Wednesday, July 18, 2012

# 311 - My Blissful Mornings with Critters!

My morning routine here in the suburbs, just outside the metropolitan City of Houston, involves dogs and chickens.

For the past few days, we've been getting a daily rain. It's been great because it helps to keep the earth cool and prevents it from being parched by the Texas sun. Yes, Texas has its own sun and Arizona has ocean-front property.

So, my hens love running to the back door so they can get their scoop of feed each morning. Chickens run toward me as dogs run away from me. Chickens and dogs crossing paths can be interesting. In our family of pets, we've reached the beautiful phase of peaceful co-existence, very idyllic. If only we humans could follow their lead! I guess we could all learn a few things from chickens and dogs! We're TRYING!

As for the two newer chickens that have been added to our flock this past Easter, I am expecting these two blossoming hens to begin laying eggs sometime around the end of September or October, which would put them over 22 weeks old. I'm very excited to again have more eggs to add to our collection.

Beaker's eggs will be especially appreciated. I have a feeling that she will be a good laying hen. If there could be such a thing, I'd say that she is the "favored" chicken due to her high level of comfort around us, and she's never tried to peck me. She just gives me good long one-eyed looks as she tries to jump in my arms. It's as if she's saying, "I recognize you! Your face means FOOD!"

Yes, that's true love. I'm associated with goodness; that's all I need in life!

So, my little video of my morning goes like this...I let Howdy out of his kennel, he ALWAYS is compelled to be very habitual and to give me a "kiss" under my chin before he'll jump out of the kennel, then I let Liyla out. Belle the Yorkie has to wait a little bit so the big dogs can get a head start with their outside urgency. Belle wants to pester Liyla too much and I figure my big old dog needs a bit of peace in the yard for a few minutes every morning, so I let the two big dogs out, feed the chickens which includes a morning ritual of Beaker being the ONLY chicken who runs to jump into the feed bucket, every single morning like clockwork.

After I spread the first feeding of the day (I don't leave it out all day because I have learned to control waste from spillage and this reduces the likelihood of other critters coming to enjoy leftovers), the chickens are happily gulping down their grains. Every morning, I have to pick Beaker out of the feed bucket, but she really enjoys her few seconds of being in the "cookie jar."

Maybe her name should've been "Little Stinker."

Finally, Belle the Yorkie gets to go outside and raise a bit of terror as her little terrier self. No, actually, she's a long as the chickens are large enough to make her think twice about a wrong move. Belle has a blast running around the yard while Howdy does his normal job of automatically checking the perimeter of the yard and doing his regular "count" of the chickens by sniffing their rearends.

No matter how tired I am, it doesn't matter if I only got three hours sleep the night before, I am up with the sun and outside feeding chickens. On the weekends, my husband takes care of all the morning duties so I can have a break from the animals and he can have a break from his regular routine and enjoy the animals himself. Lately, I've learned the value of nap-time. What is happening to me???

To see the video of my morning routine, check out the video. I make these videos for my sweet Blog Buddies. Hope you get a laugh out of my morning antics.

Speaking of animals. It looks like Stefie will soon be taking Belle to her own apartment. The most difficult part of this transition is to get Belle there without her being extremely sick. That dog has the worst case of motion sickness I've ever seen. Within 45 minutes of being in a vehicle, she's vomiting for the rest of the trip, about every 10-15 minutes. She becomes one exhausted, very sick little doggie.

So, the three hour trip to get to Stefie's place will be miserable for Belle. We've tried different remedies, but I think I'm actually going to give her a tiny, appropriate portion of motion sickness meds before trying this with her again. If I can get the meds into her system about 8 hours before the trip and keep the meds in her system, she might do better than previous trips. I can hope!

I know Stefie will enjoy having Belle living with her. She is a sweet dog and has undergone intensive behavior modification training after we rescued her. At one time, I didn't know how we'd make it with this dog because she constantly attacked Liyla and created havoc in our home. And I felt that Liyla had reached an age where she should be living in peace.

I have to give Liyla immense credit for being the most patient dog in history. She could be one of those dogs on Cesar Malone (sp?) show, the "Dog Whisperer"...she could go into a home with a hard-edged dog and put them in their place beautifully with major authority, yet not hurt the other dog. The Boxer in her is confident, yet she has a huge level of tolerance --- I feel like this dog and I share personalities. I can relate to Liyla.

Stefie loves Liyla, but since she is part Boxer, the apartment complex won't let her live there --- she's considered an "aggressive" breed. But, anyone who knows this dog, knows she is a beautiful soul. My sister, who is very leery of dogs, thinks this dog almost walks on water. I've been blessed to share a home with this creature.

However, Liyla and the rest of us managed to stick with putting up with Belle through her worst stage of aggression. I admit, I was ready to bump Belle out on her duff in favor of Liyla's entitlement to a peaceful life at her age that is approaching ten years old. However, I'm ecstatic that Belle has rehabilitated to be a much happier, more sweet and better behaved little Yorkie.

Belle is loved with expectations to be a behaved little gal, so she is radiating love and she is behaving. It's amazing how a dog or a person will reflect your own attitude toward them. Such is one of life's great lessons...the Golden Rule confirmed, yet again, through little Belle's transformation.


Vickie said...

Good morning, Lana - I too have a routine with my critters, Bug & Gypsy, and my chickens - who are calling me as we speak!

Cute video - I think Beaker is my favorite, too! I guess it's easier for her to eat out of the bin cuz it's deep. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

My best advice on transporting any animal is do not feed them for several hours before the trip.
If she does get sick at least she won't be throwing up a bunch of partially digested dog food.
Humans can learn a lot from animals as well as they can learn from us. Beth

LindaG said...

Good luck moving Belle!
Do you put her in a carrier? Perhaps try putting a towel or blanket over it? I've read somewhere that some dogs make themselves sick by trying to watch everything that goes on around them.

luckybunny said...

Awww I enjoyed reading about your critters and the pictures were cute, especially the chicken sneaking up :)