Friday, June 17, 2011

Graduation Trip to Florida

In mid May Liz graduated from Miami University and the family went to Florida for a long weekend to celebrate.  Ross came with us and Samantha flew in from Colorado.  The trip was great and we had a wonderful celebration.  Unfortunately things did not go as well for the dogs.  On friday afternoon the housekeeper let them out and they did not come back.  During the entire graduation ceremony I was on the phone with her as the time grew increasingly late and still no dogs.  By 5 I told her there was nothing left she could do.  I was hoping they would come home for dinner and called Trish, the combination House/Dog/Chicken sitter for the weekend to alert her to the problem.  It wasn't until after 6 that it occurred to me to have Trish listen to the phone message machine.  Sure enough there was a message the the girls had been picked up by the dog catcher.  When Trish called it was after 6 on friday evening so the girls would have to stay in the slammer overnight and she could post $30 bail in the morning to get them out.  Trish now calls them her jail birds.

Rare Chick
The real birds fared even worse that weekend.  No one really knows what happened.  I left with a list of chick numbers and breeds in the trailer at the farm and a sparse set of instructions on chicken care.  A different person had volunteered to close up the coop each night.  I was trying to spread the work around so no one person would be too burdened by the job.  Farmer Dan took care of opening up and feeding each morning.  In fact it was not a good plan.  When I returned on Tuesday morning there were 3 birds missing.  No one person was really ever watching or counting so no one knew how or when they disappeared.  There was no sign of attack but it was also several days perhaps since they had been gone.  My hope is that they were taken by a person and are being cared for somewhere.  One of the missing chicks was rare chick so that makes me think it might have been a person.  The farm is pretty deserted on Sundays and there are lots of tourists wandering around.  Lesly did the Sat night close up and she was particularly sensitive to rare chick's state of solitariness so she knows rare chick was there for sure on Saturday night but other than that there are no real clues.  I checked to see if they had wandered off and attached themselves to the flock at the Restoration but no such luck.  The 3 lost chicks were Rare Chick, a Partridge Rock, and a Black Australorp.

The day I left for Florida Dan and Caroline took the 3 chicks I had promised to raise for them for their backyard, so now there are 26 chicks at the farm.  Since that time there have been no more losses.  Twice I have found a chick wandering outside the fencing but they have quickly gone back in, under, or through when coaxed.  I still count every night to make sure they are all in.  This week I am again in Florida, taking care of my mom while my dad is away.  Farmer Dan is opening the coop each morning and feeding and watering the girls.  My husband Steve, with Security Dan"s help (and vice versa) are doing the the night shift.  Steve calls me every night after doing a head count and closing the door.  He's a good man.  The Dans too.  I am lucky and grateful to have all this support.

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