Moved to Cresco and began the search for duck eggs (for consumption).
(Emma and I can not eat chicken eggs, but we both love eggs so much (and they are quick, easy, and nutritious) so we tried out duck eggs while we were still in Nevada. Loved them.)
Stopped by the Cresco farmers market on a Tuesday and inquired at all 6 booths about duck eggs. No luck. Mentioned it to the woman who was running the market and taking names for a weekly gift certificate drawing. No luck, but she was going to check.
The following Tuesday, the woman in charge mentioned that she might have a name for me.
Three days go by, but I finally called the number and left a message. I got a call back later that night. The woman (Kristen) runs a hatchery (The Country Hatch) and normally hatches all her duck eggs. For various reasons, she had more duck eggs then she could hatch so she was willing to sell us some eggs.
We chatted a bit and she mentioned that she was playing catch up because of some illnesses in the family and that currently she was short handed. I offered to help out in exchange for eggs.
Turns out she needs more help then she feels the eggs are worth, so starting today, I have a paying job! I will work 4-5 days a week, 8 hours or so a day and Emma will get to come hang out an the farm with me when she wants to.
Kristen also mentioned that she had 6 week old puppies for Emma to play with if Emma was interested.
We made plans for Emma and I to visit before deciding for sure if this would work. Yesterday was our first visit and it was love at first sight for both of us. With three dogs to pet and love, various cats and kittens to lather attention on, and more feathers for Emma to collect than she knew what to do with, she was a happy girl. Add in the saddle trained mules that Emma may get to ride at some point, and her day was made.
Then we met the puppies. Yes, all puppies are cute. These were no exception.
Emma petting one of the 7 puppies.
We petted the pups, played with the kittens, checked out all the cute chicks, ducklings, and goslings (we even held a few!). Emma collected feathers and we both asked a lot of questions. We decided that we would indeed like to work for Kristen and learn about raising ducks, geese and chickens in the process.
While Emma petted the pups, I chatted with Kristen, asking about how much she would be selling the pups for, and when she was thinking the would be going to their new homes. I was mostly just making conversation.
Kristen asked if we were looking for a dog, and I briefly talked with her about our time with Icky, then we moved on to the next are of the farm.
Our last stop before leaving was (at Emma's request) to pet the puppies again. As both Emma and I were giving some love to the pups, Kristen mentioned that she would be happy to see one of her pups go free to a good home, indicating that she felt that the pup would be in good hands with us.
At first I was conflicted, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that we are being given a second chance. A second chance to do our best to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted dog.
We loved Icky. I will forever be thankful for all of the lessons he has taught us, but for a long time now I have felt that I failed him because I was unable to "fix" him. I beat myself up a lot, telling myself that I should have done more, I should have been a better dog owner.
I won't lie, there is probably a lot I could have done to help him more, but I have also come to realize that what he went through before we got him had a very large impact on his future. Had it not been for us, I truly believe he would not have had as long and as happy of a life as he did with us.
And so, after talking it over with Jared and Emma, we have decided to add one more member to our family...