Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Sometimes our perception of something is, simply put, incorrect. I have been avoiding using a basket muzzle on Marigold because of my perception of them rather than the facts.

 It is a lighter, more effective and comfortable appliance in the fight to keep her from eating rocks
 (and the resulting surgeries to remove them), than an e-collar. She appreciates the autonomy the muzzle gives her and after the first few initial wearings with the e-collar on too (to keep her from trying to pull it off), ignores it. Today, she can go out with all the other dogs, bark at the UPS man or the deer and do it all without someone following her. It is the fifteen minute solution. The one that allows me to throw her out at night for last potty without having to follow with a flashlight, or the early morning outing before breakfast. It is of course, not something for a dog to be left unattended in, ever.

 She waits at the door, sticks her nose right into it and stands while I buckle it on and tie the tail to her collar ring in case she should try to pull it off. Not even one attempt so far.  And because of that Marigold has connected with her inner terrier. She loves to dig.

 Who knew? Not me. She can sniff to her hearts desire without someone checking to see if she is actually snatching up pebbles or rocks. I can keep an eye on her from a window while she enjoys just a little freedom to be a dog with the rest of the pack. Win, win. My vet was right and she didn't even say "I told you so". ;)

So what is the state of the wildlife around here? Well, slim on pics since most of it we see or hear at night. The fox family is around and active. Those babies are now just about adults and at some point soon everyone will disperse. A couple of mornings a week I have a "3rd cat". Its actually one of the foxes. Follows well behind me and the cats on our way to the barn and then watches from right outside the barn while I get the buckets of grain and supplements ready for the horses. Okay, I put a dog biscuit on the ground too when I head into the barn. He or she follows me up to the paddock and then into the woods to continue their day elsewhere. Monday morning there were 3 foxes, two waiting well up the driveway and my one curious follower.

The deer have done a fine job of predating half my garden. With things so dry, and the garden so succulent and the deer pretty skinny this year, it is no wonder.

 Food stuffs for them are all long past dry and heading to dead. These pics were taken early in August. There was still a bit of green around.

 One of the fawn twins didn't make it. As often happens, it was hit by a car or truck not too far from our driveway head.

 Let me repeat, at this time of year especially, if you see one deer there are likely more. The one that made it to the other side of the road from you may be just the first. Be vigilant and go slow, because number 2 or 3 might be just about ready to follow. Oh and the bucks are starting to get stupid.

Skunks and raccoons have all been active around here this year. I had a Momma and two babies in one of the trees close to the deck one dark morning. It's always surprising when I catch eye flash in my light above me. On the deck it was just about eye level! Another morning I caught the two young masked scamps clinging to the corner deck post. I had popped out the door so fast they didn't have time to make their getaway from walking the railing. They froze. I said a few words to them and went back inside to allow them their escape. No sign of them since. The skunks root under the feeders for seed. It is thankfully on the opposite side of the deck than the steps.

Most of my songbirds have left and the chickadees, nuthatches, juncos and jays have retaken their home range. The nuthatches in particular are delightful with their constant little cheeps and scratching as they move up and down the trees.

 The hummer numbers have dropped and soon they too shall be buzzing their way to follow the nectar trail south.

So, even though the weather is still hot, dry and smokey some days, the sun sets earlier, the nights are getting cooler and the animals are all following the seasons in their prescribed way.

Parting shots: For Martha. Geez, my boy Jack is starting to grey up isn't he?



  1. Great solution for Marigold....but are you sure she's not famous for being an extra in Silence of the Lambs???

  2. Wow, your deer really ARE thin. Our pastures have been toast for a long time, so the sheep and horses stay in and eat hay so the grass isn't destroyed and can regrow when the rains come . . . eventually . . . I hope . . . .

  3. Great solution for Marigold, I think I might try it for my Sam and see if it helps his constant front paw licking. Thank you for the awesome shots of my dearest Jack, he is such a dashing fellow and totally melts my heart with his delightful grin. hugs and pets for all

    1. Oh, yes! I didn't even think about using it for that, and Jackson needs intervention. Can you give us a shopping link, Theresa?

  4. I always enjoy the animal parade here at Camp Runamuck. Jack looks very chipper, and Marigold doesn't seem bothered the least by her appliance.

  5. I had one of those for the Jack, back in the day. It really is a lifesaver! I'm so glad the wild fires are staying away.

  6. We will all be happy to see Fall and cleaner air. Happy that Marigold is settling in and you have solved the rock eating tendency.

  7. Sweet marigold. So glad you found the solution and she can dig and you can rest! Love all the updates on the fauna. We will have turkey buzzards soon. They roost on the road lights and soar overhead all winter. And hopefully my goldfinch couple will be back, they've been with me for years. Not colorful, since they molt before they get here. My cuban knight anoles have been successful in procreating and I'm seeing several now in my guava. A big success after the freeze of a few years ago killed 95% of the population here. And I get all the songbirds! I can sit on the porch at night and hear a concert.

  8. p.s. curious foxes! maybe they want to be cats. I watch Life Below Zero - Sue has foxes that behave like yours.

  9. Congrats on your beautiful Marigold! I wish I knew about the basket muzzle when Twill was alive. She started eating everything on our walks when she got to be 11 years or so. I had to stop taking her on the beach unless a storm cleared it of everything as she would eat seaweed, dead critters, etc. I will keep that in mind for the future. Glad to read that the fires haven't driven you out. Take care!