Wednesday, 2 August 2017

08:31 – It was 63.1F (17.3C) when I took Colin out at 0625, clear and calm.

We got more bottles filled yesterday, with more on the schedule for today. Barbara is off to the gym this morning and will make her weekly supermarket run on the way home. Ordinarily, she does that Fridays, but Sparta will be a mess this Friday with roads blocked off for a music festival.

While Barbara was volunteering yesterday afternoon, I took a break from filling bottles to fill other bottles. I got 50 pounds (23 kilos) of cornmeal transferred from the paper sacks it came in to 2-liter soft drink bottles, at 3.5 pounds (1.59 kilos) per bottle. Now I just need to get those bottles labeled, oxygen absorbers in them, and move them to the downstairs LTS food storage room.

In terms of weight and calories, that 50 pounds of cornmeal translates to about 85,000 calories and one person-month’s worth of food. A few people have taken issue with me calculating LTS food stocks on that basis rather than in terms of meals, so I’ll say that that 50 pounds of cornmeal also equates to about 120 batches of cornbread, or 10 batches a month for a year.


Starting last weekend, we’ve had a strange dog running loose in the neighborhood. It looks like a miniature Malamute, with the Malamute face and both eyes blue. It comes right up on our porch and looks in the front door, which drives Colin nuts.

Monday and yesterday, it showed up about 0730, which leads us to believe that someone down the road from us owns it and is letting it out loose in the morning. It has no collar, which is actually the norm around here. Most people around here don’t put collars on their dogs, and allow them to run free. In fact, of everyone we know who has a dog, we’re the only ones whose dog wears a collar. Lori told us yesterday when she delivered the mail that her dogs don’t have collars and run free. Gene, Bonnie’s nephew, stopped by to visit yesterday and said the same about his dog. Gene and Lori both said that all their neighbors recognized their dogs and no one cared about them running loose since they weren’t bothering anyone.

But Barbara was worried that someone had dumped this dog, which happens all too frequently, not just here but also down in Winston. So she called Animal Control, who said they’d send someone out with a trap. She was afraid that the dog would be hit by a car, although we noticed that, like Colin, this dog looks both ways before it crosses the road.

I really didn’t want Animal Control involved. This dog is a puppy. Barbara noticed that it still has its puppy needle-teeth, and it behaves like a puppy. It’s not aggressive. It just wants to play. I was concerned that if Animal Control picked it up, it’d end up being euthanized. And if the puppy belongs to a neighbor down the road, the last thing we want to do is steal those people’s dog.

Three guys from Animal Control showed up yesterday afternoon with a trap. I told them that after talking about it with Barbara we’d decided that we didn’t want to trap the dog. It’s not bothering anyone, and we were just concerned about its welfare. I said I’d prefer just to keep an eye on the puppy to make sure it wasn’t abandoned or in distress. They agreed that that was the best solution, and said they didn’t normally trap dogs unless they were aggressive, causing damage, or worrying livestock. So I apologized for getting them out here needlessly and they said just to call if we needed them.

Bonnie’s former house is to close Friday. My guess is that Grace will be moving in over the weekend. She starts work this month as a first-year teacher at Sparta Elementary School. The kids go back August 21st, and teachers start before that, so she doesn’t have much time to get moved in and settled before she starts work. Grace loves dogs, and has been dogless for the last four years when she was away at college. If it does turn out that this puppy was abandoned, it wouldn’t surprise me if Grace decided to give it a home.