Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Augusta is a farming community.  It is also an Amish community.
So, waking to the sound of a buggy is not unheard it was this past weekend.
Clip Clop Clip memories of Mackinac Island return.
Then -- as the buggy nears the next farm -- I hear the dogs...
And that is where this story begins.

Farms often have dogs -- generally not just one.
They serve as pets and protectors.
But, as with any animal -- there are rules of the road -- mainly, keep control of your animals.

So -- Monday as I looked out on our backyard, I was not totally surprised to see a neighbor's dog.
Miffed as I was -- I did my usual -- walk out, clap my hands, growl loud, scare it off home.  This was not the first time.  Then I look out to our pasture & I see my little Chestnut, tiniest of all my kittens, up in the height of a tree.  Good for you, I think, you knew to climb to safety.  Good for you. little one.  Then I went back to get the water, kitty milk and head out to the barn -- knowing quite well I would need to help my little Nutsky down from the tree.

And that is where the story changed. 

As I approached the pasture, I realize another one of the neighbor's dogs is in the pasture -- next to the entrance to the barn.  I free my hands, and quickly get into the barn thru the milk house, hoping the animals are not hurt.  Little Moo -- our patriarch goat has the goats huddled in a corner and is standing between them and the intruder.  I grab a lead -- and head out to the pasture to try to corral this X?!#@ dog.  Yea, you read that right -- Seriously?  The dog bares his teeth.

Back into the barn to barricade the door, Nutsky still hovering in the tree.  With an ice covered driveway, I run to the house.  Dave is sick and still waking, I holler for him to come and help.  He arrives with rifle in hand.  Once more we try to approach the dog -- growls & bares teeth.  Off Dave heads to the neighbor's farm -- "come and get your dog" is the message he will deliver.  "We'll stop by later on our way to work" is the message he returns with.  Seriously??

I now head to the neighboring farm.  One thing you don't want to EVER deal with is the wrath of Kari --especially when I am protecting my flock.  No buggy, no gentle approach...with horn blaring I announce "You have 5 minutes to come get your dog, or we'll shoot it".  This is just too much.  See, life in the country does have it's moments.  This dog was meaning to do harm to my animals -- and has harassed them once too often.  Seriously???  (*Now, seriously, we are humane, wouldn't do harm to another animal unless it was life or death for one of our animals --- but that being said, humans need to be responsible for their animals -- "shoot it" was meant to make the people actually respond.)

Finally, mad neighbor arrives,  Seething, he shares how his dog is just so scared by us.  He gathers his dog, says a few choice words, and steams off, mad because we bothered him & scared his dog -- that happened to be in our fenced pasture.  Seriously????

We do what any fair minded person would.  We call our township's Animal Control to document what just happened (not the first time for these dogs & other farms) and find out what indeed the ordinances are & what our rights are.  We contact the Sheriff and document.  'Cause at the end of the day -- our farm is our property, our animals are our responsibility and no one has the right to create their own laws ----- not even in the country.  *And we do end the day with a civil conversation with the neighbor -- but, with a "Control your dogs, or else."....not a threat -- just a reality and a right.

This is why:

Then we bring out the extension ladder, I climb up and get little Chestnut, with heart beating so, out of the tree.  We award Little Moo the Medal of Honor for standing between the goats and the dog  (and do note...Moo is a fainting goat, so he done extra good).  We count all the little heads, stand with our feet planted firmly, looking towards the neighbor's farm, hearing the barks, and say with no uncertainty, "Thus far, and no further."  Yes, we are serious.


Artful Gathering said...

good for you Kari! I would hate to shoot another animal but if they are doing harm to my animals, kids, grandkids, etc... I would shoot them too.... You go GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheryl in Wisconsin said...

You are so obviously justified in your anger, your fear and doing what you have to do to protect your farm family. Your neighbor needs to get it together. Letting a dog wander unsupervised is wrong - simple as that. And bless Little Moo's heart...

kimmykats said...

Bless Moo! We had 2 strange visitors this weekend too and 5 scardy cats with huge tails...beautiful dogs but, they needed to be at home not romping at my house. Our big tom was standing at the window huffing and puffing with a growl here and there...

Barb said...


My heart was pounding as I read your blog. We had that happen a few years ago when the neighbor's dog attacked both goats and both sheep. It was sickening. My poor Baa-sil's side was ripped open and he was partially eaten by the time I got there. Three vets refused to come to his aid when I told each of them that it was a sheep. One finally came when I was begging and in tears. We struggled for three or four weeks to heal him (you would expect as much from me after reading the blog posts about Diddy Cat :O) )but Dave finally said enough was enough. He put Baa-sil down and a week later his companion and sweetest sheep ever, Tim, died from loneliness.

Cops were called and they came out but nothing was ever done. The township guy said these folks were responsible for the costs involved, which came to close to $500. They paid me $20. I was going to just write it off as a painful and heartbreaking lesson but the same township guy told me to turn it in to the township. They paid me and then went after these folks. We used the money for electric fencing.

Then we found out the "under the radar" rule in the neighborhood is "SSS"...shoot, shovel and shut-up. After that incident I will not tolerate ANYTHING coming after by sweet flock. I get kind of primal when I see strange dogs here....basically it's kind of a "Don't mess with this mama bear".

Ok, I need to calm down now....Ohm...sigh.

Jani said...

This just makes me sick..... but before you shoot the shotgun try shooting an airhorn or a squirt gun full of ammonia.(aimed at their eyes) That usually does the trick. Pepper spray ain't bad either. Find it at sports stores that sell running stuff. Lots of nasty dogs out there trying to scare joggers. I'm so sorry. I like the SSS thing. You wouldn't want to acknowledge what just happened even though you're more than justified!
Hang is there all you fuzzy Kari critters!

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

Dave used to hunt -- now he fishes.
However, I am surprised that I am glad to have his hunting rifle here (I'm a Bambi kind of girl). We knew we might need it handy to humanely put down a deer hit on the road or handle a rabid animal or scare off a predator....but needing it to keep a neighor's dog away from my animals never crossed my mind.
That is life in the country and felt I should fairly portray it as it is.

My thanks to you for your support & ideas... I love my animals and take their care very seriously.

Dave keeps wondering when he will come home to find them all in the house, goats and all.

Nan said...

Seriously Kari...I love your spirit!

ann at greenoak said...

i hear you kari....and they were lucky you called them and didnt shoot first. beloved old dog was shot and killed on his first offence...he ran off with another dog and chased sheep....

Stephanie said...

Have fun dealing with the dog's "owner"; he's a treat! You are not the first occupant of the farm to have to do that. Well done and I hope they stay away; for the poor kitties sake.

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