Sunday, November 20, 2011

#140 - Wild Kingdom in My Backyard

A nice day outside in the backyard with the dogs and the chickens is a lot of fun. Howdy, the Australian Shepherd is constantly busy...always scanning the yard, watching must be torturous to have an Aussie's mentality.
Howdy is watching it all...

As for the Yorkie...when we first got Belle a few months ago, she was in bad shape and not so friendly to other animals. Belle the Yorkie had an especially bad start with the chickens, a very bad start. Her first week at our house found her suddenly chasing a chicken, round and round in circles in the backyard, she was in full attack mode. We could not catch her. She did catch the chicken. She ended up with a mouth full of feathers from her glory moment of snagging a chicken by the butt, however, the glory soon turned to gagging and spewing as the feathers were choking her. I hope that foul experience is what contributed to her not wanting to pursue the chickens for another bite.

And, Belle is a smart little dog. She watches Howdy's behavior and copies him...down to the fast-motions of circling and herding of the chickens every morning as they wait in the coop to be let out into the yard. She observes and thinks she's an Aussie.

Belle is so complacent with the chickens these days that she will sit in the backyard and let the chickens peck her backside; she doesn't budge or flinch: it's as if she has submitted. I think our Big Mama chicken whispers in Belle's ear that she better do what they tell her to or she'll be sorry.

But, that same chicken dare not come up to Howdy's back and try to peck. Howdy will make his dissatisfaction known fast. A curled lip, some snarls and a jerking motion lets the chickens know to BACK OFF. They can get close to him, the chickens can lay up against him, but they better keep their peckers to themselves!

Miss Speckles loves Howdy. She likes to stay by his side. I think he's pretty smitten with her as well.

But, when you have a face like Miss's expected for the onlooker to be smitten and ga-ga over her. I admit, I find myself swooning over Miss Speckles CUTE little speckles! So darn cute!

Even though Miss Speckles is the "mistake" of the family...we didn't intend to bring her home, she was accidentally mixed in with our batch of chicks that were to be our future laying hens, the Buff Orpingtons, regardless, I am nonetheless grateful for unexpected blessings. She lights up our days. Of all the "planned" chickens in the backyard, the "mistake" chicken has turned out to be the most wonderful one of all.

And, I have a little video of us all playing peacefully in the backyard. Well, I get mowed over a couple of times by the dogs while playing ball, but it was fun. The Great Danes in the yard behind our house must have some kind of bark collar on them at the moment because their barking is under wraps, except at night-time...go figure. But, our Yorkie dog, our little Belle, can be seen in the video as she's running to bark at the back fence and this is because the Great Danes are jumping on the fence.

I was going to walk over the the fence for an up close shot and video them jumping on the fence because it is scary...the boards bend inward and are stressed nearly to the breaking point. So, I decided to let the dogs handle the inspections and the snipping while I keep my distance.
Poor Howdy, you can see the working dog in him...he would love to just keep playing ball, but he's obviously got too much on his mind in the yard. Still, he likes to stick by me or keep me in his vision.

Belle the Yorkie, well...she'd swallow me whole if she had the chance...the little turkey. Cute little turkey she is.

Lyla or Big Red...she is simply walking around and checking everything out. But, she's not to be underestimated.

We once had roofers at our house and one of the men walked around back to get me out of the backyard and Lyla went into full attack mode. The guy said, "I THOUGHT she looked like a friendly dog, until now."

I always wondered why she acted that way toward that man...we had a house full of workers since our home had been destroyed by Hurricane Ike, but for some reason, maybe a sixth sense reason that only a dog can whiff...this man hit her bad side in a big way and she let him know it.

So, Lyla is my best dog ever, but she sure can be a force to be reckoned with --- must be the Boxer in her.

When I'm outside with the dogs and the chickens, I feel at peace. I love the dogs and they love me. Most of us know, the dogs won't blame you for everything that goes wrong in their life; they can't yell at you (WaHoO!) and they have no desire to say things such as, "You are such a mean person because you won't let me peck you blind!"

Yes, it's a pretty good deal that these animals offer. During rough days, such as yesterday, the true tenderness and kindness that I receive with such honesty is from these little animals...a lean-to hug from Howdy, a head in the lap as Lyla gazes up at me with those big brown eyes and Belle jumping to get settled in my lap as any respectable lap dog should. And I must say, that as I made my way through my mother's birthday yesterday, a day when I wished she were here so I could hug her, I closed my eyes and imagined that hug.

My daughters and I shared our birthday rememberings about my mom and their grandma. We shared tender, loving moments of authenticity. Geesh...I love those moments! Living with those who care enough about you to notice the rough times and be tender-hearted on your behalf makes those hard times more endurable.

And if you have a bad day and you were alone, I'd recommend having a little pal in the backyard such as Miss Speckles. It's great to have Miss Speckles in the backyard to go visit a while. She's a chatty gal and I respect her little birdy self.

Okay, to hit home as to what I'm talking's the "peaceful" video of some backyard moments from this weekend. Brace yourself! haha!


Farmchick said...

Sweet pics of your chicks! Love the one of the face right in the camera.

LindaG said...

Hope you all have a wonderful week, Lana. ♥ :-)

Mike said...

I thought you were going to drop the video camera. I see Belle is a barker, too. They all are. I think that's why I have ear probs. ;)

Karen said...

Had such a good time watching your dogs romping in your backyard with the chickens. They all get along so well, and how cute!

Lana at said...

Mike --- Yes, Belle does have a desire to be a barker, that's why she is given so little time outside. MAYBE if I let her stay outside all night and bark at the Great Dane fence the neighbors would hear something worth pulling their hair out over as we do with their dogs barking all night long. I do believe they put bark collars on the dogs since they have let up with the barking during the day, but maybe they're just too tired after barking all night. I'm just hoping the fence holds. The chicken coop is now behind the garage, in preparation for the Thanksgiving gathering so our yard can be ready...we'll be on poop duty that morning - YUK - but that means I have to go closer to the fenceline to let out the chickens. I can't let Belle out there with me because she runs to the fence to do battle every time the Great Danes start jumping against it when they hear me out there. Howdy might do some posturing, but he listens to me and will stay by my side. Wish me luck!!

Karen --- the dogs and chickens crack me up. I never thought I'd be doing this at 43 years of age. Sometimes I am amazed because I thought I'd be living in a downtown condo...walking everywhere and taking the rail line for short trips around town, going to jazz clubs on the weekends...never did I think I'd be sitting on the ground with dogs and chickens around me!