Last night when we got home, the three puppies had broken into the house and gotten into stuff (again) only this time, there was a part of a carcass from a piglet. This was the last straw. We ended up having to put them down. We hated doing it, but we also couldn't let them continue to break in the house, eat our food, continue to eat livestock (they've also eaten chickens and eggs and now a baby pig) and continue on as they have. Giving them to someone else means they go some place else and eat theit chickens and livestock. It was a hard decision and one we had been putting off for quite a while. The carcass of a baby pig on our bed with a dog chewing on it as we walk in the door was the official "This is it!"
So, this morning we got all of them and they were taken out back one at a time. We all cried. I explained to the children that they kept eating our food and killing our other animals and there is no reason for it. They have their own food. They've been scolded, tied up, etc, etc, etc. But now they are killing babies. With more babies coming in a few months, this can not continue. Everyone farms. Everyone has livestock. Giving these dogs away would be just passing the problem on to someone else.
After "The Deed Was Done," we went out and ended up going back and forth across the county several times. I picked up some flashlights for Cub Scouts on Tuesday for a project. We picked up a black tee for the stove pipe, and found a round bale of hay amazingly enough. Trying to find one was near impossible. Everyone was out or never got a 3rd or 4th cut due to drought and were barely able to maintain for their own animals or those that have sold in the past were having to suddenly buy for themselves. Anyway, this guy said that he should have extra through winter should we need it. We are going to have a storage area in our barn and buy a round bale a month and start stocking up so when another bad season hits or we get a sudden influx of animals, we know we will be ok. A round bale (guessing here) should last the animals we currently have a couple of months.
We get home, unload the round bale (they weigh 1100 pounds) surprisingly easily and Husband gets to work on the barrel wood heater. It holds WAY more wood than the "Big Bertha" wood burner. Big Bertha is going to go out to the barn and the barrel wood burner and wood cook stove are going to share a stove pipe. They are going to meet at the tee (what we picked up today) and have one pipe going out instead of two. The barrel is set up and currently burning wood. Tomorrow we will finish the whole stove pipe assembly with the meeting of the two.
Last night, it was cold. There was ice half an inch thick on all the animal water buckets and troughs. I'm outside brushing my teeth and as soon as the wet toothbrush hits the air, ice forms on it. It was very cold. I was glad to get back inside where it was nice and warm. I did not enjoy having to hear my husband getting up every hour to feed the fire to stay ahead of the freeze which is why I am glad we got the barrel stove. Supposedly, they last 12 hours. I will be happy with 8. On the nights like last night, 5 is ok with me. But hourly (normally every 3) to stay ahead of the freeze is bad. It worked. No one froze last night. Everyone was nice and warm all snug under their covers while Husband did fire duty. But I still don't like it. I know the barrel works. I've seen it work. I know how well it works and how long it lasts and all the neat tips and tricks to get it hot fast if needed. One of the benefits of being friend with R and going over to her house constantly. It's how they heat their house and sometimes it gets so warm in there that you find yourself wishing you were wearing a short-sleeved shirt under your turtleneck.
Anyway, we're warm and it's cold out. (Not as bad as last night.) We have three less dogs and the children are handling it ok for now. I know it will be brought up again and again and again as they do any time we lose an animal to illness, attack, putting it down, or eating it. (Bethany has been known to say "I miss Robin. She was yummy, but I still miss her.") My children will probably need a lot of therapy when they grow up.