Friday, July 29, 2011

{ Sharing the Kitchen With } Glo shows me her doggy tested recipes for homemade dog food

I am the proud mommy of a fur child.

So proud, in fact, that 75% of the photos on my iPhone are of her and I probably have about 10 gigs of photos on my backup drive that I shot with my 5D. It didn’t take long for me to become one of those people who post photos of their dogs on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, have photos of them all over work stations  and screensavers and wallpaper on computers. Starbuck even has her own blog (though it’s been a bit neglected of late) and I post a lot of photos of her on my other blog. Yes, this blondie has become my center and I’ll admit that sometimes, even being on as tight of a budget as I am some months, I will go cheap on my own groceries so I am not skimping on the quality of her dog food (and, ahem! treats). I occasionally will buy her wet food but most of the time, she’ll sniff it, taste it and walk away. So when my friend Gloria told me about her two super simple homemade dog food recipes she makes for her fur child, I jumped at her offer to share them with me.

Happy Anniversary, Starbuck
Starbuck on the day I brought her home from the Humane Society one year ago.

Today is the one year anniversary of the day I rescued my little Starbuck from the Humane Society. I’d been looking for a dog for more than a year. Once a week, I’d pour myself a glass of wine, fire up the laptop and peruse the pages of our local Humane Society, Animal Shelter and dog rescues.

Over the course of a year or so, I’d met several dogs but had yet to make a connection with any of them. I was beginning to think that because I’d always been a cat person, I would never find a dog that I could commit to. I’d given myself one more month to look. If I came up empty, then I figured I’d change course and bring home a kitty instead.

One Wednesday evening, I came across a photo of a white and brown spotted cocker spaniel on the Humane Society website. The next day, I left work during my lunch break to see the dog in person. When I reached his “apartment,” I couldn’t believe how cute he was. But he already had 7 holds on him. Disheartened, I moved on to the next apartment where a very vocal jack russell was at the window trying to get my attention. So I stopped to give him some when I noticed he had a roommate. A smallish blonde puppy was lying on the floor playing with a chew toy completely ignoring the terrier. I looked at the info posted on the window. Lettie was her shelter name and she was a 10 month old cocker spaniel. You’d never know it by looking at her. She had this crazy Nina Blackwood head of hair and the fur covering her body was short and choppy all over.
By Halloween, there was no mistaking that Starbuck was a full-blown cocker spaniel.
I asked to see her immediately and found out that she had just been released from observation that morning and didn’t even have a profile online yet. She came up to me, tail wagging, butt wiggling, licked my hand and then sat on the floor watching me as I wrestled with her roommate who was determined to keep my attention all to himself.

And that was it. The fact that she acknowledged me but wasn’t so aggressive as to fight the terrier for my attention made me fall in love with her and her sweet temperament. I knew I’d met “the one.”
Spanish Landing is one of Starbuck's favorite spots: she watches the sailboats go by, chasing the seagulls and enjoys all the loving she gets from folks out exercising who stop to pet her.
Two days later, I got to bring her home. Little did I know then, or in the frustrating early two months of training, exactly how much this buff cocker spaniel would add joy and love to my life. I take her nearly everywhere with me. She’s won over everyone who has met her. And now, a year later, I can’t imagine my life without her.
Making Homemade Dog Food
This is Glo.

This is her dog Bonnie. Isn’t she adorable?

Glo told me that she started making Bonnie’s dog food – and Clyde’s, too, who they lost suddenly a while ago – when the dogs where a year old. It was just about the time that she and her finance, Sean, moved to California.

“I couldn’t stand the smell of it,” said Glo of the first time she opened a can of wet dog food. She decided then and there that there was no way she was going to feed it to her “kids.”

Faced with the dilemma of finding an alternative, she did what most of us do when faced with a question: She Googled. The recipes she’s sharing with us today are modified versions of what she found all those years ago.

“The beauty of these recipes are that you can substitute any veggies (that are safe for dogs) for ones that are just about to turn. You can even use leftovers,” she says. In fact, the potatoes used for one of these recipes were from dinner the night before. As for the meat, she buys whichever ground meat is on sale come shopping day.

I asked what Bonnie’s vet said about her feeding these homemade dog foods to her. “Oh, the vet’s fine with it completely,” said Glo. When it’s time to eat, Bonnie gets a bowl made up of half good quality dry dog food and half homemade dog food.
Easy Peasy
Nena, Glo's beautiful little girl, kept us company in the kitchen while we cooked up this first batch.
Isn't she lovely? Her eyes are the first thing you see. Large, round and a gorgeous shade of blue.

Ok, baby break is over. 

First up: Ground turkey with brown rice and carrots

Heat up a pan and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil (Glo used olive oil).

While the oil heats up, chop the carrots in a food processor.

When the oil is hot, add the meat and begin to break it up.
Once it starts to cook, add the carrots and cook until the meat is almost cooked through.

Add water to help steam the carrots.

Add pre-cooked rice. Glo was a little short on leftover brown rice so she added some white rice to get the right amount and then finishes the dish with a pinch of salt.

Mmmmm. What is that smell? 
Starbuck was circling me when I moved the bowl of food over to the coffee table to take the "finished" shot. She could hardly wait to taste.

Next up: Ground beef, zucchini, potatoes

Use a food processor to shred the zucchini.

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon to begin the browning process.

 Add the zucchini. Stir to combine.

Add the pre-cooked potatoes.

By this time, the girls were circling Glo. They could smell something yummy cooking.
 Glo added a dash of salt to the pan. And this recipe is ready to serve up.

A couple tablespoons of dry food and a couple of this homemade dog food and …

dinner is served.

(CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR PRINTABLE RECIPE CARDS)





Have an awesome weekend!

Until next time,
Ani

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a good recipe for a balanced canine diet. Our most loyal and lovable companions deserve nothing but the best.

    ReplyDelete