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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beach walk with a Golden...

Today...a day that started like any other, or so the dogs thought. All four are well aware of the fact that often times they see me up early, feeding them first thing, shower, dress....well all know I am heading out the door. They kennel themselves up knowing any moment I am going to tell them too.

My return several hours later found four very happy dogs...and as they should, they demanded some yard time. A good walk around the property...and lots of sunshine....of course... many hugs.
Since Rocky requires another round of meds and rest...Bailey and I left the house and headed for a walk on the beach.

A perfect day for there was hardly anyone sky, sun shining and the perfect temperature. We walked, trained a little and had a good romp with the ball on rope...not having a care in the world. As always when out and about with a Golden...several people had to stop and say hi, give a scritch and get some Golden licks and wags. Bailey eating up every moment of attention.
My golden pup has grown into a wonderful dog. At about sixteen months he is beautiful, ...he is happy, bright, fun dog.

Early evening finds the pack resting quietly...I am surrounded by fur. Sounds of light snoring, occasional grunt from one of the dogs getting comfy and my typing at the keyboard.
Tired dogs, and I am one tired gal!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ten steps forward...

Then....a few steps back.
So it goes with training Bailey.
It is the distractions that get him each and every time...nothing to do with him... the fact is his person has been ill on and off the last six months or so. Still, I do my best to get it done....he is exercised daily. Young dogs....they so need a daily walk, a good romp, the best tip I can give with your dog. Never underestimate the power of play between human and canine.

Even though I have four dogs and love to watch them play and interact with one another...I make sure that there is a form of daily structured play between each dog and I. I know...many of you are thinking there is no time...of course there is ;-)
Of course the easiest way to exercise a dog is a good game of fetch. Bailey, though a retriever was not a "natural" retriever.

To get him interested in the fetch game we started playing the "Two-fer" game... two tennis balls, or two Frisbee (two objects of the same desirability) the beginning, not a far distance. the dog will get it and start back your then show the other ball as the dog is approaching you....he will want what you have....say drop and when s/he does....throw the ball.

In the beginning the play sessions were short and they ended by my taking the two balls away and ending the game. In the beginning I remember well the short play sessions... lasted just a few seconds. Now, we have a wonderful fetch session and he actually enjoys it.
This is a wonderful game that will teach the dog to "Drop", strengthen his retrieval skill....and of course recall....not to mention strengthening the bond between human and canine!

I will often use the two balls as a distraction in our training. Let me tell you he is sooooo distracted when the two tennis balls are outside....a recall when he is playing with them....heeling him past the tennis balls...a down stay (yes and a leave it if he attempts to get one).

For now, Bailey and I will keep doing our best and time he will be less distracted.

Happy Training!!!
Friday, January 22, 2010

The missing crown...

No matter my mood, no matter the bad day I am having...the dogs know just how to make me smile, laugh...something I so needed after my dentist appointmnet ;-)

REM sleep....something I am lacking and let me tell you it does in deed take it's toll. You will notice it in the little things you do....struggle to concentrate, pronounce words, that is if you can even think of the word your so trying to get out of your mouth.

When you reach REM sleep your body can "heal" itself, without it, well not a good thing. Many individuals with chronic illness's experience sleep disorders...I am one of them.

Wed. morning after breakfast I went int the bathroom to shower, dress. I stopped at my sink....reached for my dental floss and was out. Get a new one, open and it is not floss but rather dental tape. Oh no!!!!! I floss twice daily and well....decided to use the tape....bad idea. My teeth are very close together....the tape gets stuck and to a crown and popped it right out.

I need to find a dentist anyway would have preferred later rather then sooner. Called around, made an appointment for the next morning with All About Smiles, Dr. Marcia Nemecek. I arrive....did not even make it into the back and the dental assistant took my crown from me. Sadly....that is the last I saw of my crown.

As soon as the dentist walked in I had this over whelming feeling to get the hell out know....danger, danger Will Robinson! I was sitting in the chair, she was to my right....behind me so she could type in her pc.....I had a good view of the computer screen....she was asking me health questions (which I had already filled out) she also inquired about my "tooth ache"....wrong patient.

I could not turn my head to talk to her so we were literally having a conversation with her behind me....yes....danger, danger. I also noticed she could not, I am not very good at typing and know this to be true....I would not sit typing in a patients history....repetitive questions I had already answered. I am guessing they lost the forms I filled out when I first arrived along with my cap.

Needless to say....after a very lonnnng time and a few exits to work on other patients she was finally ready to return my cap to where it belonged....but.....yes this tale has a but, my cap it seems was missing.

This dentist blamed the dental assistant....who upon receiving my cap when I first arrived, had cleaned it and placed it on a tray. The dentist had inserted it in my mouth and then removed it and place it....well, who knows for no one could find the damn thing.

The dentist left....leaving me in the chair....and several staff members pulling the room apart. I had a pretty good laugh....hey, shit happens and today it happened to this dentist and to me. I was sure there would be no problem...I was after all in a dentist office....but this is when it gets strange....I am asked if I swallowed the cap....I hear talking in another room...things like I put it in my pocket....I was no longer laughing. I walked into the room and said "Excuse Me"?

This crazy dentist was trying to blame me and cover her ass? I demanded a temporary be placed in my mouth....I mean I really had to demand this. As I was leaving, the dentist.....would not even look at apology....nothing. They wanted me out of I was at the front desk they asked if I wanted to make an appointment for x-rays, cleaning....I reply no, call me when you find my cap....the girl at the desk says they will be submitting my paperwork to the insurance company....I snapped my insurance company was in no way going to pay for their incompetence.
Before leaving I request a letter explaining they lost the cap....they supply it.

I walked out verrrrry angry. If the dentist would have apologized...looked me in the eye and said, was an accident and explained how she would correct the problem....really it would not have been a big deal.

I am pretty sure on another day....a day where the night before I had a bit more sleep I would have acknowledged my inner Danger, Danger warning.
So....I can go back to the clinic and have what I believe to be an incompetent dentist replace my crown...or go somewhere else.
I will be going someplace else.

What on Dee's Plate

Gravy, Sauce, whatever you call it is is just plain delicious, that is if you make it yourself. Prep time is just about 10-15 minutes....then just let simmer.
Oh....and in the video I keep calling Locatelli a Parmesan cheese....nope, it is romano cheese....I happen to like both but many people prefer one over the other.

For those wanting to watch the video below, know you can turn off the music to the site by scrolling down to Dee Player on the right side of the page.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Positive Outlook

Early this morning as I lay in bed, that moment before you have to fully open your eyes, your body still. I felt this sensation in my hands, up my wrist and forearms....a raw nerve hands were once again bothering me. I noticed it about two weeks ago and since I have started fumbling, and struggling to do certain, simple things....thought with positive attitude....good diet....exercise I could will it away.

This past weekend, my lazy weekend I so hoped with rest it would subside, but no. It (lupus, RA) seems to be rearing it's ugly head, reminding me, always there to remind me that it lurks beneath...just waiting to show it's ugly self.

Finally excepting it...does not boost ones mood....I am a little hot blooded so it is very easy for me to get angry. Funny....I have lived with Lupus and RA for many, many years now and you would think I would have learned to better control my emotions.

I am after all only human...I have the experience to know what is headed my way...knowing there are times you can duck, or just turn out of it's way....I also know sometimes it is gonna just smack dab hit where to run, no where to hide.

The day progressed...the pack and I outside having a fun last play of the day....then I decided to sit in the sun for a little the dogs....just watch. It was then from across the yard I noticed Rocky watching me...he stood very still...I just sat and we watched each other. He then started running in my directions and I thought of the image image that appeared in a previous posting...such He ran to me and greeted me as though I had been gone....and of course I had been there with him the entire time.

One of the many little gifts given to us on a daily basis...something to help put things in perspective...a moment in time. His happy gait across the yard made me heart filled with love....I thought to myself I will get through time.
All that was needed was a positive outlook to help me better deal with my times it can be very difficult to always be up, happy and positive.
Yes, Rocky was hugged and kissed....and Thanked. He knew exactly what he was doing...he knew exactly what I needed.
Sunday, January 17, 2010

The cook is not responsible for fur found in your food...

Please know you can turn the music off to the site by scrolling down. Dee's player is on the right side of the page.

What's on Dee's Plate

For Michael...Cooking for one.
This weekend finds the pack and I hanging around the house...lazy, lazy couple of days. I am very much enjoying the peace and quiet. Limited time on the phone, limited time on the computer. Sometimes it is best to take much needed time and....well do nothing but fact I highly recommended it.

So many of us have such hectic schedules that we forget....both for mental and physical reasons there are times it does our body and mind good to just slow down. I knew it was going to be another of those days when I got up this morning. First thing...Morning walk with the up the yard...sticks and branches that had fallen during the nights rain and wind.

I had worked up an appetite so planned my breakfast and brought "you" along with me while I cooked. Not such an easy task for I could not set up the tripod for I no doubt would have been tripping over it.

I prepared French Toast with Challah Bread and of course my morning smoothie with orange and banana. Funny thing about french toast...we used to call it German Toast prior to WW1...due to anti-German sentiment it was changed to french toast.

In my little video I mention that I used two oranges...since I wanted garnish for my smoothie I actually used three. Refrigerated the unused portion of orange to be used for tonight's chicken.
If anyone takes the time to view my cooking video (anyone watching....anyone at all??) the first thing you will notice is just how I am so good at measuring everything out....Not.
I am not a chef but rather a "cook" that likes to eat and enjoys fresh ingredients. Oh....and I pretty much cannot follow a recipe. Love cook books and reading recipes, gives me sooo many ideas of my own. Tailoring recipes to suit your specific taste and that of your families is the only way to follow a recipe.

Yes, that was two Golden's in the kitchen during the "ice cube" scene. They heard me getting ice cubes and well.....think treats, they must have one. In my house no doubt the ingredients I would not list would be fur....I am sure on occasion you will find some...for that reason there is a little sign that reads "The Cook is Not Responsible For Fur Found in Your Food".

Of course I so love gadgets....good knives, etc. Not crazy gadgets, but those that will indeed make my life easier. When you have all the things wrong with your hands that I do....well you look for things that will allow you to continue to do what you like to do. Good knives are so important....I am still in search of something to make it easier to open jars and lid tops. Oh....and I still use a manual can opener. I have over the years had several electric ones, however their lifespan was very short and it seemed I was always having to replace. I also do not really open all that many canned goods....again preferring homemade.

I am wondering, whats your favorite kitchen gadget...what could you just not live without?

**Wonderful use for your orange rind...cut up and place in your garbage disposal...or add to a pot of water on your stove top and add spices and simmer....wonderful aroma.

Just as any other day....time spent with my pups. Games of fetch, stick chewing, finding the fallen pine cones and just taking in the sights and sounds. Breezy afternoon here in St. Augustine....the pack enjoyed the many scents often turning to a good one...breathing in....yes...this moment in is good.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lunching in my jammies....

What's on Dee's Plate

Boeuf Bourgignon for one...

Impossible you way you made that dish for one...
and your right. I made what I usually make....then broke it down into individual servings and placed in the freezer.

This afternoon finds St. Augustine to be a rainy, misty dreary day. The pups and I are being curled up on the sofa reading, them napping and chewing bones.
My stomach is telling me that it is lunch glad I prepared several different dishes and froze them....I can now have my pick.

This is one of those recipes that is just about one of my all time favorites. Like most things, this recipe has been tailored to suit the ingredients I had on hand. Interestingly enough, one of those rare occasions I did not have carrots in the house.
Pot roast was used....I cut it up into bite sized pieces, a Shiraz wine for it has a wonderful peppery flavor, mushrooms, onion, garlic, beef broth, tomato paste and applewood thick sliced bacon (6 ozs), potatoes, leek along with whatever frozen veggies I had in the freezer.

From freezer to microwave set to defrost...stovetop to reheat.
I did not even stop to make a salad but rather took some baby spinach, celery and carrots...since I did not add carrots to the stew figured I might as well add to the juice....since I am not a big fan of spinach I added a couple drops of Tabasco sauce....not bad...and...yes indeed, still in my jammies...
maybe I'll dress for dinner ;-)
Cin cin
Enjoy your Saturday!


Mixing it up...

Shopping, I am not a big fan....unless of course I have limitless access to money and can spend whatever I like. Sadly....while I indeed have very good all things, I am not wealthy. So...would prefer to do other thing with my time. However there are those times when I just have to muster the strength and head out to the stores...and I do so reluctantly.

Last Saturday found me at Target looking for a blender. While I like to cook, well there are those times, especially some mornings I just do not want to cook oatmeal, or eggs. I do make a batch of oatmeal once a week, as do I make several hard boiled eggs....still there are those mornings when there really is nothing ready to just eat and go.

What can be faster then adding several ingredients to a blender....and mixing it up. there I am looking at the mannnny blenders on the shelf. The mistake I made was not taking the time to do a little research before leaving the house....way too many to choose from.

Crushing ice was important and guess what, the majority all said they did that...hmmmmm. I was tempted to leave the store and do my research when I spied several boxes....Waring Pro...made in the USA. Mid range in my basket and I head to the cashier.

Upon arriving home I just cannot wait to try my new blender out....yes, I am a gadget freak and really needed to test it out. The damn thing smoked out my house. Clearly I had done something very wrong....the next day try again....nope, not so good at crushing the ice. Did I mention very cheaply made....and oh my....this time around more smoke....and boy did it heat up.

Box it back up and head back to Target. yes, this time I did do a little research and found a model that would have the ability to make a smoothie with ice...Target did not carry this I would have to return the original and head to another store.

I return the blender and as I am leaving I realize they had not refunded the full
amount, go back and question why....seems the receipt stated I have been given a $10.00 gift had not. So...cashier and I are discussing this....I request the Manager, she is the manager....she then picks up the phone and calls the folks that handle gift cards and learns that the card I was given had not been used, so is there any way to void it, cancel it somehow....sure but they need to speak with me. now I am handed a germ infested phones....oh all right I admit it....I am a germ a phobic. I am standing in Target....holding a yucky phone talking to someone in another country that does not speak English well. I am trying to listen carefully having to push this phone closer to face....yep....I was freaking out....I give my name, home address, home number....I am told a new gift card (remember, I did not purchase a gift card.....I purchased a BLENDER). Then I am told I needed a pen....ok get one....I am told even though I have given them all the needed information I now must mail then my is the address.

Say What??? I hang up and look at the young girl and say that I wanted my $10.00 placed back on my credit card. I purchased a blender, I did not want a gift card....did not get a gift card...she explained they could not....I stated she had five minutes. Please know I did not yell at the girl....she is just doing her job. I did ask her to "think"...just take a second and think about this....sigh....finally I was credited the full amount for the blender. I will not be shopping at Target any time soon.
Wondering if I am indeed the minority on this....I do not want a gift card....offer a good sale. take $10.00 off at the register.
What do you think??

New blender was purchased at another store and I am in smoothie heaven.

Some mornings I can be found mixing things up for breakfast in my new blender...that crushes ice....minus the smoke.
Feel free in sharing your most favorite smoothie recipes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The day two Goldens saved a puppy...

This morning found the pack and I up and out having some fun before breakfast. It was so peaceful and quiet....the dogs running, romping and having fun before settling in with a wonderful stick, pine only once again chase, be chased and just enjoy one another.

As I stood and watched my pack my eyes lingered on little Niki. I watched as she ran, play bowing to each dog, inviting them to play with her. Running with the Big Dogs.
I marvel at her big dog spirit. I watch as she approaches Bailey who is happily destroying a pine cone....a few growls, a few attempts at nibbling on his pine cone, before she just takes it from him.
I also marvel at her will to survive...I remember how she came to us and the obstacles we encountered along the way.

As a puppy Niki came to us by way of the creek that was behind our house. On a cold...rainy/sleet winters day...a day that found me ill with the flu and doing my best to rest on my comfy sofa surrounded by my five dogs...a different pack...all wonderful dogs that have since left us either from from old age or illness.
My two Golden's Montana and Phoenix were being a nuisance. Running back and forth, barking whining, crying...oh my poor aching head. I "commanded" they down....I then pleaded...I whined, and cried for them to stop.

Their persistence got me up....opened the back it was cold damp and very windy...I let them out and they ran the entire length of the fence. Phoenix kept running to me....barking and heading back to the fence. I looked, saw nothing, heard nothing made them come in....firmly told them to down. Just as I was getting comfy....they once again was at the back door...and yes, once again barking crying and whining. Not at all like either of them....though I really did not feel well I again went out, this time walked the length of the fence....trying to see into the wooded area....heard nothing but wind and the creek....moving water.

This was pretty much the entire morning well into the afternoon. Finally during another outing I heard this faint cry....yipping....sounded like a puppy or small dog. I moved closer to the fence....really trying to find the location of this dog. My Golden's now realizing I finally have a clue did their best to show me just where this dog was....however....they were still moving back and forth. As I listened it appeared as though the puppy sound was moving. My heart ached for it had rained pretty hard and the water level was up...and it was pretty cold with sleet and ice in the forecast. I ran into the house and called the non emergency number for the fire department. They were polite and explained if I did not have a visual they could be of no help.

I was not even sure just what I had now dressed a little warmer, just the two golden s and I headed out. I called out, clapped, whistled....the dogs barked and barked and staying in one spot. Montana stood his ground and growled, barked....Phoenix running to me, back to bark next to was then I heard the pup clear as a bell....this was the day Two Golden's saved a little puppy.

For those of you who know know I ma just not a "little " dog person. While I respect all breeds, I just always seemed to have a mid size, to larger breed. So...a little dog had joined the pack, though I was doing my best to find her a good home. After a visit to the veterinarian clinic, vaccinations started, puppy pictures posted on my web site....this little dog was in need of a forever home.
Training was started because I know full well the best way to help a dog find a forever home is to house train and teach several much needed commands (walking on leash, sit, down and come)....little Niki is a very shy, fearful and skittish dog. She needed a home with no children, an environment where she would be loved, around other dogs and of
Sounds to me as though she was already home....but, I thought I would try to find a "better" home for her.

There were several who instantly fell in love with her images...the stories I told of her and she was wanted and already loved. Sadly, the fact that there were children in the home or who visited the homes I decided it best if she stayed put.
I did what was best for the dog and it was not that she would not be loved...she would have...she was a pack dog and in watching her she gets her strength from the pack. Being an only dog...yes, she would have been lavished with attention and very much loved...I was fearful over the fact that she would snap at children and could easily see it escalating.

I took care of her...groomed her, trained her but it did take a while for me to "love" mind was set on finding her a home. Mike was smitten with her the moment she came into our lives, not to mention the dogs....especially the Golden's...all three of them put up with her antics of climbing all over them....stealing bones and toys....things they would not tolerate from the other dogs in the pack. Her puppy license had never been revoked ;-)

Over the years we have lost pets due to old age, illness and my pack was shrinking...and changing. One of the changes was Niki's spinal injury...then a series of mis-hap's occurred at the local Animal Emergency Clinic we brought her to.

Poor little Niki was paralyzed. Surgery was performed though several weeks later we were told there was little hope. Most recommended we put her to sleep....I looked at my little dog who in spirit was indeed a Big Dog and, impossible. I rolled up my sleeves and the work began....she worked so hard....had so much trust in me...we did it together...stretches, massages, balance exercises, water therapy and agility.
Now I smile as I watch her run....ears flopping....My Little/ Big Dog that Could ;-)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside...

Yes, it is in the news...Orlando and surrounding areas did indeed have snow. While it was just flurries....lovely white flakes did fall from the sky.
As many of my friends and family know I have been looking...venturing out and about in search of the flakes. I missed it....or it just did not happen in my neck of the woods.

That is until this morning....once outside there was frost on the grass and when I looked towards the lake....lots of ice found on the trees.
The subdivisions HOA...who by the way raised their monthly fee a good bit, does not do a very good job in over seeing the property. You would think they would turn off the sprinkler system during cold weather....did not even cover the exposed pipe. Of course when something goes wrong, that clearly could be prevented if only someone would oversee it....saving the homeowners a little money in the long run.
Tomorrow I will have to give them a call and mention a few things.

As the dogs and I wandered about this morning, camera in hand I did manage a few shots. To my 26 degrees...only a light jacket gloves...yep, it was chilly, though at 10 am it has already gone up to 34 degrees.
Anyone up for a dip in the ocean?

Dogs have it right....have a good f rollick, look for a few pine cones to toss about....have a little chew time then come in the warm house and take a nap.

Stay warm...keep your pets safe...though they enjoy a good romp in the cold, please do not keep them outside.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dinner for one...

Whats on Dee's Plate

When I started cooking on my own many years ago I was free to cook all of the things that my Mother did not like. Don't get me wrong...there are those comfort foods that my Mom cooks and let me tell you, they are the best ;-)
It is just that our tastes were a little different....I would at least give things a try before deciding if I liked Mom, not so much....nothing wrong with that, just her way. You should taste her pot roast and whipped potato's....really the best!

One of the first dishes that I prepared for myself all of those years ago was a simple Cheese Souffle...all those years of watching Julia me that was just soooo fancy ;-) The handful of chefs that were on Public Tv introduced me to the finer things in life ;-)
Today....Food TV....still, public TV has some of the best cooks and chefs. To not be able to cook...well all you need is a few afternoons to sit back and watch to get inspired.

Since then...when I make one, and it is a rare occasion that I do I usually get a little adventurous and add several ingredients. One of my favorites is Crab and cheese....oh my, delicious. The wonderful thing about a souffle is that you can put whatever you like into many ways to prepare.

Today finds me not feeling up to par...slight cold coming on....a little tired so I wanted a cheddar cheese souffle. Just like the very first time I made it....I went through the steps.... preheat oven 425...buttered my dish, sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese on top. Measured out all of my ingredients, separated the egg whites from yolks....melted my butter in a pan, added a small amount of flour....stirred, then let it rest a moment. I started whipping the egg whites into soft peaks, this was done by hand only because I was way too lazy to get the mixer out....and if you have a really good whisk it is really very easy to do by hand. I then added milk to my pan...salt, paprika, let it thicken...tempered the egg yolk then added to the pan, folded in a good spoonful of the egg white (after giving them another good whisk) along with half the cheese....mixed, then folded in the reminder egg whites and cheese. Poured into the buttered dish..placed the dish on a in the middle of the oven...turn oven temp down to 375 and set timer for 15 minutes (takes between 15-18 minutes). For this meal I made a green veggie and poured myself a glass of wine.

Just as I did all those years ago....turned on the oven light on and peaked once in a while through the door window for one should never open the oven need the heat to make it rise. What a happy feeling the bigger it gets. I decided to take a picture after I removed it from the oven....while it did not relaxed a bit...and they do.
Thursday, January 7, 2010

A sunny winters afternoon...

While the big freeze is in St. Augustine we warmed up and by this afternoon it was a sunny lovely day....well I guess that depends on who you talk to. Those that have lived forever are just not happy with the colder temps...the pack and I...we are loving it.

Today was Rocky's big day out and about....little wrestling with Bailey....that will be off limits for some time. He was one happy pup to do some training, earn a few treats and chase the red is good. Now if we can just keep him pain will be real good.

Our little video shows just how rusty the pups are after a few weeks of not much training, especially Bailey. Taped him to see just what we need to be working on....attention with distractions....stands...funny how he has started moving forward to stand, will have to fix that.....oh and those sloppy puppy sits...but oh my....he is so adorable and funny. None of which by the way are his fault. Time for me to put my training cap back on ;-)

Stay warm!!!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pack Theory....

Guess what...dogs are not wolves ;-)
Alpha Rolls are bad.

During a conversation a few weeks back a lovely woman corrected me when I referred to "My pack". She actually gasped and said I should never say is much more accurate. Ok...I needed a few minutes of entertainment I asked why is that...
Boy did I get an earful...with lots of studies by folks with fancy titles...something about alpha roles, and the TV show the Dog Whisperer (he does not have a fancy title...all the harm he does, should pulled off the air...should never force a dog)....all outdated...blah....blah...blah. I felt my eye in the early stages of twitching...I thought for sure she would be using the dreaded phrase "Pet Parent".

I smiled and asked her how many canines are part of her How well Trained... they enrolled in a few classes but things came up...the dog would rather play with all of the other dogs. How old is her dog....4, how long has the dog been a family member...since puppy hood.

I stated that I had never actually had the Pleasure of meeting the Dog Whisperer. While I am not an expert on all things regarding the Dog Whisperer, having only seen a few episodes....there was nothing I witnessed that made me say he should be pulled off the air. No....did not agree with all he said, he was entertaining, spoke clearly in a way his clients could easily understand...he stayed until the people could easily get the same results.
He seemed dedicated to improving the relationship of human and canine and guess actually have the ability to change the channel, nor do you have to hire him ;-)
It would seem to me that he has done more to advocate daily the life of the dog then most. Let me also add that there are those individuals that want immediate results, there are those folks that have been through three four trainers and still needed help.

OK folks.... In my household I am part of a pack...and I mean that with the utmost respect. I do indeed realize My dogs are not wolves.
While I have had moments of insanity... I would not invite a wild animal in my home...on purpose...hmmmmm Gemma was truly a "wild" dog...and well ok, there indeed is a critter living in the attic and s/he has out smarted me at every turn and just refuses to pay rent, or vacate the premises. Every few days I hear scratching in the ceiling....a little gnawing and the "Pack" and I will go in that area of the house and make allot of noise....the dogs bark....I bang on the walls....tap on the ceiling with the broom.
I have done my best to get a couple of the dogs to meow...they just refuse ;-)

I really do refer to my "family" as a "Pack"...I use it in an endearing....loving, and above all...respectful way. With four dogs, well they are a pack.
Oh...just as they are a pack.... I am the head of the household (you will be very happy to know that the gov. thinks of me that way as well)....and when one of my furry friends can hold down a paying job and pay taxes (several in past packs have actually worked to earn their kibble), serve dinner, be in charge of my grooming (and licking bare feet is not at all what I mean by grooming) they too can be the head of the household....I would gladly be a pack member. Hell, I would be happy if they would just vacuum up their fur on a daily basis ;-)

Human Nature....our chests puffed out...many of us realllly want to be the leader, in charge....Alpha. I am the Big Dog ;-)
When you share your life with a pack, the most amusing thing is that sometimes....well not so much. My sister would share with you that any shoes left about in my house would soon find it's way into a Goldens mouth and eventually be used as a tug toy. Yes indeed...they know leave it and drop, sit, and down....but an unsupervised shoe... just way to tempting and soooo much fun....they are anything feet obsessed.
Would they really dis me like that...I am after all the pack leader...aren't I
The dogs are smart enough to know I am the one that is in charge of feedings (a Personal Dog Chef...just one of my many "titles")...all treats, food comes by way of me.
Go past one of their feedings to see who is really in charge ;-)
Love and affection....yep....lots of that in a healthy pack....respect....more of that. I wear many hats...have many titles....that of entertainment coordinator, doggie walker
and if you read my post about the new dogs beds....all the comfort I can afford...all these things are given, though not freely....there indeed is a price...

Kidding aside they actually all do have a job and all earn their kibble. Their job be my ever faithful companions (comes natural to them) and to work along side of me responding to obedience commands....accompany me on walks, fetch, agility....and yes, even have some fun with shoes left about unsupervised.
My Theory... Nothing in life is free.

I wonder...
Has all the analyzing helped the dog. I am right, your wrong just seems silly to me.
All are fully aware that canines are not wolves...

All dogs require daily....Yes Daily Exercise...fresh air is good. All dogs should know the Basics in Obedience. Somewhere along the way the Basics in Obedience has been "dumbed down".
Many folks do not successfully teach their dogs Sit. Sit is actually more then the dogs touching his/her tush to the is pretty amazing to actually go through the entire process of teaching something so basic as a solid sit with distractions.

Nothing makes me smile more then seeing a dog and his person working together...and the dog having the ability to do a nice solid sit. Why is that so important....that is an individual that has taken the time to educate themselves and their dog...spend time with and actually get to know the dog. Humans, we sometimes do not know just how much the dog, in the process of us teaching the dog, just how much the dog is teaching us. It is a wonderful experience for both the dog and human.

In all of the years that I trained dogs and their people...the dogs...oh so very easy. In my career I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most intelligent have I worked with a few dogs that gave me a run for my money....boy oh boy did they make me work...what a learning experience...canines are so giving and so willing to teach us a thing or two.

The humans, funny I used to so often chuckle and say that many a dog was 10 steps a head of their people, and not just on leash ;-)
To our dogs, we are a quick study. They being so much better at reading our body language, tone in our voices...oh and the things they can smell about us.
In spite of of this we manage a way...and our dogs, oh so very patient as we fumble along, and then once we "get" too does the dog. ;-)
"Lord...Help me to be the person my dog thinks I am" ;-)

No need to To borrow a phrase....Just do it.
Exercise, play, train....make time for your pack...two legged and four ;-)

Just as I know my pack is not a wolf pack, neither are they human, nor are they my children. I respect and love them for who they are... dogs, furry companions.
They are Magnificent creatures that I have chosen to share my life with...and we make an awesome "Pack".

What are your or there such a thing as pack leader?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Breakfast for one

Whats on Dee's plate...

Cooking for one does indeed have its challenges. While there are meals I cook for one, I mostly cook a good portion or two and save for leftovers. Saving me from having to cook all of the time.

If left up to me, I would skip breakfast...and sadly...sometime I do. I pretty much force myself...something I very much struggle with.
I like to keep a few hard boiled eggs in my refrigerator, for those times I need some protein...something quick and easy.

Boxed cereal is always on hand though something I only reach for once in a while...and again, it is done for it's convenience. One thing you will not find is the heat and serve oatmeal....yuck. Too sweet, too mushy...gag. Even the old fashioned really is a textural thing...I do not like mushy.

With that stated...I do keep oatmeal on hand...steel cut. It has a nutty flavor...has a bit of a bite to it...that is if you do not over cook it.
For those with a more hectic schedule then I you can make it over night in your slow cooker. I have the time to cook it on the stove...takes about a half hour or so. I make four is cooked in water....kept plain and refrigerated. Then when I want it is is reheated with a tiny bit of milk and whatever spices, fruit I happen to be in the mood for that day....all ingredients are fresh.

This mornings oatmeal had some honey....just a touch...nutmeg, cinnamon...then added about a 1l4 cup of organic vanilla yogurt...mixed then topped with chopped walnuts and banana (with a few slices of banana pushed to the side), served with half an orange on the side.
A hearty breakfast with a bit of a nutty bite on this cold winter day.

Oh...and yes....I do share a few slices of banana with the dogs once my breakfast is completed. They wait patiently until I'm done....and politely remind me if I forget to give it to them.


Idiot meter...

When a loved one... two legged or four, becomes ill or suffers an injury the best thing we can do for them is help make their life a bit easier...if at all possible, make them more comfortable.
That is what I have been doing for Rocky for the past four weeks or so. He has been on daily dose of muscle relaxers and anti inflammatory for what the vet thinks is cervical disc disease.

He has had to be kept quiet with not much physical activity, not an easy task when dealing with a three year old Golden that is surrounded by a pack of dogs ranging in ages 1- six. After two weeks on the drugs he so wanted to jump, run play.....and then of course as I would place him in the crate to take the others out for a play....that unforgettable look.... haunting eyes that are screaming out.....Don't Leave Me in Here....TAKE ME WITH YOU....I WANT TO PLAY TOOOOO!!!
Please know that I am not at all exaggerating ;-)

The New Year found me giving him his last pill....since then I have been waiting , watching....slowly allowing him his freedom. Still, not allowing the two Goldens to wrestle....their most favorite pass time.
The last couple of days I have watched Rocky pick up a toy and parade it around Bailey....enticing him to play. With such a grand invitation to play, well to see the look in Baileys eyes, just what he has waited for....I am pretty quick to put a stop to it before it gets started...a big disappointment for both of them.

Having been watching the pack for all of these weeks I was very tickled to see Gemma step in to help Bailey with his energy...and of course to have a little fun herself.
Rocky let it be known, as did I there would be none of that and pretty much Bailey has really not tried to initiate play with him.
Bailey for the most part has turned to Gemma, his toys and me for a release of energy.

After all these weeks Rocky is letting the pack know he is now ready for some action...
As he is not yet out of the woods I think he needs a couple more weeks to warm up slowly to a more active way of life. Rocky has never been the most active Golden....too many joint issues for that. He does so enjoy a good fetch fest once in a while....loves playing with Bailey...enjoys walks.

I have worked hard at keeping Rocky mentally stimulated....along with trying to help him to heal with supplementation along with his prescription medication and the occasional dose of Milk thistle. of his very favorites and of course enough hugs, kisses to spoil any dog.

As I am not currently working I of course am so hoping healing has indeed taken place for
the cost of veterinarian care is so very expensive. Having relocated finding a good veterinarian clinic is a daunting and expensive task. The thought of surgery, not to mention his size... care ....well I do not even want to think about that....time will tell.

Recently I read a comment on FB stating anyone who would spend allot of money on a dog bed is basically an idiot. I had a pretty good chuckle for Mike had gone out looking for a comfy bed for Rocky's crate. Since he would be spending a good amount of time in it....keeping him comfortable was important to us. can just throw a pillow down for their dogs....they would indeed find it comfy and cozy. Before little Niki's back surgery several years ago old comforters were used in crates, on the floor. As an individual that suffers from RA and Lupus....well I know pain and discomfort...the importance of a good mattress can indeed make all the difference.

With that thought process....and the experience of having my fair share of senior dogs in my pack that suffered from arthritis the hunt was on for a more comfy...well made dog bed that wold fit into the crate.

Mike volunteered to look around for something more suitable...he happened across a bed that would be wonderful for Rocky's crate as he explained it to me via phone conversations...I then thought of Gemma who is now six and showing a few joint issues. Her crate is kept in my studio which in cold weather does not warm up as the other rooms in the house. I could easily move the crate, however this is the space she is most comfortable in. The bed is several inches thick (keeping her away from the drafts...enough support for those achy sore joints)....well lined, easy to care for.

Two were for Rocky, one for Gemma. Bailey prefers to not have a bed in his crate...though when colder I do place a throw mat inside....Niki....hers was specially made for her....she is partially paralyzed and one must give pressure points a thought...along with those areas where there is little feeling....and of course it must be lined.

The beds....a great big hit.
I have opted to keep the fuzzy throw mats on top of the new bed...making it even more comfy...Goldens, they love a bolster to rest their head on, or hang their head off of it.
Bailey....he enjoys a little snooze in either Rocky's or Gemma's will you often find Niki in one of the crates with the new beds when unoccupied. Rocky....well his first time in the crate with his new bed there was little moving around trying to find a comfortable position...a big difference from before the bed was placed in the crate.. Yes....he likes it.

The comment was not made about me, nor directed at me in fact until now I had not made reference to the purchased beds. No offense was taken other then amusement. Most of us share our opinions based on our own life experiences...forgetting we each take a different path in life....forgetting that our experiences are easy to do here in cyberspace.

Human Nature....we each will have moments of behaving like an idiot...each of us will not always be the brightest light on the tree...Searching out and purchasing a bed for my dogs that costs a good bit because it is well made (and made in the USA), durable and easy to care for....nope not even close on the stupid/idiot meter ;-)

So....while I no doubt each of us has indeed over indulged our children, furry friends and other loved ones....wondering, just what is the most expensive item you have purchased for one of your furry friends?
I am stepping up here to announce...other then the dog beds ;-) that when Phoenix was with us...he indeed was a wonderful, fun dog.....he also happened to be very hyper and always needed something to do....I went out and purchased agility equipment....not very good with my hands I could not make it.

I purchased solid, well built equipment....a bit pricey but with yearly maintenance it would last a lifetime. The best money I ever spent...and indeed, he was well worth it ;-) as was many other dogs...all benefited from the exercise, mental stimulation as was it the best way to bond...and for Niki....a wonderful....creative way to keep her from getting bored with her rehab.
I still have that equipment and remember well working along side Phoenix and passing what I learned along to others.

Spend time with your furry friends....take the time to better learn to communicate and understand them, teach them....they are so much more intelligent then we give them credit for... while I would love to write that sharing one's life with a furry friend will cost you really depends on just what you can depends on your circumstances. There is nothing wrong with every once in a while splurging on our loved ones.

Remember...Your time....well it is the least expensive thing of all.
Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cold Front...

This morning much of Fl woke to much colder temperatures. No complaints from me as there is snow in the forecast for many of the states north of us. Still....many who have lived here for several years seem to have lost the ability to tolerate the cold.

This morning happened to be my Beach Walk morning. Up and dressed in layers, reached for the scarf that was given to me as a Christmas present (Thanks Mom) and I headed out. While there were a few folks out, it was high tide and I am guessing a bit to cold for most to venture out...I almost stayed in bed. Something about Saturday mornings and sleeping in, just goes together....especially on a chilly morning. As the forecast for tomorrow morning is in the 20's....I am sure I will stay in bed and sleep in.

Lots of birds on the beach this morning to keep me company. As I was dog less, one of those oh so rare occasions... they did not at all feel too threatened as I approached them.

Upon my arrival back from the beach I was greeted by two Goldens who knew where I was going....took a couple of seconds for them to forgive me...but forgive me they did.
While they are so good about showing you just how very much you have annoyed more then a few seconds to get their point across.

Funny, I walk to be healthier and all the fresh air and walking actually increases my appetite. This morning I gave into it and we went for a drive to Ormond Beach and had a late breakfast at Alfie's. If ever in the area stop by, you will not be sorry.
I had the 2-2-2 (two eggs, two french toast and two sausages) and cleaned my plate.

Images taken with my cell phone.

Stay Warm dear friends...wherever you are!


Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten
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