Friday, April 13, 2007

better than kibble

mmm mmm good (if you like liver as much as Grace does)
I'm fine, thanks for asking. Oh no, sorry, I mean Grace is fine. Seems she's the only thing anyone cares about anymore! Little miss whitey-princess sure is popular but hey, when you've got a face like that with gold eyelashes and all, I guess it can't be helped (she muttered jealously).

Seriously, it is true that I haven't really posted much this week. But no, smarty-pants mom-of-Rocky, it's not Grace that's been taking up my time. I was actually much more popular socially this week than usual. Today as a case in point: this morning Grace and I had a nice long walk with a friend, her toddler and their springer spaniel and then I had a lunch date with two ex-colleagues from my last contract that just finished a few weeks ago.

So, about Hiroshima (and yes, about Grace's weekend too, don't worry, I'll get to it)... It's a beautiful city, what with several rivers running through it--actually channels of the same river--and mountains nearby. And though very disturbing to see, the A-bomb dome and Peace Museum are something I'm glad to have experienced.

But my favourite part of our trip was Miyajima, as you might have surmised from the photos. Though now quite touristy, this famous island--long revered by the Japanese as sacred--is so quaint and full of beautiful spots.

Now, on to the pup's weekend. I think her sitter might have spoiled her just a little! Cookies and long walks and this dog had not a thing to complain about. In fact I think it might have been a good socializing experience for her because the sitter wasn't shy to take Grace on really crowded streets, which I hadn't yet done very often for her sake and for the safety of hurrying pedestrians who might trip over her, since Tokyoites aren't that accustomed to dogs bigger than 'fits-into-a-fancy-doggy-carry-bag' size.

But as I knew she would, she's getting less and less shy/fearful of cars. We go on long walks on all kinds of streets: some with wide sidewalks but lots of cars, some narrow with fewer cars, some with lots of people, most with less. She's even learning to sit at street lights and when we get in the house (so I can take her harness off).

And as you can see from the photo, I've already got the dog food-making process down to a science. Forty percent protein, 30% starch and 30% vegetable. Chicken is great for dogs and lucky for me it's really cheap here (the whiter, the cheaper, since it seems the Japanese like fatty meat). She's almost off the kibble too; I've just about got it graduated out of her mix.

I've concocted different recipes every time I make a batch. One time I even used fake crab (also cheap here), rice and spinach. I used oatmeal once for the starch, potatoes another time. But it seems Miz Furry Thang don't really care one bit what she inhales from her bowl. Grrl has quite an appetite. I also made her easy treats (if a bit gross for a non-meat-lover such as me) by cutting chicken hearts into thin slices and baking them at 250 until they're totally dried out.

Dog-owning readers, please consider switching your dog to this type of diet. I didn't research cat food but it's probably just as feasible. (But check with your vet first if your pet has any pre-existing health problems.) It's not much more expensive than kibble but so much healthier for them. All you really need is one or two pots/wok/electric frying pan and a blender or food processor. And a maximum 40 minutes of your time for a batch that'll last you 5-7 days.

Okay so unless I change the name of this blog to Pet Me, I will not be writing long posts like this about dog stuff again! I even bored myself with all this. Sniff ya later.


Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog
Hi Carol,
Nice to have you back. Wonderful pictures of Hiroshima. I couldn'd look yet at all of them but I'll do it soon.
I have to tell you that you don't bore me with anything that you might write about Gracie :-).
About the food, I would advice you to give her raw grind meet. I my Beagle book, the doctor says that their stomach digest much better the raw meat than the cooked one, and I can testify for this. It gives her real proteins, not modified ones and it's almost completely digested. For the vegetables, a part of roots, which I have to make them juice and puré, the rest of them is better to be raw too. Now this is my advice, you do whatever you think is best for your little baby.

Now, how is Aran? Do you have some other contracts in the future?

I just look at all the pictures, wonderful. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Biby: Thanks very much!

Carmen: Thank you for your continued support and also for your sage doggy advice! I have my first vet appointment on Tuesday and will get her input about raw versus cooked, but in all the research I did I've discovered that the opinions of experts are equally split on the question. Same thing happens on the "dogs need to eat bones" issue.

As for Alain, he's doing fine, as ever. Work is work and for play he seems to have moved from swimming to playing squash, a less solitary sport! A new squash league just started at the embassy so he has plenty of competition to stimulate his testostorone.

Regarding contracts for me, yes, I'm sure something will come up again soon. In fact I just applied for a little one yesterday.
Hi Carol,
Good to hear miz fuzzy (friggin cute!) thang was ok on the weekend - and you & Alain are too! Your pics are really nice, especially the pagoda pics and the water ones (tori & temple), it really looks pretty there, I hope you both had a good time?? Wow, you are very Martha like making Grace's food - you go girl! Yes, we don't feed Rocky dried food anymore either and he only gets real meat treats - no wheat anymore (he has a reaction to it). Thanks for the tip for homemade treats - great idea! Yeah, for a non-meat-lover I can see that would be gross - aah what we do for our furry little children eh?
Hi to Alain!
HI! I am back from holidays. I was away from work (therefore all things internets) since thrusday before good friday. I really needed this time off!
I'll email you later, I have much work to catch up with (as you can imagine!)
Big Hugs!!!
Not boring! Dog stories are always good :)
Glad to see she and you are adjusting.
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