Our dogs get the pleasure of eating fancy dog food that is considered human-grade with no fillers, dyes, or additives. Our cats? Whatever is on sale at the grocery store. Sometimes I feel guilty. The poor things spend all their time outside, but then I remember that they have access to as much free-range, organic food as they want. Proof? The mostly eaten rabbit carcass they deposited in the mudroom yesterday. Yep. I think they’re doing just fine.
I’m sure most of you guys have heard about the major flooding in Nashville and Tennessee. Our suburb was hit hard. Thankfully we are safe, but one of our friends lost her home. She currently staying with some other friends, but they’re home isn’t pet friendly so we volunteered to care for her two dogs.
The dogs, Cody and Shayne, are extremely sweet. Lucy is getting along fine with them. The only downside is the occasional accidents, but considering we’re use to a messy toddler and we’ve got hardwood floors, it’s really no big deal. We’re just thankful to have floors for them to poop on. The funniest part is the parade. I’m use to being the grand marshal of a three creature parade; it’s now up to five. I never have to pee alone!
We took the kids outside to play in the snow today. They both seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. Well, Cecilia did until I pushed her down our small hill in a laundry basket. She wasn’t a fan of that. Lucy, on the other hand, scampered over the snow with delight. She would run around and take quick turns, shooting snow high into the air. It was quite a sight to see. You’d almost think she was meant to be a colder climate dog until you realized she hasn’t pooped in over 24 hours. I guess squatting over the cold stuff intimidates her.
Isn’t entertainment the point to having dogs and babies?
I realize it’s the 28th, and it’s time to write Cecilia’s 11 month letter. I try to put a lot of thought into them, and I need to let it marinate some more. In the meantime, I have a Lucy story.
This past holiday weekend, we had our backyard fenced in so Lucy wouldn’t run off (and so I could stop screaming about bathroom appliances to the neighborhood). It was supposed to be finished on Monday, Memorial day, but due to several days of rain and the contractor shooting himself with a nailgun, it wasn’t finished until Tuesday. Considering the circumstances, I was pretty understanding. Hell, I was just happy to have a fence. Lucy, on the other hand, was not.
On Tuesday afternoon, I took her out to our newly encased backyard. She did her usual bolt from the backdoor to the tree that squirrels like to perch in. This time, however, she ran right up to the fence, promptly turned around, and looked at me with a “WTF” facial expression. It’s been three days, and she’s still doing it every time. In fact, she’s refusing to willingly pee and poop in protest. You have to yell at her to get her to do the deed. I think I just traded, “HAIRDRYER” for “GO POTTY!”.
Though we haven’t seen it, Chris and I have a sneaking suspicion that Cecilia is cutting her second tooth. In the wee hours of the morning, she kept
us him up for hours screaming as he tried to rock her back to sleep. Even though my loving husband lets me sleep through most of night awakenings, I have a hard time getting good sleep because I’m worried about Cecilia and because I feel super guilty. (To be honest, it’s mostly the guilt. I know she’s in good hands.) Needless to say, this combined with the illness that will not die caused me to get very piss-poor sleep. (I’m too tired to be eloquent, bite me. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m never classy.)
I was really hopeful that Cecilia would take a long nap today and that maybe, just maybe, I could join her. Unfortunately, those aspirations were quelled by the sound of a chainsaw. Our local electric co-op decided to TODAY would be the best day to do it’s bi-annual tree trimming, which included our large maple trees in the front yard. As I’ve previously explained, Lucy barks at strangers who knock on our door. You can only imagine what she did when a truck load of power tool wielding men worked in our yard. Chaos followed.
Eventually, she settled down, and she and Cecilia took position at the screen door. Both were fascinated by our new friends. After a few minutes, the trimmers realized they had an audience and started to laugh. This caused Cecilia to laugh. Then hilarity ensued and made up for the lost nap.
Like most Americans, we’ve been cutting back our spending due to the recession, and the person who has felt it the most is Lucy. Previously we were taking Lucy to doggy daycare. Attending daycare gave her much needed exercise and helped keep me from losing my sanity due to her neurotic squirrel chasing. At first, keeping her at home presented a challenge since we don’t have a fenced yard and toting a baby while holding a leash to a dog searching for the perfect poopin’ place gets to be a balancing act. This is especially true on wet, windy days when it’s bitterly cold - too cold for Chris to walk her in the morning before he leaves for work and too cold to stand with the baby outside while we wait for Lucy to “go potty”. Of course, when we’re forced to skip her exercise, she is even more energetic and more likely to run to the neighbor’s house to play with Sophie, the poop-eating poodle.
Very little derails hyper Lucy from her mission. She becomes deaf to all commands. Short of catching her and dragging her into the house, there is nothing I can do to get her to come. Except one thing - her love for the hairdryer. (Many of you have seen this video and know her obsession.) I have found that screaming, “HAIRDRYER,” out the back door makes Lucy come to a complete stop, turn around, and return to the house. Now, I can only imagine what the neighbors are thinking when they see me in my pajamas with a baby on my hip screaming about bathroom appliances to the heavens.
We use positive reinforcement to train Lucy, which means lots of treats, and with her IBS, it’s been difficult (and expensive) to find treats that don’t cause her to shoot a fire hose of blood out her backside. (Nasty to read, nastier to watch.) Last Saturday, we ran out, and the gourmet organic dog store is closed on Sundays. I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands and bake my own dog cookies. I’m aware of most of the foods that irritate her digestive system (beef, salmon, chicken) so I had a good starting off point.
I was a little worried that she wouldn’t like them, but most of the recipes that I found looked inexpensive to make so it wasn’t much of a financial risk. However, I didn’t expect her to love them. In fact, she loves them so much that it completely rattles her brain. I’m pretty sure she’d be willing to hold up a convenience store for just one more.
Here’s the recipe:
Canine Crack Cookies
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth*
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease cookie sheets. (I used generic Pam.)
- Mix dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients. Adjust accordingly. Roll into teaspoon size balls and place on cookie sheets. Flatten slightly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until nicely brown and firm. Cool completely and store in an airtight (Tupperware) container.
*despite her allergy to chicken, I assumed chicken water was okay.