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Wildlife in the backyard . . . May 25, 2009

Posted by Lindy in Critter Kids, Uncategorized.
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Bullsnake in backyard

Bullsnake in backyard

Bullsnake or gopher snake: Pituophis catenifer sayi

We have a resident bullsnake. My husband named him Sammy II. When we first moved here nearly 14 years ago we had a resident bull snake whom we named Sammy. This is not a picture of Sammy (I didn’t have my camera with me) but this guy looks like Sammy and appears to be about the same size – 4′ – 5′ long.  Bullsnakes are the good guys – they are not venomous although they will bite. They have been known to become pets for those who have a penchant for this kind of pet. Bullsnakes like to act like rattlesnakes when they feel threatened – they coil, strike out, and make a hissing sound very much like the sound a rattlesnake makes.

I was out by the back of our fence changing the water in the critters’ water pan. This is an old large pan requiring both hands to pick up when full of water. I had picked it up, turned around to dump the old water on a Rosemary when suddenly something rose up directly in front of me. I screamed and nearly dropped the heavy pan right on top of poor Sammy’s head. He had been napping in the shade and was coiled right at my feet – I had not seen him. I’m sure I startled him as much as he startled me. However, he must have decided I wasn’t a threat because he simple crawled past me and out the back gate probably looking for a safer place to take a nap.

We like having Sammy around as he eats rodents and with no rodents the likelyhood of rattlers coming around is lessened.

I found this picture at:   www.elaphe.it/pituophis.htm

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Meet Buster April 5, 2009

Posted by Lindy in Critter Kids.
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One of the families who adopted one of Molly’s puppies kindly sent us a few pictures of Buster (black with brown trim). I received permission from the family to post these pics. on my blog so here goes:

Buster with his new family.

Buster with his new family.

Buster’s new parents adopted him shortly after adopting the other little Beagle in this picture.  They had read my blog, “Molly’s Story” and decided they simply had to adopt one of the pups. We had named him Buster and  they decided it fit him so it stuck. Obviously their little girl is in love with him. They told us he is a calm, gentle, loving/affectionate boy.

 

Buster appears to be a bit taller than his mom, Molly, but weighs less. He is about 6 months old in these pictures which were taken a couple of months ago. Other than being a bit taller and the white blaze on his chest he is the spitting image of his Mom.

Molly

Molly (above), as described by our vet, is a very happy Beagle mix. 😀     We love her dearly and are so very appreciative for BARC, the rescue group who found good homes for all of “our” babies.

Molly’s Puppies January 2, 2009

Posted by Lindy in Critter Kids.
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Molly - day after Doug found her in the desert and before puppies were born
                                              Molly – August 20, 2008
Above is a picture of Molly shortly after the birth of her nine puppies. Sadly two puppies died within the first 36 hours. The story of how my husband found her is in a previous blog post (September archives) as “Molly’s Story”.  Molly’s burns are quite visible in this picture. Our vet placed her on a mild antibiotic to help decrease her chances of infection from the burns and at the same time not harm her newborn puppies. We also used the topical prescription ointment, “Panalog”.  As of this writing, four months later, the burns have completely healed and fur has grown back over most of her scars.
Molly - 12/14/08

Molly - 12/14/08

Molly is now a happy, healthy young dog. Best guess from our vet is that she is probably a little over one year old.  Her puppies have all gone on to new homes and Molly has a forever home and a family – us –  who loves her very much.
It’s been quite awhile since I last posted. As long as we had the puppies with us we did nothing else at home other than care for puppies and care for the other critters in our household. My husband gets up at 3:00 a.m. to go to work. He would feed the pups,  give them fresh water, and some attention, and put down additional newspaper. I would get up at 3:30 a.m. do my morning yoga/weight-lifting practice for 1/2 hour and then clean the pups indoor pen – what a mess!, give them more food and water and some more attention. I would then take Daisy and Molly for our 3 mile walk. Once back home and just before leaving for school each morning I would move all seven pups to their outdoor pen which I had prepared with plenty of food, water, blankets, shelter, and toys. After this I would get myself ready and leave for school by 7:15 a.m. On Doug’s days off during the week he got to do most of this work. The cleaning up process went into full swing again when I came home from school and Doug came home from work. Anyone who has cared for a litter of pups knows that they have seemingly unstoppable appetites, and of course, what goes in one end comes out the other. We went through tons – really and truly – of newspapers during their stay with us. My heartfelt thanks to the staff at my school for bringing in newspapers everyday as long as we needed them.

We had these babies – seven healthy, robust pups – for 9 weeks.  BARC – Beagles of Arizona Rescue Club – had agreed to take them all at 8 weeks. However, when the time came they had no one to foster them so we kept them. At 9 weeks they had foster care for 4 of the pups. We said good-bye to 2 of our little girls and 2 of our little boys. The veterinarian who cares for the BARC dogs has a daughter and family in Pennsylvania. This family adopted the 2 girls almost immediately and so off these 2 little babies went on a cross country flight all by themselves. I was sooooo very glad that I was not told about this until it was all over and the pups were safe in their new and loving home. There were not enough foster homes for the other 3 so we kept them until they were nearly 3 months old. By that time they were almost to big for their pens plus we had a 7 day trip to Michigan planned for Thanksgiving week. BARC took those 3 and had to put them in a kennel for a couple of weeks. That nearly broke my heart but we had to think of the critters at home and our plans with family as well. Of the 3 who went to a kennel the 2 girls were adopted almost immediately and the little boy is now in a foster home – they call him “Mugsy Malone” (we had called him Luther) and they adore him. They have said they would adopt him in a split second except they already have four other Beagles. One of the first boys to leave us – in that group of 4 – has finally been adopted. I have no idea why the boys are so hard to adopt. The pups all look just like their mother and all have her loving, exuberant, and happy personality. 

Molly has now been spayed, microchipped, had her teeth cleaned, and has all of her shots. She is the most loving and affectionate dog either Doug or I have ever had and we love her dearly. When it came to taking pictures of puppies we were just like brand new first time parents with our first baby. We took hundreds of pics. Following are a few pics. of Molly’s puppies:

The puppies are about 4 weeks old here. They had outgrown their nesting box and we moved them into a pen with steps so Molly could get into and out of the pen. All 7 of them are here – peacefully and quietly sleeping 😀

mollypups-070

Growing by leaps and bounds. All 7 pups are here but one is stuck underneath the 2 to the right of the picture. They were just beginning to learn how to navigate the steps put there for Molly to use to get into and out of the pen.  The picture is a bit blurry – puppies never stop moving.

Group Picture

Hey guys, I think I found the way outs this pen.

Hey guys, I think I found the way outa this pen.

All of the pups eventually figured out how to get to the top step. We had to modify the steps so that Molly could still get to the pups but the pups could not get out.
Just a little more growth and I will be out.

Just a little more growth and I will be out.

By the time the pups were 9 weeks old they were seriously trying to figure out how to escape their pen. This is the indoor pen, about 3′ X 6′.  We had an identical outdoor pen which we opened up full length and used along with our fence as one side, the house for a 2nd side, and the pen on a long diagonal. This gave them as much outdoor play space as we could manage. We put in a kennel for shelter, blankets, food, water, and toys in the outdoor pen. They loved being out all day – we would bring them in around supper time every evening for the night.
Oh, hi Ma!

Oh, hi Ma!

The puppies were all nearly identical with the exception of slight variances in their sizes and a tad of white on a few of the puppies’ chests. We color-coded them by buying each one a different colored collar. This little guy (below) is Jake. Jake was the escape artist – the first to figure out how to get out and he did – twice. Once I found myself chasing all 7 puppies all over the backyard after Jake showed them the way out of their outdoor pen. Mama Molly is giving the Jakester a kiss while Grandpa holds him.
Molly and Jake

Molly and Jake

After all the pups were gone Molly seemed to have an anxiety attack. This was (past tense) a feather pillow – an old one that had no value. However, it took me about 2 hours to get the worst of the feathers cleaned up. Today, nearly 2 months later I am still finding the occasional feather around the house. After the feather pillow Molly ripped open a fiber-fill pillow which was not nearly the mess the feathers made. Her final bout of anxiety took out the center cushion on the couch. Ouch! Fortunately the couch was used when we bought it 13 years ago so it wasn’t too terribly painful. I was able to salvage the cushion and put a makeshift cover over the couch so it is practically as good as new. Emphasis on the word “practically”.
Pups are gone - anxiety took over

Pups are gone - anxiety took over

Below: Molly, Daisy (in the middle), and our youngest kitty, Ayla. There is one more – Emily. Emmy prefers to be an only child and finds having her picture taken with the Three Muskateers highly distasteful.  I told Doug we really need two couches – one for the girls and one for us. 😀
3 of our 4 girls

3 of our 4 girls

Emily – regally seated on her throne.
Emily
Everyone of our critter kids is a “rescue”. They are all wonderful and we love them dearly. They have been a lot of work. In the case of Molly the work will continue for quite awhile. She is young and in need of a lot of training which is difficult because she is high-strung. She is an absolute sweetheart and we have never regretted the decision to keep her and give her a “forever home”.
Below is a pic. of Molly and Daisy together gazing out the front window as they stand on the couch.
    Molly and Daisy
 

The Critter Kids July 9, 2008

Posted by Lindy in Critter Kids.
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It’s about 110 degrees out as I write – too hot to do much of anything. Even with the AC the house is warm and I do not feel like knitting with all that warm yarn on my lap. I do have a good book to read, Whatever Happened to Ecology by Stephanie Mills. Ms. Mills was born and raised in the Phoenix, AZ area and has lived in my old neck of the woods in northern MI for a couple of decades or more.  Her writing is ecology/bioregionalism based which is right up my alley.  However, I have not written for quite awhile now so will update my blog with pictures of our critter kids.

I have some pictures to share now that I have finally figured out how to work my new Adobe Photoshop program:

 

Daisy Mae and Ayla

Daisy Mae and Ayla

 

Daisy Mae is our rescued doggy. She had been hit by a car at approximately, according to our vet, 6 months of age and left out in the road to die. Doug, my husband, found her, took her to our vet (she had a broken pelvis). When she was on the mend we brought her home. That was 2 1/2 years ago. She is the sweetest, most well-mannered dog either of us has ever had.  Ayla, the kitty, is now 2 years old. I found her as a lone abandoned 5 week old (according to our vet) in a parking lot at a local supermarket. She was filthy, hungry, and thirsty (it was July and terribly hot).  Doug named her Ayla after the little orphan girl in Clan of the Cave Bear.  Ayla adopted Daisy as her surrogate mother. She eats from Daisy’s food bowl even while Daisy is trying to eat, sleeps with Daisy, plays with Daisy and Daisy allows Ayla to do anything. Daisy has not shown one single hint of aggression in the 2 1/2 years she has been with us. She does bark if someone strange comes into the yard.
Emily

Emily

This is Emily sitting on the Kitty Climber Doug made for them. Emily was found by me about 2 years ago at a Kitty Adoption from PetSmart. She is a solid jet-black cat and had been passed over for adoption by others probably/possibly because of her color.  I doubt I will ever get a good picture of the 3 of them together as Em prefers to be an only child. She just manages to tolerate the other two.
She has decided she owns me and usually needs to sit on me.  She is a very nice girl whose age is undetermined (also according to our vet).  All these adoptions came about shortly after the loss of our 12 1/2 year old Abbey. Abbey had been the love of our lives and had to be put to sleep due to terminal liver cancer. We had no intentions of acquiring more animals after that loss – they just fell into our laps and we were unable to say “no” to all these homeless and loving little critters all of whom we love dearly.
Abbey

Abbey: June 1993 - December 2005

     Abbey was a Chesapeake Bay/Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix who we found in a shelter in Canyon City, CO as a 6 week old puppy. She was our first child, adopted 1 year after we were married. Abbey was both brilliant and beautiful. We loved her dearly and we miss her more than words can ever say.
 
     That’s it for now. I’m just happy I finally figured out my new photo program – it really was easy once I spent a little time getting familiar with it. 😀
 
 Namaste until we meet again, Lindy