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Update to the update to the update: some dear friends of ours fell in LOVE with June Bug, and she with them, and she's been adopted to a forever home! We still see her often, and she LOVES her new home.
Update to the update: We're bringing this little gal back home to live with us TOMORROW. The foster folks took great care of her. They even said she's their favorite dog there! They felt we'd be a great home for her…and how could we resist that sit-stay? Here's a pic from the foster:
We're officially a family of Four…ty-one! (two dogs, two people, two goats, eighteen silver-laced Wyandotte chicks, and seventeen guinea keets.)
So apparently, when you resolve to start homesteading, it's not all rainbows and milking goats from the get-go.
Stuff happens that gets in the way: ticks. Catfights. Weeks upon weeks of torrential rainstorms, patio lobsters, downed trees and
Insane Clown Posse Guinea runaways.
Yes, puppies. If you loiter around the Facebook page, you'd've seen a few updates about this.
Long story short (and then long again): a tick-ridden, paraside-stricken, sweet little people-fearing stray puppy came around. I wasn't sure what to do. And it consumed my life for a good 2 weeks because I was determined to give the story a happy (as in, tick-free) ending.
We've been told that people “dump” unwanted dogs in the country all the time. We assume this was the case with this'un. She likely circled closer and closer, becoming more and more brave, when she realized that we 1) had a dog and 2) often fed it outside. Food and a species to which she could relate probably proved too tempting to stay in the periphery.
For awhile there, the lil' gal was hanging around the perimeter of our yard, waiting for our pooch but avoiding the two-legged creatures. (The yard is the interior of our property. We believe she'd been living in our exterior acreage for some time.)
It got to the point where she was around and wanting to play with our pup every time we let him out. (We're fencing off a portion of our yard to keep the riff-raff out, but it's not done yet). She was afraid of us, but wanted to be bosom buddies with our pooch. It was kinda cute. But also kind of unsettling.
Why? Well, if you've been around for awhile or you listen to the Balanced Bites Podcast, you know I'm terrified of ticks. I'm even more terrified of ticks on my pooch and on my porch. And when a tick-ridden puppy comes out of nowhere wanting to play Wrestlemania with my family pet every time said pet goes potty, there are two choices:
1a) Alliterate continuously. Pooch. Porch. Puppy.
1b) Complain about there being no animal control in the country and posting on Facebook about how Obama should do something about it (sarcasm) because I can never go outside again and now my dog will have to learn to use the toilet just like Jinxy-cat
2) Accept that not every situation has “someone” out there lined up to deal with it FOR me (aka: $h!t happens) and figure out what to do about it for myself
We chose #2. (And #1a.)
Wherever this little lady was going to end up, she needed to be tick-free and healthy. And since the city, the county, and the universe wasn't going to come out to my property to get her, we had to make some choices. No matter where she ended up, it was up to us to catch her and get her there. Keeping her in the yard to rub her ticks off on our dog wasn't an option (and that's what was happening). Poor baby had hundreds of ticks on her – many of them fully engorged.
So I rigged up a brilliant contraption – a kennel, filled with food, with a rope attached to the door that ran into the house. I hid inside, invisible to her, and pulled the door shut when she went inside for chow.
And then, in trying to move her to a safe spot amidst major rainstorms, we lost her. She bit through a leash with her puppy teeth and ran away. Sigh.
But she came back, and I was able to catch her again a few days later. She was scared and covered in ticks. And really, really cute.
I know how over-burdened the local shelter system is, so I thought that, this time, we'd try to do the legwork. We got her to a vet. She got cleaned up, tested for disease, de-wormed (she had every parasite), and became slightly more trusting of humans thanks to the wonderful folks at our vet's office who took care of her while we located a foster. They named her June Bug – because she came in June covered in bugs. (Too cute!)
She's sure cute enough to keep – but I didn't want her running away a third time if we brought her back to the property and to that old periphery that was so familiar to her. She needs to learn to be a domestic dog and to trust people – and, more importantly, she needs to be potty-trained – and we found a fabulous group of people who were excited to foster her.
Our pooch made her feel more at ease during the journey from vet to foster.
It's cute – she really trusts our dog and will follow him anywhere.
You can tell little June Bug wants to be and do as other dogs, but just needs a little guidance in the form of the example of other pups. This was clear when we arrived at the foster and watched her interact with our dog and another puppy. Cute video alert:
So it seems she's in her right place for now. Maybe she'll end up with us, maybe not – but she's getting amazing care and the fosters are keeping in touch (and feeding her grain-free puppy chow, yay!)
If this happens again – and it probably will – I certainly can't promise I'll go to these lengths to help. We just don't have the financial resources, so I may have to rely on a shelter to do the cleanup and just hope for the best. I won't even talk about the plan we have should an aggressive dog appear at our home, because it's not as happy as this post. There are realities to country living that I never expected, but have to acknowledge.
I'm hoping I built up some good Karma here and the universe will give me a stray dog reprieve.
Country livin', right? What would you do?
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