A Farewell Poem for Mukki

Trail Work Ahead


He wanted to warn us, to let us know
That Mukki’s eyes might stay open when he’s dead
Good, they should, he has a long way to go
My Mukki needs to see the new trail ahead

We should have put on his harness and racing number
To ready him for that last race, free from the man’s sled
Hike – hike! Run fast when the gate opens –do not slumber
Fly away at the speed of light, flee fast and far from the dead

Mukki will work hard to ready the new trail
Across the Bifröst to run all day and transcend
His pack will join him soon, where he’s wagging his tail
Eyes open, he sees far ahead to the trail’s first bend

christine joan gasser ©2015

Tala Joins the Chorus and Starts it up Again!

After it got quiet, Tala joined the group and they brought her up to date of the status of the bread, which you can see on the boardwalk. Tala looks more like a sheep from the back and someone needs to brush that butt but lately when I try she sits on it, preventing my access… she says it’s cold outside and she needs the padding.

Expect the Unexpected in the Gulag

Mukki stole a baguette. He is the Master Counter Surfing Thief in this Gulag. If he won’t share (and he never does) usually a screaming howling fracas will erupt and it’s not easy to get them to shut up. Sound travels and once they start, every dog within a mile or so will start barking! Today I remembered that they often stop when I try to capture this on video, which I did. But back at my desk it started up again, so I took the phone to the door to see if I could catch a nice example of their mayhem… yeah, it didn’t work out the way I expected.

Cast: Mukki in the back, Lulu in the middle and the little shirt, Quinn at the door!

Nuisance Strays or Cute, Neglected Dogs…? Your dog is not welcome at my house.

Our Gulag is under siege and it is disrupting our life. Two stray dogs show up daily and try to get on the deck, into the house and into the dog’s fenced area. These two dogs seem very sweet but they are not welcome at my house. I do not want my dogs escaping to join them on this irresponsible romp. No one seems to know who owns these dogs, they run away when they see me. Although, I’ve been growled at when I’ve encountered these dogs alone while gardening or checking the mail.

We love our dogs. Their safety is paramount. Everyone knows or should know that Siberian huskies can never be left off leash and need a minimum 6 foot fence to contain them. I know if they get loose, I stand a very good chance of never seeing them again. Our dogs mush our dryland rigs at 22 mph; running free, they would be in Virginia or one of two other counties in an hour. They could be hit by a car, might run into the woods and become feral or be picked up by animal control. If they are picked up by animal control in another state, they could be euthanized before I could find them.

These realities terrify me. But, I am also concerned for my neighbors. I like to think of myself as a good citizen, neighbor and human. I appreciate that many people are terrified of dogs, either from a childhood trauma, fear for their safety or even common sense. I understand this. I love walking my dogs but when a stray dog approaches, I am placed in a very dangerous position. I can not imagine how terrifying this must be for an elderly dog walker or a child.

So, I can only wonder. Do my neighbor’s not care whether their dogs terrorize their neighborhood? Are they 100% confident in the behavior of a rescued dog out of their sight, because I am not confident in my dog’s behavior out of my sight -they are dogs. They are not furry little humans with an understanding of our technical world. To assume a dog will be perfectly behaved on their own, when your children can not even live up to such trust, only a fool would be so reckless.

My dogs have occasionally rushed a door or dug out under the fence. When this happens, I am out the door, desperate to catch them. I immediately call my husband and he leaves work to assist me. We do not want them to get hit by a car, run to the next county or state, scare a neighbor or heaven forbid eat a farm animal. Siberian huskies are prey driven, they are often shot by farmers for eating sheep, goats, chickens, etc. This is why we do everything within our power to provide safe shelter and suitable enclosures.

A few years back, I called the fire marshal on a young man who set a fire in the land behind my house and then went home. The fire actually reached my property line around midnight. The next day, this young man threatened to poison my dogs if I ever ‘messed’ with him again. My friends in other parts of the country do not understand why I don’t call the police or the animal shelter and stand up to these bullies. I know of three people whose dogs were poisoned and the thought paralyzes me.

Feed Your Dogs Chicken Bones!!!

Okay, I figured that headline would get as much attention as saying SEX!!!! SEX!!! SEX!!!

I stumbled on a way to feed dogs bones and I am only concerned with the wonderful minerals and nutrients in the bones getting into my dogs.

I threw a chicken carcass into the crock pot, I figured I’d make a nice rich broth for the mutts. That evening I ladled hot broth on their kibble and thought, “eh, why not?” So, I added more water and let it continue slow cooking. Next day repeated the whole broth to dogs and add more water but on the third day, magic!

The bones had turned into a soft substance, like an aspirin in water, they dissolved in my hands! So, I offered Tala a big leg bone that melted in her mouth. She wagged her tail and spun in a circle. This is a sign of high praise from Miss Piggy.

So, now when I am finished with a chicken I slow cook it until the bones turn into a crumble dissolvable substance. It makes sense, this is what happens to fish bones when canned -I was raised to eat canned salmon bones by an aunt who was only 4’11” at 5’2″ she claimed we could not shrink an inch when we aged so we ate our salmon bones, smooshed into salmon pie.

I have a pressure cooker, so later in the winter I may try pressure cooking the bones, because the pervasive aroma of chicken soup is tiring to wake to in the morning!

Why I can not have goats, chicken, sheep or cats….

IMG_0583These four beasties are also why Opossums, snakes, skunks, raccoons, rabbits, mice, chipmunks, squirrels and various birds are in no danger of over-populating my property! For some suicidal reason, all of these wild creatures enter the dogs enclosure (Gitmo), they’ll slither in or tunnel in (rabbits) and discover rather quickly why it was a very bad idea.

The dogs have a 6th sense alerting them to any incursions into Gitmo. Quinn and Mukki will waken from a dead sleep and rush through the doggy door into the yard at full speed (which is over 20 mph) and they usually chase away the invader or eat it. Then regardless of the outcome, Quinn will return to bark in my face to brag or complain. It is a rather unnerving event at 2:30 am.

The dogs have a 40 foot ‘runway’ attached to the back doggie-door, which opens into a 100 x 75 foot dog yard… you would think this would be enough land for everyone to thrive but no, no it’s not! The local wildlife seem to think it is an extreme sport to invade Gitmo and the Siberians seem to think they are in prison and are always attempting to dig out! Mukki is the escape artist. Quinn has a special, in my face, dancing and twirling barking alert, when Mukki has slid out. Depending on whether we find him at the front door begging to come in so he can brag about his latest kill or he is still busy eating the unlucky raccoon or opossum, the result is the same: two very tired humans the next morning because before we can go back to sleep, a boulder must be dropped into the hole! Not very fun in the middle of the night!

IMG_1747The one thing some people do not seem to understand and it’s understandable, since the Animal Channel shows on predators never seems to include the dog sleeping on your bed with one ear open! This effort was accomplished in under an hour and resulted in one small rodent. Notice the quick work made of the roots! Siberian Huskies are not territorial, they are obsessed with prey –Prey Driven. They see a rabbit when you are walking them, they will do their best to rip your arm off! Surviving in a frozen tundra, the random rabbit or mouse is survival. Everything in their cute little heads shut down when their is food walking around the backyard! When I walk Tala along the road, she will lunge, grab and swallow the hapless mouse hiding in the dead leaves in a matter of milliseconds. At certain times of the year, she can eat three or four ‘snacks’ on a short walk. She can also clear a lawn of moles within a few days, but the lawn looks like it’s been bombed.

FIVE! FIVE? FIVE! How Can It Be True?

Quinn eating his own foot

Quinn eating his own foot

My Calendar must be wrong but I know it isn’t… Quinn is five years old today! My little Splat! It seems like yesterday the little hell spawn was, well spawned!
Hard to believe five years have gone by since the little monster landed on DH’s foot with a big splat! He’s made such an impact on our lives in five years and his poor Mother! Bless her heart, she walks around with an “I’m sorry, my son is so bad.” expression on her face. She agrees he is out of control!

so not fair!

Digging to China via the Sealy Posturpedic!

Five years, 25 pillows, 2 sofas, 2 mattresses, squirrels, possums, birds, and many more wildlife victims we will never know about! Not to mention lacerating his poor dear Richard’s kidney by jumping on his back in bed one morning. DH still refuses to discuss the pain, misery and humiliating invasive medical procedures!

He’s has definitely calmed down but we all, not one of us, trusts him! Yesterday, he grabbed one of DH’s dirty socks from the laundry and slept in the back yard with it… small price to pay, if he’ll leave the new mattress alone!

I have to admit, he thinks he’s My Big Boy and gives me lots of kisses and tail wags every morning. And if I try to sleep in, he barks in my face! He has been told sibes don’t bark, they howl but he is his own man.

Happy Birthday My Little Shit!

quinn in glasses

Quinn in glasses