So You Think You’re A Big Chicken Now?

Yesterday we were at a USDAA trial that was held up here in Canada and someone mentioned that Fae always looks much larger in photos than she does in person, because there’s often nothing (such as a banana) for scale in photos.  So here’s Fae next to a chicken; if you know anything about chickens, then now you know how small Fae really is.

Though she be but tiny, she also be a Great Big Beeyotch.  Pound for pound, she’s a hard ass.  She’ll take on a rooster, if she thinks the rooster needs to learn a lesson.  Not that the rooster ever learns his lessons; so far he has successfully beaten up me, Auntie Michelle, and my landlord.  He really is not a very nice bird at all!

But he has not beaten up Terrence, my Personal Body Guard Turkey.  Terrence will beat up the rooster if the rooster tries to beat me up and Terrence is close enough to get involved.  I really, really like my turkey a lot.

He (with the help of his lady turkeys) made me seven baby turkeys who are right now in the a brooder on top of the washing machine.  Although one has gibbled feet, so I’m not sure he/she is going to make it … but dang, are they ever the cutest!!  I tried to get some photos, but shooting from above next to a red heat lamp just makes for lame photos.  I’m going to try and shoot them under studio lights in the next week while they are still itty bitty.  And cute.  Did I mention they were cute?  They’re almost as cute as HARVEY MY GOAT.

LOOK AT HIS ADORABLE FACE!!!

I love him so much!!  Michelle and I took turns bottle feeding him today.

He’s a big fan of feeding time!

Michelle’s mom is going to make him some fancy collars.  And I’m going to give him a bath because I think he needs to smell better, and not leave dirt on my hands after I pet him.  And I pet him a lot … after milk time, he climbed into my lap like a little dog and fell asleep having a cuddle.  I’m all a-swooning for my goaty baby!

This newborn goat was also cute:

And very tiny, like the size of Fae (see chicken above for scale).  But she is not Harvey, so she is not as cute.

Harvey isn’t allowed to come home until he drinks water from a bucket, which he is so far refusing to do.  Also he needs to be banded so his, umm, manly bits don’t come with him.  My landlord offered to grab the band and let me do it, but I don’t want Harvey to have to go into therapy because his mommy made his nuts fall off.

This is the cow that sometimes comes into my yard.  Frankly, she scares the shit out of me.  She’s just too damn big.  And she looks pissed off all the time.

We had a really nice, chill day just hanging around the farm with the dogs.  Addy did some gardening.

While Wootie did perimeter patrol for potential threats (and judging from the look of him, may have snuck out back to smoke a joint).

And TWooie took first watch.  And he took it seriously.

If the yard was fully secured in terms of fence, I think the WooTWoo would like nothing better than to spend their days out there just keeping an eye on things.  They are great little farm dogs, for their size, and they love just hanging out and surveying their property.  But the yard is not quite securely fenced, as evidenced by this pointy little face staring at me from the WRONG side of the driveway gate:

So clearly, beefing up the fencing needs to move up the priority “to do” list.  I also really need some ideas for making the front fence some kind of privacy fence, because it’s hard to enjoy the yard with the dogs when they ALL make a beeline for the fence line, barking their fool heads off, every time someone walks by.  We are quite near a popular (on leash) park with horse trails, so there are a fair number of people walking or riding by on nice days.  I was thinking of buying planks a couple at a time, whenever I have an extra couple of bucks to throw at it, until I have amassed enough of them to build horizontal slats from post to post with a very minimal gap in them, so people can’t see the dogs and the dogs can’t see people.  I just don’t want them pissing anyone off, because I have a lot of dogs, and all of them are loud.  Any other suggestions?  I probably have a couple hundred feet to do, so it will take me a long while to buy enough planks.

Dexter does not rush the fence.  Especially when he’s getting Auntie Michelle cuddles.

He likes those so much his feet don’t even touch the ground!

Except when he’s doing his impression of an ottoman.

Piper remains … slightly senile

Peetie remains annoying.

And Winter is sitting at the foot of the washing machine, staring at the brooder and wishing baby turkeys would fall into his mouth.

Happy Easter ya’ll!

I, TWooie, Do Solemnly Swear

That I will beat up The Food Lady’s landlord’s dog again at the first opportunity to do so.

Naughty TWooie!!  My landlord has a very sweet and amiable yellow Lab named Mia.  Sometimes Mia comes along when the landlord visits to do repairs or whatever.  Last week he and Mia stopped by to bring the pressure washer to try and clean up the DOGAWFUL MESS a turkey made when she got on my porch and managed to open a can of white ceiling paint, knock it over, and then tread through it all over the porch.  Although TWooie has been doing *surprisingly* well on our hikes and hasn’t objected to any of the client dogs who come along, he has a different view of dogs on HIS turf, and he Does Not Want Mia on his lawn.  He was actually doing okay – some growling and air snapping at her from a respectable and safe distance behind my knees – but when Mia and the landlord went to leave through the gate, TWooie must have figured all his bluff and noise had worked, because he went in for the hair pull (in a previous life, TWooie was an 11 year old girl) and Mia objected, and the dog fight was on!

As neither of them really had their heart in it (after all, TWooie is 98% posturing and only 2% malice) nobody got hurt, but it was quite the epic battle.  We* (*I) felt bad, so we* (*I) went to the doggie bakery and bought Mia a little heart shaped cake that said “sorry” on it to give to Mia when we got back from our hike.  And it was very easy to give to Mia, since she and the landlord were once again on our lawn doing stuff when we returned, so I assume the landlord wasn’t too upset about the whole thing.

But can we talk for a moment about my turkey with superturkey strength?  How does a turkey open a can of paint?  And WHY?  I really don’t get turkeys.  I have two lady turkeys right now sitting on a dozen eggs between them, but will they nest inside the barn?  No no, they must lay their eggs and sit on them outside, behind the barn, under some old dead blackberry thornies, where they are guaranteed to get pissed on when the weather is bad, all night long.  Last night I went out in the pitch black and downpour with a piece of plywood and made them a shelter so they didn’t drown.  And then at first light they promptly abandon their eggs to run around squawking and eating all day.  I don’t have high hopes for those eggs hatching.

But I do have high hopes for the ones in my incubator hatching!  They are due in one week, and I candled them two days ago and found 13 turkey embryos bouncing around in their shells like teenage gymnasts.  Very exciting stuff!

I spent last weekend, about 10 hours a day, painting.  I painted until my arms felt like they were going to fall off, and I could no longer feel my hands.  I took care of the hideous, no good, very bad psychedelic room, which required two coats of primer and two coats of paint (and I swear, in the right light, I can STILL see the outlines of the hideous pattern!).  But now it’s done, as is the dog room (kinda).

 

The dog room needed a new floor, so I bought and and laid lino against pee errors (also known around here as “Gemma, Piper and Addy piss wherever they want to”) and painted, and installed new baseboards.

And psychedelic room is now a nice relaxing shade of pale blue-grey, and not an assault on the visual and aesthetic senses!

I also painted my bedroom, and I still don’t care if you hate pink or not; I like it, and I like how it turned out.  Especially as the bedroom used to be a horrible colour that looked like a cross between pea soup and cat vomit.

As I had repainted the bathroom a couple of weekends before that:

This leaves me with just three rooms to go; living room, office and kitchen.  Starting to see the light at the end of the renovation tunnel!  The living room will be an aubergine shade, if I can find a paint store that carries it and/or can replicate it:

and will also need white baseboards installed.  The kitchen is going to be a nice shade of apple green, and I haven’t decided what do with my office yet.  It also needs flooring, as it’s just subfloor at the moment (don’t ask me why, I really could not tell you the mysteries of Which Rooms Deserved Real Floors And Which Did Not according to the previous tenant).  I also picked up an extremely inexpensive table and chairs for the dining room.  The table top needs to be refinished, so that’s also on my list of things to do.

But as I say, I took this weekend off from painting.  Although it is sunny today, and I am itching to start fencing, because a couple days ago we arrived home to find two cows in the yard.  I did not see them initially.  This may seem weird to you, that I would not notice cattle on my lawn, and I admit it’s weird to me too, but that’s what happened.  And I let the dogs out of the van, and they DID see the cows, and exactly what you think would happen when dogs see cows for the first time happened, and it was CHAOS.  So I really need to make sure that cows and goats are one side of the fence and my acorn-brained dogs are on the other at all times.  Because Fae thinks she can *take* a longhorn cow protecting her 500lb calf, and I don’t think that’s how I want Fae to depart this mortal coil.

Anyway, since the photo studio room was painted, I was eager to try it out.  So yesterday I limited myself to just a couple of errands (I took garbage to the dump, since we don’t have garbage pick up out here in the middle of nowhere, and I picked up two lady ducks for my new Pekin drake Howard – Howard was a stray duck rescued by a friend who then passed him on to me.  And apparently ducks are racist, because my India Runners staunchly refused to make friends with Howard, and Howard was sad.  But I found a nearby duck farmer who provided me with two Lady Howards, so now he has his own little harem and everyone is happy again) and then I rigged up holders for my backdrops, set up my lights, and gave the studio a test run!

(for those of you who saw the original of this on Facebook yesterday – yes, Photoshop and I fixed “Winter’s Wonderland” that was advertising its presence very PINKLY!)

I’m lucky that the vast majority of my dogs like being photographed in studio and fall all over themselves volunteering to be the model.

Even Addy, who basically does NOTHING I ask her to do, ever, likes posing for the camera.  I suspect it’s just a combination of her loving being the center of attention, and cookies.  But whatever her motivation, she is simply adorable to photograph under studio lights.

Look at her adorable face!

And see all those tiny little white hairs sticking up on top of her head?  They are “sticking up” because the rest of the top of her head is bald!  Totally naked!  She suffers from Dilute Colour Alopecia, so she loses patches of her blue hairs on random spots on her body.  Usually it grows back in with coat change, but this time her head remains bald.  So when photographing Addy, it’s all about angles.  Otherwise, her naked head is very obvious.  See?  (btw, this is her checking to see if Wootie ate her modeling paycheque and if there’s any chance of getting it back before it slides down his gullet.  Wootie, OTOH, just views this as an opportunity to make out with a hot, slender woman  … even if she is balding).

Head shots are kinda my favourite, and I think Fae Fae won the session with this one:

It’s those big, big, round brown eyes and the wispy ears combination that does it, I think.

Although Dexter can give her a run for her money when it comes to, erm, “unique” head shots.

I messed with Piper’s photo a little too much in post, but I’m sharing it anyway because her expression kills me.  It’s so classically  Old “Who Am I?  What’s Happening?  Yay Anyway!” Dog.

She’s doing pretty good, my old lady dog is.  She has more cognitive issues than Tweed did at her age, but I kind of expected that because she was always a “live hard” kind of dog, whereas Tweed was a lot more laid back.  She is mostly deaf now, and I have to really keep an eye on her during hikes because it’s easy for her to march off in the wrong direction – she is very determined, and if I lose sight of her she can’t hear me calling her.  She has trouble with some of the paths if they are steep, or there are logs in her way, so she will head off to find a way around the obstacles, which sometimes leads to her just going somewhere else altogether, and then me running all over the forest trying to find her!  Sometimes, when she thinks she has had enough, she will simply turn around and start matching back in the direction of the car.  She’s tough as nails, bad knees and all.

And Wootie.  How can anyone not love The Woo?  I still can’t believe he’s almost 12.  He is such a perpetual puppy.

Whereas TWooie is just a perpetual weirdo.

And Peetie remains a perpetual PEST.  I have never had such an irritating dog.  Miss “No Drive” has no off switch and frequently has to be put in her crate to give everyone some down time, otherwise she’s hitting napping dogs with rope toys to make them mad, or bothering the cats, or standing on the arm of my chair and barking in my ear.  I don’t know what I did to transform her so completely, but I wish I could undo it!!

However, I will give her this – yesterday afternoon the landlord’s goats were grazing in the field right behind my yard, so I couldn’t take the dogs out to play ( I could only imagine the Cow Scenario played out again, but this time X 35) so instead I took them out for short walks two at a time to property meet the horses next door through the fence.  There was only one in the paddock, and he really wants to meet my dogs.  But Every Single One of my dogs was an asshole to the horse – Mad Teeth(tm), growling, lunging and barking … except Peetie, who was super keen to make friends and poked her head through the page wire and sniffed noses with the horse and licked his nostrils.

She’s very friendly, so I haven’t throttled her with my bare hands.  Yet.

So anyway, now I have a fully functioning in-house studio and I can start taking clients!  It’s super exciting, I have dreamed of this opportunity for a long time :)

Now it’s time to get out there and start working on the fence while the good weather holds, and prevent the Great Goat Slaughter of 2017.  Also, I want to get the fencing up so I can rearrange the poultry’s living quarters, so I can then bring MY goats home.  GOATS!  Also so excited :)

Up Next On Snowcase

More snow!

Half a Wootie’s worth of snow, to be precise.

This ridiculous.  On Thursday I went and picked up the keys to my new place and the world looked like this:

newhouse

Now everything looks like this:

And guess what else?

WE’RE GETTING MORE SNOW!

FOR THREE MORE DAYS!!

And you can just wipe that border collie smile right off your happy face Dexter.  We are running out of essentials.  Soon you dogs will be forced to eat one another.  I recommend starting with the fat ones (I’m looking at you, TWooie!)

So. Much. Snow.  It’s really rare for us to get snow at all here – usually we get a smallish dump of an inch or three, just enough to make it look pretty and fun for the dogs, then it melts away within 48 hours or so and we’re back to the wet stuff.  But this winter has been drunk, and should go home.  We had snow on the ground for SEVEN WEEKS in December and January – it didn’t snow like A LOT a lot, but it snowed and stayed, which is rare in and of itself.  It finally melted, we all remembered what the world looked like without being frozen … my chickens thought it was spring and started laying again, I could open the windows and type without wearing gloves.  I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO MOVING INTO MY NEW HOUSE.  Then this happened.  And this was a LOT of snow, well over a foot in 24 hours.  A few more centimetres last night.  And now they are calling for more snow right through Wednesday.  I hear this morning it’s already snowing again to the East of us. *ETA – as I typed that, I glanced outside … it’s snowing again here too.  UGH!

Inexplicably, the dogs *love* the stuff.

So many happy faces!

(Fae looks freaked out, but believe me, it’s one of her happy faces)

Not sure what they’re so happy about.  The snow is deep enough, and heavy enough, that is causes the hairy dogs to turn into snow transportation delivery devices:

And you know what dogs hate?  Blow dryers.  You know what gets rid of snowball collections?  Blow dryers.

You know what I hate?  Snow shovels.  You know what I had to use for the first time in memory?  You know where this is going. I had to shovel a path to the poultry, and then paths FOR the poultry so they could walk to their feeders.  I shoveled the driveway like 4 times on Friday, gave up, and basically screamed via text message at my landlord until he took care of the driveway.  Not that it matters, seeing as how our road is not plowed and I can’t  go anywhere once I leave the driveway anyway.

MINI-ME INTERLUDE.

These photos make me laugh, because Dexter and Peetie are basically one-dog-same-dog.

Ears up, happy faces on

Ears back, crazy faces engaged.

The snow is good for photos, I’ll give it that.  It turns out that winter makes Winter look nice even!

When I mentioned earlier that my landlord “took care of the driveway” what I should have said was “#childlabourforthewin.”  He put his teenager, his brother’s teenager and some other random teenager to work with snow shovels and the poor buggers are the ones that cleared the driveway.  Which might explain the half-assed job of it, but hey, at least its not under a foot of snow anymore.  Rumour has it he paid them in Doritos.  The dogs heard this rumour as well.

Often I hear from people “I don’t know how you handle so many dogs!”  Well, it’s easy!

First of all, don’t bother training them, let them be shamelessly ill mannered and jump all over people and try and steal their food.

It’s especially effective if you let them mob people en mass.  Much less work than instilling manners.

Pay children Doritos to make them play with your dogs, so you don’t have to.

And then let them free-feed on the blood of those children.

Pre-order my book, “Owning Ten Really Bad Dogs And How To Live With Them Without Guilt” coming soon!

Just kidding.  BUT – as those of you who follow us on Facebook already know, I did in fact publish a new book!

book

I did it a little differently this time; I made it an EBook, so you can read it on your tablet, like an iPad or Kindle, or even on your desk top.  I did it this way because the traditional coffee-table style book is SO EXPENSIVE to produce, especially as my books are so photo-heavy, that it’s cost prohibitive to publish.  Like this one would have been around $70.00.  Ridiculous.  So as much as I love the coffee-table style photo book, I figured – y’all already look at my photos on some kind of digital device, why not make the book in the same format?  That way it’s affordable and convenient and full of instant gratification (order, download, enjoy!)

My personal goal is to sell 100 copies of the Ebook, and I am nowhere near that goal.  So please help me accomplish something this year, and boost my kicked-in-the-arse self esteem, and buy my book!  It’s only $10 CAD, so practically free for you Americans, and it’s pretty funny if I do say so myself :)

Mr. Woo will judge you if you don’t buy a copy.  Don’t nobody need that kind of grief in their lives.

And now I am off to make the long long trek on foot to the store to buy milk,  because without milk there is no coffee, and without coffee, there is no life.