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  1. SportDOG makes in-ground invisible fences you can do yourself. It is pretty versatile--different levels of notification/correction with the collars (tone, vibrate, different levels of static correction, etc.) and from what I have heard, it's a pretty reliable system. Some people don't even bury the fence; they just lay it on the ground or run it along existing physical fence. So, inexpensive (relative to having a company come in and install it, anyway) and easy is the thing. The system I have looked at will cover over an acre for about $250. I like Katie's idea to make a smaller fenced area with a taller fence for when you can't supervise her, and then possibly the invisible fence for when you're keeping an eye on her.
  2. How much fence? It's not an attractive option and not one you'd want to do for a lot of fence, but using PVC as "rollers" along the top can keep climbers in (if she's actually clearing it like a deer and not using the top of the fence to launch, it won't work). Personally I'd DIY a system like SportDOG.
  3. People laundry (cold water + detergent. Sheets and towels might be separate loads. I don't separate colors.) Animal laundry (warm or hot + detergent and bleach, depending on the grossness of the load.) Ain't nobody got time around here for complicated laundry rituals. lol. I just want it clean.
  4. I've got a Bosch and I have no complaints. When I've had problems it's been a detergent issue. For us, packets work better than liquid (I use the cheap Aldi ones), and rinse agent is a must.
  5. Oh man, I'm sorry. Farming can be so hard. I got a coyote on the game cam a couple years ago. It took out half my free-ranging chickens in one afternoon. No one thought we had them in the area, but yep, they're here. Sneaky critters. We raise dairy goats--we have the same trouble with getting genetics with good feet. It's one thing I'm a real stickler about when I'm bringing in new lines. I hate crappy feet! I know this has been mentioned and I imagine you've already considered it, but: livestock guardian dogs? Are a couple of dogs (you'd need a team with that kind of coyote problem) a possibility? There's a large and informative group on FB, if you're on there, called "livestock guardian dogs" that I would suggest.
  6. The bolded. Yes, there are some good pieces. Fermented foods can be great. Not all fat is bad. Bone broth sounds like pretty healthy stuff, but I wouldn't know because I'm a vegetarian and I ain't gonna eat it. :D But stuff like raw dairy? No. (I raise dairy animals and I don't know a single fellow farmer who doesn't think raw milk is a panacea and safer than pasteurized milk. Science would not agree, no matter what anecdote or random blog you want to send my way.) And Mercola is fully into kook territory, for sure. I've been in the natural foods industry for going on two decades and I have just about seen it all. I would take Nourishing Traditions with a big grain of salt. Pick out any usable, safe info that works for you (obviously your mileage may vary; what works for me might not work for you and vice versa) toss the rest.
  7. Agree with the above. If you do feel you need spelling, the Spelling Workout workbooks are solid, easy, open-and-go, and largely independent; they're also completely secular, so I assume your co-op would purchase them. I also very much like All About Spelling, but like the previous poster pointed out, as intended it is very time-intensive. However, if, say, you had one child that needed that more intensive, one-on-one instruction, it could be good to have. We ended up tweaking it to work for us because we didn't need such intensive instruction. Basically, we did without the tiles and a lot of the extra-sensory stuff and just used the instruction on rules, etc., and the word lists. In that way, it still wasn't very independent, but it was a lot less time consuming for me and my child (who simply happened to not need or enjoy the other activities).
  8. Well, right now several of the folks (51 of them) just told all of us that they really don't care if my children get healthcare at all. While the vote the other night may have been more symbolic than anything, it sent a message, loud and clear: they reject many important pieces of the ACA, pieces that are keeping people alive. So, I'd say a bigger decision is already being made at the hands of the government. Here's the thing, and why I can't really craft a more rational and eloquent response right now: My kids are going to die. If they don't get run over randomly by the proverbial bus one day, as any one of us has a chance to be, one day they are going to suffer a fatal arrhythmia and their hearts will simply stop beating. This could happen when they are adults. This could happen tomorrow. This is the reality we live with every day. We know a lot but not enough to prevent this eventuality. However, the health care we currently have access to is increasing their chances of living longer. Their health care gives me some hope that I'll get more days with my babies. So I'm not really in a place to be very diplomatic when so many so flippantly make comments like "nothing is free" or make suggestions such as saving for medical care (my entire salary wouldn't cover the cost of their medical care) or muse over how interesting it'll be to watch how this pans out or? I have a great job with generous benefits that I pay into every pay period. I work my ass off so my kids have access to what they need. Yet many, many are cheering the repeal of the ACA--they're cheering the rug being ripped out from under us. And we are only one story of so many.
  9. Anecdotal, yes, but everyone I know who leans to a certain side of the political spectrum feels that way--including all of my own family (despite my children and I having pre-existing conditions which may very well become catastrophic if we become uninsurable/unable to access regular healthcare). No, they do not care if my children die. That's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, you know? Nothing is free.
  10. That's...breathtakingly myopic and judgemental. So, you know that person's health status? As in, why they are overweight? Are you a doctor that can diagnose folks in the grocery story line? Because not everyone who is overweight makes poor health choices, or at least makes poor choices on a regular basis. Also, you have a magic crystal ball that tells you why they are buying those pops and twinkies? Like, maybe it's for a party. Maybe it's grandma's favorite treat, and she's terminal, so you know what? We buy grandma stacks of twinkies and pop (like the McDonald's burgers and fries and beer we bought our friend dying of cancer when all she wanted was burger, fries, and a beer). These things are almost never so black and white. I don't really expect people to care about each other anymore, I really don't. But don't expect me not to be very, very angry about how people do treat each other. It's a disgrace.
  11. Again I agree. The problem I have heard with vasectomy, etc. (I'm also not sure about the canine version of the tubal ligation), is that very few vets are willing to do it, or if they are, it is cost prohibitive. Hopefully the more folks ask for it, the more mainstream it will become. I farm and belong to a couple of groups that discuss livestock guardian dogs. Early spay/neuter is a popular topic with these groups--many are opposed and many do not spay/neuter or, if they do, they wait until 2+ years of age. So this is where I have heard most of the chatter about different kinds of birth control. Very few folks have been able to find vets that will discuss alternatives to traditional spay/neuter.
  12. I agree with all of this. I think we're just pointing out reality; there are so many homeless pets in the U.S., a problem created by irresponsible breeding. We can argue all we want about not supporting irresponsible breeders, but in the meantime, what about those dogs that end up in shelters? We don't have realistic alternatives to early spay/neuter right now. Rescues are already overburdened and short on funds. The reality is that early spay/neuter is the only way for shelter/rescue dogs. Double-edged sword and all that. I had a conversation about this with the rescue coordinator who took care of our last rescue pup. We both lamented that the dog had to be spayed early; we both know it's not the healthiest option. But the rescues have no choice but to institute the policy that dog is spayed/neutered before it is re-homed. And honestly, I'd rather deal with the health issues and shortened lifespan than have any more damn pit bulls being bred by idiots (and if I'm being honest, I think anyone breeding a pit bull is an idiot). We euthanize dozens of them every month at our local shelter. Those are the alternatives: euthanasia or early spay/neuter. I'm not opposed to either because reality. I'm not opposed to humane euthanasia for dogs that are unlikely to succeed in a home and unfortunately I can't be opposed to spaying/neutering rescue dogs because there are already too many accidents out there. I've pulled dogs that have been broken (literally physically broken and mentally) in ways you can't imagine. Dogs with prolapsed rectums and broken bones from being beaten? Check. Dogs used as bait dogs in fighting rings? Check. Dogs found as feral litters to starving mothers in the woods? Check. Dogs left abandoned, tied up outside a shopping center? Check. I could go on. And those are just my dogs' stories. Anyway, yes, I agree with you, but not everyone is going to go to those ethical breeders. We can only encourage and educate folks to go to ethical breeders or go to rescues--and the reality of rescue right now is early spay/neuter. I don't think that should discourage folks who aren't going to drop $$ on a dog from a good breeder from going to a rescue as the alternative, because the other alternative is buying from crappy breeders.
  13. Ha! Yes, our last puppy was about 11 years ago. I thought I after I survived the kitten years with our Bengal cat, along with surviving the toddler years at almost 40 with my youngest human kid, that I was good to go. I am lamenting the death of our treadmill right now. With the crappy winter weather, wearing out the puppy is hard.
  14. Rescues/shelters. All our dogs (many of them over the years, all discarded pit bulls/bully breeds, mostly pulled from high-kill shelters) have come to us this way. If you are willing to wait--and to find a good fit, you really have to have some patience (and maybe a bit of luck that you're in the right place at the right time). I would try to find a rescue who will work with you to help you find the perfect fit as far as breed, size, temperament, etc. that is right for *your* family. It's a process, but a good rescue wants to make a good (permanent) match. Equally as important as finding the right dog is supervising your kids and teaching them which behaviors are not appropriate toward dogs. Puppies are wonderful, but if you're not experienced raising puppies, you might be in for a surprise. They are (usually; exceptions happen) a LOT of work. I've got a rescue pit bull puppy now and, while I've done this a bunch and love this dog very much, I had forgotten how much work a dang puppy is. The potty training! The chewing! The ENERGY. Have y'all seen that youtube video that went viral a bit ago, the one with the pit bull literally flying from couch to couch all over the owner's living room? That's my life. All day, every day. Flying puppy. There is no such thing as an obstacle in this dog's mind. Just launching pads. :lol: If a rescue turns out not to be a viable option, I'd do some serious homework and be prepared to spend some serious $$ and find a dog from a reputable breeder that, again, will work with you to find a good match. I would not buy a dog for a few hundred dollars from some random person off facebook, CL, etc.
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