Valley Gardening: Taking care of puppies and business

Another beautiful week! Loved being able to take my 3-week old puppies outside on Thanksgiving. It was their first outside adventure and they seemed to love the sunshine. 

The shelters here in the Valley have been pretty lucky, weather wise. But we all know it won’t last, right?  Before too long the snows and freezing weather will arrive. And dogs and puppies will be abandoned—to freeze or get attacked by coyotes, or starve to death. If you have old blankets, towels, puppy pads, or even newspaper (not the slick ads) please bring them to the Green Spot and I will share them with VHL and the Animal Rescue of Southern Colorado. I believe that both operate on less than a shoestring budget, so financial donations are also appreciated!

I do have to admit that when I took in the DAY OLD puppies, the minute I got home I was thinking “what were you thinkin’, Ruthie Brown?” I guess in my old age (you all know I am 62—from the ticket I received a couple of weeks ago), I forgot about getting up every couple of hours to feed newborns. And making sure they piddled and pooped, and keeping them warm—it never ends. I am not the only one—there are seven other romantics who took in two orphaned puppies each. If you see someone with bags under their eyes buying puppy replacement, give them a hug!

As if two puppies weren’t enough, my old friend James Dillon, called me last Sunday and said “Ruthie, you have to come and get this dog”! James and I go back quite a ways…from a not real great first introduction, to helping him bury his beloved dog, Ricky…and then helping him adopt a new dog, Nitschke. This rescue dog, now called Shaggy, scratched on James door to get in his house. I guess he was a pretty smart for doing that. A big dog—not sure if it is a sheep dog, a standard poodle, a Portuguese Water Dog or a mix of all three. He is about 1 year old and skinny, skinny, skinny and a little bit skittery (is that a word)? But loveable. Heading to the vet this morning for shots, and some eye ointment, etc., get him fattened up, neutered and then he will be up for adoption. Shaggy sleeps in one bathroom and Sapphire and Puppacino (puppies) sleep in the other bath. It’s all okay unless we need to use the facilities in the middle of the night—feels like we need to go outside so as not to wake up the animals! Life!

I was going to write about the Shop Local/Shop Small Saturday promotion, put out in the world by American Express, but Eric and Lisa Burt beat me to it in their guest opinion yesterday. What they said is so true. It’s not about shopping local ONE SATURDAY a year! If we want our Valley to survive, everyone needs to get away from their computers, get out of their pajamas and walk the streets of their towns—meet the local business owners who work really hard to stay in business—every day we work hard!

Your local businesses donate to 4H, Science Fair, Cancer Relief Fund, Society Hall, After Prom, History Fair, Sports Clubs, Churches, Senior Citizens, Museums, Humane Leagues, Fairs and Festivals, Search and Rescue, and so many, many more. Do any of the box stores really ever donate locally? Percentage wise, I would wager that most locally owned businesses donate at least twice as much as any corporate store! 

If you do all of your shopping online, try not to brag about it in the company of local business owners.  And NEVER go to anyone locally for a donation! Write Amazon, or any of the megastores…see if they know where the San Luis Valley is! Thanks, Eric and Lisa (Kristi Mountain Sports) Burt for speaking out.  You are valued members of our community!

Meanwhile, when you buy your poinsettias, make sure they get packaged before you take them outside—even on these nice days. Buy your Christmas cactus barely budded out and you will get more flowers for a longer period of time. Do not buy a poinsettia if it has the clear plastic up and around it—it will certainly lose every leaf.

AND, save the date of Tuesday, December 19th for the Green Spots “Memories and Reflections” celebration. More about this special event next week…just save the date.