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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

Rhino Puppy

You know what happens when you get a puppy that's going to be the size of rhinoceros?   Your yard looks like a rhinoceros-sized toddler lives there.  Steve's the best - and he's actually pretty chill - but he's getting big.  

He weighs 60 pounds and he's 5 months old.  And we've discovered that he likes to collect things.  He doesn't exactly chew on things, but he definitely takes things.  

Looking out at my yard at this moment, he has a pillow, a nylabone, a real bone, the remnants of a soccer ball, a tennis ball, a pair of goggles, a life jacket, and two funnels.  Big funnels - like the kind you use to put gas in a big mower.  He loves them.  I'm thinking of buying him a 6 pack of them for Christmas.  

Probably you're thinking - how much random stuff floats around your house??  Valid question - a lot of random stuff lives at this house.  But also he has a knack for finding it.  I'm hoping he starts to outgrow the collecting stuff phase fairly soon.  Or pretty soon he's going to be big enough to start collecting wheelbarrows and garden rakes.  Maybe I'll put him to work.

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The Hawk and the Rabbit at the Dinner Party

Some of my very favorite people, law school friends we hadn't seen in way too long,  came to dinner on Friday night.  We were thrilled to see them - Thomas and Stephanie are those people you feel like you just talked to, even if it's been seven (!!!!) years.

So we're doing the little walk around the property before turn on the grill and sit down on the picnic deck, and about that time we see the hawk flying around overhead.  He (?) is a regular - likes to swoop in big circles above the pond, or land in the tallest trees and stare down at us, rather smugly. 

So we're admiring the hawk, and then it flies off, and we're watching the dogs gambol about when they startle the hawk who has landed in the grass over near the outbuildings.  Most unusual - the hawk's not usually on the ground.  And then Betty comes galloping back with a rabbit in her mouth.  Yikes.  This isn't totally unprecedented - Moose has been known to catch a rabbit, although Betty's the one that knows what to do with a caught rabbit.  She eats them.  In big, gross gulps.

So Betty whizzes by us with a rabbit hanging out of her mouth, and about that time Thomas notices that the rabbit is missing its head.  I mean, seriously? WTF.  And what kind of dinner party for old friends is?  A dinner party on a farm I guess.

My best guess is that the hawk had already caught the rabbit, and was trying to eat it when the dogs startled it and Betty took the prize.  So then we're all trying to convince Betty to hand over the poor rabbit, while keeping some semblance of "no big deal, in just a minute we'll go grill dinner as soon as we handle this bunny situation."  

Fortunately our friends are not fazed by much.  And Betty finally traded her prize for a dog biscuit (which was good because if she eats a rabbit she is definitely going to throw up the parts in my living room in a few hours... and if I didn't want to handle a dead rabbit to start with, I *definitely* don't want to handle it the second time around.)  

So, you know, nature man.  It's everywhere.  Even at dinner parties.

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This Sweet Face

It's a good thing this face is so sweet.  And it is - really, really sweet.

But it's also the face of the puppy that puked in my bed last night.

Not that I'm holding it against him.  I mean, how could you with a face that cute?

And also, yes, he's sleeping in my bed, even though he's going to be the size of a burro. But right now he's the size of a bread box, so I'll worry about the sleeping arrangements at a later date.

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Steve the Fierce

You guys.  I'm in love.  Allegedly this our fierce new farm dog, Steve, out of Livestock Guard Dog stock (half Anatolian Shepherd, half Maremma.)  

But Steve didn't get the memo that he's supposed to be fierce, and independent, and live with the goats while he chases off coyotes.

 Instead Steve is warm and snuggly and loves his people.  I can't get enough of him.


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Compost Soup

Did you know giant tumbling composters produce a disgusting brown liquid known by the innocuous title "compost tea"?  (Genius rebranding, by the way.) Yeah, me too.  I mean, I kind of knew it, in a theoretical sort of way, but I didn't really KNOW it until my white dogs came in the house yesterday with perplexing drip lines of brown noxiousness all over their heads.  And just their heads.  Like they had found a sewage spill and managed to have it just... sort of... drip... on their head.  WTH?

Well, after some observation of the poodles, I'll tell you what the hell.  It turns out compost tea isn't just delicious for your house plants, it's also tantalizing to the family pets.  So they stood under the drip spot and alternately licked the grass (hence the drips on the head), and licked the composter (hence their need for an emergency trip outside in the middle of the night.)  

So the composters that bragged that they collected the compost tea - yeah, those are sounding better.  

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the Moles will Die

Ok not really.  I mean, I wish the moles would die, because they're digging up the whole yard, and undermining the apple and peach trees, and appear to have significantly destabilized part of the bank at the lake... but in reality they're not going to die because I'm not going to poison them.  Because (a) who wants to spread poison all over the yard, even though I really, really hate these moles, and (b) Betty and Moose delight in digging up the mole tunnels, and they have zero self preservation instincts and would no doubt eat the poison.  So the moles won't die... but hopefully they will leave.

Unbeknownst to me, there is an enormous industry devoted to making moles leave.  It mainly involves spreading castor oil pellets over your yard, which the moles hate, and then hoping they move it on along.  The funny part of this is that there is major strategy to the delivery of the castor oil - you do it in sections in order to, and I quote the package, "herd the moles to the desired area."  I mean seriously, isn't my life busy enough without herding moles??  But I'm trying to herd.  It's like playing tetris - I'm slowly contaminating all of the areas where I don't want them with castor oil, with the idea that I'm going to push them out of my yard.  Because they'll be so happy in the National Park Service property on the other side of the fence? One hopes. 


My fingers are crossed that this works, because so far the only person here with a comprehensive mole eradication plan is Moose.  He's diligently digging up all of the tunnels.  Which looks great - both in my yard and on my dog.




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