She *looks* like a normal dog

But Miss Piper is just getting weirder with every passing minute, I swear.  Even for a border collie, who are halfway autistic at the best of times.

Her latest weirdness is a voracious appetite for stuffies.  I do not mean tearing them apart (which she has done since the dawn of time – no stuffie lives longer than an hour in this house) and I do not mean eating the guts either.  I mean she has started ripping delicate shreds of fabric off the outside of the stuffies and gobbling them down.  I was sitting in my easy chair the other night, watching something on tv, when I spied her swallowing a strip of stuffie fur.  I said “Piper!  What are you doing?” and she FREAKED out and began scarfing down stuffie pieces as fast as possible as I leapt out of the chair to take it away from her.

I took away the whole remains of the stuffie, and wondered if perhaps it was just an extra-tasty toy, but within minute she had gone to the toy box and selected herself another toy and was repeating the process.

That’s weird.  Do you think it’s the start of something like canine cognitive dysfunction?  I looked up symptoms on the intertubes and read that changes in eating habits were a common sign, but it didn’t say anything about pica!

And while we are speaking of eating things, thanks for all the tips on indestructible chewie toys.  Unfortunately, a lot of them were not toys that can be tugged with, especially for a smallish borderjack who often mistakes fingers for tug toy, but we did get some good ideas to try.  I am highly intrigued by the dog-toy-that-looks-like-it-should-have-another-name AKA The Kong “Safestix”

I went on a serious treasure (snicker) hunt for this yesterday, and came up empty handed.  None of the stores around here carry it (none of the PET STORES anyway)(more snicker), so I guess we’re going to have to order one.  I bet it comes in a brown wrapper or something.  ha.

In the interim, Auntie Fiona took matters into her own hands and went and bought some flexible, heavy duty irrigation tubing which she slid over the rope of the latest “indestructible” tug toy.

It did not even last the whole class.  About halfway through the class, it looked like this:

And that’s with *SUPERVISED* interaction, not like he was laying there chewing on it whilst we were unawares.

This dog is a machine, I swear.

Actually, *I* am a machine.

He is too.  A couple of days of vet wrap and restricted exercise, and he was good to go again, nary a trace of a limp.  He was bounding through the buttercups, the perfect picture of health.  Except for the intense, red, angry itching of this allergy to what is probably buttercups.

I haz a love-hate relationship.

Poor guy is no longer a tri-colour, he’s a quadra colour.  Black, white, brown and welty red.

Buttercups are actually toxic to a number of animals, including dogs.  Interestingly, the buttercup generally is toxic to dogs only when ingested and can cause vomiting, drooling, weakness, tremors and seizures (two years ago – Piper, the dog with pica, experienced all these symptoms – ring a bell for anyone??) but in horses one may see “blisters where the animal came in contact with the plant.”  So *obviously* my giant border collie – the one we affectionately call “The Pony” – actually _is_ part horse.

Regrettably, pretty well my entire property is one giant buttercup farm.

*I* am not allergic to buttercups.

And I have absolutely no idea how to eradicate several acres of buttercups :(

However, the interwebz don’t say anything about buttercups being toxic to GOATS (is anything toxic to goats though?  I mean seriously, talk about an eating machine!) and I am getting some goats!  Fortunately, my landlord who shares my property places goats on the same scale of importance as dogs, and is super keen on the goat plan.  So as soon as we build the goat hut, some goats will be joining our little farm, and their job will be to eat the buttercups.  Or I will eat them.

And while we are still on the subject of eating, does anyone need any roosters?  Of my 10 baby chicks, I have grown out 3 maran pullets (yes!  They were the expensive ones), 2 Welsummer pullets and 1 or possibly 2 Light Sussex pullets.  So I have 2 Welsummer roos and 2 or possibly 3 light Sussex roosters looking for a home, or a stew pot.  Whatever.  if you want some, just message me!

I mentioned in front of the WooTWoo that I had some roosters for eatin’ and they got so excited they started running around then crashed into each other like two drunk drivers.

Hilarious little beasts.

Not much else is new ’round these parts, except the absence of Bryce.  After three weeks of bringing him home, I decided that I couldn’t do any more for him than I already have, and that he needed to start getting used to being a shelter dog and not so attached to me, so I left him at work for my three days off.  I had some serious guilt/anxiety for the first day or so, but my dogs are so much more relaxed without him around that I feel okay about it now.  Spring has stopped hiding her tail when she steps out of the house ;-)

Free!  I am FREE!!

And Wootie is back to his undignified self.

As for TWoo … well, TWoo thinks he drove that wicked black dog away, and is mighty pleased with himself.

As for Tweed … well, I just LUFF HIM SO VERY MUCH!!!

Happy Long Weekend!!


  1. If it’s any comfort, my old Lu, a mutt of extremely undetermined parentage, did that “de-fuzz-and-eat” thing her whole life. Shed de fuzz a stuffy, then Nick would rip it to tiny little bits.

    Hoot is also suddenly very itchy. No buttercups here, so who knows. I’ll try him on benadryl, if I can get him actually eat it.

  2. Old lady Cedi has started destroying things she hasn’t touched since she was an untrained youngster, to wit, one paperback book belonging to my roommate, one hardcover library book, and several leather collars and leashes. She DOES have cognitive dysfunction and it’s obviously related. I would think any prior tendency toward resource guarding could turn into “guard by swallowing” if the dog is losing cognitive function.

  3. Fair warning: Goats NEVER shut up.

  4. Christy says:

    Also, goats are exceptionally social and want to hang out in your living room. Or ours did. We had a lot of strange pets.

  5. Have two of the Kong (Dongs?)- my wife stopped taking out in public because of the snickers…
    It is a great tug toy, and chewers like it. Doubt it will stand up to the possessed BJ (Border Jack!).

  6. Goats are browsers, not grazers, so I’m not sure if they’ll take care of your buttercups the way you are thinking. Years ago my goat preferred the front porch but that was only because we wouldn’t let her in the house. Also, if I failed to get up with the sun, she began to take her shed apart, and the banging was a pretty effective alarm clock. But I like goats; they have this perpetual smile…

  7. Riosmom says:

    You have to admit the buttercups make a great backdrop for pictures!

  8. Goats are awesome, and hours of entertainment. We had a tiny herd of about 4 or 5 when I was younger. They’re great at clearing brush, but not so sure about buttercups. Still, I’m sure they wouldn’t turn up their noses if there was no brush to be eaten, lol! Will you be getting milk from these goats as well, or are they meat goats? Goats milk and goats milk cheese is yummy. :)

  9. I hope it’s not CCD with Piper. Demonic possession would be a better choice. My BC mix Patsey Piedog developed CCD in her 14th year, and didn’t really eat anything strange. She did get lost into corners, couldn’t find her way home from the yard, and decided after years of peaceful coexistence that she wanted to kill cats. Luckily they were faster than she was, and figured out her change pretty quickly. At the end, she was forgetting her housetraining, and the very last month, she forgot to eat. Oh, wait, she did try to eat yew branches. That’s very toxic, so had to keep an eye on her around the shrubbery.

  10. Yes, goats eat buttercup and like it. No you will *not* want their milk if they do – it will taste like crappy buttercup

    Spring’s photos looks like she’s a living Snoopy :o))

  11. Some toy suggestions – I have a super-tugger ACD and the two toys that stand up to the TugMaster are:
    A tug made of bite suit material. We have this one and I can say it’s held up really well, under supervision of course:
    And the ol’ braided fleece toy. I make my own from the Wal-Mart clearance fabric bin (Disney princesses anyone?) Ugly, destructible, but easily replaced. Bonus points if the dangly bits on the end simulate prey-like movement. He likes the texture a lot too.
    Good luck! LOVE your blog – have been lurking for years! :)

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