Saturday, October 26, 2013

One of the saddest day in our family's life

We were on a 10 day road trip to Florida last week and had awesome weather. Perfect blue skies and just enough heat to give us that last taste of summer I so already miss.  We had a great time at Magic Kingdom, met up with another family and spent the day with them, and mostly just actually took the time to relax and actually enjoy the resort for once while we were away. I've finally come to realize that vacations aren't always good to be on the go all the time to race to see and do as much as we could. That's NOT a vacation. We'd then need a a vacation from a vacation!

We saw tons of pesky geckos ( I didn't step on any squishy ones this time -yuck!) and a little caiman or alligator on our resort's pond!  It never came near people. It just spent its day basking in the sun or waiting for the geese and ducks to get close enough for it to give them a big scare.

We also took a drive out to Clearwater Beach and spent the day there. While we were sitting on the beach, my husband thought he saw a shark!  He was freaking out!  But when it surfaced again shortly after the first glimpse, he realized it was a dolphin!  That was really cool!

We were only with our youngest traveling this time but our eldest son and daughter were home between work and school caring for Bailey, our Portuguese Water Dog. He was a playful big lug of a do who was very intuitive and communicative before we left. He had a bit of a sore leg but nothing that we couldn't contribute to a dog of his age but didn't read the sign that he has been a little more thirsty and peeing frequently than normal recently.

While we were away, he got really ill. I think it may have been the poor diet of combined dog food and table scraps, he was a little overweight but happy nonetheless which may have very possibly lead to his suspected case pancreatis. But apart from this problem, one of his hind legs was unable to bear any weight but not due to any injury or disjointed bones which lead them to believe it may have been cancer, blood clotting,  no circulation or it could have been something else. But first they'd have to deal with the cause of all his symptoms. Any way we put it, he was in a lot of pain in ICU on an IV with pain control meds, unable to walk by the time we got home and to the ER vet.

On Monday, sadly, we had to say good bye to our best friend, who provided comfort and unconditional love to all of our family and friends. We are heartbroken over the loss of Bailey. We could have saved him, but he would not have had the quality of life that a dog deserves and felt it would be selfish to have spent tens of thousands of dollars to sustain our happiness despite the ongoing pain and medications he'd have to endure.

Then the question is, if we have the right to choose to euthanize our pets to relieve them from pain, then why can't we do it for humans instead of having someone live til the end suffering?

Bailey, February 12, 2004-October 21, 2013.
Sadly missed.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chicken, Salmon and Strawberry Gluten Free Dog Treats

Our nine year old Portuguese Water Dog, Bailey, is somewhat of a high maintenance kind of dog. Ever since he was a puppy, he had always been gnawing at his front paws. Being at the geriatric stage that he's at, we've been very fortunate to have such a healthy dog to date. He's had the odd bout of tummy issues (he can't handle prime rib bones anymore)  and the nibbling of his front paws which is minor, in my opinion, he's been overall a healthy big guy. (knock on wood - tap, tap). He apparently is allergic to wheat, we deduced.

So instead of paying astronomical prices for wheat free treats, I started just formulating my own combinations, all with great success. Hubby says he's a dog and would anything but I know that's not true. He is a snob when it comes to food.  With just fresh ingredients, I whipped together a large batch of delicious (and yes, I do try them) dog treats.   They don't taste like much since I don't use any salt or sugar and we all know how good salt and sugar makes our food taste yummy.   Bailey thanks me...

1 large cooked chicken breast, chopped (we had a leftover one from a roast chicken dinner, so I discarded the skin since there was spices on it)
1 lb. of cooked salmon, chopped
1 lb. strawberries, chopped
3 cups rice flour
3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup milk or water
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.  Mixture will be quite sticky. Divide into two and place each half on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Flatten dough balls and using a rolling pin, roll dough out in the baking sheet til the dough touches the edges. I use extra rolled oats instead of flour to prevent sticking. You could also roll out on the counter and make fun shapes with cookie cutters. I don't have time for that so I just roll it out directly on the parchment paper and using a pizza cutter, cut it into small squares. I like to cut them into approximately 1" squares. Besides, Bailey really doesn't care if its in a bone shape or any shape for that matter. Little squares go down just the same.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes.  Check the underside of the biscuits in the centre of the tray. If they're a little soft still, just flip them over, turn the oven off and let them remain in the oven to dry out. The dryer they are, they'll keep longer without going moldy, I would think, because of the moisture. I wouldn't know because a batch never last more than two or three weeks.

Bailey says WOOF! Which means THANK YOU in dog. I speak dog.