Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

July 27, 2010

Playing "Fetch The Basketball"

The recent heat wave hasn't slowed Gracie down much, to my surprise. She's been eager to go outside and play. I've carefully limited her outdoor play time on very hot days, trying to get it done in the early morning or late evening hours when temperatures are cooler.

Here is a video clip of Gracie during play time last week:

July 20, 2010

Ground Beef Dinner 7-20-10

Seasoned (parsley, rosemary, dash of salt) ground beef cooked in corn oil

White rice

Whole wheat bread

Gouda cheese

Small piece of cooked broccoli

July 13, 2010

Gracie's Snacks

In addition to Gracie's homemade meals and doggie biscuits (click here for a Doggie Biscuit recipe), we often share our snacks with her.
Whenever we have a snack Gracie, will usually have one too. Some of her favorites are:

Crusty Italian or French bread
Ice cream (vanilla or butternut pecan; no chocolate or coffee)
Cereal and milk
Medjool dates (no more than one whole one)
Any canned fish
Peanut butter (especially if it's stuffed into a rubber Kong Toy -- click here for a photo))

And if we're eating potato chips, walnuts or pecans, raw apple or blueberries, Gracie will eat some too. However, these foods don't excite her as much as the snacks listed above.

July 6, 2010

Peaceful Coexistence

When a friend asked me to babysit her pet parakeet I worried about Gracie's reaction to the house guest. Especially since this parakeet needs to fly around every day and Gracie often chases birds in the backyard.

I planned to carefully introduce my dog to the parakeet (while it was IN it's cage!) so she could become familiar with the bird's scent. Then I figured I'd have to pull her away from the cage and separate her and the bird the whole time the bird stayed with us.

Well, I was wrong. And my dog has, once again, shown me how wonderfully loyal dogs can be. When I showed Gracie the parakeet I actually told her we'd be taking care of the bird for a little while and she had to be very careful with this bird while it stayed with us. I realize my dog doesn't speak English but I believe she understood the feelings my voice conveyed. She seemed to realize this bird would be "one of us" for a while and we had to protect and care for it, not chase or eat it!

Even when the parakeet flew around the house Gracie pretty much ignored it. Only when the parakeet scuttled around on the floor did Gracie seem to notice it. I was glad to see the parakeet wasn't afraid of Gracie but I didn't think it was a good idea (for the parakeet's sake) to let it think dogs were perfectly okay to chum around with. When the parakeet was out of its cage I made an effort to keep it away from Gracie but one time it landed on my dog's back (while she was eating!!!) and one time on her head (while she laying down, resting). Both times Gracie quickly shrugged it off --- yet she did it slowly and gently; as if to say, "Get this bird off me please."

Gracie was a wonderful host to our visitor. Even so, I remained extremely vigilant while the parakeet stayed with us. No matter how obedient and well behaved my dog is, I try to respect what I call, "her culture (meaning: her instinctive behaviors)."

Too many dog owners expect their pets to have unreasonable control of their instincts. They expect their dogs to behave like humans and they end up getting mad when their dogs behave like dogs.