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Chihuahua Rescued

Hallelujah! The Chihuahua we found last week has been adopted! 

A very sweet girl drove about two hours one way last night to get her, after reading my listing for her just yesterday. I was overjoyed to find such a sweet new "mommy" for our little sweetie. 

We could not keep her, yet we were concerned about the kind of home we would allow her to go to. We turned down a few people yesterday, just because we had a bad feeling that they could not care for her properly. I can't help but be suspicious. Pet abuse in the form of neglect seems to be rampant around here. (For the background information on this little chihuahua, please read my previous posts.) 

Why would someone not feed a little dog who depends on them? How hard is it to just pour some food into a bowl for the little thing? If you can't provide a loving and safe environment for a pet, then you should not have one. In this tough economy, I can understand how someone cannot afford veterinary care, although that is a necessary expense when you have pets. But feeding a small animal doesn't cost much. Not feeding a little dog or cat is inexcusable.

Anyway, this story has a very happy ending, and for that I am very thankful. God bless you Suni, for taking our little rescued chihuahua and making her your own.

(By the way, she gained 8 ounces during the 11 days we had her, so I think she will continue to improve and be a very healthy and happy dog.)

Memorial Day: The Real Reason for this Holiday

As you enjoy your cook out today, remember what this day really means.

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who have died during service in our United States Armed Forces. As you enjoy this day with your family, please take a moment to pause and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Give a prayer of thanks for them and pray for comfort for those who are still grieving their loss. And if you see a veteran today, say "Thank you" to him or her for putting themselves in harm's way for you and for me and for our freedom.
Click the picture for the link to this story

Chihuahua Update

When my husband arrived home to meet the little chihuahua we found, he examined the piece of leash that had been attached to her collar. He believes the leash was not chewed as we thought, but was cut. This further adds to the mystery of why this little dog was running around the neighborhood with a piece of leash hanging from her collar. (For more information, read my previous post.)

One thing for sure though, she has definitely not been eating enough. She is such a picky eater that I can't really be sure her owner was not feeding her. She eats very little.

This morning she has eaten some turkey bacon. She seems to love that. But last night I offered her some chicken and she refused it. Yesterday I scrambled her a fresh egg from our henhouse, and she let it sit there all day until it dried out. Finally I had to let Lady eat it. I've given her two or three different kinds of canned dog food, and she just plays with it. She has eaten a couple of the small Milk Bone Dog Biscuits, but I know she needs something with a lot of nutrition in it.

Little Found Chihuahua will eat Turkey Bacon
To be so skinny, she has an amazing amount of energy. It sure makes me sad to look down at her from above. From that angle, she looks emaciated. Also, she seems very nervous and jumpy. Of course, that could be just from being in a new and unfamiliar place. And we do have other dogs, a beagle and a border collie, and two cats. But when I walk toward her, she runs away at first, and then cautiously waits before finally allowing me to pick her up.

I might offer her some canned catfood in a bit. You know how dogs like stinky 
stuff. 

This is not the first time we have rescued a dog. Usually though, they just show up here. And if we can't find a home for him or her, we just let them stay. But it has been a long time since I've had to care for one so skinny. I've never seen a dog that doesn't eat much. I'm running out of ideas on what to feed her.

Besides being underweight, she appears very healthy. And she seems to be housebroken. So although she was tied out frequently, perhaps she spent some time indoors as well.

If you would like to provide a loving home for this sweet little girl, please let us know.

Chihuahua Found: Underweight and Scared

Last night as we were getting ready to leave from my Daddy's house, a little chihuahua ran up to me, shivering and nervous. I reached down and picked her up, receiving no resistance. She was wearing a new-looking pink collar. Attached was a piece of leash that had been chewed, making me think she had been tied outside unattended long enough for her to chew loose. She has been neglected, for sure.

I've seen this little dog before. Awhile back she ran through my Daddy's yard dragging a pink leash. That time I could not catch her. I was afraid she would get hung up on something or get hit by a car, but instead of coming to me, she quickly ran away.

This time, she came right up to my feet and looked up at me, as if asking for help.

Daddy said, "Aw, just put her down. She'll run back to where she came from." But my daughter said, "Look how skinny she is! She's pitiful. Look, Mommy, she's trembling."

I wondered where she had come from. Daddy said he might have seen her before, but he had no idea who she belonged to. Several of the neighbors have chihuahuas. So we took off up the street to ask around. We checked with all the neighbors in the area. We saw several chihuahuas. But no one knew who this one belonged to.

One neighbor pointed out how skinny she was. "That dog ain't been fed," he said. 

Her ribs are very, very visible. And her stomach is sunk in. 

Then he noticed the leash attached to her collar. "And look at that piece of leash! She's been tied out for a long time. They ain't checked on her. It took a long time for that dog to chew off her leash like that. I'd call Animal Control. Somebody is mistreating that dog. Call Animal Control. They'll come pick her up."

I sure did not want to do that. I know they already have too many homeless dogs to take care of. I don't like adding to that if I can do something myself. So we brought her home with us. On the way home, my son decided she was probably hungry and offered her a goldfish cracker. She wouldn't take it.

We figured she was thirsty. When we got home, we offered her some water, but she didn't drink. Wouldn't eat either. Our dogs are much larger, so the dog food we have is big chunks. Catfood will be easier for her to eat, I thought. But she wouldn't eat it. So my son said, Maybe she's used to table scraps. He offered her a piece of chicken, but she wouldn't take that either. Then he said, "Well, she's a Mexican dog. Maybe she likes Mexican food." So he put some tortilla chips in a bowl and set that down for her. She grabbed one and ate it. Then another. And another. Aha! She likes junk. Oh well, at least she ate something. And finally, she drank a little water. We took her outside on a leash to see if she would go potty. But she ran to the neared porch post, as if expecting to be tied. Poor little thing. No tying out tonight, little sweetie. She never did go to the bathroom that night. I'm thinking she was dehydrated. We kept taking her to the water bowl, but she drank very little.

Finally, it was bedtime, so we put her in a crate to sleep. She whined for awhile and then got on her blanket and went to sleep.

This morning's storms prevented us from being able to take her outside early for a bathroom break. When the storms finally let up, we were able to take her out, but she still wouldn't go potty. We brought her back inside and offered her some water and more of the cat food. She was too excited to eat or drink. Little boys are more interesting, I guess. She's watching their every move.

After a while though, she did go to her water bowl and drank quite a bit. Then back again. I guess we'll spend the weekend waiting to see if anyone claims her. And if not, I'll take her to the vet to see if she has any health concerns. I tried weighing her. It was close to 5 pounds. She appears to be full grown. Hopefully her appetite will pick up soon.

...Reprinted with permission from www.mice-cube.blogspot.com

Memorial Garden: My Ideas to Honor my own Mother


After the passing of my mother last year, a friend brought me a gift of a lovely garden bench with the suggestion that I start on a memorial garden in honor of my dear sweet Mother.

Mama's sudden death was very painful for me, so it took awhile to be able to bring myself to begin the project. Each time I would think on it, memories would overtake me and I'd be unable to get started toward any real progress. I'm a thinker, a ponderer, a daydreamer. When I begin a new garden area, I spend lots and lots of time just thinking, as I wander around in the garden.

It took a long while to pick the spot for this memorial garden. Recent years of drought kept reminding me of how many plants I have lost over the years because I could not keep them watered enough. I knew I had to choose a spot that could be reached with the hose.

Once I picked my spot, I began to consider plants I wanted to include in my memory garden. Since most available garden space here is in the shade, I would need shade plants. Certainly, I wanted plants that would live and flourish. I wanted plants that would be beautiful in every season. Plants that would provide privacy would also be best, as my intention was to end up with a secluded spot to sit and remember my Mother. And finally, I wanted to include some of her favorite plants and her favorite colors. This would prove to take a lot of time and planning. I wanted shrubs that would grow large over time and fairly quickly. They would need to be thick shrubs that would offer seclusion and screening. Perhaps I might want to hide in there some day to be alone with my thoughts.

I tried to make the area large enough to include a spot for the garden bench I mentioned, as well as a birdbath or some type of statuary which I might want to add later. I ended up lining out a rectangle about 10 feet by 15 feet.

Red Knockout Roses 
Initially I planned on having only white blooms, which is most often used in memorial gardens, meditation gardens, and prayer gardens. But since I needed plants that are dependable, I began with Knockout Roses and Ruby Loropetalum.



Loropetalum Ruby


I placed the evergreens in the foreground for privacy. The roses and loropetalum were planted on the corner of the spot that will receive a good bit of sun. I knew I could depend on them to at least double in size the first year. (Yes, that's right...our climate does that to Knockout Roses and Loropetalum.) 




At the back of the garden, I placed some larger specimens: Mock Orange,
Mock Orange, Philadelphus coronarius

and two types of Doublefile Viburnum, Shasta and Mareisii.
Viburnum Shasta
Although they are not evergreen, they leaf out very early in Spring and will have lush, thick, green foliage until frost. There will be plenty of privacy when weather would permit my sitting out there for any length of time. 






To finish my enclosure, I planted  a few more evergreens.
Banana Shrub, Michelia figo



Leucothoe axillaris

Viburnum Sandankwa













This project will be ongoing. Mama loved hydrangeas, so several types will certainly be included. They will be protected and accentuated by the evergreens.

I will post pictures of the finished project once the shrubs have grown.

Selling Plants Online: How to Package Plants for Shipping


In our previous post, we explored your options for selling plants online. If you missed that post, you might first want to read Selling Plants Online: How to Do It.

Once you have decided what plants to sell online and where you will sell them, you must figure out how to best package the plants so they can reach their destination safely.

We have found the United States Postal Service to be the best fit for our shipping needs, but you might prefer UPS or FedEx. No matter which carrier you choose, every package carrier is harsh on packages sometimes. It is your responsibility as the seller to package your plants safely to protect the plant.

When shipping perishable items such as live plants, it is imperative to use a quick shipping method such as USPS Priority Mail or UPS ground which both take about 3 days to reach their destination. By the way, if you choose to ship with USPS, they offer free shipping materials for shipping with Priority Mail.

Shipping plants bare root is fine during the dormant season, but I prefer to ship plants with the soil ball intact. This means less transplant shock for the plant, and it is important that mail order plants arrive healthy and still moist to insure the plant will adjust quickly to its new home. Shipping the plant with soil ball enables shipping year round, so I am not limited to shipping only during the dormant season.

The plants you decide to sell will be up to you. Once you've settled on what to offer, the following steps will help to insure your success as an online seller:

  1. Prepare the plant for shipping by watering it thoroughly and allowing it to drain. 
  2. Prune away any unsightly stems prior to shipping. 
  3. Make sure all plants are labeled, especially if your customer has purchased more than one plant. 
  4. Remove plant from the pot carefully to avoid damage to the plant and its root system. 
  5. Shake off any loose soil but leave soil around the roots. This will cushion the roots and help roots stay moist during shipping.
  6. Wrap soil ball with a few sheets of newspaper and then with plastic or just do what I do and insert the paper-wrapped soil ball into a recycled plastic bag and tie it up completely.
  7. Include in the package growing instructions for the plants you are shipping, whether it is a general planting instruction sheet or detailed to fit the individual plant. By doing this you will save the buyer some time and they will appreciate the way you do business. Also, it will cut down on phone calls and emails asking you questions about growing preferences for the plant. 
  8. If the plant has tall stems wrap the topgrowth in a few sheets of newspaper to cushion them and also to protect them from tangling with the other plants in the package. 
  9. Securely attach the plant to the box by taping the rootball into the box. This will prevent slipping around and breaking of the stems. Taping the rootballs to each other as well as to the inside of the box will help to keep any sliding from occurring. 
  10. Enclose any shipping papers you intend to include - I include a cover letter thanking the customer for their order. This makes sure they have our information so they can purchase from us again. Any personal information about your company just helps the customer feel connected to you.
  11. Securely tape the package closed using package tape. 
You are now ready to ship the plants to their new home.

Check back soon for our next installment of the series on Selling Plants Online: Shipping Methods.