It’s that time of year when the garden is producing, even after all of the rain we’ve been experiencing, so canning is a big part of our summer activities. With all things our animals are an integral part of every activity. Part of canning is done inside on the stove, with the pressure canner, and part is done outside with hot water bath canner using the turkey fryer. But before we get to that point, the produce has to be gathered, cleaned and prepared. Long time readers will remember stories of my special needs dog, Jack. He was always with us, and loved to lay in the kitchen, right in the middle of where we needed to walk to get our tasks accomplished. Moose has taken over Jack’s spot. There is something about having a 100 lb white dog underfoot in the kitchen that is the norm in our house and we simply can’t function without it. That doesn’t make the job easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Moose has become the ultimate farm dog and goes with daddy to bring in the harvest, never straying far. The other bubs had to stay in the dogs yard because they liked to wander and couldn’t be trusted not to visit the neighbors when we weren’t paying attention but Moose is satisfied to be right here so he is allowed to just be. Sometimes that means when we aren’t looking his being is rolling in something dead and stinky that’s outside of our normal view (this is farm country, after all) and our first indication is when his bright white fur is streaked with an off color or an offending smell is noticed as he walks by. Yesterday it was a conversation we had as we sat on the deck, peeling beets, and I noticed Moose had yellow streaks running through the fur across his face and down his shoulders. Since he’d been helping daddy I thought perhaps daddy would have an idea what would be yellow that would stain his face like that, but no he didn’t have a clue. He had a suggestion for me, though. Lean over and take a sniff. Now just how stupid do you think I am? This ain’t my first rodeo and I’m well versed on stinks outside the catbox, and I’m not bending over to check out a stink just to ascertain what it may or may not be. He’ll just have to rub it off on the clean bedspread like the rest of the animals so we can enjoy it until I go “what the” and remember the day, wash the bedding, and remember it’s about the love, not the stink. If stinks bothered me there’s an entire side of life I’d miss out on, beginning with my children and being married, but that’s another post. Later in the day Moose brushed up against the cooled water bath canner that had soot on its side from using the turkey fryer flame outside, so he now has a black hip on his white fur which even with the most deliberate scrubbing refuses to come clean. I’ve noticed even without my attention the yellow that was so apparent on his head and shoulders yesterday is no where to be seen today so I understand it’s rubbed somewhere inside the house, maybe on the bedding, maybe on the sheets I use to cover the furniture, but who knows. When I smell it, maybe I’ll remember beet canning day, maybe not. The one thing I’ll know is it won’t matter because in our house, it’s about the love. It’s always about the love. We don’t have nice furniture or nice carpet because because we have 6 cats and 2 dogs that keep it real. And when they’re not doing their thing I look over and find my grandson is sitting on the couch in the same boots he just wore checking out the piggies in the pigpen, so it’s good I was trained in the art of joy in the moment by my beloved animals. Someone that cares about things like carpet and furniture would probably get upset, I just laughed. It’s just another day in paradise, and I’m grateful to be here, stink and all.
And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.