Kat Green

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since Oct 30, 2014
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Recent posts by Kat Green

You're right Julia! I reread the original post. It was "weeks" ago, the pups were no more than 7 weeks, maybe less. It would be impossible for them to kill anything. I have been a professional obedience trainer for 45 years and a pet rescuer for most of my life and have never heard of 9 week old pups killing anything let alone a sibling. This is my area of expertize. Maybe the poor little female pup was injured internally outdoors sometime before the boys tried to play with her. In play, one pup will take on the role of the victim like saying "you're it!" and the boys had no way of understanding that she was really hurt. There is definitely some info missing of which the owner is unaware.
8 years ago
Nine week old pups are equivalent to a human toddler. They cannot be held accountable. It is probably a case of not knowing their own strength. Perhaps the female was sick or just fragile without showing signs and unable to withstand the rough play. Young pups like this want to play with anything and everything and don't understand that they can harm. They should not be encouraged to play roughly by children because by doing so, they are being taught to be rough. How are you determining aggression? Many people mistake mouthing like all puppies do as aggression but that behavior should not be allowed. If a pup mouths a human, they can gently catch its bottom jaw with the fingers for just a moment. Just long enough for the pup to begin to be uncomfortable. Stop playing immediately and even "talk dog" by whimpering. They will probably be surprised by the reaction and even try to console with kisses. They will soon learn that human parts get stuck if they are held in a dogs mouth. Take them out on leashes with the livestock and if they lunge toward the other animals, scold them in a deep resonating voice for several minutes. A mother dog talks to them in this way to teach her pups. When she is pleased with them, she uses a high pitched happy voice much like we do when we "baby talk" to our young. Starting at 7 weeks, puppies are ready to interact with the outside world and experiment. These have had an unfortunate start. They must be supervised when introduced to the livestock. It can be reversible with training. I understand that it is very difficult to forgive these accidents but remember that these are babies and give them a chance. I don't think you need to inform the new owners just give the rest to city people not farms. Hopefully the new owners will train the first two. Dogs who grow up to kill livestock don't turn on people any more than other dogs. Humans are the dominant species and are instinctually feared until a dog learns not to fear somewhat but stays respectful. Dogs that attack are trained to by a method that involves teasing and reward. Another thought. Has Mom been removed from the pups? Can she be allowed back with them to help with training? Perhaps her shyness keeps her from being a disciplinarian. That just means more work from people to pick up the slack. As far as the breeds in these pups should not be a problem. Mixes are usually well balance psychologically. The border collie does have bred in herding that can be kind of like OCD disorder in humans and Chows can be protective but since the parents are fine, those genes are too diluted to have any effect on the pups. I cant understand why people breed for herding ability (involves chasing and harassing) and then shoots dogs for chasing and harassing. Why do people breed dogs to bring back birds to the owner and the neighbor shoots him for carrying off his chickens? The dogs don't know the difference. I hope this helps because that is my intention.

p.s. I don't think they killed the goat. It would have been treated as a plaything and severely mauled.
8 years ago
It definitely had the head of a rattler. I didn't wait long enough to see if it had a rattle on the other end. It was in the process of coiling but not yet coiled. Kinda pulling its body together. It was a juvenile so maybe didn't have rattles yet? I wouldn't kill it regardless. I just want to relocate them a few miles away. I don't know if we have bull snakes. Does it have a wedge shaped head? We have coral snakes and garter snakes. I saw a sidewinder once and I think that is just another type of rattler. The garter snakes here look a lot like rattlers but the head is skinny. I don't like any of them even if they are considered good. I would rather have the mice! I catch mice in a humane trap and relocate them too. I do kill bugs if they are making themselves a nuisance. I have been letting the chickens out during the day and I haven't seen the snake since.
8 years ago
siu-yu man, I think you are 100% correct and I appreciate your suggestions. I have heard that the agency offered too little money for a buy out but that is in the eye of the beholder. In this real estate market, that might be a good offer. If I was offered the tax assessors appraised amount, I would happily accept. (That is about 1/2 of what this place cost me in 2007.) I will look into the planting idea and talk to any neighbors who will listen. I will also be watching that video when I can get to a computer that will play it. Thanks everyone.
8 years ago
Perfect for my Mom. I hope I can ship her ashes there and have them spread. She loved Victoria and was Canadian born as were her children. It has been over 10 years and I was waiting for a resolution like this. Thank you for sharing.
8 years ago
Tell me about it! I didn't have the problem with the water pooling at the entrance to my road until a couple years ago after the county repaved the main road. The changed the slope!
8 years ago
Thanks. We can look into a version of this. There is another community to the west of ours and we have to make sure we are not sending out problem to them. The levy is between us and them and runs from the south downhill to the north. On the east side is a mountain range just on the other side of the main paved road, so no room on that side. I appreciate the thought. I love the idea of planting, especially interested in the bamboo. Some people are afraid of bamboo. Would the less invasive type do as well? I was even thinking of beavers uphill because they wont have to go through the county permit process!

The water itself is less of a problem than the county management of that water. However, if we could show them that it can be controlled with our own efforts, they might stop trying to drive us out. I don't think it would control "the big one" but it might turn it into a smaller event in spite of the amount of water.

Maybe, I start small. If I can control the washout at the end of my street with some permie type engineering, the rest of the community would notice and might take some action of their own. So, with that thought in mind...My property is east of the levy but it has never been water overflowing the levy that caused a problem. My water comes off of the main paved road and puddles and erodes the soil right at the entrance to my dead end road. Overflow from that works its way down the road in front of my home but does not invade my land just the road. Gravel at the road entrance just gets washed away. Tried that. I was thinking of digging it out about 1 1/2 to 2 ft deep and installing a perforated tube embedded in gravel up against the edge of that paved road. I will need to keep debris and dirt from clogging the tube. I have a couple of pvc drainage tubes and a sleeve of cheesecloth to cover it with left from another project. Maybe metal screen would last longer. Maybe a trough (I would have to be able to drive over it)? I think that I need to keep that water moving downhill without pooling. What do you think?

Downhill about 1/4 of a mile, the water appears to be coming from the levy and/or from the mountains (so both from west and east direction) and washes mud onto the paved road. It seems to be mostly on the roads and not on the private property (due to compaction?).

9 years ago
I need to give some more detail for sure.

(quote)I guess that the county water agency you mention don't want to take on the legal responsibility for your flood protection. I guess that if they failed and a flood reached the properties they would face a bill for property restoration substantially higher than the proposed levy cost?

They claim that they would not be liable for any damage to our properties. They used to pay for damage to the farm at the low end but have refused in recent years. There have been no big events since then but the farmer would have to take them to court.

(quote) It does sound like their proposal is excessively expensive - but then I have no idea of the scale of the work proposed. I'd ask the question - if you as a community bought an excavator and paid a man for a year to run it how much would it cost and what could he achieve? You can move alot of earth in a year!

This county has strictly controled building codes. We cant replace our roof without a permit. Moving earth requires a licensed engineers review and an environmental protection approval, insurance, permit fees, etc. The idea has been brought up half jokingly, that we just go clear out the levy and move the earth on a full moon but no one is brave enough so far. There are plenty of tractors and at least one backhoe owned in the neighborhood. I know for sure that the backhoe owner would not want to participate. We might end up doing that if an actual event occurred on the spur of the moment.

(quote) Why are the water board proposing an expensive concrete levy structure instead of enlarging the earthen bank?

They aren't proposing a concrete structure. The $4 mil plan only includes rebuilding the existing earthen bank. They were not even going to start the work until all of the money was collected. Since most if not all of us don't have the money, we would lose our homes and then we would be out of the way at no cost to the agency. Remember, the previous plan was to buy us out. I wish they would offer that now and pay the assessed value. I cant sell my home for that much in the marketplace due to the economy and this stuff hanging over it.

(quote)The permaculture approach to this is to design the problem away. In this case adapt your environment to mitigate against the high floods.

Thank you. That is the answer I am looking for.

(quote)You don't mention where you are in the watershed,

About the middle. When the properties were first subdivided, no one checked for potential problems. When a property changes ownership, the problem is downplayed by real estate agents. Actually, in the 22 years that I have been here, there have been only very minor inconveniences. Old timers tell a story of one large event in the '70's that took out some homes but now we have new foundation codes that may have prevented that. A mobile home on regular jacks sitting on top of the ground would understandably wash away.

(quote)On individual properties you can use earthworks to direct the flow of water around critical features, and create areas of still water where vulnerable structure are protected. (You don't mention if these floods are fast moving or more stationary water?). There was an excellent Geoff Lawton video on living in a flood environment published a few months ago.

Our present foundations have never had the opportunity to be tested. The water is fast moving in the levy but the roads have only mud problems.
My outlet from my dead end road caved in a couple of years ago due to runoff from the paved road that it ajoins. I had to dig out my jeep a couple of times when I tried to get out. The county would not repair it, claiming no responsibility. My neighbor came to the rescue with his Kabota. I will look up that video as soon as possible.

It should also be pointed out that we are mostly senior and disabled people on very low incomes who live here because it is cheap.

There is no river and only a seasonal stream that rarely has water in it due to the fact that we are lucky to get about 9 inches a year in precipitation. The water comes from snow melt and occasional torrential rains. Actual events are extremely rare. The water runs down the valley and empties into the Kern River and then into the lake which is supported by the dam. The water is not allowed to stay in the dam as mentioned before so it is drained off by the lower Kern River to Bakersfield, the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles.

I think that your suggestions are excellent and applicable and very much appreciated. Now if I can just get the community motivated out of their complacency. The attitude now is that the problem with the agency has been averted and no further action is needed on our part. I don't think that the agency expected to get community approval, obviously. They knew the money was not here. I am expecting the other shoe to fall.
9 years ago
We know we live in a flood zone. Kern County, California knows too. We have a levy in our neighborhood that the county water agency is responsible for. Recently, they made a proposal to improve this dirt levy to the tune of almost 4 million dollars. The cost was to be divided among 185 properties affected over the next 2 yrs according to tax assessor property values. The proposed assessment was 52% of our property values. For me, that meant $28,000 added to my property tax bill and if I cant pay it, after 5 years, the county takes my property. Tonight, we unanimously voted down the proposal. But, a similar proposal was voted down some years ago. That proposal was funded by a federal grant and the plan was to buy out the property owners at a nominal price. I didn't live here then and only became aware of that previous proposal tonight. After that previous attempt was voted down, the agency went to court to try to be relieved of the responsibility of maintaining the levy. (We have never seen anything done to it.) They lost and then tried to sue the homeowners which required the homeowners to hire a lawyer. The agency failed in that attempt also. We have wells individually and group owned. Our watershed provides some of the water for L.A. County so we are valuable but most of the property owners are on the bottom of the financial ladder since that money doesn't come to us. I am guessing that Kern County is the beneficiary and they want all of the water. They have already drained our lake and ruined the local economy by saying that our dam needs repair but no repair has been done and they tell us that it wont be done until 2020. They are waiting for engineering reports. They have told us now that they will find another plan to "help us" and that is what is worrying us now. This is a 100 year flood zone. The recent plan was only enough to protect us from a minimal flood which muddies the end of 3 or 4 of our dirt roads. We can handle these but there is a remote possibility of a major event. Almost every home is a manufactured home but most of them are on super permanent foundations. Mine has cement/rebar 3 ft underground and 3 ft above with the home bolted to the foundation and earthquake piers and tie downs on all four corners. The building inspector almost didn't pass me because he said it was overbuilt!

Here is the question. How can we avoid county help? Funny how the problem with the dam and our levy coincides with the drought.
9 years ago