Friday, September 14, 2007

First sign of a better doggie diet: Less farting!

It's been several days since my last post, and during that time the bozos have been enjoying their new diet. Most days they've received a mix of Purina Beneful with Merrick's Cowboy Cookout. Emmy very quickly began eating around the Beneful in her bowl (a feat when you consider that dog mouth's aren't the most precise of instruments!)

This week the dogs also had a very exciting dinner - a homemade recipe found on the BARK magazine web site:

Bark's "Trust the Hand that Feeds you" recipe section offers this crock pot dog food recipe:

Easy Crock-Pot Chicken & Brown Rice

Brown Rice 1cup
Water 2 cups
Green Beans (broken into segments) 1/2 lb.
Sweet potato, raw, chopped (with skin) 1 Medium
Carrots (into 1" thick rounds) 3 (we used baby carrots from the grocery)
2 boneless chicken breasts (leave skin on)

1. Put all ingredients into the crockpot in the order given (layer, don’t mix).
2. Cook on low for about 8 hours, on high for about 5 hours.
3. When done, stir, breaking up the chicken into small pieces. Everything will be quite soft.
4. Let cool and serve.
Refrigerate unused portion; keeps up to three days.
Substitutions are allowed! For vegetables, try broccoli florets, zucchini, spinach or any of several types of squash. For the meat source, beef cubes, turkey or lamb also work. Use organic vegetables and meat if possible.
Our friend Sue was the chef, and found that the recipe made 12 - 1 1/2 cup servings at $1.34 each! The dogs hoovered their meals and licked the bowls clean. Yumbo!
One immediate sign of their new diet, less farting! Not that we don't enjoy the occasional dog fart as much as the next person, but this new change in their diet will be welcomed by all, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Today is the first day of my canine culinary journey

Welcome to my blog, "Fill my Bowl." I imagine/hope this is what my dogs, Murphy and Emmy, will be mentally shouting to me by the end of my canine culinary journey.

Here's my story...
We've all heard the terrible stories about what happened when pet food manufacturers utilized contaminated ingrediants in their products. I was horrified every day that I read about or saw a news story detailing the heartbreaking and tragic deaths of people's pets. But, like many, I also felt helpless. Without a background in canine nutrition, what could I do? I looked more closely at ingrediant lists, but they still didn't make sense. I barely had time to make my own dinner, little less develop home cooked meals for my dogs. I felt frustrated, angry, and powerless.
At the end of June 2007, I completed my graduate studies, freeing up a considerable amount of personal time. A conversation over lunch one day turned my attention, once again, to how I might be able to make the lives of my beloved dogs better. Opportunity knocked!
The "bozos," as we affectionately call them, are delighted at this turn of events. In addition to being the center of our world, they'll now have their own blog? They are trying to act modest, but I know they are quite proud.

Our family consists of Murphy, a border collie/lab mix adopted about 8 years ago. Murphy is always on high alert, horks his meals down and will do anything for t-r-e-a-t-s. Agile and athletic, he loves to play fisbee, ball or hide and seek. He is, like most border collies, frustratingly smart.

Our sweet Emmy (full name: Emmagayle) is a chow/lab mix (we think) who moved in about 2 years ago. A kind soul in Schaghticoke, NY found Emmy and transported her to Shaker Vetrinary Hospital, in the hopes they might be able to find a home for her. Underweight with open sores, heartworm and tumors, the folks at Shaker nearly euthanized her. But something about this sweet natured dog persuaded them not to, and how lucky we are. Six months later, after heartworm treatment, being spayed, several tumor removals, etc., "Puppy" was on the market. A chance encounter at Doggie Day Care brought the bozos together, and now "Puppy" is our Emmy.

Today I will begin documenting and journaling the progression of their diet -- from Purina Beneful, to Merrick, to home cooked meals. As I make this progression, I will document their health, temperment, energy level, overall appearance, and food in (and out). In addition, if I find recipes, books, links or other helpful information, I will pass it along. My request? Tell your friends, relatives and fellow dog owners that this blog resource is being developed. Post comments, chime in, share your information. Make this THE dog blog for pet parents of distinction.

So, tonight the kids will feast on 1/2 Beneful, 1/2 Cowboy Cookout by Merrick and a small can of Merrick food. Let the games begin.