The Yak “Bone” Saga

I like the dried cheese yak dog bones that are hard, but splinter, so they are not as rigid as other choices one could make. And they are fully edible. AC Slater LOVED them.

Jackpot has a whole bunch of puppy teeth—especially the big canines—that are now being replaced by big boy teeth. So the other day I got one of the yak bones out for him to chew while I sewed in the quilt room.

Here’s what happened:

In the end, I had to remove it from the whole room as there was no way JP was going to stand for it in his bed or on the floor. It was a DANGEROUS thing.

The next morning I tried again, this time upstairs after breakfast.

He eventually discovered he could chew it, and now he’s obsessed doing just that. Here’s this morning. So now I have one upstairs and one downstairs.

Yesterday we had a great walk at my neighbor’s—and as we were heading back toward the car, I slipped on a wooden bridge that I thought was dry—and twisted my ankle.

The little boy was right there to “help.” I leashed him and we limped back to the car where I had some 1M and 10M Arnica remedies that I always carry. The rest of the day, though, was spent hobbling around—so no second walk. And I took Arnica 30cc off and on for the rest of the day. It is astonishing how Arnica immediately reduces pain and swelling. Astonishing.

Today the ankle is much better, but I will still be hobbling around. I will likely be able to take JP for some sort of walk on flat ground though—and that will be good for the ankle as well.

BTW, studies now show that the RICE treatment of a twisted ankle is NOT the best strategy and can slow healing. RICE is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Advice now is to keep using the ankle as much as possible, that ice can retard healing as blood and inflammation are needed to heal, that elevation means rest rather than keeping the injury mobile, and that compression in RCT studies didn’t matter.

Here’s a link to one study:

So, I kept moving yesterday, but also spent some time mid-afternoon just watching tv. This morning, as I said, the swelling has reduced a lot, the pain is way better, and all is clearly much better.

It is MUCH colder all at once. I need to switch out some of my summer clothes, especially my pajamas, summer sweaters, summer t-shirts, and so forth. I’m going to try to do that with the puppy in a bit, and then we’ll attempt a walk.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza AND Roasting A Golden Cauliflower

Back in August when I was waiting for Jackpot to arrive in Maine, I tried out the cauliflower crust pizza idea I’ve heard about for years. Since I can’t eat gluten, I can’t eat pizza. Sadly. I love pizza.

I think I didn’t add enough egg—and the cauliflower base was still maybe too wet—which another egg would probably have “fixed.” Also, I cooked first before pulsing in my food processor. I had some basil leaves, so that’s what the dark spots are in this “dough.” I added some herbs and garlic as well. One spreads a circle on parchment, bakes at 350 for a bit and then uses the parchment to turn over the slab and bake it on the other side until it is browner. I used TWO sheets of parchment that way. The upper side was too wet to turn over without more parchment help.

I felt like each side baked a long time (30+ minutes) before the crust started to get a little brown.

Here’s the final product—and it was delicious. I ate one half and reheated the other half for supper. It reheated well.

The thinly sliced veggies on top of chicken pieces and with all topped by mozzarella cheese were nicely tender, so that part worked, but I was right at the line between ready and too done.

I will try out this idea one day soon again—and with a dryer base mix and more eggs, I expect a quicker baking time. And maybe I’ll pulse the cauliflower raw before steaming so the mixture can be put in a towel and wrung out.

Here’s a screenshot of one of the online recipes I found. This one does NOT flip the base to cook both sides before adding toppings—and I think one would need to do that.

Yesterday I bought a beautiful golden cauliflower and roasted it today—alongside a baby bok choy sliced and drizzled with cream.

I salted and added some Italian herb mixture and drizzled the cauliflower with some of my Organic Roots olive oil—adding only a tiny bit to the bok choy. I roasted at 400 for 15 minutes and turned everything with a spatula—then added a piece of cooked chicken breast from last night to reheat it. I put some cream on the chicken, too, to keep it moist.

Dinner (the middle of the day) was so lovely on a truly rainy day—and there are leftovers for supper.

I am grateful for the rain. I think my water pressure might have been lower than I like as it has been beautiful, but very dry.

Jackpot had a nice visit to the vet, where he always sees other dogs which makes him so happy. They took blood for his DNA test, and that got mailed this morning. They also gave him his second deworming pill and cut his nails.

I so hope this is the LAST deworming he will need.

He seems to be taking the rainy day in stride. It really is just pouring rain and is a big storm. Maybe we can walk by late afternoon. That would be nice for both of us.

A Fall Sunday

And here it is already TUESDAY.

Sunday was a nice day though. After lunch I made a trip up to Belfast, our neighboring town to the north, to take JP for a little walk alongside the river and the harbor and to visit the local, excellent Co-op. Raw butter and cream are going missing these days—something is happening to our local raw dairy.

We had a little walk in the big beautiful field next to the water.  It was slow going as EVERY blade of grass has to be sniffed and thoroughly examined.  LOL.  And I let him as he so appreciates a “sniffing” walk. He’s like a vacuum cleaner moving along with his nose on the ground just hoovering up all the new things he smells in his world.

Yesterday was busy too—with two walks, and errands to get various numbers for the new mailbox. AND I made a trip to Rockland to pick up the mail that had been accumulating since Wednesday night—which took an hour to go and return.

But, the mailbox is up as of this morning—and I’ve installed street numbers AND red reflectors, which were not up when I took this picture. The box is too close to the road, but Tom Jackson will just slide the silver pole deeper into the back black pole to move the box back. Right now it is asking for the local baseball-bat wielders to take a shot. The mailbox is smaller than my old box, and I’m not sure how that is going to work out for PO packages. Hopefully they will come up to the house and NOT go to Rockland where they will have to be retrieved.

We got THREE INCHES of rain last night—and more coming off and on today and tonight. JP and I had a lovely woods walk this morning after I got the much-needed haircut at 8 am.

JP dragged this big branch out of a retention basin filled with water on the side of the road. He was so funny dragging it down the road at full speed. And here is he “coming” with joy.

I maybe should have named him “Texas Cowboy” as he is full of fun and mischievous. Note that he comes, but runs wide so I can’t grab his harness. He’s so smart. We’re working on that issue, which is not at all unusual at this stage of puppyness. In the end, he comes. He especially does not like to have to get in the car and go home, which ends all his fun.

Deworming is Thursday again, and the DNA test is in, so we’ll do both of those procedures at the vet Thursday morning. They are better at getting him to happily take pills than I am.

I’ve been able to sew for some days now in the late afternoon after the second walk. I’ve been sewing the last of the Cotton+Steel strips I cut for Churn Dash blocks to make scrappy Churn Dash blocks—and they are so cute. I’m closing in on 50 of them now. And I’m down to a small pile of 3-inch strips, but still more of the 1 3/4 inches strips.

And I’ve been able to watch tv at night after a light supper while JP sleeps next to me on the couch.

So, now, a walk and a check to see if there is any mail in the new mailbox.

What Does a Dog DO With TWO Balls?

We were headed out for a walk this morning, and when I turned out of my driveway, I could see my mailbox (which is on a swing bar to save it from being hit with a baseball bat) was…gone. The rod holding it was flat on the ground, bent straight.

Someone came up the hill, lost control of the vehicle (probably a truck, maybe with 4 wheel drive), slammed into the mailbox on the left side of the road, went into the deep ditch, and somehow got out and onto the end of the driveway, dragging the severed mailbox, where the someone then had to get out of the vehicle and throw it on the hillside.

There was dirt, rocks and parts of the car up and down the road, the driveway, and in the ditch. The police came and picked up identifying pieces. It was a Toyota something. The amount of damage to the vehicle indicates that it will have to be repaired to be on the road—so maybe the police will catch the person via that avenue.

I called old friend Tom Jackson, with whom I’ve done business for years. He came around noon and formed a plan to get a temporary mailbox up and to figure out a new mailbox, which might take some days. Some parts might be able to be used again.

Our local post office is closing for an unclear amount of time due to “unsafe construction in the building.” But that construction hasn’t been active for the past two years. So, local people think what has just happened is that our Camden post office has just been closed permanently. Mail will still be delivered to homes, but if one has any other needs, one will have to go to the Rockland PO, which is 20-25 minutes away.

The package mailing-delivery market has been trying to get rid of the postal service for about two decades now. It looks like they are making good progress.

Life is messy.

After we ran errands and when waiting for Tom, I took this picture. What DOES a dog do with TWO fun balls when only ONE can be picked up?

And, this little video, taken right after he chose the larger red ball.

So, JP and I are just now back from our delayed walk, which was nice. He likes to carry things in his mouth: sticks, dried leaves, whatever detritus interests him. He has a soft mouth, too. There is some retriever there somewhere…

Despite all the drama today, it was a beautiful day, one of those crisp, cool, sun-drenched days that I love.

Maybe JP and I will try out a little sewing now, before my dinner.

And Here Comes Fall

Jackpot is fine. I let him in the living/dining room this morning, after his now very reliable morning poop and with frequent trips outside to pee if needed. He LOVES having more freedom and the extra space. And I love moving back to the dining room table!!

It is cleaning morning, too. Clean sheets!

Doors to the bedroom and bathroom will remain closed for a bit more time. He can (and has) go upstairs to investigate, but I’m pretty sure he won’t have a pee accident up there as I’m taking him out frequently.

Look what I noticed yesterday:

The maples are turning color.

Our Maine woods are layered with the most beautiful ferns and mosses. With the turning of the seasons, they will turn brown now and be gone very soon. It has been such a pleasure to be out in the woods again as I wasn’t walking in them without the puppy.

The last of the wild flowers are filling hedgerows and road sides: purple and white asters and goldenrod among them.

With some recent rains, it has been a big fall mushroom year, too. Dry weather curtails the mushrooms, so I couldn’t get any decent pictures on our walk yesterday at Erickson’s as the current crop has shattered and dried. But we had a little rain last night, so I’m sure with the wet, we’ll see how the mushrooms can cover the forest floor in places. Mushrooms present with the most amazing colors that include vivid reds, yellow, and purples. They are interesting and beautiful.

It’s a beautiful day! But it is going to be more humid than I like. But a cool, fall spell is coming right along.

Have a great day!

Good Morning!

Turkey Tracks: Jackpot Update

This morning I slept until the radio alarm went off at 5:40 am. Jackpot sounded an immediate alarm as I usually wake up and dress before the alarm goes off.

I showered last night, so I got dressed and went down to him. He is ridiculously happy to see me in the mornings, so it is hard and funny to get his collar and harness back on so he is ready to go out and pee, which he does immediately and without fuss. Soon I’ll be able to take him out off leash for this morning outing, but I still need to see his poop and I don’t want him to do it in the woods. The draw back for him is he knows he’ll get his breakfast as soon as we go back inside.

I seem to have lost yesterday in terms of posting. We had a good day. There were two good walks, ONE good poop (no more diarrhea), no accidents in the house for many days now—and I’m learning when he needs to go out. He’s started giving me “the look” that says “I need something.”

I’m close to moving back to the living/dining room table with him if he’s pooped in the morning and if I continue to take him out frequently, which I will. He still has to have my eyes on him though so he doesn’t get into mischief. He loves the big dog bed in that room, and the long hall allows for a ball to be rolled down it. He would love having the extra space, I know.

The blood work yesterday at the lab is still too low—but after the hookworm infestation and so much of the antibiotic metronidazole, it is going to take some time for him to regroup and replenish red blood cells. AND it’s going to take even longer to reorient his gut flora and fauna as antibiotics kill the good and the bad. And this antibiotic also wipes out the mucus lining of the stomach, etc. He’s on his nourishing raw food from Rebel Raw, and I have the food I made for him using some ingredients from My Pet Carnivore. And I ordered, yesterday, the complete raw chicken food from Rebel Raw. The food variety is needed in his diet so he doesn’t start up any food allergies. And different proteins bring different sets of goodies to the table.

The blood test at the vets is $85 a pop! And they wanted to do another one on Friday. That’s too soon. He needs some time. I cancelled Friday’s vet appointment until the already paid for DNA kit comes in—at which time I might consider another blood test since they will be drawing blood. He is anemic right now, for sure. As a result, he tries to eat dirt and goes after any of the wild animal poop he can find up in the neighbor’s meadow. I stop him if I can, but he does often get some. He now grabs and runs, as if it is a very fun game.

It is interesting to me that he totally ignores whatever dog poop he passes, so clearly he’s trying to heal himself with wild fecal matter—and I’m not sure that is such a terrible idea given what we know now about fecal transplants for dogs who have intestinal issues. BUT, he also picks up rocks and carries them in his mouth until I remove them. That part I don’t like. And I don’t like the dirt eating—which is a clear sign of nutritional deficiencies. Dogs DO need soil bacteria though—and most city dogs don’t get sufficient soil bacteria as many are always walked on pavement.

I’ve stopped the Slippery Elm now. And he’s getting a daily probiotic from the vets and from Glenna at Sweet Pups. He’s also getting small amounts of dried colostrum, Saccharomyces boulardi (a GOOD yeast that helps repopulate the gut and drives out bad yeast created by too many starches in industrial dog food), a short course of milk thistle powder to detox all the chemicals he’s had, a Four Leaf Rover organic mushroom mix that will boost his immunity (mushrooms are magic), and the last of the organic bone broth.

Next week, I’ll give him the second dose of the dewormer from the vet and will follow up with another fecal sample. And in mid October some time, I’ll give him the second Heartgard to clean out any heartworms he brought from Texas. And that will be it for the winter, assuming his fecal test is clean. In the spring, I’ll test for heartworms—that’s a blood test. If he is clear and he is healthy, likely I’ll not use more Heartgard, which is a double-edge sword for dogs, in that yes, it can stop heartworms and other parasites, but it is hard on their bodies and they never develop an immune system that can handle these issues—which animals in the wild can do. Fecal tests and a yearly heartworm blood test would be an indicator of trouble.

You know, one reason that we have these toxic business models in all our medicine now is that we have been conditioned to be afraid of everything and to “protect” by using a lot of chemicals that promise prevention, but which also have significant unintended consequences, especially when they are all mixed up together. It’s a tough line to walk today, for sure. And we all just have to do the best we can with our informed consent decisions. For me, it is better to have a dog who can run free on my property and on most walks, a dog who is a team member with me, a dog who is happy because he can be a dog in most every sense of being “dog.” I’ll accept the risks that come with that decision. And I’m so lucky that I live where I can have a dog in this way. I’ll be happy when I can train JP on the outdoor radio fence, so I don’t have to worry if he runs down the front hill or out into the woods. But right now, JP has enough to manage on his plate.

Yesterday I tried out the quilt room for a short period. I put down the beautiful dog bed I’ll use and brought in the toy bucket, and after a struggle to figure out the door gate got that up, sat quietly to see what JP would do. He fussed for a bit and then laid down on the floor and rested. He’d had two walks/runs, so he wasn’t antsy. So…. I think that will work for piecing and cutting, but not yet for the longarm. Soon.

I left the door to the quilt room open last night, and he went inside in the dark several times, and I think his trips were to check out the dog bed.

There’s a whole lotta beagle in that puppy. But I see the terrier too. And I still say there is some retriever some where as he carries things in his mouth and brings back things thrown to him without prompting.

Have a great day everyone!

We’re off for a morning walk soon, and the afternoon will bring thunderstorms and rain. That might make a good time for the quilt room.

More on the Rescued Beagles at Paws

Another dry crate morning. Yeah!

I’ll know more about Jackpot’s progress after I see his poop today. Yesterday he pooped only three times—which is a lovely milestone.

People have asked about Slippery Elm. Here’s an article:

And here’s an article about the rescued beagles at Paws, which gives more information about that whole, tragic lab mess.

Yesterday I caught this Monarch butterfly just drying off his/her wings. The colors at this point are so intense and shiny.

And here are some pics of my snuggly boy.

Clean and Dry Crate This Morning

September 10, 2022

Clean and Dry Crate This Morning

After a really bad afternoon of lots of diarrhea, I made a Slippery Elm syrup for Jackpot last night and gave it to him with some of the crappy canned industrial crap the vets sent home with me. This morning his crate was DRY and CLEAN.

I almost fainted with joy.

I’ll give it to him 3 more times today—and begin giving him real food, which he really, really needs, at noon—starting with the bone broth, some cooked carrots and winter squash (firms up poop), and some raw chicken I will cook in the broth and whirl into a slurry with the veggies in the food processor.  If that holds, I’ll start giving him bits of the balanced raw food that is right for puppies that is currently living in my freezers. I defrosted a patty I had cut from a whole bag over night.

Jackpot has had too many meds over the past month.  Not avoidable with the hookworms, but now it is time to build him back up. And industrial fake food isn’t capable of that task. If you want to understand more about feeding a dog so they are healthy, THE FOREVER DOG by Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib is the place to go.

After I gave him the second metronidazole antibiotic late yesterday afternoon, in about 30 minutes he went completely NUTS.  Running to the end of the leash—crazy and dangerous—and I’m so glad he didn’t hurt himself.  Or me. I could hardly hold him, and he’s a puppy. And, again, bad diarrhea. BUT, no blood.  It is very clear to me that this drug is NOT good for him.  It’s been overused on him in the last month anyway. I felt like he was telling me that his insides were scalded and hurting.

Here’s a discussion I found online that references recent studies and is written by qualified people.  Among other damages, metronidazole can harm the mucus lining in the gut and kill the “good” gut critters needed for proper health.  It isn’t a good choice for intestinal issues UNLESS sepsis is involved.  It will cause dysbiosis that will to a bad place.

I am so sick of this toxic vet business model with its industrial foods and medicine-based one-size-fits-all solutions and no knowledge of nutrition.  But I need them, so I will check in as planned on Monday and, maybe, quietly, they will see what I see—a dog who is (prayers!!!) over the hump and moving forward without the Metro.

The day went well. JP only pooped twice, and it was the consistency of pudding and not pure diarrhea, and had no blood. He’s hydrated ok too and pees when taken out. But he’s clearly not peppy. I think he is just enjoying maybe not being in pain. And maybe he’s just catching up on his sleep too. Pooping all night and day for days has got to have made him tired.

Here he is, napping in his crate while I ate lunch.

This morning we went for a stroll (and he didn’t poop which was great), ran some errands which included getting some fresh chicken breast for his food, and rested on the downstairs couch for a bit late morning. Then I gave him the Slippery Elm again and made the fresh food for him. He inhaled it, and it has stayed down well.

We both had a long nap—2 hours. Then we had another ride in the car (a trip to the dump). He loves riding in the car.

I’m hoping tonight will be another dry and clean crate night. I am hoping we are over the worst hump and that good food can build him back up again.

Jackpot Update

September 8, 2022

Jackpot Update

It has been a trying few days.

I kid you not.

But I now know what has been wrong with Jackpot, and I can see a clear way forward to returning him to solid, robust health.

Jackpot didn’t have a viral colitis. Jackpot had HOOKWORMS.

I could go into much more detail, but everything boils down to both Glenna’s and my reliance on a fecal test done in Texas by a local vet that totally missed the Hookworms—which gave them a really good start on tearing up JP’s intestines and stealing his blood and causing dehydration and weight loss and terrible bloody diarrhea.

To really be sure about any fecal test, a vet should perform an antigen test, which, I believe, is done in a lab, not in a vet’s office by a technician. It is way too easy to miss parasites that are so tiny or if they are not in the sample one has.

Add in that one of the 5 sick pups on the transport that had to turn around and return to Texas (Otis) DID have a viral colitis (diagnosed by the A&M vet hospital) and you can see how with a “clean” fecal test that was in error, eyes would turn to the virus and not to worms. It’s kind of a classic case of correlation is not causation.

As Jackpot was NOT getting better, Glenna got super skeptical about the fecal test and started looking toward some kind of parasite, and that’s when we got on the better path. She still thinks Otis had the virus, but now wonders if hookworms were a factor in spinning him into hemorrhaging. Likely, that will remain a mystery, and Otis has been dewormed again, too. She has now also dewormed the transport puppies still in her care, and we are kind of holding our breath that she, too, has her puppies on a clear path forward.

The adult dogs never get hookworms as they are on preventative meds monthly. Hookworms are much more of a problem in the South than here in Maine, which is also true of heartworms.

Glenna is a healer at heart and has stayed in very close touch with me every day to try to sort out Jackpot. We are both feeling much better about this whole situation. Glenna cannot bear to not be able to save a dog who is suffering, and she puts her whole body where her heart is, often treating a sick dog through the night if that is necessary. She did that for Buster Brown, Jackpot’s brother, when she fed him for 2 months with a syringe because he would not eat. And that cute boy has now been adopted by people in New York.

(Remember the very funny video I shared of Buster Brown doing “give me five”?)

So, Jackpot went back to the vet hospital this morning as I didn’t like the amount of blood he was losing after I dewormed him on Wednesday. And I had learned the day before, late in the day, that the new fecal test I dropped off Tuesday was lousy with hookworms. I needed to get a plan from the vets of the best way to move forward.

Hookworms are tricky to get rid of—in that the dog can pick them up again from one’s yard when eggs discarded in poop hatch into larva. So repeated dewormings may be needed until we get to winter and our normally really cold temps, which will kill any larva in the yard. Meanwhile, we’ll stay on top of the worms with fecal tests, etc. The monthly Heartgard pill for heartworms also protects against hookworms—and I gave that to Jackpot this afternoon.

So, Jackpot came home with a med to help his intestines heal, more dewormer to be repeated in two weeks, and prescription kibble and canned food that will help him build back the weight he has lost. **I’ve promised myself I won’t even read the labels as to what is in it. And when JP is healthy and worm free again, I’ll start switching back over to the really good REAL food that is filling my freezers in the garage.

Jackpot has been so good. He’s needed to go outside frequently, and he’s learned how to tell me he needs to go. He pee pees on command outside as well. So, we are forming a language we both understand.

I’m not looking forward to tonight—as the deworming meds and the hookworms being expelled have meant lots of trips outside since I collected him from the vet hospital early afternoon. I’ll decide later if I need to stay with him in the kitchen so I can get up with him. Otherwise, there could be a total blowout in the crate, and I don’t want that for him. That already happened this morning, and he had to have an immediate bath, all his bedding went to the washer’s sanitize cycle and then got washed again to be sure, and all the clothes I was wearing got washed too. Plus I washed the kitchen floor between the crate and the door. And, of course, the crate.

I AM looking forward to the time in the hopefully near future when he can expand from the kitchen to the dining/living room, where the big dog bed lives. He’s decided he really likes it. He hasn’t had any accidents in the house for some days now, but I keep a very close eye on him too and take him outside a lot.

And we both enjoy the couch downstairs where, when he winds down after playing with his toys, he snuggles and falls heavily asleep.

So, thanks to all of you for staying in touch and joining me on this “Jackpot Journey.” It’s been a wild ride, hasn’t it?

But puppies are, often, a wild ride. I got a great one, that’s for sure.

A Rainy Labor Day

Turkey Tracks: September 5, 2022

A Rainy Labor Day

I’m not going to complain about rain. We need it too bad. But I wasn’t looking forward to pouring rain all day with a new puppy in the house.

We did fine. I raincoated up; we went outside; he ran and played and chased sticks and got toweled off. He even pooped and peed in the rain without noticing it much.

The poop was better than I’ve seen since last Thursday’s terrible scare. The color is much better, the logs are forming, it isn’t diarrhea, but it still has blood in it. He also has more energy today, but we didn’t take a longer walk.

I’ll see what tomorrow brings and will stay the current course, as there is improvement.

Here’s a little video that shows how he thinks coming when called is fun.

And here’s one with him playing with a stick. He brings everything I throw or roll to me, unless he forgets along the way, drawn to something more interesting. I had to work hard to teach AC to bring back the ball when we were outside.

A dear local friend here has noticed the white lightening bolt in the middle of his back. And Rita P, who reads the blog, says this marking on his side looks like a dog’s face with an open mouth.

It does, you know. I can’t get that idea out of my head anyway, LOL.

He loves his toys and hunkered down with them for a lot of the rainy day—content to be near me while I am at the desk near him.

Our local Camden adoption organization, Paws, sent their van to pick up 9 of the 15 (I think) beagles rescued recently from a Virginia lab.

The beagles have arrived now, and you can see some pics of them if you are interested in this story on the PAWS FB page and its web site. Their little faces are so sweet. I can’t even…. How can anyone misuse a creature with so much soul showing in their eyes? Only someone with no soul at all.

The beagles will need a lot of socialization before being ready to adopt. But I’ll bet they will fly out of PAWS when they are ready. They are beautiful dogs.

Also, when I shared this story with Glenna Tucker of Sweet Pups today, she told me Sweet Pups delivered 40 fully vetted dogs a month to PAWS for about three years. That’s a 4,000 mile round-trip made once a month. It got to be too much, so she stopped.

Rescue work is really hard and relentless. I don’t know how Glenna does it.