Monthly Archives: March 2014

Human Food For Alex And Bella

humanfood1Let me start by saying that I started to feed Alex and Bella human food, at the beginning, always in small quantities,  Also, neither one is allergic to any of the ingredients I use, and if you are planning to start feeding your dog human food and have any questions about it, please talk to your vet or better, to a holistic vet.

Tonight, for Alex and Bella’s dinner, I cooked a stir-fry using the following ingredients:

  • 1 chicken patty and 1 sausage patty
  • Cilantro
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Ginger – only for Alex’s arthritis

I started by cooking all the veggies together, except for cilantro and ginger, for a couple of minutes.  I then added the chicken and sausage patties to it.

humanfood2Why am I feeding them human food?  I’ve been reading a book, Pukka’s Promise by Ted Kerasote, and he provides excellent information regarding what goes in the kibble many of us, pet parents, buy and feed our dogs.  Because of it, I started to feed Alex and Bella a mix of human food and kibble.  Again, I started by adding very small quantities in order to avoid upsetting their tummies.  Right now they are both eating twice a day: 1/2 cup of kibble + 1 cup of human food.

Do you know what I’ve noticed now that they are eating more human food than kibble?

Alex – My Picky Eater

  1. Her appetite in the morning has opened up
  2. Her mobility and flexibility has increased a great deal.  So much so, that now she walks next to me rather than lagging behind
  3. She used to do #2 up to 3 times a day and it was smelly.  Now she does #2 once or twice a day and the smell is minimal.

humanfood3Bella – My I’ve-never-met-a-meal-I-had-not-liked girl

  1. She used to do #2 four (4) times a day, and the smell was horrible.  Right now she only goes twice a day and it hardly smells
  2. Her mouth does not smell

This, human food and kibble, may not be for all dogs.  I had a friend whose dog became quite ill if he ate any human food, even if it was only a bit of it.  If you have questions, please ask a holistic vet and transition your dog slowly to any new food.  Before I forget, I also rotate the kind of kibble I feed them every couple of months.  If you have any recipes, I am always on the look out for new ones, you’d like to share with us, please do so.

Windy Wednesday

Alex, Bella, me, and Kalimba

Alex, Bella, me, and Kalimba

I still cannot believe that we are at the end of March and yesterday, Wednesday, was so windy and cold, but to my surprise when we went to the deck it was pretty nice so I went ahead and cleaned all “my” furry kids and asked Cynthia to take some pictures.

windy2I like my home clean, therefore “my” dogs also need to be clean that is why after our walks I wipe them off.  Kalimba is actually pretty good and just lets me do what I need to do.

windy3Now is time for brushing Kalimba’s hair.  I think Alex is starting to get bored.  I had to tell Alex, “I am almost done.”  Bella, on the other hand, is watching the birds and squirrels that like to hang out on the trees.

windy4Once Kalimba was wiped and brushed, it was Alex’s job to do an inspection and let me know if I did a good job.  She gave me a big, “good job mom.”  I do this with all the dogs that stay with me, and that includes my two girls, Alex and Bella.  Wiping and brushing only takes a couple of minutes, and even if you only do it once a day, preferably before they go to bed, you’ll see the difference on your dog and your floors.

TGIF – Siesta Time

tgif1Around 1pm, I took Alex and her canine companions out for a short walk around the neighborhood.  When we were a couple of minutes away from home, it started to rain so we had to hurry up since I did not want them to get wet.  After I dried them, they had a nice snack and went to bed.

tgif2Even Bella, who has boundless energy, was tired after our walk so she decided to follow suit and take a well deserved nap.  What a great way to start this weekend.

My Journey Through Life With Alex

IMG_4315I recently read one of my favorite blogs, Marking Our Territory by Will and Eko, and although I’ve never met them, I felt a sense of fellowship with Will.  Why?  He wrote that Eko, Will’s dog, is his anchor.  Alex, my pit bull mix girl, teaches me every day to appreciate the little things that I know would go unnoticed if she were not to be in my life.  I am a better person because of her, although to be quite honest if you were to ask Alex she’d say, “My mom is a work in progress,” and she’d be right.

IMG_5099If I were to try to enumerate all the things I do because of Alex, I’d probably have a nice thick book, but here are just a few of them:

  • I don’t feel guilty about taking naps anymore
  • I don’t go clubbing 3 times a week and instead I spend time at home with my girlfriend, Cynthia, our dogs Alex and Bella
  • Cynthia and I argue every blue moon.  Before we had dogs, and this is the truth, we argued like cats and dogs
  • I cook for Alex, and let me remind you that I hate to cook.  This is something Cynthia points out to me with a big smile on her face

Alex has been my canine companion for almost 12 years, and you know what?  I’ve been very lucky to have her in my life.  Will said that Eko is his anchor.  Well, Alex is the one being that finally got me to settle down, and that was something that I never thought would be possible.  A big thanks to all the dogs in my life for their love, loyalty, patience, and so much more.

Two Months With Bella – BARCS ID# A21561474

2monthsA little over two months have gone by since Bella, our foster dog, came to live with us.  The changes I see in her and the continuous progress she makes every day makes us all happy and hopeful that one day she’ll find her forever home.  Here’s a progress report on Bella:

Walking – On my last post, she was walking next to us, for the most part.  Nowadays when I walk her, and this is no lie, I truly enjoy our time together.  She walks beautifully, but fast like I do which I love.  With Cynthia, this is weird since she is the one that taught her how to walk properly, she tends to get a little ahead of her during their walks.  Overall, I’d say better than last month.

Feeding – She still makes those funny sounds like a piggy, bird, and who knows what else, but less than a month ago.

Pacing – She paces when she sees either Cynthia or I coming back home.  Now the pacing seems to be more out of happiness than anxiety.  In general, her pacing is less than before, and when she does it we stop her and ask her to sit or shake hands so she can snap out of it.

Training – Bella got her Basic Obedience completed on 3/1/14.  I am hoping to get her enrolled in another class in the near future.

Doggie manners – Bella is a little more careful and aware of her surroundings unlike before when she would step over Alex.  Progress!

We took her to an adoption event a couple of weeks ago, and she did great and got an application approved, but the prospective pet parents changed their mind due to their living arrangements.  I’ll be taking her soon to another adoption event so she can get some exposure and perhaps her forever home, but also this would give her an opportunity to meet more people and socialize with them.

CEFNI by Sara Jane

I usually don’t collaborate with other bloggers when it comes to writing a post because what I write is based on my experiences, education, and point of view, but this time I made an exception because this has to do with rescuing dogs, so here it goes:

My names is Sara Jane, I volunteer for a wonderful German Shepherd rescue charity called Cefni and Alex has been kind enough to let me tell her followers a little bit about our charity. We aim to prevent dogs from being taken to pounds where they face being put to sleep within seven days of entry. We work with a range of animal shelters to allow us to help dogs throughout the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland, but we need you.

To enable us to help as many dogs as possible we need dog lovers everywhere to spread the word. This is why I have started to write a blog for Cefni.  The page is in its early stages but will include top tips about keeping your dog happy and healthy, interesting snippets of information for fact junkies and most importantly regular updates on dogs that are currently look for homes. All we need you to do is follow the blog and share it with as many people as you can; post it on facebook, email it to all your friends or like Alex, ping me a comment and give me a chance to reach your blog readers with posts like this.

If you are really passionate about joining our ranks there are many ways you can get involved from fostering a dog while we look for its forever home, to designing products and merchandise we can sell to raise charity funds.

For more information please visit my blog:

 http://cefnigermanshepherdrescue.wordpress.com/how-can-you-get-involved/

To finish I’d like to tell you a few of our success stories. Duke’s pet parent, contacted Cefni because she was having major issues with him and was looking for Duke to be rehomed. German Shepherds are amazing creatures but without the correct guidance they are very often misunderstood. Duke’s owner agreed to join Cefni training classes with Duke while we looked for a new home for him, after some months training she decided to keep Duke at her home forever. This story illustrates one of the many ways Cefni can help German Shepherds stay in happy family homes.

Max came to us at just three years old, he was very adorable and hug, a big baby, everyone who came into contact with him instantly fell in love. However months later he was still in our care, this can happen when a dog is very large. Sometimes, like Max, dogs stay with us for many months out of no fault of their own. For this reason we try to put dogs in foster homes while we look for their permanent home, even the best kennels can be very stressful, if prolonged this can physiologically damage even the calmest dog. In the end Max charmed his way into the heart of his forever owner who now believes bigger is always better even when you’re talking about a large breed like German Shepherds.

Basic Training Part II – BARCS ID# A21561474

certificateBella completed her Basic Training/Good Manners class on Saturday, 3/01/14 and to say that we are proud of her would be an understatement.  With Casey, my first dog, I took Obedience I, Obedience II, and Canine Good Citizen.  With Alex, my current furry kid, I took Obedience I.  Why do I do this?  What’s the point?  These are questions I’ve been asked by a few pet parents, and my answer to them is:

  • A trained dog is a better behaved dog which in return makes sharing your life with her a joy rather than a burden
  • Training allows you to manage your dog better in different settings, not just at home, but for that to happen you need to incorporate training into your every day life
  • You can take your dog to family reunions or gatherings, and/or she can be the “hostess” when you have people over

bellaThere are a lot of more reasons for your dog to have, at a minimum, basic training under her belt, but it’d be too long to list them all.  For those pet parents that have dogs classified as aggressive/strong breed or whatever other term they are using now, basic training is paramount, and, in my opinion, essential.  Living with dogs should make your life better and more enjoyable, but you, as the pet parent, need to do your part.  Congratulations to our foster dog, Bella, for working hard to get her Basic Obedience certificate.  This cutie is still available for adoption.  If interested, please contact BARCS.