Friday, January 22, 2010

Goodbye Bogey

Last night we had to say goodbye to the best dog in the world. Bogey was 15 years old and was suffering from arthritis and hip dysplasia. The pain just became too much for him and his ability to get up or down by himself was almost completely gone. Bogey aka Bogart had been a loving, gentle, and proud dog. He would look completely mortified when we had to help him get up after a fall. As the vet told us, we had to know that he no longer looked forward to each day. He only had peace when he would finally fall asleep and even that proved difficult in the last couple of weeks, as the mere act of lying down would cause him great pain. We knew we couldn't let him go on like this but I just found having to make this decision so difficult. My heart was breaking at the thought. But I know he was no longer happy.

In 1995, Keith headed out one day to get cat food for our old cat Whiner. About 30 minutes later, he came home saying "you have to go back to the pet store with me". They were having animal adoptions that day through a foster care group. Keith had seen Bogey and fell in love. He was a Black Lab/German Shepherd mix and his original name was "Rock". The agency said that his owner had given him up for adoption because he wasn't getting big enough. We brought him home and Keith renamed him Bogart (Bogey for short) after his favorite actor Humphrey Bogart.

Bogey was solid black and awesome. Bogey was easily trained. He was the perfect mix of loving dog and protector rolled into one. He could jump and catch Frisbees and probably could have competed in agility training when he was younger (had we had the motivation to be that agile along with him). We used to take him everywhere with us - even camping when we went four-wheelin'. He would always perk up and get excited if we asked him if he wanted to go for a ride. He always looked more intimidating that what he really was. He used to scare the delivery men quite a bit - especially the Chinese food delivery.

We have always had dogs in my family, but this was Keith's first dog. Anyone who knew Bogey knew what a great dog he was. We couldn't have asked for a better dog and I sincerely feel we will never find another like him - he was truly special. We love our other dog Abby very much but we have known she was crazy from day one. She is named after the movie Young Frankenstein (AB Normal). She misses Bogey very much too. Last night she sat by the front door looking out the window and pretty much moped all night. It will take a long time for our family to heal from this loss.

We were blessed to have had Bogey in our life. I know that now he is in a much better place where he can run all day chasing rabbits. Old man, you are loved soo much and we will miss you every day.

Friday, January 15, 2010


It's been a little while since our last update. The holidays and the extreme cold had us hibernating inside the house - trying to avoid having to venture outside at all costs. Keeping the coop warm has been a challenge. Many days we kept the girls inside as they didn't really like the cold and snow anyway. A water bowl with a warmer has definitely helped. All the girls started showing a bit of damage to their combs, so we tried to protect them with some petroleum jelly. They just loved being chased around in freezing temps (think it was 10 degrees that day) just so I could glop some Vaseline on their heads (yeah right!). We really should have video taped the entire endeavor. Even the eggs were freezing because we couldn't grab them till after we got home from work. BTW, a frozen egg looks like an Egg Slushy on the inside.

Elvis has been returned to the flock. They other girls still pick on her a bit and so she tends to stay off on her own. Away from trouble I guess. Egg production has increased despite the winter chill. Once we moved Elvis into the Hen Hospital, all the girls started laying and they have stayed that way with her back in the flock. We are getting 3 to 5 eggs everyday. In fact we have had 22 eggs since Sunday. I think it might be time to start thinking about selling them and not just giving eggs away to friends and family. I started keeping a daily journal on egg production and coop conditions. With feed and bedding costs, maybe we can get an idea as to what the price should be for a dozen eggs.