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*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘stray dog

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If you are thinking about visiting Wintervale this weekend to get a taste of forest management and tree removal, don’t for a minute wonder whether you will get to spend some time with our horses or chickens. They are essential ambassadors of the healthy loving energy available here every day.

When I was sitting with the horses in the paddock last weekend, eye-level with the chickens, I captured some images from the atypical vantage point.

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If the horses decide not to wander across the hay-field to see what we are up to by the road, I’ll make sure breaks from the lumberjack work will include a stop at the barn.

The chickens won’t wait. I’ll be surprised if they haven’t offered a greeting before visitors have time to walk away from their vehicles upon arrival. Our three survivors have mastered the ability to show up in a blink, or silently disappear like ghosts when our heads are turned.

I expect that has contributed to their free-ranging longevity.

On Tuesday, as I made the final turn onto our road coming home from work, I spotted a stray dog that looked very guilty and appeared to be chewing on something at the edge of a recently harvested corn field. I was very glad to hear from Cyndie that our three were home, and safe.

Speaking of potential threats to chickens, Cyndie says she and Delilah came upon a bobcat recently while on their morning walk. It gave them a moment of a stare, and then bounded off into the woods. This was before Cyndie had opened the coop for the day, so the chickens weren’t immediately at risk.

Honestly, I don’t know how they’ve lasted as long as they have since that fateful evening of June 16th when something took six hens before they had settled into the coop for the night.

These three really are survivors.

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Written by johnwhays

November 30, 2017 at 7:00 am

An Addendum

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IMG_iP0990eLast Sunday was a beautiful warm sunny day, during which we were out and about, tending to a variety of chores. It was also the day when we received the second of our two visiting stray dogs of the weekend.

The dog was clearly interested in everything I did, spending most of the time that he was here, in close proximity to wherever I was working. My last project, prior to heading in to watch the end of the Vikings NFL game, involved the Grizzly ATV in front of the shop garage.

I remounted the plate which supports the back of the snowplow frame beneath the under carriage. I also spent time bolting the blade and associated parts to the plow frame, which had been removed for welding over the summer.

I had the first half of the football game on the radio, and both Delilah —on a leash— and the wayward visitor, milled close by as I puttered.

As Cyndie passed by after feeding the horses, she picked up Delilah and headed into the house, leaving me to finish while the stray longingly eyed me for attention. When I was finally ready to close up, I spotted the dog laying in leaves nearby. I closed the big garage door and then turned out lights and shut the shop door.

I recall purposely deciding to not head directly toward the house, thinking the stray dog would follow me to the door and make me feel bad about going inside without him. I chose instead, to head toward the barn first, and circled around toward the labyrinth, so I could get one last look at the new mowing I had done earlier in the day, widening the path along the back pasture fence line.

In doing so, I saw no sign of the black dog. Since I had wanted to lose him in the first place, I was okay with that, and climbed the hill up to the house, alone.

On Monday morning, I left for work in the early darkness and hoped to hear from Cyndie if the dog was still hanging around when she and Delilah got up. No news came. With no dog around, she had no reason to call the veterinarian to find out who owned it. We thought that was the end of it…

Until yesterday.

Just after lunch, I got a call from Cyndie with a big surprise. When she stepped out of the barn in the middle of the day after cleaning out the stalls, she heard a wailing sound and followed it up to the shop garage. She discovered that the stray had somehow made his way inside when I closed up on Sunday.

He had been locked in there for almost 2 days! I hadn’t made a visit to the shop on Monday after I got home from work and he didn’t make a sound any of the multiple times Cyndie and Delilah walked past, until she finally heard him yesterday afternoon.

It breaks my heart to know the poor guy was stuck in there that whole time. Cyndie gave him water and some food and he headed off on his own right away. Cyndie followed up with the vet and contacted the owner, who reported the dog had made his way home, but she was rather surprised he wasn’t soaking wet from all the rain that had fallen.

I’ll take consolation in that. At least he was warm and dry during his unintended 2-day imprisonment.

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Written by johnwhays

November 18, 2015 at 7:00 am

Another Visitor!

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IMG_iP0993eWhat a strange coincidence we witnessed this weekend when, for the second time in three days, a stray dog showed up and lingered all day. Again, this one had a collar with license and veterinary information, but it being Sunday, there was no way to get a number to contact the owner.

This guy was friendly, and when it became obvious that he was happy to hang around, I let Delilah out to meet him. In minutes, they successfully navigated an introduction and seemed comfortable with each other’s presence.

IMG_iP0996eWhat are the odds that we would have two stray dogs visiting us in such close succession? As Cyndie and I watched Delilah and her new pal playfully running together, it occurred to both of us that maybe we should be thinking about getting a 2nd dog.

The interesting thing about that idea is, Friday we decided to go to the feline rescue organization during the weekend to see if we could get a young kitty as a companion for Pequenita. As soon as we made that decision, a series of situations played out that repeatedly disrupted that plan, culminating in a surprising change of thinking from the possibility of another cat, to considerations of another dog.

We aren’t sure what we will do next, but I believe it will involve queries into what kind of dogs there are at nearby shelters that might be awaiting a new home and canine companion.

Sorry, Pequenita, your new pal will have to wait.

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Written by johnwhays

November 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

Visiting Stray

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We came upon a stranger on the perimeter trail through our woods yesterday morning. Cyndie and I were walking Delilah when I spotted a dog facing us on the trail ahead. We paused and started a dialogue with the mutt, but I got the feeling he wasn’t hearing us. He simply stood his ground, no matter what we did, so I decided we shouldn’t approach.

We turned around and headed back in the direction from which we had come, which pretty much involved dragging Delilah sideways, because she did not want to take her eyes off the stranger.

By removing the pressure of our presence, the stray was able to let its guard down enough to turn its back on us and head off in the direction from which he had come. With that, we reversed ourselves again and followed to observe where he would go.

DSCN4107eAt our southern border, the visiting dog crossed under the old barbed wire fence and kept going on our neighbors property. We finished out our walk and then got the wood chipper hooked up on the tractor to grind downed branches into wood chips for the labyrinth.

While we were working, the stray dog showed up again, this time exploring around our house. I headed after him, trying to sweet talk him into letting us check out his tag, but he didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I went back to work, but Cyndie continued to try making a connection, eventually succeeding in getting a leash attached. The dog’s tag included an ID number and contact info for a local veterinarian. They checked their records and provided the name and a phone number for the owner. Cyndie left messages and then put the dog into Delilah’s kennel.

Eventually we learned the dog’s name was, “Blue” and he was very old, and hard of hearing. He had been missing from home since Wednesday night’s “Flash-Boom” event of a thunderstorm. He ran off to catch that booming invader, and ended up in our neighborhood a day-and-a-half later, over 2 miles from home.

By the way, it wasn’t until yesterday that I checked our rain gauge and found 3 inches to add to the 1.5 that Cyndie had dumped out Wednesday night.

Maybe Blue just floated here on the runoff.

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Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2015 at 7:00 am