The Rat Terrier Review: Fourth of July edition!

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

2015-07-03 - Smithville Lake - 0130 [flickr]

I can’t believe we’re five days into July already! The summer is just flying by. Luckily, we’ve managed to cram plenty of fun/new/memory-making things into it, heat and rain be damned.

Of course, we got plenty of walks in this week. Sunday morning we even explored a new trail: the Trice-Dedman Memorial Woods, which is so hidden and out-of-the-way that it doesn’t even have a parking lot, just a shoulder alongside the highway to park on.

2015-06-28 - Trice-Dedman Memorial Woods - 0001 [flickr]

Your sign says “welcome,” but your chained gate says “GTFO.”
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Needless to say, we had the place all to ourselves. That’s the good part. The bad? Well, the trail’s very narrow and I was on high alert for poison ivy the whole time. That kind of sucked most of the joy out of it. Also, Shane managed to get us lost – after I was already headed the right way back to the car. Yeah.

2015-06-28 - Trice-Dedman Memorial Woods - 0010 [flickr]

Peedee was super-anxious the whole time, but Rennie and (especially, weirdly) Mags had a rad time. I think she likes the feel of soft, squishy earth on her tiny little feet.

(More below the fold…)

Have-a-Hearty Hound Loaf & 4th of July pics

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Update, 7/15/09:

2009-07-14 - Have-a-Hearty Hound Loaf - 0002

Here’s a photo of the loaf. It actually held up much better than I expected; even though the center isn’t fully cooked, the beans and peanut butter are sticky enough to bind it together. And the dogs love it! Once this dish is finished, I think I’ll try another loaf concoction, but with mashed tofu instead of beans.

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In the days before delicious and vegan dog food blogs, I collected my favorite recipes in a three-ring binder. Two of ’em, actually: one for the humans, another for the dogs. The dogs’ binder is literally twice as large as the humans’. Priorities, people, priorities.

(Sadly, Ozzy doesn’t get any home-cooked food, let alone a binder, since I’m not at all comfortable cooking for a cat. Technically, he’s “Shane’s cat,” as the husband adopted him well before I came into the picture. Thus, I can all-too-conveniently delegate/relinquish all food- and health-related decisions re: Ozzy to the Mr. Consequently, Ozzy is the only omni in the house. End tangent.)

Anyhow, I’ve been wanting to mix their menu up a little lately, so last night I pulled out the doggeh binder in search of recipes. Instead of following any one recipe verbatim, I decided to veganize the “Hearty Hound Loaf” from the Three Dog Bakery Cookbook. Naturally, I also had to rename the dish; “Have-a-Heart(y) Hound Loaf” struck my fancy since, unlike the original recipe, mine does not include the corpses of other animals (in this case, turkeys).

Actually, to say that I merely veganized the recipe isn’t wholly accurate; more like I used it as a starting point to develop my own loaf-like dish. Here, the cooked and mashed beans act as a stand-in for “ground turkey”; the peanut butter replaces the tomato paste (though this is optional); and Liquid Smoke is the main spice, as opposed to sage and garlic. And did I mention that I quadrupled the original?

I considered adding some Vegedog to the mix – but it’s got an awfully strong smell, and I wasn’t quite sure if/how it would change the taste of the loaf. I purchased a small trial size of the Vegedog a few years back, and it’s been sitting in the back of my cupboard ever since. I haven’t a clue what to do with it, and the accompanying recipes aren’t much help.

For starters, the serving sizes are huge! The Soy Kibble recipe, for example, calls for 33 cups of whole wheat flour, 14 1/8 cups of soy flour, 2 3/4 cups corn meal, 1 cup yeast powder, and 1/3 cup baking powder! Who has that much flour on hand!? Plus, I already have vegetarian (possibly vegan; DelMonte has yet to return my emails) dog kibble – I don’t need to make my own. The food I do make, I use to “dress up” the kibble and add some variety to their meals. So crazy massive serving sizes of diy kibble, not so helpful.

Readers, help a doggy mama out! How do you use Vegedog?

And I know I’m probably rambling at this point, but a word on dried beans. For a long time, I refused to use them, opting instead for the canned stuff. I assumed (wrongly, it turns out) that 1) dried beans would be a huge pain in the ass to prepare; and 2) they couldn’t be all that much cheaper than the canned stuff.

In point o’ facts, dried beans aren’t all that much of an inconvenience; really, they just require a little foresight. (I soak mine the night before I plan to use them.) Price wise, 16 oz. of dried beans cost roughly the same as 16 oz. of canned beans. But when you do the math – a 16 oz. bag of dried beans yields 6 cups of cooked beans, while a 16 oz. can of beans equals a mere 1.5 cups of beans (!) – the dried beans are a steal!

Plus, no added salt, which is a huge plus, as Kaylee was diagnosed with a heart murmur on her last trip to the vet. He can’t say for sure that a low-sodium diet will keep her ticker from getting worse, but if there’s even the slightest chance it’ll extend her life, I’ll do it. (We switched to dried beans the next shopping trip after her diagnosis.) She’s like a second mother to me – my canine mom, if you will. Sweetest old lady you could ever hope to meet. I only wish we could have adopted her earlier, before she became elible for an AARP membership, and before her old “owners” did such a number on her. But I digress. Yet again.

Moral of the story: dried beans, not so bad.

Anyway. The husband went to Vegas for TAM7 this weekend, taking my good camera with him. The backup’s on the fritz, so unfortunately, I don’t have a photo for y’all. Sucks. I’ll try to snap one on Monday, though it probably won’t be very pretty. (I expect the loaf to crumble when I transfer it to a storage container.) Next time, maybe.

Instead, I leave you with pictures of Kaylee, hiding in the bathroom cabinets during the 4th of July fireworks display/Armageddon. (That’s what it must have felt like for the dogs, anyway – doubly so since the park where the display is held sits only two properties away from our place.) Peedee’s in a few of the pictures, too, but I think he was just keeping the old lady company.

(More below the fold…)

IDA: Fourth of July Animal Safety Tips

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

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From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at] idausa.org
Date: Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 4:25 PM
Subject: Fourth of July Animal Safety Tips

Keep Your Animals Safe On July 4th!

Photo via Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton

The Fourth of July can be one of the most dangerous and frightening holidays for animals. Loud explosions are terrifying to animals who don’t understand them.

With proper planning and some common sense, your companion animals can remain safe and secure on Independence Day. Here are some tips:

* First and foremost, leave your companion animals at home when you go to see fireworks! Resist the urge to take them to fireworks displays.

* Before you leave home for the fireworks, make sure your animals are indoors in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your companion animal could destroy or that would be harmful if chewed or swallowed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him/her company.

* Make sure your animals are wearing identification tags (and it’s even better if they’re also microchipped!) so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly.

* Do not leave an animal in your car. With only hot air to breathe, your animal friend can suffer serious health effects, even death, in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air or cooling, but they do provide an opportunity for your animal to be kidnapped.

* If you know that your animal becomes seriously distressed by loud noises, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.

* Never leave your animals outside unattended, even in a fenced yard, and especially not on a chain. With explosions occuring, animals who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death. (There are lots of other reasons to never leave your dog chained! Contact us if you want more information about the negative effects of chaining dogs.)

* If you find somebody else’s companion animals running at-large, either take them to the address on the tag, if you feel comfortable doing so, or bring them to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their human families.

(More below the fold…)

Keep Your Pets Companion Animals Safe this Fourth of July

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Los Angeles – LA Animal Services is suggesting pet owners get their pets micro-chipped before the 4th of July. More animals are lost during the 4th of July celebrations than at any other time of the year. Loud noises from fireworks frighten animals due to their heightened senses of hearing, and they will do anything to escape the noise. This behavior is usually unpredictable and out of character, and it may include chewing through a leash, jumping through screens and glass windows, digging under a fence, jumping over a wall, bolting away from the owner, and running into traffic.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to help ensure your pet’s protection. Just follow these five simple guidelines to make July 4th a great holiday for both of you!

Don’t take your pet to fireworks displays. The explosions of the fireworks are loud to the human ear. Imagine how loud it sounds to your dog, who can hear sounds up to 60,000 cycles per second — that’s three times greater than the human ear can even register.

Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects, even death, in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen. This practice is also illegal in the state of California.

Keep your pets indoors in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals become destructive when frightened, so be sure you’ve removed any items your pet could destroy or may be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while you’re attending 4th of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.

If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.

Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal care center, where they have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.

Two forms of ID are always best when it comes to protecting your pet. If an individual finds your pet, the first thing he or she will look for is an ID tag. If your pet is taken to a shelter, it will also be scanned for a microchip. LA Animal Services micro-chips pets for $25.

(Via ms2 and the DDB mailing list.)

Additional resources:

Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th, from the HSUS

4th of July Precautions for Pets, on iVillage

Excitement turns to fear for pets on Fourth of July, in the Oakland Tribune

Keep Your Pet Safe on the Fourth of July, from the Sacramento SPCA

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