A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

Good news and bad news


I’ll switch from my recent saga of Fitz’ cancer treatment to talk about our other dog, Milo. Milo arrived in our lives the year that everything went wrong – my mother and aunt died, Kenton’s father and aunt died, and as a last kick in the gut, our dog Jake died.

We thought we couldn’t get any lower, and in fact, we thought life would never look sunny again. Then along came Milo, full of sunny cheer and bossiness, and life began to look up.

Milo as a pup, already sassing Max!

Milo as a pup, already sassing Max!

He’s a huge personality, not full of sweetness like Fitz, but demanding and (still) bossy. He knows what he wants and won’t stop til he gets it, unlike Fitz, who is pretty happy with life as it comes.

So when we found that lump on his testicle, we feared the worst. It was confirmed last night – the biopsy confirmed a mast cell tumour, which are always malignant. Ok, so that’s bad news.

The good part is that the lab results showed that when Ana removed it, she got it all, with clean tissue showing around all sides of the tumour. She doesn’t think further treatment (i.e. chemo) will be needed. So that’s good – although these tumours can recur, and can become systemic, but we won’t worry about that right now.

And believe it or not, we do have other things going on in our lives besides dog problems and worries, although sometimes it’s hard to remember that! We are (finally, finally) starting to get ripe tomatoes, and just had our first sweet corn.

Bright spots like those are very welcome right now!

Tomato puree

5 pounds of tomatoes
olive oil
clean, sterilised jars

Blend tomatoes until smooth.

Cook on low heat in large sauce pan until very thick and rich, this usually takes about 5-6 hours.

Homemade tomato puree, rich and dark!

Homemade tomato puree, rich and dark!

While hot, spoon into hot jars. Pour olive oil on carefully to just cover; cover tightly.
As the jars cool, they should seal – you will hear the ‘pop’ if they seal correctly.

Store in refrigerator; my puree lasts up to 1 year.


Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

3 thoughts on “Good news and bad news

  1. So sorry to hear about both Milo and Fitz. Fingers crossed for both of them xx


    • hi Lin, thanks for posting. Yes, a rough few months. Fitz’ chemo is going well, so we should get some more time with him, although it will be limited. Milo we are hoping for better, just wait and see with them both. xx


  2. We are so pleased to hear such positive news about Milo. He is such a lovely dog. Just hope everything works out well for both Milo and Fitz.
    Not sure that we will be getting enough tomatoes to make puree, but at the moment runner beans and blackberries are doing very well! It is still quite warm here, although we have had much needed rain.
    Our good wishes to you all, Jan, Don and Ben