Chicks, Ducks, and a Bunny…Oh My!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Growing UP, Happiness, Ideas, Imagination, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mother, Mothering, Pets | Posted on 17-10-2016

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Who buys her daughter baby chicks, baby ducks, and a bunny…in the middle of the city?

My mother…that’s who!

Imagine the squeals of delight one Easter morning! The joy! I was the happiest of happy!

We didn’t live in the country. Nor did we have the proper pens and enclosures yet built. We housed our extended family in our laundry room off the kitchen. Added some heat lamps. Purchased feed. Received a donated rabbit hutch for the backyard.

Our farm was set!

Like Fern from Charlotte’s Web, I fed, watered, nurtured, and talked to my animal friends every day. Their peeps and nibbles and sweetness made me overjoyed. My friends thought I was so lucky…indeed, I was!

One baby duck, Quincy, didn’t make it and died after a week. It was a tough life lesson. The other duck, Abraham, thrived.

When the chicks and duck outgrew their soft downy feathers and grew into their adult feathers, it was time to move them from the laundry room to the backyard, into coops and hutches.

One chick grew into–gasp!–a rooster and became the 5:00 a.m. alarm clock for the neighborhood, with his loud cock-a-doodle-dooing. Abraham was so well mannered, that you could leash him and take him for a walk. The rabbit was simply happy with carrots and came out for snuggles.

Our menagerie of animals represented my childhood: colorful, joyful, interesting, and full of life, love, and experiences. My mother was the ring leader, with her big heart and personality, always unconventionally fun and cool. I am so lucky to be her daughter.

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One Fine Day

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Dogs, Help, Humor | Posted on 23-02-2016

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One fine day. Also known as the day diarrhea sprayed over the entire living room carpet.

It began as a glorious day. Then quickly turned to shit.

Literally.

I came home and was greeted by that smell. I followed the stench and soon spotted a diarrhea lake on the carpet, right in front of the fireplace. How cozy.

Because we don’t have enough hardwood floors to diarrhea on.

I sprang into immediate action! I first yelled at Otis and sent him outside. Poor Otis, getting yelled at, on top of a sick belly.

Hauling over a bucket of warm water, I began scooping up liquid poop with a washcloth. Gagging all the while. Scoop, rinse, gag, repeat.

The smell! The endless pile! I felt sorry for myself and began to weep.

After 20 minutes, the carpet slowly turned from dark brown to light brown. Time for Tide and suds. I generously poured Tide into a fresh bucket of warm water and began to suds the stain. Scrubbing furiously, this was turning into a workout.

The smell wouldn’t go away. Neither would the stain. I needed more suds. More liquid.

I dragged in the shop vac from the garage. The vacuum sucked up the suds and immediately began overflowing, shooting diarrhea suds, plus rotten wet leaves that had been left in the shop vac, across the entire carpet.

I started bawling and screaming at the mess. I needed some help. Time to call the professionals. “You need extraction,” Gary told me.

The next morning, Gary brought his really long hose (giggle) to steam clean. Within 24 hours of the accident, the carpet was pristine, Otis was feeling better, and I was smiling again. Another fine day.

The first to try out the newly steamed carpets. #Otis

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8 is Great

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Pet, Pets | Posted on 04-01-2016

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How old should a child be to own a pet hamster? The pet store said eight years old.

But my daughter was turning seven. And she wanted a hamster. (Imagine Veruca Salt, “Daddy, I want a squirrel!”)

No, my daughter doesn’t ask for much. So, we gifted her a hamster for her seventh birthday. Along with a hamster cage, a wheel, food, cedar chips, a water bottle, toys, and yogurt snacks.

It was love at first sight. She named him Popcorn.

She snuggled with him. She cooed to him. She fed him grated carrots. She built him obstacles out of cardboard boxes. She let him run free. She cleaned his cage. She let him explore her dollhouse. She gave him clean water. She talked to him in a little hamster voice.

And when she was done playing with him, she always put him back safely in his cage and hooked the latch.

Except not always.

We went out to dinner one night and came home to an empty cage. I feared the worst. Had he fallen through a heater vent? Had he crawled under a door to the great outdoors? I was about to initiate an all-family, whole-house search-and-rescue when my daughter announced that he was probably in the kitchen by the mixer.

Because. That’s where she left him. Ah, perfect seven-year-old logic.

Her 7th birthday…

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You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childrearing, Children, Dogs, Family, Family Pet, Life Lessons, Memories | Posted on 17-04-2012

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If a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is worth a thousand fence repairs, a thousand apologies to the neighbors for chasing their cats, a thousand holes dug in my garden, a thousand jump-ups to lick my face.

These two Black and Tan Coonhounds–Sweetpea and Elwood–are probably the cutest and naughtiest dogs I have ever encountered. Their eyes scream mischief. The mud on their noses screams trouble.

This story is filled with good intentions. You know the book Where the Red Fern Grows? Well, it’s one of the most tear-filled books I have ever read aloud to my children (that and Charlotte’s Web). In the story, the boy’s prized possessions are his two hounds. After reading the book, I thought my son needed two hounds of his own. For him to raise and nurture–and become part of his boyhood. My mad hunt for Coonhounds began.

Well, whaddya know?! A few lucky Internet searches turned up a rescue shelter with a litter of puppies that needed to be placed. It was love at first sight. We needed not just one, but two. Double love. My son proudly held both puppies all the way home on his lap.

These puppies grew and their legs soon doubled, then tripled in length. Perfect for jumping 6-foot fences 10-foot fences. Perfect for running loose through our woodsy neighborhood to roll in deer poop and scout out skunk, raccoons, and porcupine. Once, after adventuring, they returned home with faces full of porcupine quills.

It was never a dull moment with this dynamic duo. But it wasn’t quite the boy-and-hound experience like in the book, as I had envisioned.

Nevertheless, these dogs left a footprint of memories–multiplied by eight–in our family’s memory bank.

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