Category Archives: The puppies

Lesson 407 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks 

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh


Filed under Chick Literature, Chicks, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family, The kids, The puppies

Lesson 406 – The dog’s will Part 2

We’re a week out from our dog: Nessa Rose’s medical crisis.

She survived. How lucky are we?

Except that she appears to have suffered significant brain damage.

She doesn’t recognize us. She sleeps at least 20 hours a day. She constantly shakes and falls over sometimes hurting herself when she turns a corner or jumps off a couch. She was aggressive before but now she’s even more aggressive, trying to bite us if we wake her up or try to move her while she is asleep.

Before we could control her aggression with our commands, now we can’t.

And as far as being housebroken, it’s fair to say that that part of her brain seems to have also been affected. When part of her life medical treatment includes being on a laxative 3 times a day, this has become a significant issue.

Which is the point of this post. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Lesson 402 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks 

Nessa Rose as a puppy

“Friends I will remember you, Think of you, pray for you And when another day is through I’ll still be Friends with You.”

Bill Danoff / Taffy Nivert

Nessa continues to improve and it appears she has regained her eyesight.  This is a dog that was just not ready to die this week.

And for those who have asked, yes, her name comes from the book “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire, an absolute favorite in our household. 


Filed under Chick Literature, Chicks, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family, The kids, The puppies

Lesson 401 – The dog’s will

I know I can’t keep you hanging on the news regarding our dog so here goes:

After I dropped off Nessa Rose at the vets (and at this point, the dog hadn’t moved in hours and was in fact posturing with her legs straight out and her head thrown back which is an indication of brain damage) they ran a few tests to see what could be done. She was hooked up to an IV so that fluids could be pumped into her dehydrated body.

After a few hours I got a call from the vet. She has a liver shunt (a structural defect) and is positive for Lyme disease. We’ve given her some medication but she hasn’t responded and is in a coma. We don’t have the services here that we’d need to treat her, you’ll have to transfer her to an emergency vet hospital.

As much as I love that dog, and don’t get me wrong, she’s still a pain in the neck, but I do love her, I couldn’t justify the cost of transferring her to a “critical care facility.” The vet was suggesting an MRI, possible surgery, extended care.

I was envisioning pulling my kids from college to pay the vet bills.

Wasn’t going to happen.

Okay, I said, give her one more dose of the medicine and if she doesn’t respond, we’ll make a decision about what to do tonight .

I contacted the kids’ soccer coaches. It looks like we’ll have to be putting a dog down tonight, no practice for us. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Lesson 400 – A waiting game

Yesterday I was planning on writing a post today about harvesting a chicken. It’s the ethical killing of a chicken that is very sick. It’s not something that I ever want to do but I hope that when the time comes, I have enough sense and strength to be able to put an animal out of it’s misery. No one wants to see an animal suffer.

It’s funny how life throws you a lesson when you’re not looking.

One of our flock members is not doing well and I fear the worst.

It’s Nessa Rose, our 5 year old Maltese. She’s been listing lately when she sits or stands. Nothing major, one day she’d be quiet, the next day she’d be fine. Yesterday, I made an appointment for this morning to take her to the vets at 11:30.

But when Logan got up this morning, he found that she couldn’t walk,
or get up,
or eat food.

I’m not a vet (I only play one on the internet) but I know a catastrophic failure when I see one. Continue reading


Filed under Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 197 – All I needed to know about life I learned from my chickens

Yesterday I wrote about our perpetually sleeping dog: Digger (and for those of you clever people who are paying attention, yes, this is the same little guy that escaped this summer and ended up with a free all-expense paid vacation to the animal shelter the next town over – do YOU know how difficult it is track down a small dog who can’t see or hear?)

Anyway last night after reading my post, Addy asked me what Digger had to do with our chicken flock. She was a little confused. “What does Digger have to do with chickens? You always write about the chickens” she said to me.

“Actually I always write about our flock which as far as I’m concerned includes chickens, children, dogs, and parents”, I corrected her. “But you’re right, ultimately it all seems to come back to the chickens doesn’t it?”

There was a bit of silence as she digested this information. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The kids, The puppies

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie – the story of an old dog and what was once my chair

This is Digger.


Sleeping Digger


Digger is our oldest dog. He is a Maltese rescued from Tenn and we don’t have a clue as to how old he is, we only know that he has arthritis, is missing a lot of teeth, has a hole in his sinuses, has tumors, is blind, and can’t hear a thing.

But that’s all okay because we love this dog to death.

See this chair? It used to be where I sat when I read the paper and drank my coffee in the morning but then Digger discovered it.

Let sleeping dogs lie, I say. Continue reading


Filed under Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids, The puppies

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 111 – Sometimes it’s not about the chickens

This is a story that is going to end with a lesson.

Yesterday we lost one of our dogs. Digger is a Maltese rescue we had adopted from Tenn about 6 years ago. He is without doubt the sweetest dog ever but he’s had a hard life. As he got older we started realizing that he couldn’t hear us. Then when he fell down the stairs one day, we realized that his sight was going.

Not to worry. We carry him up and down our stairs, he’s the only one who is allowed to sleep with the kids at night so that he can keep warm (especially in our cold NH winters). He eats well despite having lost a lot of teeth, has a limp due to some arthritis but he doesn’t appear to be in pain and until he is, we’ll be here taking care of him. He’s a tiny dog who still looks like a puppy and who never leaves our house and when he goes outside he goes into a secure fenced in dog area.

Or at least it’s secure if you remember to close the back fence door, which is something we always do – until yesterday morning.

Digger got out and no one realized until early afternoon when my crew came home from a swim meet.

Where’s Digger? Continue reading


Filed under New Hampshire, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Project Chickens Before the Eggs – Lesson 101 – Not sure this is what Hitchcock had in mind

June 25th was Take Your Dog to Work Day.

“First celebrated in 1999, Take Your Dog To Work Day was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay by opening their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.”

As I work at home every day is Take Your Dog(s) to Work Day for me. At any one time, while I’m sitting at my desk, at least two of our dogs will be sacked out on the couches and one will be sleeping near my feet strategically placed making it impossible for me to reach my stack of papers without waking her up. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Family, The puppies

Cold dogs in cold New Hampshire

I know that I normally write about chickens and children but we also have 3 dogs in this mix that today deserve particular mention.

All the dogs are Maltese – you know those shaggy little white bedroom slipper dogs that bark incessantly when someone comes to the door.

One of our dogs is a rescue, one was purchased, and one was a gift from an adoring Aunt to my children (thanks again Pat).

Maltese are hair dogs. What this means is that they don’t shed (a HUGE plus in my book) and are considered hypoallergenic (and with a tribe of allergic kids, trust me, this is also a big plus).

What it also means is that we have to get the dogs groomed. They need hair cuts.

Ideally you are supposed to get Maltese haircuts every 6-8 weeks but when you have 3 and it’s roughly 50 dollars apiece for a grooming session you tend to stretch it out as long as you can (for the record my kids don’t even get their hair cut every 6-8 weeks). Continue reading

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