Thursday, April 23, 2015


Sadly, not chickens for myself. Yesterday, I celebrated Earth Day by picking up chickens for my sister and getting a temporary coop set up for them. They have a large coop that needs a few repairs before it is chicken-ready, so these birds get to just live in a run with a few covered boxes as houses.

The pullets I picked up are a variety.

I picked up four Olive Eggers. These are all white or white with black spots and lay eggs that range from light green to a deep, dark olive green. They might even throw the occasional blue egg. There is no way to know for sure until they start laying. They are 10 weeks old right now, so should be laying sometime in July.

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This was taken while we were transferring the pullets one by one into the new coop from the dog crate in my car that they rode in for the trip. The dog kennel had to be hosed out and scrubbed, of course!

I also got two English mottled/jubilee Orpingtons. They are the oldest of the lot, at 11 weeks old. They produce light tan to off white eggs, and are probably going to be the largest of the chickens.

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These are the most distinct and colorful of the pullets we picked up, as well as the largest and oldest.

The seventh chicken I picked up is an Icelandic. She is a light tan color, but this breed apparently comes in a huge color variety. We named her Hawk.

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This Icelandic is under watch just in case she is actually a roo rather than a hen.

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She has such an attitude, and a really fun poofy crown of feathers, so we are hoping she is a girl. 

And of course, I had to stick around and get some pictures of the chickens after we got them all set up in their temporary coop. They seemed to be having fun eating grass, leftover foodstuff from the kitchen, and some chicken food. And of course drinking water. Chickens are super cute when they drink water.

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Gossiping around the water cooler

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Hawk really isn't this bad tempered, I promise!

They also had a few disagreements here and there, resulting in lots of flapping.

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Some wing flapping while they figure out the pecking order in this new set up.

Overall, though, all of the chickens seemed happy in their new digs. Hopefully they stay happy! Their new coop should be done in the next month or so, and then they will have even more room to enjoy. Happy chickens produce more eggs!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Koira's Eyelid Surgery, and a General Update

Last week on Wednesday, Koira went into the vet to have a small tumor removed from her eyelid. It was tiny, and eyelid tumors are almost always benign, but due to placement, the tumor had to be removed before it damaged her eye. I'm really bummed I didn't notice the eyelid tumor before she had her dental last month, since it would have been nice to have both things taken care of at once, rather than having Koira put under anesthesia twice in such a short period. But things happen, and it needed to be taken care of.

Koira went in for surgery at 7:45, I was called at 9 by the vet saying she was out of surgery and doing good, and picked her up at 11:30. Overall, a really quick procedure that went smoothly. Koira has some stitches in her eyelid, and is going to have them removed after ten days (which is this upcoming Saturday). In the mean time, it is antibiotics in her eye twice a day, and a cone to keep her from scratching or rubbing the eye and ripping her stitches out.

I spent this past weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, at Barn Hunt Regionals in St. Helens, OR as the official photographer.


This meant a really busy, but fun, weekend of dog sports and dog sport people. The dogs came along and stayed in the car while I photographed the event, since the drive and hours were long enough that they couldn't stay at home, and I didn't feel comfortable having someone else, even my mom, take care of Koira with her eyelid stitches and antibiotic requirements twice a day. Koira ended up wearing a combination of a classic cone and a device called a "bite-not collar" that is basically a cervical collar that prevents the dog from bending their neck very much. The combination was needed to keep Koira from rubbing her face on things, which she could do with the cone alone, or from scratching her face, which should could with the bite not collar alone. It was cumbersome and annoying to both of us, and she kept managing to pop her cone off by getting stuck up against things. Overall, though, she did just fine waiting in the car.

One of the cute little ratties at Barn Hunt. Of course, this picture was taken in the Rat Pit area, away from the rings and away from the dogs. 

Since getting home on Sunday, I've been busy editing the photos from Regionals, trying to get everything up and available for people to purchase. Along with the normal wanting good sales because I spent a lot of time and effort to get the pictures, and believe they are good, I am hoping for good purchases from this event to help pay for Koira's back-to-back surgeries, since it wasn't cheap. But we do what we have to for our dogs.

On Friday, I got fed up with Koira's cone situation, which was horrible for both of us, and I thought that there must be a better way. I perused Google Image Search some and came across something that looked perfect, basically a face sheild for dogs. So I spent some more time locating the name of the product, finding somewhere in the US that sells them, and then debating if it was really worth it. But I took the plunge and purchased Koira an Optivisor for dogs, with the hope that this single product would be able to replace the cone and bite-not collar, and would be more comfortable for Koira to wear while her eye heals. She will need the eye protected still for at least 2-3 days after the stitches come out, to give time for the places the stitches were to heal.

Koira chewing on a toy in the yard, wearing the Optivisor to protect her eyelid stitches

I got the Optivisor in the mail on Wednesday and put it on Koira right away. We had some initial problems with her wanting to rub her face and paw at it, so I set out for our walk with both the optivisor and her cone (but not the bite-not collar) to keep her from messing with it. By the time we got to our friend's house to pick her up for our walk, I felt comfortable taking the cone off, and Koira spent the next hour with just the optivisor on. Even on a leashed walk, I don't feel comfortable letting her have no cone or something to protect the stitches, because even just one swipe with a front foot could be enough to catch and pull out a stitch, which could cause some pretty serious issues, now and potentially long term given the placement we're talking about.

Now that Koira has been wearing the optivisor for 24 hours, I feel comfortable saying that it is so worth it. It is so much better than a cone, because she isn't running into things, she can go out the door without hitting the doorway, curl up in her round bed, get into and out of her crate, or even come up on my bed with me, all things that she couldn't do with the cone on, at least, not easily. She is still attempting to rub her face on things like the beds some, but stopped pawing to get the optivisor off. And, while I do my best to keep her from rubbing her face on things with verbal corrections and treats for leaving it alone, and physically preventing her from doing so if those don't get her to stop, I feel that it is less likely to hurt her eye or pull stitches. The inside of the optivisor is smooth plastic, afterall, so there isn't anything to catch a stitch on. As long as she isn't allowed to rub and rub and rub on it, I feel like it is not going to cause problems. The optivisor will certainly be staying in our medical supplies for future use after this. Eyelid tumors are known to recur, and who knows when I might want this thing in the future for other issues.

Plus, dogs in visors are immensely amusing, are they not?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring is Upon Us

Our famous Oregon rain finally arrived this year. Our winter was weirdly dry and sunny, which was enjoyable in the moment, but made everyone worry about drought. The past few weeks now, though, we've been trying to make up for the rest of the dry winter. Between the sun to make things grow and the rain to green things up, Oregon is pretty officially in spring now.

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Stoic faces
The park we like to go to has gravel and dirt trails through the woods, as well as a paved path through the sports fields. As of the beginning of April, the sports fields are off limits to off leash dogs. Baseball, softball, soccer, and other sports are starting up, and they both don't want dogs interfering during practices and games, and don't want irresponsible people with off leash dogs letting their dogs poop on the sport fields and then not pick it up. I totally understand, since I wouldn't want to be running to catch a fly ball and slip in a big pile of dog poop. But the long and short of it is that if we want to walk off leash, we have to hit the trails.

The vegetation everywhere has been growing like crazy, and greening up with all our rain. This path was mostly dead and brown even just a couple weeks ago (though I hear that dead and brown in Oregon is still greener than a lot of places in the world).

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When we go off leash to the sports fields in the winter, the dogs spend a lot of time running, chasing each other, and wrestling. Pallo loves to roll in the grass and grunt. Sometimes we bring toys and spend some time playing fetch in the open fields.

The trails are different. With the exception of one trail, they are all pretty narrow, lined with heavy woods, and mostly covered by trees above. Instead of running and wrestling, the dogs tend to spend time trotting down the trail, sniffing in the brush, and looking for squirrels. I feel like it takes longer to get the dogs tired this way, but that when we do get back to the car, they have worked both physically and mentally, what with all the sniffing and squirrel hunting.

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Pallo was too busy sniffing to come back when I stopped for a picture. 

As a plus side, the trees over the trails makes it easier to walk there in the rain without getting totally soaked. These photos are from our walk earlier this week. This particular day had rolling thunderstorms. It would be clear and sunny for a bit, then the heavy clouds would come in, and it would pour. Then it would clear up, then the clouds would roll in, and it would pour, rinse, repeat.

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Classic Oregon greenery and trees
If you look close in the photo above, you can see that where Koira is standing in the sun is also being rained on. It stayed sunny for the rest of our walk from this point, but it kept raining. But that's okay. I've always said I live in Oregon for the green, and the price we have to pay for that is rain. I'll pay it gladly. A little rain never hurt anyone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Happy April, and Happy Birthday

I just want to say happy April first. And also Happy Birthday to my little man Pallo, who turns 6 today.
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