Dog Ponies!


If you went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade at the Gateway March 14th… No, strike that. If you are SOBER enough to remember the St. Patrick’s Day parade at the Gateway you’ll remember seeing many–Great Dane dogs walking with their humans down Rio Grande Street. This is the first time that the dogs have made their presence known and well they did it right by dressing up with tiny green hats, sequined neck ties and one even decorating its butt with green sparkly polka dots.

Don’t you just love a big ole dog? I do – but my cats don’t! Danes are originally a German breed of domestic dog known for its ginormous size. To me they look like small ponies and are one of the world’s tallest dog breeds. The back hips on one of the parade dogs came up almost to my navel and I’m 5’6″ tall! Like so many dog breeds they were raised for hunting and are known by the American Kennel Club as a ‘working breed’. The bigger the dog, the bigger the prey. They were used to hunt boar and bears back in the day and their owners used to crop their ears so they wouldn’t get ripped up by prey during the fights that often came with the killing. The dogs are related to Mastiffs but have more grace and dignity than their bulky muscle-y Mastiff brethren.

There’s a local group in Utah called the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue and they were the non-profit that brought the dog ponies to the parade. I call them nutbags behind their hairy backs because OMG who has the stamina to take care of a Dane, let alone help rescue them on a daily basis? My friend Kara is one of the crazy-Dane-Ladies adopting the dogs and helping to rescue them. She is known for having raised a pot-bellied pig and a one legged duck, with three dogs, a wife and daughter in her tiny little lower Millcreek home. Her wife takes up a small corner of the house to watch TV and play video games, but the rest of the home is for the pets. Leisha (adult daughter of crazy-Dane-person who is also a Dane owner herself) has been yanked into the rescuing of giants too and also had a big beauty at the end of a leash in the parade. I like Leisha because she constantly carries a slobber towel to wipe the drool coming constantly from the dog mouths. Personally, I think Danes create as much slobber as a St. Bernard except that their lips are so big and long it makes the spit thinner and less obvious.

Folks often get Danes because they think they are cool. Then then grow up and turn into something as big as a sofa. They can’t care for them properly and so good souls help find new homes for them. The Rocky Mountain Great Dane rescue folks need temporary foster homes for the dogs and volunteers to just drive legs of cross country trips to get them to their new homes. Want to help get these big dogs new homes?

Food Sharing


Utah has an official food, a flag, a dog and a tree. The State Tree was for many years the Colorado Spruce but has been changed by our legislators to the Quaking Aspen. Really, I think the state tree should be the historic mulberry. Although it’s not indigenous to our ecosystem, it has plenty of Utah history, to wit: 1) Brigham Young imported 100,000 mulberry trees from France to be planted in Utah; and 2) he ordered silkworm eggs and had his minions build a cocoonery to hold 2,000,000+ worms. By 1877, there were 5 million silk worms feeding on mulberry leaves in the attics of settlers in Utah. One saint was actually called on a mission specifically to spread the ‘gospel of silk’ to educate Utahns on how to grow worms, feed them, collect their silk cocoons and then weave/sew with the silk thread they produced. From St. George to Logan silk was all the rage for a time. The industry has left Utah long ago, but the historic trees are everywhere. There’s a few old giants on 1100 East and 600 South by Judge High School and a bunch out in West Valley on 4100 South. They produce flavorful but messy fruit that looks much like blackberries that are as long as a little finger.

It’s rare to see anyone selling mulberries or mulberry products even at farmers markets. People who own property with mulberry trees love the shade provided by the big leaves but hate the mess of the abundant fruit. Many of us have fruit trees, old and new, in our front and back yards but few of us cull nature’s gifts and do anything with the apples, apricots, peaches, pears and plums in the summer… but we should.

Erase your guilt of rotting fruit by signing up with SLC Fruit Share. The program is seeking volunteers who want to make a year-long commitment to help prune trees and harvest fruit from yards in our valley. Think about it – every year tens of thousands of fruit fall to the ground and rot. This creates a waste management problem, attracts wasps and other bugs that sometimes cause a public health hazard. If you sign up for the Fruit Share program you can get volunteers to come harvest your trees. The bounty then is split three ways between you, the volunteer pickers and local food banks. Everyone wins! The will also trim and clean up your trees so that they can continue to produce and stay healthy.

If you don’t have fruit trees but would love part of the harvest, you can volunteer to pick fruit. The commitment is two hours a month and orientation is MARCH 7TH from noon to 3:00 PM. To date the group has harvested almost 50,000 lbs. of fruits and nuts that would have gone wasted on the ground to help the Salt Lake Community Action Program, Utahns Against Hunger, Real Food Rising and partners with TreeUtah and The Green Urban Lunchbox. You can call 801.535.6438 to find out more about volunteering and the orientation. To register your trees to be pruned and harvested, go to .