Ted’s essays

if an egg a day is good …

My wife cannot imagine breakfast without eggs. Even with her awesome wheat, nut, blueberry pancakes, maple syrup, bacon and sausage, there still has to be an egg on top. I cannot imagine a homestead without chickens. Even in a downtown tract home I had one. Now my flock is around 20. I feed them organic, non-GMO because we expect to eat the eggs and want a healthy product. I also supplement with a bit of oyster shell calcium and ample grazing space. The girls love it. Our springtime egg production is up to over a dozen a day. I will let a broody hen reproduce sometime this year to refresh the flock. After two years, production falls off rapidly, […]

last lift

Bosco was born Tuesday, February 6th. He came home at 8 weeks old … small. I took to weighing him every Tuesday. At 10 weeks he was 22.3 pounds. I climb on the scale with him in my arms, note our weight, then climb on without him and subtract the difference. It is not important, but a curiosity that somehow interests me. I log his weight on the calendar, then plug it in to http://www.puppychart.com/ for their projection of his likely adult weight. In April they were estimating just over 90 pounds when full grown. Today I picked him up for the last time. For one, he does not like it. He resists. That makes it harder. Then there’s the […]

Bosco at 5.7 months

He is shaping up to be an excellent dog. Yeah, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) side needs employment … OR ELSE … they self-employ … and the owners are guaranteed to not like their ideas. But, dang, they make great family dogs. I suspect Bosco’s ears are a month from standing up like proper GSD ears, but his head seems otherwise dominated by his American Pit Bull (APB) half. Both are described as athletic and strong; both traits desirable in a country dog. Puppy Chart .com estimates my 68.6-pound 5.6-month-old will be a 100-pound adult. *WARNING* Stay on top of training. You won’t want an out-of-control Big, Strong, Athletic, Inventive dog. Dogtime.com is an EXCELLENT reference tool. The peculiarities of […]

dog psychologist

Advice to a friend whose aging Akita has been supplemented with a Rotweiller cross pup. Pro bono, community service, I’m working my specialty for free 😉 You have what could turn into an awesome wing-man dog. The Rotwieller side is ready to manifest in the right hands, the right home. HOWEVER, you and your Akita have turned you into a BARN-CAT type of dog lover. Yeah. Hi. Where’s the food. THX. TTFN. What you have is a dog who will fit great with an affectionate, but courageous leader. If his Man is fearless, this dog as an adult will go willingly, eagerly into any battle that comes their way… that is, as a team … for his man. But this […]

Super Pup, part 1

Missy’s Beagle Lab cross is more the former than the latter. Scooter is fundamentally a pack dog. She’s been pack-less nearly all her life. That is not the best situation for a Beagle brain. It has her more nervous than she would be in her natural habitat. I am more attracted to dogs of substance. Size, muscle, but most of all, self confidence. I have surreptitiously been watching for a mastiff downline mixed with another medium sized breed. Mutt, but with some genetics that are known for peaceful self-confidence and strong intelligence. I also wanted a situation where the dog came to us without the baggage of a bad start in an ugly home. Most of all, I wanted […]

first aid failure

I tested our first aid supplies, phone list, land-line telephone, backup telephone, radio network and found all of them wanting. Many details to attend to and some significant repairs in planning/function. A dog guest and Scooter were having a gay old time when she somehow impaled herself on a steel post I had tried to remove some time ago… but didn’t persevere as I rather obviously should have. She set to screaming in obvious injured and confused pain trapped with this rod entering her gut and nearly exiting her back. Nobody but me could get close (she trusts me more than anyone on the planet, though she is more devoted to, and adoring of Missy than anyone on Earth). I […]

Bounding Beagle

I LOVE my Canon Power Shot SX710 HS camera! It has been a decade or so since my backpack full of Canon camera gear served any useful purpose. Fresh 35mm film that delivered true colors simply became unavailable. End of a favored hobby. A friend gave me a show-n-tell on his Canon Power Shot and I was convinced I could come reasonably close to having the best parts of my old hobby back. There are some things it doesn’t do quite as well, but almost everything is far better with the technology they packed into this little pocket powerhouse. A lit box in the screen on the back of the camera outlines where the camera is focusing. It automatically sets […]

April 28 yard art

happy feet – flying Scooter happy Honey white-capped Trapper Peakwhitecap ridgeline geese dropping by turkey hen passing through

Spring Lake

This is not what I am accustomed to for January 4th. Neither weather nor scenery are “right” for the season. It is also nothing like what I enjoy by way of elbow room. I pulled off the trick of a photo without other people in it, but believe me, they were EVERYWHERE else I looked. When I was 11, the water agency began filling Spring Lake, flooding a small portion of “My Woods”; the private playground of my youth. Fluffy and I spent thousands of fine hours wandering and exploring nature there. Neither of us were restrained by leashes of any kind nor interrupted by other humans. We followed paths and trails created by wildlife or blazed our own. Lucky […]

roast dog

I have shared nearly all of my life with dogs, but I have never had one like this. In every prior case, constantly wearing their indoor-outdoor winter attire had them seeking the coolest part of our heated house. Not Beagle Brain. Scooter sidles up to the HOT fireplace, rotating, shifting position, laying right next to it and generally just BAKING HER BODY. She will be hot to the touch and still not leave her fireplace position without strong encouragement from us. I don’t get it. She seems indifferent to the cooling autumn weather outside, cheerfully going for walks in freezing, rain, wind or whatever nature has sent us. That is more like what I am accustomed to in dogs. But […]

another fan of our fireplace

Scooter seems to enjoy the heat of our fireplace. She has discovered a new lounging spot. It puts her near my office chair. That is always a priority to her – being near Missy or me whenever we sit still. This spot has an advantage of proximity to a major heat radiator. So here she is soaking it in. However, look at the temperature on the far side of the living room that contains three of her other favored lounging spots. Holey smokes dog, how much warmth do you want?

Scooter’s Cave

Missy cleaned up our third-hand dog kennel today – removing stickers along with some dirt and grime. It looks a bunch better, but she left the brand-name label above the door. That wouldn’t do, so I covered it. It is significantly less tacky now. Scooter has been getting treats for getting IN her cave at our mealtimes and plate or pot licking when she gets out. For her, food is gold. This has made time in the cave a lot more normal and comfortable. So much so that she has added cave dwelling to her list of places to lounge around on her own. Which is where I caught her today, though she was annoyed that I made her uncurl-up […]