mentioned this before, but Max is a great ranch dog except for one small thing. Once he gets past the main perimeter of the property, he's like a teenager on a joy ride in a racecar. He's a runner. Not only does he run, but when I call him, he stops, looks at me, grins, and runs faster. Not cool, dog. Not cool.

So Farmer C opened the gate for me. I looked both ways to be sure Max wasn't anywhere near us. I started on through the gate and BAM out of nowhere Max shows up.

I told him "Sit" and "Stay". He grinned and shot through the little gap in the gate and you guessed it, he RAN.

First he went to visit Bear, Raj, and the old white dog with many names. They live next door. Then he went to visit some strange dogs behind a fenceline further along. Then horses. Then (and I was following him this whole time telling him to come back) he shot off into uncharted, unfenced territory.

That dog was gone.


Farmer C and I told Farmer G that Max had left. We told him to stay put in case he came back and we got in the truck to try to hunt down our dog. We drove past the big wash, through a neighborhood and a road that bordered the back of our neighbor's property. Nothing.

We came back and sighted Max back on our neighbor's property running like a crazy dog. I called him. He stopped, looked at me, smiled, and RAN AWAY. Argh!

My kids went after him.

I lost sight of them. I gathered a leash and some dog cookies then met up with my neighbor who has a cool four wheel drive thing. He was driving his granddaughter around in the thing. We all loaded up in it and he zipped around the property, then on down the road and then he proceeded to take me on a joy ride through the back desert over rocks, hills, across places that had no roads. He told me he sighted Max while I was gone. Max had played with two labradors and then took a swim in another neighbor's pool.

Crazy dog.

We searched all over the desert behind my neighbor's property.


I texted my older son who had the good sense to have his cell phone with him. He said he was at Tanque Verde Stables and Max was there too. So we headed over the hills and through the brush to the stables and found Max with a bailing twine leash being detained by a very nice lady who had simply told him to sit and then tied the rope on him. Oh and my son was there. My oldest.

But when I asked him where my other child was, he says," Oh he was right behind me but he didn't keep up."

So my middle child is out wandering in the desert somewhere. Alone. In an area where everything looks the same. And the sun is getting low in the sky. And we have a 4H meeting soon. And when I call his cell phone it's clear the dang thing isn't even turned on.

Dog and son in tow, we hightailed it back to our property and scanned as we went. No sign of Farmer C. At this point, I'm beginning to freak out. Where is my child? Why didn't he stay with his brother? Why isn't his cell phone working?

Anyways, we make it back and here he comes walking up like nothing's amis. He'd been back twice and was wondering where we were the whole time. *sigh*

And Doc Holliday the mad mean rooster got out at one point during all this. I caught him, trimmed his vile spurs and his claws again and put him back in his pen. Strangely, he didn't try to kill me.

What a weird evening.


Saturday, Karma and Cookie received their Brucellosis shots, ear tags and tattoos. Afterward, Karma did not like the vet at all, and stood far from her. She bawled the whole time Cookie was apart from her, and was happy to be reunited with her little buddy. Both were skittish and suspicious of me that night, but seemed to have forgiven me the next morning.

Cookie is still too small to be checked out in her back end. The vet did look over her woman parts and stated that everything looked like it was developing normally.


In case you were wondering, I did finally get a hold of Teenager Sheep and trim her nasty hooves. The'y're green in the picture because it's been rainy, muddy and gross in their pen. The left one is done and the right one is still overly long, above.

On a side note, through an unfortunate discovery and raunchy moment, it was discovered that Max the dog is madly in love with Teenager Sheep. Ew.

More Soap

Here is a picture of Chocolate Espresso goat milk soap with added cocoa for color. I have been frantically making soap for an upcoming fair which will be held at Outside the Lines on Old Spanish Trail, March 9, 2013, here in Tucson. In order to occupy enough space to make it look like I have a plethora of soap choices, I have to make batches a month ahead so the soap is properly cured. I only have a few more days left before my time is up.

Lucy and Lucas

Tsica had her babies January 27th. I was lucky enough to be spending the day out at the ranch doing some maintenance and cleaning. She was acting a little off, which for her is not eating, so I figured it was her time and got the birthing suite ready. She was moved to a stall within the goat pen, given fresh straw bedding and her own pale of water. Because she believes she is the queen of all gots, this suited her just fine.

WARNING: To follow are rather graphic goat birth images. So now is your chance to look away if you don't want to see.

I hung out with her when she started to groan. She began to push and look very uncomfortable as you can see in the picture to follow:

Goat and sheep births generally begin with the appearance of a 'bubble' which is part of the placenta showing itself. Sometimes the bubble remains intact and sometimes it pops and the animal's water breaks. In the following picture you can see the bubble making itself known:

Here is a picture showing the bubble on its way out:

This birthing went well. The first baby is presenting hooves and head first which is very, very good. If you look closely, you can see the baby's tongue sticking out of its mouth sideways. You can also see the white hooves.

Here the head and hooves have slipped out a little more:

Once he head is free of the birthing canal, all the rest slips out much easier and her very first baby girl ever, named Lucy, is born:

Once the pathway is cleared, any additional babies tend to fall out quickly. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to get any pictures until this one was nearly all the way out:

His name is Lucas.

Tsica's son from last year looked on at his new siblings.

Yesterday, I opened the gate to the birthing suite and soon had to close it back up. Tsica made it clear to her older son that he is no longer welcome at her side. It was sad to watch. She made some frightening howls and rammed him anytime he came close to her. I guess he's off to go be an adult now. Poor fellow.