We left for a wide spot in the road between Amissville and Washington, Virginia around 9 a.m., after my trip to the farmer’s market. Asparagus! Spinach! and more.

It was nice going out – bright sun and in the high 70s so Mina wanted all the windows down. Fine by me, I hate air conditioning. Once out of Warrenton on 211, we were in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and could see the mountains directly ahead. Pink and white dogwoods are in bloom everywhere, it’s green and sunny and hot and beautiful. I could have days like this all year round (with more humidity, though).

We stopped off a side road with lots of farm land so Mina could go potty and get a drink, then we arrived at ECOW as people were setting up little tables in the parking lot. I saw the Chow Now folks right away and they told me to go back and get Mina out of the car! They were dying to meet her.

Carole and her husband run the business and they’re terrific. We talked about how Carole visits each farm and rejected more than one “free range” operation because they were no more than bird warehouses. Free range is a myth, people.

We had a nice talk about veganism and animal rights while Mina was impatiently sniffing the samples. When Carole gave her one she gobbled it up. Same with the second and the third! They weren’t raw, they were cooked so they’d keep outside but Mina didn’t seem to notice – she really likes this food.

We chatted a bit more and then Mina and I walked inside the store. It’s very quaint and very country and I liked it immediately. I got some limes, some locally and sustainable grown herbs, two containers of Chow Now chicken food for Mina, and an enormous veggie burrito made fresh for myself. Carole tells me I can get cases of the Chow Now in Marshall for a discount. It’s expensive, but it’s the best quality food I’ve come across and it doesn’t involve me dismembering and skinning corpses in my kitchen.

Everyone there who saw Mina made a big fuss over her. The compliments were flowing freely, I tell ya. The prednisone is making her feel better so she was quite alert and perky and thirsty. Carole sent us home with a small bag of cooked chicken Chow Now samples to give Mina as treats. I’ve ordered the Prozyme digestive enzyme she’ll need to make the slow transition to raw food. I’m convinced this is the way to improve her health and keep her strong during chemo.

Mina ate more chicken and rice when we got home and she came over to sniff my burrito. She’s resting now, tired from the trip (yes, I ran the AC on the way home but left the sunroof cracked so I wouldn’t freeze). It’s so nice to see her more like her usual self. I hope the chemo does as much good for her.