Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12:25 PM

The Yule Goat

12/17/2013 10:19:00 AM
Mocha Playing the Part of the Yule GoatIt’s been about two years since I first got my goats, so when I learned about the Yule Goat (or buck), I was intrigued. It appears that goats have been a part of Scandinavian Yule tradition longer than Christianity and have been incorporated into Christmas celebrations. Yule was basically — and still is with neo-pagans — a celebration of the winter solstice.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/the-yule-goat-zbcz1312.aspx#ixzz2nr8daqKb

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Barn Thieves

10:42 AM
12/11/2013
Annie, my escape artistI had fed and watered the goats and was now collecting eggs from the chickens when I heard a rattle. It sounded like the doorknob to the back door of the barn. Suddenly, the door was flung wide open and in came eight goats. Before I could get out of the chicken pen, the goats everywhere in the barn. Belle flipped open the grain bin and was merrily munching on sweet feed. The rest of the goats were stationed along the hay bale stacks and were pulling mouthfuls of hay out of the hay bales....

READ MORE

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hunting

7:45 PM


Hunting season has passed and now we're in a nasty cold stint.  Hunting season in Montana is somewhere around the last part of October through the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It's good we had that long, too, because it proved to be a tough hunting season.


Long story short, a favorite place where we hunted is now closed to vehicle traffic.  It just made hunting ten times harder, plus the lack of road traffic has allowed noxious weeds to flourish like never before.  We didn't see many hunters out there and the weird weather made hunting challenging.  Last year with El Nino, we had tons of snow.  This year, the National Weather Service called for "equal chances," meaning we were between El Nino and La Nina, and a mixed bag would ensue.  That meant for this season, we had a mix of cold and warm days, some with rain or snow, but with very little accumulation.

For the hunter, that sucks.  Tracking animals is a nightmare, and finding the ones you shot stupidly difficult.  The roads accumulated ice to the point where we couldn't go hunt everywhere we wanted to.  In the end, I filled my antlerless tag with a small buck and my husband got a spiker with his regular deer tag.  My regular deer tag, both elk tags, and bear tags remained unfilled.  Still, I suspect we were luckier than others.

The last day of the season was nasty.  Snow and freezing rain pelleted us as we looked for signs of animals.  The only sign we saw was tracks from a buck who went onto private land and tracks from a mountain lion that were as big as my fist.  Both tracks were made within the hour.

We have interesting stories: how my husband had a moose and calf get curious, missing good shots, the taunting grouse, among others.  We would've liked more meat in the freezer, but this will have to do, along with butchering goat wethers this winter.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Day, or a Reason to be Thankful

12:35 AM
Today is Thanksgiving, and nowadays, I have quite a bit to be thankful for.  One thing I am thankful for is that my injuries sustained in the horse leaping off a 30 foot hill incident weren't more severe, and that I have friends who donated toward my medical expenses who helped me pay for them.

We've been spending most of the month hunting.  Unfortunately, we have little to show for it except a small buck.  But from what I understand, we may be lucky. 

We slaughtered and butchered our own turkey: a heritage tom turkey.  We had the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, maple and pecan sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney, and rolls.  My MIL brought a peach pie and we had bought a cherry pie.  I gave up making salad  because we had so much to eat.  And yes, it was fantastic. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dehydrating Potatoes

12:45 AM
I chanced into a bunch of potatoes (30 lbs), and so I decided to dehydrate them instead of putting them in cold storage.  My reasons are varied, but basically I got tired of watching my spuds sprout and turn to mush.  So, I tried dehydrating potatoes.  It went remarkably well.

One thing I learned about dehydrating spuds is that you must blanch them before putting them in the dehydrator.  This is because potatoes turn a nasty black otherwise.  Blanching is easy but a bit time consuming.  You need to slice the spuds into half inch slices and then throw them in a pot with 1 inch of boiling water.  When the potatoes are heated through (not cooked), they're ready for the dehydrator.

I put them in the dehydrator at 145 degrees Fahrenheit and let them dry for about a day.  (Your mileage may vary).  Basically, you want them crisp and without any dampness.  They turned out amazing.  I put them in quart mason jars and put them in the refrigerator for maximum freshness.

One thing I didn't do was peel my potatoes, even though I read several places which said to peel them.  I wonder what the rationale is, other than removing the peel for people who don't like peels.  My thought?  A good portion of the nutrition is in the peel, hence, I keep them on.  It doesn't seem to ruin the end result at all.

Now, when I want potatoes au gratin, scalloped potatoes, or potatoes to go into a casserole, all I have to do is reach for my dehydrated potatoes.  They're ready for me.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why You Really Don't Want a Billy Goat

8:20 PM
“Oreo is tearing up the pen again.” That had been my constant whine when Oreo, my buck goat, decided that being in the main goat pen was boring. He had put four major holes in the stout chain link fencing even though he had access to all the does. It was the main reason we finally put together a buck pen and stuck him in it.

I would’ve called this post “Why You Really Don’t Want a Buck,” but I was afraid newbies may be thinking I meant deer or rabbits when in fact I mean goats. The word “Billy” to describe an unneutered male goat or buck is derogatory and few who are serious into goats use that term.
We put Oreo into the buck pen none too soon. His daughter, Mocha, was getting close to breeding age and his does would be ready to breed again.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/billy-goats-zbcz1311.aspx#ixzz2l3dhMNjG

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Easy Goat’s Milk Cheese: Queso Blanca

11:33 AM
I love goats’ milk.  That is, fresh goats’ milk.  Not the nasty stuff you buy in stores.  Goats’ milk is
like the very best cows’ milk with sugar added.  It’s sweet and creamy, and not at all “goaty.” If the milk tastes “off,” the milk is spoiled, the goat has a health problem, or the goat is one of those breeds such as Toggenburgs that produces strong milk for goat cheese.  I remember when I first milked Annie after her owner traded me her for four chickens.  I had read goat’s milk was tasty, but until I tasted it, I really didn’t know what I was missing.  My husband was hesitant at first but when he tasted the milk, he became an instant advocate.  Yes, it’s that good.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Milk Goat Breeds for Pets

7:52 PM
Looking for Milk Goat Breeds? Check Out These Popular Ones.

Milk goats have often been described as the "poor man's cow." Now they're considered more sustainable than cows and more environment-friendly; they cost less to keep, and produce between a quart to a gallon of milk a day, depending on the breed. What's more, they make great pets, as they're friendly and outgoing. Here are some of the breeds to consider if you're looking for dairy goats.

READ MORE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm a Mother Earth News Blogger!

3:28 PM
Great news!  I'm now officially a Mother Earth News Blogger!  That means I'll be blogging a lot more and you'll hear more about my goat adventures.  So without further ado, here is my current blog on Mother Earth News:

The phone rang at 10:00pm.

Small Dairy Goat
“You still want that goat?” the voice said.

“Uh, yeah,” I said, wondering why the person had called me so late. “I’m really not interested in buying the kid.”

“That’s okay,” she said. “I’ll trade you the nanny for some chickens.”

Read more:  
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Drying Herbs and a Lost Summer

2:37 PM
With the accident, I found that my summer was pretty much lost.  Despite this, my zucchini still grew, my cucumbers didn't grow, and a bunch of stuff didn't survive the heat.

Sigh.

One thing that did take off were my herbs.  With autumn here, I had to make a decision what to do with them all.  Luckily, a store around here helped me make that decision.  I got the  Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker for half price because the packaging was damaged, but nothing else was.

I had wanted to dry herbs using a dehydrator after doing it by various means, including hanging the herbs and letting the airflow dry them.  But a dehydrator is so much easier, quicker, and convenient.  An added bonus is that the herbs don't lose their color from drying the way that hanging them does.

For years I resisted buying a dehydrator because of the cost.  Paying $75 or more for something that basically does what air drying and a stove can do seemed extravagant.  Now that I see what the dehydrator will do, I'm sold.

One thing I must do is mark what is being dried.  Herbs look all the same when dried, so I had to taste them to tell the difference between mint and oregano.  Next time, I'll be more clever.  I dried oregano, mint, marjoram, thyme, parsley, rosemary and tarragon.  I'm going to see if the basil in my fridge is any good and dry that.

Most herbs require being dried somewhere between 12 and 24 hours, with the exception of thyme and marjoram which supposedly need only 1 to 3 hours.  According to the dehydrator, they needed to be at 105F, which the dehydrator does handily.  I pulled them out this morning and tested the herbs for doneness.  Some, like the cilantro, needed more time.  Others were dry and ready to be put up in airtight containers.  They claim they do best in cool, dark places, so I'm going to have to put them away someplace that meets that requirement.

If it all works out, I've just discovered a way to avoid buying certain herbs.  While they aren't as expensive as they used to be, it gives me a greater value when I can just dry my own.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Western Tanagers, Churl Horses and Apple Trees

10:15 PM
The other day we went riding and to our delight saw a brightly yellow-colored bird with yellow bars on its black wings and red on its head.  After searching the web, I found out it was a Western Tanager-- a pretty cool looking bird with almost tropical colors and a song that we've heard quite a bit around here.  They're bug eaters in the summer, which makes them ideal for keeping pests down.

Our horses have been difficult.  My horse, Rocket, tends to go from surly and disobedient to okay, depending on any number of things.  First, Rocket had a tendon injury.  We then discovered that she needed shoes, which changed her attitude from slow and surly to fast and surly.  Then, we had to buy hay cubes because we ran out of hay and none was to be had for any price in Montana, so Rocket had gas on the hay cubes which made her cranky.  Then, Scarlet had sore feet, so she needed shoes.  With all that, the girls have been slow on their mileage and have decided to pull the same shenanigans as last year before they got good mileage under their belt. 

My plan for self-sufficiency is slowly taking hold.   The garden is doing okay, and I bought a blueberry bush and two semi-dwarf apple trees for fruit.  The apple trees are a Macintosh and a honey crisp.  I had wanted to get two honey crisps, but the guy at the nursery explained that I want  different varieties for cross pollination for better fruit.  So, I got two trees that would work for us.

My entryway to the house looks like a garden with a bunch of plants in pots and the two apple trees.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gardening and Heat Waves

3:09 PM
It's no secret that I hate the heat, so hearing that we were going to have 100 degree weather made me wish I were someplace else--like Antarctica.  Even so, my neighbor loaned me her rototiller and I set to work on my garden.

Until now, we really haven't had weather that would support a garden.  Cold and rainy.  Now it's hot and dry.  I still have a bunch of plants that need to go into the ground, but I got the main garden in.  Some notes as to what I planted:

Eggplant: I love eggplant, especially in Asian stir fry.  I put a whopping 6 Asian eggplants in.
Sweet peppers: 2 plants but I have one I still need to plant.
Tomatoes: 2 in the garden; 2 in containers.
Thyme: orange thyme (yum!).
Tomatillos: 4 of these.  Yes, I love salsa verde!
Cinnamon basil: Amazing stuff!  Planted 2.
Genovese basil: I have plants I still have to put in the ground.  I want pesto, dammit!!
Lettuce: romaine, butter, red leaf, and mixed varieties.  I don't know if they'll survive the heat.
Purple kale:  Surprisingly, this has been very hardy, despite my poor handling.
Cucumber: I've planted one pickle plant.  I haven't had good luck with these.  We'll see.
Strawberries: 8 everbearing types.  I'm hoping these guys with add to the group with runners.
Watermelon: I picked one up on sale.  No clue how it will do.
Zucchini: Yep, got to have one. 
Potatoes: I planted 8 seed potatoes.  We'll see if anything happens.

I added marigolds to the garden too, and I'll be planting nasturtiums to keep the pests down.  I found that the regular thyme and Greek oregano came up from two years ago, so I have those as well.

Container Garden:

Sugar snap peas
Beans (not sure what kind--got them as a plant)
Tarragon
Mint: Chocolate and ginger (yum!)
Tomatoes (see above)
Strawberries
Lettuce
Thyme
Black Raspberry (I may plant this in the ground)
Parsley
Tricolor Sage
Basil
Oregano
Lemon balm

I still need to plant herbs and I have two other raspberry plants, including gold raspberry and heirloom raspberry.


What I didn't plant and why:

Carrots: I have trouble getting the buggers to grow.  Don't ask me.
Onions: Too warm to plant sets and husband can't eat it.
Garlic: Haven't gotten garlic bulbs to plant.  Will have to do that.
Radishes: Nobody likes them here.

What I would like to plant, but may be too late for them:

Bush beans
Cantaloupe
Kohlrabi


Monday, June 24, 2013

Feral Herbs, Wild Horses, and Goat Mozzarella

3:09 PM
Yesterday, I came across a pleasant surprise.  I found both Greek oregano and lemon balm growing wild in my yard.  It appears that my previous container gardens didn't contain much and the plants managed to propagate despite my poor gardening efforts.  Lemon balm seems to fair poorly under my ministrations, so seeing some growing wild was pretty cool. 

I picked some and plan on trying out a recipe on lemon balm pudding.   I sounds good, so I figure it'll be fun to try.

Went riding yesterday and had a bit of a rodeo on Rocket.  Rock has been snotty for various reasons.  She first was gimpy because her hooves were tender, so we had her shod.  Then, she decided to become grumpy and prancy on rides, insisting we should turn around and go home.  After a number of headaches, including an attempt to buck and kick DH's horse, I decided to try a new bit on her with a lot more control.  Since I prefer to keep my movements soft, I figured the less pull on the bit, the better.  The first time I took her out, it was like power steering.  Yesterday, she definitely did not like it.  She kept bouncing everywhere.  On the hill down the road, she pitched a fit and proceeded to spin, buck, and thrash around in the trees.  When I finally got her to stop, my legs were shaking.  I made my voice really calm and gave her direction down the hill.  After that, we went up and down the hill several times (I won, I guess), she responded but was still acting flighty.  By the end, I was damn glad to get off of her and she was sweaty.  Given that she behaves snotty with the snaffle as well as the new bit, I'll probably try to diagnose the behavior problems with the trainer and keep the new bit. 

One of the things I learned was that you cannot let your horse win the argument or you lose every time.  I've been consistent and patient, but she falls back on something that she must have learned at one point in her life.  My belief is if you get your horse to move forward one step when the horse is balking, you've won.  Usually, it's several steps until a place where I want to turn, or in the case of a loop, getting her to go the loop.  Turning around has been a real headache since I first got her -- she wants to go back all the time.  Last year, I thought I had broken her bad habits and got her to go consistently.  The few months she had off because of the ice, and her injury and tender toes seems to have brought out a rebellious animal.  (The vet cleared her for riding assuming we got her shod).

I finally figured out goat mozzarella again!  I  suspect it was the combination of citric acid, Saanen milk, and not starting with cold milk that killed it.  Good thing.  I have plenty of goat's milk.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Predators, Baby Goats, Horses and Gardens

10:15 PM
Yesterday morning I heard a squawk and knew one of my roosters just fed the local wildlife.  It's not that I wanted that to happen, but I had a feeling that rooster was taking his chances by abandoning the pens.  A neighbor of mine had given me four roosters and I hadn't gotten around to sticking them in freezer camp.  This Easter Egger rooster had decided to be antisocial and wouldn't hang with the outside chickens.  He had been picking on my Barnevelder rooster who had been ill and I had treated him with antibiotic injections.  So, he carved out a kingdom outside the safety of the fence.  Hence I heard him get eaten.  When we moved the goats in the afternoon, I found his feathers, but no blood. 

Lisa, my pregnant doe kidded on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  She had a beautiful cream doeling and because she was so new at this, I had to help her deliver her baby.  I named her Missy after the Miscon convention we were going to that weekend.  One person at the convention said "I hope you washed your hands."  Yeah, you don't pull a doeling out of mom without cleaning up afterwards.

I've been meaning to plant a large garden, but ended up putting a bunch of plants into containers because I've been sick since Memorial Day Weekend.  To further complicate matters, my horse, Rocket, has been lame and we couldn't figure out what was causing it.  An expensive visit by the vet told us that she needed to be shod--she has tender feet.

Yesterday, we went riding since she got her new shoes-- and she became a different horse.  She still misbehaves but now wants to run everywhere.  I suspect I'll learn how she's really going to behave now that she has horseshoes on her feet.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bear Hunting and Turkeys

1:22 AM
Today was the official start of Spring Bear season, and like most hunters looking for a black bear, we got up at oh-my-god-you're-kidding-me-dark-thirty to find a bruin. If you're not up in a treestand or in a hide, hunting a bear consists of walking around in the places you know they've been and hope you chance on one.  We've stumbled into bear before, so it makes sense we might see one.

I finally had the chance to taste bear meat.  A former coworker of husband traded us some bear meat for some goat sausage.  Bear meat tastes like very rich beef.   So, bear went on our menu for critters to hunt.

This morning was cold.  Really cold at 20F.  It snowed the day before, but it melted and then the ground froze.  So, no tracks.  Some scrapings, but other than that, no real sign.  My husband had seen scat in the area earlier. 

In Montana you can't bait or use artificial scents, so you have to either call them in, or stumble on them.  I suspect they may be down on the river bottoms as that is where the food is.  Everything up here is pretty slim.

We got back cold and bearless.  One of my Malamutes, Lachlan, wanted to go out, so I took him on leash in the front and nearly ran into a wild turkey.

Now, it is turkey season and we have tags, but Spring Turkey excludes hens.  This bird was a hen.  What she was doing on my front lawn, besides taunting me, who knows?  Her suitors were a mile away on private property. 

Ah the joys of hunting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Queso Blanco

4:13 AM
When you're blessed with goats who produce lots of luscious, creamy milk, it's easy to want to do something with the milk besides freezing it.  Hence, I've started making cheese.  One cheese I made tonight was pretty simple.  It's called Queso Blanco, and it means "white cheese."  I've seen other books with the recipe in it, but one place you can get the recipe is Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses.  Basically, you heat 1 gallon of milk on the stove to 185F.  Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and once the curds form, scoop them from the whey and put them in a butter muslin bag to drain.  I added salt to them, which makes them taste oh-so-much better.  This is a great cheese for cooking.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making Yogurt

4:09 AM
One of the simplest things to do with milk is to make your own yogurt. While not necessarily cost effective if you buy milk, if you're like me and own goats or other dairy animals, making yogurt makes sense. Not only do you have control over what goes into your yogurt, but you also save a bit of money. Organic yogurt typically costs 99 cents to $3 a serving, which makes making your own that much better.

The recipe I used is from Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses, but you can use just about any yogurt recipe. They're really easy to do.

Basically, you heat the milk to 180F, let cool to 116F and add yogurt starter.  The simplest way is to buy a small cup of yogurt and use a couple of tablespoons to start your yogurt. You then let it sit at 116F for 6 to 12 hours.  Using a yogurt maker, is probably the best solution,  as it keeps the yogurt at the right temperature.  I use the Deni 5600 1-Quart Electric Yogurt Maker. If I had my druthers, I would prefer a yogurt maker with one container, rather than 6 small containers.  You add the flavors after the yogurt is done, so it's kind of silly to have 6 little containers.

One useful thing this recipe suggests is to add pectin to the yogurt. If you make traditional yogurt, even if you let it go for 12 hours, it'll probably be runny.  Adding pectin thickens the yogurt, and while less than traditional, if you like the thick, creamy type of yogurt, you should add pectin.

Cool flavorings to add:

1. Homemade jams
2. Maple syrup
3. Chocolate chips
4. Vanilla (real)
5. Nutmeg or Cinnamon
6. Homemade apple pie filling

Mmm, good!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Surprise! There's a Kid!

8:54 PM
So, Lisa and Lulu, my two Saanens haven't been showing signs of imminent kidding. I figured they were due to kid sometime very late March or even April. Lulu sure didn't look that big... Today while I was milking does and feeding everyone, I noticed that Lulu looked a little bony (first clue). She also was making odd low noises (second clue). I looked at her back end. Didn't see any discharge and left her in the pen with the others.

An hour later, my DH comes home and runs to the door. He's afraid our blonde buckling, Mika, is hurt and can't stand up. I go down to the barn. He notices something strange about the kid--it has EARS--Mika is a LaMancha.

I walk into the pen and see a cute little Saanen doeling in the mud with both Lisa and Lulu staring at it. Lulu has a bag of afterbirth coming from her. Okay, then. I pick the kid off the soggy ground and bring her into the barn. I lead Lulu there and put them in the kid pen. I then go to the house to get towels, iodine, dental floss and scissors. My DH is relieved this is a new girl and not an injured buckling. We dry the doeling off and have Lulu take care of her while I give Lulu some hay and grain.

Well, that was different! It's supposed to get cold again tonight, so I've closed the barn. I'll take the youngest kids and put them in a dog crate for the night. After that, we'll have to sort out arrangements for Lulu and her baby. I'll get pictures tonight or tomorrow. Lisa still has to kid. She's much bigger. I suspect twins.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Goat Kiddings This Week!

12:09 AM
Annie's Kids
This past week we had three goat kiddings!  The first was Annie who surprised me on February 25th with three adorable mini-goats. All girls.  When I went to care for her in the crate, I heard little maaa maaa! coming from the barn.  They were all wet and still had their umbilical cords hanging.  So, I tied off the cords, trimmed them, dipped them in iodine.  Then I bundled the babies up and brought them inside to warm up.  Once dry, I brought them back to mom.  Annie is a great mom!

On February 27th in the wee hours of the morning, Belle had her kids.  Two girls: Mocha and Splash.  They were wet and cold with Belle and Heidi staring at them.  Belle had a congested udder which caused so much pain that she wouldn't take care of them.  So, her kids came inside to dry and are bottle babies for the moment.

Belle's Kids
Today, March 3rd, Heidi kidded. This one was difficult.  She had her first baby, a buckling, but her second was malpositioned and was stuck in breech.  I had to go in, reposition him, and pull him out.  No, it wasn't pleasant.  Yes, there was a lot of screaming from Heidi.  He died earlier in the canal.  The next kid was breech too, so I had to reposition him and get him out.  This time, he was alive.  So she had two live boys and one dead boy.  They seem to be doing fine.  I'll post their pictures soon!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rabbit Stew and Greenhouses

1:45 PM
My husband shot a brace of snowshoe hares, so I've been racking my brain on how to cook them. The first time I made rabbit, it didn't appeal to me for some reason, so this time I've tossed them in the crockpot with carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, beef broth, bacon, and spices. I also added cream of mushroom soup to it.

The last time I made rabbit, it wasn't in a crockpot, so the meat was a bit tougher than I cared for. Almost every rabbit recipe I've read says to use bacon, so bacon it is.  I suspect it's because the meat is so lean, it needs added fat, hence it tasted tough.

Big game season is pretty much over with the exception of wolves, and unless they open up my game unit for game damaged hunts for deer, I won't be shooting any more deer this season, which is a pity. The last two bucks were tasty -- some of the best deer I've had yet.

After watching Alaska, the Last Frontier, my husband and I have been talking about putting together a greenhouse to grow plants. That would make life a lot easier and hopefully keep the bugs out.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Encino Dog and Insanity

6:23 PM
Lachlan (gray) plays with Mishka
Last weekend, my DH and I adopted a Malamute from the puppy mill raid in 2011. It took that long for justice to be served but basically the dogs were finally released December 19th. After several photos, we settled on a dog named "Sikka" (SIC) who was 14 months old and born around the time of the raid.

I've nicknamed him "Encino Dog" after the movie Encino Man.  He has no clue how to behave in a house.

After a day, my DH renamed him Lachlan after the hero in my books. In retrospect, a better name might have been Loki (we were considering that, since we have Thor) because he is a troublemaker and has a very diabolical expression.  But, Lachlan knows his name and we have been thrown into the crazy world of puppy owners.

The dogs stayed at a place called the Malamute village. Basically it was an indoor facility where the shelter housed the dogs. If you've ever had to deal with an overwhelmingly large number of dogs, this blows it out of the water. Imagine 150+ Malamutes -- loud, food-aggressive, and starved for attention, in cages maybe 6x6 if that--and you'll get the idea how overwhelming it is. The people at the Lewis and Clark Shelter did amazing work with what got dumped in their laps, but the conditions were far from ideal for a dog growing up.

Lachlan's behavior is arrested (or maybe he should be arrested!) and he acts like a 4 month old puppy, not a 14 month old. He's skinny, resource-guarding, food-aggressive, puppy-hyper, fearful, attention-starved, and full of separation anxiety. He's gotten into a squabble with Haegl, my oldest dog who isn't a fighter, at least 3 times. Luckily no one got hurt and we were able to separate them, but sheesh, it reminds me what a pain my breed can be, especially with introductions.

You know he's bad when the three adult Malamutes are hiding from him in your bedroom.

The surprise has been Mishka. She has not only accepted Lachlan, but has taken him under her wing. She plays with him and goes out with him. She also gets between him and another male dog if tempers flare. Wow.  Seriously? This is the dog whose hackles go up if the wind blows. So, she has become Nanny Hoot and has become a force for peace.  Go figure.  Our little hellion has grown up.

So, I'm back up to four Malamutes in the house.  


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