These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Saturday, July 10, 2010

True confessions time; UPDATED

What an interesting morning with my dogs!

It began right after I got up. I was in the kitchen getting ready to cut up some Romaine lettuce for my finches, and I knocked a dinner roll off the counter to the floor. I had left it out last night on purpose so that it would harden a little. I planned to have it as a sandwich today, so I wanted it to firm up a little. Well .....!

Jazmyn pounced on it like a rabid animal! I'm serious! My little laid-back, easy-going, ignore-the-rush-at-the-food-bowl girl sunk her teeth into it and was trying to make a getaway! The roll was three times the size of her head, and it looked hilarious! I grabbed her tail to stop her escape, then I reached for the roll, and she growled at me and clamped both front feet around it without letting go with her teeth! Of course, by this time all the others were clustered around, trying to see what the big deal was. They were scarfing up the crumbs that were flying from the skirmish between Jaz and me.

After I retrieved the roll, it was obvious I wasn't having that for lunch, so I broke it into little pieces and put ii in their dishes. OMG! I'd just given them the best treat ever. EVER!

Everyone ate a good breakfast, and a couple hours later I decided to chop some apple for the birds. I was mincing it, and all five dogs were at my feet. Jazi is too cool to hang at my feet like that, and Joey usually hangs back from the crowd around my feet, but not this morning. I fed the birds, while ten hopeful eyes followed me. So I decided to try a few nibbles of apple and see if the dogs liked apple. They already like banana and peaches, cucumber, zucchini, bell pepper, sweet potato, and several other vegetables I've given them from time to time. So I put 3-4 bites in each of their dishes, and all five went crazy! I cut up more apple, giving each of them a dozen or so little bites of apple, and they were delighted!

Now, I don't believe in giving dogs people food. I especially don't believe in giving them anything from my plate. But fresh fruits and vegetables is a different story. Given the ferocity with with Little Missy attacked that roll, followed by their enjoyment of the apple, I'm thinking I need to give them more fruit and vegetable "treats" with their regular food.

So it looks like I will be slicing and dicing more in the future. What I won't do for my pets! I have a friend who doesn't cook for herself, but she cooks for her pack of dogs! (She also rescues dogs, especially older ones, and currently has just two.) They don't eat dog food, she fixes cooked vegetables for them, buys raw meats, chops fresh fruit, all for her canine charges. My nephew and his wife who scramble an egg every morning for their two Chihuahuas, although they don't cook breakfast for themselves often. What we won't do for our furry friends!

So now I want all of your to 'fess up to how you indulge your furry or feathered buddies. C'mon, you know you do it! Share your stories with us!

~~~~~~~

UPDATE: Since we've touched on the subject of things that are not good for dogs, I looked up a couple lists. Here is the info, FYI.
It's Not Just the Grapes

There are other foods your dog should be kept away from, and some of them may surprise you:

Chocolate

Who can resist chocolate? Like it your not, your dog.

Chocolate is made with cocoa beans and cocoa beans contain a chemical called Theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. So on Valentine's Day, you're actually being kind to your best buddy if you eat all the chocolates yourself!

Cocoa Mulch

Mulch isn't food, but there's one type tempting enough for dogs to eat. Cocoa bean shells are a by-product of chocolate production (which is how mulch made it into the "foods" category) and are popular as mulch for landscaping. Homeowners like the attractive color and scent, and the fact that the mulch breaks down into an organic fertilizer. The coca bean shells can contain from 0.2% to 3% theobromine (the toxin ) as compaired to 1-4% in unprocessed beans.

Fatty foods

Fatty foods are hard for a dog to digest and can can overtax the pancreas, leading to pancreatitis. This can threaten your dogs health and is potentially fatal.

Nuts

Macadamia nuts should be avoided. In fact most nuts are not good for the dogs health since their high phosporus content is said to lead to bladder stones.

Onions

Onions, and especially raw onions, have been shown to trigger hemolytic anemia in dogs. (Stephen J Ettinger, D.V.M and Edward C. Fieldman, D.V.M. 's book: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine vol. 2 pg 1884.) Stay away from onion powder too.

Potatos

Potato poisonings among people and dogs are rare but have occurred. The toxin, solanine, is poorly absorbed and is only found in green sprouts (these occur in tubers exposed to sunlight) and green potato skins. This explains why incidents seldom occur. Note that cooked, mashed potatoes are fine for a dogs health, actually quite nutritious and digestible.

Artificial Sweeteners

iXylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, especially sugarless gum and candies. Ingesting large amounts of products sweetened with xylitol may cause a sudden drop in blood sugar in dogs, resulting depression, loss of coordination, and seizures. According to Dr. Eric K. Dunayer, a consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology for the poison control center, "These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion of the product" states Dr. Dunayer, "...therefore, it is important that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately."

Turkey

Turkey skin is currently thought to cause acute pancreatis in dogs, partly due to it's high fat content.

Here are the rest of the foods listed by the ASPCA as harmful:

Alcoholic beverages
Avocado (the only "fatty" member of the vegetable family)
Coffee (all forms of coffee)
Moldy or spoiled foods
Salt
Yeast dough
Garlic

19 comments:

  1. Yes Lyn we do! Apples are awesome! Also give them the little gold fish crackers, lol.

    However, NO onions or grapes! Couple other things too but I can't remember off the top of my head.

    I draw the line on cooking for them. Heck I don't cook for myself so...

    Cheers!

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  2. Merri, that's what has cracked us up about this friend. We just wonder why she goes to to trouble of cooking for them. Most things are better raw, anyway!

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  3. Oh, I am so guilty of giving my girls (the fury ones) treats. I just can't resist, it makes them so happy. They love apples, cheddar cheese, little bits of bread and when I have grilled chicken I have to save them some. They also love crackers, so once in a while I will break some down into little pieces and let them eat them.
    Of course an 80 pound dogs chomp is a wee bit different than my 10 pound dog chomp, so I have to watch it. I also have to make it fair because they notice. It is so funny how they notice, when I go from one to the other, if it isn't even. Dogs can really communicate when they feel an injustice!!!

    I had to laugh about your roll story. Don't get between a dog and her roll, lol. Just kidding. I just love my pets so much, I can see why you have 5 dogs. I would have more, if we didn't work and if my husband wouldn't kill me. Of course right now is not a good time for more dogs, as I am trying to figure out if I do move, how to find a place so they can be with me.

    Thank you for your comment, you really get it, even if I couldn't convey it. I look forward to your e-mail.
    xxxxxx

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  4. At the risk of being labeled "the crazy dog lady", I will admit, I cook for my dogs. Several years ago, during the recalls of contaminated dog food, Zoe's food was recalled then the food I switched her to was recalled a few months later. From there I started researching and after I found out what was really in dog food I decided to find a better way. I researched recipes and supplements and have finally found a plan that works for me and my dogs. I will admit to giving Charlie a small amount of organic dry food but only because I can't keep weight on him otherwise. I even make their dog biscuits from natural ingredients. You may think I'm crazy but even my skeptical vet is on board now that he sees how healthy my dogs are. I prepare large batches, two general recipes: ground turkey, pasta, peas and green beans and ground beef, brown rice, green beans and peas (or zucchini when it's in season). I freeze batches so that I only have to cook about once a month. My dogs are so excited to eat and all health problems they might have had have disappeared. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, or in this case, the dogs' health. They also love apples, carrots and strawberries. Zoe loves blueberries too. Charlie, not so much. Definitely avoid grapes, raisins, onions and of course, chocolate. So, my "secret" is out! Some people have made fun of me saying, how do you find time, get a life, etc. If you have time to watch tv for hours every week, you have time to cook. I have a life, I just made a choice to cook for my pets. I fit it in. I work, I have a family, hobbies, friends. It's just a priority to keep my pets healthy and happy.

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  5. Cheryl, you are so right about them noticing the inequities! When I begin giving treats, I always give them in the same order. That way I don't miss anyone, and they know that when Max gets his, it is the end of the line, so quit begging! It's funny that they now actually line up in that order for me most of the time!

    Deb, do you actually cook the meat? I've heard from many sources, including my vet, that meat is best for them raw. Would you share your recipe or technique? I recently bought ingredients for organic treats, too. I'm finishing up the store bought ones, and then I will begin making those. I even bought a cookie cutter in dog bone shape, so don't feel like you're alone in this love affair with our dogs!

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  6. BTW, Deb, you can't be known as The Crazy Dog Lady .... that's me!!

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  7. What a great post!!!

    Sophie loves chicken noodle soup, so every once in a while I mix her food with some soup and she inhales it. When I am eating I always give Sophie a couple bites. I know it's probably not great for her, but I know she loves her daily treats plus I think she begs less knowing that she will eventually get something.

    Sophie does not like cherry tomatos (she only plays with them), grapes or baby carrots.

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  8. I think things in moderation probably don't hurt. I just want to avoid what happened with Mai Lin; she tasted a few things and would never go back to the healthy foods she was supposed to eat!

    It's probably good that Sophie doesn't like those things. Grapes and raisins aren't good for them. Something causes renal failure. And I've heard of dogs not chewing grapes and cherry tomatoes, small things like that, and choking after swallowing them. Now, my kids love little carrots. They sit down and gnaw and gnaw on them.

    See the UPDATE I just did about things not good for dogs. Some of them are really surprising!

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  9. The recipe is basically 3 lbs of ground turkey (they sell it in a big roll here). I cook that in a dutch oven on the stovetop, when is done I add water and a box of whole wheat pasta, cook that al dente, when that's done I put the meat and pasta in a big bowl, add garlic powder and 1/2 bag each of green beans and peas, mix, put in 8 cup containers, freeze. Same for the ground beef except when the meat is done I remove the grease, add water and brown rice then put in the bowl with 1/2 bag each of peas and green beans. If I can get organic zucchini I put that in place of the green beans sometimes, like right now when the garden is full of zucchini. The most important part is I do give them each a dog multi vitamin each morning and put an oil mixture that contains omega 6 and other oils in their dinner. Each dog gets a cup at each meal, plus Charlie gets a little dry organic kibble. The dog treats are easy to make too and my dogs come running when they hear the cookie jar. The basic recipe is 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup shredded sharp cheese, 2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 cup milk, roll out and cut, bake at 350 till crispy. These freeze well so I usually quadruple the batch since I figure if I'm going to all this trouble I might as well make a big batch. I also use a dog bone cutter. There are other recipes for dog food and treats but these work well for us. On Saturday & Sunday they get eggs and toast for breakfast. Nice treat and they love it.

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  10. I never gave my Frazier much people food. Once in awhile I would put a little leftover meat on top of his food. He LOVED bread though. He also loved popcorn and ice cream. Once in a great while he would get a treat like that. He had dog biscuits every time he came in from outdoors and sometimes in between.

    I loved this post. I miss my dog.

    ~hippo hugs~

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  11. My dog knows an easy touch when he sees one and plays it for all it's worth.

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  12. Pam, you need a new dog. You've said many times how you miss him. I know it makes travel more complicated, but there is a little guy out there who needs to be loved. Look into a rescue. They are the best!

    Linda, well, then he would get me, for sure!

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  13. I have heard onions and garlic are not good for dogs or cats too. However, if you look at the list of ingredients on many of the 'natural' dog foods now available at the pet store, you will often see garlic listed!

    I have also heard tomatoes can cause problems for cats because the tomato is part of the nightshade family of plants. So, I assume it would be not great for dogs either.

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  14. Mary, I hadn't thought of the tomato thing. You could be right, I just don't know. I asked my vet about garlic and he said it is OK for seasoning, but it isn't if they eat a lot of it, like several cloves.

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  15. Oh I love this Lyn! My ruby has food allergy issues so we don't give her any table foods except, baby carrots, tiny apple pieces,banana and her absolute favorite that she just goes crazy for, my home made pea soup! I only give her a tiny bit and I only make it about twice a year so it is a very special treat for her!
    I am so sorry about your dinner roll! Sure wish I could have been there though, it sounded hysterical! Love Di ♥

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  16. Di, it definitely was funny! I was laughing even as I was chasing her and trying to get my roll back! Poor girl, she really, REALLY wanted it!

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  17. I don't know why I never thought of giving my boys green beans, lol. I have done carrots, pasta, turkey & rice.

    I do avoid any dairy products since I read somewhere (when looking up grapes) that they can't digest dairy. Bummer I know! My Carl loves cheese.

    Crazy thing is that those puparoni sticks & pig ears make him sick.

    Cheers!

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  18. I think my kids will probably eat about any fruit or veggie I give them. I am sure that pasta will not be a problem, and the rice is an obvious treat for them.

    As for dairy .... Frankly, if you think about it, it is intended for baby cows! It is no wonder that so many humans and other mammals have trouble with it, as our systems aren't "built" for that. Did you know that many cats can't digest milk? We've come to think of cats = milk, but not so!

    Pig ears, hooves, etc. have never done well with any of my dogs. I think they eat so much that they make themselves sick. My vets (here and back in KC) have both said to avoid leather (pig ears and rawhide chews) because they swallow chunks, and it can block their intestines (!!!), and bones, except raw roundbones. Others can splinter and puncture their intestines. It happened to one of our dogs, so I can attest to that. Her poor stomach was shredded, and the vet couldn't save her. BTW, we didn't give her the bones, a well-meaning neighbor did. :(

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If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!