Clean Eating: Homemade Vegan Dog Food

Clean eating is important to us; we limit processed food (and avoid fast food completely) and raise most of our own pastured and free range meat. We do this for both pragmatic and philosophical reasons: we want to ensure that what we eat won’t adversely impact our health, as well as being ethically acceptable to us. While we’ve radically changed how we eat, we’ve still been feeding our dog, Freya, conventional food – premium conventional food, but still commercially-produced products. It’s time for that to change. Continue reading “Clean Eating: Homemade Vegan Dog Food”

Musings: On Living In The Present

As human beings, we seem to constantly be looking to the future: planning things for later, with an assumption that there will be a “later”. We rarely really live in the moment, appreciating the present and savoring it. We think there will always be time to learn to speak another language, visit a friend, or take the dog for a walk. Plenty of time…until there isn’t.

Continue reading “Musings: On Living In The Present”

The Importance Of The Farm (Animal) First Aid Kit

Farm First Aid Kit

When we went out to do the evening feeding recently, we noticed that a Muscovy duck seemed to be limping as she came up the hill to the feeding area. Limping can indicate a relatively benign injury like a minor sprain or something more serious, like a bumble, so we caught the unhappy girl and took a closer look. What we found was unexpected, and a bit of a shock: her head and bill were bloody. We caught her and put her into a cage in the “infirmary” in the garage for treatment and observation. While you hope that none of your animals ever suffers an injury, in a setting where they free range with the threat of predators, it’s likely that an injury will occur at some point. Continue reading “The Importance Of The Farm (Animal) First Aid Kit”

Cherishing Borrowed Time

XenaIt can be challenging to remember the things for which we are grateful, but if we take a few minutes, we can ground ourselves and get some perspective. A recent visit to our local vet reminded us of something we knew in the back of our minds, but didn’t consciously think of each day: how lucky we are to still enjoy the company of our dog, Xena.

Xena is a lab/shar pei mix. She’s going to be 13 next month. She’s lived in three different states, with two different dogs and six different cats during her lifetime. She almost died of a severe coccidia infection right after we adopted her from a shelter, and she’s had 2 TPLO surgeries. Otherwise, she’s been a generally healthy dog, usually “bright eyed and bushy tailed”, and just a little crabby with cats.

We noticed a lump on her neck last year that seemed to be growing. Lumps in older dogs can signify many things, including benign cysts. Strangely, she was also coughing like something was tickling her throat, so we took her to the vet to get it checked out. Tests revealed that she had thyroid cancer. Continue reading “Cherishing Borrowed Time”

Indoor Animals Roughhousing…And Eggs

Earlier, we learned that regardless of how convenient it may be, putting eggs in a coat pocket instead of the egg basket is inviting trouble (and a mess). Well, it’s time for another cautionary tale: don’t leave freshly-collected eggs around dogs. It’s not because they eat them. Here’s what happened…

We have an older dog and a young dog. They both like to play, and they can get pretty rambunctious. We collected an early egg laid by our Rhode Island Red hen and two duck eggs, and set them on a bench just inside the door of the house. We had a couple of other tasks to complete in the garage, where the brooder is, so we left for a few minutes. Continue reading “Indoor Animals Roughhousing…And Eggs”

When The People Are Away, The Cats Will Play

Our cats (brothers) have plenty of toys, big indoor “trees” to scratch and climb, boxes to play in, a canine sister who loves to roughhouse…and yet, they’re always into mischief. A bored cat seems to equal a destructive cat. Case in point: the damage inflicted on an unsuspecting toilet paper roll, new and fluffy. The attacker’s malicious intent is clear from the evidence photos – the roll was ripped into, shredded, pretty much toast. Not much could be salvaged. From now on, the bathroom door stays shut. The boys will have to make do with absconding with the flip-top bottle gaskets at night; oh, and there’s a citrus reamer that still remains to be found…maybe they entertain themselves with it when we’re not around and hide it again when we return. Wherever it is, it’s in a pretty good hiding place.