We live in the country!

Yesterday was all about a dead deer.

In fact it started on Thursday with a local owner not taking care of a couple of dogs. I’m not sure about whether or not the dogs are being cared for but there have been a number of cases suggesting that they were thin and also that they were running wild.

Then yesterday it took a turn for the worse shortly after 7am. I was on my way back to the house having fed the horses and then heard an animal calling out. I paused trying to identify this animal. It was located very close to our border on the Northern side.

Then the noise stopped and I thought nothing more of it. Later on I realised that it was animal in serious pain. Too late now to attempt to save it.

A little later I went across to the area where the calling had been coming from. There, just alongside our fence but on the other side of it, lay a young deer. It was dead but still warm.

Then about 10:30 yesterday when after I had called animal control I decided to revisit the location and take a couple of pictures.

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It was tragic! The loss of a wild animal. In fairness, one that the dogs themselves are not responsible for. Dogs will be dogs.

Meantime, I pondered on what might have evolved differently had I intervened when I first heard the animal in pain.

It was not a good feeling.

This is what dogs are all about!

A truly beautiful blog post.

I’m still struggling with WordPress but wanted to post the following rather than delay it.

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How a dog named Maybe saved the day

Not every happy-ending rescue story starts with love at first sight.

 By JO DILONARDO   October 29, 2018

Maybe Jade poses with her new family the day she was adopted. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

Just a few months ago, Kerrieann Axt began searching for a puppy. The family dog was 16 years old and her three kids were itching to have a playful four-legged friend.

“I was looking at rescue dogs under the radar,” Axt tells MNN. She didn’t tell the kids, but each time she found a dog she liked, she would show her husband, Michael, who would just say no. That is, until she found a cute little waggly-tail boxer/hound/Lab mix going by the name of Twinkie.

“I showed him a picture of Twinkie and he said, well, maybe, and she kind of became the maybe baby,” she says. “I told the kids maybe we’ll go look at this one dog, but it’s just a maybe right now. We just don’t know if she’ll like us or if we’ll like her.”

They met her and then she met their other dog, Jackson Cade, and everyone got along just fine. So she moved to their Sandy Springs, Georgia, home.

“When she got here and she was staying, we thought now her name has to be Maybe,” Axt says.

Maybe’s middle name is Jade, a mashup of their other dog’s two names. Sometimes they call her MJ, but she is always the Maybe dog.

And that’s how it went for a while.

Not a snuggly pup, but a super-smart one

Eliot (left) and Townesend (right) work on Maybe’s training. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

Maybe went to live with the excited Axt family in early July, but early on she wasn’t exactly the puppy the kids hoped for. Ten-year-old twins Owen and Eliot and 8-year-old Townesend wanted to hold and snuggle their new little girl. But Maybe wasn’t having it.

“She is very independent and very smart,” says Axt. She’s around you sometimes, but is perfectly content to go hang out on her bed and have some alone time.

The kids knew she was a wonderful dog, but they were somewhat disappointed, which prompted some family discussions. They knew this would be the one puppy their kids would grow up with, and they wanted it to be a great experience for everyone.

“We went back and forth, wondering if this is the right dog for us,” Axt says.

Axt talked to the puppy’s foster mom who was very supportive and was willing to take Maybe back, knowing she’d quickly get adopted again.

“She just wasn’t what we had in our heads of what a puppy was going to be,” Axt says. “But we said to the kids, we committed and she likes her life here. We are going to stick with her.”

So they started going to training classes as a family and even hired a trainer to come to the house. They found out Maybe couldn’t learn things fast enough. People couldn’t believe how smart she was and how much she loved mastering new tricks. The kids now read books on dog training and spend time every day teaching her new things and working with her on all the tricks she has already learned.

Maybe’s still not much of a snuggler, but the family loves working with her and this smart puppy enjoys all the attention. “That’s how we all show love to each other,” Axt says.

Maybe saves the day

When Maybe rang the bells to signal she had to go outside, Owen was smart enough to check why she was barking so much. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

One of Maybe’s many talents is ringing bells on the back door when she needs to go potty. She did that one evening when Axt was getting Townesend ready for bed, so she asked Owen to let the puppy out.

He let her outside and Maybe — who rarely barks — started barking at the yard next door. A frustrated Owen tried to coax the puppy back inside, but she wouldn’t budge. Owen knew it must be important if the mostly silent pup was so insistent, so he checked and saw the neighbors’ yard in flames. It was a large fire, almost in a perfect circle like a massive fire pit, prompting him to call his mom.

When his mom went downstairs to look, she realized there was nothing intentional about the blaze. She texted her neighbor, who didn’t respond. Then when she saw a tree go up in flames, she called 911.

“It was very big. It was the start of a forest fire and trees were going up,” Axt says. “It was amazing how fast it moves when you’re watching something like that.”

The neighbor quickly replied. She had been tucking her kids in bed and was surprised when she heard Maybe’s unusual bark. But she didn’t realize there was a blaze in her backyard. Within a few minutes the firetruck arrived.

“Once they were there, Maybe rang the bells again,” Axt says. “I put her on a leash and I walked her out. She just went out very calmly, wagged her tail, looked at the firemen, sat down and never barked. It was as if she knew, ‘We’re going to be OK.'”

The kids are so excited about Maybe’s heroics, Axt says. They are convinced that someone from the fire department is going to come to their house and award Maybe a medal of honor.

At least the 6-month-old rescue pup did get a really good chewy that night and probably put up with a lot of hugs from the proud family. In the end, everyone knew that Maybe — for sure — was the perfect dog for them.

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There is no doubt about it Maybe is the perfect dog for this family.

Oh, P.S. – Welcome to November.

A complex relationship

Slowly getting back to normal!

And posts like this help.

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Wolves on Michigan’s Isle Royale reveal new info about predator-prey relationships

This we know: Top carnivores profoundly influence local ecosystems.

By STARRE VARTAN  October 26, 2018.

Dawn breaks over Moskey Basin, at Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. Canadian wolves colonized the island in 1949. (Photo: Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock)

The American people’s relationship with top predators — especially wolves — is complex and ever-evolving. About three decades ago, it was mostly just animal-rights groups and their supporters who fought for the wolves’ right to exist; they were often considered a nuisance. But now there’s plenty of scientific evidence proving what’s good for wolves is good for their prey, the plants those prey eat, and indeed, positively affects the entire ecosystem. That’s ultimately good for humans too — unless you’re competing with the wolves, like a rancher who grazes animals or a hunter who wants to shoot the same deer or moose that wolves need to eat. But at this point, even some ranchers and hunters have come over to the pro-predator side.

Much of that change in the perception of predators is down to studies that have proven how precisely cougars, wolves, bears, tigers, lions, bald eagles, alligators and other apex predators affect the land around them. None have been studied longer than the wolves and moose in Isle Royale National Park, a Guam-sized island in Lake Superior. For almost 60 years, the populations of these two groups have been tracked — as well as their effects on the plants and other animal communities on the island. (You can read the reports here, including the recent 59th annual report.)

As the video above explains, there used to be as many as 50 wolves on Isle Royale; however, that number has dwindled, mostly due to inbreeding that caused a debilitating spinal condition to proliferate among the too-closely-related wolves. Just 10 years ago, there were still around 30 wolves but by 2015, there were only three wolves left. Now, there are just two, a closely related male-female pair that probably won’t breed. (The female of the pair has aggressively fought back when the male attempted to breed with her.)

Already, the moose population on the island has boomed, “undoubtably because of lack of predation,” John Vucetich, a wildlife ecologist from Michigan Technological University told Science magazine, adding that the two remaining wolves are now “… swimming in moose.” Despite the wolves’ regular predation on moose, there’s been a 20 percent increase in moose in just one year, which scientists estimate is about five to 10 times higher than on mainland areas. Beaver populations have also risen sharply. There’s just not enough wolves to keep either population in check.

So what’s so bad about so many moose? Well, as most ungulates do, moose spend their days browsing on vegetation, so the more moose, the more food they need — and the plants on the island can only take so much nibbling. An aquatic plant, which was found in abundance just six years ago, is now only found in places where moose are not. Long-term, this means the island will soon run out of food to keep the ever-larger moose population alive, and many will starve once food becomes scarce. Previously, the wolves have kept moose populations low enough so they didn’t overeat the vegetation, keeping the system in balance.

A plan to rebalance the ecosystem

This female wolf arrived at Isle Royale on Oct. 2, 2018. (Photo: NPS/Jim Peaco)

This is why some people think the best solution is to bring a fresh influx of wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The plan is to release 25-30 wolves over the next three to five years. So far, park officials have trapped four wolves on the mainland beginning in late September and released them on the island. Three of the wolves are female — with the hope they will successfully breed.

This new blood would potentially rebalance the predator-prey relationship and the idea is that the rest of the ecosystem would follow. Introducing so many wolves over several years is hardly natural either, others argue, saying that humans should just be hands off and let nature take its course. The original 50 wolves had found their way to the island on their own, having moved in from Canada; perhaps they could do so again if given the chance.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in April 2017.

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This is the real news!

A dog food recall for you!

This came in while we were away.

G & C Dog and Cat Food Recall Expands to Include Multiple Brands

October 24, 2018 — G & C Raw of Versailles, Ohio, is recalling all products lots manufactured from February 27, 2018 through July 20, 2018, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Affected products are sold under the brand names G & C Raw Dog Food and G & C Raw Cat Food and sold through direct distribution to customers.

Product Image

No product images have been provided by either the company or the Food and Drug Administration.

About Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in animals eating the products.

Furthermore, there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, aches, fever, and diarrhea.

Listeria monocytogenes infections can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Listeria monocytogenes infections are rare, and pets may display symptoms such as mild to severe diarrhea, anorexia, fever, nervous, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion, depression, shock, and death.

In addition to the possibility of becoming sick, such infected animals can shed Listeria monocytogenes through their feces onto their coats and into the home environment and thus serve as sources of infection to humans and other animals in the household.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Where Was Product Distributed?

Recalled products were distributed by direct delivery and may have been sent to the following states:

  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee

What’s Being Recalled?

The manufacture dates are included at the end of the lot number.

For example, the pet food product manufactured on February 27, 2018 has a lot code of that ends with 022718.

The company is now recalling all products with lot numbers that end in 022718 through 072018.

The recalled dog food products include:

  • Beef Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Ground Beef Dog Food
  • Sliced Beef Heart Dog Food
  • Ground Beef Heart Dog Food
  • Kim’s Special Beef Organ Dog Food
  • Ground Chicken Dog Food
  • Chicken Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Chicken Mix Patties Dog Food
  • Duck Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Ground Duck Dog Food
  • Ground Rabbit Dog Food
  • Rabbit Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Ground Lamb Dog Food
  • Lamb Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Ground Beef Pancreas Dog Food
  • Beef Liver Chunks Dog Food
  • Beef Sweet Breads Dog Food
  • Ground Pork Dog Food
  • Pork Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Shelby’s Pork Organ Mix Dog Food
  • Ground Pollock Dog Food
  • Turkey Veggie Mix Dog Food
  • Ground Turkey Dog Food
  • Tripe Dog Food

The recalled cat food products include:

  • Pat’s Cat Beef
  • Pat’s Cat Chicken
  • Pat’s Cat Turkey
  • Pat’s Cat Duck
  • Pat’s Cat Rabbit

No confirmed illnesses have been reported to date.

What Caused the Recall?

The recall was initiated as the result of a routine sampling program by the Ohio Department of Agriculture which revealed that some finished products contained the bacteria.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased the products are urged to return them to G & C Raw, 225 N. West Street, Versailles, OH, for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact G & C Raw at 937-827-0010 from 9 to 5 pm Easter Time or by email at mgcrawdogfood@yahoo.com.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

You keep all your dogs safe out there!

What a way to spend a Sunday!

Poor little Sweeny!

Last Sunday, Sweeny not having eaten for 3 days, it was felt that we could not leave it any longer and decided to take Sweeny to Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center.  They are an emergency 24-hour a day service.  It turned out to be a longer day that we had anticipated.

For we arrived at 9:15 am and didn’t leave until 5:15 pm.

Even then we were still left with some uncertainty.

For the long rigmarole of tests didn’t come to a firm conclusion.

A part of the SOVMC invoice.

Luckily we could leave taking dear Sweeny back with us but the results from the Fine needle aspirate won’t be through until Tuesday or Wednesday. (P.S. Just heard by phone that the results should be through in the next hour. Ergo: Monday evening.)

If it is Tuesday that will be better than Wednesday.

For on Wednesday we leave for a short holiday in Mexico.

In fairness, the house is being looked after by Jana Stewart but it will still be better to know before we leave.

That leads me to say that for the next ten days the regularity of blogging is going to be variable; to say the least.

A mild infection.

A further note re my medical situation.

Last Wednesday week, the 3rd October, I had a really strange morning.

As per usual for a Wednesday I went for a group bike ride. I didn’t notice anything unusual except perhaps that I was rather more remote than the others on this particular occasion. When I got home I didn’t mention anything. But later that morning Jeannie rang Dordie, one of the cycling group, and found out that I had basically being speaking gibberish.

Jeannie and I discussed the situation and we decided that it was best to volunteer ourselves for a visit to the local Three Rivers hospital. There is a walk-in facility there that is open 24 hours a day.

Asante Three Rivers Hospital, Grants Pass.

I was seen pretty promptly but nothing was found.

Also later that day I noticed my typing skills had disappeared.

At the same time I also noticed that my left-hand side of my face had a ‘edge’ to it. Whereas normally I couldn’t feel it in this instance I could.

Jeannie started to worry about me, big time, and I wasn’t sure about anything anymore. I resisted seeing any more specialists although Jeannie thought that I should.

I hung on to the fact that I was seeing my regular doctor, Dr. Angela Mount, on the 12th.

So yesterday I saw Dr. Mount.

She was of no doubt that what I had experienced was a ‘magnification’ of the old wound resulting from my trip to the Regional Trauma Centre in Eugene on December 24th, 2017.

Now, today, that had been brought about by me incurring a low-level infection; probably a cold-like infection but without the streaming nose normally associated with such diseases.

What had happened was that the extra load on the body brought about by the infection had caused the damage to my left-hand side of my body and skull to re-appear.

Thus no need to worry, it was OK and that fairly rapidly I should regain my old composure.

Phew!

P.S. Only wrote this just in case it matched any experiences out there.