Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What's For Dinner?

I'll bet you thought I was exaggerating yesterday when I said I was playing doggy dietitian. Well, maybe not diatitian but definitely doggy cook.  After my second cup of coffee this morning I got started on my new duties. First a big pot of turkey, sweet potato, veggie food for Noah and Fudge. This will last four days.
Next a crock pot full of beef veggie soup for the girls and Sebastian.  This will also last three or four days depending on how generous I am. This get ladled out over their kibble at dinner only. Breakfast is plain kibble.
Next some rice and mashed sweet potato to try and tempt Morgan. I mixed it with her kibble and thought the sweetness would attract her. I was wrong, so the others got to share it on their dinner.
Finally I baked up some chicken breasts with skin on. We'll do various things with the meat but I'm saving the fatty broth to pour over Morgan's kibble. She needs to gain some weight and this should help if she'll cooperate and eat it. I tried a little tonight and she liked it a lot. Let's hope she continues to like it.
It does take a lot of time to make food for all these different diets, but my reward is seeing how happy they are as they lick their bowls clean.
Guess I'll be in the kitchen a lot this winter.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Do Over

So much for my good intentions of posting more regularly. Last week I kept trying to find some extra time to sit down and post, but life got in the way, yet again. Let me catch you up.

I noticed mid week that Sebastian wasn't feeling well. He's not a high energy dog at the best of times, but this was different. He didn't want to stand up to go outside at all, wasn't interested in eating and was drinking way too much water. He also vomited a couple times.

So on Friday we set off to see Dr B. The exam didn't show much. His temp was normal and he wasn't exhibiting pain. They took some blood and sent him home with some antibiotics. I was told to bring in a morning urine sample this morning.
By Sunday Sebastian was feeling much better. He was eating enthusiastically again, joining the others in run arounds and his drinking problem had decreased. I was at the clinic this morning and learned that his blood was good but his urine wasn't concentrated enough. We'll retest him in three to four weeks and go from there. He could be showing early signs of Cushings. We've dealt  with Cushings before. Lucy, Samba and Morgan all have had Cushings, so we're not overly concerned if Sebastian joins the group.

Meanwhile, all last week Fudge kept sniffing Morgan's mouth. She had a growth inside her lip a few months ago and I thought it might be coming back. I kept checking, but didn't see anything. Saturday afternoon I noticed that the fur on her muzzle was all bunched up. I didn't think too much about it as she loves to roll around. Yesterday it was still messed up so I decided to straighten it out and trim her muzzle. When I touched the spot that was messed up, it didn't feel right. On close inspection I found a large, angry looking, bright red growth. It was bleeding a little.

First thing this morning I called the Dr B and he said to bring her right in. He said the growth could be most anything from scar tissue to a mast cell tumor. It's ulcerated and bleeds when touched. He shaved around it and we talked over a plan of action. We brought her home with antibiotics and I'm to apply warm compresses several times a day. If by the weekend it shrinks and starts to heal, great. If not, she's scheduled for surgery on Tuesday morning. He's convinced he can remove it using a local because of her advanced age.
Dr B also thinks Morgan needs to gain a couple pounds. She's being a very picky eater lately and I have to get really creative with her. He suggested a couple of high fat options and we went to the store this afternoon to pick up goodies to tempt her appetite.

So please forgive me for not posting much. I seem to have my hands full being a doggy dietician lately.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Who's At The Door?

Ding dong, bark bark bark. That's what happened this morning. Mom rushed to the door with all of us dancing around and this is what she found.
Our October Chewy box had arrived. What could be in it?

This month we tried a treat I hadn't seen before, Grandma Lucy's Organic Oven Baked Dog Treats. I chose blueberry flavor.
As usual I did some research and I really liked what I saw. This is from Grandma Lucy's website.

Grandma Lucy's organic dog treats are not made in a factory, but baked in a bakery by people who love their pets. Since 1999, Grandma Lucy's has taken great pride in making wholesome, natural and delicious pet treats. Your dog will love the great taste of our Organic Oven-Baked Dog Treats, but what you will love most is the fact that they are made with organic, human-quality ingredients. The treats are so tasty, your dog will beg for more. Grandma Lucy's Organic Oven -Baked Dog Treats - an organic treat you will feel good about giving your pet.

100% USDA Organic  -  All Natural  -  No Preservatives
No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Sweeteners
Made with 100 Human Grade Ingredients
Certified Kosher

They come in some wonderful flavors: pumpkin, blueberry, peach, cranberry, apple and banana sweet potato and they're made in Canada.

When I opened the bag, the smell was delicious and the treats themselves are cute little teddy bears, just the right size.
What did the dogs think about them? Everyone got to taste one immediately and here's Morgan enjoying hers.

We gave them a rave review and Grandma Lucy's is about to become a regular in our house.
Thanks Chewy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A New Adventure

This is big old post number 1201. I never thought I'd have so much to say. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with us and become our blog family.
I haven't been around much over the last couple weeks. There was a death in my family and though I checked in on you, I wasn't up to leaving comments. I'm hoping to make up for lost time over the next few weeks.

Now for my new adventure. You might call it an experiment at this stage but if it goes well, I'll be a happy camper and show off the results. I've seen some of the wonderful new collars your pups have sported changing with the seasons and holidays. You might say I have a bad case of collar envy. I've always wanted to get my pups holiday collars, but with ten dogs, the cost mounts up quickly. They usually stick with their old standby collars till the outgrow or damage them.

Today I made the decision to try making collars. How hard can it be?  I've found sources for the hardware. Look at all those pretty colors.
I've found webbing and ribbons.
I already have a sewing machine.
As soon as I can get a few items together, we'll give it a shot. Then maybe next year my pups can have spooky Halloween collars and pretty Christmas collars and Springtime collars, etc, etc, etc.

If any of you have experience making collars, I'm open to any advice.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Celebrate Whatever

It seems that every day is National or International Something Day. Next year I think I'll design a calendar with all the silly celebration days I can find. Some of them are just too good not to celebrate so in true"'just give us an excuse to party" fashion, we're celebrating a double today.

First up, it's National Black Dog Day.
OK, we've got that one covered. We have two black dogs,
two mostly black with some white dogs,
a black and silver dog,
two black and white dogs,
and a black, tan and white dog.
 Around here we love black dogs and always have a few on hand.

Next it's National Homemade Cookies Day. This is not to be confused with National Cookie Day which is December 4. Mark your calendars.
We're working on this one. I'm in the process of baking chocolate chunk cookies,
and frosted chocolate cookies. These are from a recipe my Grandmother used. They were my Grandfather's favorites and they're mine, too.
Finally, this is post number 1200 for our blog. Break out those cupcakes and let's get this party rolling.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mondays, Ugh

If I asked you which day of the week is your favorite, I bet most of you would say Saturday. Some might think Friday because it leads to Saturday. A few might even answer Wednesday, becuse 'hump day' means Saturday is getting closer. if I asked which day of the week is your least favorite, would you answer Monday?

Monday has always been my least favorite day. When I was in school it meant the end of freedom and sitting in a classroom all day. When I was working, it meant setting the alarm, getting up too early, dressing in not weekend clothes, facing traffic and settling into my office. Don't get me wrong, I liked my job, I was the only woman in a company of about thirty men. They treated me great. One co-worker brought me a chocolate bar each morning, another regularly brought me a bouquet of flowers for my desk. Still, Monday meant a long week of solving problems and not lounging with my dog.

Now that Rob is retired and we don't have to live by a schedule, you'd think I'd change my feelings about Mondays. You'd be wrong. Want an example?

Last Monday morning I went to the garage to feed the dogs. When I set his bowl down, I noticed that Noah's eyes looked a little red. I checked them closer and there was pus in them, too. One of the symptoms of a drug reaction to his colitis meds is eye infection. I immediately put in a call to the vet and he said to bring him right in.
Dr B did a test on each of his eyes for dryness. They needed to register above 12 and one was 19, the other 21, so it wasn't a drug reaction. We were sent home with an antibiotic ointment to put in his eyes twice a day for a week.

When we got home I sent the dogs outside for a while. When I called them in Bailey didn't come with the others. I went to look for her and found her lying in the yard, chewing on her foot. I brought her in and examined her foot. It was red and  angry looking where she'd been chewing it, but there was no swelling or oozing. I trimmed off some hair, soaked the foot, put some soothing gel on it and put a cone of shame on Bailey.
Fudge refused to eat his breakfast unless I spoon fed it to him. When I went upstairs, I discovered that Morgan had not eaten her breakfast. She's also had a messy stool. I took her temperature and it was 101.9, right at the top of normal. I settled her down for a nap, and finally got my first cup of coffee of the day.
Around noon I took Morgan's temperature again and it had come down to 100.9. I offered her some food but she refused it, so I made her a bacon, cheese and kibble omelet. She ate that with no trouble. Rob went out to get her some of the canned food she'd liked a few weeks ago when she was sick.

In the evening I treated Noah's eyes again, checked Bailey's foot and put more gel on it and noticed that Sydney was limping. I checked her foot, leg and nails. I couldn't find anything wrong, so I gave her a Rimadyl before bed. I also hand fed Morgan a few dog food meatballs which she had no trouble eating.

OK, so much for  last Monday.

Now it's Monday again. How are they all doing? Noah's eyes are clear though I'm still putting ointment in for another couple days. Bailey's foot is fine. The redness is gone and she's not paying any attention to it. Morgan is eating her canned food quite happily and Sydney's limp has disappeared.

But it's Monday, so we have a whole new assortment of problems. Mack didn't want to eat last night or this morning and had some  vomiting this morning. She'll fast today and rest. I don't think it's anything serious, probably ate a weed in the yard that disagreed with her.
Fudge still refuses to eat his breakfast unless I spoon feed him. I don't understand what's wrong, he eats his dinner and late snack by himself. It's the same food in the same bowl. I can hear you thinking, let him go hungry, then he'll eat. But this is Fudge. I think it's just an attention thing. He considers it a bonding moment between us, so I take him onto the porch, sit down and spoon the food into his open mouth.
I guess that's what I get for having a house full of perpetual two year olds. It's OK, I can deal with Monday, but I'm glad it only comes once a week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don't Peek

I come from a family of readers. My grandmother had bookshelves lining almost every wall in the house. My mom converted her dining room into a library and I have a lovely library that Rob built for me. I love the feel and smell of books and of course we can learn things and visit places and meet people, all while sitting comfortably on the couch with a cup of tea.

This morning Mango Mama brought to my attention that this is Banned Book Week. You can read about it on the NPR website or find a list of banned books here.

Even as a kid, my reading was never censored. Maybe some books were kept out of my sight at times, I don't know, but when I picked up a book I was allowed to read it. I am not in favor of censorship. If the topic of a certain book offends you, then don't read it. I won't force my reading choices on you, don't try to force yours on me.

I don't like all books. Usually I try to finish what I start but I do sometimes give up on a book. There is one book I've been trying to read for over thirty years and can't get thru. I've tried from the beginning.  I've opened it in the middle and I've started at the end, but I can't get into it. I will someday make my way thru that book. Now it's the challenge rather than topical interest.

Our local library has a small gift shop and one day Rob found this bracelet for me. The photos aren't great but a couple charms say "I read banned books" and the others show titles of books that have been banned. Some of the charms are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, one of my childhood favorites, The Color Purple and To Kill a Mockingbird. They have all been banned, as well as Harry Potter, Brave New World and many, many others.
I'm proud to have read a number of the books on the list. Maybe it's time to open some of those closed minds and allow some fresh air to blow thru.
Check the lists. You've probably read a banned book or two and look how well you turned out.