Oh My JP: A Serious Step Backwards

September 2, 2022

Oh My JP: A Serious Step Backwards

Yesterday morning when I came downstairs, I saw that JP had pooped and peed his crate. The irony is that the poop was nicely formed. BUT, I could hear his stomach rumbling all over the kitchen, and he refused to eat, which was alarming. He loves to eat and loved his food.

After a bit, he threw up a lot of liquid—no particles in it. It was a dark red color in places that I thought was from his beef food—but now I don’t know. And then he was lethargic and not himself at all. I started worrying about dehydration, so gave him a little syringe of water, and before long, he threw that up as well.

Time to call the vet hospital.

And time to whirl around with what could be wrong. No blood in poop, so maybe not the virus. I caught him trying to chew on an old dead stalk at the base of one of the Annabelle hydrangeas when he went back into their deep shade to explore. Oh my heavens! All parts of hydrangeas are poisonous and can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but are not deadly toxic—just enough so that maybe the poisoned dog will need vet help with dehydration and nausea. And then, there are the local horrific stories about the blue/green algae that is present in some Maine ponds due to the drought and low water levels. That stuff will flat out kill a dog in a few days—and not much can stop it that I could see. He went swimming the day before with Boo doggie.

AND, we’re heading into a long weekend where my local vet hospital will be closed.

I still wasn’t thinking of a return of the viral colitis as there hadn’t been any problems that I could see in that morning poop. But around noon, the vet found fresh blood in his rectum and low red blood cells, but no Parvo. And by late afternoon when we got home with an antibiotic, anti-nausea pills, probiotics, and a decision and supplies to feed bland food (boiled rice with bits of white meat-no fat chicken) for at least 4 days before trying to add tiny bits of his real food, he had a horrible squirty, fresh blood, smelly diarrhea. I almost fainted at the force of it coming out of him.

It’s the viral colitis. It’s come back.

I messaged Glenna at Sweet Pups, and one of her previously sick pups had just passed some blood too. Not much, she said, but she was “on alert” with the puppies. She was as distraught as I was. It is a really nasty virus. It hits hard and fast—and, obviously, can come back. Glenna thinks it might be a mutation from something else, and she is thinking/investigating on that now. Viral mutations don’t always become more benign; they can and do get worse. Her vets are saying this virus is new, and they are not 100% sure how to best treat it.

Last night I did not want to leave JP all alone in his kitchen crate with the possibility of that bad diarrhea returning in the night. So I made a quick palette and slept beside him, and he could touch my hand with his nose through breaks in the crate. It comforted us both.

I woke at dawn, a little after 5. He was dry and clean, and he went right out to pee. And he’s been peeing on a regular basis all morning. He’s eaten two rice/chicken meals and taken all the morning meds—and he is clearly feeling much better. He’s been bouncing around the yard and clearly sees running to me when called is a fun game as he’s bouncing to me while grinning. But he’s also resting between being taken outside.

I think I got on this pretty fast, and I’m grateful for that.

He’s going back to the hospital at noon for a “run back” check to make sure he’s doing ok—before the long weekend arrives. The hospital will be closed for the long weekend. But the emergency clinic in Warren is open this weekend.

But, I think he’s doing better. And I’m hoping that with really careful handling, over time, he can be fully well. I will do my best for this adorable, precious puppy who is now snuggling and cuddling and sitting on my lap off and on to have a belly rub.

No poop yet today—and that’s probably a good thing. The state of the poop will be a good indicator of how he is doing. And, will determine if I sleep on the palette again tonight. If so, I’ll find another blanket for the under layer!!! But, mostly, sleeping next to him was a good decision. It comforted us both.

This morning, he tried jumping on the bed when I took him upstairs so I could shower and change clothes. He did master jumping from a chair I have up there to the bed, and back off. But until the diarrhea is under control, he’s better off in the crate. That stuff…. I’ve never seen or smelled anything like it. One thing “we” did this morning was to drag out the hose and wash down that part of the yard thoroughly.

Going forward, we’ll still have outings—he loves those. But I’ll keep them short and we’ll just stroll. He gets bored with the yard now. It just isn’t enough to keep him interested as I keep him near me and don’t let him off the grass. He is longing to run through the woods. But, he’s too young to handle the rocks and too young to learn the boundaries dictated by his radio collar. The latter would traumatize him this early in his life here.

And this morning, while sitting in my lap where he can see out the back windows, he spotted and alerted me to TWO huge deers just looking down at us sitting in the kitchen. One had little antlers, about 8 inches tall. We went right out (with me holding him so he didn’t try to chase them) and scared them off with a lot of yelling at them to “go away.”I hope the smelly deer spray is working.

PS: the vet visit went well. His blood counts are still low but have risen. They added 6 or 7 days of a wormer to make sure there is nothing parasitic in his gut. He had these tests before he left Texas, but Glenna says, too, that some parasites take time to develop and show up. Thus Glenna gave us all some worming tablets to give the dogs in a few days after arriving to make sure. I hadn’t given JP these tablets yet as his poop at the time was soft, and I wanted them to become more normal first, which they did…until…BAM!

It’s almost 4, and I was going to take him for a little stroll, but he’s been asleep now for about an hour. So, when he wakes up, we’ll stroll the yard, and then he’ll have a little dinner around 5.

Maybe I should start looking for that other blanket.

Jackpot: Yesterday Was a Great Day!

Turkey Tracks: September 1, 2022

Jackpot: Yesterday Was a Great Day!

Jackpot met my beloved friend Linda early yesterday morning. She came in quietly, and he didn’t hear her until she was at the inside kitchen door. Oh my goodness! There is no question that he’s going to set up an alarm when someone comes. And he braced and barked in front of the kitchen door, all set to protect himself, me, the kitchen, and the house.

Of course he warmed up to her in no time at all. She is a darling, how could he not?

Our morning walk after the rain was at a neighbor’s property on the road above me. There are horses and trails, and the neighbor has always been so generous to share the trails with neighbors and friends.

Jackpot went off leash this visit right out of the car.

I let him go at his own pace most of the time, so he has plenty of time to smell everything. The walks are about us both having fun and are not meant to be about me exercising, though I am getting exercised I can tell you. There are many places where we both pick up the pace.

He found his first stick and proudly carried it around. I threw it ahead for him a few times. (There is now a paved drive to a newly built house that curves away from the trails.) I had wondered if he would chase a thrown stick. AC loved that game. Jackpot will learn to follow a thrown stick’s flight as the days pass. Right now I just threw down the road.

And guess what! He does all the stairs now. He went up earlier this morning, but I got this video later in the day.

After lunch, Jackpot had a quiet time in his crate while I paid some bills. Eventually, we went to pick up some fresh raw cream that I get each week, and on the way home, I think he graduated from his front seat hook-up. Here’s my new co-pilot. (There is a chain rigged to the back seat so he can’t get thrown forward.) And I desperately need a haircut—it got postponed until Jackpot came and had dedicated time with me.

Maybe the best part of the day happened on our second walk. We went over to the Snow Bowl again, and he met “Boo,” a favorite dog friend last seen last winter. Boo and Pete/Paul (I have to get that name sorted) thought he was seeing me with AC Slater, and Boo ran to greet us. She took Jackpot right down to the pond’s swimming hole and right into the water. She doesn’t go deep, but Jackpot followed her on the ramp and wherever she went. I wasn’t quick enough to get a better video. They were moving too fast. I’m sure we’ll see Boo (a rescue from Arkansas) and there will be more swimming along the way.

Here’s a picture I took of a stand of cat tails blowing in the wind. There is always a breeze in this “bowl” that is surrounded by hills/mountains. You can see the pond on the other side of the road. It’s a beautiful spot.

I had a VERY tired dog after he ate his dinner!

There were NO potty accidents all day. That’s a first.

Jackpot: Days 3 and 4

Turkey Tracks: August 31, 2022

Jackpot: Days 3 and 4

Today starts day 4.

JACKPOT WAS DRY LAST NIGHT!

And, HE WENT UP THE INSIDE STAIRS!

And, HE KNOWS HIS NAME!

We had a strong downpour this morning, so I took him out before and after that event. Early morning was a soft, misty rain, which did not stop his morning pee and poop. The turkeys were calling in the woods, and that distracted him at first.

He has learned to come and touch my open palm when I call “Jackpot, come here.” And I’ll always use those exact words combined with a hand signal. Of course he hasn’t been 100%, but mostly he is now. Accomplishing his ALWAYS hearing my voice and coming is a process that involves specific training actions on my part that make his behavior a fun game where he gets a lot of praise for doing this work WITH me, like a job. When he is 100%, we will be a team that works together reliably.

Yesterday I was able to mow and do all the laundry—either with him or when he was napping (which he is doing right now as I write). I was able to hang my sheets on the line while he napped and retrieve them with him at my heels. He was fascinated with my moving the mower to the back of the house and was happy to stay on the deck while I mowed that part of the lawn. I did the rest of the mowing after lunch when he was napping, exhausted, in his crate. That’s the only time I crate him during the day—and that will be just while he is a puppy who needs constant watching right now in order to learn the rules of the house.

We hiked the Erickson Trail again yesterday—and he was off leash all the way until the end, when he decided to take an unapproved excursion into one of the meadows at the edge of the trail. It was an opportunity to reinforce that he could not ignore my voice. BTW, there is NO punishment of any kind involved. The method just insists that he hear my voice when he is nearby or away from me. Eventually, he will run to come touch my hand with joy, as it will be a fun thing to do.

I learned this method from an older book called SMARTER THAN YOU THINK (Paul Loeb). My last three dogs ALL came every time, anywhere when called, and could “stay by me” at my side. AC Slater could also “back it up” when I needed him to do that, like at the door or at the edge of a street.

Here’s a little video I took this morning. This little boy is a happy creature. He brings the ball back to me and “drops” it when I say, unless he “puppy” forgets when he drops the ball away from me. Eventually, he’ll bring back a ball thrown outside and will “drop” on command. It’s all play for him and meant to be totally fun for both of us.

He’s also learning to receive and give affection. I get more and more kisses every day, and he always naps near my chair or my feet.

He tried to jump on the bed yesterday—but isn’t big enough yet to make that leap. And he’s too young and too new here for me to use his radio collar. He’s too puppy to handle the rock walls—AC used to go up and down the sheer drop of the front wall boulders like a goat. JP needs to get much better control of his body to attempt anything beyond the grass. So I keep him with me when we are outside.

It’s a bit after 10 am now so I’ll close and see if the storm bands have passed and we can go out for a walk.

PS: the WordPress theme I had been using was very old and had been retired—so I suddenly started having all sorts of trouble. The WordPress help people helped me find a new theme—and I think it is mostly installed now. I will need to do some more editing along the way maybe, but the posting problems are now gone.

Jackpot: Day 2

Turkey Tracks: August 30, 2022

Jackpot: Day 2

Jackpot decide to bond with me yesterday!

He was my shadow all day.  And after his breakfast and playing with his toys, he started “resting” near or on my feet or the legs of the chair I’m using.

The daily puppy schedule that is emerging is as follows:  go out and pee/poop, breakfast, play with toys in kitchen while “she” is typing at desk, nap, outside adventure (car), outside time here, lunch, long nap (“she” naps too and then does household chores), another outside adventure (car), time outside and inside, dinner (“she” eats too), downstairs time, bed about 9 for both.

Yesterday morning we walked the nearby Erickson trail, which is about 1.5 miles.  It is a looped trail.

This trail is so lovely.  And it’s a target rich place for a dog who wants to smell EVERYTHING.  At first we went really slow—at his “smell this” pace.

Then I took him off leash—about 1/3 down the trail.  He LOVED that—and we got up a good pace at times as he stayed right with me—no more than 6 feet away at any time.  This kind of walking will build up his leg muscles so he can handle the stairs in and around my house.

As we neared the end of the trail, I re-leashed him, and he used up the length of the whole leash, so was clearly feeling more comfortable about hiking with me.

After lunch and his longer nap, we explored in town a bit, until his new-puppy vet appointment at 3 pm.  We tried to walk a local residential street (Pearl), but the cars and noises scared him to death.  He was sure he was going to be killed or hurt.  Next we went over to the Laite Beach park, which has a cool, shady serene grassy area.  We sat on a rock and just relaxed until time to go to the vet.

Here’s our view—of the OUTER Camden harbor, which is full of boats.

Here’s how he rides in the car.  You can see the short chain that keeps him safe.  He is quiet as long as I have a hand on him.  Otherwise he tries to crawl into my lap.  

The vet appointment was good.  He needed his ears cleaned—and trust me, he so did NOT like that.  But he got a bit of cheese when he was all done.  And if he was going to be a biting dog, believe me, he would have bitten “those people.”  Either of my rat terriers would have tried to bite at least one of “those people.” Meanwhile, I hated, hated, hearing him cry.  When I got him back, he curled into my body and hid his his face in the crook of my arm.

They also trimmed his small, sharp puppy nails.  I thought it was better for them to get the rap for that chore rather than me.  Terriers HATE having anyone touch their feet.  The hound part of JackP seems to be ok with having me touch his feet.  BTW, those big feet are webbed nearly all the way to the ends of his toes.  They are, basically, swimming paddles.

We were both worn out afterwards and went home to recuperate emotionally.

When we went downstairs last night, it was clear that Jackpot was really tired.  He kept looking for a spot to crash.  At 7:30, he went to the bottom of the flight of stairs—which he avoids still—and went up two stairs and turned to look at me.  He was clearly asking to go upstairs and, I think, go to sleep in his crate.  He did not fuss at all when I put him there either.

I stayed up for another hour, and then I crashed too.  I woke at 6 this morning, got dressed, and went down to get him.  He had peed, but he didn’t pee in the house when I let him out, and had a long pee and good poop outside before coming back in for his breakfast, which he inhaled.  There was lots of happy wiggling and kisses and showing me his belly.

Here was my lunch yesterday, which I didn’t really eat as I needed a nap more than I needed to eat.  So, it is waiting for me today.  And I had food to reheat for a nice dinner last night.

So far, Jackpot does not like to cuddle on the couch with me.  He likes to play with me on the couch and gets “jacked up” (pun intended).  Today is only full day 3.  He will hopefully learn to cuddle over time—and to let it relax him.  

He is a very busy, very smart, very happy puppy.

Its All Puppy All The Time

Turkey Tracks: August 29, 2022

Its All Puppy All The Time

Yesterday was our first complete day together—and we are learning all about each other.

First, Jackpot’s poop has been moving back and forth between a bit soft and beautifully formed. I think I’m on the right path with what I’m feeding him. He seems to know he’s going to be fed 3 meals, and he clearly tells me he is HUNGRY when it’s time and we are home to eat. And he CHOWS the recommended amount and asks for more—which I have given him as I know he likely didn’t eat enough when he was sick. I have a bit more of the bone broth—which makes for a lot of peeing I think, but is also doing him a lot of good. (I have more frozen if I need it in the future.)

After the dew dried on the grass, and after he wore himself out with his toys and had a little nap, we went for a walk at the Snow Bowl—just moving at his pace. His nose was down and sniffing the whole way. Then we made a quick stop at a local store for eggs and milk—I was in and out like a flash. Jackpot rides on the front seat and has a short chain from his harness to the seat belt to prevent him from being thrown forward, should he stand up. I put him in the back seats while I ran into the store—where he will eventually ride—and used a second chain to keep him in place. There is too much he can get into from the front seat.

Next, we stopped at Loyal Biscuit for a manly black harness that can get wet and muddy. And then home where he danced a jig at my feet while I fixed his lunch. Then he was sleepy. So I put him in his crate, where he laid down and stretched out, and I went downstairs and set the alarm for an hour nap as I woke up so early yesterday morning. He was still dead asleep when I got up, so I went outside and did the second week’s spraying for the deer. (Liquid Fence, thanks Judith B. It seems to be working.) When I was done and all washed up, he was up. But I left him for a bit longer as I really, really needed a quick shower.

Next, we went to another trail that is just up the hill from me, where he again walked and sniffed. He was clearly already a bit tired. We spent about 45 minutes up there before coming home.

Jackpot is ENTRANCED with the deer spray. I can’t smell it when it dries, but he can, and I’m sure he thinks it is something he can roll in if only he can locate it so he can roll in it. Hopefully today, that problem is gone and the smell is a new “normal” for him. He can now climb the back garden’s 4 stone steps and the back deck steps.

In only ONE day, there hasn’t been much progress on the potty training indoors. I take him out a lot, and all poops have been outside. But he isn’t getting the peeing part yet. I think he thinks the rag rugs at the doors are some kind of pee pad. He does pee outside on suggestion (pee pee doggie)—if I catch him before he needs to pee. And sometimes he does go to the door, and I take him right outside when he does that. But…potty training always takes time. And he’s young.

Last night he heard some dogs on tv and spent the next ten minutes “guarding” the door. He has a cute bark. I’ll pick up those rugs this morning—one needs to be washed. Those rugs are indestructible, though AC Slater chewed their edges before I realized it. I wove them on an old traditional hand loom out of fabric scraps.

His coat is a much deeper rich chestnut color than AC Slater’s lovely tan one. And I think it will have the same soft under-layer that is practically waterproof. I hope so, anyway. AC’s coat was so incredibly soft, and feist dogs (terrier/hound mixes) are known for that soft coat. I have not checked his feet yet to see if they are webbed. Terriers really do not like their feet touched. His little sharp toenails need trimming, but I’ll give that task another day or so.

Jackpot does not know yet how to cuddle and to turn himself “off” and rest next to me—he gets wired instead. That will change in time. He’s always been kenneled, so while he obviously likes people—Sweet Pups has done a great job socializing him—I doubt he’s had a stronger relationship with any one person in his young life.

Today is the vet at 3 pm, so I’ll find out what he weighs. And in a few minutes now we’ll go for our first (leashed) walk.

It’s a beautiful day here today. I need to mow, maybe that will happen after lunch when he naps.

Oops. He’s asleep on the floor—worn out from playing with his toys and his last trip outside a bit ago. That’s kind of a pattern now. We’ll go for the walk when he wakes up.

Jackpot’s First Days

Turkey Tracks: August 28, 2022

Jackpot’s First Days

Everything went really well yesterday. It was fun to see the other people picking up their rescue dogs. And it was very fun to meet Glenna and her grandson Joey. These Sweet Pups folks are very special people.

Right now, everything here is all puppy all the time. And that’s how that goes with a new puppy who is not yet house trained. We are going in and out a lot so “accidents” have been limited and confined to pee. This morning after his breakfast, Jackpot clearly asked to go outside, and he did a big poop when he got to the grass. I found a pee spot on the kitchen door rug, but that’s good news. It’s clear he has connected the need to pee with going outside. And that rug is washable. And I some some great stuff (Simple Solution) that will remove stains and odor. One can’t do “puppy” without it—or a product like it.

He’s bonding. We are bonding. Here he is on the back deck yesterday afternoon. He stayed with me off-leash yesterday afternoon as he/we explored the lawn, the gardens, the driveway, and the garage. it will take some time though until he knows his new Jackpot name and comes every time I call him. He will also learn “stay by me,” which will mean he can go everywhere with me off leash—except on roads with cars. Mostly though, we’ll stick to local fields and hikes where he can run free.

He is smaller and more finely built than AC Slater was. I think. Time will tell. AC was 46 pounds and solid muscle and was a super fast runner.

One of the funny stories I will remember from yesterday is that when the van came and we gathered around, Glenna and Joey came out. After we all greeted each other, Joey asked me “what dog is yours?” When he came out holding Jackpot and just as he handing him to me, Jackpot started peeing, and it ran mostly right into the little purse I carry that holds my phone, the car key, etc. I had to laugh. The donation check I had brought with me to help offset all the drama of the past 3 weeks, which included some hefty vet fees for Sweet Pups, was SOAKED. Most of the pee just went into that one part of the purse, and all is washed and dried now. I’ll reload the purse this morning.

For the drive home, I put Jackpot on the front seat of my car—which I had covered with a towel—and I chained his harness to the seat belt. I think if he could have crawled into my lap, he would have. We came home with me driving one-handed, with the other hand on him. He mostly settled right in as long as I was touching him and often talking to him.

The rest of yesterday was spent taking Jackpot in and out of the house. Steps are new to him, but he’s starting to risk trying them. He’s doing the door steps now, and is close to doing the back deck’s 3 steps. Down, anyway, if not up yet. He has to learn how to use his back feet to push himself up and to co-ordinate them with his front feet.

He’s eating and drinking well now. Poops are mostly firming up. There was a looser one (the second this morning) a bit ago. So I’ll keep a close eye and add pumpkin to his lunch meal. I have Slippery Elm on hand if needed. And he’s getting a bit of goat milk yogurt and a tiny bit of the dried colostrum I ordered for him. Glenna told me he wasn’t doing well on kibble yet, so I’m hoping my food will help him move on from the infection he had (pun intended).

He took a long deep nap last night, next to me while I watched tv—with only a small break to play with his toys downstairs. (He loves the balls that are in the toy mix.) He was fascinated with the tv and barked at it and watched it for a bit.

After his last pee outside about 10 pm, we went upstairs, and I got ready for bed. But he would not settle there with me—and I was afraid he would fall off the bed. He is still too tiny and young to jump up and down from the bed on his own. So I crated him for the night so we could both get some sleep. There was howling at first, but he settled pretty quickly.

I woke about 5 and could not get back to sleep—and I wanted to get him outside to pee early. He barked when I turned on the light and dribbled a bit when I opened the crate—he was excited I think. Then he turned into a happy, wiggly puppy outside on the wet grass as he was glad to see me. And he did a good long pee outside. Then I fed him, and he gobbled down his food, which had some of the bone broth added. He loves the real food, once he got used to the different texture of it.

I’ve hunkered down in the kitchen with him this early morning—and am sitting at the desk while he plays with his toys and with me off and on.

It’s now only 8 am!!! And he has crashed on the floor—worn out. When he wakes up, I’m going to take him out to pee and then to the Snow Bowl field and pond edge to explore and to run off some energy. Then I’ll make a quick run to Fresh Off the Farm for some eggs and milk—and will be in and out quick, quick as it will be his first time alone in the car.

Later today, we’ll do another leashed walk. And maybe stop by Loyal Biscuit to get him a proper harness. I have a really good one for walks on roads, but it is too nice for getting wet and muddy in ponds and creeks.

It’s clear he loves people and other dogs, but I’ll avoid the dog park for now, until I’m sure he’s settled in here and is healthy. He does not need any exposure to whatever else other dogs might be carrying. And I’ve always had mixed emotions about the dog park any way.

Don’t look for quilty information any time soon! Though he may surprise me.

Jackpot is in Maryland

Turkey Tracks: August 26, 2022

Jackpot is in Maryland

AND, Glenna JUST sent me these pictures on their breakfast rest stop in Maryland. Their first delivery will be at 1 pm today in Hagerstown now, not 3 pm.

I can’t even…

Jackpot is SO BEAUTIFUL!

And he looks really good. His coat looks terrific.

Maybe I’ll take the bigger collar I have.

Tomorrow is feeling like a long way away!

I can’t wait!

No Jackpot Being Hit Tomorrow

Turkey Tracks: August 20, 2022

No Jackpot Being Hit Tomorrow

Sweet Pups Rescue and Sanctuary had to turn around from a rest stop in Tennessee and head home at 3am in the morning as 3 of the 29 dogs onboard the transport were bleeding.  I’m guessing fecally.  My rescue puppy Jackpot is one of them, but so far not as seriously as at least one of the dogs, who now needs to be hydrated asap.  

Glenna, the president of Sweet Pups, is with the dogs, and she thinks that the dogs got into something from being with the puppies and which may be contagious for all the dogs.  All the dogs in good rescue policy had been checked off as being well and healthy by their vets and had had a fecal test.  She doesn’t think it is parvo or cocidia, but something else.

So everything is on pause until the transport gets home and sorts out what is wrong. Then they will try again to bring the dogs to us here in Maine. Note that Sweet Pups has made many transports for years and have only had to reschedule ONCE in all those years, due to weather.

Meanwhile, I have been panicked as I had a tire that was clearly leaking badly. How was I going to get to West Gardner on Sunday without a car? I was VERY lucky to get an appointment at Cooper Tires/Dan Foshay this morning at 9 to deal with the leak. It was a nail; it has been fixed; all is good again.

Life is never simple, is it?

But we pivot and move forward, as my son Bryan said to me recently. And he has some great examples of being flexible in his own life.

Color Combinations: Red and Green

Turkey Tracks: August 17, 2022

Color Combinations: Red and Green

I’m enjoying coffee and a leisurely-spent morning as I wait for the big storm that is almost here.

RAIN!

I’ve followed quilter Bonnie Hunter’s blog for years now—and made many of her quilts. This morning she posted so many, many beautiful pictures she took after visiting a local flower farm with friend Martha—who dragged Bonnie out of her normal routine yesterday. (Bonnie runs a quilting retreat Inn that takes up to 12 guests at a time for a week.)

Bonnie has had a series of accidents this past year—and the last one broke her nose, blacked her eyes, and broke her foot/ankle. A swing broke and the upper supportive wooden bar came down and hit her. Her face is healed now, and she’s now in a boot she can take off here and there, and she seems to be feeling better. But I agree with her supportive friend Martha: Bonnie needed a break and a fun outing.

I was reminded while looking at the beautiful pictures she posted, that while I LOVE color and various color combinations, I have always loved red and green together. (I’m not talking about the bright and flat greens and reds that often appear in Christmas art.) Winter brings shades of green firs and red berries. But summer holds red-green combinations too. Here’s a picture Bonne included:

Rich reds and greens AND a Swallowtail butterfly.

I spent some time this morning after reading Bonnie’s daily post ordering seeds from Fedco and included zinna seeds since I have always loved them. The Cosmos seeds I just threw into garden beds and loosely scratched into the ground came up and are starting to bloom now. I’m going to try more of that in that pesky front bed on the hill. But I’ll plant the zinnas next spring more strategically. And I ordered the winter lettuce mix that I seed into my cold frame and cover for the winter.

One task yesterday was stuffing the doggie “bongs” with mashed green banana mixed with our local small “wild” blueberries and then freezing them for when I have to leave Jackpot in his crate for short periods next week—as I attend short events that I could not cancel. He’s too young to leave in the car alone just yet—but that will happen in time. And maybe pretty quickly. That will be a learning curve for him and will depend on how much I can trust him with his potty training.

Ripe bananas contain a TON of fructose sugar, but green bananas contain resistant starches that feed a dog’s microbiome and offer “antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory tannins, along with carotenoids that help prevent oxidative stress.” Blueberries are “an awesome source of prebiotic fiber and are chock-full of polyphenols….”. (Quotes are from THE FOREVER DOG, Dr. Karen Show Becker and Rodney Habib, page 230.) It is possible to overdue with the green banana, so use in small amounts. I froze the extra I had.

I cooked yesterday, so I’m going downstairs to sew.

Come on RAIN!