Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Extremists

I’ve turned into the crazy dog lady.  Really, I have. But I have my reasons.  Think what you will of me.

About three months ago I decided to switch my girls from kibble to some kind of homemade diet.  It seemed like a good idea that the time.  Still does.

My main reason for even looking into a homemade diet was that Miss Sara, or Bitzer as she has been dubbed by me, would walk up to the bowl, sniff the kibble, look longingly at it like she wanted to eat it, and then walk away.  She learned to eat what she wanted of it quickly or Dottie would take care of it.  She would reluctantly eat about half of it and leave the rest for Dottie.

At first I figured she was eating until she was full and just leaving it because she was done.  But frequently, at least a couple of times a week she would regurgitate part or all of what she’d eaten.  I switched brands of kibble several times and then I went to Google.

While researching I learned that all Bitzer’s(I never even call her by her real name unless she’s in trouble anymore) licking and “fleaing” and puking might be because she’s allergic to grains.  I’ve since learned that she is.

Now, raw feeders swear by a raw diet.  And, for the most part I do, too.  It is closer to how dogs in the wild eat.  They are carnivorous.  Or omnivorous.  I’m not sure which because there are so.many. different ideas about what they are.

I looked into the Bones and Appropriate Raw Food model.  I looked into the Prey Model Raw diet.  I researched as much as I think I can about what is appropriate for my dogs to eat.  I’ve settled on what works for me and, more importantly, my dogs. It’s a homemade diet consisting of boiled eggs(the whole thing including shell), some vegetables(cook and mashed or raw and pureed), meat of varying kinds(pork, beef, chicken, goat, etc.), and bones.  I’m not going into a great deal of detail here about the percentages of each because this isn’t an advice post about how to feed your dog. This just works for me and my dogs.

You might be scratching your head by now wondering what this has to do with extremism. Stay with me, here.

I joined a raw feeding facebook group and a Yahoo! group.  This is a group designed to teach the ins and outs of raw feeding because you can’t just toss your dog a chicken leg every meal.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

They are also extreme.

You see, at first I had settled on the Prey Model raw diet, which is only muscle meat, bones, and organs. So joining a group that helps people with that seemed only logical.

What I quickly learned is that anyone(I wasn’t the offending party) that asked any questions about feeding anything other than muscle meat, bones, and organs received a written flogging.  If they asked another question or mentioned that they fed their dogs any other “unapproved” food they were banned from the group.  No, you may NOT use ground meat. You may NOT cut your dog’s meat up. It has to be a hunk of meat bigger than your dog’s head.

They are SERIOUS.   Now, I know that groups have to have rules.  I know that they need some structure, but whew!  And so I unceremoniously un-joined the group because they do have it as part of their mission statement that discussion of anything other than their approved feeding recommendations WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.  The will freak out on your ass. Never on mine, mind you.  Because I saw how they treated the ‘others’.

I probably wouldn’t have joined the group had I read that before joining, but alas, hind-sight is 20/20.  And Bitzer just looks at those big hunks of meat and then looks at me like, “Seriously? You’re kidding, right?” So I cut hers up.  Sue me. Dottie?  She’ll eat anything! I even resorted to giving them *gasp* vegetables.

It just goes to show how any group can become extreme about just about anything.  And I’m pretty averse to extremism in just about any form.

As you might have guessed, since I’m the crazy dog lady, this entire post has been a pretext for working in some photos of Dottie and Bitzer.

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We Love the Great Outdoors!

As promised to Kate and Sonel, I’m posting some pictures of Dottie!  We have a fairly large yard or what TheBrit calls a garden.  Dottie loves to roam around and play in it.  This girl has brightened up the spot!

We’re working on some training so she can have a bit more freedom to roam without a tether or a fence but we have a ways to go on that yet. She loves other dogs so when she sees one coming she can’t contain her excitement and she’s off!

Hey! Where are you going?!? Photo Credit: Ruth

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Freedom! Sort of… Photo Credit: TheBrit

Photo Credit:  TheBrit

Photo Credit: TheBrit

Photo Credit: TheBrit

Photo Credit: TheBrit


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How to Handle a Snake

oak.snakeYesterday, as Dottie was giving me my afternoon walk, we came upon one of these. It’s an Oak snake – not poisonous.  I saw it before she did – when we were a good fifteen feet away from it – so I proceeded to guide her to the other side of the street.  About the time I started to pull her that way the snake saw us.  It raise it’s head up and coiled a bit.  Dottie staged a sit in and began to whine when the snake slithered away and I didn’t let her follow.

“Come on, Dottie,” I called to her.  Hesitatingly, she did, stopping every few seconds to turn around and get another look.

I don’t like snakes.  There a various and sundry theories of how to tell a poisonous[scary] snake from a non-poisonous[good] snake.  Most of them involve getting close enough to see the size and shape of it’s head.  I’m not interested unless I have some killing tool in my hand.  I didn’t have any such tool at my disposal at the time.

TheBrit likes the live and let live approach.  He’d get close enough to see whether he thinks it’s poisonous or not.  Either way he wouldn’t kill it unless he felt threatened.  My feelings on the matter are that the only good snake is a dead one, but I haven’t had to kill many.

“If it’s not hurting me I’m not going to kill it,” he says.

“That snake might not hurt me, but it will damn sure make me hurt myself!” I say.

That wasn’t the first snake of the day.  Dottie and I encountered a much smaller one on our morning walk.  It’s hot here and the snakes are on the move.

So are the alligators.  We live in a neighborhood situated between several large lakes and they move from one to another.  Dottie would be a small snack for one of those things.   A neighbor down the street has lost two dogs to alligators.  Her house backs up to the lake.  Mine doesn’t. I’m good with that.  Thankfully I haven’t seen one and hopefully I won’t.

I’m reticent about letting Dottie just go trudging into the shrubbery because of the aforementioned snakes and alligators but last night on our night-time walk she poked her head into the shrubs and flushed out a baby opossum. Adult opossums are kind of…unattractive. But the baby ones are sort of cute(ish).

baby possumDottie was ready to play.  She hopped over to the baby opossum and started to bark.  The baby opossum did what baby opossums do.  It played dead. Didn’t move a muscle.  Dottie barked, and growled, and howled. Still no movement. Yawn.  It’s not much fun to play with something that won’t play back.