The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘food’

Time for a Tour!

Elizabeth has been very busy for the last couple of months. One of the things that is occupying her is the gardening. She grows green and other stuff for eating in some ground she keeps fenced off from deer, rabbits and groundhogs. And me.  -:o/=

Sometimes she lets me in. On those occasions, she’s always watching me. Sometimes though, the gate is either left open, or the wind catches it and blows it open just enough for me to get in without anyone noticing. If I’m very sneaky, I can usually find something I like to eat growing in the ground, and I can gently and ever so carefully tug it out. It makes for a very tasty little snack through the day.

Last evening, Elizabeth took her new camera out and we did a bit of a tour so you could see some of what’s going on. Hope you enjoy a walk through the garden with us!

This is in this year's new garden area, which Rob the Snowman built for Elizabeth.

This is in this year’s new garden area, which Rob the Snowman built for Elizabeth.

I really love Lettuce. It’s my favourite garden produce. I asked Elizabeth to show some she’s got underway now. She started these in the house, and both she and Kay have planted seeds in the ground, too. We need a lot because they like it, too. Doesn’t that look yummy? I helped water the garden while she took pictures. Didn’t mean to… just kinda worked out that way….

Sweetie Baby Cos

Sweetie Baby Cos

Red Iceberg

Red Iceberg

Here’s a picture of the new garden from the yard. Elizabeth is still working in it because of the late spring we had, but lots is growing in it already.

It took Rob the Snowman nearly three weeks to get the ground rebuilt and the fence up and the raised ground containers built! He moves snow much faster...

It took Rob the Snowman nearly three weeks to get the ground rebuilt and the fence up and the raised ground containers built! He moves snow much faster…

Now I’ll take you to Elizabeth’s long garden:

This is one of Elizabeth's favourite herbs, French Tarragon. She won't let me even sniff at it!

This is one of Elizabeth’s favourite herbs, French Tarragon. She won’t let me even sniff at it!

This is Swiss Chard just coming up. I've never tasted it. Looks a bit like lettuce, so might need to give it a little chew sometime...

This is Swiss Chard just coming up. I’ve never tasted it. Looks a bit like lettuce, so might need to give it a little chew sometime…

We all love Strawberries. Do you?

We all love Strawberries. Do you?

And it looks like we might have a good crop this year! Elizabeth thinks this might be a Wild Strawberry because there are so many blossoms (almost over now).

And it looks like we might have a good crop this year! Elizabeth thinks this might be a Wild Strawberry because there are so many blossoms (almost over now).

I discovered this spring that I like radishes, too. You eat the red part and leave the leaves... Yum.

I discovered this spring that I like radishes, too. You eat the red part and leave the leaves… Yum.

This is the Echinacea in Elizabeth's Tea Garden, where she grows things to make drinks from. Two-leggers are not satisfied with drinking just water...

This is the Echinacea in Elizabeth’s Tea Garden, where she grows things to make drinks from. Two-leggers are not satisfied with drinking just water…

Elizabeth thought this Wild Rose bush would look pretty, so she let it grow in the corner beside the gate. She says she might use the fruit later...

Elizabeth thought this Wild Rose bush would look pretty, so she let it grow in the corner beside the gate. She says she might use the fruit later…

I found another garden growing on a tree stump. Elizabeth says it is something from the mint family (also tasty) but she thinks it looks a bit like stinging nettles. I thought it looked pretty and asked her to take a photo. I have a good eye, but I have trouble with all the camera buttons…

Aren't they pretty?

Aren’t they pretty?

Kay has a little garden, too:

Some Chives in Kay's garden. And, oooh... That smells like baby lettuce!  ~:od=

Some Chives in Kay’s garden. And, oooh… That smells like baby lettuce! ~:od=

Kay likes to leave some pretty flowers that aren't really supposed to be there, too.

Kay likes to leave some pretty flowers that aren’t really supposed to be there, too.

After gardening, the two-leggers like to sit down for a little rest. They have a nice view of the river and the gardens from here.

After gardening, the two-leggers like to sit down for a little rest. They have a nice view of the river and the gardens from here.

If they turn and sit the other way, then they can see Al’s and Joanne’s much classier looking bench:

Their bench might be more sophisticated, but ours has a better view. BOL

Their bench might be more sophisticated, but ours has a better view. BOL

I have other priorities than gardening, though…

While they're gardening, I'm guarding! It's hot work in the summer, so I will often include a swim along my patrol route.

While they’re gardening, I’m guarding! It’s hot work in the summer, so I will often include a swim along my patrol route.

Thanks for joining me on the Garden Tour. See you next week! ~:o)=

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End Groundhog Day in NWO!

Saturday was February 2. That’s a VERY IMPORTANT day for two-leggers in Canada. They call it… GROUNDHOG DAY.

When Elizabeth and Kay were discussing it over breakfast, they thought I was asleep having pleasant doggie dreams. But I wasn’t. Despite the fact that I had just had my breakfast and two chicken balls laden with morning meds, I was not above perking up when I heard the words ‘gound hog’. I began to drool in anticipation of the delicious dripping I would get over my evening meal if Kay cooked ground hog through the day. What a delightful repast to come home from work to! Yeeuummm!

My head was resting on Elizabeth’s feet – they make a wonderful pillow. I guess she felt my reaction. She pushed her chair back, my head went THUMP on the floor and Elizabeth delivered another rude awakening:

“Groundhog, Stella. Not ground pork. GROUNDHOG.”

Oh.

“They’re outside…”

“What! In this weather?” I’ve stood in front of the deep freeze when she’s opened it to get two-legger food out of it. It’s like standing in front of a bonfire compared to the temperatures outside today! And, I’ve seen pictures of hogs. They’re like two-leggers on four legs, with one major disadvantage in weather like this… Unlike two-leggers, hogs don’t seem to have any removable wool that they can put on their nearly wool-free bodies when it gets really cold.

I shivered in sympathy with my envisioned hog. Yes, they taste good, but the fact that I enjoy eating them doesn’t mean I enjoy the thought of them suffering!

“Groundhog, Stella. Not pig.”

Oh.

“They’re those garden-raiding, tubby rodents that chirp so loudly when you chase them into the culvert in the summertime.”

Oh... That kind of Groundhog...

Oh… that kind of Groundhog….

Oh, of course. I knew that. I just haven’t seen one for months. Which begs an obvious question: “Why do they call today Groundhog Day? You two-leggers don’t have Dog Day, yet you seem to really like us and want us around all the time. Then when some thieving rodent isn’t anywhere in sight, you decide to commemorate it by giving it a day all of its own? As if you miss it? I don’t understand.”

“It isn’t really the animal we are honouring, Stella. It’s our way of remembering what the groundhog does on the second day of February.”

Oh.

“Some animal behaviour is very predictable. Like bird migration. Birds almost always return on the same day every year, year after year. Sometimes they’re off by a day or two, but usually you can set your watch by them.” Elizabeth looks at her watch to tell two-legger time. She’s exaggerating a bit with this statement, but I understand what she means. “In some parts of the groundhog’s range, they come out of their burrows on the second of February to see what the weather is like. We believe that, if the groundhog sees his shadow, it is so badly frightened by it that it dashes back underground for another six weeks. That means that there is another six weeks of winter coming. If it doesn’t see its shadow, then “Spring has sprung, the grass is riz…”

Well that got my tail thumping hard. What a ridiculous thing to think, that we would EVER have green grass in February! BOL! It is -38C out there this morning [Scribal note for US readers: -36.4F]. Without the windchill!

Trust me, two-leggers. If that little root-grubbing, leaf-eating, garden-robbing fur ball is cozy in his burrow on a day like today, he isn’t coming anywhere near the surface to see what the weather’s like anytime soon! And when it does get warm enough for him to raise his chubby little cheeks above ground, it won’t be his shadow that chases him back to where he came from, no sir!  -:o[=

Anaplasmosis Blues

*SIGH*

Well, at least I don’t itch as much. That’s the good news.

I wasn’t feeling very good at all on Saturday. Even Piggy was feeling sorry for me. He’s nice to cuddle with, and he always makes me feel a bit better.

I was in on Saturday to see the vets again. Dr. Celia was taking a much deserved weekend, so I got to see Dr. Roseanne for the first time in a long time. My back legs weren’t working properly – they were very weak – I was really tired and feeling pretty depressed about being sick. Again… And while I was in the examining room, my skin began to twitch. The two-leggers thought it was itching that made it convulse up my spine, but it wasn’t. I didn’t feel itchy at all. But when someone or something touched me, my skin just rode in a wave from my back end to my shoulders.

Dr. Roseanne thought my Blasto had come out of hibernation again. Then Elizabeth had a thought. This same thing happened to me last Spring when I had a bad bladder infection. Dr. Celia thought the Blastomycosis had struck again then, too. But it turned out that I had a tick-bourne disease no one had ever seen in this area before, something called Anaplasmosis.

“Trust Stella,” Elizabeth said.

Anaplasmosis is much easier and cheaper to treat than Blasto, though.  ~:o)=

Dr. Roseanne seemed to think it more likely that it was Blasto than Anaplasmosis this time, however. “I’m going to x-ray her lungs and see what’s happening there. With that wet cough (I’d also coughed once in the examining room) and one lung sounding louder than the other…. If the x-ray doesn’t show anything, then we’ll do a blood test for the Anaplasmosis.”

The x-rays were clear. But the blood test showed that I have Anaplasmosis again. My skin infection compromised my immune system enough that the Anaplasmosis, which must have been lying dormant in my body, perhaps from this Spring or, more likely, says Dr. Roseanne, from another tick, has erupted.

Dr. Roseanne put me on a stronger antibiotic and within two doses I felt much better. Elizabeth has been feeding me some really yummy food, too – soaked kibble mixed with tuna and salmon that she got from Doyle the Dog Food Man – because my throat and tonsils were really raw and so sore that I was refusing to eat a thing. But I feel much better today. For the first time in weeks, I pulled Elizabeth up the hill on our walk. She had to run to keep up, even with my paws slipping a bit on the ice and snow on the driveway! It was fun.

I must continue on the antibiotics for another two weeks at least, though, to beat the Anaplasmosis into submission, hopefully out of my system altogether. It might decide to just stay there and wait until I have another infection. It’s an insidious sort of disease, just like the ticks that carry it. No one here is very familiar with it, so Elizabeth isn’t too sure what to expect. But I know she’ll always be there to look after me, so I’m not worried.  ~:o)=

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