A blog about my life with dogs.......

Friday, December 30, 2011

when dogs fly,...

Remember how I said I was working on a basketball trick with Bugsy? I don't! 
I have completely forgotten about that darned basketball trick. When I sit down to to blog I remember, when I walk away from the computer the task leaves my mind. This is how trick training is for me. I think of some new tricks, I try one that doesn't fly another that does and one I forget about and another that really takes off. Comet, the dog who wouldn't play fetch outside, is now playing fetch outside like a champ. Working on the "take it" command helped him over the hump. He doesn't play fetch with the drive and enthusiasm Bugsy does but then again, Bugsy takes drive and enthusiasm to a whole other level.  When I started working on the basketball trick, and Comet playing fetch outside I also starting working on refining the boys ability to stand on their hind legs. I asked them to "take it" and held something in my hand high so they had to stand on hind legs to get it, I gave them the touch command asking them to touch their nose to my hand and raised my hand higher and higher. As that became a success I began encouraging them to move back and forth while on hind legs. And so, the "walk" command was born. Comet is better at it than Bugsy. Comet can take more steps and balance better (could it have something to do with his tail?).

You might recall me writing about how I really ought to have my dogs wearing seat belts or safety restraints of some kind in the car. I had been checking out a few dog websites and checked out a local store but the options seemed flimsy, ridiculous or dangerous. Crates aren't an option for Bugsy and Comet is too big to crate in my car, so I just let it go. UNTIL.....I was driving home from the dog park and Bugsy ,as usual, was standing with his feet on the console between the driver and passenger seat. He kept getting up and going back to the back, pacing excitedly. He gets very excited in the car, and he is very aware of places and routes. We were about to drive by the farm and he knew it. I asked Bugsy to "back up", he did. Then he returned, I said it again "back up" and moved my arm to block his entrance into my space, distracted I didn't realize that the car in front of me was breaking. When I did realize, I slammed on my breaks to avoid a collision and Bugsy flew threw the air and onto my dashboard. He hit the dashboard and windshield. Luckily he was fine, and no cars crashed. He climbed/fell down from my dashboard and into the backseat where sat politely (and sheepishly)for the rest of the drive home. Once we arrived home, after checking Bugsy again for broken bones, I promptly dug out the seat belt harness attachments I had in my basement and put them into the backseat. They will have to do until I can find a suitable upgrade. No more free riding for my boys.

Trying something new! Dehydrated beef trachea. They loved it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

For those of you interested in hearing further discussion in regards to the movie I previously linked to my blog....
Positively Podcast interview with Jemima Harrison creator of Pedigree Dogs exposed. The interview with Jemima begins 18 minutes into the podcast.

I have been looking through the catalog of photos I have now collected from the "what's for dinner?" spot light on the side of the blog. I have decided that, before I erase many of them to make room for new, I should highlight a few favorites and share a how to guide of  the dog food making I was up to Christmas Eve.

 This is really easy!
Before the oven 

 Christmas Eve morning I brought out some pumpkins from our root cellar. I cut off the tops and scraped out the seeds. I set the seeds aside for Craig to bake into a crunchy snack for us humans. Then I put about one fourth cup of water into each pumpkin and placed them onto a baking pan. Pop'ed them in the oven for about an hour at 375 degrees.

Just out of the oven

After the Pumpkins cooled I scraped out all the insides.   Any water remaining in the baked pumpkins was mixed into the scraped pumpkin mixture.
Pumpkin, applesauce, spinach
Then I poured in about 1/2 a jar of applesauce. After mixing in the applesauce I chopped 1/4 a bag of spinach and stirred that in as well. Then I froze small freezer bags of the mixture to pull out of the deep freeze as needed for dog food. After I finished this batch I made another with applesauce, pumpkin, spinach, dried cranberries and parsley, then another batch with spinach, kale, sea-meal, milk and banana. All these veggie/fruit mixtures will later be mixed with or served in addition to meat in a days doggy meal. If you don't have a root cellar full of pumpkins to bake feel free to buy canned pumpkin!
First batch. Here is the spinach, applesauce and pumpkin mixture. 

Here begins the dog food highlights of the past few months........

To the left the dog meal contains:
Raw egg and shell
Ground whole duck
Spinach, chopped
Greek yogurt-(smelled fine, looked good, but had expired, so I wasn't about to eat it myself)

 To the right--->
This meal contains:
Pork heart
Dried kale
Diced apples
Dried tomatoes
Chicken necks
Fish oil

To the left.
This meal contains:
Baked potatoes
Chicken liver
Dried apples
Egg and shell
Lettuce, diced
The lettuce, milk, egg and shell were purred in a blender with blood from the chicken liver.

To the right.
This meal contains:
Purred pumpkin
Ground beef
Egg and shell

To the left.
This meal contains:
Ground beef
Sweet potato
Whey(extract of milk left over from a home cheese making project)
Dried apple
Baked potato

Above:Pork heart, cooked carrots, apple cider vinegar and sea-meal.

To the left:
This meal contains:
Cottage cheese
Chicken thigh (bone-in)
Dried kale
Dried apple
Dried tomato
Dried basil

To the right.
This meal contains:
Raw Egg
Ground turkey
Chopped lettuce
Dried tomatoes
Dried Cranberries.

Beef bones sold in grocery store as soup bones.

Cut beef femurs from local meat market. Tennis ball to show size.

Marrow bones from the meat section of the grocery store
Bone in beef bought on sale at grocery store.

Lamb bones. A 3-pack from My Pet Carnivore.
Chunks of goat meat with some bone. From a 5lb bag ordered from My Pet Carnivore.

Meaty bones are a key ingredient in a healthy raw diet. Meaty bones help keep dogs teeth clean, breath fresh and supply necessary nutrients. Bone chewing is also an activity for your dog! Keeps them busy and they are sure to enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Play sequence. Rubber Chicken!

Sometimes I find that people are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with dog play. Here is a photo sequence of my dogs playing together with our new rubber chicken.
I had thrown the chicken across the room and Comet is retrieving it. Bugsy is orienting his whole body at the chicken.

Comet is looking at Bugsy who is biting the chicken. Comet has his tail up playful and confident.

Comet looks as though he is about to play-bow. Bugsy is tugging at the chicken.

Comet moves forward and near to Harry's rear end

Active play paused. Harry turned to look at the younger dogs. My speculation is that B and C are looking away from Harry b/c they know he is not always playful and they have come very near to his hind legs which he is sensitive about.

Harry decides to play.
Harry playfully acts like he wants the chicken. And he gets it.

Harry doesn't care about the chicken unless the other dogs do. Bugsy and Comet begin to wrestle with head and mouth and Harry begins a play bow then barks.

Harry barks and rolls and opens his mouth at B and C.

Bugsy shakes and Comet looks away. They are taking a brief break from playing. Bugsy and Comet are very good at self regulating.

Bugsy tried to restart play. Comet looks away.
Comet tongue flicks. Looks at camera.

Bugsy has left room, he returns and the chicken war is on again!

Bugsy and Harry mouth wrestle as Comet watches. Comet now has the chicken.

Harry is very excited. Barking and rolling on the ground.

Bugsy goes for the chicken. Harry shakes off to calm down.

Harry invites Comet to play
Bugsy returns with the chicken

Harry is making all sorts of silly noises and stealing the show.

Harry rolls. Bugsy lays down with the chicken. Comet watches. Then, play fizzled out. Comet laid down and Harry walked away.