Today, I wondered when it was we acquired a horse. Not a most appetizing subject but I had this thought, as I picked up from the backyard (with an appropriate tool) two full, heavy, over-flowing scoops of, well…you probably get the idea. It has to go somewhere after all…but the quantity and scale; I must be feeding Ginger & Buddy far too well, because as Tom pointed out, it wasn’t coming from the wild bunny that frequents the yard.
With Buffy, there was no knowing where the outhouse might be. It was, generally, outside. I didn’t question when, what, or see where (as long as it stayed outside). No leash. No baggie. No scoop. Back then I lived in Alaska though, for the first quarter of her life (minus the first year when I saved her from a certain fate in Oregon); no leash required (back then).
Later, living in Pioneer Square (downtown Seattle), she and I were pioneers again, no leash owned or collar worn (shame on me). One day my Dad came to visit us, Buffy and I. He refused to take her outside without a leash (smart man). I came to realize one of those days, that he had been escorting her to the adjacent park sporting a white electrical extension cord as a leash with a red ribbon as her collar. Classy. Later, when I finally met Tom, he did not find this as amusing.
When Buffy was five, she and I moved to an apartment that had a courtyard out front; and home to many dogs doing their “business”. The first night we moved in, I took her out there and almost immediately heard a women call out to me from the window of her apartment above.
“Where’s your bag?” She said.
I was confused, what bag?
“Where’s your baggie?” She called out again.
Still confused, I gave her a blank stare.
“Your poop bag; I don’t see one. You better pick it up!”
So now whenever I watch Kate and Leopold (with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman), specifically during this scene where Leopold has to do the unimaginable (for an aristocrat), I am reminded of my reaction that night (lack of title notwithstanding).
The memory I flashed on today, as I scooped, was quite different. I have a vivid memory of my Grandpa Edwards (paternal) heading outside to their backyard in California with a shovel during one of our long-ago summer visits to their house (with five dogs). I was young and naively, I asked him what he was doing with the shovel.
“Picking up poop.” He said. Whaaat? Why on Earth would he do that, I thought? Yet, this is what I was now doing.
Perhaps this is (partially) why:
Chicken Broth for Dogs
Ginger & Buddy recently got their senior blood panels taken (again). They both had elevated kidney levels which indicated potential kidney disease and dehydration. Without going into the tedious specifics, they both now seem to be stable and well. Their doctor recommended we include chicken stock to help get more liquids into their diets.
While I realize there are a few organic, low-sodium options, I got to thinking that most chicken stocks you buy are made using onion, a known toxin to dogs, and too much sodium no matter what they say. So, I decided to make a version that would not only ensure no onion or excess salt, but would also allow them to feast on the pure chicken and vegetables that provide the stock.
In order to add extra nutrition I sprinkle in a mushroom powder which you can read about here. You could, alternatively, add mushrooms, along side the carrots and chicken, to the water for an even heartier stock (Ginger & Buddy prefer their mushrooms roasted, on the side, then mixed into the broth).
INGREDIENTS & PREPARATION
There is no specific set of measurements because it can vary depending on the size of the dog(s) and how much/often you plan to feed them this broth plus the solids. Since my pups are (relatively) small, I usually just cook a small batch at a time that will last two, maybe three days as a supplement to their regular diet.
You will need a chicken breast, or two, bone and skin removed. A handful of baby carrots, maybe 12-14 (of the snack-pack variety) and enough water to cover the chicken and carrots.
Simply put the chicken and carrots in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through, the carrots are tender and the broth is flavorful.
Let it cool down in the pan, then transfer the entire contents to a container with a tight fitting lid, or serve right away.
If they are thirsty but won’t drink their water (yes, I have finicky pups) ladle spoonfuls of broth into a bowl, preferably white porcelain (they are royalty) and set in the spot their dinner bowl sits. That’s it.
Unless they are also hungry. I realize they might think they are hungry all the time, you be the judge. In this case, remove the appropriate amount of carrots from the broth and cut into dice.
Remove the chicken breast and chop off a lobe, chunk, what have you. Dice that up too. Add these bits and pieces to the broth (hopefully sitting in a white porcelain bowl) and set in the place of their dinner dish. Light a candle (the rechargeable LED variety works well around fur) to make them feel the appropriate sort of atmosphere.
Then watch them slurp it all up as they forget (don’t care) that they are in a fine dining establishment.
Follow by reading them a few chapters from Miss Manners, or better yet, Emily Post.