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Monday, January 7, 2013



.  This morning I want to talk about stray animals.  When we moved to the farm eight years ago, I had a dog, Diggitty.  Diggitty is a miniature dauchhund. My farm partner had a min pin.  I had the world's greatest black lab named Griffin and a boxer with no brain, Roady.

There are nine dogs at the farm now.  That's right, count 'em NINE.
I sit back in amazement at the callousness of people where animals are concerned.  I know it makes me a cynic when dealing with people in general.

In the first two years we lost the min pin, Garbo, and the lab  We were down to a manageable two.
One of our neighbors told us about a grocery store, three miles from no where, selling unusual fare.  We decided to check it out.  A couple of miles from home, on a major county road, we saw a Basset hound lying in the road..  My friend, Blenna, told me to stop so we could help it if it was alive or move it off of the road if it was dead.  So, I stopped.

In reality it was an act.  As soon as the suburban stopped and the door opened, that Basset hopped up, ran to the door and jumped in.  Gingerly she climbed over the back seat and lay panting in the cargo area.
Behind her, out of the woods by the side of the road, came two more small dogs.  One was a male rat terrier and the ugliest puppy you have ever seen.  I swear you would have to hang pork chops from the puppies ears to get other dogs to play with it.  They followed suit.

Don't tell me dogs are not smart.  This was a plan.  Now, I had three dogs in the back of the truck and they were hunkered in for a ride. I suggested we put them out.

"If they are still here when we get back, we can take them somewhere." I thought it was a great idea.
"Oh no.  If they are smashed when we come back I wouldn't be able to live with myself."  was her answer.

As I got back into the truck, I looked over the seat.  A pure bred basset, who had only recently had puppies, a standard rat terrier, a real stud, and the world's homeliest puppy.  And then there were five. Zoi, Jack and Odie Bolt were now to be permanent residents of Bowen Creek Farm.

Several months later, in the dead of winter, I went out to the shop to build a fire.  There was movement to my left, by the wood pile.  I went on about my business.  I finished up on my chores and headed to the house when I saw it again. It was a big ball of fur.  Picking it up I realized it was a puppy.  This was a clean, fat, happy puppy.  He couldn't be over six weeks old.  It was supposed to be the coldest night of the year, so far..  Unzipping my coat I put the little guy inside and zipped it back.  He ended up to be a Basenji.  We named him Woody.

Not long after we got Woody, we received a phone call.  Seems our young neighbors were divorcing.  They moved out of the house and she didn't take the dog. "Could you go check on him?  I left food in a container and he has water."

Blenna went.

Blenna went every day for two months.  The lady had left food alright, but she left it in a covered garbage can with a tight lid and the little guy was scared, cold, and starving.  He would have nothing to do with us.   He waited until the car was out of the driveway and then scarfed up the food and hid again.  After two months, it was easy to tell he was going to end up coyote bait. We called the Department of Conservation, borrowed a live trap, added a cheeseburger.  And then there were seven.
Welcome, Gamble.

We had two neighbors who fought over whose dog should be fixed.  Mary had a golden retriever and Dee a Great Pyrenees.   Mary's vet told her her male would be a better pet if she didn't neuter him. Seems to be a typical male stance.  Dee had no intention of spaying her Pyrenees.  The result was a litter of Golden Pyrenees puppies every year. They ended up in the Walmart parking lot. given away to people who didn't know how to handle them.

When I saw Bo walking up the street, I smiled. This was one puppy I would not keep.  I knew exactly where he came from, and he was going back.  Problem was, they both swore, there were no puppies this year.  It did not belong to them.  We put him in the back yard.  He was going to Tulsa to live with my daughter.  Her dog tried to kill him so he is our resident watch dog.  Nothing moves around here Bo doesn't see, hear, or smell.  He is only ninety-six pounds.

Two black labs showed up a month or so ago and I called county animal control.  They came and got them. Enough is enough.  But, I didn't tell you about our latest, Chichi Rita.

I was out feeding late, after dark, and I saw a fox.  "Hey Blenna, do you think fox eat cat food?"
She didn't think so.  It was a couple of days before Halloween.  We went out to take another look but the fox was gone.  The next night the fox was there again.  A repeat of the night before.  The next day, sitting on the front porch was a little red Chihuahua., my fox.  Now this could not be an accident.  The next morning we went out looking for an owner only to find there were several of these dogs dumped a mile or so away.  One of our neighbors picked this one up and dropped it off near our farm knowing it would survive.  So then there were nine.


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