Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for August 2022

Jackpot Arrives Next Sunday

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Turkey Tracks: August 14, 2022

Jackpot Arrives Next Sunday

Sweet Pups has organized another driver to bring the dogs to New England next weekend. So I’ll pick up Jackpot next Sunday.

Still no rain here…

I made a much-needed dump run yesterday. And had some sewing time.

It was a lazy, laid-back summer day.

Written by louisaenright

August 14, 2022 at 8:28 am

Peaceful Moment

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Turkey Tracks: August 13, 2022

Peaceful Moment

I spot mowed yesterday. The front grass needed mowing. There was also one spot in the back and the grass along the driveway.

When I finish mowing, I always love how tidy and pretty the grass and gardens look—even when yesterday the garden plants are falling over from the drought and the grass has huge brown patches. I stood on the front porch for a minute, looking out to the garage, watching the whirlygigs whirl, and hearing the windchimes at my back.

Sweet Pups has an alternative driver, but he was in North Carolina. They will get a new schedule organized this week. Meanwhile Sweet Pups President and driver Glenna is home resting and being monitored by her doctor. She is an amazing person and works so very hard for the dogs she rescues, saves, and keeps in the Sanctuary.

Written by louisaenright

August 13, 2022 at 9:12 am

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My Goodness!

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My Goodness!

Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 12, 2022

*Update on Jackpot below.

Quilty and Lion friend Sharon Flanagan came for a visit Wednesday, and it was good to catch up with her. Sharon does a lot of all kinds of amazing work in our community.

As we walked around my garden before she left, look what she saw. I’m not sure I would have seen these Monarch caterpillars if she hadn’t looked closer. One of the things Sharon and I share is a love of nature, gardens, and the science behind many subjects/things. I always learn something from her, and this visit was no exception.

I scattered Milkweed pods collected here and there many years ago down in the meadow, but the seeds chose, in part, the front garden over the lower wall as the place they wanted to live. That area has a fringe strip garden that borders the lawn and is neat, but behind it I just let Nature have her way as it is too steep for me to weed and police now.

The pictures below are of two plants. And you can see how the caterpillars devour these plants. Soon they will make a chrysalis and take the next step to becoming a butterfly. I had simply been too busy to go looking for caterpillars on these milkweed plants, though I knew the plants were in that area.

Now an update on Jackpot.

He is NOT coming on Sunday.

Last night the Messenger link between owners of the 26 dogs being transported and the Rescue/Sanctuary, which had been quiet all day as the crew was getting the van ready for departure this morning, told us that Glenna was in the hospital as of 4 pm yesterday. Sheila, who was my first contact at the organization, said Glenna was going to be ok and that she had been reminding Glenna that it was a good thing that she had not started the trip on Thursday. So, it was not an accident, but some other health issue that side-lined her.

So now Glenna is trying to organize getting the dogs to us asap. And we are all waiting. But we are all also hoping that Glenna is going to be ok. It’s clear that she is a very special person—who is gentle and passionate about rescuing dogs in trouble. I have every faith that this current problem will get solved.

My own take is that Glenna lives under a lot of stress. On Wednesday she and the young man in the pictures I posted recently that show Jackpot rescued 8 puppies from a house where the area IN THE HOUSE where they were was literally covered with dog feces and trash. They had to walk through squishy poop to even get the puppies out.

There are videos and pictures on the Sweet Pups FB page and maybe the web site of that event, but I would not necessarily recommend going there to look at it. You’ll want to vomit and the pictures will haunt you. However, note that now those 8 puppies, many of whom now have skin and other medical issues, will have to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, medicated, and fed for some time.

No wonder Glenna is stressed.

Written by louisaenright

August 12, 2022 at 9:26 am

More on Wasps and Hornets

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Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 10, 2020

More on Wasps and Hornets

We moved to Maine in June 2004, and in January 2005 I took a class on creating and keeping a picture journal that I successfully kept for a year and that resulted in two volumes. Now one of the volumes sits on a counter downstairs, above my washer and dryer, as I follow along in the year. I turn the pages every day and really enjoy seeing how 2005 compares to what is happening each year since.

Here’s the page I did on August 10th—about wasps and hornets. And it sorts out the hornets and the wasps.

It does not cover the ground types—some of which are bee forms. And I got stung here years ago when I encountered a ground nest on the back hill.

There is an old wives tale that if you get stung, something in your system needs the venom.

For whatever that is worth. But I haven’t been stung again, knock on wood.

Written by louisaenright

August 10, 2022 at 8:52 am

Pictures of Jackpot at Sweet Pups

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Turkey Tracks: August 9, 2022

Pictures of Jackpot at Sweet Pups

Glenna of Sweet Pups Sanctuary and Rescue has been sending us pictures of the dogs who will be coming to Maine later this week—via a link to all of us on Messenger.

Yesterday, she sent pictures that included High-Top/to be called Jackpot by me.

The running blur in front was one of a set of dogs rescued while living in a brush pile. The bigger dog in back—wait for it and don’t read further without bracing yourself—was being used as BAIT for ALLIGATORS. I can’t even…. What is wrong with people—to have such little regard for another sentient being. The dog had a horribly infected foot, which got even worse after being rescued, but which is now healed. And there is my Jackpot, with his tail curved in excitement over his back.

I love it that the people at Sweet Paws spend time with the dogs. And that the dogs have time to play and run outside. I can’t wait for this bundle of kisses to be on my lap.

Look at this happy face.

Jackpot is looking more like 4 months, not 3, to me in these pictures. And big enough to jump on the bed and not fall off of it in the night. I hope so anyway, as that will make taking care of him at night easier.

He also looks big enough to potty train, which takes time and patience and is helped by the dog being a bit older than brand new puppy.

It’s going to be a long week. Meanwhile the Sanctuary is madly busy with getting all the dogs ready to transport.

I woke to a wet world. I don’t know how much rain I got here yet as I have not checked the gauge, but more is predicted for today. I am crossing my fingers—and know that I’ll need to mow before Jackpot comes.

I’m “clearing the deck” here as much as possible so I can spend pretty much constant time with Jackpot as he adjusts to his forever home. This time will prevent inappropriate chewing and potty accidents as well.

Written by louisaenright

August 9, 2022 at 7:43 am

Wasp Pollinators

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Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 8, 2022

Wasp Pollinators

The Pee Gee Hydrangea is in full and glorious bloom.

Pee Gees can and do grow into tree size. I keep mine cut back to a shrub form, but pruning comes in the fall when the white blossoms have turned to deep rusty red.

What has been totally fascinating to me this summer is the huge amount of different kinds of pollinators on all my flowers and the raspberries. I stopped picking the last of the raspberries as tiny wasps were feeding on the ripe berries. Indeed, I have been hesitant about cutting back any of the plants that are now loaded with pollinators—as I do not want to risk a wasp or bee sting—especially as I live alone.

I am astonished to note that in the hum of insects on the Pee Gee blossoms, there is a tiny wasp who is clearly collecting pollen. Who knew?

Wasps, Surprisingly Cool Pollinators

Here’s where the now overgrown Pee Gee is in my poor, dry, deer-eaten garden. Serious pruning will occur this fall—and I’ll bring some of the cut now-rusty red blooms in the house to dry in vases.

And here’s a view from the guest bedroom inside the house.

There was a thunderstorm late yesterday, but the rain gauge says only 1/4 inch. There may be more rain later today, and it is now cooler and overcast.

Written by louisaenright

August 8, 2022 at 9:53 am

Drought, Deer, Puppy Food, Quilt Top Finished

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Turkey Tracks: August 7, 2022

Drought, Deer, Puppy Food, Quilt Top Finished

We didn’t get any of the possible rain predicted during this last week, and temps went higher.

We have a serious drought here—with grass and fields turning brown.

I think the drought is part of why the deer is eating my green plants in the garden. She did serious damage Friday night. I didn’t spray when I saw her last week, as I thought we would get rain and was going to wait. That was a mistake, for sure. I sprayed yesterday, so we will see.

I’ve also spent HOURS researching what to feed a puppy. Can I just say that the first ingredient on the Purina Puppy Chow is whole grain CORN, followed by chicken by-product MEAL and soybean MEAL, meat “flavors,” and host of what are likely really cheap chemicals. No wonder dogs today are as sick as people. This food is starchy and a chemical brew. There is NO WAY I can put this crap in a bowl for any living creature to eat. This…. This is a great example of what has gone seriously wrong in this country in my not so humble opinion.

Note: I completely understand why the rescue organization uses this food. They are operating on a shoe string financially and are doing the best they can. This food has got to be better than what these puppies were getting while their mother was tied under a tree and at the mercy of owners who should be immediately tied to that tree for the rest of their lives. I can’t imagine what the mother or the pups were fed, which is why Buster Brown was sick when rescued. The carelessness of some people with regard to pets just does not amaze me, but hurts my heart.

Right now, stop! And google “Maggie’s Song” by Chris Stapleton and listen to it.

Feeding puppies is tricky. I could feed an adult dog real food in my sleep—and have with the last 3 dogs I’ve had over the last 20+ years. Puppies need higher levels of zinc and calcium and an appropriate balance between calcium and phosphorus, for two things. And the need for appropriate omega 3 fats. And whatever recipe one uses, it has to contain balanced nutrition or it can cause problems. Plus, too much of some nutrients can also cause problems.

So, I’ve learned a lot about raw food recipes, where to get things like whole beef and whole chicken ground with bones and organs, and a whole bunch of new ingredients for me that provide needed nutrients (powdered kelp, hempseed, green lipped muscle powder, krill oil, and more).

I am old enough to remember when dry dogfood wasn’t around. My grandparents fed dogs kitchen scraps, and most lived to ripe old ages and looked really healthy. I don’t know what else these dogs ate, but it wasn’t dry dog food. And meds like heartworm preventatives weren’t around—so these dogs had to have pretty strong immune systems. I did just fine with my last 3 dogs—the two rat terriers lived to be 16 years old, and AC’s coat and teeth were awesome.

But I can do better, and I have some recipes with which to start. It is also important to change out or combine protein meat sources to prevent the development of food allergies. I’ve found places that ship the meat proteins I need, and now I’m hoping they will arrive without mishap, still cold, etc.

It’s all a very interesting journey…

Once Jackpot is 1 year, I can use many more recipes that are suitable for adult dogs and that can be sourced easily locally.

I will also use Milk Thistle in a herbal form to help him detox from all the puppy vaccines, heartworm and worming meds, etc. And Slippery Elm is on the way to help with any diarrhea he may get. He’s had a long journey and will arrive tired and stressed.

I finished the “Wyoming Stars” quilt top and am now piecing a backing with the last of the Cotton+Steel bigger fabric pieces.

This block has fascinated me as when used without sashing it makes the most interesting secondary patterns.

I chose to make the block center dark, but when sewn to other blocks a pattern of light and dark squares forms. Also a larger light diamond forms with a star at the center. Then there are the x’s and long diagonal lines that form.

It’s busy, so the dark border contains/stops the business. I think it will need a light binding, and I have enough of one more bigger fabric to use for binding that is a sort of tan neutral.

It’s going to be HOT here today. And there is no rain in sight of any appreciable amount for the next week.

But Jackpot’s journey to me will begin this week, and he arrives next Saturday. The new dog beds and toys are here, and my life is about to drastically change. Again.

I’m excited.

Written by louisaenright

August 7, 2022 at 9:14 am

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The Deer Culprit

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Turkey Tracks: August 6, 2022

The Deer Culprit

The other day as I turned onto Howe Hill Road, below my house, I saw a female deer standing by my side of the road. I should have tried to take a picture, but deer don’t normally hang around when a car stops.

I rolled down the window. She didn’t move. She also didn’t moved when I talked to her. Not one foot.

So I drove on up the hill and turned into my steep driveway.

Yesterday early morning I looked out the kitchen window, and there she was, about to nosh on the wild day-lilies on the hill. I’m sure she would have moved right on to the hostas on that hill—though I had sprayed them—and will do so again after whatever rain we might get in the next few days.

I opened the window and yelled at her, and she moved into the woods, but not at any kind of fast pace.

I now have 20 whirlygigs in place around the yard, and they do move merrily if the breeze hits them. Their shiny surfaces seem to throw light when they move. Movement is, obviously, a big “if.”

But I’m not sure they move at night when the breeze from the bay dies down. Or, even, work to when moving to scare the deer.

Whatever, my female deer visitor ate all the Borage just about to bloom in the new garden by the driveway two nights ago—leaving only the plant stems. And got into the plants BEHIND those where I sprayed the edges of beds and did SERIOUS damage to several, including a large hydrangea. She also ate all the buds off the dahlia that I winter over. It was full of buds.

So, she does seem to avoid where I have sprayed…

Or I hope so anyway.

She is practically tame.

I’m going out to respray again this morning—and moving deeper into the beds with the spray.

Written by louisaenright

August 6, 2022 at 10:25 am

And Now I Wait—for Jackpot and Rain

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Turkey Tracks: August 5, 2022

And Now I Wait—For Jackpot and Rain

We are meant to get rain today, but the time frame has already been moved from morning to afternoon. What we need is sustained, steady rain for several days, not just a thunderstorm. But we’ll take whatever we can get. I think the strong breeze from the bay is moving these summer storms west of us, away from the coast.

I got some good sewing time yesterday—only stopping at almost 8:30 pm for my salad supper. One border is on the “Wyoming Stars” quilt—which is working really well to contain that busy and interesting center, and I’m making the final pieced border now. Pics to follow when the top is done.

The Sweet Pups transport team has now started a Messenger message connection where all of the people adopting dogs on this trip are connected.  Right now, 6 people so far are meeting the train at the West Gardner (just south of Augusta) hospitality center on 95—about 45 minutes from me. It is truly heart warming to see how excited people are to be getting “their” rescue dogs.  And to see the wonderful work and caring that the folks at the Sanctuary and Rescue organization are doing.  I’ve been following them on their FB page.  

I’m more or less ready for Jackpot doggie’s arrival next Saturday.

I’ve been researching how to feed a puppy real food and how to transition a dog to real food. Feeding puppies is a bit tricky actually—as one needs to carefully balance the nutrients. But I’ve got it now, though I’m still rounding up ingredients, like a high-quality cod liver oil.

I’m a big fan of the vet, Dr. Karen Becker. And I’m learning more about Rodney Habib, who founded Planet Paws. Their new book THE FOREVER DOG is on my dining room table at the moment.

The new dog toys arrived yesterday. They are so cute. I still remember when AC came at 6 months of age and dived into the toy bucket downstairs. I want that joy to happen again.

There is an adorable video of Buster Brown. If the link doesn’t work, you can see it on my FB page or on the Sweet Paws Sanctuary FB page. Buster Brown is Jackpot’s brother (and clearly had a different dad—as is true too for Lace Top, the girl). Buster was too sick to rescue, so the Sanctuary is getting him sorted, and you can see he is doing much better. Recall that the mother dog had been tied to a tree for her whole life, and had her puppies there, but that the owner finally surrendered her.

Yesterday I made the most delicious potato salad that I combined with a grilled lamb burger.

I used 4 new red potatoes about 3 inches each—and they cooked (whole) in boiling water to cover them faster than I thought they would—about 25 minutes maybe. I drained them and let them cool while I did other things and then peeled and chopped them into big chunks. I had some homemade really tangy yogurt that I had strained and threw about 1/4 cup of that into a bowl where I put herbs from the garden (chives, basil, tarragon, thyme) and added some dried herbs, like dill and oregano. I added some green peas, some chopped veggies I had on hand (sweet onion, red bell pepper, cucumber) and some grated carrot. I swirled in some of my good olive oil (Organic Roots’ Koroneiki EVOO) and added salt.

It is DELICIOUS!

Written by louisaenright

August 5, 2022 at 8:50 am

Jackpot

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Turkey Tracks: August 3, 2022

Jackpot

I could not stop looking at his picture.

And when I telling him what a sweet boy he was, I knew I had found the magic again.

But, clearly, I’ve lost my ever-loving mind!  He’s a 3-4 month old PUPPY from Texas, near the Louisiana border:  Sweet Pups Sanctuary and Rescue rescued him.  I’m going to call him Jackpot. He’s the third dog whose picture I fell in love with online—I just knew somehow with both Penny and AC Slater.  And then I couldn’t stop going back to look at their sweet faces.  Ditto with this little guy.

A friend here told me after AC died that in time, “another nose will poke at you, and the magic will begin again.”

Jackpot is very like AC Slater—terrier and hound, a kind of feist dog.  Same coloring.  Same kind of soft gentle eyes.  Longer ears maybe. And may well have AC’s energy.

Jackpot’s mother is a terrier mix and has been tied to a tree for her whole life.  When she went into heat, various male dogs came, and she had this litter (her first?) under that tree.  I think there are three pups:  2 males and a female. Buster Brown is the other male, Lacy Top the girl.  I put pictures below. Jackpot is the biggest of the three. And my Sanctuary contact said that the owner has finally agreed to give up the mother, and she was coming into the shelter that same day.  She’s about 30 pounds, so Jackpot is going to be about the same size as AC Slater, who was 46 pounds, which works well for here in Maine and with my woodsy property that has critters.  AC’s mother was, I think I remember, 35 pounds.

I got AC about this same time in September 2018—and he was 6 months old.  I’m going to have a very busy winter with an active baby puppy.  For sure.  Especially in the Maine winter.  But AC LOVED the snow. I put a video of his first snow storm at the end of this post.

I went back and forth about getting another puppy rather than an older dog, but I’m also sure that putting the time and training into a puppy pays off for many years to come and that the bond between dog and person is even stronger.  And it seems I do want to spend the time loving on and nourishing a creature that will grow up to be another good friend.  I just needed some time—though I’ll never get over losing AC—and to have the picture magic happen. It came close a few times with older dogs, but not strong enough.

Sweet Pups drives the dogs to Maine themselves in the warm weather, and I’ll meet them at the West Gardner big rest stop on highway 95 just south of Augusta—only about 45 minutes from me—on Saturday, August 13th. They deliver all the way up to Bangor and come every 4 to 6 weeks, with 30-40, or more, rescued dogs that already have homes.  My contact said most of their rescues do come to Maine, but their efforts are not limited to Maine. Texas is a kill state.  

And this schedule is another piece of the stars being aligned for this rescue, since this Sweet Pups trip was already scheduled.

So now I’m pulling out of storage the the big (heavy) crate I put in the top of the garage, the dog beds I saved, the car protective covers, dog blankets, leashes, the Furminator and toenail clippers, what’s left of the  dog toys, water bowls, yadda, yadda. I’ve ordered new toys and two new dog beds, and I’m organizing the real food to which I’ll switch Jackpot gradually.

AC was a TERRIBLE chewer—like furniture and base boards when he wanted my attention or was left in a room.  At 4 years I still would not leave him free in the house alone, especially after the covid years when I did not go much beyond grocery stores and was with him all the time. I won’t make that mistake again.  So, I’m ready for Jackpot. He will be with me at all times or in the crate while I shower, etc., until he’s about a year old.  And maybe longer.  As I said, I’ll have a busy winter coming up.

I’ve now paid and signed the contract. So, all is in play.

Here’s a picture of Jackpot’s sister, Lace Up, next to Jackpot. You can see that she is very dainty.

And a picture of his brother, Buster Brown, who is not yet ready for adoption.

Sweet Pups has a FB page and a web site. They are in east Texas, near the Louisiana border. Penny came to me as a rescue from Katrina. She was born near Baton Rouge. AC came from Rock City Rescue in Arkansas in the fall of 2018.

Here’s the video of AC’s first snow, winter 2019

So, now I’m…waiting. And hoping. And…excited.

Written by louisaenright

August 3, 2022 at 10:38 am