Lots of Dogs, No Raspberries

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I’ve known about the Hopkins Raspberry Festival for years but have never attended.  Usually when I think about it, it’s already happened or I have something else scheduled.  This year Chris mentioned it the day before and I realized that this was the year.Having never been, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We headed for the Mainstreet Marketplace – booths, vendors, food!  Part of Main Street is the parade route, so we passed a lot of saved spots as well as a lot of showy cars.  It was definitely a convertible kind of day and I wondered if some of those cars would be in the parade later in the day.

We expected to see a lot of raspberry-themed booths and food options; in this we were surprised.  Except for the Festival Committee doing small raspberries sundaes for $1 donation (which were quite yummy), we didn’t see any other raspberry stuff.  Even in the Farmer’s Market side street, none of the vendors had raspberries for sale.  A friend told me that there aren’t as many raspberry farms around Hopkins these days, property being snapped up for housing and shopping.  I don’t know if this is true or not.

What we didn’t expect was how many dogs attended the Festival.  Everywhere we turned, there were dogs.  Big, small, on leashes, in baby strollers.  YA and I are not capable of passing up a dog, so we met and talked with quite a few owners.  One dog was wearing an “adopt me” vest and two other dogs were being fostered.  One of my favorites was the Golden Retriever at the Airport Dog booth. If you’ve ever encountered “relaxation” dogs at the airport, dogs who are just there so you can pet them and de-stress a bit, this is one of those dogs.  He was big and fluffy and so friendly.  When I commented to the owner that YA might want to take him home with us, she replied that he would probably like that as well. 

So lots of dogs, no raspberries.  We had a good time anyway and we have a few of our first round of raspberries left in the fridge.

Let’s talk dogs.  Favorites?  Stories?  (Apologies to the cat people today.)

49 thoughts on “Lots of Dogs, No Raspberries”

    1. I have a guess about why raspberries were not abundant during the raspberry festival. Raspberries love water. Because raspberry plants cannot put down deep roots, they depend on abundant rain. While some farmers might supplement rainfall with water drawn up from wells, a drought year is probably doomed to be a poor raspberry year.

      There is a sad corollary to this. In the northern Great Lakes states, black bears engage in a feeding frenzy at the end of summer so they can put on weight for hibernation. They are hungriest when natural ground plant fruits (such as blueberries, raspberries, sarsaparillas, juneberries and dogwood berries) are most abundant. People who live in bear country brace themselves for human-bear conflicts in the fall of drought years. The fall of 1998 was such a year. A mama bear and her three cubs broke into my family’s cabin and engaged in a destructive picnic that ended tragically for all of those involved.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Drought conditions up in the Arrowhead of MN this year too, so the bears in the BWCAW are getting aggressive from what I’ve heard. And with a lot of new canoe-campers up there this year and last who don’t understand proper and safe food storage, a lot of trips have been cut short because the bears get into the food supply and eat most or all of it.

        I hope it doesn’t get so bad that there will be a deadly encounter with a bear. But black bears have been known to attack people on occasion just for food. Mostly the moms attack to protect their cubs, though.

        Chris in O-town

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Drought conditions are not productive for raspberries but I’d say it’s been a very long time since Hopkins was the source of any raspberries wild or domestic. That area used to be the site of numerous truck farms but now it’s all developed. The area where your erstwife and I once worked was such a site and when I first began working there it was still only partially developed and there were abandoned apple trees throughout the development. They’re all gone now, of course.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I had my Irish setter, Katy Scarlett, at the vet because she was clearly experiencing some stomach distress. The vet asked a lot of questions and then as he was wrapping up his examination he casually said “she doesn’t eat a lot of grass does she?” And I said “no just the occasional Iris” because I had caught her chomping on an iris just a couple of days before. Turns out that irises have some thing in them called irisiniam (sp?) and while it’s not exactly poisonous, it is not good for dogs’ stomachs. I moved all the irises out of the backyard that weekend and her tummy was fine after that. I hate to think if we would’ve ever discovered the issue if we’d had this vet appointment the week before I had seen her eating an Iris.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    We are missing our late, great Lucky who died (bladder cancer) last September, two days after the other dog was mauled by the neighbor’s sister’s dog. What a week that was. Uff Da. We have been missing Lucky’s vigilance in the yard and gardens. Now the rabbits in the backyard have free access without any harassment from her. We also miss her smile. Lucky would come up to people for a pet and smile, showing her teeth, then the prospective petter would look at me and say, startled, “She is smiling at me.” I would just say, “yes, she is.”

    I did rediscover the fact that husband is not made for making difficult life and death decisions. We had experienced this before with Coco who, in 2011, was simply at the end of her lifespan, and who was achy and in pain. Lou cannot make this decision to call the vet. He falls apart. This time I called Gentle Pets, Minnesota (a non-profit service that will send a vet out to euthanize an animal at home, without the stress of the vet’s office). I told him that the next time we need to make this decision, he will not be included. It is hard enough to make the decision, much less counsel him through it when he is essentially inconsolable.

    Note to self, change will to appoint son as medical decision-maker.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Early on when Lucky was a puppy I thought she had a mysterious illness because she had an ugly blister on her nose. I searched the internet, I consulted the vet to find—nothing. Finally I caught her licking the milk paint off my 1807 antique wagon box. The rough wood caused the blister. That spent 8 years wrapped in plastic wrap and there were no further incidents.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. They say it’s a terrible decision to make. I have never struggled to decide. The pet tells me me clearly “it’s time to go,” and they are always right.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. When it was time for Puggi to be euthanized, my dad had me and Chris take her to the vet. He couldn’t do it. He dug her grave while we were at the vet. He was heartbroken.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Connie, a Collie/Labrador cross, we considered, was full of life and fun. But she wore out before her time, and cried enough. Our friend Nick came to the vets with us, and she and Jane couldn’t understand why I was uncharacteristically calm(I generally cry buckets, after assuring the vet I’ll be OK). And I still can’t understand it myself. But I was hurt I couldn’t do anything to make her want to keep on living. Years later I had a dream that was obviously an unconscious memory, of her going crazy waiting for me to take her out. Utterly lifelike in every detail, not like a dream at all. I told Jane about it, and cried for the first time.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. We’ve all been on the Trail so long that we already know many of each other’s dog stories. I know I’ve told many of mine at least once. Here’s one I haven’t told:
    When Robin and I first met, she was living with another woman in a ratty apartment (no rattier than mine—we all lived in ratty apartments and wouldn’t have had it any other way) in the upstairs of an old house.She was going to school and working part time and she had gotten a dog. If you were going to be judgmental, you might say that getting a dog in her circumstance was premature but he was a very nice dog, half German shepherd and half doberman. On account of his tall pointy ears she had named him Spock.

    The first time I visited her in her apartment, I was sitting on a chair in the living room while Robin was doing something in the kitchen. Spock came up to me and unceremoniously peed on my pants leg. I had to take off the pants to rinse out the pee and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Being the sort of mixture that Spock was, he required a lot of exercise, more than we could easily give him when we lived in the city. For a while we tried living in a rented house small town. There we could take Spock out onto country roads, ride our bikes in opposite directions and let Spock run back and forth between us. It was apparent by then that we couldn’t give hime what he really needed, which was more freedom. We found a family on a farm (a real farm, not the metaphorical one) with teen-age boys and lots of room and they were happy to adopt Spock.

    Once, a month or two later we drove by the farm and there was Spock, lounged alertly. It was clear he belonged.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The peed on your pants part cracked me up. I only once brought a boyfriend home to visit my parents, pretty much because my dad did the same thing, metaphorically speaking.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. OT: PJ, I only ever took a girl home once and she was an aquaintance, not a girlfriend. And if anyone had been home, I wouldn’t have. My dad was totally embarrassing with the public, and thought women were specially made for his pleasure.


    2. I almost didn’t ask a dog question because I had the same thought. But then I figured we will also been around long enough that we could probably drag up one more dog store if we had to. It seemed better choice than asking people about raspberries..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And it must be said, that no town, excpet Westminister, UK, wants to name their festival the “Fill in the blank Dog Festival”. The Hopkins Raspberry Festival just has a better sound, even without the raspberries.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was going to say, why, what happens in Westminster. But maybe it’s where they hold Crufts. Honestly, I don’t know.


  3. Precious was an American Foxhound. Rather rare but she was an amazing tracker. Our game was for me to leave the house and run around the yard, the barn, through the woods and climb a tree to hide. All the while she was going wild inside having occasional glimpses of me. Upon release, dog went every where I had gone. If I ran around the house 5 times, she followed 5 times. She won hide and seek every single time.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I wrote a post several years ago about my father’s pug who fell through the ice on our river back home, and then popped up through an ice fishing g hole many yards down river. My father crawled out on the ice and plucked her out of the hole and gave her a nice warm bath when he got her home.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That reminds me, Renee, of one of the most famous stories about Minnesota ice fishing. A man and his large black Labrador were sitting in a dark house with a spear and a decoy hanging below. A large pike swam into view. The man threw the spear but missed. In the excitement, the dog went down the hole, then found itself under the ice. Spotting a hole, the dog swam for it, but it wasn’t the hole he had jumped into. Some poor schlub sucking on a brandy bottle was so shocked when the Lab burst up through his hole that the fisherman literally ran through the wall of his ice house.

      Or that is the version I was told. The teller swore it was true.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m not a dog person ever since I was attacked by the neighbor’s German Shepherd when I was ten years old. Scratched my face (4 stitches), and ran a claw down my back from neck to waist (superficial cut).

    Because of that encounter, I’m unable to trust any dog I meet, even if the owner assures me their little precious is the sweetest thing in the world and wouldn’t harm a fly. I’m sure most are, but when I get too close to a dog, or even hear an angry bark in the distance, my adrenaline spikes, and I go into fight-or-flight mode.

    I wish I could be comfortable around dogs and enjoy what the best ones have to offer, but after 55 years, my visceral response hasn’t eased up and probably never will.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

      1. My BFF witnessed her sister being badly bitten by a dog when she was seven. 80 stitches. She tolerates that I love dogs but she’s not interested in them and I guess I can understand that. She is however a great cat mom.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. And I love hearing about Humphrey. Especially considering that I think of him as a blog dog. The picture of him on the last farmer report was priceless.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. All three of our dogs love to take walks with either daughter or Kelly. And if I’m outside, they’re outside. Humphrey is my shadow. Allie is the shadow of whomever she decides she wants to shadow. And Bailey is my tractor buddy, I’ve said that.

        Tonight, Humphrey has just been underfoot. He’s waiting for someone to walk. Kelly has just left for hers. The three dogs will be all over each other and causing a big ruckus, knocking over poor little, old, Allie, and all trying to, I don’t know what. At least for the first 100 yards, then they’re off in the fields and there’s so many smells and things to investigate.
        Once home they’ll finally settle down and nap.

        Humphrey is a midnight snacker. He’ll sleep until then, then eat a bowl of food and big drink, then come to us to be burped. Seriously, we rub his chest until he burbs, then he goes and lays down again.

        Allie is a stress eater; and everything stresses her out.

        And Bailey won’t eat her food right away, and but she’ll bury a dog treat in the flower pot. Picks a new pot every few days.
        What a crew.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. One of my odd interests is viewing videos in which old watches are restored. A critical step with many watches is getting them perfectly clean. In a video I watched yesterday, the technician put all the pieces of a watch in a special watch washing machine. The parts, when they came out, were “as clean as a cat’s conscience.”

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Well as a newbie, I’d better think of some dog stories after all.
    My first dog, Flash, was named after the famous BSA Golden Flash. I was out walking with my brother and his girlfriend in Wales, where they lived while Neil attended university as a mature student. We passed a ramshackle shed beside the road, and heard a scratching noise at the door. Turned out Flash was in there, a part grown collie. He was thin and starving, and had rickets. Shelley said to me, “, you wanted a dog, didn’t you, Fenton?” I said, no, she said yes. She started trying to be persuasive, so I just said yes, before she did any more of that. I mean, I’ll just say, not my favourite person. So we carried him home. Next day I had to ride a hundred or so miles back to Devon on my Enfield. We put him in a big box on the rack on the back. I didn’t like it but didn’t know what else to do. At Sennybridge, still in Wales, the ominous knocking noises from the engine got worse. In fact it was terminal. Just another day in my motorcycling life. There were a lot of old sheds in Wales back then, it seemed. There was one right there, opened fronted, so I pushed the bike in, just out of sight of the road, and told the lady at the nearest house, don’t worry, that’s my bike.
    It wasn’t 102 degrees, but in my riding boots and leather jacket, carrying a frightened dog, it wasn’t that cool either, resuming my hitchhiking career. After traipsing about in counties I wouldn’t normally have visited, a very nice guy with two little girls, picked us up up on the outskirts of Frome in Somerset, took us home and fed us, then dropped us at the station so we could get a train home. And of course, refused payment.
    Yes, Flash and I became inseparable, even though he would chase behind me, ripping my wellingtons to pieces as I walked. He would growl, and worry at them, safer than fighting a real dog.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh, thank you for posting this. Back when it first came out I probably watched it 100 times. They did such a nice job of coordinating the sound with the dog and of course the dog has such an expressive face. So again thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My dog neighbors: Bella, Rowsie, Lucy, Penny, Cora, Maxine, Lizzie, Frank, Laddie, Tollie, Beluga, and a few whose names I don’t know because I have yet to meet their people. Apologies to any I have left out. I’m sometimes forgetful. Always happy to see them, though.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. today , ari who is three is sitting naked in the living room after swimming out back
    debbie is telling him to be nice to bala because she’s kinda skiddish and needs to be touched nicely

    when i hear debbie yelling no thank you ari
    and instructing him it’s not ok to pee on the dog i have to hide my smile

    Liked by 1 person

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