Puppy Meets World


We’ve had a fantastic and fast weather turnaround here, with temperatures in the 60s! Precious the puppy has been inside all winter, since she arrived, but it was time for her to come outside and discover that she lives on a farm!
Or at least see it from the front porch.
She looked and looked!
And smelled the air, and tried to taste it!
And looked some more.
My, what a big world it is! And oh my–
WHAT A BIG DOG there is!
Giant Puppy meets Tiny Puppy.
Giant Puppy: “Nice cat.”
Precious: “What just happened?”

Precious is a Chinese Crested, the puff variety, for those of you may have not seen previous posts about my little fluffball. She won’t get much bigger than she is. These little dogs are around 10 pounds full-grown. (Want one? Precious came from Long Road Kennel.) I don’t intend to ever let her run around freely outside, but now that the weather is headed for spring, she’ll be making daily forays, leashed, to be in the world that she has heretofore only glimpsed through the snowy glass of the door.

I think she likes it!


  1. pulsk1 says:

    Just curious. I have a tiny 7lb dog that just loves to explore and find that perfect potty place. Why won’t you let her off the leash? Even small dogs are still dogs. :woof:

  2. JRR.Esq says:

    First of all–what an adorable little puppy!!!! I can’t get over the cuteness of that face!
    Question–housetraining? Were you able to get her to go outside or was the cold too much? If the latter, did you have her using a litter box or other method and was it successful?

  3. Jane L says:

    I think that you need to respect that animals need to be outdoors. Honestly, the whole tone of your site has changed. Have you even let the chickens out of that hut this winter?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Uh, Jane…. I posted recently about the large chicken yard I had built for them, so yes, they are not confined non-stop to the chicken house. Keeping chickens in a chicken house with a chicken yard is considered normal practice by most people. I have let them free range in the past, and may again, but for now, I have them in the house with the yard. What statement about my dog shocked you? She is a very small dog and that was her first experience to go outside. I kept her on a leash for her safety. She’s never been outside before. If/when I feel safe about her training, I might change my mind and let her go outside without a leash, but for now, I have no intention of doing so. She could get spooked at any time and run with no idea where she is, and I don’t want to be chasing down a tiny puppy when there’s a road right by my house and woods etc. I don’t know what you mean about the tone of my site changing since I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the last few months writing about my cows! Did you miss those posts?

  4. Jane L says:

    I know that was rude and I apologize. I just was shocked by your statement about your dog.

  5. lisa3261 says:

    It nice that you are finally having nice weather so the cute little Precious can get out and look at her new home.

  6. bonita says:

    Here in the big city my vet recommends that puppies not frequent dog parks or other locations where there are other dogs. Puppies, especially small ones, are quick to pick up diseases. I can’t even imagine what kind of medical issues a small breed puppy might encounter on a farm with dogs, goats, cows, horses, chickens, , , , !

  7. daria says:

    Cute little girl! I think it’s great that you keep your animals safe and secure on your farm, where you’ve seen evidence of predators. A 10 pound dog would be a snack to a coyote or a catamount, as would a chicken.

  8. DeniseS says:

    I live about 40 miles west of Chicago. If anyone has been in this area, you know that the suburbs of Chicago are filled with Forest Preserves. Even though we are not farmland in the suburban area, these Forest Preserves provide a home for many wild creatures. My condo association posts warnings for owners of small dogs and cats to be on the alert for coyotes, larger owls, and red tail hawks. All of them creatures who would not hesitate to grab a small dog. The leash idea is good for Precious. A predator who would consider her as a target would leave her be with a human close by.

  9. Joell says:

    How cute is a new little puppy seeing the world around her for the first time? So many things to see, sniff and taste for the first time.
    She is darling!

  10. connilu says:

    I do understand your feelings about the puppy but think that Suzanne’s plan for her little puff ball are fine. Keeping her on a leash will keep her safe…and what she does not have….she will not miss. After all…think of the pets who live in the cities…they have leash laws so cannot roam at will…but are loved and well taken care of just the same. Happy Day to you, Suzanne, and all of you. Yay for Spring!

  11. Lynette L. says:

    Precious is a cutie! I grew up with a 10 lb. Pomeranian named Precious. I now own a 7 lb. Pomeranian. Little dogs are so fun! I agree with keeping Precious on a leash, especially if you can’t keep your eyes on her all the time while outside (which I would have a hard time doing if I had other animals). We live in a city with a nice big fenced backyard, but we still NEVER let our dog outside unsupervised. We have had owls and hawks swoop down to try to take my little Pom. It doesn’t matter – day or night. If we had not been standing close by and paying attention – she would have been taken by a bird of prey. I just love all your pictures of your animals.

  12. bonita says:

    Ah yes, Denise has a point about wild animals taking small dogs, Even in the heart of Chicago we’ve seen coyotes and hawks. Every so often the news carries a story about some tiny dog barely escaping doom.

  13. beforethedawn says:

    Love the photos! So funny that she was tasting the air. So happy to see Coco not too concerned with the newbie.


    Precious is still a puppy and a tiny one at that. Of course she’s going to be leashed.

    Our Pom-Chi puppy was never allowed to venture out unleashed because she was so small, and we usually always had our Great Pyrenees out with us because we also had coyotes around. A neighbor lost their small dog to one in their backyard, and someone who was walking their small dog had a coyote come up and attack it on the leash! (dog died). Considering the wild animal(s) that have attacked the farm already (remember the poor sheep?) it is wise not to let the little dog roam.

    Another point too is that mini puppies should not be too active anyway. We were warned that they get seizures from too much activity. We were careful, but our puppy was super active and even though we tried not to let her run around too much, she did have seizures at night a couple of different times. My husband stayed up those nights to make sure she was okay and to administer molasses. (Thankfully that happens only in the puppy stage, not lifelong.)

    Puppies can catch disease so much easier too. Think of all she could get into roaming the farm. Too much new stuff at once could be bad for her.

    Small dogs have a harder time in the winter just going out to do their business. It’s hard for them to “go” when they are shivering.

  14. Joell says:


    RE– the post about why one one keep a dog leashed — We live at the edge of a huge woods they are cyotes and other critters in those woods that could do great harm or worse to our baby, there are large hawks looking for animals to carry away, I dont know why anyone would leave a small animal or child unattended under such conditions, we never leave our baby alone even though she is in a fenced yard, we stay with her anytime she is outside—because we love her and consider her part of the family it is our duty as a pet owner to keep her safe and look out for her well being—keeping a tiny little one leashed is what a responsible would do for their pets saftey.
    Those of us that have followed Suzanne for years know ofher concern and love for all of her animals, their well being ofen comes before her own.

  15. yvonnem says:

    The overwhelming majority of your readers get it, Suzanne. I would also have Precious on a leash to keep her safe.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Thanks. I’m a little flabbergasted by that attack, I admit. Keeping my chickens in a chicken house. Leashing a tiny dog outside. Not posting what they want me to post. I write about my LIFE. It is what it is, and it’s ever-changing as my life changes. You never know what you’re going to get here. I’m just living my life and writing about it. That’s authentic. If my life isn’t working for someone, well, join the club, it’s not always working for ME either! I write about it. For free. No one tells me what to write–I’m writing about my LIFE. And sometimes, I don’t feel like living my life, much less writing about it, so give me a break!

  16. BreaHouston says:

    We live halfway up a mountain here in Massachusetts and have a tiny dog (half shitzu/maltese). Our little dog is never outside without a leash when we take him into the yard. Our neighbors have warned us that the coyotes around here are brave enough to run up to get a small dog even with the owner standing right there. Hawks would also try, no matter if a human was there or not. Our small guy would be a “snack on a rope” to them! So he stays inside most of the time. Last summer we had a huge hawk perch frequently on the railing outside of the sunroom, peering in at our pets (cats/dog) who were enjoying lounging on the sunroom’s furniture. There’s also a large owl who hangs around here a lot. Therefore, we are NOT taking any chances with our little Sammy!

    To get us through wintertime we put down “puppy pads” each day for him to use. FYI – if you need to use pads, don’t buy the ones for puppies or dogs, buy the ones that are meant to be placed underneath a person, on a bed. They are MUCH cheaper, larger and more absorbent than a puppy-pee-pad.

  17. Auntie Linda says:

    Honestly, I don’t know how you bloggers deal with the harsh comments people post. I couldn’t do it, I’m too thin-skinned. We kept our Lab-mix dog on a leash in the yard for two full years, until she was old enough to follow directions consistently. Please keep posting, and don’t let anyone stop you from living your life. It’s YOUR life, not theirs. And there is nothing wrong with what you are doing…

  18. yvonnem says:

    Suzanne, Don’t let “Jane” or anyone else get to you. You don’t need to defend yourself. I come back day after day (and have been for years) to read about your life and your farm. I’ve visited the farm and met you and Morgan at a book signing. Like you said, you’re just living your life and writing about it. If some people don’t like what they are reading, then they shouldn’t be here with the rest of us that support you and appreciate you. I don’t know who “Jane” is, but I remember that she has posted bad comments in the past, and I don’t like it at all and really just wish that she would go away! Sorry, I just had to say that. Please know that you are very special to your readers and we only want the best for you. I, for one, want to continue reading whatever posts you write and wish you peace and happiness. Take Care Sweet Lady. :hug:

  19. Connie in FL says:

    You are absolutely doing the right thing keeping Precious leashed outside. I live in the country. 2 years ago I lost my 8 lb. Yorkie (older adopted rescue) to a Diamondback rattle snakebite she received in my back yard. She attacked the rattlesnake. If she had been leashed it would not have happened. My 8 lb pekeapoo (also an attack dog) now gets leashed in the back yard because she will go after a predator and no amount of training is going to take that out of her as it’s in her temperament. My 6 lb toy poodle is not leashed in the back yard but isn’t the type to go after another creature. However, she is not allowed out without close supervision by a human because of other predators. Last year we had a large bird of some sort swop down to attack the littles when I had Zoe on a leash and the toy poodle only a foot or two from me. Luckily I have a Dobie who is very, very fast and who came to out rescue and scared off the bird. We also have coyote, bear and bobcat as wells as eagles, hawks,owls, etc. It’s simply not safe for little dogs to be outside without extremely close supervision.

  20. dmcfarland says:

    Okay, Jane L apologized and is mostly guilty of fingers typing away and sending before really thinking, I bet we are all guilty of that at one time. That said, Precious is a tiny dog and besides predators she has a risk of injury from the regular, well loved farm animals. One kick or being stepped on will do great harm. Her life on the farm will be different as it should be. She doesn’t have (and he was somewhat larger and savvy) still brings me to tears. Precious deserves different treatment. She could handle a butterfly and not do damage 😀

  21. dmcfarland says:

    Oops….Should be: She doesn’t have the skills or size to run at will and the loss of Boomer (and he was larger and more savvy) still brings me to tears. My fingers got away from me.

  22. Jane L says:

    Suzanne, I am sorry you felt attacked. I personally thought I was a bit brusque and rude but I did not intend for you to feel that way. To clarify, I was shocked that you said that your dog will NEVER have the freedom to be outdoors off a leash. Now, for me that is unthinkable, but I understand that it is your dog, and your decision. I feel too often people run roughshod over animals needs and wants over their perceived safety. Obviously, this dog is still a puppy, and you’re right to be concerned and keep it on a leash. But I do hope you do allow it some freedom in the future. Regarding the chickens. I truly thought they have not been in the yard the entire winter. I am not sure where I got that impression, but I read your ‘free’ posts (thank you so much – it’s not like you make a living from this blog at all or that we readers support you financially in any way via kickstarter or ads or whatnot… but I digress) religiously and got that impression. Again, apologies for my rudeness and the nasty comment.

  23. lattelady says:

    I live in an extremely populous area (Seattle-Everett,WA), but it has vast “green belts”. My apartment complex is right in the middle of one of those green belts and we are, aside from one road in, surrounded by pacific northwest forests. Hawks, owls, coyotes, deer, you name it. My little dog stays on the leash whenever outside and I use a cane which has been used to “thump” unwanted attention more than once. Coyotes are quick, owls are silent.
    Sure, maybe dogs originally were made to run loose, but humans have downsized them to where they are literally pocket pets, with no way to defend themselves. So people, THINK before you let those fingers type.

  24. California Paintbrush says:

    We live in the center of San Francisco Bay Area, not exactly in the country, though we do have a rather large back yard for this area. A dove flew into our patio window and before my husband could walk 3 steps to check on it a hawk swooped by and took off with the dove, to my husband’s surprise.

    Suzanne is not torturing her animals, they are not in cramped quarters.

    It seems to be in style now days to criticize everyone. Alert: if you feel like writing something critical, leave the page. :moo:

  25. MousE says:

    It’s been a long winter, eh? Three cheers for Precious getting a look at the big, blue world! Three cheers for making it through the winter, Suzanne, and that wild winter adventure.

    And three cheers for spring and kindness!


  26. Auntie Linda says:

    What MousE said. Suzanne, please don’t let the whiners get you down. Most of us love what you post, and look forward to the daily bits of your farm and your life. I learn so much here, and enjoy your posts (and your books). Bring on life during spring at Sassafras Farm. Also, loved the Giant Puppy…Tiny Puppy interaction….

  27. auntbear says:

    Suzanne,I think Precious and all your animals are in great hands. :heart: :heart: :heart:

  28. magmom312 says:

    Aaaawwww!! Adorable. We have a westie…gotta have those sweet little indoor dogs to hug!

  29. CarrieJ says:

    Out in the country, chickens and small dogs are hawk food. Jane should ask my chicken, Nutmeg, about that. Oh wait, she can’t because A HAWK GOT HER WHEN SHE WAS OUT OF THE RUN, FREE RANGING.

    Free ranging is only allow now, under armed guard.

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