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Friday, October 22, 2021

A Word About Shelters:


 At the loss of Taylor after just 6 weeks our girl Lucy has been in a real funk. She took Taylor's loss very hard and just moped around. We decided that she really needed a canine companion and that she could pick out that companion. Yesterday we went to the shelter in Monte Vista about a 1 1/2 hour drive. We had seen Klaus (above photo) on their web site. When we arrived we asked them to bring Klaus out for a meet and greet. 

Any meet and greet at a shelter is very hard as dozens of dogs are all barking and in this case the neighbor is a vet clinic and the dogs housed there were barking and howling too. Poor Lucy was a nervous wreck and the meeting went okay but all she wanted was to get back in the van. Lucy and Klaus seemed to like each other well enough so we adopted Klaus. 

We have never seen Lucy so happy as she is today and yesterday. Klaus is just as happy and these two were made for each other. We had screened Klaus (age 6-7) carefully and he seemed the perfect fit for Lucy and us. We were right and so far couldn't be more happy for Klaus, Lucy and us. We are not sure of his breed but his attributes are right so we don't care about his breed. He is a sweet gentle boy and he and Lucy get along very well. 

While I was waiting with Klaus in the van along with Lucy I happened to look over and in the corner pen was a small white Pitbull. Seeing that little dog just sitting in the corner hunched over with its head down was heart breaking. It was a young dog and at our ages it would not be good to adopt a young dog but the dejected posture of that dog breaks my heart. It never moved from that spot or changed it's posture while we were there. There is no way we could take that little dejected dog but my heart really breaks for it. 

Any visit to a shelter is emotional and heart breaking. We couldn't save all or part of the dogs there but we could save one and we are happy for that. We can only hope and pray that little white dog finds a home quickly but it appeared so beat down that may not happen. It would be very unfair for us to adopt that little guy and possibly upset the good dynamics of Lucy and Klaus, but that little white dog will make someone a loyal and loving companion for its entire life. It looked like Lucy when Carol adopted her and brought her home and she is perfect in every way. Klaus appears to be the same. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Elk Herd:

This was last week... Appeared to be about 80 in the herd. 
 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Senior Dogs:



 A comment on senior dogs: We just recently lost Taylor and he was the third senior dog we adopted. We only had him 6 weeks, but in that 6 weeks we were rewarded beyond measure. When we adopt a senior dog we never know if we will have them for a week, year or more. We were able to give Taylor a comfortable and safe home, 24/7 attention, and pamper him beyond measure. While we miss him very much we are grateful for the 6 weeks we had him. 

He was able to experience many firsts while he was with us. He slept in memory foam beds which eased the pain on his arthritic bones, he got to explore a back yard that is fenced in with 6' fencing which is safe. He got his first taste of peanut butter which it turned out he really wasn't that wild over. He had donut day which is 2-3 donut holes freshly made. He had a chance to walk down the tractor trail and sniff and explore. He had many new experiences but mostly he had two people who loved and cared for him day and night. 

What we gained from knowing him was priceless. I admired him and his ability to forge on in spite of his painful arthritis. He was a true inspiration. He was on pain meds but he still had pain - we could tell. He would come over to me with those loving eyes and get attention and doggy pats as many times as he wanted. He was with one of us constantly. His prior life may have been bad but his last six weeks were good ones. He turned out to be a real character. He would casually pick up a pillow or something else and take it to his bed and wait for us to come and take it back. 

I don't think any fur family member inspired me as much as Taylor did. He fought through the pain of his severe arthritis without complaint. When he would fall down he would struggle back up and go on. Taylor was truly an ambassador dog for senior German Shepherd dogs everywhere. Until he got very sick he always had a smile and even when he was very sick he would give a little smile. We will miss Taylor and look forward to adopting another senior family member. The senior dog has much to give and we have much to give them. Senior's rock!!!!!! 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Taylor


 Taylor has not eaten for three 1/2 days, and kept getting weaker and would not get up and fought us when we tried to help him up. He has not gone potty for 2 days so this morning we took him to the vet who helped him to his next world at 10:00 AM. He was a character and had a great personality and we enjoyed every minute with him for his 6 weeks with us. It was clear he was not going to improve nor get better. In fact his head tilt became greater and we were sure he was having more strokes. We will truly miss him... 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Taylor Update:

Yesterday was exactly 6 weeks since we adopted Taylor and we did not think we would be making an emergency trip to the vet. We drove through a blizzard to get him there because we thought he may have suffered a stroke. During his exam where the vet agreed that he had a stroke she felt his belly and he showed some sensitivity there. I had her take X-Rays and that showed a fairly large tumor around his spleen. The vet gave us Rx for his upset stomach and said he was not a candidate for surgery. We are hopeful he will make some recovery from his stroke and be with us a long time. 

Even though all his vitals are good, the vet did not think he could take the biopsy procedure so she sent him home to be loved on even more as a hospice patient. Our current problem is he refuses to eat and we are trying to resolve that aspect. He is drinking which is a good sign. We have no idea how much longer Taylor has but as long as he is willing to fight and not give up we are with him 100%.
 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

All About The Sticking Point:

 Check out the latest blog for Mother Earth News about a sticking point. https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/sticking-points/zbcz2110

Yesterday vs Today:

The above photo was yesterday where we were able to be comfortable in a flannel shirt. Below is today where we have 24 degree's,  4"of snow and a blizzard still raging. The 15-20 mph wind makes it uncomfortable even with winter clothes on. 

 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

From The Window:


 As I was feeding Lucy and Taylor tonight I looked out the window and saw a flock of turkeys passing by. They were strung out and I only got the ones at the end of the flock. There was about 12-25 turkeys in the flock..

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Prepared


 Last winter we ended up with 4-5' of hard packed snow that we discovered could only be removed by hand. The property owner across the road from us cleared his lot and there was nothing to stop the drifting snow. It was so hard packed from the sun and the ash blowing in that we were unable to get out of our driveway. 

This year we are putting up a snow fence to hopefully stop the drifting problem. We have the stakes in and next is attaching the drift fence to the posts to stop the drifting. If we can get the equipment operators that clear the snow in the winter to do their job like it should be done we hopefully will have a better winter than last winter. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Changes:

These photos don't need an explanation as the colors are changing, the last two days have been covered in heavy fog so the color change is hard to see. The temperature has dropped and today will be in the mid thirties and the wood stove is putting out the heat. Enough said......



 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Colors Starting To Change:


 The aspen trees are starting to change color. Rain is forecast for next week so most of the leaves will be off the trees. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Another Taylor First


 Taylor experienced another first today. It  was donut day and when we make donut's our fur family members get a couple donut holes. Needless to say Taylor was pretty happy when he got his two donut holes. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Running Behind:::


 Life in the mountains is always a challenge and it can really test you. Sunday we had high winds that were 25 MPH or higher in gusts. It blew down 5 trees and left several leaners. The aspen were live trees which we find sad as they are future firewood. One tree fell down blocking  access to the other end of our property and keeping us from cutting up the down aspen. I had not planned to spend the day cutting up a 15" dead pine tree and also a dead leaning pine but that is what we did. 

I saw a woman on TV say that when the flowers of fireweed reached the top of the stalk that indicated that there was only 6 weeks before winter. Sounds right to me but these intervening events are putting the squeeze on us for getting ready for winter. We still have the snow fencing to put up, the stone work to repair the back wall where we put the door for Taylor, and we still have the snow equipment to get ready. The fireweed lost its flowers two weeks ago and that does not leave much time for getting things done if the saying is correct. 

It will now be a race to the finish to make sure we are ready for winter. When the ground is frozen it is hard to drive 'T' posts for the snow fence. The owner of the property across from us has mulched all his trees so there is nothing to block the wind so that snow fence is important. Last year we were not ready for the drifting so this year we need to be more prepared. Winter is closing in on us fast and once we have snow on the ground anything left undone will remain that way until next spring. Life in the mountains seems to test us at every turn. 


Taylor At Three Weeks:

 It was three weeks today that we adopted Taylor. He is already such a blessing and has fit in our family perfectly. In that time we have learned his ways and he has learned ours. He has tasted peanut butter for the first time - he had no idea what it was at first. He has been on a diet and has lost 2-3 lbs. He has gone for a walk in the woods, managed the two steps into the house even though he uses the door on ground level. For an senior dog he has really picked up on so many things and we have as well. We couldn't ask for a better fur family companion. 


Friday, September 17, 2021

Adoption Rewards:

 

Taylor loves the back yard, the house and now is actually feeling his freedom. We can tell because he lays anywhere he wants. He has his bed which came with him that he likes to sleep in at night which is at the bottom of my bed. He has two other beds which are 6" thick memory foam. It is such a pleasure to see him actually enjoy his surroundings and see his personality and spirit shine forth. He was well cared for at the shelter but his demeanor now is truly uplifting. 

We discovered in his 11 years that he has never experienced peanut butter. Taylor is such a sweet boy and it is terrible to think he never experienced peanut butter on a dog biscuit. He did not know what to do with it, but reject it, until he discovered that we were giving it to him. It was exciting for us to see him finally experience the joy of peanut butter. We took him on a short walk down the tractor trail and he checked out every inch of the trail, head up, alert and he walked right with me on leash. 

Having spent his life in a back yard in a hole he dug, everything good in a dogs life is new to him. It gives us joy to see him finally live a happy life and to just be a family member that is loved and a major part of our family. 


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Ear Licking Day


 Click on photo to enlarge it. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Coyote


 The trail camera caught something other than deer and elk this time. A coyote passing through...

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Tongue Out


 Taylor joining tongue out Sunday.  Learning more about Taylor each day and he has a terrific personality and German Shepherd stubbornness. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

One Week With Taylor


 For the uninitiated on adopting from a shelter there are certain things you need to know. If the shelter will provide the history and their observations it is important. We have had Taylor for one week and fortunately the shelter did have his history and provided it to us. 

Taylor was a backyard dog with little human interaction and from what we can tell no basic obedience training. He does go potty outside but that is most likely because the shelter allowed him to have a small room to stay in. So knowing Taylors past we also knew what to expect. 

At 11 years old and having no parameters in his life we will start training from ground zero. So far we have noticed he likes to chew and eat parts of Lucy's bed, he has no dinner manners and tries to get our food. Also we are trying to get him into our routine and he has not fully adjusted to his name given by the shelter. 

We took him to the vet within three days of adoption and he is healthy.  We want to keep him that way and that includes keeping him from eating things that can harm him. Because he has arthritis in his rear legs he is not suitable for crate training. He needs an area to move around without being confined to a crate. 

He does not and probably has never heard the word 'no'. Training from ground zero is a challenge but we are up for it. He has a great disposition and needs to gently be brought into our family. We prefer bean bag training which is nothing more than when he does something wrong we toss the bean bag near but not on him to distract.  It is a non physical non threatening form of training. 

We can tell he is very intelligent and he should pick up on the don'ts pretty quickly. We also use his name often so he will learn his name. Some people would not adopt a senior dog with a disability like Taylor. I find this sad because he has a great personality and as soon as we are able to teach him basic manners and parameters he will find life is much better than anything he has ever experienced. He will be more content, and realize he is a valued member of the family and loved. 

I don't even think of how much he doesn't have but how much more he has in store for him. How much he can benefit from. We just need to keep him safe from things that could hurt him until he can be more trusted. Lucy is a good indicator as she tells us his needs. She is a vital key in understanding Taylor and his needs.  

Trail Camera:

 Deer and Elk are getting ready for winter season. The elk are bugling on a regular basis now.






Saturday, September 4, 2021

Pretty Flowers:


 I have no idea what kind of flowers these are but the yellow ones close up at night and open to a little yellow cup during the day. They are right out front of our house so I see them each day. 


Friday, September 3, 2021

Taylor Day Three:

 

Taylor in the bottom photo was at the shelter. There was no vitality in his eyes but today - day three- he has a totally different expression. We have found out Taylor is a senior rascal for sure. Night before last I was sleeping and felt my head move. Taylor was pulling the pillow out from under my head. Today Carol had laid a pillow case on the chair and went to make a wood fire as she wanted to dry clothes inside as it was cold and damp outside. When she went to get the pillow case Taylor had reduced it to three pieces. 
We took Taylor to the vet yesterday as he had just totally crashed the day before. He got a very thorough physical and he is in very good health but need to lose about 10-12 lbs. When we got home again he realized this was  his real forever home I could see his countenance change right before my eyes. After putting the new door in at a considerable cost today he was watching me work out back. With Carol being with him he actually explored the entire back yard and then wanted to come in through the door where he has to come up two steps. We let him in and he went right up the steps. We were amazed. Perhaps it was due to having his Rx changed or maybe it was just that he knew he was home now. 

If any readers are reluctant to adopt an older dog. I would say look at Taylor... he is the perfect example of what an older dog can do for your life. He has had us laughing for three days, he has pushed himself to heights he has not been able to achieve before and he has shown us much love and devotion already in those three days. He is now getting the long awaited loving home he deserves so much and he has already found a very special place in my heart. Taylor is a real character and we love him just like he is.   

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Taylor A Happy Ending:


 I had previously done a blog about Taylor and the sad fact we couldn't adopt him because all entrances to our cabin had steps and he could not handle steps with his weak back legs. Well we didn't give up and we figured out how he could come live with us. The photo shows him settling into our home as we went and picked him up today.

We put our thinking caps on to find a way we could adopt Taylor. We finally figured out that we could take a window out of the back of our cabin and frame in a door and it would be level for him with no steps. It took us two weeks to get the door in, pour a concrete pad that was level, remove the stone work from the back of the room, dig out the large rocks and shovel and rake the back to make it level so he could navigate the back yard. 

We finally got it done and today brought him home. He is not only a very happy boy but a sweet bot too. He is big and just a real gentle giant of a family member. At 11 years old and with weak back legs he is checking out the house and sniffing everything and learning the layout. In a few weeks he will be totally settled in. 

The link to Taylor's story:https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/the-story-of-taylor-zbcz2109

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Early Fall?


 Are we experiencing an early fall this year. Normally we have this weather late September or October. Woke up to 44 degrees this morning which is good weather for sleeping, All the indicators say we are going to have an early fall if the bugs, birds and animals are any indication. 

We have already had snow at the high elevations and that is virtually unheard of mid August. One thing about living in the mountains is that you can never figure out the weather or seasons. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Colorado

 

No snow here yet but it was 47 degrees this morning and at 10:00 AM it has warmed all the way up to 55 degrees. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Nice Buck

Taken by out trail camera recently.  


 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Mama and triplets


 On our way to the post office this morning a mother deer with triplets crossed the road. Couldn't get the camera in action fast enough and only captured two little fawns in spots. It is a concern as  people tend to speed up and down that road putting the babies in danger. 

Perfect Sleeping Weather

 


Friday, August 13, 2021

Keeping Equipment Safe:

I noticed two men who seemed interested in my trailer which was about 100 yards from the house. I therefore moved it to where if anyone would try to steal it they would be heard. Even here in the mountains living remote there are those who would take your things without hesitation. 
 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Taylor The Ambassidor Dog

 

Taylor the shelter dog has been at the "no kill" shelter for over 10 months. The shelter has not recovered from the shelter in place order due to the pandemic. They had scant volunteers to begin with and due to Covid 19, they had fewer but the dogs in need kept coming in and they did not have the ability to find them loving homes. Check out the article and click on the link at the end of the details pertaining to the shelter to see more about them and how to contact them if you are in need of a dog. This is a very worthy cause. www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/taylor-the-shelter-dog-zbcz2108

Don't Mess With Mama:

 When I got up this morning I looked out the front window as is my custom to see if anything was going on. I noticed a doe deer standing across the road intently looking down the mountain. I waited to see what she was looking at and as I waited I noticed a baby fawn right near her but it had not moved and was being very still. All to far away to get a photo. After several minutes with the mother being on high alert she suddenly took off down the mountain.

I couldn't see what she was after but a couple minutes later she came back and took her little fawn in the opposite direction.  Then I noticed two coyotes heading away from where she had gone. Clearly they did not want to mess with mama and for good reason. They had been following her and she was aware of it and had led her fawn to a safe place and sent a message to the coyotes that they fully understood. 

We have only seen this behavior one other time when we were out for a walk and saw a coyote running for its life. A doe was right behind it and overtook the coyote and pounced on the coyote with all four hooves. At one point in the attack the coyote flipped up in the air upside down about 8' high. The mama went back to her baby and it was all the coyote could do to limp off and stay upright. If that coyote lived I bet it never went after another baby when it was with the mama. We have seen this scenario  play out two times in 24 years and both times the coyote ended up on the short end of the stick. 

I would love to have gotten that on video but it was to far away and partly out of sight. 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Taylor:


 Watch for my new blog for Mother Earth News about the ambassador dog - Taylor.....