We went from a record setting late frost a couple weeks ago to a record setting 104° earlier this week! Needless to say, I haven’t spent much time out in the garden these last few days. So in the absence of “new” things happening, I thought I’d slowly start introducing some of the critters we have here on our little farmstead.
HOSS is our largest dog, although he’s not as large as his name might imply. His name was given to him by the manager of our local Tractor Supply (TSC) where he was dumped as a puppy. Hubby and I went in to pick up some supplies one December a couple years ago and the manager, Brad, just HAD to mention this poor 6-8 week old puppy they had discovered living on the front covered area of the store. The employees had been feeding him some dog biscuits from a busted box, but the poor fella really needed to find a home! Well it just so happens that this day we were out shopping was my birthday…
I managed to convince Brad that it would cost him a 20 pound bag of puppy food for me to take our new farmhand, HOSS, home! Hubby and Brad agreed and I had an adorable puppy! The PLAN was for HOSS to live in the goat yard and be a mutt-version of a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) . This PLAN worked for a few months, while he was still small, but once he was as big as the goats he wanted to wrestle and play with them too much. He just didn’t understand that he couldn’t grab them by the neck or leg to entice them to play with him… So we went back to TSC, this time to purchase a $250 10′ X 10′ kennel! Word to the wise… there is NO SUCH THING as a FREE ANIMAL!
Seriously, I’ve worked in veterinary offices, and as a professional pet-sitter, for many years, so I already knew what the first year of a puppy’s life costs in proper vet care: monthly vaccinations, worming, heartworm preventative, flea control, spaying/neutering, etc… These can easily add up to almost $1,000 in the first twelve months! We are fortunate in that we have always been able to get a voucher from the Taylor-Jones Humane Society over in Abilene which greatly reduced the coast of sterilization surgeries! The vet in Eastland that I’ve used for all of our animals since we moved here, is also the ONLY vet in our area that works with them and takes their vouchers! We have paid for all of our K-9 and Felines spays this way. If you cannot afford to PROPERLY care for an animal, don’t get them. Love is not enough – period.
Love almost wasn’t enough to SAVE poor HOSS after he killed my entire flock of laying hens a couple years ago… But I’ll save THAT story for another time!