Kids and Backyard Chickens

chickensWe have had chickens in the past, along with goats, turkeys and ducks, but only when we lived in rural areas. We left our quasi-homesteading life three years ago so we could stop commuting and we now live in town and within a mile of our son’s school and our jobs. We love walking and biking everywhere and really like our neighbors but the thing we missed the most was chickens. So a few months ago I impulse purchased five baby chicks from a feed store when out and about with our son.  Three were Rhode Island Reds and the other two were unknown breeds but we were told they were cold-hardy and good layers.

(more…)

When Babies Mimic Animal Behavior

A girl and her dog

A girl and her dog

Frances has always been curious about our pets. She loves to crawl over to our dog and give her pats and pets. Before we could get Franci to reliably say “Papa”, she could tell you a puppy said “arf-arf”.

Since she’s so in-tune to our dogs, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when she started barking along with them. If someone knocked on the door, she would happily join in on a round of alarm barks. What really came as a shock was the time when the UPS truck could be heard rounding the corner, and Franci started barking even before the dogs did!
(more…)

Losing a Pet

Stella

RIP Stella

For years I joked that we had to have a baby before our dog died, just so we would have something happy to focus on when it happened. Since our dog Stella was nine years old, we figured that time was far in the future; when she was old and grey and was done swimming and playing tug-of-war and racing after the tennis ball. It turns out that day was Saturday, when an autoimmune disorder took her in 36 hours.

Frances is young enough that she doesn’t notice anything is out of the ordinary. She doesn’t even notice the tears as she pokes my face while I’m nursing, which makes it almost harder to remember to smile. But smile we must, because life goes on. The more joy you have in your life, the more devastating the tragedies can be. We can’t control the worst, but we can certainly seek out big and little pleasures to keep as memories, and to have something to look forward to.
(more…)