Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Batch!

The first batch of English Shepherd puppies has arrived - Fahey and Ailagh are the proud parents of Ten beautiful, vigorous babies! Born on October 21st there are 6 females, 4 males, in Tricolor and Black & Tan.

These are very special Puppies to us, being our 2nd generation of Naturally Reared dogs. We are accepting applications, so contact us to request one if interested.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Book Shelf -"Simply In Season"

I adore books so thought it would be nice to post a book review once in a while in a new blog feature I'm calling The Book Shelf! 

The books will always have something to do with cooking, animal husbandry, country life, history, or a combination. These may be books in my collection or ones borrowed from the library.

Since it is the time of year when there is an abundance of good things coming from the garden, a cook book starts things off.
"Simply In Season" - Mary Beth Lind & Cathleen Hockman-Wert
          A simply awesome collection of over 1,500 recipes! This book is a must-have for everyone who has a vegetable garden, frequents the farmer's market or simply wants to eat by the seasons. There are recipes for fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy. It’s beautifully organized by season and type of dish. There are many tips, quotes and facts throughout.

Hen Spa

This is what you do if you’re a chicken… 

…take dust baths. Spa time is always more fun with friends! 

It sure looks comical to us humans.   ;) 

Dangerous Ashes

We feel impelled to issue a warning, to spare other dogs and families this heartbreak.

Many people have recreational fire pits around which they enjoy relaxing time with family and friends. In the country people also have burn piles where wood and debris from around their property is burned. What most people aren’t aware of is the danger the resulting ashes present to one’s dog. It was our tragedy to learn this firsthand in the recent death of our precious dog Liam.

Consuming ashes is, at the least, extremely harmful to dogs. Most folks do not know (or forgot) that the old time way of acquiring lye for soap making is to leach water through hardwood ashes. The leachate is lye, a dangerously caustic substance, both internally and externally. However, even the ash of non-hardwoods when soaked with water will produce a severely caustic substance. If an unknown quantity of wet ashes and/or the soil underneath is ingested by a dog it causes acute alkalosis. In other words, the dog’s ph drops too low, too fast for its body to recover and acts like a toxin, killing the dog within a couple days. The dog suffers miserably. We know.

What can you do to prevent it? For fire pits- keep it cleaned of ashes, being extra careful after rainfall or if the fire pit gets saturated from a sprinkler. Keeping it securely covered so your dog can’t rifle through it would work also, especially if food is roasted in the fire there could be attractive smelling drippings in the ashes. For burn piles- do not bury anything that might attract a dog, like bones or spoiled food of any kind since dogs are scavengers. If possible, somehow block off a dogs’ access to it completely.

What if your dog does ingest ashes? We were told if you suspect your dog ate ashes to dose him/her internally with hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. This will not be easy or pleasant, but it’s the only thing that can be done. If your dog acts ill or vomits before you suspect, it’s too late to do anything. That’s what happened to Liam.

Please, spread the word about this danger. Safeguard your dogs without delay. 

And then give them an extra hug in memory of our sweet Liam. Cherish every precious moment with them!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hot Off The Press!

I enjoy writing about the things near and dear to my heart; such as our off-grid ranch life, animals, travel, cooking and real food, to name but a few. Natural animal health care through Animal Naturopathy holds a very special place.

I am delighted to announce the release of my first written creation - an ebook entitled “The Eight Laws of Health in Animal Naturopathy”!
Do you try to eat right and take care of your own health naturally? Ever wonder how to do the same for your pets? My new eBook will help you give your beloved pets a healthier life naturally!

In it you will find a brief overview of Animal Naturopathy as each of the Eight Laws is discussed in light of our personal experiences and how we deal naturally with issues in our animals on the Ranch.
There are two ways to obtain your personal copy of “The Eight Laws of Health in Animal Naturopathy”- 1) purchase it at Lulu, OR 2) be one of the first 3 people to subscribe as a Follower on any of our Blogs and I’ll email you a FREE copy.

This book combines my love of animals and natural health to help support my Blogs and the Ranch.

So, thank you for your support!

Good Health to You,


Friday, August 2, 2013


… by grasshoppers eating up all my potato and onion plants not to mention every other plant in their wake… and various grass seeds wheedling their way deep down into the fur of the dogs (and our clothing).


Sweet Liam

As the morning sun kissed the treetops greeting a new day, our Sweet Liam went to sleep for the last time. It was July 18, 2013, he was two years old.

There is an enormous hole in our life and hearts.

Souls come into your life touching it so deeply in such a short period of time that you are never the same again. Liam was just such a Soul.

He was an “old Soul”, wise beyond his years. He could look right into your heart with those amber eyes! Those same eyes could see your pain, and without so much as a glance his way hinting to the need for it, he would come in his quiet manner and gently give comfort.

There is a flower called Sweet William. The name Liam is the Irish form of William. Our nickname for him was Sweet Liam. It fit. His name also means “guardian”. From the beginning we said he was the guardian of our hearts. He knew he came to heal our broken hearts and he did, on a daily basis, bringing joy with his beautiful happy face. Now our hearts are broken over the loss of him.

He was the most loving dog we’ve ever known. Sure, he wanted attention, but he also gave it readily. “Loves” we called it, leaning in and burying his head in our chest (or armpit), or resting his chin on our shoulder, cheek to cheek. He loved being kissed on the head!

Liam appointed himself the Ranch guardian. He had the most amazing resonating, booming bark! We could literally hear him 1 mile away at our friend’s house! He warned off coyote many times, cougar, and also black bears. When Liam was on duty they dared not come close! We feel a little less protected and cared for without his presence. We listen for that reassuring voice to no avail.

Every time we realize we’ll never see him again it feels like a sickening punch in the gut. At the same time, we have his son Fahey who resembles him in many ways. In fact, all of Liam’s puppies have a strong resemblance to him. It is bitter sweet to catch glimpses of him through them. Oh, are we ever thankful he gave them to us! Fahey learned by his side to be a good guardian, and he has been from the tender age of 10 weeks. We know he will carry on in his sire’s footsteps with pride.

The death of two truly amazing English Shepherd males in as many years is a lot to endure. Humbled with gratitude for sharing life with them for a spell, in their honor and memory we forge ahead to give back to this incredible breed in the way of healthy, happy pups.

Sweet Liam, we miss you boy. You will always be in our hearts and a part of our life.