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  • My Great Grandmothers Old Wood Burning Stove
    How would you change your lifestyle to start making the switch to living off the land?…Now I am not talking about changing over night.. but a progression of things you would do over time to make the switch…Remember…. It is always good to plan ahead. I think the first thing I would do is put […]
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Archive for the ‘Critters’ Category

postheadericon Does your dog need to be groomed?

Does your dog need to be groomed?… May I suggest that ALL dogs needs to be groomed, some just more than others. Grooming your dog should not be a chore or a task that you dread doing. Spending time grooming your furry friend should be something that you both look forward to.

Grooming is an essential part of owning a dog. Along with regular walks and balanced meals, it is vital to the health and well being of your dog and thus is a process that all owners should be aware of today. No matter what breed of dog you have, your knowledge of grooming or your experience in looking after dogs, it is important to know something about how to groom your dog.

We all have busy lives and would probably like to learn the best ways to quickly groom your dog without wasting time or money.

I have several dogs…. one of my dogs in particular loves to be groomed… if I were to be completely honest…. I am not sure she really likes to be groomed as much as she loves the attention that she gets when she is being groomed. All of my attention is on her and she loves it. Daisy is indeed her mama’s girl.

My Daisy has the most beautiful fur coat. I use a rake on her and also a shedding blade. She loves the shedding blade. Daisy is a Labadoddle…. I don’t have to get her hair cut but many dogs do need to have regular hair cuts. Learning to groom your own dog is really not that hard if you have a bit of guidance.

You can shop for your dog grooming tools in your local area or you can shop online for them where I buy many things for my pets Entirely Pets. They have just about anything your looking for all sorts of pets.. not just dogs. One year for Christmas I bought everyone in my family a Furminator… from Entirely Pets….That really is a marvelous MUST HAVE tool for your dogs and cats as well.

I have found a wonderful guide about dog grooming.

Here’s just a small sample of what you will discover in the Secrets to Easy Dog Grooming.

Discover how to choose the right GROOMING TOOLS that make all the difference!
Learn the right and the wrong way to brush your dog (you might be surprised).
Discover the easy & safe way to brush your dog’s teeth.
Secrets to choosing a genuine professional dog groomer.
Find out the secrets to removing those tear stains below your dog’s eyes and mouth.
Discover how to easily cut and shape your dog’s coat..
How to manage hair MATTING and hair SHEDDING.
Uncover common grooming problems and how to manage them.
Learn the proven tips to cut down on the overall cost of grooming.
Learn how to make the most of your grooming tools.
Discover the 3 BEST ways to ensure a shiny healthy coat.
Learn how to safely & easily clip your dog’s nails.
Finally discover how to eliminate that “DOGGY SMELL” associated with some dog breeds.
Discover the different varieties of SHAMPOOS you can choose from and which one is best for your doggy!
How to effectively empty your dog’s anal glands.
How to quickly manage the aggressive or biting dog while grooming.
Learn what SKIN PROBLEMS may be aggravated during grooming and how to prevent or manage them!
The easy method to plucking your dogs ears with minimal discomfort.
Discover how often to bath your dog without causing dry itchy skin.
TEETH BRUSHING – The easiest way to quickly brush your dog’s teeth.
Discover how to simply TRIM YOUR DOG’S NAILS plus what to do if you accidentally trim too much and they begin to bleed.
How to ensure you feed the correct nutrients for a well balanced diet that will help ensure your dog has a healthy coat and skin.
Learn why you need to have a first aid kit handy when grooming and what it MUST include!

In addition to feeding my dogs diatomaceous earth… I also enjoy keeping them looking great by taking care of their coats with proper grooming. It is a great way to spend one on one time with your furry friend. I can highly recommend both DE and the gre4at dog grooming book I found. The Secrets to Easy Dog Grooming

postheadericon Chicken Keeping

chicks-980803__180More and more people are keeping chickens in their backyards. As long as their is no city ordinance against doing so people are finding that is a fun thing to do. People are keeping chickens in their backyards for many different reasons. Some want a source of fresh eggs.. others may just like to watch them. I find them fascinating!

I for one have always loved the idea of keeping chickens in the backyard. Chickens don’t really require a lot of space though they do need a sheltered area. Keep in mind if you live in an area that is cold in the winter months… you really should plan of providing some type of heat for them when it is cold.

Of course you will want to provide them with plenty of fresh water and good food…you can also add diatomaceous earth (DE) to their feed. Offering your chickens DE in their feed will keep the internal parasites at bay.

Chickens love to take dirt baths. You can see them rolling around in the dirt.. kicking up the dirt with their feet and flapping their wings so that the dirt will get ALL over every inch of their bodies… When they have had enough they will stand up and shake themselves off, and strut away as if they have on a new outfit!

This dusting area would be the perfect spot to add de freely. When the chickens get into take their dust bath the added de will get down on their skin filtering through their feathers. The best part is.. it will stay there, helping to keep them pest free.

Some people like to keep chickens as 4H projects for their children. Some like to have their own fresh egg source, others just like the idea of having chickens walking around their backyard… that would be us. We adopted a couple of girls that were no longer producing eggs.. they were headed to the farmers stew pot but we intercepted and brought them home to live out their lives hunting for bugs and worms in our backyard. They were delightful girls, we got a great deal of pleasure out of watching them.

Rather than just getting a few birds and putting them in your back yard here is a book to make the most of your backyard chickens….. Chicken Keeping Secrets

postheadericon Building a Chicken Coop

If I had my way…. I would have the chickens in the house. BUT…. hubby seems to have a different idea on that subject.  There is just something about chickens that I find fascinating. Doesn’t Keeping Chickens sounds like a fun project…..?

The soft cooing of the hens… scurrying and scratching at the dirt, looking for bugs and worms. I think I could watch them all day. The boys can get a little noisy at times but them most boys can be like that.

You need the proper house for Keeping Chickens… and I would of course recommend having diatomaceous earth on hand to keep them healthy both inside and out.

Before you get your chickens you should decide about housing for them. Building the proper kind of house will be very important not only to you but also to your new brood. But…. Where do you start? What do you need to know about housing chickens. All of those questions and many more will be answered in this book Collection Of Chicken Coop Plans.

Collection Of Chicken Coop Plans offers 10 Chicken Coop Plans. I am sure that you will be able to find one that is just right for your yard and your location.
Each chicken coop design has :
~instructions for building
~list of the materials needed to build the coop
~plans and diagrams for the measurements
Use a coop design ‘As Is’ or just pick and choose the ideas you like from the collection to build your own ‘poultry palace’.

You Can Save $$$ And Get The Coop You Want
It’s true, you can save hundreds of dollars by building your coop – and sometimes build one almost for free if you use reclaimed materials – but this isn’t just about saving money by building your own coop, it is also about building the coop you want to have in your backyard, the way you want it.

Are you ready to build a haven for your hens…..? Go here to check out this wonderful Collection Of Chicken Coop Plans

If you need info about how to raise those chickens here is a wonderful resource I found…. It has lots of other information too… Not just about raising chickens. It talks about Self Sufficiency And Homesteading Products…. Including Keeping Chickens, Guinea Fowl & Other Poultry, Beekeeping (honey Bees), Herbal Remedies, Vegetable Gardening, Hydroponics & Greenhouse
poultry houses

postheadericon How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Pet

I have found a great short video done by the Green Tip Guy showing how to apply diatomaceous earth to your dog. I thought that you might enjoy watching how easy it really is… This is the exact method that I use…… and he is right my dogs love it TOO!

I buy my Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth from EarthWorksHealth.

postheadericon Condo For Your Kitty…

Cat tree plansMy cats love their kitty condo. They can play on it for hours and when they are tired of playing they take a nap on it. Since I have a few more cats than most people our kitty condo gets rather crowded at times.

We decided to go to the pet store and buy another condo for our little darlings. I must say I had sticker SHOCK when I saw the price of them. We decided to come home and shop for them online… thinking that we would be able to get a better deal. Well I have to admit that the prices were a bit cheaper but then we added the cost of shipping in and once again I had sticker SHOCK.

Me being the tight wad that I am I hate to pay shipping anyway so I continued my online search for a kitty condo… it was then that I came across the solution to a less expensive play area for my kitty’s.

I found a site that I would be able to download instructions for making my own. Now don’t go freaking out on me.. and rolling your eyes… tossing up your hand and saying NOT ME!… NO Way!

The instructions were printed out very plain but it also had pictures… Lots of pictures…. In fact it had 280 pictures and diagrams in the 102 page eBook.. I was able to get it instantly and then the first job was to choose from the 11 cat trees designs and look at the different options that I had to customize it…. This was the hardest part about making my kitty condo.

It was a fun project. I could of done it myself but hubby insisted on helping me.. Gosh I have no idea why.. he simply has to look at any type of a tool and he gets a cut on his hand.

If your in the market or a kitty condo and you have also been SHOCKED by the cost of a new one you might want to check into making one yourself. After it was all over hubby suggest that “WE” make them to SELL!.. I am not sure where he got that “WE” stuff from but I think that he was trying to tell me in his own way that not only the kitty’s liked their new “digs” but he thought it turned out pretty nice as well….

You can read all about how you can make your own kitty condo here.

Do you want to learn the Secret to Grooming your own Dog?  Click Here

postheadericon Do your cats PEE where they are NOT suppose to?

Cat owners have confided in me that their cats pee on their walls, on draperies, on counter tops, ect. This seems to be a problem with un-neutered male cats but that is not always the ONLY case.

Female cats as well as male cats are known to do this. In many cases even the cats that have been fixed do this.
I am certain this nasty little habit that cats do is one of the greatest causes for them being returned to shelters or worse, just dumped off along a back road.
This also appears to happen when there is more than one cat in the house. Once one cat does this nasty little trick of peeing on things that it is not suppose to the other cat think this must be totally acceptable behavior.
Some times when a cat pees where it is not suppose to it is an indication that it may be sick, so it is always a good idea to rule out this possibility.
Perhaps a stray cats walked through your yard, your peeing cat may simply be marking it’s territory. They don’t know that your not crazy about the “way” they have chosen or “where” they have chosen to leave their scent.
I know all of this to be true because a few years ago someone dropped off 2 cats, a boy and a girl. I am certain they were brother and sister, The little girl had been fixed but the boy had not been,
I accepted them into my home to join the other cats that had been dumped off.. people are so cruel, but that is another post.
It was not long before I knew why someone had dumped these beautiful cats off. They were PEE-ERS!! One spot on my wall was their favorite spot, by the food. The other spot was by one particular drapery, every 3 or 4 days this drapery would be pee-ed on. My daily routine was to wash the wall and every 3 or 4 days I had to wash the drapery.
I know many reading this would think I was crazy to put up with that but when you love critters like I do you just grin and bear it… and keep washing up!
I was always on the lookout for something that would be of help to me so this nasty little habit would cease.

This is what I found to help me with my problem… maybe it will work for you too.

postheadericon 12 Years Ago Today…

It may have been 12 years ago today but I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was without a doubt, the saddest day of my life.

To this day I can not speak of it without a lump forming in my throat. To someone who is not an animal lover I am sure the sadness can not be understood.

12 years ago today, August 20, 1996 my beloved Andrew died. We got Andrew from the Humane Society of Monroe County when he was about 5 months old. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. He looked like a beagle but he had huge paws and very long legs. He was very clumsy. We would later learn he was a Walker Hound. He was the apple of my eye. I loved that dog more than words can ever express. He was my constant companion. I told my inner most thoughts to him as well as the events of my day.

The Humane Society adopted him out 2 times before we had the great fortune of getting him placed with us. What is it they say, the third time is the charm. The first 2 times didn’t end well. He was adopted to a young couple. Every time he would enter the room their baby would scream at the top of her lungs. The second time the guy he was adopted to got hauled off to jail and the puppy
was left in the home by himself for days until he was returned to the Humane Society.

Then he came to me. He was so happy to receive love and to give love. We were inseparable. Life was GOOD.

For 10 years we shared our life with Andrew. We also had a house full of unwanted an unloved cats and a couple of other wonderful dogs that we found along the road that people had discarded. But no love compared to the love I had for Andrew. Perhaps it was because I had no children of my own, who knows.    All I know is… I loved Andrew.

Then one Sunday morning Andrew started to cough. His cough was like a gag and it was getting worse. We headed for the animal emergency in Toledo. As we were getting close to our vets office we could see a few cars out front. My husband pounded on the door till they let us in with our unresponsive dog. His eyes were just looking at me for help, of which I had none to offer.

The Dr. was checking this and checking that . He was asking lots of questions, but not offering any answers. Then out of the blue he said, “I do not remember Andrew being so big.” I said, “yes, I noticed on the drive  here he seems to be getting bigger.” The Dr. and the Vet Tech looked at each other as if a bolt of lightning had struck. He picked Andrew up as if his 87 pounds were nothing more than a feather.

HE HAS BLOAT!!

The only thing that I knew of bloat was that cattle get it. That was all I knew on the subject of bloat. Large barrel chested dogs are susceptible to bloat but I am sure any breed can get it. Bloat is when the stomach flips and no air can escape. So my beautiful, wonderful dog Andrew was actually blowing up.

The Dr. did the best he could and made arrangements for me to take him to Michigan State University, This is where our Veterinary School is located. After hours of surgery and having his stomach stapled in place so it couldn’t move I was allowed to see him for a few minutes. His eyes were still asking,  “why?” and “can I come home with you?” The next day he ate a little something and then died later that night.

We did all that we could but it was not good enough. Some people reading this will think how stupid!!  You did this for a DOG???

There was never a question of what should we do. The only decision we had to make was this going on MasterCard or Visa?

I will always remember this date, August 20. I hope each of you will find the love of a very special animal as I did with my beloved Andrew. I certainly hope you have a much happier ending. Shelters everywhere need your help with not only cash but supplies and cuddlers as well as opening your hearts and your homes. Please call them and find out how you can help.

And when you do… Tell them Andrew sent you.

For Love of Andrew,

postheadericon Let me tell you about Arnold

Arnold

At least 10 years ago, perhaps more I was walking by our house in the cold dead of the Michigan winter to feed the birds. I saw out of the corner of my eye something odd in our fire pot. I dismissed what I saw but after the birds were feed my curiosity got the best of me. I had to investigate.

As I approached the fire pot what ever it was moved as if to hide from me. I knelt down and like a rocket a grey cat leaped over my shoulders to make his great escape. Since this poor creature needed shelter, I went and got straw and put it in the fire pot. The next day I could see where something had spent the night. The thought of this poor lonely cat outside in the cold of winter was very sad .

We live in the country and we get cats dropped off on a regular basis. We share our home with dogs and cats that no one wanted. We have a cat door. Some of the cats snuck in for a meal and never left.

A couple of days later a very shy and timid grey cat was peeking in our patio door window where our cat door is. I prepared a dish of food and placed it on the back porch as we watched and waited. But all that happened was the food froze in the cold night.

The next night was a blizzard but once again that shy timid grey cat appeared. He was so scared.This time I heated the food so the smell would be greater and placed it in the snow drift. he came and ate and left.   Progress!! At least I knew he had shelter and now I knew he was fed.

I didn’t see him for the next 2 nights and on the 3rd night he once again appeared but as I was able to glance at him ever so slightly I could see that his face was all bloody, as if he may have been hit by a car. I put antibiotics in his food and thank goodness he was so hungry and didn’t notice. We continued our nightly feeding and his face slowly cleared up.

The nightly feedings went on for months, I had an outside Kitty. This was nobody’s cat. How sad it must be to be unwanted and unloved.   Spring was on its way and we were able to leave the back door open.

Slowly we brought his dish closer and closer to the inside of the house, and ever so slowly this cat came in. Soon he was able to navigate the cat door so he could come and go as he pleased. We did use the live trap to take him and have him fixed.   This cat shared our house for a good 5 years before my husband was able to touch him.

Over the next 5 or so years my husband and Arnold as he became to be called shared a special bond. Every night I prepared a whole chicken so that Arnold could have a nice fresh warm chicken breast served to him by that “Special Guy” that loved him so much.

We have many critters as I mentioned before but not a one to be sure loved my husband as much as Arnold. That “Special Bond”, coming from having nothing, having to scrape for everything you have everyday just to keep alive. Not having anyone to care for you or about you. And now, having someone love you so very much. Someone who feeds you chicken, just how you like it. Someone who brushes you with a certain brush till your skin tingles and someone who you can snuggle up close to every night and be there when you wake up to say, “Good Morning Arnold.”   Yes, Arnold really did find heaven when he found our home.

Later today I am taking Arnold to be put to sleep. He has been living for years with no teeth in his head, not a one. Over the past few weeks he has been going down hill fast. He has a huge growth growing inside of him.

Arnold was an older cat when he found our home so many years ago. We are thinking he is perhaps around 17 years old. He has had the life of a King since he has been with us, but life is not fun for him anymore. Arnold always loved to eat and he is not even able to do that today.   It is time, however sad it is.

My husband will really miss his Buddy, they have such a special relationship. In all the time Arnold has been here with us I may have been able to touched him 5 times. The sixth time will be today when I take him to the Vets for the last time. I will hold him and let him know that he is loved  and will be missed very very much especially by his Buddy, Bill.

Good Bye Arnold, thanks for dropping by.

postheadericon Hen Holster..The Original Harness Diaper

I posted about chickens in my house before, but this Hen Holster brings new meaning to the words.. Chickens in the house.
I love this idea..
I had several chickens in the past that I would of loved to bring into the house but knowing the kind of mess that they can make I always put that idea quickly out of my head.
But check this out and tell me if you don’t think this is the greatest thing to be able to actually have chickens in the house.

 

You can read more about this Hen Holster at their web site.
I would love to hear from you if you get em hitched up and let them free to roam in your house…

postheadericon Chickens in the House

chickens in the house
Let me tell you about a little hen we use to have. Now mind you I am a cat and dog person but the neighbors had penned up chicken and one day let them go. Naturally they came to my house.

We have a cat door for our many cats, and we have dogs as well. Our cats can come and go as they please through the cat door. We often get strangers that manage to come in and some never leave. But that is another story.

When you have cats you must have litter boxes. The 5 I have located through out the house all have covers on them. One is in my bedroom. This particular little box is very rarely used. It is off in a dark corner. So imagine my surprise when I lifted the cover to scoop I find a beautiful blue egg. My little aracana found this perfect spot to lay her eggs.

Now mind you, this little girl would have had to navigate the cat door. AND… gotten by the dogs. So the fact that she got in, looked around and found this spot is simply fascinating to me. What harm could she do?

Everyday she added to her clutch. After about 20 eggs were laid it was time to sit. In the middle of the night you could hear the litter gently being moved, she was a good mother stirring the eggs ever so often. Once a day she would sneak out of the house to eat, drink and poop, then sneak back in. Never did she make a mess.

Weeks later in the middle of the night the babies started hatching I could hear the little darling peeping. I waited a day to make sure that all had hatched and then picked up the entire litter box and moved it outside to a waiting pen.

Critter really are amazing.