True North is:

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Michigan, United States

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

It seems to me...from emails and comments I have received, that there is misinformation floating about. Apparently, there is confusion as to which one of our animals ate our three little chicks. Their untimely demise was bad enough, but to accuse the wrong animal of doing the awful deed is criminal.

The Good:
Maximus...aka The Baby Boy. This seemingly normal toy fox terrier is anything but that. He is a 'Good Boy", and we often shower him with that and other similar types of praise. If fact we strongly believe that Max wants to be a 'Real Boy', and as such would never harm defenseless chickens. In this photo it shows Max leaning in towards the chicks...not in an aggressive manner as those in the media might, Max only wanted to kiss them. Verdict: Innocent.

The Bad:
Pretty Kitty...the cat with an identity crisis. He eats dog food, fears the outdoors, acts creepy on most occasions (gaining the new name: Creepy kitty), and is a brutal mouse eliminator. In the winter months nary a mouse survives long. As the weather becomes cold, and the mice seek refuge in our house it is to their folly. Pretty Kitty will not suffer them to live long. So, BAD to mice...didn't give the chicks a second glance. Verdict: Innocent.

The Ugly:
Gypsy...the dog gone wild. Once she was a loving animal that desired staying close to us and enjoy the comforts of home. Now, she seeks to escape at any given chance and attempts to terrorize nature's wild life. It is a constant battle with this wayward dog to keep her out of trouble. Yet, her place with us is secure for we have had her for many years. Her ugly behavior, however, might lead to a fenced in pen and a permanent 'outside dog'. Verdict: Guilty.

All joking aside, Gypsy really is a concern for us. We love her very much, but she is having difficulty finding her place at True North. We've become more vigilant when it comes to her escapes, and we our investigating alternatives to the common chain. Hopefully, very soon, she wont be a worry for us, but a joy like she once was.


  1. Hang in there Patrick, I know the feeling. Banty's and chicks of all breeds are lunch here too for the barn cats. The cats even try the big chickens every now and then. Had an aussie shepard that liked to kill chickens, he wore a dead one around his neck until it rotted off. He never touched another chicken.

  2. Poor Gypsy. Are you sure that Creepy Kitty didn't do it? Tastes like chicken!

    Chrome Cowgirl

  3. Yeah, we know it's Gypsy..our bad girl!

  4. I love the pictures for this- gypsy licking her chops. funny. I hope she can leave the other chickens alone...

  5. Thanx..we kinda love the pets so we had a ton of pix to choose from. Yes we REALLY hope she behaves herself when the hens come.

  6. Sorry to hear of your troubles with Gypsy. Might I recommend you check out your library for Cesar Millan's books? He offers great insight into dog psychology.

  7. Hey, I found your website through the USA Today article and wanted to commend you for what you're doing. HAve you ever heard of Harlan Hubbard? He was a Kentucky artist just a couple of decades ago who, with his wife, built a house and lived a self sustaining life (ie-gardening, fishing, raising goats,etc) for about 40 years. He wrote a great book about it you might be interested in reading- Payne Hollow: Life on the Fringe of Society.

  8. We bought an inexpensive training collar from Cabela's. It has a handheld remote and different levels of "correction". We held a training session with our dog and the chickens. Every time she went for one, or got perky around them, she received a bit of a nasty feeling. After a few sessions of this, Gypsy might rethink her behavior. Worth a try, she's a beautiful dog.

  9. Faye....Yes we have heard of Cesar Millan, we used to watch his show before cable was gone! Always loved it!

    Kevin M.....Thanks for the heads up on the book, I'll see if our library has it. Always looking for similar stories to ours.

    Weefaith...We have considered doing this, we checked on them before but the prices were a bit high. But it may have to be an investment we make in future. Thanks for the kind words.

  10. I am just now completing an entry on my own website ( mentions you folks and the USA Today article. Your attitude toward your project is, to me at least, highly commendable and eminently practical.

    I wish you Godspeed on your journey; I am old (nearly 63)and grey already and when I began my own self-sufficiency project five years ago, everyone thought I was stark, staring mad; they think that no longer, given the way things are going out there.

    I've now joined your "follow" group and hope you'll be inspired to join mine. I plead indulgence in advance for not yet knowing all the tech tricks to make my site look and work better.

    P.S. I added a comment with a suggestion or two to an earlier posting of your about the chicks

    God bless and good luck!

  11. Gildas...Thanks so much for stopping by, I wish we had started 5 years ago like you. You're way ahead of the curve! I will check out your blog. Only the best to you.

  12. Gee.. who would have thought the cat ate the mouse. lol..

  13. I'm reading some of these comments now.. and.. I'm curious about something..

    But before I ask I just wish to say that, I find what you're doing to be very interesting, a good idea, etc. I'm all for it.

    That said, my question is.. why do you use terminology like, " this is a journey. a journey to find our way home ". Aren't you home? By what I'm reading I'd say you're one of the few ppl in this country that has found their home. That the journey seems to have ended. You seem to have something established. But that's not what I wanted my question to focus on I guess. I mean, why the.. spiritual/new age language that you see in D rated films?

    And as far as the dog.. and the dog "finding it's place here". You do understand its a dog. Not capable of human computation, right? It's primal. When animals bite humans or hop fences.. it's because they're instictual creatures. That is their nature. Their home is the wild and there's a reason they call it the wild. To observe an animal "domesticated" in a house to me is like watching an interesting vistor. They can come and go as they please. Sometimes you'd wish they wouldn't go.. but they do sometimes.

    Anyways, those were just some things I wanted to say. Enjoy the site. Keep it up.