Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Free Dogs Are Never Free

Well if you’ve been following the farm’s Facebook page or read the blog regularly, you know that our beloved hound dog and Maybelle’s best pal, Goober,  recently went in for some surgery, as the vet suspected it might be the big C.  Well, thank goodness for an astute vet, as it was cancer.  But the great news for us, and for dear old Goobs, is that our wonderful vet got all of the cancer.  And as far as cancers go, it’s not a terrible one, if such a thing exists. It doesn’t metastasize, so really our job is to watch for more lumps and bumps and get them removed when and where needed.  (We love our vet, but I’m pretty sure he loves us, too.  Wink. Wink.)

This all all leads me to a running joke we have here at the farm, free dogs are never free.  You see dear old Goobs showed up at the farm three years ago now (you can read about his adventure here), and it was love at first site.  That poor pooch was not going anywhere, as he had found his furever home, and both he and I knew it, and we’ve been a bonded pair ever since.

However, in his short time with us, he’s had three surgeries for various lumps and bumps (this is the first cancer, though), and when he showed up he was also heart worm positive, so we had that treated and cured as well.  Can you say cha-ching?  Goober hit the jackpot, and we had to hit our savings account.


However, in the case of rescue puppies (and cats, and horses, and donkeys), I wouldn’t take a million bucks for any of them.  You see most of the critters here on the farm are rescues of one sort of another.  Most of our horses are American mustangs, born in the wild and adopted from the Bureau of Land Management.  The cats all just had a way of showing up in our lives; in fact, I’ve never ever gone looking for a cat.  The donkeys were a gift from some dear friends, and the most of the pups are rescues.  It seems we’ve all just found our way to each other.

Speaking of finding their way to us, several of our friends have hypothesized that the animal kingdom has put out a sort of  signal that the farm is a safe place to turn up.  No matter domestic or wild, you’ll find grub, water, and love.  Our vet likes to joke that if he knew our real address, we’d have even more. (Thank goodness for a post office box!)

But I think the real culprit for our population are some very special friends.  Before we moved to the farm we had a sweet pooch named Petey, who we affectionately called Needy Petey.  While I loved that little guy, he had some issues.  He had come from abuse and while he had lots of love to give, his behavior could be a bit quirky to say the least. In fact, he used to love to mark his spot, which often meant whizzing on his sisters.  Poor soul just could not aim.  Friends used to tell me all the time, “He’s sweet, but I wouldn’t keep him.”  Clearly, I’m going to need to write about Petey someday.  I digress …

Petey has since passed over the rainbow bridge, and I firmly believe he and all of our fur-children who have passed before and after him continue to guide new “kids” into our life.  It seems the ones who alway need us most and who are the perfect fit for us find us, and in return we find ourselves needing them right back.  (Check out our Meet the Farm page to see our rainbow bridge fur-kids.)

So while free dogs are never really free, no fur-kid ever is, and that is okay.  What they give back to us is more than we could ever repay them.  They make our lives full, and for me, in many ways, they make me who I am.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

P.S. – If you are looking for a pet to add to your family, please make sure to check out your local shelters.  You could find your million-dollar pal.


Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Oh, Sweet Sleep

It’s been a busy vet week here at the farm, and our four-legged children are keeping us hopping.  First, we took Maybelle in for the usual round of shots.  Blessedly, that was uneventful, other than the fact that Maybelle loves to get in the car but starts to spin like a maniac when you try to get her out of the car.  Go figure.

And since Goober is Maybelle’s best pal, we took him along for the journey.  Two are better than one, plus Goober had some odd little growths we wanted the vet to double check.  Well as it turned out, the spots all needed to be removed and the vet was concerned it was the dreaded C word, aka cancer.  So like good parents, we scheduled him right away and had those puppies removed.  We need to keep our Goobs happy and healthy.

Which leads me to my sleep deprivation, as I’m sure moms of two- and four-leggeds can relate.  Goober was in and out of the vet in one day, and was super happy to be back amongst his pals.  However, he’s got stitches in multiple places, but mostly on his undercarriage, hence it’s not so comfy to lay down.  Well we thought he had himself settled for the evening, and so we tucked the farm in for a good night’s rest.

Not so fast.  At 11 p.m. I awoke to hear Goober moaning.  Just sad little sighs and moans, as if to say, “Mom, I don’t really feel so great.”  Not helping the matter was that he was wearing a standard issue cone of annoyance in order to keep him from licking away on his fresh wounds.  At first, I thought he was just stuck, as he had his cone wedged under our bed.  (Yes, he really did.) But not so.  He just felt badly.

Dog Photo - Goober with his cone
Goober rocking out the cone. None to thrilled, but reaching the point of acceptance.

So as not to disturb Cowboy, I took the Goobs out to the sofa where we twisted and turned, propped up with pillows, tried with cone on and cone off to get peace.  He’d lay with his head on my shoulder and just about the time my heavy eye lids would finally drift off to sleep here would come another moan. (Not to mention the surgery had given him a lovely case of doggy gas.  Poor guy, and my poor nose.)

I was stuck in that spot between heartbreak and begging for just five minutes of sleep.   Finally sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. he gave it up and finally tuckered out with my hand on his head.  (But not before one of the feline kiddos also decided to upchuck on the floor. Really???? ) Let me just say thank goodness for comfy sofas, tough stain-proof floors, and antibacterial wipes.

I am happy to report, we got some good meds at the vet today and Goober is wagging and feeling much better.  He’s also become proficient in carrying around his cone.  Yes, he still runs into the door frame, but is figuring out how to wiggle around to make it work.  I love my four-leggeds, but this farm mama needs some shut eye.  Here’s to hoping Goobs is up for it too.  Putting meds in a cheese snack now, just in case.

P.S. – Please keep Goober in your thoughts and prayers.  We’re hoping for a good report.