Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's Happening?

This has been a busy month with blizzards, Valentine's Day, a couple of important birthdays, Mango Minster and Westminster. I need to wrap up a few things and then I have a rant to share with you.
First a huge congratulations to Hickory and to all the people involved with this beautiful breed. She's a lovely dog and  showed well.
Of course, I have to acknowledge LadyBug. She has won more best in Show titles than any Portie in history and came the closest to winning the big one at Westminster. The entire PWD community is so proud of her. I can't describe the emotions I felt last night when she won the Working Group. I adore this breed and love to see them honored. But, at the same time I felt a sense of relief when we didn't win Best In Show. I've seen the damage a win like that can bring to a breed. Suddenly they're in the spotlight and lots of people who really don't understand the breed want to own one.

The breed can be damaged by overbreeding or poor breeding to fill the demand and good dogs can wind up in homes that aren't prepared for the demands of that particular breed and are then sent to shelters. Porties are wonderful dogs, but they are not easy dogs to live with. They have an energy level that is way above the average dog. They are working dogs who need to be busy and if not kept busy, they will find ways to fill their time that often are not acceptable. They need early training, but because they are very sensitive, they need a firm but gentle hand.

Because of size alone, I don't imagine people will be running out today to buy a Scottish Deerhound. I hope not and I wish the breed well.
Many of you have asked about Samba. I was disappointed when the blood work came back. There was no sign of infection, which means that she is experiencing a flare up of the MMM. We have doubled up on her Prednisone and already the pain has gone. She's feeling better, but a miserable side effect is that she has to pee frequently. For the past two nights she's been waking me every hour to go outside and pee. It makes for a poor night's sleep and I have to sneak a nap in each afternoon.

We're trying to help prevent another flare up in the future by addressing her diet. Dr B has been reading research papers on the immune system and together we're going to try an experiment. He feels that cutting way back on Omega 6 oils in her diet and drastically increasing Omega 3 oils will boost her system so that as we cut her Pred dosage, her body will fight off the disease. She's now eating a prescription diet that has almost no 6s and is high in Omega 3s.

Treats are a problem. He doesn't want her eating treats that have oils either, so we're making some substitutes. While the other dogs can still eat biscuits, Samba gets healthy treats such as baby carrots,

apple slices,

and sweet potatoes.

Later this week I plan to make fish stew for them to have with their dinner. I don't know yet how I'm making it, but I'll let you know what I use and how they like it.

Now, I have a rant. It seems like there have been a lot of them lately, doesn't it?

I feed my dogs yogurt at bedtime. Porties need a late night snack or they tend to vomit bile during the night. All my Porties have done this and long ago we discovered that yogurt at bedtime prevented this.

For years we've fed our dogs Yoplait Dora strawberry yogurt. They all like it, even the fussy ones like Monty and Tsar. It came in 4 ounce cups, six to a pack.
Last month we couldn't find any Dora yogurt in the grocery store. I bought some store brand strawberry yogurt and tried it that night. Unfortunately, there were pieces of strawberry in it and though I tried to be careful, I gave Tsar a spoonful that contained a piece of strawberry. He promptly spit it out and it landed on my shoe.

Back to the store, and there was Dora yogurt again, but there was a difference. Now they were 3 ounce ups, not 4 and there were only 4 cups to a pack, not six. That meant a pack contained half the yogurt and guess what... the price was the same. Now I ask you, is that fair?

Well, I refuse to play that game, so we made a switch to Trix yogurt, but they don't have strawberry flavor. I bought vanilla, cherry, wild berry and watermelon flavors. Tsar will eat vanilla and cherry. He may or may not eat berry, depending on his mood at the moment and he refuses watermelon. The Porties, who are much less discriminating eat them all happily.

There is one down side to this new yogurt. Look at the colors! While they might appeal to children, they stain white beards and clothes. My dogs can get sloppy when they eat from a spoon, so beware if you try this brand.

Rant over.


km said...

I can totally see that rant! Once I fed Trix yogurt to my little one and the pink baby spit-up stained my carpet! I have since decided that if food coloring can dye using kool aid to dye yarn...than it's not ment for our insides. My kids can not stand the children's yogurts...and I'm thankful for that. I do HATE how so many companies think that reducing package size and keeping the same price will trick the consumer!

Anonymous said...

Oh bummer about Samba! i'm so bummed. yes, the 6's with the 3's are a hard balance i think to get. on one hand they say 6's are necessary but i've also heard, no they are not. 3's are way necessary tho...

that yogurt does NOT look appealing to me... just sayin... and share the fish stew recipe... sounds like fun and it sounds like something a dog would go ga-ga for!

Jan said...

We can expect food prices to continue to go up or container sizes will get smaller.

Tuna cans used to be 7 ounces, then 6 1/2 then 6 1/4, etc. and the last time I bought a can there were 5 ounces in it, but the can is almost the same size. They add more water which weighs less and costs less.

Brandon - The dog with a blog said...

Oh gosh, Rudy doesn't call baby carrots health... he calls them heaven!

SissySees said...

What a great post! You know I share your concerns over BiS winners and the impact on breeds and popularity, but we also share the yogurt frustration. JRTs too frequently need something to settle their tummies for the night, and yogurt is popular at our house.

But... Gretchen is picky, and flavor and brand matters...

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Why is the Momster laughing out loud? The little ones love all those pretty colored yogurts and guess what, to put it politely, their output is very interestingly colored:)

Yes, the decrease in package size without a parallel decrease in price is universal - it has been happening for a couple of years now and from what we hear on the news, we are about to get hit with a major increase across the board for all food groups. Orange juice, they say, is fast on its way to becoming a luxury.

so sorry about the Samba report. But we know that you are doing your very best and more to help her.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Marjie said...

Trust me, I spent years avoiding loudly colored foods. Children don't wear them well either.

I am so disgusted with food makers downsizing packages and leaving the price the same. Does anyone else remember that coffee used to be in one pound (16 ounce) cans instead of 11.5 ounce? GAH!

Poor Samba. Our thoughts are with her. Thor votes for carrots and apples for her, which he also loves.

gMarie said...

Oh honey - I don't have words. Know that we are holding you and Samba and the rest of the pack in our hearts.

I heard on the news last night that you should just write the manufacturer and complain. Might get you a coupon. Whoo Hooo! g

Tracy said...

...unfortunately a sign of the times...which is oh so sad, and no mind ranting; we are ALL entitled to our rants now and then!
That is too bad about SAmba. I hope the change of diet works to clear things up for her!

Lapdog Creations said...

We've noticed the incredible shrinking packages at the grocery store too.... sigh.
Boy Tsar sure is fussy... sounds like Zeus!

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

Bastards Incorportated has invaded your stores as well. Everytime we find a product that we love, it disappears or is 'improved' so that it's no good anymore. We attribute it to the BI group who work to cause the most frustration. We thought they were only in Oz. Good Luck.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

brooke said...

Darwin refuses to eat carrots. She'll gnaw pieces off them and trail them all over but won't eat them. She loves her fruits though.

Why fruity yogurt and not plain yogurt? I'd be worried about the sugars (besides the wild colors)... is it not an issue since they get so little?

KB said...

I agree totally about the "best in show" thing or anything else that brings a breed to the spotlight. It's not necessarily a good thing in many ways including unscrupulous breeders and people adopting members of the breed without having a clue what they're getting into.

As for yogurt, I do the same thing with my dogs. But, mine don't like any kind of flavored yogurt. They like it plain... which works great in terms of our budget because it's easy to find HUGE containers of plain yogurt. Just a thought...

We've been down the massive quantities of omega-3's road (and we're still on it). In our case, the vet was very specific about the ratio of the two types of omega 3's (DHA and EPA). The ratio that's best for our dog is quite different from the best one for humans so I had to search far and wide for a source. Just something that you might want to ask your vet about... Just to give you an idea of the dose - our dog takes 20 human capsules of Omega-3's per day!

I'm sorry to hear about Samba but it sounds like you're doing everything in your power to help her.

Molly the Airedale said...

We hope you can find a balance soon, Samba. You are such a cutie!
Mitch is drooling over your apple snack.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Dexter said...

Grr, grr, that makes me so mad. They should not mess with your yogurt. Although I agree that the output should be most festive.

I don't think having to eat nommy carrots and apples as treats is a bad thing. They are really yummy.


♥I am Holly♥ said...

We have noticed the shrinking sizes of everything not to mention the increase in prices at the store! Lots of love, Holly and mom

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Having a breed of dog that is popular and over bred, I totally agree with your rant.

I wish the news for Samba was better, but I know you have the knowledge and the determination to continue to find your way through this! Know that we'll continue to send healthy thoughts and energy in your direction!

Wyatt said...

Yummy snacks! We love carrots and sliced apples..Mmmm Yogurt, love that too! Sorry about your favorite brand :(

Wyatt and Stanzie

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

Oh, we were thinking of you when the PWD won Best in Group. We were very excited about it. I guess you're right about being just as well not to win Best in Show. Porties have gotten enough publicity lately. Too much is definitely not a good thing when it comes to dogs. Of course, the worst thing in the world is if they make a movie about your breed. Then you're in big trouble for a while.

Sorry about the yogurt situation. How about Dannon's light yogurt? Daddy eats them and they're pretty smooth.

Two French Bulldogs said...

mommas jobs are to rant
Benny & Lily

The Race Against Time said...

We hope Samba will get well soon. Homemade treats can be just as nice.. or better.

Yoplait is super expensive here in my country because its imported. It cost abt 4-5 bucks a cup. Now we hardly find Yoplait here anymore. The normal yogurts costs about a dollar something per cup. That's a huge difference. But you get runny yogurts for a dollar something.

Stella said...

I bought a yogurt making machine from King Arthur Flour and really love it. I eat it every day for breakfast not flavored with anything. But if you bought a quart size yogurt (Dannon was my fave), you could flavor it with some natural jelly (clear, no pieces) or stir a spoonful of Strawberry Jello grains (or any other kind of Jello fruit they might like.)The color on the kid's stuff is too too yucky looking for me.

Prayers and Sue's magic for Samba!

Cheers and hugs,

Jo and Stella

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

So sorry to hear about Samba's result. We know you and the vet will work hard to give her the best of care. Paws crossed for her.

You are so right about your rant. And it's not just food; kleenex, TP, laundry detergents, basically any item bought on a recurring basis. The price hikes are bad enough [after Treasury just finished declaring 0 inflation for 2011 in December!], but the deception and dishonesty just makes mama furious. Like the Bastards, Inc. appellation from Scotsmad!

Jed & Abby

Soggibottom said...

See you have dusted that soap box again :-) Think we all need to dust them sometimes.
Good idea about yogurt. Although I have a feeling Amie would sooner have ice cream.
Veggies and dogs do mix, so this is a really good alternative ref treats. All of our dogs, were fed carrots. Except you know who, who would sooner have ice cream !
:-) x x x

Road Dog Tales said...

Wow! Look at all those snacks! We love baby carrots :) Oh, yeah, almost forgot why we stopped by - to offer our CONGRATS to Fudge on his Reader's Choice WIN! Yay! Looks like lots of celebrating over at your house recently. Also, happy birthday, Fudge. How great that your b'day is love day, too!

The Road Dogs

♥ Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

Wonderful words of wisdom Sue about responsible breeders and owners. I couldn't agree more,
Susan x

LizzieJane said...

Sorry to hear about Samba. I hope the new diet will turn things around. It's pretty sneaky of companies when they shrink the sizes down and still charge the same price. You have every right to rant!
Hope you will get a better sleep tonight.

kathy b said...

My dear golden, HUCK loved apples!

Wendy @ said...

Stopping by on the hop-- I never knew that about yogurt! Interesting!

Sage said...

Oh, yuck. I guess that's why I make my own yogurt now. I know what goes in it and both Toby and Sage love it!! (As do I.)

Dianne said...

I cheered for Lady Bug in honor of your babes!

Have you tried vanilla yogurt? Not "plain" yogurt - that tastes like cardboard. Blech. My babes have always liked vanilla. You can buy it in big tubs, and then dish it out, but then again you would have so many dirty dishes at bedtime... What to do? Of course, not more yogurt here in Britknitterville. Cooper is very "sensitive" to dairy.