Make my Day, Sandy the Quilt Queen

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My friend Sandy has a real talent for quilting. Not everybody can put together fabric and scraps of fabric the way she does and make such wonderful pieces of art.

When she uses “scraps” to make a quilt those quilts are as amazing as any other quilts I’ve seen.

She’s not afraid to use bold colors which I find exhilarating.

She is one of  those amazing women who, through kindness and generosity, has helped fill the void left by the loss of my sister.

She knows my house is hardwood floors and not friendly to lounging dogs.  She also knows that my companion dogs have been on the front lines supporting me through some recent challenges and are my immediate family.

One of my dogs is elderly and and needs lots of blankets to lounge on the hardwood floors to keep comfortable.

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Sandy, in her own way of coming to conclusions, has decided that my dogs need their own quilts.

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She did make a matching quilt for me to this dog quilt but the dog quilt came first!

She also made me this awesome billfold many years ago which I just have not been able to use because it is just too cool.  I bring it out to look at over and over but it is a real piece of art and is just for my enjoyment it will never be a billfold!

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So how did I get so lucky to have a friend who knew that the best way to give me comfort was to comfort and include my pets?

 

Make My Day T’s Gifts!

imageMy friend T, brought my dogs five boxes of treats this week. How sweet and thoughtful my dogs said Woof Woof!

We got to talking about another friend of mine B, who T does not know.  B is having financial problems.  She still has a long road ahead of her.  B is devoted to her family and a big part of her family are her two dogs.

The next time I saw T she had five boxes of treats for B’s dogs along with a big bag of dog food which  T asked me to deliver to B.  I called B and told her I had a surprise for her, someone had given me a gift of food and treats for her dogs. As I was hanging up the phone I could hear her screaming excitedly “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!”  I thought: “??????”

When I dropped off the dog food and treats to B she told me they had just run out of dog food.  This gift came at the most perfect time hence the screaming.  The most interesting thing was T had picked out the exact brand B’s dogs were used to eating.

B was ecstatic with this gift and asked me if she had ever met T.  When she realized a perfect stranger had done this for her, her happiness was even greater, it was so wonderful!

Later that day, relaying B’s happiness to T, a tear came to T’s eye.  She was not having the best day.  This lifted her spirits knowing she had lifted somebody else’s spirits and that somehow she had provided a perfect gift at the perfect time.

Sounds like a small miracle to me.  My spirits were lifted and I have been smiling ever since, hope this puts a smile on your face!

 

Make My Day Roscoe and Monty’s Story

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Monty is our most recent rescue. He is a Dalmation mix (possibly mixed with Jack Russell terrier – heavy sigh) and a real handful.

He had been with us for about a year and had been keeping the whole household busy with his boisterous activity.

My other dogs, Rommy who is a German Shepherd and Roscoe who is a German Shepherd mix, are extremely dog friendly but were losing patience with Monty as was I.  (We would never let him go we were just finding his personality a bit of a trial.)

Rommy and Roscoe understood each other and I understood them as German Shepherds.  None of us understood Monty, he was out of our realm.  We loved him, well I loved him, Rommy and Roscoe tolerated him because they love me.

Roscoe had not been feeling well for awhile and was getting worse.  He had been to the emergency vet and his regular vet  three times in one week with weird symptoms.  They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and blood tests were inconclusive.

I was really worried about him.  That night I woke up and checked on him at least every hour. I checked on him around 6am and he seemed alert and okay, this made me feel a little better about him and I was able to fall sound asleep.

An hour later at about 7am Monty, who was sleeping with me on the bed, suddenly jumped up and started barking.  He leapt off the bed and ran down the hall.  I was so sound asleep, if Monty hadn’t woke me up I wouldn’t have woke up to check on Roscoe that hour……

Monty had gone directly to Roscoe and was obviously destressed and worried about him.  Roscoe was unconscious and unresponsive.   I somehow I picked Roscoe up (90 pounds of limp dog) and carried him to my car – then racing him back to the emergency vet.

A different vet was on duty.  She took one look at Roscoe and said: “I’ve seen this before I know whats wrong with him, we don’t have time for the results of the blood test I need to give him a shot now or he won’t make it!”

He got the shot and he was soon regaining consciousness.  The vet told me that if I hadn’t brought him in when I did he would not have survived.

Roscoe has a disease called Addison’s which is hard to diagnose in dogs (people get this disease also) but it is realatively easy to control once you have the diagnosis and figure a treatment plan.

Roscoe has made a full recovery. Amazing things are happening, he is much more confident and his fur is truly annoying (before thin and sickly now has a really thick  coat of fur and sheds like a healthy German Shepherd double heavy sigh).

Monty still creates great havoc  in our house, his favorite target is Roscoe.

When Monty is up to his “special” antics I remind Roscoe who is usually his “special” target that Monty did save his life.

Roscoe lets out a triple heavy sigh and in the true noble German Shepherd fashion moves on with his journey.

 

 

Dogs Confess and Today’s Lesson

The new tenants in the house next-door have children.

I caught them teasing my dogs.

One of their toys, a large red and green rubber ball, made it over my really high fence and into my yard.  My dogs quickly shredded it into small pieces! They immediately confessed to me what they had done and that they had found the act of shredding and destroying very satisfying.

Dogs live in the moment and although they were feeling guilty briefly they were back to their happy selves almost immediately.

They are constantly giving me lessons today’s lesson was live in the moment don’t dwell on mistakes you may have made.

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Making homemade dog food and bird food tonight! dog food recipe

My very first veterinarian was a vet during WWII for our K-9 troops.  I am truly blessed to have had him in my life.

He once told me that adding fresh food to my dogs’ diet would only be beneficial.

Feeding them dog kibble was like feeding them dry cereal they could survive on that but it wasn’t the best diet.

I feed half home made and half good quality kibble.  I rotate kibble.  Brands, protein sources and grain sources sometimes no grains.

I have three big dogs and right now don’t really have time to cook for them 100% of their meals.

Please research toxic foods that your dog should not eat such as: chocolate, grapes, salt, sugar, onions.

If you cook hundred percent for your dog research “healthy powder” and other nutrition facts to make sure your dog gets the necessary nutrients.

I start with the whole chicken.  I pressure cook it until the bones are soft which means an hour and a half for small chicken or longer for a larger chicken.  Lots of good stuff in those bones and in the bone marrow try to get organic chickens if you can.  Other proteins sources I use in place of the chicken or in addition to the chicken are salmon, beef, pork, ground turkey, eggs, cottage cheese.  I have an older dog and another dog with digestion problems they really can’t digest raw meat so all meat is cooked. Do not feed raw pork.

I then use a blender to dice in water approximately two fruit sources and three vegetable sources.   I usually use what is in season.  My dogs have been eating this way since pups and they have no problem with the variety.  I don’t like doggy toots so I steer clear of too much broccoli cabbage and similar toot creating foods they get just a small small amount.

For example in the fall I stock up on cranberries and freeze them as this is a good addition to the mix.  Earlier this year when organic raspberries blueberries and strawberries were on sale I stocked up and put them in the freezer.

I add the fruit and veggie mixture to my protein mixture and some scrambled eggs if I decide to add that as a protein source (warning warning this might be a toot source) and cook for a bit as my old guy digest better with cooked veggies.  Then add my grains.  This might be a brown rice and wild rice grain mix that I’ve cooked for myself or oatmeal.  I sometimes use exotic grains here if I have time.  I just started with a grain quinoa and they seem to like it.  It was about 1/3 of the grains to that batch.  Here you can add other cooked protein such as the beef pork or ground or beef turkey (or add some appropriate raw protein – no pork if your dogs can handle it) or scrambled eggs or some cottage cheese for extra protein.

Last I add some herbs like a small amount of parsley or a little mint or if my dogs request Italian, oregano or Rosemary. My dogs like different herbs so I add a small amount of different ones each time.  Sometimes even a little cinnamon which they like.  Or carob which is a little like chocolate but is reported to be safe for dogs and my dogs request when they crave a  Mexican flavor as they say it makes the food have a mole flavor!

Another thing you can add is pumpkin which is a good source of fiber and antioxidants.  Another starch is yams or sweet potatoes.

You can be creative the more variety the better. I read once to try to eat 40 different things each day for the best nutrition.

The last couple of things I like to add to my dogs meal which is added right before they eat it and not cooked is yogurt or kieffer.   Plain with no sugar.  And a digestive powder made for dogs.

Experiment to find out what is optimal for your dog please share if you have time is I am interested in anything I can learn to make my dogs healthier!

 

 

Make My Day and Puppy Rescue, Rommy and Roscoe’s Story

Rommy had been the only dog in the house for over a year and he said he was lonely.

I always had 2 or 3 dogs at one time and they were a real pack!  I lost Troilus and Jack, Rommy’s pack mates, close together and did not have the emotional energy to look for a friend for Rommy.

I had been following this web-site, Colorado Puppy Rescue.  My favorite dog is a German Shepherd and they always had German Shepherd-mix puppies available for adoption.  One weekend I decided to check them out, Rommy and I went to the adoption site and arrived one-half hour early.  When we walked in and the line was already dozens of people long.

Rommy is a big dark red and black German Shepherd and people are mostly afraid of him on sight and avoid him (cross to the other side of the street, etc., when they see us coming).  The people standing in line were dog lovers, no one was afraid of him and he was enjoying himself getting all the attention he wanted.  We got to the front of the line and the volunteers said no German Shepherd mixes were left but to please come back again.

We returned the very next weekend, this time one hour early, and there were already 8 people ahead of us!  They had 4 or 5 German Shepherd-mix puppies for adoption and I figured that not all of those people would want a German Shepherd puppy so we stayed and waited.  Just like the week before Rommy was making the rounds, getting hugs and leaning on people and just being so dang cute and friendly.  I was getting comments on how nice he was and questions like, were all German Shepherds like him?

Well, we get to the front of the line and I asked to see the German Shepherd puppies, and am advised they were all adopted!  Rommy had shot himself in the paw being so dang adorable that those people in front of us scooped up all the German Shepherds.  They did have other herding dog puppies so Rommy met them but was not impressed.  One of the volunteers came out from the back somewhere, took one look at Rommy and said oh you wanted a German Shepherd puppy, we have one in the back I forgot about.  Another puppy bit his ear and it was bleeding, we put him in the back to let that ear stop bleeding and forgot to bring him out.  Do you want to see him?

Rommy took one look at this puppy (now known as Roscoe) and said that is the one.  I thought it was my imagination so I held Roscoe under one arm and another puppy under the other arm.  I asked Rommy which one he wanted to take home and he sat in front of Roscoe and put his nose on him!

They have been best friends ever since.  Here is a picture of them when Roscoe was brand new to our house.

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Homemade Pet Food!?!

Okay I admit it my pets eat better than I do!

I have dogs and parrots and I cook from scratch for them.

Parrots get a warm home cooked breakfast and bird kibble in the afternoon.

Dogs get three warm meals a day.  Half dog kibble and half home cooked.

I started cooking for my pets because a beloved veterinarian who is now retired told me that kibble was like eating cereal, it could sustain you but wouldn’t home cooked meals be better?

He suggested feeding healthy fresh food and guess what!  He was right….

At that time, I had a dog who had serious health issues and was going to a university teaching college veterinary clinic. I stopped taking him there after changing his care and diet.  They kept sending me letters asking if I wanted to donate money in his memory.  They thought he had passed away.  What they didn’t know was that he was still alive!  I attribute this (his improved  health) to feeding a better diet, a diet that included meals cooked from scratch.

Seriously my pets eat better than me.  Their food is a better quality and more nutritious, I put their meals before mine.  (They are my children…..)  If I get busy cooking their meals I’ll be eating fast food or nothing, sigh, which is tonight, I made a batch of dog food and at 11:30 pm I haven’t fed myself!

Okay, I’ll admit it, my step kids used to ask (really) “Is that dog food or people food?”

I really love these stinkers!  (Step kids and dogs!)

Coming soon how I cook for my pets!  (And a  recipe for people that my step kids fondly named “dog vomit stew”)