Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thank you for your concern

There were several people that were offended and concerned by my video last night due to the fact that I introduced Stella and Hawk to each other with no leashes on.  Different opinions make the world go round, and I am not one to shy away from the fact that sometimes people don’t agree with the way I do things around here.  I’m fine with that.  At the end of the day I urge you to do what’s best for your dog and your situation.  I am only writing to tell you why I do all of my dog introductions this way…..

Leash reactivity is one of the biggest behavioural issues created by owners.  Owners don’t mean to cause issues for their dogs, however they inadvertently do so by introducing their dogs incorrectly.  By nature dogs greet each much differently than humans do.  Dogs don’t ever run up to each other and invade each other’s personal space.  In fact they usually greet each other from the side to make themselves less threatening during their initial greeting.  (You can see Stella do this at 0:16 and again at 0:46 in the video from last night.)  If you introduce dogs on a leash you force them to confront each other head on which as an initial greeting, can be seen as a challenge and cause the other dog to become offensive.  In my experience this is the worst thing you could possibly do when you have dogs that have any type of issues with meeting other dogs.   The key to introducing any dog to your pack is to be confident, calm, and be ready to correct any behavior you don’t want immediately. 

If I had thought there were going to be any major issues with these two dogs, then I would have never introduced them.  I refuse to set a dog up to fail, especially one that I have been rehabilitating.  With that also being said I frequently let my dogs figure life out on their own without me micromanaging them.  I am in charge at my house, and I expect all of my dogs to act a certain way.  Rarely do they disappoint me.  I find that my pack of dogs knows more about being a dog that I ever will and if you let them be as natural as possible in their relationships with each other, then you will actually have less problems then you would if you tried to “help”.

I felt confident in my progress with Stella and in the options that were presented as potential friends for her.  I had met both of those boys as they were both from the hoarding case, and I was not worried about them in the least.  Thank you to all of the people that emailed me about their concerns for the dogs, I’m sure your concerns were driven from the heart…..

Stella meets Hawk!

Last night my friend Julie and I drove over to Cedarville to pick up Stella's future companion Hawk.  The drive was about 40 minutes long and we had a great time laughing a chatting.  (Thank you Julie!)  We programmed the GPS for the trip, and when we got to the house that it told us we were to go to, we both looked at each other and silently hoped this was not the house they were housing foster collies at.  It was a bit, how shall I say, sketchy...  We quickly realized that we were trying to find a house on State Route 72 North, however the GPS took us to 72 North St.  We laughed hysterically at what might have happened if we made it up to the door and asked for their dog.  We would have either gotten accused of dog theft or handed God knows what!  

Finally realizing the error of the GPS or the error of the human inputting information, we headed back down the road and arrived at a beautiful house, down a long lane, where we were greeted by a majestic collie and his friends.  (I tell you, these collies may have converted me to owning one eventually!)  We chatted with Wendy and her husband for a while and then off we went, with Hawk.  We got home and introduced Stella and Hawk, and it went off brilliantly!  The video below is their first introduction....

I'm going to start their training today, and hopefully soon they will be off to Texas!  I don't think I am going to have to do any major work here.  Just team building and trust, mixed in with a little obedience and life skills.  I am very pleased with how well they are both doing!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Who me?!

"Why no, I don't know who ate the whip cream off your sundae.  Why do you ask?!"

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Endings!

The night I came home from the hoarding case, my soul was deeply bothered.  This song became my anthem as I prayed, called, arranged, pleaded, cried, adopted, smiled, and laughed.  Please turn up your speakers, click on this link push play, and minimize the page while you read this blog post folks.  If I could set this rescue mission to music, this would be the song.  More so, it would be the promise that I made to 80 pairs of eyes....

Everyday I am reminded that miracles happen around here.  Whether it be in the form of tomato seeds sprouting, warm eggs fresh from a chicken, or lives being saved through dog rescue, miracles happen and I am constantly reminded that God has a hand in my life here.  

I have been worried about finding Stella the perfect home, and to be honest I have been a complete mess about this dog.  I have teetered silently back and forth, analyzing if keeping her would be the better option for Stella and myself.  I wasn't convinced that I needed to keep her though.  The whole reason I rescue is to rehabilitate the dog, and to get them to a point where they can function and bless someone else's life, right?!  Having my head tell my heart this has not been easy, so I prayed.  I asked God to guide me and help me make the right decision for Stella.

Then on Sunday I got this beautiful letter from a woman named Lora.  Lora felt immediately connected to Stella and was so excited about the possibility of adopting her.  She wrote me asking if I thought that Stella could ever live with another dog, and I had to tell her that yes, she lives in a pack of 6 balanced dogs now and functions beautifully.  Not only was Lora looking for one dog, she was looking for 2 dogs!  The plan is to bring the second dog (Another collie from the hoarding case, named Hawk.) here to my house.  I will form a friendship between the two dogs, and then they will go to Lora and her family in Texas.  Let me tell you this is a rescuer's dream!  Lora will be flying in to meet the lucky pooches, and will then fly in again to adopt and take them home.  

I think it's the fact that I was so involved with this case that is makes my heart and head fight like an old married couple.  Stella was the first dog that I saw when I got to the house that night.  She was sitting in a kennel to the right as you walked into the kitchen, and she was so damn regal.  I will never forget the look on that dog's face when she looked at me.  It was as if the world had stopped, and I remember standing there in that kitchen, overwhelmed by the situation, verbally promising that girl that we were going to help her.  She looked at me in a way that just said, "I am so over this and being in this situation is so beneath me...."  She was right, and my work is almost over.  I kept my promise to this girl and an amazing home is on the horizon.  I couldn't think of a more deserving dog than Stella.  And thousands of miles away is a family that won the "rescue doggie lottery", because finding a dog as wonderful as Stella is a one in a million find.  

Please bear with me as my heart acts bi-polar.  The tears I cry are tears of excitement, sadness, relief, and hormonal craziness, but more than anything they are tears of happiness.  Now the real work starts.....  I have to form a pack out of two dogs, teach Stella how to sit, and most importantly I have to teach her how to say "ya'll".  I can't send Stella to Texas without teaching her that!  


Monday, March 25, 2013

VIDEO! Update: Stella

Photo: The primal collie....

I posted this video on my personal Facebook page 5 days ago, however I have had several people ask for updates on Stella.  So, I am posting it here for those people to see.  

Stella has made so much progress here, and it is amazing just how far she has come.  Her dog aggression has not reared it's ugly head for so long that you forget it was ever a problem to begin with.  The only problems that I still have are resource guarding over food, however this video is proof that she is over coming that obstacle as well.  This is an exercise we have worked several weeks on, and I have to say I am damn proud of this girl!

I am constantly amazed by how much dogs live in the now.  Stella only know  that she wants to fit into this pack and to live in harmony.  I must say she has done a fine job over coming her past! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Preparedness Just Got Cooler....

Tonight it is snowing here on the farm, and currently we have about 4 inches of snow on the ground.  We are supposed to get a lot of snow, as the forecast is calling for 7-10 inches of snowfall starting tonight and ending Wednesday.  It was such a gray day today and the world outside felt so drab and depressing, much like my heart felt at the mere mention of more white powder!

Yesterday we were at my nephew's birthday party and it was a lovely 48 degrees and sunny.  Another guest and I were talking and she said, "Think about how it would have been to live before news forecasts and technology.  You would have no clue, based on the weather today that you were going to get 7-10 inches of snow tomorrow!" 

I thought about this statement all night long.  She is right.  You would have no clue about the weather if you didn't have access to the technology that we have now.  That is why being "prepared" was so important to homesteaders.  It was a way of survival.  If you weren't prepared for whatever life threw at you then you couldn't just drive down to the Quickie Mart and grab a gallon of milk.  If you didn't have supplies, you and your family were in jeopardy of dying.

I realize that we don't have to "prepare" for much anymore.  We live in a world of convenience, where everything we need to survive is at our disposal.  Perhaps that is why people frequently ask me, "Why do you do all this homesteading stuff?  Is it really worth it?!"  

I don't know.  I am sitting in the comfort of my warm home right now, planting seeds and listening to my chicks contentedly chirping in the background, while you are fighting rude people at the grocery store for the last gallon of milk.  You tell me, is it really worth it?!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sounds about right!

With 7-10 inches of snow supposedly coming tomorrow, this sounds about right!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

LOST! Help her find her home!

The hunt for Tina's home was unsuccessful today.  I had prayed that I would wake up today to the animal shelter calling me, saying that Tina's owner had called the shelter and excitedly wanted to be reunited with their beautiful girl.  In my mind the reunion was going to be amazing!  There was going to be tears of happiness, excited chatter, and a wiggly chihuahua smack dab in the middle of it all.  It would be a happy ending that would make Disney jealous!  Instead today brought nothing....   

I woke up this morning unable to sleep, worried about the male chihuahua that we wouldn't catch.  (It bothers me to know that there might still be one of them outdoors in the cold....)  I waited until 8 am and then drove to all of our area veterinarians searching for a microchip or a visual recognition on the dog.  I got nothing.  I stopped by all of the area groomers, and asked them if they recognized her, and again turned up empty handed.  I stalked down the postal carriers like a treasure hunter looking for gold, and got nothing.  

Here is where I need you help folks!  Can you please share this girl's photo and information?

Tina is a tan chihuahua or chihuahua mix.  She was running with a male chihuahua on Friday night (3/15/2013) in the area of German and Fifth St. in Tipp City, Ohio.  She has to belong to someone!  This dog is house trained, knows commands, and someone has obviously loved her greatly.  She is well mannered, a bit on the heavy side, and  has recently had her toenails trimmed.  Her owner or someone in their house smokes.  Do you know of anyone missing a dog that matches this description?  Your parents, neighbors, friends?  Can you repost and share this information regardless?  My email address is  Thank you!

Tina wants to go home, lets share her info and get her there!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A 3 dog night....

I was driving home this evening from work, chatting on the phone, when suddenly I saw a little tan chihuahua darting back and forth through traffic on Main St.  I quickly hung up the phone, chased the little dog into a backyard, and called the police.  It then dawned on me that I had several of the animal control officer's phone numbers on my cell phone and decide to call Christine since she is closest to me.  I asked her if she could come help me catch the little dog, and she quickly obliged.  Christine arrived even before the police!  (Yes, folks she is that fast...)  After the 4 of us chased the pooch around for a bit, it finally figured out how to get back into it's fenced yard and we all parted ways with thanks and a chuckle.

Flash forward a few hours....

I am sitting on my front porch swing, listening to the rain and thinking about life, when I see 2 little tan chihuahuas run by.  They run directly into the path of an oncoming car, who quickly stops for them and I start following them on foot.  I chase them across the street, behind a building and hold them there.  Who do I call to come help me?  Yep, my good friend Christine!  We only ended up catching one of the two chihuahuas, and looked high and low for the owner, but with no luck.  Finally, after exhausting all efforts we headed in for the night.  The little chihuahua has become my house guest for the evening, and she has settled in quite nicely!

I am calling her Tina, after Christine at the shelter and if the owner doesn't show up for her she has a home! God wouldn't have me chase 3 tan chihuahuas in one night if he didn't want me to have one, right?!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chick Days!

We have been flipping back and forth on our plans for a spring flock for several months now.  Originally we were going to skip chicks all together this year and wait until next year to start an entire new flock, but there is that 4-5 month window where you have no eggs if you wipe out all of your laying hens and replace them with younger hens.  (I don't think I can deal with the Reluctant Farmer whining about no eggs for that long ever again!)  Then I made plans to teach a class at the cultural center and decided that we would buy chicks when I placed an order for my classroom, however I caved tonight and could not wait until summer to get chicks.

When I called our local feed store and asked what breeds of chicks they had available.  We were told they had Americaunas in stock, so Katzya and I rushed over only to find out that they had all been sold minutes before we got there.  Disappointed, we called another feed store, and we were excited to find out that they had still had Americaunas, so off we hurried.  When we got there we immediately headed back to the chicks and were excited to hear the soft "peeping" coming from the brood boxes.  We missed out on a few of our favorite breeds (which we will order later this summer...), but they still had plenty of Americaunas!

We brought home 6 little Americauna pullets tonight, and they are so cute.  Katzya still has not named them yet, but I am sure that is coming!  With their little blue feet and their puffy cheeks, I am so glad we did not wait until summer to start our flock.  I don't think I could have managed to not have chicks for an entire year!    All 6 of them are brown, but with different markings and shades of brown, so it will be interesting to see how they develop and grow!  My heart is content....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Backyard Chicken Keeping Class!

For anyone who might be interested, I am teaching several classes at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center, this summer.  One of the classes I will be teaching is a class on backyard chicken keeping, so if you are thinking about adding chickens to your life, this is the perfect class for you!  Come join us and learn all you need to know to get started in the world of chicken keeping.

This is a two part class where you will learn all you need to know about raising chickens for your backyard homestead.  When you finish this class you will have a complete understanding of chicken keeping from birth to breakfast.

In the first class we will go over housing, feeding, and care of chickens.  In the second class we will discuss the different breeds of chickens, health problems that affect the chicken, and I will answer any additional questions that you may have before sending you out the door with your new chicks!

That's right, upon completion of this class each participant is welcome to take home 4 chicks to start their own backyard flock.  (More chicks may be available for purchase as well...)

The first part of the class will be on June 8th from 10-12:30 pm and the second part of the class will be June 22nd from 10-12:30 pm.  Pay attention to their website to find out when their summer class schedule will be released so you can sign up!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

How To: Powder Laundry Detergent

The Reluctant Farmer and I have been saying that we wanted to make our own laundry soap for several weeks, however we had just not done it yet.  Finally, after laundry had reached an ultimate high, and the amount of detergent we had on hand  had reached an ultimate low, we decided to make our own laundry soap.  This recipe is so simple, and fast that there is no excuse not to give it a try.

You will need:

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
1 bar of soap
A marge mixing bowl
A cheese grater
A blender
A container for your finished product

Grate the soap into small pieces.  Add the soap to the blender.  Then add the washing soda to the blender, and blend until the product is in a semi-powder form.  Put the borax into a large mixing bowl and then stir in the soap/washing soda mixture from the blender and you are finished! 


My friend Maria adds Purex Crystals to a similar recipe for add scent, and she loves it.  So, if you decide you want extra scent give that a try!

The Reluctant Farmer has played around with this recipe and in the second batch that she made, she added 1/3 cup of Oxyclean to the mixture for extra stain fighting properties.  

You should use heaping tablespoon of soap per regular load of laundry, although you can use 2 tablespoons of your laundry is extra dirty or a large load.

Not only is this soap super effective, it is super cheap to make!
The boxes of Borax and washing soda run $4.00 each.  The bar of soap cost me about $1.00 per bar to make.  You should get 192 loads of laundry for about $8.00 and still have a few cups of Borax left over for your next batch.  That equates to $0.04 per load of laundry!

I swear that my clothes feel cleaner and lighter than they do when washed in my regular detergent.  On top of that, saving money makes my wallet feel lighter too!

This post shared  with some of my favorite farm friends at:

Spring on the Farm!

For some reason this winter has been especially hard on me this year, I know I have been complaining about the fact that it feels like spring is taking FOREVER to get here.  I can only contribute this to the fact that I had my garden planned before I had my fall crops in, and knew all of the things I wanted to do differently for 2013.  With the ice storm Thursday all hope of spring every arriving was lost in my eyes.  How quickly that changes though.  We went to a Millennium Quarter Horses on Saturday, and that is when I realized spring was hiding there!

Here is the proof:

Everything on a farm happens at the right time, and foals happen in the spring.  That can only mean one thing:  Spring has to be right around the corner!  Nature doesn't lie....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pinterest, Farmyard Style!

Tonight I went to the horse barn and when I walked in I noticed there was a plastic water bottle, half full of water, sitting on top of the bank of light switches.  There is sat secured by a "zip tie", in all it's glory.  My first thought was, "Wow, that is a genius way of telling if it is cold enough for the water buckets to freeze!"  In my rationale if the water in the bottle froze, then you would know that it was cold enough for the buckets to freeze, and you should turn on the bucket heaters.  I went on about my night, catching up with my barn friends, not really thinking about the bottle.  

Several hours later, while chatting with Anna and her mom Kerri, I asked, "Why is this bottle sitting here?"  Anna pipes up with: "It's to catch the water that is leaking in from the roof!"  Anna went on to explain that she was turning on the light switches last week, and when she reached over she got shocked because there was water on the bank of switches.  She said shortly after she got shocked, this bottle contraption showed up, so she was guessing someone else got a shock too.  This just made me laugh.  If you think about it, this is quite the invention.  It will probably never make a Pinterest board, but I have to give whoever came up with this design some credit for creativity, functionality!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Update: Playing Well With Others!

Tonight we got several inches of snow pretty fast, and the dogs have been taking full advantage of it!  At first I wasn't too excited to see snow, however I will admit that there is something about the way that it renews that world that is absolutely stunning.  This paired with the fact that it is only 32 degrees outside actually makes it bearable!  

I decided to take the pups out for a little romping and got quite the surprise when Stella and Chai decided to play!  You have to understand that Stella is a dog who is a fair bit dog aggressive if she feels threatened, and sometimes only she understands exactly why she feels threatened.  (The rest of the world can't exactly make sense out of her thinking at times.)  Chai is dog aggressive as well.  He rarely plays with any other dog, so for him to play is a huge deal!  

It is hard to believe that Stella is the same dog that I brought home just a few weeks ago.  She has come so far, and is doing amazingly well.  Stella is figuring out how to adjust from her show/kennel life which was solitary due to her aversion of dogs, and she is learning how to adjust and function in a pack.  I am damn proud of this girl.  It is not easy to ask someone to get over something that they fear, yet Stella trusts me and this pack of dogs and I have only had a few scuffles.  Look how happy she is running with Ziggy and Chai.  This proves, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Brew" Money for Betsy?!

Betsy was an owned dog that was loved very much by her family.  Sadly, her owners died and Betsy found herself homeless.  She was adopted by a gentleman and his family where she has been living for the last month.  They decided that 2 dogs and a busy lifestyle was not in the best interest of Betsy, so she was stated to go to the shelter.  Lost & Found K9 Rescue stepped in to help this beautiful girl.  

When Betsy first arrived, she was limping noticeably on her rear leg.  Thinking that she was just a bit sore from being an older girl, she was taken to the vet to be looked at.  When she was examined, the vet noticed that she had severe pain in her right hip.  An xray quickly confirmed that Betsy had a dislocated hip that had been that way for quite some time, and this girl was in quite a bit of pain.  After a discussion with the vet, it was decided that the best thing for Betsy would be to have a Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) performed so that the pain she had been living in could be relived.  

An FHO is a surgical procedure that removes that head and neck of the femur.  It is a salvage procedure, reserved for only when the dog's pain has reached a point that there is no other way to manage it.  The procedure exposes the head of the femur and the head is removed by a small saw or bone hammer, and it is not replaced.  Instead the body will heal this and the joint will develop a fibrous scar tissue so that instead of the joint rubbing bone-bone, which is why the dog was originally in so much pain, the body will form a "false joint" and the pain will disappear.  

The good news is that Betsy should make a full recovery, although she will benefit from staying thin and being walked on a regular basis.  The best news is that she will no longer be in pain!  With that being said, Betsy's adventure at the vet today was not a cheap adventure.  (That paired with the fact that Molly had to have her eye removed...)  What we would like is to ask for one day of your "brew" money.  I know, you are wondering what in the heck I am talking about, right?!  We know times are tough, and money is tight, that is why we would like to see if you could donate the $5.00 that you would normally spend buying your morning cup of coffee on Betsy!  Please could you use Folgers just for tomorrow, and donate the money you would have spent at Starbucks on this girl?  In your mind, insert Sarah McLachlan singing that Angel song right here...  And if you hear Sarah in your mind, and feel Betsy in your heart please send your $5.00 donation by:

1)  Paypal to (Please make sure that you mark that it is a donation so no fees have to be paid on your donation!)

2)  Called in to our veterinarian at 937-335-6999  (Let them know you would like to make a donation to the care of Betsy with Lost & Found K9 Rescue, and our account number is 17610.)

3) Or by check made payable to: Lost & Found K9 Rescue, 1890 Old Staunton Rd., Troy Ohio 45373, and put Betsy's name in the memo section!

Your donation is tax deductible since we are an Ohio non-profit!

Thank you all in advance for caring!  And of course, we will keep you updated on Betsy! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

And the winner is....

The winner of the bar of soap, supported by the Skin Soap Co. is Lisa Warner
Congratulations Lisa and thank you Skin Soap Co. for sponsoring this give-away!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2 Hearts Connected By 1 Love....

A chance meeting happened today, and I am so happy that it did.  My soul needed it and her soul needed it too....

A friend of mine, involved in rescue transport was asked to transport a very old collie to Troy Ohio to it's new home.  She had been conversing with the "new" owner when she realized that the owner wasn't this dog's "new" owner, in fact it was this dog's "old" owner.  The dog that she was transporting was going back to his original owner, Debbie.  My friend was shocked by this and immediately called me when she put two and two together.  I too was shocked for a minute, and then I was actually relieved.  It is seldom in rescue that people that take at an entire situation, and look at it objectively.  I strive to be that rescuer, although sometimes I know I have room for improvement.  I really wanted to meet Debbie!  I felt like I already knew her and I really wanted to answer any questions that she had about her dogs and were they went to.  I know if I was in the same situation, I would want to know what happened to my "babies".

When we took part in the Tipp City hoarding case, it was evident that the owner of those dogs had the best of intentions and that they were loved.  The dogs were all well fed, in basically good condition, and all but one was spayed or neutered.  I felt that the owner's heart was in the right place, but 85 dogs is just too many for one person to physically to take care of.  We were told from the get go that there were a few dogs that the owner wanted back, one of them being a 12-13 year old collie named Secret.  The owner had had Secret since he was a puppy, and no doubt loved him.  She knew Secret had a seizure disorder and was up front about it from the beginning, and collie rescue and I discussed that if the owner was able to get back on her feet again she could have the dog back.  I am happy to say that collie rescue felt that Debbie was in a place that was adequate for her and the dog, and I agree.

Before any readers get up in arms about this, please remember: In rescue we are are all within a few steps of being in the same situation as this owner, and we should pray that other people would help us out.  Meeting Debbie and her sister tonight was nothing short of amazing.  She was everything I knew she would be.  She is very kind, has a big heart, and loves dogs as much as I do.  (And so many of you do!)  She thanked me several times for helping to find her dogs rescues/homes and I hope that Debbie has a sense of closure tonight.  I pray that she feels better knowing that I worked so hard to find appropriate places for those dogs, and that the ones that she was worried about, she no longer has to worry about.  I was able to tell her about every single dog and where it went.  (She was a relieved Momma!)  I pray for Debbie's health and healing, and I am confident that real healing occurs when your heart and mind are happy.  I think Debbie is well on her way tonight.  Her boy is back home with her, in the loving arms and heart of his mom.  As soon as Secret and Debbie laid eyes on each other tonight, I knew there was no where else that he should be.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Responsible Meat Eater

My passion in life from the time I was 5 years old has always been animals.  I have loved them since before I can remember, and I was always that kid that brought home every stray that need a warm place to sleep, and a meal to fill it's starving belly.  As I grew into adulthood that part of me never changed.  I still bring home every stray in need.  Anyone who knows me, knows my passion and I can't think of anyone who would question that.  Because I write about my farm life and rescue on my blog, sometimes I catch heat from equally passionate people behind the scenes.  These people don't always agree with the fact that I raise animals for my consumption.  Thankfully I have broad shoulders and I am able to take whatever comes my way via passionate people.

Usually when dealing with these passionate and somewhat radical people, I can internalize and remind myself "it is all for the animals", however I am really struggling with this issue this week.  I was contacted by an animal advocacy group over the weekend and was asked to help with the seizure and removal of several hundred animals, including many farm animals.  I told them I would help, but after the conversation I felt like I was being judged by the organization because I eat meat and raise my own animals to sustain my life.

In the end, although I was literally 1/4 mile down the road from the seizure, they declined my help.  I would be lying if I said that my feelings weren't hurt and I wasn't offended.  Here is an animal advocacy group that I have worked with several times on recent situations, questioning my ability to foster animals all because I eat meat.  I felt like I was being compared to the cast of Twilight.  "Don't let her foster your animals or she might eat them!"  I don't like having my love for animals questioned anymore than they like to eat meat!

As strange as it sounds, it is my love of animals that makes me want to farm.  For many years I was a vegetarian.  I wasn't a vegetarian because I didn't like meat.  I was a vegetarian because I hated factory farming.  I did not want to eat meat that had been stuffed into cages, never being allowed to touch grass.  I did not want to eat eggs from chickens with physiological issues due to living in small cages, with wire bottoms and no sunlight.  I did not want my dietary choices to contribute to the cruelty of animals.  It wasn't good for my soul.

It is because I love animals that I choose to raise my own meat.  I have to know my food personally.  In my opinion that is the only way to farm.  I want to know my dinner from birth to death and everywhere in between.  It is imperative that I know where my animals come from, ensure that they were treated kindly and that they were respected.  I have to know that they were free to run around, feel the grass under their feet, the sun on their back and that they, in the end were thanked for giving their life to sustain me.  I am not the type of person who doesn't know how they die either, and even that has to be humane.  I have watched this process several times, and am comfortable in the fact that I was with them until the end and they don't suffer.  I do not take any aspect of this farm for granted.  It isn't my style and it isn't why I do this.  I farm to nourish myself and my family with whole food that was raised in a humane environment.  So don't get mad at me and shun me because I eat meat.  I am being a responsible consumer.  Do you think less of the person who works along side of you as a volunteer and buys her chicken from her grocer's freezer?!  I think not....

I would be a poor excuse of a person if I didn't treat these animals with the same love and respect that I feel I deserve myself.  The fact that I eat meat bears no prediction on my desire or ability to rescue animals.  Just as these people are concerned for animal welfare, I am too!