Life on Almosta Ranch

Stories of ranch life and other silly musings of an old codger

David McClain

David McClain
Doniphan, Missouri, USA
February 08
I am a simple man who has lived a simple life for sixty years. I have not dined with movie stars nor Kings and Queens. I have not walked the halls of power, nor have I been a mover and a shaker. I have, however, been a soldier, a tinker, a jack of all trades. I have raised five children....I have been loved and I have loved. I do not see grand designs nor do I chase afer them. Instead, I listen to the heartbeat of the land and I rejoice in a bird's song in the morning. Do not come here seeking answers for I have none. I do have questions which I will ask you constantly though. I do not believe in aruging so Politics will not be discussed in my blog. I do not care what your personal beliefs are for you are free to believe as you will...please allow me to do likewise. I have never been rich, but I have always been poor. Being poor however has never stopped me from feeling rich. I feel rich because I have the love of a good woman. Melinda completes me. She gives me the peace of mind and soul required to write about life without regrets and without envy of those who might have more. She is my world. Almosta Ranch is our heaven and we are happiy. This is what I want to share with you in this blog.


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APRIL 17, 2012 2:00PM

"Cry Havoc......" A battle for the ages!

Rate: 24 Flag



“Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” This is one of my all time favorite Shakespeare quotes and, curiously, it came to mind a few days ago in a way that left both Mel and myself almost helpless with laughter.

It all started innocently enough, with our efforts to introduce our new micro-pigs, Sparkles and Rosie, to a few of our dog pack. We thought it might be prudent to start the introductions with our two smallest dogs: Tater Tot, our Chihuahua and Velcro, our miniature Italian Greyhound. Neither of these dogs weigh more than ten pounds or stand more than about twelve inches at the shoulder.

So the morning of the big meeting we let the pigs out of their crate, fed them and then waited for them to settle down for their first nap of the day then Mel went to the back door and called the two dogs onto the back porch and let them into the house.

Tater and Velcro came bounding into the house, overjoyed at the unexpected treat of getting to play in the house during the day instead of having to hang with the riff-raff in the back yard.

I was sitting in the living room, keeping one eye on the sleeping pigs and the other on the latest episode of DWTS which I had recorded the night before. Okay, honestly…both eyes were on the TV and there could have been an elephant asleep in the room and I wouldn’t have noticed.

The two dogs tore past Mel and into the living room and that’s when things got interesting. At the first sound of the dogs barking, the two pigs sprang up and stood shoulder to shoulder….waiting. The two dogs skidded to a stop in the living room and stared in shock at the two new interlopers on their personal playground.

Then the two little pigs, who are wicked-smart like most of their breed, turned their heads and looked at each other and I could swear they were communicating. They grunted and snorted a few times then in unison they turned back to the dogs and ATTACKED!

Eight little feet scrabbled across the tile floor as they launched on the offense, squealing and snorting in outrage. The two little dogs took one look at the onslaught of Porcine power and scrabbled into a hasty retreat back to the kitchen and refuge behind Mel.

The pigs stopped their assault a few feet short of Mel’s legs and stood, shoulder to shoulder again, and stared at the two dogs. This went on for a minute or two then the dogs, gathering courage from the close proximity of Mel and myself, took heart and mounted their own charge. The two pigs scrambled into hasty retreat back to their nap blanket then turned and stood their ground once again……then it started all over again.

Charge and retreat and each move accompanied by squeals, snorts, barks and whines from the different combatants. With each move and counter move, Mel and I would collapse in laughing fits and I could not help myself…that quote came screaming to mind and I called out…”CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE PIGS OF WAR!”

The pigs, spurred on by the battle cry, charged yet again, joined by our laughter. This went on for at least thirty minutes and covered most of the house and around both mine and Mel’s feet.

Finally the two sides were exhausted and withdrew to opposite sides of the living room and laid down to rest while keeping a wary eye on the enemy.

We both laughed so hard neither of us could draw breath for awhile and when I was once again able to speak, I told Mel that the pigs and dogs were a lot like some bloggers I knew; neither side would ever be able to co-exist so the best we could do would be keep them separate.

The two little pigs now have a spacious new home in a large area of the barn, enclosed by a chain-link fence and housing all their favorite toys and their crate to sleep in.

 Velcro and Sparkles face off. It was hard to get any good pics of the different charges as we were laughing too hard to pick up the camera.


A united front.....


The retreat.....


After the war....a new home...


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Wow, you guys managed to establish a ceasefire without UN or NATO intervention... there may be hope for us yet!!
Long time no see. This was precious. I may write about my own animal issues some time.
Power to the Pigs! Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. Your solution to the conflict was Solomon like: good humor and separate the adversaries. Fun read. R
What a great story and the pigs are so adorable.
rated with love
I'm trying to eat a late lunch and am laffing so hard I might choke. I almost fell out of my chair when you got to the comparison these critters with certain OS personalities. I even thought of a couple of names for the warring sides, but have decided to keep them to myself. This should be the title story of your next book!
Yes,what about the book you were going to have published?Matt is right,but I am wondering:Does he mean your battle in the house or the comparison with OS?Next time you write a story like this,you better inform Matt in advance so he won't choke on his lunch.
A Rose by any other name~still a pig, hah~
Sounds like you've got either Republican dogs and Democrat pigs or Democrat dogs and Republican pigs. And it sounds like more fun than DWTS.
You certainly came up with the perfect quote. I can picture it. I just wish I had been there.
As a fellow pig owner, I'm very happy to see that you understand the difficulty in helping dogs and pigs coexist. I adore my pair - they have grown dramatically over the 'minipig' size I was promised. Can't wait to see how yours look when they're all grown up!
Power to the Porcines! Power to the Porcines right now! (to the tune of "Power to the People").
OMGoodness! What a story and I could envision the two of you laughing yourselves into apoplexy!

The fifth paragraph gave me pause while I figured out DWTS, but I got past it as I vaguely remember daughter keeping track.
These are priceless pics and stories. I'd think about a collection of them...who wouldn't love Tales from Almosta Ranch?
This is so funny and those pigs are so darn cute. Love the name TaterTot too./r
Enjoyed the play-by-play commentary!

jmac1949....I had pity on the UN and NATO and decided not to call them in this time.

Sage....Same here: long time no see. Thanks for the visit.

Gerald Anderson.....You're right, being a child of the sixties, that just sounds all kinds of wrong don't it.

RomanticPoetess.....I have to agree, they are cuties aren't they.

Matt...Yeah that was as far as I wanted to take that anology. I should have just said: "Fill in the Blanks here".

Heidi Banerjee....The book I have to publish is a far cry from the stories of the ranch. It is dark and violent and not sure if it will ever get to see the light of day. Good idea about warning Matt, would hate to see him choke.

Scanner...Ain't it the truth, buddy!

Walter Blevins.....I hope all my animals are too smart to join either party, my friend.

jlsathre....I wasn't kidding, that is my favorite Shakespear quote.

Cassiepants....These are Juliana Pigs and, unlike the Pot Belly, they never get over about forty pounds.

Erica K.....A very apt song, I agree.

pastvoices....Oh that's one of my favorite shows.

BuffyW.....Mel has been telling me the same thing.

Christine Geery......Tater Tot is the defacto dictator of the dog pack and has an attitude much bigger than her pint-sized body.

V. Corso....I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by.
The Pig has only recently been introduced into the circle
of human familial kindness & mercy & solicitude.

The dog will , having 10 thousand years or so on the porker,,
be a jealous friend.

The pigs did well. i wait for illumination regarding their
"wicked intelligence" & habits.

When animals come in contact with humans,
what happens?

Do they "evolve", become more human?

Or do they simply reflect our worst traits?
Of course the pigs were communicating. Why wouldn't they be? It's going to be interesting as they grow, seeing how they try to outsmart you. Maybe you can start training them to be service pigs or something. Keep their minds occupied.
Johnny Carson used to go on and on about how smart pigs are. I loved that. I can just see your pigs standing shoulder to shoulder. Market them as intelligent pets. They are.
I am laughing so hard at the sight of the dog hiding behind Mel's legs....
You got the sweetest tales coming from this ranch David...
Best to all there...
While I'm a long time fan of the Tatertot, this saga made me pledge allegiance to the Pig Nation. Formidable they are. Go Pigs!
i'm with heron. pigs rule! xo
Yup. Sometimes separate corners is the best thing.

I heard that when the dogs what to rile the little ones up, they just say "ham" or "bacon."
Little animals are the most amusing creatures on earth. Those little piggies went wee, wee,wee, all the way to the barn. Their OS counterparts? Never. The wars wage on.

I love your new story. I hope that your pigs and dogs do eventually come to love each other. It can take time and patience on our parts; for animals to adjust. It usually takes my cat weeks, sometime months to adjust to new family members.

I hope to some day come see Almosta Ranch in person when I finally bring your book to be signed. LOL