Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy weekend, and I need your advise.........

This has been a crazy busy weekend, but a good weekend.

Saturday, we were busy in the garden in the morning. Then in the afternoon, I spent a couple of hours cooking, and then we had a couple of friends come over for supper and a visit. They are such a great couple and we had a super time. It was also great to have a rest, as dh is still hurting badly with his shoulder and his elbow.

Sunday, my dad and step-mum were over by 7:30am. Dh was still in bed, and I was wandering around in my nightie!! Anyhow, me and dh went into the attic and dh had made a sort of slide thing, so we could slide the wood down it to the outside. My dad picked it up and put it on the fire pit, and my step-mum kept an eye on the fire.

We then tried it with the plaster but that made a terrible mess, so we ended up bagging it, but only got so much done, as it was so hot and dusty in the attic. We were wearing boiler suits/coveralls and masks. We are going to have to carry the bags downstairs and we will take them to the dump. Gosh it is a messy, dirty job, which is made even more worse that its in the attic. I am going to bag some more of the plaster today while dh is at work.

After lunch we did a couple of jobs, which included taking down part of the fencing at the front of the property. We burned some of the wood posts, as they were rotten. We have to pull out the metal post's, and roll up the wire fencing, plus there are still some wooden posts to remove. It then poured down, so dad and step-mum left and we came into the house to take it easy, and that is where we stayed while keeping an eye on the fire pit.

So what I need advise on is the country boys (window installers) mentioned how many mice they had caught during the fall last year, and they were saying between 20 and 30 each, and one guys house was built in the 80's so not that old and he still had all these mice. When I was cleaning the house I found a number of mice droppings, old ones, so I know we will be getting mice as well. I mentioned we were thinking of getting a cat, but I am concerned about the claws, as to de-claw a cat means it won't be able to catch the mice. So what would you suggest?

Also we want to get a dog, maybe even a couple. I have seen on the local SPCA site a couple of basset hounds, Kate and Leopolde, click on this link to see them. I love basset hounds and would take both of them, but am worried as the acreage isn't securely fenced and we are close to the road. In your opinion what breed of dog would you advise us getting? I don't really want a puppy, I want a dog that listens to me (someone has too!), that will stay on the property, that doesn't need a lot of exercise and doesn't shed like a crazy person. Is there such a dog out there, oh and I would prefer a dog to be under 70 lbs, so when on the leash I can control it/them. We have had a black lab cross before and loved her to bits.


Gaynor said...

I think whatever dog you get, if yu get it as an adult, it will still need training to your ways. Younger dogs are of course easier to train. You can get collers which give a mild electirc shock if they go past a gate (I dont approve, I am just telling you they are there). Border Terriers are really bright and small, they do not shed and will get mice. I have always had borders so if you need a family friendly, non-yappy, small/medium dog then e-mail me for more details re the breed lol. Cats will learn to retract their claws and only use them when they have to...road may be an issue with cats as much as for the dogs.

Mice only tend to come in in the winter, and they are probably field mice. We had that problem this year. Block all entrances to the house...cover drain pipes etc with wire mesh to stop them getting access to the roof and make sure there are no gaps wher your pipes enter and leave the house. That relly is the best way, prevention is better than cure. Then get some mouse traps and if you hear tell tale scuttlingat night, put them along the walls where they may be travelling. Mice always go next to walls, not in the middle of the room.

You will hear them at night if you have them. They dont like the cold hehe.
Feel free to e-mail if you need more info from this country gal lol
(Nothing quiet about living in the country is there hehe).

grendelskin said...

When we renovated my daughter's room last year, my husband built a frame that would fit in her window, with a pulley attached to the frame. We filled 5-gallon buckets with the plaster and lath and he would lower the buckets with a rope while I received on the ground. It worked very well and kept the mess to a minimum as these things go (there is no such thing as clean plaster dust!).

You are likely to get field mice in the winter. A declawed cat will be able to kill them, it just has to be a dedicated mouser. My veterinarian says females are better mousers but we've had both without noticeable difference. Our current cat eschews mice, hunting chipmunks exclusively these days (demonstrating the primary disadvantage of cats, that they do what they wish without regard for your aims).

There are several breeds of terriers known to be good mousers but I don't know about Bassetts. Good luck!

mommanator said...

we had a declawed cat who was a great mouser. never stopped her a bit!
We have a shis tzu who is a great dog.

Denise said...

Personally I would never declaw a cat because it just seems too cruel. My sister-in-law had her cats' claws taken out and she said she would never do it again as there were problems afterwards. I think they got infected even though they were inside cats. She's pretty fastidious too and I know she took good care of them.

I don't know enough about different breeds to recommend any in particular. I did have a friend who had a basset hound and it was the cutest thing but it was awfully smelly and believe me when I saw I love all dogs, but every time she left our house we had to get the air-freshener out. I don't know whether this was a particular problem with that breed or whether it was just her.

Our dog we got when she was a couple of years' old and we loved her dearly but we were never able to train her properly - it seemed the dye was cast. If I'd have known the Dog Whisper I would probably have hired him. From what I've seen he trains the owners first ;) Much easier with a puppy I think as at least you know its history. Ours was a beautiful dog but was abused before we got her and she had a lot of problems which we worked through. Took a long time but perseverance paid off and she gave us a lot of joy in the 15 years we had her.

Arija said...

Get an older dog from an animal shelter. Just go there and the right dog will find you.
The problem of mice is a more difficult one. When the autumn rins come, so do the mice amd rats. They too want adry and warm winter lodging. To remove a cat's claws ia a cruel and terrible thing to do just fr the sake of human convenience. Again I suggest the animal shelter and an older house trained cat who will be grateful for you taking it in.
There are so many abandoned animals for one reason or another.

Good Luck

Decadent Housewife said...

Someone I know has a declawed cat. Best mouser she has had.

scrappy quilter said...

I'm with Gaynor, if you get a dog you'll need to train it for you and your home. As to dog types, there are so many that I think you'll know which one to pick at the local Humane society. It seems to go that way. You are usually drawn to one specific one. (If I lived where a dog could run, I'd ALWAYS pick an English Springer. Living where we do, we have a Pom who needs tons of brushing.)

As to cats, I personally would never have them declawed. Once they are adults, they seldom put their claws out. Having a cat will certainly cut down on the mice problem. When we moved here there were mice in our basement before we moved. Once we moved and brought our cat with us, we've never seen a mouse. She was such a laid back cat, had she seen one should probably would have ignored it anyways, rofl.

I think living in the country one needs pets. Just my thoughts. Can't wait to see what you decide on.

Gaynor said...

Sorry about the typos in my first post...I was in a rush lol
And I don't agree with de-clawing cats either. If you get an adult cat, they control their claws very well lol
Good luck in your pet hunt!

Gill - That British Woman said...

thanks for all the advise, I knew I could count on you all......


Hellie said...

Cats as mousers, clawed or de-clawed. Hmm. I have 6 cats in my barn, I don't agree with de-clawing, and of the 6 they all "mouse" differently. The smallest, Buttons, is the best-she can catch a mouse or vole and dispense with it quickly and quietly. Violet wouldn't catch a mouse if it bit her on the butt-that would be undignified... Zipper howls when she catches anything so...pick the cutest short hair and hope she can mouse!! As for dogs, we have an Australian Shepherd. Long hair unfortunately, but no tail to knock things off the table and VERY smart , loyal dogs. One more thing-the smaller the dog, the smaller the "deposit" they leave for you to clean up!!!

CannedAm said...

Please, PLEASE don't declaw a cat if you get one. It is horribly cruel. I know that it seems that they are "just nails" but that's not true. They are the cat's fingers. It would be just like cutting our own fingers off to the second joint. Can you imagine how hard it would be to get by with only one portion of each finger left? I watch my cat use his claws to pick up whiska's treats and the occasional kibble ... he uses his, but not for clawing the furniture or me. I trim his nails every two weeks. I have no damage from cats clawing and you know I have cats through my house constantly with fostering them. I retrain them to sharpen elsewhere. They're favourite thing by far is a wooden post made from a 4" diameter tree trunk. Just nailed to an X for support and they claw the mess out of it and leave my furniture be. My cat taps my leg with his paw to get my attention and uses no claws. He keeps them in unless he needs them.

For the mice, find every place (size of a dime) they can get into the house and block it up with silicone caulking or steel wool. Also make sure if you have attic vents that they have a steel mesh in them so that mice can't come through that way. Mice can climb straight up the side of a wall, so they'll come in through ceiling vents, too.