Moonshine Delivery

Pascal Robin came to visit me from Jefferson City yesterday.  When she opened up  the back of her SUV I saw she had brought me a crate of Moonshine:

Moonshine
Moonshine

Moonshine and her sisters, Whiskey and Bacardi are residents at C.A.R.E. (Companion Animal Rescue and Education) and Moonshine is Heartworm positive.  C.A.R.E. raised the funds to pay for her treatment and asked if I would (please) take Moonshine in and provide a quiet place for her to undergo treatment and recovery.

Heartworm is the reason we got into fostering and has always been something of a specialty with us.  Since Lucky has become a full-time indoor dog we had a kennel open, so I was happy to welcome this sweet Lab into our company. Continue reading Moonshine Delivery

Summertime Danger to Your Dog’s Feet

I was working a tent at an event one day.  A woman came along and stopped to talk with an acquaintance in front of our tent.  It was summer, quite warm, and we were set up on asphalt.  As their conversation continued I noticed that the senior Boxer the woman had on a leash was “dancing” a bit.  I waved to get the woman’s attention and asked if she’d like to move over so she and her dog could cool her feet in the shade of our tent.

is it safe for dog feet“Oh, no: I’m fine.”  She responded from under her sun hat.

“Yeah,” I thought, “YOU’RE fine but your dog is suffering.”

I got a bowl and broke out a bottle of water.  With the water in the bowl I set it in the shade and asked the woman if she’d let her dog come over to get a drink.

She gave me an exasperated look and said, “I’ll be leaving in just a minute.”  but did let out her retractable leash so the Boxer could sidle over to get a drink and cool her feet.

Their conversation dragged on and on, so I stooped there and petted the dog to keep her in the shade. Continue reading Summertime Danger to Your Dog’s Feet

tools

Wielding Unfamiliar Tools

I am something of a handyman.  I often make repairs around our house and property.  I am, by no means, an expert at plumbing, electrical, or concrete work but I understand the principles and can usually cobble my way through a repair project.  For small repairs I often employ the familiar tools and various glues, a staple gun, nails, screws, and yes: even duct tape.  But today I needed to make a repair for which none of these would help.  Today I needed to bring into service — a needle and thread!

One of the dogs got overly enthusiastic and tore a hole in the cover of a dog bed.  Discovering that there was “stuff” inside, she proceeded to pull what was inside, out.  Thus she tore the end off one of the fabric tubes full of fiberfill that makes a bolster around the dog bed.  She also pulled a basketball sized wad of fiberfill out.  I caught her at it, gathered the filler and put the bed up until it could be repaired.  Today, I tackle that. Continue reading Wielding Unfamiliar Tools

Lucky Steele:
Notes on a Foster Dog

Lucky has had a colorful life, but her penchant for the free-footed lifestyle has cost her a home at least three times.
Last updated: June 18, 2018

Base Info:

Lucky
Lucky
  • Arrival date: May 31
  • Breed: Husky/Aussie mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Approx. 1½ years
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: yes
  • General Health: Excellent
  • Temperament: Sweet, affectionate, gentle.  Loves to be near her people.
  • Housebroken: Yes, and crate trained.
  • Good with People: Yes
  • Good with Dogs: Yes

History

Lucky was originally adopted from the Newport Humane Society Animal Shelter, just before they closed last year.  But that family had trouble with her because Lucky likes to roam. Continue reading Lucky Steele:
Notes on a Foster Dog

Using Epsom Salt in the Garden

Most people are aware that Epsom salt makes for a soothing bath if you have itchy skin or sore muscles, but did you know it’s also beneficial to some of your garden plants?

Why Epsom salt?

Epsom saltEpsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is high in magnesium.  Magnesium promotes the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil.  Magnesium also promotes the creation of chlorophyll, the stuff that gives plants their green color and is essential for photosynthesis.  By improving photosynthesis the plant feeds itself better and stays healthier.  Magnesium also aids a plant in the production of more flowers, which in turn become fruit.  Boosting photosynthesis also boosts sugar production, so fruit trees and vines will produce sweeter fruit.

Before using Epsom salt it is recommended to have your soil tested for magnesium content; amending it may not be needed.

What Plants Benefit?

Most flowering plants can benefit from the use of Epsom salt.  This includes flowers such as roses.  But my focus is the vegetable garden, so I’ll confine my discussion to those plants.  The primary benefactors are the nitrogen hungry plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, squash, and zucchini.  Do not use it on beans (which are nitrogen fixers) and leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, chard, and kale.

Signs of Need

Continue reading Using Epsom Salt in the Garden

Altering S.S.P.

It has been S.S.P. (Standard Sleeping Procedure) forever that Blondie Bear inhabited the snuggle bed at the foot of our bed and Cochise preferred to sleep in the corner by the wall.  During times of high stress (heavy rain, thunder, fireworks, hunters on the mountain at night, etc) Blondie would slip around and sleep beside my side of the bed.  Here she could prompt me and I could slide an arm over and scratch her head when she needed comforting.  Yeah, I know: we’re not supposed to do that, it just encourages fearful behavior.  But she’s my “sweetface baby girl” and I am a softie sometimes.  Especially where she is concerned.

Blondie’s Safe Sleeping Spot

When Cochise passed away, Blondie began sleeping along side the bed every night.  She’ll lounge on her bed until we’re all settled, but once we’re ready to sleep, around she comes.  This could be a problem with mobility as I get up at night to tend to dogs clickety-clacking along the hallway — potentially needing to go outside.  But I know she’s down there, so I probe gently with my feet as I sit up.  Blondie stays real still, letting me discover where she is not so I can find floor and stand up. That’s trust!

I have to think she is still missing her best friend and is seeking solace in staying close to me at night.  Most of the time she does not seek skritchies.  Once in a while I am awakened by her big square nose poking me gently, but most of the time she is content with being close.

Bear Steele:
Notes on a foster dog

Bear was being fostered in Morristown, but that family just had a baby and they’re afraid Bear is too rambunctious for their home now.  He also needs to work on his interdogeral social skills.  And people skills.  And obedience.  And …

Last updated: June 9, 2018

Base Info:

Bear

  • Arrival date: May 24, 2018
  • Breed: Hound
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: 6 Months
  • Weight: Approx 35 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: No
  • General Health: Good
  • Temperament: Rowdy and undisciplined.  Seems to want affection, but goes about getting it in inappropriate ways.

History

Found on someone’s front porch.  They called Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue for help.

Known Issues & Progress

Continue reading Bear Steele:
Notes on a foster dog

battle battlefield warfare plant monster

Battlefield

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day doing battle with a contingent of honeysuckle and bramble vines that had invaded a stretch of fencing I was trying to remove from a now little-used patch of our property.

Many of the vines were inexperienced, but what they lacked in tenacity they made up for in numbers.  And their base was protected by a thick layer of dead leaves blown against the fencing.  I cautiously probed with pruners (for there was a threat of Copperheads lurking there), slicing and snipping the myriad vinelings to free the bottom of the fencing.

Some vines were more experienced and tenacious, but with a proper concentration of force my pruners handled them.  A few were battle-hardened veterans.  These sent me trekking across the property to bring in my heavy loppers.  Even these stalwart defenders fell when such powerful weaponry was brought to bear.

In the end, though scratched bloody and soaked with sweat (which stings in those injuries) I victoriously dragged that length of fencing out of the battlefield where I could clean as much of the plant life from it as possible and roll it up for use elsewhere.  As I put away my implements of war I was weary but satisfied in a battle well fought – and won.

This morning I find that insidious agents dispatched by the enemy Bureau of Pollination have infiltrated my sinuses and are engaged in combat with my mucous linings.  In addition my upper legs, hips, and lower back are staging a revolt for the abuses they suffered yesterday.  But, such are the wages of warfare.  I shall placate my rebels with drugs until they forget the abuses they suffered and resume their normal functions.

The battle was won.  The way is open to bringing my riding mower in to quell the attempted overthrow of that area by the indigenous species, which are attempting to re-take that sector of property for their own.  That must not happen, shall not happen.  That sector will remain under my control.  I must see to that for the good of the empire!

Foxy Lady’s Graduation

Foxy
“I’m ready to ride – let’s ROLL!”

Foxy has done well in her civilization training, so I gave her a reward.  Yesterday I took Foxy with me to run errands.  We went to the gas station, the drive-through bank (where she got a big cookie), Western Auto, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Ace Hardware, and Westgate Tire Pros.  She went in with me everywhere but the gas station and the bank (because I didn’t go in either).

Everyone was friendly to her.  Many loved on her and told her how beautiful she is.  She ate up all that attention!  She rode well and behaved perfectly in all the stores and with all of the people.

After SIX stores, she’s ZONKED!

I also went to Wilton Springs Hardware, but I dropped Foxy back at home first, that was going to be an extended shopping session and she was getting tired.

Foxy will be leaving us tomorrow: headed out east somewhere.  I’m told she has been accepted by a Husky rescue.  That is a good thing: they will make sure she gets placed with a home that is aware of and able to accommodate the quirky personalities of Huskies.

They are wonderfully affectionate and entertaining companions, but they are also vocal, brilliant, and have opinions about EVERYTHING.  Huskies are energetic dogs who need an active lifestyle.  Those who cannot appreciate these qualities will be frustrated by them.

Foxy is a good girl.  Beautiful too.  I’m sure she will find her forever home quickly.