Of Pets and Plants

Of Pets and Plants

Do you think that plant people tend to also be pet people? Many of the gardeners I know have cats or dogs, and their animals bring them as much joy as their gardens. So it made perfect sense to me when Country Garden started carrying pet foods and products, and many of our customers seem to agree.

Our beloved dog, Riley, died a year ago. We grieved all summer, especially when we were in the garden. Riley loved jumping on and off our stone walls, laying in the shade of large bushes, and sniffing the daily news while we gardened. But by the fall we felt ready to welcome a new dog into our lives. A friend of mine who is a veterinarian tipped me off to a dog at the Cape Ann Animal Aid Shelter that he said was “a keeper.” We went up to see the puppy, a three month old mix that came to Massachusetts care of the All Sato Rescue organization, and came home with our new dog.

We named him Sparky and although he is a pretty good puppy (they’re all idiots while they’re young)  it took a month to get his diet just right. His stools were often loose in the early days after we brought him home, even though we were feeding him a good brand of puppy chow. We decided to try a grain free food to see if that would help, and Tracy ordered the Wellness Grain Free Puppy chow that we’ve fed him ever since. Problem solved! In another month or two we’ll transition to the Wellness Grain Free Core formula that seems to be most appropriate. It’s hard when you have what I call a Mega-Mutt – you have no idea about the ultimate size of the dog.

Our new pup doesn’t know the pleasures of the gardening season yet. He doesn’t realize that in the warmer weather we’re going to be outdoors more. He hasn’t yet heard the command “Out of the garden” but he’ll soon learn that this means that he can’t walk in the vegetable or flower beds. He already knows that although he’s allowed to pick up sticks that have fallen on the ground, biting the stems of living shrubs is not allowed. Soon he’ll learn that there are as many rules for being a dog in the garden as there are for being a dog in the house.

Perhaps gardeners are often pet people because we enjoy nurturing living things.

Sparky is still growing into his paws...we might need the dog food for large breeds for this pup.

Sparky is still growing into his paws…we might need the dog food for large breeds for this pup.

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  1. Pippa Ryan on March 10, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Sorry to read of the loss of your former dog, Nan, but Sparky looks like a GEM. What a great face! I’d love to read more about him and continue to see photos as he grows into himself.

    Of course, happy gardening!


    • CLFornari on March 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks, Pippa. Sparky is my (C.L.) dog, not Nans. Nan writes the newsletter and I usually cover the blog. But stay tuned because I hope to include many pet stories from other HCG employees here. Happy Gardening to you too…we can’t wait.

  2. Evelyn Sommers on March 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Well by his look, Sparky could be a border collie mix. He resembles out dog, Kramer who was Border Collie/lab. Had the intelligence of a border collie and the gentleness of a lab. We lost him three yrs ago at age 17, still miss him every day. He weighed about 67lbs, I hope you’ll be lucky to have gotten a good mix.
    Sparky is a lucky dog.
    Evelyn Sommers

    • CLFornari on March 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      He is a good mix, Evelyn, and we are as lucky as he is! This dog is already the most relaxed and easily trained puppy we’ve had. We still miss all of our dogs, and I sometimes imagine that they are gathered around us, cheering Sparky on. The degree that we miss them shows how important they are in our lives, doesn’t it.

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