Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Coffee Shops
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Errand Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fitness
     None  Flooring
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Gun Accessories
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Knitting and Sewing
     None  Landscaping
     None  Mortgage
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  RV Sales and Service
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizen's Services
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Upholstery
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Welding
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking

"I could tell you that when you have trouble making up your mind about something, tell yourself you’ll settle it by flipping a coin. But don’t go by how the coin flips; go by your emotional reaction to the coin flip. Are you happy or sad it came up heads or tails?"
– David Brooks  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 6 June 2019  

None Adopt Me   None Black Forest News   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None Community Photos   None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News  
None From the Publisher   None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49  
None People on the Plains   None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life  
None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In

Bill Radford

  Animal tales: great escapes and bunny bonding
  By Bill Radford

   A moment of carelessness at the back door, and they were gone into the gathering darkness.
   Abby, our boxer-Boston terrier mix, has always had a bad habit of slipping through open doors and going for a run around the neighborhood. This time, she took our other dog, Gremlin, a young Boston terrier, with her.
   It was dusk when they escaped. Dogs running loose is nothing new in the neighborhood –- no leash law, after all –- but we have always tried to keep ours confined to the property. We worry about their safety amid cars, coyotes and other dogs.
   Usually, when Abby escapes, she's not gone long, returning with a satisfied look on her face and stretched out on the front lawn. But as darkness took hold, there was no sign of her or Gremlin. Margaret and I both searched the neighborhood, calling for them in vain.
   It was a pitch-black night –- so dark I couldn't even see the road as I walked without my flashlight splitting open the blackness. I figured the dogs were caught behind a fence and couldn't find their way back in the dark but would be able to return in the morning. Margaret wasn't as hopeful, but there was nothing else we could do.
   I awoke at 3 a.m. and peeked outside, but still no sign of them. When we got up at 6, though, with early shards of light in the eastern sky, the dogs were at the back door –- and more than ready to come in.
   They were exhausted from their adventure and barely moved from the couch all day. When Abby did move, she limped. Perhaps she had just overdone, because in a day or two she was back to normal.
   It was less traumatic than her first big escape, which occurred a few years ago, shortly after we got her from a rescue group. We'd only had Abby for a week or so when she escaped, slipping out of our fenced-in side yard. It was late in the afternoon, three days before Christmas, and cold, with a snowstorm bearing down.
   Margaret, our daughter, Hope, who was home for college for Christmas break, and I searched for Abby as snow fell and darkness descended. The search continued the next day as icy winds roared across the prairie. But another frigid night came with no sign of her.
   The next day, on Christmas Eve, we made missing-dog posters and hung them in the neighborhood. They bore fruit quickly: We got a call that afternoon from someone who had spotted Abby in a field not far from our house.
   Sure enough, Hope spotted her in the field, near a falling-down barn that likely had been her shelter. And with her hunger and weariness overcoming her fear of people, Abby allowed herself to be grabbed. So that was our big present that Christmas –- Abby's return.
   Duck duck loose
   Abby is not the only one of our animals with a penchant for escapes.
   Veronica, the duck, kept showing up outside the duck and chicken yard this summer. Grasshoppers were apparently the lure –- Veronica is a ferocious grasshopper hunter –- but we couldn't figure out how she kept getting loose. Whatever her escape route, the other ducks weren't choosing to use it. I would chase her back to the yard, but she would pretend there was no way back in.
   We wondered if she was flying over the fence, a habit that one of our chickens had adopted for a while. Pekin ducks, though, usually are too heavy to get airborne, and we'd never seen any evidence of the ducks being able to fly despite frantic wing-fluttering. My suspicion was she was somehow slipping out through the entrance to what we call "the alley," a long strip of fenced-in land that we had opened up to the chicken/duck area.
   I kept putting up new barriers, but they didn't stop Veronica. I'd come home from work and she'd be out in the main yard in pursuit of tasty, juicy grasshoppers. Or I'd be sitting out front and she'd come join me, quacking and hunting.
   Then one day, it wasn't just one duck loose but two –- Veronica had apparently let the other female duck, Honey, in on her secret. Though I had checked the alley fence time and again, I inspected it once more, kicking at the bottom to see if there was a loose section. And this time, I found it –- a small, barely duck-sized opening at the bottom. I closed it off with a cinder block, and the ducks have since stayed in their yard –- a great relief, no doubt, to the grasshoppers.
   Bunny buddies
   When our rabbit, Lois, died a few months ago, we debated whether to get another rabbit to keep our remaining one, Penny, company. Our concern was the never-ending cycle: Penny one day would die and we'd have to get the new bunny a companion, and so on.
   We finally decided, though, that Penny needed a bunny buddy. (Rabbits are much happier when they have a friend to share their life with, states On Craigslist, Margaret found another girl bunny, Lola, in need of a home.
   After a gradual introduction, followed by a day or two of intermittent running around and fur flying, Penny was ready to make friends. But Lola stayed paralyzed with fear in a corner of the pen for many more days –- to the point where we worried things weren't going to work out. But Lola finally decided this was home and Penny wasn't out to kill her, and now they're best buds.
   When bringing bunnies together, consider these tips, culled from various websites:
  • Rabbits should be spayed or neutered. They'll be healthier and less aggressive.
  • Keep the bunnies separate but adjacent for an introductory period. While rabbits are social, they're also territorial. Supervise initial face-to-face meetings.
  • The best bonding pair is male and female. That's assuming you follow the spay/neuter tip. Otherwise expect a lot more rabbits.
Abby the escape artist, right, hanging out with her partner in crime, Gremlin. Photo by Bill Radford
Bunny buddies Lola and Penny share a treat. Photo by Bill Radford
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2019 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy