Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dog Food

Speaking of dog food. I know, I don't think I have actually spoken of dog food here, but I have thought about it. I actually haven't thought about it right here, but for a time, I have thought about it. I have worried that pet food might be really nasty stuff that is hurting our loved ones, rather than optimizing their health. And just recently I was given good reason to test my theory.

I've written about dear Jasper, the Boston, who is the hub of our house. There are pictures of him somewhere on this blog, but where I don't know, and I suppose if I wrote more often, I could zip right to them. I am well aware that I've not written for a time. Quite a few bags of Terra Chips under the bed since I've written, actually. There are reasons for not blogging regularly. They are not pretty. Let's just forget about them and begin afresh. I like that word, 'afresh,' makes me think of open windows, pale blue sheets whipping and snapping about on the clothesline...

A couple of months ago, Jasper, who has always been house-trained...basically...began urinating on the carpet. Odd. He's not had accidents before except for the bizarre, and oft-told story of company for the holidays, Christmas dinner ready, guests walk into living room to smell, (poop trumps turkey,) and quickly note the enormous pile of poo sitting directly on top of the back of the sofa. It was as if he held it all he could, jumped up to look out the window, recognized his pooping ground, and, well... Luckily, my friends are not judgemental sticky-wickets, and we all fell about the place in unbridled hilarity, tears and all. It was funny from inside, but imagine the folks who drove by, the inveterate window-peekers...

I took Jas in for a check-up, blood work. No fever, ..."uh, can't really tell, probably a bacterial infection, take these antibiotics..." We did that and he worsened. I had the carpet cleaned--big mistake--too soon, and made another vet appointment. "Well now he has a fever, but can't culture because he's been on antibiotics..." Four hundred dollars later I know nothing. So we gave him a stronger antibiotic and waited. Vet suggested Cushing's Disease, so I researched, and spoke with friends who had dealt with that. It seems that increases in this disease have been pretty dramatic in the last few years. And I know that the treatment for Cushing's can be as bad as the disease. So I researched dog food. Yuck! Long story short, my dogs are now eating better than, well...better than I am. (This is no lie, today I have eaten a small box of Valentine chocolates, two bites of cookie, and a slice of key lime pie.) Bad. Very Bad.

After considerable research, I threw out all of the pretty expensive Iams stuff, both wet and dry, and went with Dr. Harvey's Dog Food. Every other day I mix up a batch of human grade healthiness that most humans on this planet would love to have. I have a bag of dry ingredients that includes: Whole oats, brown rice, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated blueberries, and a list a mile long of other nutrients. I add hot water to that plus four ounces of protein, human grade fish oil, and some green powder for joint maintenance. The prepared meals keep in the refrigerator just fine, and instructions are to change the protein source every week for optimal absorption of nutrients. The dogs love it, and the good news is they are behaving like pups. Our other wonderful dog, Sputnik, was hit by a car some years ago, and has some nerve damage in his hip. He suffers from pain often, but since the dietary change, he is running around and can even jump up onto the bed again. Jasper? The urinating accidents that were occurring about 15 times per day are down to about once every other day. I do not know if this will be a cure, but it gives me a great feeling to know I am giving them this gift of nutrition, that may actually help their bodies to heal on their own. Kind of even makes me want to clean up my act.


The only trouble I have had so far with making the dog's food is remembering the doggone quantities. My memory is so bad, and when I am in full A.D.D. mode, (like this morning,) I recheck the instructions 10 times--like the obsessive compulsive who drives around the block ten times to make sure he did not run over someone. This morning as I mixed and re-checked and calculated and boiled the tea kettle dry because I forgot to shut the lid, I proceeded to add the last ingredient--a large capsule of fish oil. I cut the tip with scissors and the capsule exploded, spraying fish oil all over my face and hair and glasses. Feeling a little down about my constant tendency toward mishap, I went to my room and called Timmy. As we were chatting, I felt Jasper's warm tongue kissing my cheek with what I took for his usual romantic ardor. I told Timmy that Jasper loved me so and was kissing me up. Then Timmy reminded me that my face probably smelled like Boston Harbor. Oh yeah...

I've become busy making wedding rings lately, but still produce other pieces for my Etsy shop. Check it out, and don't forget to like and share my jewelry FB page to get 10 percent off every time you buy.