Sunday, March 2, 2008

Food From the Heart

This time last year, I had two dogs.  Duke, my 7 year old Dobie and the old man Augie Doggie.  Augie was 13 years old when he died in May.  He was the sweetest little guy, an Airedale Terrier, with the kindest nature.  He was also a few kibbles shy of a full bowl so he sort of fit right in here.  He was old with chronic ear problems but other than that, frisky and healthy.  It was a shock to me when he became abruptly ill to the point we had to euthanize him.  It was devastating and my poor Dobie seemed to take it the hardest.
Little by little, Duke's health began to fail.  He developed hip/arthritis problems.  His coat was falling out and looked horrible.  He was sleeping all the time.  He wouldn't get up to greet me when I came home (so not like him).  Worst of all, this eating machine wouldn't touch his kibble.  The weight was falling off his body; he lost 30 pounds in 3 months.  I thought he was depressed and secretly worried he had cancer. 

 I couldn't bear to hear the news and made my husband and my son take him to the vet.  The vet diagnosed him with hip dysplasia and recommended hip replacements but 2 schools of vet medicine were not keen on this due to his age (he was now 8 and considered a little old for this surgery).  We put him on supplements, vitamins, pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs pretty much to no avail.  Still he wouldn't eat. 
And then I remembered the dog food tainted with melamine from dog food products purchased from China.  This fiasco was quickly followed by toy safety issues (lead poisoning) and contaminated tooth paste, etc.   In my mind, someone (ruthless Chinese dog food manufacturer), somewhere (China) was killing my dogs.  My dog's food was never recalled and never implicated, but once a thought gets in my head, it never goes away.  I'm like a pitt bull with a fresh femur bone.  Somehow, this food was poisoning my dog and he was too smart to eat it.  So he starved.  I couldn't let this happen.

I googled home-made dog food recipes and threw a whole bunch of whole grains, vegetables and meat in a pot and cooked until tender.  The dog snarfed it up (uhm, so did my husband but that's another post).  So it wasn't the fact that he couldn't eat, it was that he wouldn't eat that tainted food I had been giving him.  This was 3 months ago.  I'm still cooking for him several times a week.  His coat is beautiful, he has put on weight, he is perky and greets me at the door daily.  I'd say it's worth it since it gave me back my loyal friend.


Willowtree said...

That really is a good news story! I've never been a fan of kibble, I give it to hem but only half a cup a day for the bigger guys and a quarter cup for Buddy, the rest is meat. Plus I only buy Aussie made dry food.

Crazydancer said...

You have the cutest dog!!! Do you make human food, too? I will be over for dinner.

Rudee said...

I've sworn off kibble WT. The stuff I used to buy was made here in the states and was a premium brand. I mixed his kibble with meat too, but he cherry picked it and left all the kibble in the bowl. He eats everything I make now so things are better. I'm happy to have my mooching beast back.

Rudee said...

Why yes crazydancer, when pressed I cook for the humans in my family too-but Duke comes first. In a pinch, I could always season his slop and pass it off as an exotic grain and ground turkey casserole!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I really should do this too. Last night my own personal favorite dog in the universe started limping and could barely get up the stairs. It scared the hell out of me.

He's better this morning, but still not a hundred percent. My problem is that one of our dogs is a rescue lab with abandonment issues and she eats non-stop. It would be liking trying to fill a never ending hole.