Monday, May 26, 2008

The Best Part of the Day (Canine View)


At our house dogs get breakfast around 7 AM and dinner between 4 and 5 PM. Breakfast (also called dinner) is a smaller meal than dinner and it's plain dog food, no toppings. Dinner is the main meal. It is also dog food, but can have a yummy topping, depending on the day and my schedule.

If someone is sick, they all have turkey and rice. On Wednesdays they have fish. The older dogs get sardines and the younger ones get whitefish fillets. On Friday they get Brazil nuts shaved on top of their food. They might get some leftovers or I might make some 'Boo's Stew'.

Boo's Stew is named in honor of Bentley because I started making it for him when he became old and didn't want to eat. I put two cans of chicken broth in the slow cooker and add 6-8 cups of water. I add turkey or chicken pieces cut up or ground beef or turkey, whatever I have on hand. Add cut up sweet potatoes either fresh or canned and green beans, fresh or canned. Add carrots and cook for a couple hours. Then add rice and or barley and continue to cook for several hours. It can be like soup or thick like stew depending on how much water and rice I use. Spoon it over kibble and all my dogs love it.

Lucy has always had food issues. She used to steal food and got very fat. Now that she is sick, she has trouble maintaining her weight. I feed her four to six small meals a day and that seems to be easier for her to handle. I also let her choose what she wants to eat, sometimes kibble, sometimes canned.

Morgan is a good eater. She's wearing the collar because of a tail injury.

Monty is a good eater, too. He's a very neat dog and never makes a mess with his food.

Tsar is my problem eater. He only eats three or four days a week. The rest of the time he absolutely refuses food. I used to worry about him and dragged him to the Vet many times about his eating habits. Finally, we put him on a kibble designed for high energy, working dogs. It's higher in calories and I know he's getting the nutrients he needs when he does eat. I've stopped worrying and he has maintained his weight and is in good health.

Tsar eats very slowly. He waits till all the others are finished eating. Then he sets a few pieces (8 to 10) on the floor near his dish, then he eats the pieces in the dish. He picks up one piece and chews it for quite a while, then picks up another. It takes him forever to finish the bowlfull. Then he eats the pile of pieces he left on the floor. In the meantime all the other dogs are sitting around waiting to go out. I guess he just likes an audience.

Fudge eats very fast.

Samba really gets down to business. She lies down with her bowl between her legs, puts her head in and doesn't come up for air till the food is gone. I put her bowl down last and she is always the first finished.

Norma Jean is a good eater. Tess is distracted. While chewing, she wanders off to look at something and forgets to eat. I have to remind her several times to eat.

Noah is a good eater, but Sky inhales his food. I've started giving him a few pieces at a time to try to slow him down.

Lola and Bailey are also good eaters.

During the day there are treats. These can be biscuits, called cookies, dog treats of some sort, or fruit or veggies. All the dogs except Monty like fruit and veggies. Monty likes dog food , turkey, corn bread and ice cream. It's almost impossible to get him to try anything new. He does get some veggies in the Boo Stew and he likes those.

At bedtime everyone gets yogurt. Bentley was my yogurt expert and he decided that strawberry was the best flavor, so that's what we still use. I buy the thicker children's style because it's less messy. Everyone gets in line and we feed each a spoonful until it's gone. Everyone is good about waiting their turn. It only takes a newcomer a couple days to learn the system.

The pups are ready.

The last one gets to lick out the cup.

Then it's the big dog's turn.

After yogurt they all go outside for 'last call'. Then everyone gets a cookie and it's lights out.

Mom and Dad = Samba and Fudge

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