Friday, May 20, 2016

Muffy Day

Today is Muffy Day here at our house. Just what is Muffy you ask? Muffy is a special doggy food recipe that Dr B came up with for dogs with sick tummies. He called it Muffy because he originally came up with it for a six year old Cocker Spaniel named Muffy, who couldn't eat any regular dog foods. Muffy had IBS and was really sick till he started eating this food. Then the little guy lived to be 18 years old eating Muffy food all those years.

When Noah and I were left with sick tummies after the crypto, Dr B and Mom decided to try us on Muffy and it worked. I felt lots better and Noah started gaining back some of the weight he'd lost. At first that's all we ate, but gradually Mom started adding a little kibble in with it. Now I eat kibble and canned food, but Noah still eats Muffy, sometimes with kibble and sometimes by itself.
Then Mom started feeding it to Sebastian too. At first they thought he had pancreatitis, but tests showed he didn't. Instead he has something called IBS. He takes medicine every day and he eats Muffy mixed with his kibble. This morning Sebastian got sick, so Mom is increasing his medicine a little and tonight he'll just get Muffy for dinner.
We all love Muffy Day because Mom and Dad chop veggies and they give us little pieces to sample. We all like the sweet potatoes and most of us like the carrots. Miss Picky Mackey doesn't like raw carrots so she gives hers to one of us.

Today Mom is trying something new. Besides the ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas and barley, she's adding some  chopped apple to the Muffy. She noticed that lots of commercial dog foods have apples, so she thought we'd like a little extra sweetness in ours. 
Dad gets the veggies and apples ready.  He peels the sweet potatoes and cuts them and the carrots into big pieces. He cored the apples because as good as apples are for us, the seeds contain cyanide and that's not good. Dad made sure no seeds got into the Muffy.
Then Mom puts them in her chopper to make them really little pieces.  She puts everything into the big pot with plenty of water and brings it to a boil. Then she turns the heat down and it all steams for lots of hours till it's soft and delicious.
Sebastian won't miss his kibble tonight because he'll really enjoy a bowl of freshly made Muffy. His tummy will feel better, too.
Your pal, Fudge

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Look Who's Doing A Review....

Because Mackey has had a couple seizures, she's not allowed to stay in the yard with the other dogs unless Rob or I are there to watch her. We've had some lovely spring days recently, so the other dogs have wanted to be outside for extended periods, either playing or sleeping in the sun. Mackey has had to come inside and keep me company.
One day she was feeling bored, so I thought it might be fun for her to try out a new to us product from Chewy. This would actually be a good test because unlike the Water Dogs who eat anything, Mackey is a fussy eater. She isn't usually good about trying new things and likes to stick with her old favorites. Let's see how it goes.

 This month we're trying Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish. We chose the chicken and brown rice recipe. Besides the chicken and rice, it has peas and carrots, cranberries and apples and none of the bad stuff. You can actually see pieces of apple and cranberry in with the rest of the kibble.
 While Mackey watched I scooped some into her bowl, then set it down for her inspection. She looked at it carefully, observing that this was something new. She sniffed it, then decided to try just a little to see how it tasted.
 Wow, that was an overwhelming success from a picky little spotty dog. In fact, we decided to let Mackey have this bag entirely to herself. It's been a week now and she still thinks it's great, so that is one very big endorsement.
Chewy sent us this bag of Dish at no cost to us, in exchange for our honest review. Mackey thinks this food is great and you can find it at Chewy if you want to taste it yourself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Growing Pains

Once upon a time in the far off land of Maryland, I had a beautiful garden.
 Besides trees I had flowers and flowering shrubs and each season had color.
 There was a small fish pond with three Koi and many frogs and there were bird feeders, kept full.
Then a small black puppy, Bentley came to live with us and the gardens were never the same. Bentley was my first Portie and like all Porties, he wanted to do whatever I did, which included gardening. The first time he helped was when I was planting a row of flowering plants. As I went down the row plopping the little plants into their holes, Bentley followed behind me, digging them out of their holes. He was very pleased with himself.
 Then there was the evening when we had another couple over for dinner and we were all sitting on the deck. The other couple admired the tulips which had recently bloomed in shades of pink and purple. Then to my dismay, Bentley started zooming around the yard, biting off the heads of the tulips as he ran by them. Soon there were nothing but leaves and stalks.
One year I planted flower boxes on the deck. Some were filled with jalapeno peppers and some were filled with nasturtiums. The Cardinals ate all the pepper plants. I guess they like spicy food. The nasturtiums came up and flowered. I told Rob that they were edible and picked a flower for him to try. He said they were peppery, so I tried one and since Bentley was standing there, I handed him one.

The next morning I sent the three  dogs outside before their breakfast. When I went to the deck to call them, I saw Bentley with his head in the planter of nasturtiums, plucking off the flowers and eating them. The rest of the summer he checked the box each morning to eat any new flowers that had opened. I planted nasturtiums each year after that for Bentley to snack on.
 Fast forward to life here in Portieland. When we first moved here with the three dogs, I tried gardening again. I had a shady rock garden with some flowering plants. I had a full sun butterfly garden and here and there around the yard we planted shrubs and flowering plants.

Then came the Portie invasion. Suddenly we had two adult and eight pint sized Porties wanting to explore and try gardening on their own. They dug and they ate plants and they had many good games of chase over and thru the gardens. Now we have a mostly bare rock garden, though the hardy wild violets have invaded it and add some color. Last year we said goodbye to the last butterfly bush. The butterfly garden is totally gone. Many of the flowering shrubs are gone after being used for back scratchers or a source of chewing sticks.

But, all is not barren in Portieland. Now I just plant outside the fence or in containers on the deck. On Mother's Day I decided it was time to plant some nasturtiums in Bentley's memory. I planted two pots of them and if I can keep the squirrels from digging in the soil, we should have some blooms soon.
Last week Rob picked up some of the helicopter seeds from the maple in the side yard and planted them. Looks like he'll have a nice crop of tiny maples to transplant. Don't you love the tiny little maple leaves?
I made a batch of hummingbird food and we hung the feeders. Within ten minutes we had our first visitor of the year. So far we've seen three birds at the feeders.
We had plenty of rain last year and a very mild winter, so the areas outside the fence look pretty good so far.
 The oak trees close to the house are putting out record pollen this year which accounts for my sore throat and scratchy eyes. All this has fallen off one tree in just a couple days. The dogs come in with this all over them, especially on their feet.
 So, even with all my canine helpers ready to pitch in and assist, we've managed to keep some colorful areas. It just takes a little more effort and planning.




Thursday, May 5, 2016

What's For Breakfast?

Hi Everybody
When we wake up in the morning, we're starving. Mom usually feeds us first before she even sips her coffee. She says that if we're all fed, she can relax and enjoy her breakfast without us begging. For breakfast the girls get plain kibble and the boys get kibble plus some homemade food. We need the extra because of our sick tummies. 
 After we've all eaten, and it sure doesn't take long, we go upstairs and Dad is busy making breakfast for him and Mom. Sometimes they have bacon and eggs and sometimes Mom makes pancakes, but usually they have fruit and bagels. We each get a slice of banana when they're done.
This morning something was different. After we had breakfast we went upstairs and Dad was toasting bagels for him and Mom just like always, but there were bagels for us, too. They were a gift from the Lapdogs and Chewy in the big box of goodies they sent us.

Mom likes either cream cheese or butter on her bagel.

Dad likes peanut butter and jelly on his.
 We'll take ours plain. Don't they look delicious.
A little bacon would go great with these.
Your pal, Fudge

Monday, May 2, 2016

BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Hi Everybody,
Today I'm reporter Fudge and I have an important news story for you. This one in an international news story and it's making me and my family very, very happy.
For the last eight years, our cousin Bo Obama has been the first dog of the USA. 
 Now this is important stuff because a first dog has a lot of official duties like letting reporters and dignitaries all run their hands thru his curls and keeping the floors of the White House clean by eating anything that drops off the tables and keeping squirrels off the White House grounds and lots of other important stuff. Bo has done a fine job, but soon his term will be up and he will move out so that another dog can take over.

 Today we learned that while Bo is getting ready to get out of government, just across the border in Canada, a new Portie is taking up residence as the new First Dog of Canada. Yes, it's true, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought home an 11 week old Portuguese Water Dog named Kenzie.

 She's a real cutie and  we're sure she will do a great job for Canada. After all, if she has any questions about the first dog duties, she can just ask Bo.

Your pal, Reporter Fudge

 

A Day Late

Let's pretend that I'm not really a day late and today is May 1st. I meant to post this yesterday but the day got away from me.

May 1st is a special day for so many reasons. It's truly the start of nice weather in North America. Even if there's still snow on the ground or in the air, you know it won't last long. It's now safe to start planting gardens and the dogs know that it's almost swimming time.

Everyone celebrates May 1st in their own way.

Maybe a baseball game. In my case yesterday I watched a hockey playoff game.
Some like to parade. I don't know if Russia still has a big May Day parade but they probably do.
Some like to dance around the Maypole with friends.
When I was younger, we used to celebrate with a big birthday cake because it was my Grandfather's birthday.
I've always thought that one of the nicest ways to celebrate the day was with May baskets. Wouldn't it make you smile to open your door and ind a basket of flowers hanging there?
Well, I didn't make May baskets this year, but I did admire some of our May flowers. This is a wild rose that our bird friends planted along the fence. This is the first time it's flowered, but beware, it has nasty thorns.
 The weigela is just starting to open up.
The Pyracantha is in full flower. Imagine how many orange berries we'll have later.
My iris are outstanding this year. Every year they spread a little further and look more majestic.
The birds are great gardeners. I planted one small batch of these vinca a few years ago and now they're everywhere. They make a good ground cover and help keep the yard from eroding, so they're welcome.
The April showers did a good job. Just look how green the back yard looks.
May is a wonderful month. How do you celebrate?