Kimberly J Egan
A Prolonged Absence
I apologize for the length of this article, but it has been growing in my head for a period of a couple of months now. The truth is that you must always be careful when buying a purebred, registered dog. It is no different with registered dogs than it is with horses or cats or goats or even any high-value inanimate object. Always, always, always get the paperwork in hand before driving off with your new dog or horse or cat or goat or car or whatever. I know this fact. I have always, always, always followed that rule. This time, I did not.
Weathering the Storm
If you have been following the news at all, you're probably aware that Hurricane Ida swept through the Deep South and continued up the coast as a major tropical storm. She was even more powerful than Katrina, hitting on Katrina's 16th anniversary. As I write this, over 500,000 people in Mississippi and Louisiana are still without power from the storm. We were among the lucky ones. Even though we lost power, it was only for a couple of days. We had no structural damage and only a few trees came down. We were blessed.
Widget has Fun!
As you may remember, I have goats. The bucks and does were supposed to have separate pens, which they did at first--until my bucks started dying at an alarming rate. I suspected that they were being poisoned by something and, to my dismay, I was correct. Part of the thicket in which they enjoyed resting during the day was literally rife with sapling cherry trees. Goats can eat fresh cherry leaves and dried cherry leaves, but wilted ones will kill them in a couple of heartbeats.
Some Thoughts on Finding a Place in the World
If you've read my other posts, it will come as no shock to you that I breed dogs and compete with them in conformation shows and various sports trials. I breed very rarely and when I do, a lot of thought goes into the litter that will be produced. I have been "in" Toy Fox Terriers for a while now, but have just recently added Teddy Roosevelt Terriers to my home. It was a decision made over a few years, until I finally found the right dogs for my home and my living situation. Pip, the sire, is a high-quality male from a breeder who produces many UKC champions. Diva, the dam, is a high-quality female from a breeder who has been in the breed for decades and has shown several dogs to the AKC Certificate of Merit title available to breeds newly-accepted to the registry. They and all their puppies are dual registered, so that owners can participate in either or both registries.
Green lights were never good. Okay. That was a really broad generalization. If she were running late to work, then a green light was a good thing. And then, there was the aurora borealis. The green northern lights, those were neutral, at best--or at worst.
The Butterfly on a String
It's been hot and rainy, although not quite as hot as the average Mississippi summer (probably due to the rain). Widget has spent most of his time inside with me, getting to know me and the other dogs. He's also become comfortable with the diet here, which is largely free of kibble. As much as I like to start training when puppies are small, he's undergone a lot of changes in a very short period. He's gotten bits of handling training and not much else, which is absolutely fine when the weather is so formidable. If I had an enclosed training area with air conditioning, it would be different. Right now, I take things as opportunities present themselves.
I have learned three things very recently. The first? Proofread your titles. You can't fix them. *Sigh* The second? Widget needs to start training. Badly. The third? Never use a red sheet as a background, To proceed . . .
Wicket is Home at Last!
I was super-glad that I had a few days with Widget at Kathleen's. We had a chance to decide if we liked each other. He learned his new call name. He learned how to take a treat from my hand--believe it or not, taking a treat from a hand is a HUGE item of trust from a small dog! I have small hand and look how big they are compared to his head! (Please excuse the dirty fingernails--I have a homestead and I don't think my fingernails come clean any longer.) His willingness to take treats from my hand almost immediately, even though he'd had some breakfast already that morning, demonstrated a healthy food drive. That was encouraging, because I like to use clicker training for very young puppies and food is a quick and easy reward when using that kind of training.