In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Resident and Visiting Doggies

Kylie, the Pomeranian, is the smallest, yet oldest resident dog. She is struggling at 11-12 with a collapsing trachea and is on two medicines a day. It's managed for now, but not sure how long it will help. What she lacks in brains, she makes up for in personality. She has never met a human or animal that she doesn't like. She isn't jealous of other dogs getting any attention, which goes a long ways around here!

When she starts her coughing routines, even the dogs were initially alarmed. Now we are all used to it and barely look up. Visitors are often alarmed though!

Next up is Fiona, the sheep-herding dog that flunked from duty and was given to us by friends. She is seven and  is truly a princess. She manages to go out to the barn and chase hawks, but come back to the house with her paws still clean. She wasn't jealous until we got Montana, but now anytime Montana or Alaska come for petting, she rushes between us and them. 

Next up is Montana and Alaska. I think most people are familiar with their story, so I'll recap quickly. When I saw Montana advertised on Marketplace as a "used dog", I decided to rescue her. Alei and I made the trip three days before Christmas across the state to bring her home. Within days, she jumped the fence and ran away. We searched for three days,  found her, and worked towards an electric fence that gave her a large area. About a week after finding her, I noticed that she appeared to be getting swollen in the belly and feared she was pregnant. A week later, she started delivering puppies in the barn in the 10 degree unusually cold weather,  the night before we were leaving for our family vacation to Disney World. 

James carried her in the basement against her will between puppies 2 and 3 or 3 and 4. I delivered the final 9th puppy that was stillborn at 1:30 a.m. and had to get up by 3:30 to leave for Florida. I left an un-potty trained horse-dog in the basement, that would run away if allowed, with 8 new puppies for my sister and a friend to care for. To say they were busy that week was an understatement. I had also delivered about six goats earlier in the week, which had little sweat-shirts and heat lamps to keep them warm in the barn! 

It was a long 8 weeks of puppies, the mess was unbelievable, the smell was horrific, but it's a fun memory looking back. We adored them and we kept the "'biggest" boy, although there were three such large ones, that I have no idea if Alaska ended up being the same puppy as we first picked out!

They are now four and turning three in January and truly fun to own. The hair is it's own blog, lets just say I have a few of the best vacuums on the market!

Montana is fiercely loyal to me. Although she is scared of men she doesn't know, she will not ever let me go outside without her faithfully by my side. Alaska is a big baby, like really big, and loves everyone!

Alaska loves walking, but this is the first time we talked Montana past the electric fence with her collar off. She enjoyed our four mile walk also. Fiona slips the collar over her head at every chance, because she wants to go, but not on a leash. 

Now, if it were just my four dogs, it would be all reasonable.... for the most part. However, I have daughters that live local, come often and always bring their dogs. First of all, we have Lucca. Lucca belongs to Alei and comes five days a week for day-care. He is pretty good with the routine and has a bark that would keep anyone from ever coming in uninvited. He may be tied for the most spoiled dog I've ever known....

His competition would be Moriah's dog, Winchester. The Winchester story is very entertaining, but the short story is that he belonged to Moriah's boss and Winnie decided over time that he liked Moriah better and demanded to leave with her each day. At first, everyone fought it, but Winnie was persistent and is now officially Moriah and Chris' dog and the boss' family got a new dog. Winchester doesn't believe he is equal with the other dogs and sits politely at the table next to Moriah at meals. 

Honestly, it all seemed manageable at this point BUT then Alyssa and her family got a rescue puppy, Keanu. Keanu is a sweet boy, but a serious chicken killer so we always have to verify that he isn't coming over if we let the chickens out. Keanu loves coming over, and seemed depressed when they took him home; so when he turned one, Alyssa and JP went and got Keanu a sister, a black lab puppy named Reese. Reese also loves coming over, but still loves peeing on the floor, and chewing any shoes left on the porch. So, we are just patiently waiting to get past the puppy stage, so we can have all eight dogs in the house - won't that be fun? 

Reese has grown, but she is still all puppy! 

It's all fun until Oliver naps.....then they all are banned to the great outdoors to keep the barking from waking Oliver up ....and inevitably the UPS driver drives up. While about three of us run around the truck telling them to all stop barking, that is the moment you know they leave shaking their heads and go home to tell their spouses about the crazy people with all the dogs. 

This of course doesn't include Diesel and Waffles that live in the Northwest with Gabriel and Alayna, but one day will move east again! 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Kitties

Corona has left the local spay and neuter clinics way behind and there are an abundance of unwanted cats this summer. While I usually have a few rescues I take in, spay or neuter, and find a home for, this year there have been 19! And our "keep" population blossomed from 2 to 6. 

This is Kaden and Tally - original barn cats that were dumped as kittens at the end of the driveway over 12 years ago! They are doing well, but not the mousers that they used to be! I decided that one night when a mouse ran across my foot and neither of them got up. 

The first to stay new barn cat was Twilight. I live-trapped her at the CVS where she had been eating out of the garbage for a month. Once I got her home, I could tell she had kittens and went searching for them. Turns out she had them behind Tractor Supply across the street, nursed them and the employees had a cat rescue come get them. Twilight tamed nicely and is very appreciative of her warm bed and full food bowl. She concerned me how often she wasn't to be found around the barn, but sticks around more now thanks to her friends.

George and Martha were brother and sister from the Amish farm that I had another cat from that I wanted to keep. They were feral and the only two of six they could catch. After kenneling for two weeks, and spaying and neutering, they get along well with Twilight and are the most active, fun kitties we have ever had. They are all bunking in the back of the barn, so Kaden and Tally don't have to share their "area", although they are intermingling pretty well now. They all actually getting along well with all the dogs also. 

Meanwhile, we did not plan on any more house cats, but along came Buddy. I think I wrote about him before, but he has moved into our home and our hearts and is pretty special. I'm thankful we intervened when he was going to be put down for "behavior problems." 

Buddy has gotten a bit braver and goes into the backyard now. He loves the screened in porch, but prefers the door be left cracked so he can come and go at his convenience. 

We are pretty happy with the new kitties - 



Our newest situation is that when I get up at 7 am, George and Martha are waiting at the back door. They just need their morning greeting and pet. At first, once we went out to do chores, they would follow and hang out back at the barn where they are supposed to live. The last few days, however, they follow us back and head around to the screened in porch. Buddy conveniently ripped the screen on the door, so they can all come and go. I also can't leave the door to the inside open, or they come right inside. Pretty impressive for feral, Amish kittens! Buddy is less than impressed, but they have taken over the couch.