Tag Archives: Dogs

Weekly a Recap: August 27th – September 2nd, 2018

I definitely got over the “bleh” feeling I was experiencing last week! So that’s good!! Spent most of this week just chugging along and getting my runs done. Or at least most of them. I skipped the one I had planned for Sunday, but I felt like that was necessary.Β  But we’ll get to that in a minute. πŸ˜‰

Monday:

  • 4 easy miles
  • 15 minutes of strength work

Started off the week with 4 sunny, hot, and humid miles. Hot and humid has pretty much been the theme of this week. It hasn’t exactly been fun, but like I said, I’m still chugging along. Just a little more slowly than I’d like. Haha well, at lot more slowly, but hey, the heat does that to me and I’m well aware of that. I can’t wait for the cold weather just so I can start speeding up a little bit haha.

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Tuesday:Β 

  • 3 miles, intervals
  • 15 minutes of foam rolling

I slept in and then procrastinated my run on Tuesday. I did get it done though! Ended up doing my interval workout on the treadmill. Honestly I’m kind of glad I procrastinated doing this run. I feel like it went a lot better than it would have if I ran first thing in the morning like I often do. Aside from doing it on the treadmill I felt pretty good doing this workout! πŸ™‚

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Wednesday:Β 

  • 5 miles

Got some cloud cover on Wednesday!! That was pretty nice! Still hot and humid though…

Anyway, I like running in my town’s cemetery. It’s nice, quite, usually no traffic or other people. It’s very peaceful. The only problem is small town = small cemetery. Following the road all the way around is only about .3 of a mile. Still find myself running there all the time though.

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Thursday:

  • rest day

The plan on Thursday was a cross training day. Stationary bike, strength work, all of that. But somehow I managed to hurt my back in my sleep on Wednesday night? Like seriously, I somehow fucked it up so bad that just moving hurt in. Haha I guess I must be getting old. I never understood the whole hurt back thing before, but oh boy do I get it now! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, since I somehow hurt it I decided to let it rest on Thursday.

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Friday:

  • rest day

My back was still a little achy on Friday. Not as bad as Thursday though. But Friday was a scheduled rest day anyway, so that kinda worked out for me. πŸ™‚

Anyway, on Friday Luke and I had planned to do some errands, grocery shopping, and whatnot. Our usual every-other-Friday routine. Our plans got a little thrown off while we were getting into the truck and getting ready to go. As we were pulling out of the driveway two dogs ran into our yard. A black lab and some kind of lab mix. So we got out and managed to grab on of the dogs, but the other took off down the street. Luke went after him while I held on to the other dog but every time Luke got close to the other dog he took off running. So I put the other dog inside in our spare bedroom and we got into the truck and went after the other dog. We couldn’t get close to him though. We gave up on him after 10 minutes or so. The dog we caught had a collar but no tags. The other dog had tags, but I wasn’t exactly convinced that they came from the same place. I think they just kinda found each other while they were both out running.

Anyway, after we gave up on catching the second dog we drove around our neighborhood looking for anyone who looked like they were out looking for a dog, but we didn’t find anyone. So we went back home and I convinced Luke to surrender the dog to animal control (which is legit just the k9 unit in our town haha. The police force in deals with stray dogs.).Β  Luke felt bad sending the poor guy to some kennel, but I told him at least he’d be safe there and all his owner would have to do was call animal control and they’d be able to get him back. So that’s what we did. Called animal control and a cop came to our house to pick him up and bring him to the kennel. I sure hope the poor guy got picked up by his owner later that day. But at the very least Luke and I got him somewhere safe where he wouldn’t get hit by a car or attacked by another dog or something.

After he was taken care of we finally set off to get our errands done. πŸ™‚

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Poor guy was older, exhausted, and stressed out. He was very friendly and cooperative though. I hope he made it back home!Β 

Saturday:

  • 11 miles

Woke up at 5 am, got out on the road while it was still dark out, but it was still really hot out…I even saw some heat lighting. It was in the mid 70’s, 92% humidity, and just gross in general out. Not fun at all. But still better than last weeks long run! Haha last week I didn’t fuel or hydrate properly and that ended up being my downfall. So I made absolutely sure to do just that this week and obviously that ended up working! The plan was 11 miles and mission accomplished! But I did the first 9 miles outside, but the humidity was abolutely killing me, so I finished the last 2 miles on the treadmill. But I got it done and that’s all that matters!

Spent the rest of the day trying to recover from those 11 miles. Haha like I said, that humidity was killer! I felt absolutely drained afterwards.

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Sunday:

  • rest day

Alrighty! Finally made it to Sunday!

So the plan on Sunday was 5 miles. Trying to do a few back to back long/medium long (because at this point 5 miles is basically a medium long run for me) because of the whole two half marathons in two days thing. But I woke up feeling super duper dehydrated and very drained. Physically and mentally. I thought I had done enough hydrating yesterday, but obviously not. Oh man and that heat and humidity yesterday! It gets me every time…

So while I would have really liked to have done my back to back runs, I just didn’t think it would have been a good idea for me this week. Not while I’m feeling like this. But I am happy with getting my long run done this week! So at least there’s that! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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Total Weekly Mileage: 23 miles

Not too bad!! Would have liked to get to the 28 miles that I had planned on, but still happy with how the week went. I’m very much looking forward to cooler weather though. I always feel so much better during the cooler months. But summer running is making me stronger and more tough. Or at least I sure hope it is! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, wishing everyone a safe and happy Labor Day tomorrow!

~Ashley

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Long Run and a Hill Workout

Well, we’re back to this again…

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I got really spoiled by the really nice weather we had last weekend and earlier this week. But all good things must come to an end and the cooler, rainy weather did yesterday. Bummer. But we’re getting really close to the end of August and the first day of fall is about a month away, so hopefully the summer weather wont be around for much longer!!

Anyway, now that it’s all hot and gross out again, I really regret not running on Thursday haha. I took a rest day because I was tired, but oh man I should have just sucked it up and gone for a run anyway. It rained almost all day and it wasn’t crazy hot out. I did take a nice long walk with Dean though. That was nice. We like the rain. πŸ™‚

 

So since we are getting closer and closer to fall, I’ve been keeping and eye on the weather like a crazy person, just hoping and praying that we’ll start getting little hints of fall soon and that summer doesn’t hang around for too long haha. Since I’ve been doing that I knew that this weekend was supposed to be really hot and humid again. So on Thursday night I made kind of a last minute decision to do my long run on Friday, instead of on Saturday like I usually do. So at like, 9:45 that night (which is only 15 minutes before we go to bed haha) I started rushing around and getting stuff ready to go for the next morning. I like to have my coffee maker prepped, have an idea what I’m going to eat for breakfast, and my gear all in one place, the night before my long runs. Any other run I don’t make this much of an effort to prep for, but I like to be ready for when I run long haha.

The plan for this week’s long run was 10 miles but that didn’t happen. I got pretty close though. While the weather on Friday was still better than it was today, it was crazy humid, hazy, and hot out. And I made the really bad mistake of not drinking enough water before or during my long run, I didn’t fuel during my run, and I had no form of electrolyte replacement. Those are all things I need to function during summer long runs, so by mile 6 I felt like I was dying.

Luckily mile 6 happened when I was about a mile away from home, so I got to close to 7 by the time I made it back and once I did I grabbed some cash and ran to Casey’s (it’s less than a block away from my house), bought a couple of Body Armor’s (it’s my new favorite sports drink! So much tastier than Gatorade), ran back home, and proceeded to chug one whole bottle of my sports drink. Oh man, looking back now, it’s a really good thing I went back home when I did. I don’t think it would have ended up well for me if I didn’t. Anyway, I really didn’t want to go back outside after that, so I hopped on my treadmill and did a little over a mile. Just enough to hit 8 miles for the day, and then I called it quits. There’s not doubt in my mind that I would have been able to finish out 10 miles if I would have hydrated and fueled better, but hey, we all make mistakes. And 8 miles in the heat and humidity almost counts for 10 anyway. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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You can literally see how hazy it was in this photo. It’s not edited or filtered or anything. Gross…

While I didn’t quite accomplish my goal yesterday, I’m still glad I decided to switch my long run and hill workout. It was even hotter out today, without a single cloud in the sky, and of course we had another heat advisory. But earlier this week I had already decided that I was going to do this week’s hill workout on my treadmill. It’s actually super convenient because I don’t have any hills nearby that take me 6 or 8 or however many minutes my training plan calls for me to run up, so the treadmill kinda solves that problem! The only downside to doing a hill workout on the treadmill is that there is no downhill haha. I like the reward of being able to coast downhill after a hard climb up, but on a treadmill the most you get is totally flat. Which still isn’t bad, I just think running downhill is fun.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I killed this workout or if this workout killed me. Every inch of my body was dripping with sweat by the time I was done. It was pretty darn hard, especially after my run yesterday, but I still feel like I crushed it!

 

Afterwards while I was laying on the floor with my legs up on the wall my doorbell rang and I answered looking like this…

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Sweaty, smelly, and wearing clothes that did not match at all because I threw on the nearest shirt I could find before I opened the door. Haha it ended up being one of the election candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives. I guess she was going door to door to talk to people today and while she gave me her whole spiel she kept looking at me like I was a crazy person. It was pretty freaking hilarious. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Honestly when I went to answer the door I figured it might be one of my neighbors. One of them currently has his truck parked in our driveway because he’s re-doing his, so I thought he might want to ask if his cousin who’s there helping if he could park his truck in our driveway too, or something like that. He know’s I’m a runner and is very used to seeing me run around the neighborhood and being a sweaty mess so I didn’t really thing anything of it but nope, it was someone out campaigning. Haha I thought it was really funny though. I don’t think she expected someone that gross to open the door.

Oh man, sometimes it’s just little things like that that make life great. πŸ™‚

Anyway, earlier this week the wonderful people at Rollga sent me one of their Rollga foam rollers and their Activator thing, and those got here on Thursday. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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You can check out Rollga’s website here!Β 

I did a little bit of rolling with them that day, but I’m thinking I’m going to get super duper acquainted with them tonight! I could really use it!! Plus not gonna lie, even though I’ve only used it once at this point, I think this might be the best foam roller I’ve ever used! I really like the way the groves in in kinda cradle your muscles. It’s fantastic. I haven’t exactly figured out the Activator yet, but I’m gonna work on it!! It looks like it might end up being pretty darn useful.

(Friendly reminder that I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I did get these recovery tools for free. I’m not getting paid or anything and wasn’t obligated in anyway to talk about or promote them though, so I really do mean what I say. Just trying to be 100% transparent and real here. πŸ™‚ )

Anyways, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Home, Sweet Home!

Oh man is it good to be back home!!! Obviously we had a lot of fun while we were in Branson, but I was very ready to get back home and see my puppies! All of which we did. πŸ˜‰

We packed up the truck, said our goodbyes, and were on the road by about 1:30 pm yesterday. So we got home around 4:30, which wasn’t bad! But we ha d a lot to do when we got home! First we had to put the chickens outside (they were staying in our spare bedroom since it was so hot and I wasn’t going to be here all day to take care of them while we were gone) and start cleaning up the mess they made. That’s been a super long process that involved having to buy an air filter because all of the dust they created was really bothering my asthma.

But before we were able to do that we had to run to Tractor Supply to get more chicken feed, dog food, and cat litter. After that we made our way to the kennel to pick up the dogs. Haha for whatever reason the lady who runs it wasn’t there so we had to wait for a few minutes, but I was perfectly fine with that because I got to play with her goats again! But she didn’t take long to get there and get the whole dog situation squared away. Haha the dogs were sure happy to see us and didn’t even give the goats a thought as we were loading them into the truck! Pretty impressive for a group of border collies. πŸ˜‰

After we picked them up we had to run back home, drop them off (but in the backyard because they all smelled terrible), and then we were off to Walmart to get the air filter thing I was talking about and a few groceries since we basically had no food at the house haha. So after we got home from all of that, Luke bathed the dogs while I did more work on the bedroom. I felt like I was in there forever but didn’t get a lot done haha. But it was getting late and I still needed to shower, so I did that and then Luke and I went to bed.

Luckily today though I was able to get that room mostly cleaned out. There is still a bit of a mess in there, but it’s sooo much better than it was yesterday! Today I also had to unpack everything, do a ridiculous amount of laundry and just get the house clean in general. But I got all of that accomplished, and even had some time to dye my hair! Haha it’s been a busy and productive day. πŸ˜‰ But Luckily that means I shouldn’t have a lot to do tomorrow and will finally be able to relax a bit.

So yeah, just wanted to do a quick little update to let you know that we made it home in one piece and the dogs don’t hate us for leaving them in a kennel for almost 5 days haha. I’ve got a lot more to talk about for tomorrow though, so be on the lookout for that! Some exciting stuff is officially kicking off tomorrow. πŸ™‚

But for now, I’ll wish you a very happy Saturday and be on my way, because I’ve still got some stuff I need to get done tonight. Until tomorrow!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 1

Welp, we made it safely to Branson!

First thing in the morning we dropped the dogs off at the kennel. They had a bunch of goats and chickens and cats running around in the driveway when we pulled up haha. It was fantastic!! I loved it. 😁 I also really liked the people who run the kennel. We told them we didn’t want to get the dogs out of the car with all of the goats nearby, because obviously all 3 of them are herding dogs. So they moved them and we showed off some of Lily’s heard of skills. We kept her on her leash and the ladies got a huge kick out of that! But now they know that our dogs can and will herd the goats if they aren’t careful haha.

As we were leaving them the lady who runs the place said she knows border collies are all kinda crazy, and that’s what for real sold me on the place! She obviously understands that they aren’t normal dogs and that’s what I was worried about haha. But anyway, they took them and put them in the kennel, and as we were leaving I could hear Lily crying and barking as we walked back to the truck. Poor baby. Obviously they’ll be fine, but I know they’re gonna be freaked out the whole time and that makes me sad.

Anyway, after we dropped them off we went back home, packed up the truck, stopped and got breakfast and then were on our way at around 8:45 this morning!

The drive there was pretty decent! It took us around 3 and a half ish hours to get there, and a lot of it was driving through farmland and by some lakes and stuff, which obviously I enjoyed. 😊

Once we made it to our cabins we looked around a little bit. They’re pretty nice and the views are pretty! We talked to Luke’s brothers and sisters, unloaded the truck, and then headed off to the store to stock up on some groceries for our time here.

After we had our provisions and put them away in the cabin, we went to Luke’s grandma’s cabin and hung out with her, a few of his aunts, and a few other people. It’s his grandma’s birthday so that was nice! She definitely enjoyed hanging out with everyone.

After that a bunch of us went to the river that’s near the cabins and had a little too much fun! πŸ˜‰

But anyway, it’s been a long day and we’ve got another one ahead of us, so I need to get to bed! Happy Monday!!

~Ashley

It’s Going To Be A Long Summer…

Good thing I have a treadmill now, because this keeps happening…

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I can’t run outside in this!

Well, technically I could, but it probably wouldn’t end well for me. Especially not with that air quality warning. So I’m just gonna stick with my treadmill for now and hope that I’ll get at least one day this week that I’ll be able to run outside, because I’m not exactly confident in my ability to run anymore than 5 miles on the treadmill haha. I did 7 a few weeks ago, but I wanted to absolutely die by the time I was done. πŸ˜‚

Plus training for “Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” officially starts on the 22nd of this month, and I’d really like to do most of those runs outside. Having the treadmill is nice, but it’s just not the same as running on the road. And since both half marathons I’m doing in November on on the road (well, part of one is on a paved trail πŸ˜‰ ), I know it would be best to do a pretty good majority of my running on the roads. But if this weather keeps up I’m gonna have to suck it up and run on the treadmill. I’d rather do that than risk my health by running outside in dangerous weather conditions. Says the girl who intentionally runs during thunderstorms and has an absolute blast running on ice haha. But for real though, I’m really sensitive to the heat and I have asthma. It’s not bad, but I still have to be careful when the air quality sucks.

So I’m not exactly thrilled about the weather and the prospect of starting out my half marathon training mostly on the treadmill. But at least I have that option now! If we would have had this kind of weather last summer, before I had the treadmill, I’d have been completely screwed. Sure I’ve got the stationary bike, but that probably wouldn’t really help that much. But anyway, I haven’t really been completely stuck inside. Luke and I have been going for little walks in the evening, right around sunset, so it’s not too crazy hot out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot, humid, and gross out. But it’s decent enough to go for short walks in. I’m not confident enough to actually run in it though haha. But at the very least I’m getting outside and moving around a little bit.

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I’m currently dreaming of chilly October nights.Β πŸ‚πŸŒ™πŸ¦‡πŸŽƒ

What really sucks about this weather is that while we’ve had plenty of heat, we’ve had hardly any rain. Like, it’s for real been weeks since we’ve gotten any rain, and the last time we did it really wasn’t much. So I’ve been kinda struggling to keep our garden going. All of our plants are just wilty and sun burnt. But I have gotten a pretty decent amount of strawberries and blueberries! I think I’m getting towards the end of those plants producing though. I’ve got 3 nice little watermelons growing, my peaches are slowly starting to get bigger, and my zucchini plants are producing like crazy! And my tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe! The plants have had little green fruit on them for a while now, but it’s been so crazy hot that it’s taking forever for them to turn red. I picked a whole bunch of nice little cherry tomatoes yesterday though!

We’ve also been keeping the tiny raptors outside for the last week or so. They’re finally big enough to keep out in the coop, and obviously we haven’t had to worry about it being too cold for them! I run out there to check on them several times a day though. I don’t want them getting too hot. But so far they seem to be doing really well!!

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They’re getting moved back inside this weekend though, but only for a little bit. Our family trip to Branson, Mo is next week and we don’t want them outside while we’re gone. Luckily they’ll only actually be on their own for 3 full days. Luke and I are leaving Kansas on the 16th, probably in the late morning. First we have to drop the dogs off at a kennel. I grew up working in a kennel, so obviously I know they’ll be fine, but they’ve never been boarded before, so I know they’re gonna be completely freaked out. Poor babies… Luckily the’re all going to be kept in the same kennel run together, so I think that will help. I’m going to make it very clear that I do not want them separated. Sometimes they growl and snap at each other and when they play it can look like they’re actually fighting, but they’re not. They just work things out between each other like that.Β  And if you know dogs then you probably know that, but some people tend to freak out the second teeth start snapped at each other. But anyway, then we’ll be in Branson the 17th, 18th, and 19th, and then we’re driving back home on the 20th. It’s only a 4 hour drive, so I think if we leave early enough we’ll be there in time to pick up the dogs before the kennel closes. If not then I guess they’ll just have to spend another night there.

Anyway, I got the dogs’ vet records for the kennel this morning and I’ve kinda sorta started packing for this trip. Haha I guess I should get on that, huh? I mean, I’ve made a list and pretty much know everything that Luke and I are gonna need, so that counts for something, right? We’ll both probably still wait until the night before we leave to actually pack. πŸ˜‰

But that’s all for today! How’s the weather where you are? Hopefully better that it is here in Kansas…

Your treadmill bound friend,

~Ashley

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Well, Yesterday Was A Shit Day

It finally happened. We tried so fucking hard go prevent it. But obviously it wasn’t enough. So much time, money, and effort just got flushed down the toilet in what was probably a few short minutes. Yesterday Ozzy massacred our chickens.

Yup, after all of that extra work we did building that dog kennel around their coop he still found a way in and killed every single one. My poor chickens….

 

 

So that was just a terrible thing to find out first thing in the morning. Apparently he had slipped through the tiniest hole where the chain-link met the base of the kennel. And we had used fencing wire to attach the chain-link to the base. A lot of it. So he really had to squish himself to get in there, and honestly I kinda hope he hurt himself in the process. And of course this happened in the early morning before my dogs were outside or at the very least they would have been barking and maybe we could have done something. But nope. Around 6:30 ish my other neighbors saw that damn dog in our chicken coop because he figured out how to get in, but couldn’t figure out how to get back out again. But by then all of the chickens were dead anyway. So when Luke was getting into his truck to go to work and they stopped him and told him what happened. Luke went out there, let Ozzy out and made him go home, then came and told me.

It’s a good thing it was him to go do that and not me. I would have killed that damn dog. I grew up onΒ  a farm and dogs that kill livestock become a huge problem. It’s a hard habit to break and most of the time if the dog cost you a shit ton of time, effort, and money then it doesn’t get to live. Especially knowing that it might keep doing it. That’s just the way things are. Hahaha and the neighbors who found him in my coop told me the same thing yesterday. I heard “that dog needs shot” by so many people yesterday. But I mean, it’s kinda true.

But that didn’t happen. Mostly because we do live in town and discharging a firearm inside of city limits is illegal. And for good reason. So he’s lucky. Although he was really pushing that luck because I had to chase him out of my yard 3 more times that morning, because he kept fucking coming back…Ugh so that was really annoying.

But anyway, I also had to go to the dentist to get temporary crowns put on a couple of my teeth yesterday. So yeah, it just wasn’t a fun day all around. But Luke took a partial sick day from work so he could take me because I hate the scientist and didn’t want to go alone. So he came back from work at about 11 am and we buried the chickens before we left. I was told specifically not to go out there that morning because it was just going to piss me off even more when I saw it and Luke new it. And it was pretty bad. He broke all of their necks, probably just one right after another. So I mean, it was kinda lucky that he didn’t rip them to pieces, so we didn’t have a huge bloody mess to clean up, but it still sucked.

We finished that job just in time to leave and go to my dentist appointment. It was a long one too. Haha felt like I was there forever! But I got the temporary crowns put on the two teeth I’ve had root canals done on and the more permanent crowns are being made. So that’s a step in the right direction and I’m glad that I was able to keep well, parts of those 2 teeth anyway. But that whole process irritated my gums and now today my mouth just kinda hurts. My jaw is also super stiff and sore from having to keep my mouth open for so long.

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So yeah, yesterday just really sucked. But to make me feel a little bit better Luke went to Barnes and Noble and got me Stephen King’s latest book while I was getting my teeth worked on. He’s the best!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ He also ordered more chicks online and they should be here at some point later this week. Fun fact; did you know the deliver chicks in the mail? That’s how my dad used to get his and how we had to do it this time, since Tractor Supply only sells them in the early spring. And that is great and all, but now we’re all the way back to square one an that really fucking sucks. We were getting so close to ours starting to lay eggs. Now we’ve got to start the whole process all over again.

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New reading material from Stephen King did cheer me up a little though. πŸ™‚

Once we got home from my dental appointment Luke started keeping an eye out for Ozzy’s owner so he could go talk to him. He got home a little later than he usually does, but Luke finally caught him and told him what happened. Apparently he was pretty upset and offered to give Luke money for them, but Luke said he didn’t want money, told him he had already bough more chicks, so now he just wants Ozzy to stay where he belongs so that it doesn’t happen again. So now he’s really going to get to work on the fence between our yards that him and his cousin have been working to replace and now he doesn’t want Luke to cover half of the expenses anymore. We’ll still probably help him build it though. But hopefully a new fence will solve the problem. If not our neighbor said he’s also thinking about putting in one of those invisible dog fences just to be on the safe side. But no matter what we still have a few months to get it done, because the new chicks wont be able to be put outside until they’re older anyway.

So at least that’s getting taken care of now. It just really sucks that it took all 5 of our chickens being brutally killed for it to happen. I cannot even begin to express how mad I am about that. When you domesticate an animal like that and keep them locked up so they can’t get away and then end up using things they produce or even killing and eating them it’s your responsibility to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. It’s basically a mutual agreement you make with the animal; I keep you safe from predators. Provide you with comfortable shelter. Food and fresh, clean, water will always be available. If you get sick or injured, I’ll take care of it and give it proper medical attention. And in return, I get to use your products to feed myself and my family. And maybe that means you’ll die, but its my job to make sure you have a good life and everything you need before that happens.

For real, I take that shit really seriously and I couldn’t do it and I’m pissed. I let those poor chickens down and they paid for it by dying a terrifying and probably very painful death. I’m going to do better with the new chicks though. Luke feels the same way, so we’re going to be fortifying that chicken coop until is basically Fort Knox. And my neighbor is going to make sure that Ozzy doesn’t come back in our yard ever again. He also grew up on a farm type situation, so he knows and understands how devastating this loss was. I noticed that today he left Ozzy inside while he was at work, instead of in the back yard like he usually does.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to clean up the aftermath of the party that we had on Memorial Day. Our backyard is pretty trashed and the house is a mess too. But my mouth is currently unhappy and that’s making it difficult for me to want to do much. I can usually handle pain, but mouth pains is just awful. But today I got the Green Day mug and tank top that I had bough online last week in the mail today, and that did make me feel a little bit better. πŸ˜‰

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I suppose that’s all for today.

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day Weekend!

~Ashley

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New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. πŸ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! πŸ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn πŸ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. πŸ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyΒ herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. πŸ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! πŸ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. πŸ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. πŸ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! πŸ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. πŸ˜‰Β