Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Things I Do For Those Dogs!

It's a busy jam week this week.  That's because I was a bit of a slacker the week before, and then was at two markets on the weekend and sold about $500 worth, so now I'm playing catch up.  But this post is mostly about the dogs.  I think most of you know that I feed our dogs raw food. 
So this is what I did yesterday morning.  
Cut fish heads in half.  

A friend asked me if I wanted some salmon heads.  I'm always looking for cheap and different protein sources for the dogs, so I jumped on it.  The heads were pretty big, so I cut them down the center so that one head became two halves.  So there I am with my thumb stuck in the eye socket to hang on to the slippery beast while I hacksawed it in half.  Have you seen the teeth on a salmon?  They are like extremely sharp saw blades.  So sharp that I actually worry about them doing damage, so I try to rasp the needle like tips off them.  Yep, there I am, rasping salmon teeth.  Probably going a little overboard with that, but if it makes me feel better, so be it.  So they had salmon for breakfast yesterday morning, and then the rest got put back in the dog freezer for future meals.

Now one of the best things we did when we renovated this house a lot of years ago was replace the dinky kitchen window with a big garden type one, so I get a 180 degree view.  So while I'm stuck in the kitchen I get a good view of the goings on outside.  It was entertaining at one point to watch Jake and Luna.  First Luna rolled on the grass, and then Jake came along and flopped himself down and banged into her and rolled around too. Kind of a 'what you can do, I can do better, hey do ya wanna play?'
Nope, Luna had a bone, which appears to me to be from the deer carcass.   Now when that got carried back to the house, I do not know.  They can't get out there without us opening gates for them, and they sure didn't carry it back on my watch.  Must have been when it was just Larry with them, he doesn't notice things quite the same;-)

  Meanwhile, I was making marmalade. 
Then Larry must have been doing something to get their attention down by the house.  Jake was just hanging around, 'cause you just never know....

And sure enough, she of a short attention span, got distracted by something else, and Jake scored the bone

And then when I looked a little closer, Luna was working on a different bone, a shoulder blade of that same deer, I assume. Same story as to how the heck did that make it back to the house?

And then Luna decided to leave hers, and head Jake's way.  He turned the other way quickly, maybe to protect the bone, or maybe so he couldn't see the evil looks he knew she would be giving him.
What's mine is mine, and what's your's is her motto.

Eventually the marmalade got done, two different kinds, and a batch of jam too.  Then I threw in the towel and headed outside, where I had another lovely job to do.  From the same friend that gave me the fish heads, I had also got a bucket of tripe.  If you didn't already know, tripe is a cow stomach.  It is particularly prized by the raw feeders, because it contains digestive enzymes and probiotics that are great for your dog. If you are interested, here is some info.
Tripe stinks, there is no way around it.  I've found the best way to deal with it is to cut it with scissors.

So I was out at the front of the house with Calli, working away on the tripe.  The scissors are kitchen shears, ones I use to cut up stuff for the dogs, and they were dull.  It was hard work.  I even ended up with a blister on the side of my finger.  Eventually Jake and Luna showed up.  Jake didn't stick around for long, but Luna figured she should position herself in front of Calli, you know, so Calli couldn't get to the tripe before her.

She was snarling at big flies that showed up.  Then I figured Jake must have come into view, although I couldn't see him because he would have been on the other side of the car.

You may or may not notice something funny about her mouth.  She has no canine teeth.  Well actually she still has them, but they are worn down level with her other teeth.  We don't know why, she doesn't play with tennis balls (notoriously hard on a dog's teeth) or chew on rocks.  Yes, she eats raw food, complete with small bones that get crunched up, but that is done with the back teeth, not the front.  Those front canines are for ripping and tearing.

Jake didn't bother coming any closer.  Not that he was even close to start with.

Then Calli moved and she got one of those looks too, and Luna got heck from me for that.
She says but really, I'm such a sweet, sweet dog..

So the tripe all got cut up and onto cookies sheets and cake pans, and went into the freezer.  Once it's frozen it will be bagged up.
I'll bet your day smelled much sweeter than mine!


  1. Goodness, what a hard day's work you had. Have you always fed your dogs nothing but raw foods? That is interesting. Makes me wonder if we need to change Eli's diet. I've been meaning to make more dog treats from the chicken livers and gizzards like you suggested when we first got Eli. He loved them! You are an amazingly hard working lady! I enjoy your posts.

    1. Henny, I switched over gradually about 6 years ago. It can be quite expensive or relatively cheap, depending on what resources you have. The most expensive way is to buy the premade blocks, which have the correct percentage of meat, bone and organ meat. My butcher makes up blocks from the scraps of meat he has. They have no bone in them, and may or may not have organ meat. I use them as a basis of one meal a day, and may add organ meat to them, or tripe or whole eggs. You can see them next to the fish heads. The other meal is the boney meal, so they get chicken parts or turkey or maybe some pork bones, or pigs feet, or fish like salmon or sardines for the omega threes. Some people add vegetables or fruit. I don't, I feed what is called 'prey model'. The dogs do get some fruit that they pick themselves, or pick up off the ground, berries, apples and pears, and the odd vegetable too. Not a lot of vets are on board with this yet, but they are slowly coming around. If you want some more info, just google 'the benefits of feeding raw dog food'

  2. You are a hard working gal! I know feeding raw is lots of work...interesting about Luna's canines...Chances are worn but not like hers...I suppose just like some people have better teeth than others. :)

    1. Yes, I think you are right about her teeth. Jake's are worn somewhat too, but nothing like Luna's. Calli has the biggest canines, or what's left of them after she lost some when she broke her jaw many years ago. She is the one that likes to carry rocks around. Go figure!

  3. Ha ha, dogs. This is why I love just watching the dogs - they're always up to something! :)

  4. It is going back to basics of the wolf really with the raw food and fish the brains and head of the fish have the most protein in them and so it is what wolves eat and dogs derive from the wolf so it makes sense ! Dogs definitely do have their own characters and quirks . Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

  5. Luna and Kilt have so much grey! Thought you would like to know that Kilt has the same teeth! Along with other similar characteristics, makes me pretty sure our Canadian girls are related!
    You feed the whole salmon head, teeth and all? Do you ever worry about Salmonella?

  6. Salmon...Salmonella, at first I was wondering if you were making a joke! No, I don't worry about Salmonella with the dogs. Their digestive tract is much shorter than ours, food is in their digestive tract a much shorter time than for us, and the salmonella bacteria generally don't get enough time to multiply enough to cause an issue. (or something like that!) There is something of concern with raw salmon though.

    The salmon needs to be frozen for a while before feeding, which is what I always do. Yes, they eat the whole head.
    I know, Luna and Kilt seem very similar, but Luna came from a pet home in Portland (and not a good one for an active border collie by the sounds of it) and was adopted out of BC rescue in Seattle. So I find it kind of hard to imagine that a dog from a decent breeder ended up in a situation like that? Who really knows though:)

  7. I would be freaked out giving them those sharp teeth, etc. I guess i don't have to worry since i don't feed raw. Yes, their digestive tracts are much shorter. I guess freezing raw is a good thing. I still think they are related :)

  8. Raw dog food diet is intended to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral menu. This concept (raw feeding) is based on a dog’s instinctive carnivorous bias. The dog is a direct descendant of wolves and is not genetically optimized to consume the 50% carbohydrate content of today’s kibbles. Raw feeding has several advantages; improved digestion, better weight management, firmer stools are just a fraction of them.

    Kelley @ The Whole Hound


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