Adkins Arboretum to Host Native Plant Nursery Fall Open House

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Adkins Arboretum’s Native Plant Nursery will open its doors Sept. 12 and 13 for a Fall Open House and Plant Sale. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Nursery, learn about plant propagation and rain barrels, and visit the Nursery’s native gardens, all in addition to purchasing ornamental native plants for the fall garden.

Native asters. Photo by Josh Taylor Jr.

Native asters. Photo by Josh Taylor Jr.

Brilliant orange butterfly weed and stunning red cardinal flower attract pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden, while native asters add subtle shades of purple and blue. Redbud and dogwood dot the early-spring landscape with color, and shrubs such as aronia and beautyberry provide food and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Fall is the best season for planting. Trees and shrubs planted in fall have a chance to set roots before the heat and stress of summer. The Arboretum participates in the Marylanders Plant Trees program, an initiative by the State of Maryland to encourage residents to plant native trees. The program offers a $25 coupon toward purchase of native trees that retail for $50 or more.

Sat., Sept. 12 is an Open House day for members from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. New members are welcome. All members, including those who join during the Open House, will receive a significant discount on plant purchases. Public Open House hours are Sun., Sept. 13 from noon to 4 p.m.

Open House visitors can also learn about the Arboretum’s Native Landscape Design Center, a unique offering that pairs homeowners with a landscape designer to create a beautiful and affordable native landscape that benefits wildlife and the environment.

Proceeds from plants sold at the Fall Open House benefit the Arboretum’s education programs. For more information, call 410-634-2847, extension 0 or visit www.adkinsarboretum.org.

Food Friday: Back to Back Breakfasts

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Let us take a page from Christmas. Don’t panic; we still have a few months to go before we start worrying about that. But summer vacation is almost over. And school is about to start. What are you going to have for breakfast Monday morning?

I suggest that a little of the planning, much like holiday prep can be applied to our everyday, real life breakfast experience. On Christmas morning we always have a couple of favorite breakfast casseroles pre-cooked and sitting in the fridge, waiting to be re-heated. And while you might not want to prepare a casserole or a sheet of sausage rolls every night, you don’t need to panic every single morning about breakfast, especially now that school is starting.

You can start off small, with a batch of Scrambled Egg Muffins (courtesy of Food52: https://food52.com/recipes/24818-scrambled-egg-muffins) that you bake on Sunday afternoon. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. By Thursday you’ll feel confident enough to toss frozen, home made pancakes into the microwave. On Friday you’ll enjoy revving up the blender for a healthy, brainy avocado smoothie.

There are no more leisurely summer vacation breakfasts spent contentedly reading the local newspaper at a picnic table overlooking a lake from your summer rental. You can’t look for the perfect sunrise to immortalize on Instagram any more, either. You are back in the saddle, like it or not. And some of you have young folk who need to be stoked up and filled to the brim with healthy brain food every morning.

There’s a lot going on in those growing brains, and we know that we should be doing better than a bowl of Cap’n Crunch. We want them to concentrate, remember what they are learning, and keep their energy levels up until lunchtime. It is a daunting task, particularly when we are trying to eat good, healthy food.

A lot of the prepared foods are full of sugars, fat and salt; all the scrummy things we human beings adore. But they are not very healthy for us, I’m sad to say. And look at that fourth grader, staring moodily at you across the counter. Does he really want a bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal. Again? Not likely. So consider your audience as you peruse my handy dandy sheet of breakfast ideas.

I love repetition. I can eat a turkey sandwich every day for a week. But you might be a little more normal, and like to shake things up. When you bake a sheet of twelve muffins, that might seem like money in the bank. But only for a couple of days. Don’t plan on foisting off muffins on your first grader for the next twelve days. Even if he really seems to like them on Monday, by Thursday it will get ugly. Maybe you can consult with said child, and see what his take is, and maybe the two of you can make a plan. Rapid rotation is probably key!

Most mornings I have about enough energy and enthusiasm for a slice of cold pizza and the funnies. But given the proper motivation (this list) and a calming trip to the grocery store, even you can have a variety of healthy ingredients on hand to make some tempting make-ahead, back to back breakfasts. And then you can devote your worrying to charging the iPhones, signing permission slips, finding the sneakers, getting the laundry out of the dryer, putting the dog in his crate and finding your car keys.

Maybe the two (or three, four, five) of you can make it a weekly family event. Family Breakfast Prep Time might only last for the first couple of weeks of school before it comes crashing back down on your shoulders, but it could be a pleasant time for you all. Instead of sinking onto the sofa with HGTV after dinner, maybe you can whip up a little batch of granola – which can then be a cereal base, an ingredient in a yogurt parfait, or tossed into a smoothie or made into snack bars.

I have some great memories of times in the kitchen with our children. You can’t expect every minute to go smoothly, and you have to keep in mind that their attention spans can be short (it’s all that Cap’n Crunch they used to eat). Consider it a moment of triumph when someone learns to measure a cup of whole wheat flour, or lines the muffin pan with cute, crimped paper cups without first being asked. You can teach some life skills, like how to bake bacon, or wash blueberries or peel carrots. And first aid!

You are saving time from chaos and drama in the morning, and exercising those potentially sizable and vulnerable little brains. And it is time spent away from the electronic screens! Maybe after you figure breakfast out you can all go read a little Harry Potter. Magic!

Muffins,
smoothies,
eggs,
granola and muesli,
oatmeal,
pancakes,
fruits,
pizza,
bagels and breads

Muffins
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/blueberry_maple_muffins.html

http://www.theseasonedmom.com/what-were-eating-two-ingredient-pumpkin-spice-mini-muffins/

http://wellnessmama.com/1084/breakfast-egg-muffins/

Smoothies
http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/Meals-Recipes/Browse-Search-Recipes/rid/7935/good-news-breakfast-smoothie.aspx

http://www.marthastewart.com/1047458/avocado-smoothie

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/8-healthy-fruit-smoothies-for-breakfast/%20

http://www.rd.com/food/breakfast-berryflaxseed-smoothie-recipe/

Eggs
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/quick_breakfast_taco.html
http://www.superhealthykids.com/breakfast-egg-cups-recipe/

http://www.marthastewart.com/344419/breakfast-burrito

https://food52.com/blog/13227-the-hole-in-one-egg-in-the-hole

Granola and Muesli
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/03/25/granola_without_measuring_a_template_for_delicious_homemade_cereal_video.html
http://www.chow.com/recipes/30062-basic-granola

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/homemade-muesli

Oatmeal
http://www.marthastewart.com/315903/strawberry-oatmeal-breakfast

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/oatmeal-recipe/oatmeal-sunflower-seeds-agave-berry

Pancakes, waffles
http://www.superhealthykids.com/breakfast-egg-cups-recipe/

http://weelicious.com/2010/04/06/banana-bites/

http://www.marthastewart.com/334877/cinnamon-oat-pancakes

Fruits
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grapefruit-with-chile-and-rosemary

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2554641/grapefruit-agave-and-pistachio-salad

Pizza (I had to include it!)
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/breakfast_mini_pizza.html

http://www.food.com/recipe/amazing-breakfast-pizza-134470

http://www.thedailymeal.com/recipes/sunny-side-breakfast-pizza

https://food52.com/blog/category/195-breakfast-of-champions

Bagels & Breads
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/banana_peanut_butter_bagel.html

http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/Meals-Recipes/Browse-Search-Recipes/rid/8670/apple-bagel-sandwich.aspx

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/smoked-trout-salad

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/recipe-of-the-day-recipes/article/best-ever-bread

More reading…
http://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/healthy-easy-breakfasts-your-kids-will-love#.mvX97QpqE

http://www.epicurious.com/archive/everydaycooking/family/backtoschoolquickeasyhealthybreakfast

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
― A.A. Milne

Food Friday: Chicken Cutlets for Your Summer Soul

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I have seamlessly slalomed down the slippery slope toward summertime kitchen entrapment. Last week I let Nigel Slater convince me that it was perfectly permissible to break my golden rule about cooking in the summertime. Oh, it is fine to steam a few ears of corn on top of the stove – as long as you eat the resulting buttery-dripping delights outside on the back porch. And yes, it will not offend the Lazy Summer Gods if you bake shortcakes, because how else are you possibly going to consume all those beauteous strawberries you found at the farmers’ market? Of course you can rustle up some bacon on a Sunday morning. But that is about it. Otherwise you may only consume any coolth that comes from the freezer, victuals grilled by other people, or eat onion rings from Dairy Queen, sitting in a car, sharing them with the dog. These activities all fall within the strict parameters of Limited Exposure to Cooking During the Hot Stinky Summer.

But then Nigel Slater warbled his siren song about really good Spaghetti Bolognese, and it was downhill for my natural and formidable abilities for avoiding the kitchen. I was listening to a perfectly charming 92Y podcast with Mark Bittman and Mario Batali, which was moderated by The New York Times food editor Sam Sifton while Luke (the wonder dog) and I were working on our 10,000 steps one day last week. (So many rules and goals in the summer!) And I allowed a crazy thought to rise to my over-heated consciousness. “Huh. That sounds good. That would be perfect for dinner Saturday night!” And there you have it. Along about step 8,527 my resolve was undone. I was planning on cooking a meal, in the house, on top of the stove, in the middle of the Hot Stinky Summer.
http://markbittman.com/dinner-with-bittman-roasted-chicken-cutlets-w/

Check iTunes for the podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/92y-talks/id905112228?mt=2

And I can sling the hot sauce of blame on another couple of people: Anthony Bourdain and The Wall Street Journal, to name just two. I have just started watching Bourdain’s The Layover and he waxed poetical about chicken and rice during his layover in Singapore (where Mr. Friday was visiting right at that precise moment). Rice cooked with chicken stock is a specialty in Singapore, where it is always at least 85 degrees. Certainly if cooks in Singapore can stand the constant fiery state of a kitchen, who was I to complain? And I have central air conditioning…
http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/the-layover/video/tony-tries-chicken-rice

This is how I made the rice:
Chicken Broth , 2 cups
White Rice , 1 cup
1 tablespoon olive oil

I heat up the pan with the oil on a medium high temp, and sauté the rice for about a minute, then add the broth, and boil merrily for another minute, before lowering the heat, and covering the pan, and walking away for about 15 minutes. Give it a stir so it doesn’t stick. Keep it covered until all the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender. Serve with copious amounts of good European-style butter.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal supplied the idea of a summery panzanella salad. Theirs included peaches and burrata, which I thought would be an interesting summer variation on one of our favorite salad themes. I could not find burrata at our grocery store, so I used some fresh mozzarella which still tasted mighty fine and creamy. Plus I only turned the oven on for a just a wee little while, just to make the bread a little crunchier.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/tomato-and-stone-fruit-panzanella-with-burrata-1438957860

And dessert was strictly by the book. Yes, I whipped out the mini food processor and then the electric mixer, but I did not use any heat to the delightful Strawberry Fool, which took mere minutes to prepare. But to ensure my place in hell, I served it with a plateful of Pepperidge Farm cookies. Yumsters.
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/the-minimalist-strawberry-fool/?_r=0

Join me in the ever capacious hand basket shooting full speed to hell. I confess well and truly, yesterday I cooked chicken and baked bacon to make my friend Chris’s world famous Club Chicken Salad. Deelightful.

Chris’s Chicken Club Salad

Serves 4

Cook 1/2 pound bacon, crisp and crumble (be sure to save the fat)
1 cup bread cubed (use nice, firm French bread – Pepperidge Farm white won’t work)
3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed and chilled
2 fulsomely ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 head Romaine, torn (not cut) into bite-size piece

Dressing:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon capers

Sauté the bread cubes in the bacon fat, tossing constantly to toast all the sides. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I harden our arteries a little with some Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.) Put the chicken in a bowl, cover with dressing, add the capers and toss to coat each piece with dressing. Chill for half an hour. Arrange lettuce on each plate and mound the chicken salad on the lettuce. Crumble the bacon on top, surround with tomato quarters and top each with the crunchy, wonderful croutons. Serve with a frosty cold beer. Yummm. Perfect for picnics.

“’Come with me,’ Mom says.
‘To the library.
Books and summertime
go together.’”
― Lisa Schroeder

Eastern Shore Food: Ian Fleming & Mark Salter at the Robert Morris Inn

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When Ian Fleming and Mark Salter started out on their own after leaving the Inn at Perry Cabin in 2010, it was hard to imagine a more perfect pairing of professional skills. Ian, with years of experience in the hospitality trade, including managing some of the world’s most exclusive resorts with Michelin top ratings, matched with Mark’s legendary tenure as Perry Cabin’s executive chef, seemed made in heaven as they began as co-owners of the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford.

In fact, that match was not made in heaven but Scotland. Almost thirty-two years ago, they became friends while working together at the Cromlix House Restaurant, one of country’s most successful dining venues at the time, and credited in helping ignited a new era of fine dining in the United Kingdom.

Fast forward to 2015, having survived the great recession and a host of major changes in the food and hospitality business, Ian and Mark look back in their Spy interview at their five years doing business on the Strand in Oxford.

This video is approximately ten minutes in length

Risk-a-licious by Kathy Bosin

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So, it’s 1969 in Limestone Acres.

A dynamic year – Nixon inaugurated. Man on the moon! Viet Nam. Woodstock. Haight Ashbury. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Easy Rider.

I was eight and my sister was six.

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 5.49.42 AMWe lived in a very quiet, conservative suburban community where kids rolled on bikes all summer long. The pool was 2 blocks away. I remember the first time a teenage boy (omg) referred to me in public as “Bosin!” I was horrified and delighted.

This post is a remembrance and a toast to Meg Glover.

Who?

She was a tall, slim, super white skinned, black haired beauty, about 15 years old. She and her sister wore long dresses – religious? I have no idea. Fashion? Doubt it. Yet – incredibly dramatic! It was rumored that they went to “charm school” – an item that my mother often used as a threat. She’d say “keep that up and you’ll have to go to charm school like Meg and Lisa Glover.” Horrors!! We heard they had to wear long white gloves and walk all day balancing telephone books on their heads. Big threat to us slackers. Being sent to charm school was the major fear for good girls like us in 1969.

But when she was hired as our babysitter, we couldn’t hide our excitement! Meg Glover, whoa! (How cool are we?)

On the first evening she came, she said “let’s make pizza!”

Gasp!

My sister, 6 years old, knew this was a danger – “we’re not allowed to use the oven!”

Meg looked at me, the eldest.

I shivered inside. “Yes, we can. Do it.”

She took four slices of white bread and squirted ketchup on them. Spread with a knife, and covered with a slice of American cheese – all of which, of course, were in the 1969 house refrigerator (white).

She put them in the OVEN.

OMG!

And pulled them out ten minutes later.

Even though it tasted nothing like pizza…I loved it. It was the challenge, the risk, the courage to do it!

So tonight, when I came home after a long day and Kevin had two entire lots of tomatoes making spicy ketchup on the simmer, I knew what we were having for supper.

Yup. In honor of Meg Glover, we had “pizza”. It rocked. I didn’t even have to put in in the oven and melt the cheese to remember that moment of freedom, risk, choice.

POWER!

Food Friday: Breaking the Rules

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Beware of rabbit holes. With just a flick of my iPhone I managed to destroy my strict annual summer No Cooking Rule. That’s all it took. A little idle curiosity while driving with Mr. Friday, and suddenly, on a Saturday night, I was chopping onions and garlic and tending to a pan of simmering meats and tomatoes. I had turned on the stove and was cooking. In the summer. When my default mode is to eat only cool salads, watermelon, peaches, strawberries and ice cream. When someone else tends the grill and I picturesquely sip frosty flutes of light and refreshing Prosecco. I picture myself in a nimbus of gauzy sunlight, wearing a flow-y white frock. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. And yet, it was quite fun and novel standing in the kitchen, peering into a hot saucepan, anticipating a good meal.

Quite often when I am driving with Mr. Friday I whip out the smart phone to answer life’s difficult questions. You know the kind of thing I mean, when you have to know immediately what was John Wayne’s last movie? What time is it in Sydney? Was “On Broadway” really in that old Radio Free Europe television commercial? But here was the killer; innocently I Googled “Food52 weekend entertaining”. And that’s when Nigel Slater’s Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese became part of our food canon. https://food52.com/recipes/26984-nigel-slater-s-really-good-spaghetti-bolognese

We had been trying to think of something other than our usual steak or pork chops or grilled pizza to have for dinner when we would be entertaining a new friend. One of my bad habits is that I think nothing of trying new recipes on company. Which means dinner parties at our house are often fraught with peril. Sometimes things fail miserably: the soufflé falls, the cream doesn’t whip, the cake self-immolates, the risotto is runny. Luckily we usually have enough cheap white wine to gloss over any imperfections, and people have been known to return.

The Spaghetti Bolognese was a great recipe. It was a little time consuming, as the mixture needed to simmer for at least an hour to an hour and a half, but I was able to swan around and fold napkins and fluff the hydrangeas, while stirring, occasionally, and gulping down the aforementioned Prosecco. And luckily there were tasty nibbly snacks and good music. With dinner we also had bread, a little salad and bowls of sliced peaches that were lightly dressed in a snow drift of freshly whipped cream. And the summer continues on its course. Perhaps I can boil up a pot of pasta every now and then. It will keep me in practice for winter. It is good to break the rules, as they say, otherwise we would never enjoy some of the fleeting forbidden pleasures.

I always think that the folks at Food52 are the cool kids. They have excellent ideas, and are witty and irreverent. You should try listening to their podcasts, too: https://food52.com/blog/12480-announcing-burnt-toast-the-food52-podcast
They have more sources for the unusual than we basic home cooks, but we can make adjustments. My grocery store doesn’t carry pancetta, but the thick sliced applewood smoked bacon I substituted seemed to work just fine.
The comments in parentheses are mine.

Nigel Slater’s Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 4
For the bolognese
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 3 ounces cubed pancetta (I diced 4 slices of thick cut grocery store-sourced bacon)
• 1 medium onion
• 2 fat cloves garlic
• 1 carrot
• 2 stalks celery
• 2 large, flat mushrooms such as portobello, about 4 ounces (I left the mushrooms out)
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 pound ground beef or lamb
• 1 cup crushed tomatoes or passata
• ¼ cup red wine
• ¾ cup stock
• 1 nutmeg (I used McCormack’s ground nutmeg, quelle horreur!)
• ¾ cup half-and-half or cream

For serving
• Spaghetti or tagliatelle for 4 (I used Buitoni fresh linguine)
• Grated Parmesan
1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based pot — then stir in the pancetta and let it cook for five minutes or so, without coloring much. Meanwhile peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and stir them into the pancetta. Peel and finely chop the carrot and celery and stir them in, too. Lastly, finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan, then tuck in the bay leaves and leave to cook for ten minutes over a moderate heat, stirring frequently.
2. Turn up the heat and tip in the meat, breaking it up well with a fork.
3. Now leave to cook without stirring for a good three or four minutes, then, as the meat on the bottom is starting to brown, stir again, breaking up the meat where necessary, and leave to color.
4. Mix in the tomatoes, red wine, stock, a grating of nutmeg and some salt and black pepper, letting it come to the boil. Turn the heat down so that everything barely bubbles. There should be movement, but one that is gentle, not quite a simmer. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to putter away for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring from time to time and checking the liquid levels. You don’t want it to be dry.
5. Pour in the half-and-half or cream a bit at a time, stir and continue cooking for twenty minutes. Check the seasoning, then serve with the pasta and grated Parmesan.

“It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you. ”
― Nigel Slater

Fermentation Workshop Comes to Colchester Farm CSA, August 8

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Colchester Farm CSA will host a fermentation workshop on August 8.

To register, click here. For more information, see below!

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Clovelly Vineyards Holds Small Plates Wine Pairing Tasting

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Join Clovelly Vineyards for an exclusive wine tasting event on Saturday, August 22 from 5-8 PM. Enjoy sweeping views of the vineyard and the Chester River, sampling five of our select wines paired with carefully crafted small plates. Sip a glass of wine while you watch the sun sink low over the horizon in one of those famed Eastern Shore sunset moments.

Experience the best of the Eastern Shore with a summer-inspired menu including Clovelly’s own prime Black Angus steaks, local vegetables, and Maryland crab cakes.

A full array of cheeses and fruits will be available in addition to the five plate pairings. This event is the official release party for our much anticipated Devils Reach Red, a rich, oaky blend of Clovelly’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Be the first to try this limited release wine and to share in this truly unique Eastern Shore experience. You’ll never forget the view!

Tickets are $100 per person and include a full tasting of Clovelly wines, wine by the glass, and five small plate courses. Wine club member price is $90. Tickets can be purchased online at clovellyvineyards.com and at any of our farmer’s markets and events. Reservations are limited, so purchase your tickets early. For questions please contact Tara Holste at 410-708-1775 or tara@clovellyvineyards.com.

July Pet of the Month: Dyson

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Unless looked straight in the face, fear can be incredibly debilitating and prevent us from having the life we want. Unfortunately, shelter life for many pets is scary, as it’s an enormous change from their past home routines. Such is the case for three-year-old Dyson, who writes little reminders on the backs of his paws to encourage himself to be brave, even though staying all alone in the shelter kennel makes him uneasy.

HSKC_Dyson_20150415_0478What carries Dyson through each and every day is realizing that “The One” is out there. Dyson knows with all of his heart that there is one person/family meant for him, and he understands that he must confront his fears in order to meet that special person. So, each morning, when he’s taken for his first walk, he shakes off all his negative thoughts and struts outside, charging ahead and hoping this will be the day he meets the person meant just for him.

When Dyson is out of the kennel, he is an entirely different dog. He stands taller and the light returns to his eyes. He loves to be near people, and he will physically and emotionally lean on the person closest to him. His soft coat and pleasing personality make this adorable pup a pro snuggler. He’s big on adventure too, always champing at the bit for a ride in the car, no matter where it may lead!

A Heinz 57 breed, Dyson lived with other dogs in his former home, but he was surrendered for marking in the house. At HSKC, he was neutered, solving the issue immediately. Dyson now takes his business outside, walking well on a leash and listening to commands.

This young pup gets his thrills from romping with other dogs and playing games with people. He’s not a big fan of cats, but Dyson can be quite friendly with dogs, especially female ones. He would thrive in a home with a family as long as the children weren’t too young for his active personality.

Are you the best friend Dyson is searching for? Stop by and meet him at The Humane Society of Kent County soon to see if you’re “The One”! Learn more about Dyson and all of HSKC’s adoptable pets by visiting Kenthumane.com, following the organization’s Facebook Page at Facebook.com/kenthumane or by calling the shelter at 410-778-3648.