It has been my experience that most gardeners also have at least one pet of some kind. If you’ve read along with this column since I started writing it, you would recognize our lab, Kisses.
This was no ordinary dog. She was a gardening buddy. She would go to the church with me to work in the Sunday school room, work on the landscaping or set up for the bazaar. She went to the recycling center to harass Laurie. She followed anyone who walked by our house to see if they needed company, and more than once someone would come up to me as I worked and ask if this dog was ours. Yes, she was ours, but also anyone who came to visits.
She would dig holes if I dug one to plant something and she picked her own tomatoes and ears of corn. She talked like Scooby Doo. If you asked her where she wanted to go she’d say “I wront row” (I don’t know) and make everyone laugh. She loved everyone she met and it didn’t matter if they were friend or not.
This past Thursday Kisses became incredibly ill and passed. I not only lost my garden buddy, I lost a fabulous friend. It is amazing how close an animal can get to you and how incredibly smart they can be. Who would guess that a dog would like tomatoes, or apples and pears straight from the tree? That an animal would learn to pick their own.
If you have never had a pet for a companion, it is time to find out what it's like. They give so much more than they take; no one will love you or follow you with such devotion.
I have had many garden buddies from a Flemish Giant rabbit that weighed around 20 pounds named Buddy, to our dogs and even the outside cats.
An animal makes life so much more interesting. They also do some of the craziest things you could ever imagine, like digging up what you just planted or eating a large amount of your harvest. Kisses was one in a million and we will miss her dearly and part of her is still everywhere we look.
On that note, I got a very decent start in the garden this week. Wednesday I planted three shrub rosebushes that can get up to 12 feet tall. I also did a little raspberry pruning and my silly lab stuck her face in them and looked at me like ouch you could have told me those bite. I had to laugh. Who knew she’d want to see what I was doing that closely. Art and I cleaned up the strawberry bed and transplanted strawberry plants. We also planted a lot of onions in with the strawberry beds as they are companion plants. I had two onions from the house that were growing so they were popped in along with the sets we purchased. I also moved some onions from the flower bed out front. Not sure how they got there but I get a lot of plants that I didn’t put in. I just consider them bonus plants.
Every day I take a trip around the gardens and check out the changes that seem to occur overnight. Spring is my favorite season because it’s so awesome to see everything come back from a long sleep. By the way, the darn peas still aren’t in...maybe tomorrow. Hey, cut me some slack. I had to say goodbye to my best gardening friend. Sleep well my Kisses until we meet again.