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August 21 & it's only 58 in the morning

Posted 08-21-2016 at 10:45 AM by onebuck
Updated 08-21-2016 at 09:36 PM by onebuck (typo)


Cold front coming through has cooled down the area for a deserved relief from the 3 digit heat. Nice out! I think that I will wait a few hours to let the dew dry off then play a round of golf today. I can not mow until the lawn dries out since I bag my clippings.

I miss being on the farm but I do like the luxury of my work load being a lot less these days. Sure, I would be baling hay for the horse and storing for the winter feed. Keeps you fit but does wear on you in the heat. Very tiring work but to pay someone else can get costly. I miss the interaction with the horses, Heck, I just miss having the companionship! Horses are friends for life. My passion are high but my body started telling me otherwise.

I now have my two dogs and a house cat. Max, the cat is almost 17 and is starting to have issues with the dogs. He jumped Casey (silver back miniature Yorkie) the other day and held him down while attempting to bite him. My wife could not get to them quick enough but her actions did get Max off of Casey. I told her next time to just grab Max by the tail and slam him. She said that Max is just to quick. Max has not done anything of the sort with me around. He has started to not using his litter box all the time. He is crapping just outside of the box. I think Max's time is now limited. I will take him to the vet to see what should be done. Myself, I think he should be put down because his personality and demeanor has changed. Starting to seem aggressive with people and the dogs. At first, I thought it was a game due to boredom but now I think age has caused these changes. Getting to be a pain for everyone.

Please understand, I am not cruel to my animals but I do expect the animals to respect and get along with each other. The dogs have started to be cautious with Max because of the actions towards them. The last few months the pets would seem to play with each other but now Max has become aggressive towards the dogs. He will lay on the back of the couch in the family room waiting to pounce on one of them. Max is not a little cat, he weighs about 18 lbs. Three times the weight of Casey (who dripping wet is less than 6 lbs). Casey is very quick and can get away if warned but for that cat to lay in wait all the time then things are very dangerous for Casey.

I have put other pets down when it was necessary because of health issues. Believe me, it's hard to do. I had to put down Moe my Red Heeler because of advanced cancer that was causing great pain. Doc's said there was nothing that could be done so the best was to put her to sleep. I cried the whole time, my wife told me to tough it out but it was really hard. Moe was a great dog! She was the daughter of Khyia a Red Heeler that I had got in Vermont, Il. I found a ad in the paper and talked with the lady who owned her. I said, That I would be down in a few hours. I drove my old harbor van (a Pepsi event dispensary van) that I used for keeping tools so I could work on my Yacht at the harbor. Well, I drove down and when I approached the address I notice a skinny dog chained with 1" link to a ground stake along with a goat.

I knocked on the door, the lady said that Khyia was the dog chained with the goat. I asked her why the chaining. She replied the dog was attacking the neighbor's chickens. I approached Khyia and noticed submission by the way she tucked her tail and cowered. I got down on her level and we did bond at that time. I told the lady I would take her. She asked if I would wait so her son could say goodbye. I agreed. When her son got home from school, he knew Khyia was leaving. I queried him what he was feeding the dog? He said a cup of dry food morning and evening. I asked him to show me the cup. It was a damn tea cup. No wonder the dogs was killing the chickens, she was hungry.

So, I release Khyia and she followed me to the van. The lady said to me, 'She won't get into that van' since Khyia had a poor experience with a UPS truck that run over her father. And she would not allow any UPS truck around. I look the lady in the eye and said, 'she will get into the van, no problem'. She just grinned! I slid open the side door and looked at Khyia and commanded as I pointed, 'Get in'. She looked at me then at the kids and mom then proceeded to jump into the van. No problem. When I got into the van I told her to get into the passenger seat where she remained the whole trip. With her head resting on the center console. I looked at the family as I waved goodbye to see the mom with her jaw dropped and aghast at what happened. I drove the 80 miles without a problem from Khyia. When we got to the farm I drove to the barn so I could do my chores. I got out of the van and let Khyia out. At that time our daughter drove up with the grand-kids in tow. Khyia heard the kids and at a dead bolt went straight for the kids. I stood there in shock , in my mind 'Oh Shit'. At a full gate Khyia made it to the kids and immediately stopped and sit at the oldest feet. She waited for her to reach out and pet her. Immediate friends. I recovered and approached her and told my wife we had a new dog. She asked me why a Red when I had been looking for a Blue Heeler. I told the story and she agreed that Khyia would be apart of our farm family. At the time we thought Khyia was 6-7 years old. One of the best dogs that I have ever had. Demeanor and reliability were strong with this dog. We continued our friendship until her death 8 years later. After a couple of years her first litter of 6, we kept a female (Moe) and a male (Tank).

Tank was about six months old when I saw him staggering coming back to the house. Foaming at the mouth and dropped at my feet dead. He had poisoned himself by eating some nightshade grapes. Damn! I thought that most of it had been eradicated but he found some on the neighbors property. At least that is what I thought. It was hard on both Moe and Khyia. I had to bury him in a deep grave wrapped in double layers of plastic then placed into heavy plastic bags. I put field stones on top to keep the coyotes out. Moe was very playful with her mother and kept Khyia active. One time I came out to do my chores and found a deer carcass at the garage door. Both dogs had dragged the deer back for me. I put the deer into a garbage can. The garbage man loved me! I would put most kills into the can. Sometimes a cat or a snake(wood rattler) that got to close to the house for comfort. Heelers do not bark unless for alert. Sometimes I would com out and Khyia or Moe would be barking near the house and I knew it was a snake so I would get my revolver with bird shot and kill the snake. Then place it in the garbage can.

As I said before, Khyia lasted another 8 great years following me all over the farm and riding in the old Pepsi van to and from the harbor. She loved to ride next to me in the passenger seat with her head laying across the console resting on my leg. The day she died, I went out to the kennel to water and feed both dogs. Khyia came out of her Igloo with her tail drooping and her head low but she still came over to nuzzle my leg. I graciously rubbed her as she drank water. Her tail thumping. But she did not go to the barn with me this time. Just sit down and watched as I walked away. I got my chores done and I went back to the house. Looked over and noticed Khyia was laying at the gate to the kennel. Not normal so I went over to check things out. She had died while I was doing my chores. Tears came to my eyes but I did recall all the joyful days we had spent together on the farm together. And that I still had Moe. I had to bury her back by the barn and used the same technique as used for Tank so no coyotes would get to her. Moe took it real hard. She could be found laying at her mother's grave. I finally got her to eat and drink again. My animals have always ate well. I gave Moe some Polish sausages to get her to eat again. She loved those sausages. I would get those sausages at Kroger and the checkout lady would always say, 'You really like those don't you'. I told her the sausages were for my Red Heeler. Sometime latter she would ask 'What's a Red Heeler' and I would tell her the story.

So I think my decision is made to put Max down. It's been a good cat's life for him. His biting the dogs and snarling at everyone has been going on long enough. Sadly, I must see this through so no one is hurt by this aged senile cat.

As I wrote this remembrance, tears have been flowing but also smiles with the memories of these cherished companions. Damn!

Have fun & enjoy!
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  1. Old Comment
    Being a owner of 5 dogs and one fat female cat

    I know where you are coming from.
    Posted 08-27-2016 at 08:20 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  2. Old Comment



    I really miss the farm and my companions but the work was wearing on me fast. One needs to know when to stop some things. Horses require a lot of work, unless you just want pasture ornaments. But that was not for me. The heelers were added enjoyment and were fun to have. Day to day I would always have some sort of surprise. As I said earlier, Moe was playful with her mom Khyia and I am sure that is what kept her active thus extending her life. The love between those two was great and Moe suffered when her mom died. I too suffered the lose but having Moe helped a lot. She started following me to the barn for chores and would do this rain, snow or whenever I made my way to the barn. She did not like to ride in the van unless I forced her. But I only did that for vet visits for shots. So she may have associated the van with pain from the shots.

    Farm dogs are totally different from inside pets. Moe would hunt everywhere on the property and wished to share her treasures by leaving them by the garage door. Really upset my wife since she would leave early for her job just before me getting out for my chores. I would hear her yelling to get out here! I would find the dogs treasures as close to the garage door as possible. My wife was a farm girl growing up, I would tell her that this was a normal for the heelers. She would just say 'Our dogs wouldn't do this'. And my response was, 'You did not have heelers, get over it'.

    My neighbor had too many cats, most were feral and would linger over to my barn and that was a big mistake. The heelers would not tolerate the intruders. So I would dispose of the kills in the trash in a plastic bag. My garbage drivers tolerated the actions after I told them the situation.

    In town we have squirrels and rabbits that are in our yard. Drive Casey the yorkie crazy since he tries to chase them. Casey is less that 6 lbs dripping wet and I wonder what would happen if he ever caught something. Squirrels can be very dangerous if caught and if the dogs doesn't know how to protect their self. As a young hunter myself, I learned early to slit the squirrel's throat to bleed out. I've seen more than one that wasn't dead that the hunter thought was dead and placed inside their jacket kill pocket only to have it come out very angry.

    This reminds me of the time my dad decided to train our black lab 'Satan' to coon hunt. My dad's buddies had coon hounds so we tagged along with Satan and the coon hounds. The coon dogs picked up a trail and off went Satan. Coon dogs treed a coon and were leaping at the tree as they normally would. Satan sat watching their actions then all of a sudden the lab ran a dead run right up the tree to the lower fork. He sat there and did not know what to do next. One of my uncles told the coon dog owners to secure their dogs. He climbed the tree to retrieve 'Satan' and he did not want to get torn up by the coon dogs.

    We next shot the coon with a 22 and the coon never dropped. That same uncle climbed the tree again up to the hung coon. He cautiously moved out on the limb to dislodge the coon. The damn coon wasn't dead, just clawed up my uncles leg and they both came out of the tree into the coon dogs snarling my uncle was lucky to get out unscathed.
    The coon was one big beast and gave the dogs a fight. Some dogs had to be stitched up but finally one dog got the coons throat and thus killing it. We had a fight getting the dead coon from the dogs. Not a pretty sight. Coon's skin/coat was damaged and not worth stripping thus dry out or stretching. Meat was OK but used as feed. BTW, Satan's coon days were over. That was one smart dog and not afraid.

    This was supposed to be short comment.
    Posted 08-30-2016 at 12:19 PM by onebuck onebuck is offline
  3. Old Comment
    My dog is a chucklehead.
    Posted 08-30-2016 at 02:08 PM by vmccord vmccord is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by vmccord View Comment
    My dog is a chucklehead.
    Is Muttley your dog's name?

    Thanks for reminding of that dogs name.
    Posted 09-02-2016 at 08:28 AM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  5. Old Comment
    I remember him. Lucy is a pit mix but she is scared of everything bigger than a rabbit and has poor vision so she comes across as a moron and is incredibly stubborn. She and I sat in the road for 45 minutes last week because she wanted to investigate some animal stuck in a window well at a house across the road. I wouldn't let her, but I couldn't get her to move past the house. She's too big for me to pull. I had to call my son to come out to where we were and carry her away from the house. So Muttley is laughing at me.
    Posted 09-02-2016 at 01:40 PM by vmccord vmccord is offline


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