Month: November 2003

Strider: 3rd Update

Last night on the way to the evening service of our church we pulled out of our subdivision, turned, went to the corner to turn again … and straight ahead in the bushes, there sat a White Leghorn “preening” it’s self. Odd. We live in the country, there are chickens all around, but never once have we seen one loose like that on any of the roads around the ‘little town’.

I was curious to see if it was still there when we got home. Upon getting back to that spot a few hours later, it was very dark, I had asked Frank to slow down so I could look for it, and right at the same spot I did see something “white-ish” but it could have been anything, a bag, or something. Frank had turned by then, and decided to turn around and go head-on like when we had first spotted it earlier.

For certain, it was a white chicken with red comb smooshing itself into the ground as best as it could, but was obviously the same chicken. I had the desire to get the chicken, but Frank wanted nothing to do with it. I figured it was “sent from God” since I need more eggs, if it’s a hen, it’s valuable to me. All night it was bothering me, in my sleep. Frank had laughed about what I’d said, but still didn’t want to get the chicken.

I also was thinking it was something to smooth over Striders leaving us. So then Frank got up just after 5am to leave for some work he had to do. When he was going I was tired and just said “Chicken” hoping to prompt him to go get that chicken for me. He left, but then came back into the house, and I knew something was up. Chicken … or something else?

The last few days I’d been continuing to call for Strider, but hadn’t ever even once spotted him, nor got a report from anyone else spotting him. No meows, no silver/gray subtle stipedy-ish cat around anywhere.

So Frank got me outside, by saying there was a cat in the garage, and it was either Dixie or Strider. He thought maybe Dixie had got out via the garage yesterday. He’d kept the garage door partially opened in case that would tempt Strider in, ever since he was missing. So he at this point shut the garage door entirely.

Frank left, and I stood in the garage calling for a kitty. Nothing was answering. I went and found the flashlight then.

What Frank told me right before he left was a different story:

He walked out the front door, down the sidewalk, and saw a long cat by the front tire of the van, and it was facing going up the driveway, away. It was moving that direction when it spotted Frank, and they looked at each other, [seeing as this was before 5:30am, it was very dark] the cat stopped, then turned around and ran back into the garage. Frank then ran to the van to hit the garage door button.

He didn’t know for sure if it was Strider, but thought it was probably, and it could only maybe be his sister, if’n she had gotten out somehow last night.

So then when Frank was still there he moved a box in the garage to see if the cat was behind something, but it was too dark to see anything. He left at that point. I came back with the flashlight a bit later, and sure enough, there was a gray/silver side of a cat back there. I called. No answer. I called and called and called, talked silly to him. It was definitely Striders side I was seeing. I then told him I’d be right back, I was going to get him an egg.

When I got back with a plate and the egg, he firstly meowed once, and pushed himself back a bit and sat up and I saw his eyes finally. I showed him the egg, tried to entice him out, but he wouldn’t move futher. He started really meowing then though, a good sign. So I cracked the egg open and put it on the plate and pushed it closer to him. I couldn’t reach him [if you know us at all, there’s always at least one spot in the house like this: stacked with our boxes of things, it gets moved from here to there to here to there πŸ™‚ the here is the garage, the there is the familyroom/basement ]

Well Strider came forward slowly, smelled the egg, then started lapping it up, obviously enjoying his old favorite. I didn’t venture to touch him until the egg was almost gone, and then I only scratched the top of his head back and then forth, once. He didn’t flinch, so when he paused hadn’t quite licked the plate clean, I reached into the opening he was in, and pulled him out. And right then, he started purring loudly. My baby was back! He was frightened, he didn’t look all mellow and loving as “usual”.

Where he’d been since November 19th, we just can’t say. Perhaps in the garage. But never had I heard him in there, or seen him there, on the street, driveway, nothing. I’d go in the garage frequently to call there, the deck, the backyard, the front porch, the driveway, the front yard, calling …. Heeeeerrrrrrre Kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty, over and over. High and low, melodic, straight. Any way to just get his attention.

So in the end, he was here. He was spotted. He was trapped. He does still love me. He’s sat on my lap, plyed me for petting, belly rubs, hugs, carrying. I gave the cats all an early breakfast. Chicken parts. Strider went in no problem, chew on one piece, then dragged it off to the corner to do some more on it. Good old boy.

The other cats are all in an obviously heightened mode — “Who are you? Do we know you? Let me smell you! No, let me smell you again! Who are you? Do we know you? Really? Is it you? Really? No, it can’t be, let me smell you again!”

My heart is full, a piece has been restored.

I’d still like that chicken though. πŸ™‚

Strider: 2nd Update

It’s now after 5pm on Saturday, and Strider has not come home yet. I continue to call for him out front and out back, and pray for his return.

He is just nowhere that we can figure. It’s just something I wasn’t prepared for, this cat who “seemed” to love me as much as I loved him, if he not more than I, just walks away one night.

I keep anticipating opening the front door and finding my dear kitty there. Or go into the backyard to attend the hennies, and have him come up to me and rub my legs when I’m not “all-awares-looking-for-Strider” out there. Sigh.

Strider: 1st Update

Strider hasn’t come home yet. I’ve nearly given up hope. It’s been more than 24 hours since he’s been missing, already.

Today we left flyers at the two vets in the town near us, and at the county animal control shelter, filled out a missing animal report there as well. I’ve listed an ad online at petfinders. Frank has talked to most of the people in our subdivision, that’s about 50 to 60 people perhaps … at there being nearly 70 houses here. There is a junk yard behind our subdivision. We live in the middle, with trees across the street from the front of the house, and the street behind us is further, with another property behind ours of course, then across that street behind houses there are trees, with the junk yard right behind that. Across from the front of us the trees are thick and deep, all part of the properties that houses are on. There is a deep ravine there as well … who knows what is down there. Did Strider go any of those directions? Or did he linger outside of someone’s house and he’s inside, but someone who we haven’t talked to yet.

Where did he go. Where oh where did he go.

After all this I was remembering about Bleu, he went out a door while we were gone and never came back back in 1999. But in the recesses of my mind I’m recalling that sometime previous to that he got out and was gone … for a few days or more, don’t recall how long … but that he did come home and we took him to the vet for a check over, to make sure he wasn’t injured. We talked about quarantining him in case he contracted something while out … but logistically it wasn’t possible. So then sometime about a year to a year and a half later, he got out for the second and last time.

Based on that, there is hope that Strider will come back. Why this had to happen, I just can’t say. It’s put my mind once again on pet rescue. Just this last Nov 1st it was there, weighing heavily on my mind, as the pups were found. There are websites to help, but that’s not good enough, in my estimation. There needs to be some thing better out there.

I’m not happy with what I’ve found. I consider this to be just one more notch on my experience walking stick … that is branching me out, yet honing me in on future expansion of ministry to community. Not just niche farming, but rescuing animals, picking up feral cat colonies, and having a website and notification and search website for people missing pets and finding strays, and having tools to make the right kind of flyers and posters and where to go and what to do and more.

How to do this all as a private organization, not a State licensed one … that’s the tough part. $$$$$ Well I’m bound and determined to do something like the above, as my God given tasks in life as wife, mother, and steward of living things.

We have, hopefully will return to this number, 6 cats, all self-rescued or adopted from rescue operations, and 2 puppies self-rescued.

I am hoping to become better equipped to train pups and adult dogs to be good obedient companions. I don’t need any training for cats, that’s what I was born being good with. I would love to have a big barn on our next property, just for cats.

One place we found today that supposedly has a high feral population around it, of course, the junk yard. The man there told Frank he guesses there’s at least 100 cats around. That’s the kind of places where I’d love to be able to go and trap the cats and bring them to my cat barn to live, and find homes for the ones I can. Let the rest live there, eating raw food and being happy. I love kitties. I just need that property and the barn. And a good supply of chickens and rabbits and such, from my future farm, for their food.

All of this weighs on me as I think of Strider and where he may be, hoping he is still alive and healthy, and asking God to please watch over him and bring him back home safe and sound. It’s a good release, not to dwell miserably on just my own missing cat, but to use this as feul for ideas to help others. That’s why I go through anything I do, to help others. That’s what I seem to run into time and again, it’s a continuing theme in my life.

Dear sweet Strider, please come home. I sure wish you will soon, and that when you get here you can talk to me and let me know everything you did, every place you went, everything you saw, while you were away, and let me know why you left, and what made you decide to return home. Ah, if only it were possible. Well, we look for him on our walks with the dogs. I go out front and back and call for him often. Loudly and softly. It’s now 5pm, so it’s been 39 hours since Strider went missing.

Windy Night, missing pet

Last night was very gusty, and it rained heavily off and on. Around 2am I heard a pup whine, then a few minutes later, a big “bark!”. So I went downstairs, only to find the deck door standing wide open.

It must not have been properly latched. The wind was rather fierce. When I got there Dixie was by the door, and ran out onto the deck when I moved. I got her back in the house. We weren’t sure if there were any other cats out. We were so weary, we didn’t have the mindset to do a “total cat count”. So this morning, everyone but Strider is here. We can’t find him. We’ve called and hunted in the house and outside of the house. In the yard, up and down the street. It’s a sad time for me. I lost Bleu a few years ago when the basement door had been left ajar one day when we left for some errands. We got home and Bleu was gone, and never showed up again.

I sure don’t want a repeat of that. I missed Bleu terribly. Strider has been my best buddy, he sort of replaced Bleu for me. So it’d be just TOO ironic for Strider to dissappear the same way.

Well, I’m more than half-way resigned to that being the case. I am very affected though, as well.

Friend or Foe, what it comes to

Cats and puppies: A listing of friend or foe

Cats – 6

Samantha — 11 year old petite black cat. Not interested in the puppies at the least.

Princess — 11 year old big fat tuxedo [black and white] cat. Will watch the puppies from a distance, as long as the pups are in their kitchen pen, or crate.

Strider — 2 1/2 year old gray/silver subtle striped cat. Will walk around the pen when the puppies are in it, rubbing the sides, walk around the top of the pen, get inside the pen and look at the pups. The pups and he smell each other and tolerate each other in there. Victoria sometimes likes to get in there and hold Strider and he stays and purrs up a storm, and Gretchen mostly will interact with Strider. They had a near startup play session today, but I nixed it, so that no one would get hurt.

Dixie — 2 1/2 year old darkgray/gray subtle striped cat (Strider’s litter-mate). She wants nothing to do with the puppies.

Scarlet — 1 year old tortiseshell/calico mix cat. She rubs seductively all around the pen when the puppies are in it, sniffs them through the holes in the pen, sometimes she jumps in and drinks from their water bowl, or just sits there washing herself, and looking at the pups. The pups just look at her.

Foster — under 1 year old brown black tabby cat. He’s petrified of the pups. Want to see a cat tail bloom? Just drop Foster into the pen with pups. Voila! Out Foster will fly out of the pen with tail fully extending in wild bloom.
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Puppies “First Walk”

We took the puppies for their first “leash walk” this evening. Gretchen was fairly good with it, happy to do it mostly. Lothar was loath to do it. I walked him at first, and it was more like a steady pulling him is what I did. Frank took him then, and eventually Lothar did some better.

Victoria took Gretchen most of the way, and then I took Gretchen the last few houses home. She was walking willingly, sniffing the road as she walked along at a nice clip.

Neither would do “their thing” in the front yard. We had to take them out to the back yard for them to do that. Well, one thing trained πŸ™‚ But we won’t always be near the back yard, so … πŸ™‚

Well, today on them for the first time was their new collars. They weren’t too happy about them, but took them anyhow.

Also new for them is the Dog Kennel. The chain-link 10×10 that we got years ago for another dog. It’s been lying dismatled for a long while. The other dog we tried to make a nice one, but couldn’t, had messed it up terribly, so I, and Frank, worked on it and got it up securly. We can let them in it alone for times we are away. They’ll stay in the house with us most of the time though, and have free play in the yard at times. We’ll get a tarp over the Kennel, and perhaps a house for them sometime. As it is, they can be kept inside, crated for some of our outings where they won’t be coming with us. We intend to have these pups well-trained, companions, not dogs that live in the yard alone. They’ll go places with us eventually.

Well, I can see, that for a day at least, the pups see a change, having to grow up a bit. Collars, leashes, chain-link Dog Kennel, all in one day. But this is a great thing. It’s happier times for them and us, if they are given good borders, so that no one yells and gets upset, this way the dogs can express such good things. Being well-trained is cool. A well-trained mind, can capture the body motions, and make for a well-behaved hound or human.

Puppy Photos

See our puppies first photos starting here.

or alternatively, click on the photos below.

Our Puppies — Update

Our puppies weighed 16.6 and 15.5 lbs respectively at the Vet, that’s female and male order. Gretchen is the female, and Lothar is the male.

The vet estimated that they were about 9 or 10 weeks old, sticking closer to 9. That’s about what I thought, giving them up to 3 months, but thinking they were closer to 2 months old.

As for their mix, who knows. I can tell they are shepherd mix, due to the markings. As time goes on we can tell more. Their ears are the right shape for a shepherd, and have until about 6 months of age to stand up. Some shepherd’s ears don’t stand up fully ever though. Many mixes I’ve seen photos of, shepherd mixes, have ears that stand up, or don’t. So it remains to be seen what happens with the ears. I hope they do stand up, I like how GSD’s look.

Also GSD markings change as the the pups get older. Right now, both pups are very black on top and all the way down their legs 3/4. Comparing both of them, their fur is different from one another, with Gretchen being short-coated, and Lothar having longer short-coat, still smooth against his body, but nearly wavy in places — which reminds me of a Rottweiler’s coat. So, according to photos of pure GSD’s, these pups fur isn’t purebred GSD fur. But their markings are classic, IMO. With the exception of Gretchen having creamy white at the end of her nose and paws. She’s lighter in color overall. Lothar has red/tan fur where as Gretchen has tan/to light tan to cream fur. Both have some silver flecking in the neck area, and Gretchen has more on her back in the black fur, whereas Lothar is purely black on his back.

Their coat colors changing over the next many months is of high interest to me. I’m anxious to see the changes, and to document it with photos as time goes on. IF they change, that is. From what I’m guessing, they will. I’ve spent myriads of minutes searching the net for photos of shepherds and shepherd mixes. My two pups, and particularly the male, fit right in with the looks of all I’ve found. The female looks just like the male, only her colors are fairer … and the whitish color at the end of her muzzle has made some people, namely the Vet, say they are part “beagle”. But that’s just not what I see. She is exactly the same in color pattern on the head, just different color structure, the patterned lines are the same on she and he.

That all said, I am NO expert on dogs at all, and so it goes to say neither am I on any particular breed or mix. There are clues that I would have no way of interpreting, so growing up and exibiting characteristics in coat and action is all we can do. So waiting patiently is the name of the game.

Our housetraining is going along fine. Three nights in a row they have had no accidents in their crate, and gone all night the last two nights … getting up at 6:30am on Sunday, and 4:30 on Monday [and going back into the crate for awhile after going potty], and that’s good news!

I started this out getting up every couple of hours to put them out and have them go potty, then put them right back into their crate. They had their nights and days mixed up. After two nights of that, they were on track for day being day, and night being night. What a blessing a quick learing couple of pups is!

They stay in their Superyard penned in area in the kitchen during the day, or out in the yard they can roam freely, when I let them out to go potty and play for a bit every once in awhile.

When I let them back in, they automatically, 95% of the time, go right into their pen area. When I open the pen to have them go outside, they walk right out to the door. It’s nice to see them go in and out so perfectly.

Well, Gretchen is a leader. Lothar is a lover. He follows her lead. Lothar wants lots of belly rubbing from us. Gretchen likes belly rubs too, but not as much as Lothar. If I give Gretchen attention it makes Lothar jealous, he barges right in to force the attention on himself. The one place he’s aggressive is when there is one piece of food. He won’t share. He grabs it and is very mean and nasty in sound and appearance if Gretchen tries to share. It’s not as if she’s trying to take it away, mind you. So when their dinner is a big something, I must split it in two, or feed them separately, so that one can tackle it for awhile, then go outside while the other comes in to tackle it for awhile themself.

I’m enjoying having pups. They are nice, sweet, and love to bark at the cats while the cats are eating. The cats eat slowly, the pups eat fast. Makes for puppies wanting what the cats have. But the cats just ignore the pups, since the pups are all bark, and no bite, being penned in.

I’m looking forward for having well trained, sociable dogs.

My biggest problem now is wanting to begin a rescue organization. Just today there was an adult dog with 4 puppies roaming the street. It’s not a dog we recognize as belonging to a neighbor, and it seemed they were roaving up and down behind houses, looking for stuff. The pups looked like they were about 8 weeks old, but neither they nor their supposed Mama would come near me when I called to them. Stray and dumped dogs and cats around here are becoming a huge deal. So, it’s sad that I can’t do what I’d like, have the ability to pick up strays, fix them up and house them until new homes could be found for them. Someday, maybe. For cats too.

Dog Days of Summer –in November?

It’s been hot the last week. Very “un-November-like” Add muggy to it yesterday and today, and understand that I might as well be in a jungle, minus the tropical zap. This kind of hot and humid just is icky and make ones cranky. We are without A/C now too, so that just makes it nearly unbearable for me. I like a nice medium-dry 70 degrees, on the nose. This is anything but that. Plus the house doesn’t get good cross-breeze, not even one good example of it exists here, but one semi-cross-breeze situation exists IF there is a steady wind. πŸ™‚ but really πŸ™

OK, that’s part of the situation. We also had some visitors show up on Nov 1, and they are still here. Two pups, and they go to the vet this afternoon for a checkup. It’s been “fun” to say the least. Heat and pups and a house that is still not organized sufficiently.

We had cleared out the “basement” family room of all junk, so that the pups could be there. Well, it’s not working out. I can’t be there all the time, so accidents aren’t always pre-empted. Night time we crate them. It worked fine the first night. Second day through yesterday there was poop in the crate with them in the morning. After the first time of that, I checked them during the night whenever I would awake on my own, or hear anything out of them. Well, whenever I checked they’d pooped already, or hadn’t pooped. So in either case I sent them out in the yard, and cleaned up if the crate needed cleaned, then put the pups back in the crate after they’d done whatever they did in that dark big yard.

In the case of finding nothing in the crate, wouldn’t you know it, there’d be something there by first light. I have found no way to figure this one out as of yet.

Well last night we had no crate for them. It was really smeared on inside, so I took it outside to hose it off and soak some spots. It was there when it started to rain, and I left it there. It never stopped raining so that I could get it cleaned and dried … so the pups weren’t crated last night. And they wouldn’t sleep at all. They made a racket a few times, and I went down and sent them out to go potty, but they came back quickly. At 3am I went down and stepped in a pile. Ugh. What is it with pups! Ample opportunity to do it outside at night, and they don’t. Well, with two of them, it’s just a bigger bunch of stuff to clean. I see them doing there thing during the day. They are full of it, from all appearances.

We are feeding them raw, but don’t know what they’d been eating up to Saturday morning. They love the chicken and fish we’ve given them thus far. We are geering up for a broader knowledge of raw feeding pups and dogs. We already raw feed the cats.

So today we will get them to the vet to be checked over for health, and hopefully we can determine an age, and to see what they are. They are Shepherd pups, but what kind of a mix, I have not the eye to tell.

I had the hens out in the yard divided by breed. The four Wyandottes were in the Superyard with corrugated metal roofing panels for a lid. The events of last night have brought me to put the Wyandottes back into the big pen with the Leghorns, and bring the Superyard into the kitchen for the pups. I need to keep them by me all day. And they’ll be in the crate all night. They can go into the yard for free time and when they learn to only “do their thing” outside, we can expand their freedom inside bit by bit.

Dogs and Children — obedience training is the similar. We get the lesson from a better point of view this time. These are young pups, just don’t know how Old-Young they are. The children love them, and I look forward to seeing them grow into beautiful adult dogs, good companions. The children too! Having a pup to take care of is stimulating to the environment … gets projects underway to fix things, that push is a welcomed one.

Router troubles fixed

I nearly went mad [crazy] tonight when working with my network Router. I applied a new firmware upgrade, and the whole network went sour. Each computer said it was connected to the network, but not the internet and couldn’t talk to each other nor print on the network printer, though all the lights on the router were right. Alas the worst was, of course, that I couldn’t get into the browser setup for the router, a sure sign of the sourness.

I hooked the DSL modem up to a computer directly and did searching then trying different things. Eventually I started re-starting computers and seeing what was what. Well, on my laptop I could get some of the browser config screens for the router to come up, partially, at times, but usually nothing. On the desktop, nothing would work in the browser.

I tried the re-set button, and finally got that to work. Yeah, right. Just reset to the last firmware, which seemed to be the sourness. It’s not that it was even a “reset” as the last time the network worked it was BEFORE the firmware update.

Mad, mad, mad, thoughts going through my mind all night, I couldn’t eat it was bugging me so much.

So I went back online with that direct connection to the DSL modem, and found a thread on some site, sorry can’t recall what it was, but the subject was my router, Speedstream 2624, and an person said, way down deep in the thread, that with his Linksys router he had to hold down the reset, unplug the unit and keep holding the reset button down, wait 30 seconds, plug it back in … I was too racy-minded to read further. I flew downstairs to where the network stuff is, and tried it, with the ending result being I plugged the router back into the power, and then let go of the reset button a couple of seconds later.

Well all the router lights looked fine, as they did the whole night. Upstairs to where the computers were, I restarted the desktop, and then opened IE and typed in the router IP: 192.168.254.254 and it was there, reset to FACTORY SETTINGS! That old horrid firmware upgrade was vanquished. I had to input all the settings that I had changed the last several months, but that’s alright. It’s nice to start out fresh, and understanding everything first off this time around.

This time I easily got my encryption for my wireless connection set-up in a jiffy. I’m glad to have gone through this whole affair, so now I can write about it and help someone else I hope.

If your router is giving you problems, reset it to Factory Settings. Something in the region of: Hold down your routers reset button continuously, and while doing that unplug the power from the router, and count to 30, then plug the power back in, then let go of the reset button.

Restart your computer if you’ve messed with TCP/IP settings, being sure that you’ve lastly saved the right settings there. [usually to obtain IP automatically]

Open your routers config utility, which often is the browser setting of “http://192.168.254.254”

Re-insert the correct data for your network and internet connection details, and it’a a re-newed setup.

Another fix brought to you by Marysue … I go through it, so that you can find the answers online easier than I did!

Speedstream’s documentation is useless on this. How frustrating it is that companies don’t have good help information about their hardware. I’m glad for the interent and self-publishing. It’s a helpful world!

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