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Rediscovering Animals 

Animal Care—Geese

It’s not easy to find animal care for two dogs, one turkey, two geese, three chickens, four ducks, multiplying swordtails, and a neighboring peacock who comes and goes—but we lucked out. My vet lives next door, and her son loves both the animals and the money I pay for their care while we’re away. Read More 

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DeeDee and Scooter--Part II

Scooter 2002

This picture tells it all--almost. Guess which one is the alpha dog, which the beta? In late 2000, it all came to a head when I bought DeeDee and Scooter a dog food container with two bowls on top, one serving as the lid to the storage chamber. Read More 

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Alpha and Beta Dogs

DeeDee 2002
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How The Hen House Turns 8. DeeDee and Scooter--Part I

DeeDee and Scooter dressed for therapy duty

It's time to talk about DeeDee and Scooter, how they joined the family after the fire in the spring of 2000--the first fire in Los Alamos, Read More 

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How the Hen House Turns 7. Strolling Coyote, Poncho and Raccoons

Poncho on adoption day March 1972

One day Strolling Coyote came by--the one who made a habit of moving along the back fence, setting off all the dogs, barking their heads off. Poncho, our young "Santa Fe shepherd," wasn't old enough to know better, Read More 

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First Turkey Decides to Live

A nursing mother coyote got First Turkey in broad daylight. We had made the mistake of leaving the birds out in the yard while we took Poncho to the vet for his rabies shot.  Read More 

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Turkeys Get It

I've decided turkeys are not really dumb. They've had a bad rap because they're not like chickens. Read More 

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Dogs As Bird-Sitters

DeeDee watching birds

When our first chickens arrived in a cardboard box forty years ago, we had already adopted Poncho. As a "Santa Fe Shepherd," his instincts were just about right. Read More 

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Dogs Are Required


Dogs are required to keep chickens safe at 7200 feet in a Ponderosa forest, or anywhere else raccoons reside, like Beverly Hill and probably New York City. We've had raccoons smash open a sliding door (too thin), rip the rails off a thicker sliding door frame, and cut a raccoon-sized hope in the unsupported middle of a chicken wire fence--just to get at my lovely hens and commit murder. Read More 

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Peeper--Hatching In A Dry Clilmate

For four weeks in 1975, Peeky, a mixed-breed hen, sat in the hen house on twelve eggs, resting on straw in a 12 by12 by 1 inch frame. Over her objections, we made sure she got up each day to eat and poop, and we used the time to turn and spray her eggs. Shell membranes can go dry and tough in a climate with single-digit humidity. Read More 

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