Friday, January 30, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 365- A Delicious Year

Here's to 365 days of whole, natural and fresh-food feasting.
To all of my dogger blogger buddies and their people~

May there be many more happy, healthy years to come!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 363- Repeating a Grade

So, on Monday night my mom got in my face and was all like, "Stanislaw, you are one Naughty Boy. We need to fix this." And all I could think was, "Haven't I already been fixed? What else is this crazy woman planning to remove?!" I was busy snoozeling in her bed which she always says is a "dog-free zone" - more crazy talk from the food mommy - when I overheard her yack yack yacking on the phone to my grandparents. Turns out, mom didn't much appreciate it when I pulled away from her again during Monday's walk. I gave myself another tour of the Michigan Avenue gardens and tempted Fate with some traffic, before stopping to say a big Hello to this guy's 2 tiny dogs. That dude saw mom screaming with Big Pupi in tow and he jumped me. Whatever dude! I don't even KNOW you! You are NOT the boss of me!

Fortunately this freewheeling tour of my territory was a short one thanks to that very nice guy. (And NO THANKS to all those nasty people who pretended NOT TO NOTICE what was going on when Stan brushed right past your ankles and I was begging you to catch him and screaming that he's friendly!!!) Woah. Chill out mom. I told you she was nutz. Anyway, that dude was so nice he even sat with mom while she dealt with one heck of an asthma attack after sprinting through knee-high snow in the icy air. I don't know what her deal is sometimes.

Anyway, we trudged our way home with mom saying evil words under her wheezing breath and calling me Naughty Boy and stuff. I did NOT get my green bean baby food snack she promised. In fact, she ignored me for the rest of the day and click clicked on her computer and yack yacked to her parents. I was all like WHATEVER! and proceeding to pop and skin Big Pupi's tennis ball.It wasn't until I heard mom call my doctor and ask them for recommendations for places to get me fixed that my fur stood on end and I knew she was serious about this. I took quick stock of body parts and realized that my ears are unusually long and perhaps they're next to go - I've already sacrificed half my tail and my danglies. What more could this nut-job human want from a handsome beast like me?

Big Pupi knocked me upside the head and said, "Duh, dude! You're in for an attitude adjustment! Mom likes us to be Good Boy and you're a royal pain in the bahonkus! You totally cramp my Good Boy style." I was all like WOAH! What? AWESOME! Except that I found out that I'm repeating Basic Obedience. I already passed that one, man! Don't I get to study about being an astronaut or something now? I don't want to revisit that Sit Heel Stay Come stuff again! Totally lame-o. After 6 weeks of that torture scheme, mom will put me into the summer "Front Class" at another school, which is all about recall and major distractions. Just you wait, mom! I've got your major distraction right here.

When does this lunatic give up and let me revel in my beastliness? She keeps saying that Big Pupi was the WORST in his first class (and second) and he'd fight other dogs and go bonkers all over the place... and now look at him. Yeah! I SEE him! He's a total dork! Big Pupi, I see you wouldn't wanna be you!

I'll leave Big Pupi to his halo polishing while I catch a sweet snoozel on the human crate, er, Palace Du Stanislaw. I know where it's at folks, and it ain't gonna be at my Good Boy school a week from Saturday. Oh heck no. Food mommy better be packing up some sweet treats if she wants to see Stanislaw get his Good Boy on. Some seriously sweet treats. Like a whole goat or something.
Peace out my beastly friends,
Stan the Naughty Man

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 362- A Fine Whine

My dad happens to have THE BEST stuff in the whole entire world. A lot of it is leather. Now, I'm sure that most of you are aware of my full-on, no holding back leather addiction but if you're not, I'm telling you now that leather makes me go a little bonkers. My humans first discovered this obsession when I taught myself how to open the closet door so that I could hide in there and feast upon dad's leather work boots. I did fine work, slurping down all of that quality cow skin and leaving a rubber sole and each and every grommet on the floor for my folks to find. Yum. Protein flavored with a tiny bit of foot grime. Dad is one heck of a cook.

Dad has an all-leather bag he uses for work and school, and while I'm yet to get a hold of it I think it really exemplifies my dad's own refined tastes in leather goods. I admire that bag every evening and stare as it sits perched upon my meat locker and out of my feasting jaws.

I keep very close tabs on all bovine-related items in my territory. I'm a very organized boy and a very good Overseer of the Leather Goods. But it was about a week ago when I caught a whiff of something so mysterious and delicious coming from a partially-opened drawer in the office. I crammed my nose into the crack and took deep, concerning breaths. This was a leather so thick and so finely aged that I just BEGGED dad to give me a closer look.Indeed father! You have the BEST STUFF EVER! I checked the craftsmanship and the stitching of the item. Oh, my. This is a beautiful specimen.
Yes. Yes, this is certainly suitable for a beast such as myself. I began to lose control of my tail... heck, my entire backside was bouncing and wiggling in such a violent manner I had no idea what my bum was trying to do. Calm down, dude! I held my newest prize up to the light and gave it a swirl. "Ah, I bet this cow had some fine legs," I thought. I held it to my nose and sniffed. Then it was time for a taste.
My big browns rolled back into my head as the thick, dry, chewy leather melted on my taste buds. I began to growl like a psycho beast any time Big Pupi was within earshot. It's totally unlike me to be so guarded but this was a once in a lifetime deal. I have no idea where dad got this incredible thing and for all I know it's the only one that exists in the whole world! I was NOT about to let my butt-bomb brother take it away. Mom thought that I was becoming possessed by the intoxicating leather aromas.
She may have been right. But who can blame me! Just look at all that fine construction! This thing is ART! And it was about to become a masterpiece in my belly.And then dad took it away. Just as quickly as I had come to know this spectacular thing, it was gone and stuffed back into the drawer. He promised I could play with it again, and in the mean time I sniff that drawer and make sure it's doing okay. I think dad wants it to age just a little bit more before it's tanning is balanced and the dirt really has a chance to mellow. Geesh. That dad of mine. He is such a gentleman! He knows just so much about the finer things in life, and leather is certainly the finest of things.

Pa is my idol,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Therapist Is In: Visit 2

Big Pupi's back with the badge:
On Wednesday my mom and I returned to work at the hospital. I was excited, perhaps a little too much so once again, but all that spunk wound up being a blessing because this trip would be a little more difficult than the last. Sure, there were more kids this time which for me meant a lot more hoops to jump through and many more spins to be spun. But I can muster energy for days and making a few extra leaps through the air took little out of me. Emotionally however... emotionally this particular trip to the hospital was exhausting.

For the most part the kids were new this time. Out of the 6 human pups only one boy was without tubes and wires, machines that beep and tall poles with bags of fluids dripping and dangling like ripe fruit. There was a brightness about this boy - something shining and energetic. He was quick to raise a hand and offer himself as The Special Assistant in any manor of tricks and games, and his smile would stretch clear across his face sending his light into the room. I've discovered that little boys tend to take to the beast with the mohawk rather quickly, and I soon became his favorite. It was a good thing that I started work with him because he certainly put me through my paces and took the edge off my energy reserves, enabling me to sit still for the first time all morning. Whew. That was some warm-up.

My friend from my last visit was wheeled into the room. The scar on her scalp was healing wonderfully and the stitches had been removed. We were ready for another round of physical therapy and both her parents were in attendance this time wielding cameras and cheers of encouragement. But it was not to be a success story as it had been on the last visit. Unable to keep herself awake the girl slept hunched over in the chair, only to have ice pressed upon her back which sent her arching into fits of anger and frustration. And then she would sleep. They had been talking about me for 2 weeks, her mom said. For fourteen days she waited, and when the day came for her routine to be brightened by a canine visitor her brain betrayed her and left her sleeping. The lucky mohawk went untouched and no amount of kisses could get a response. I missed my friend and hoped for a better visit next time. But that's another fourteen days away.

My mom and I have discovered that there is usually one patient that remains in your thoughts long after visiting hours are over. There is the memory of one person that is haunting and sticks with you like a shadow. On this visit my shadow came in the form of a little girl who appeared as to have been pulled from the pages of a nursery rhyme. Blond curls pinned back just so. Eyes blue and dark. She was about 6 I would guess, dressed in a hospital gown which hid a mass of tubes reaching into her like so many tentacles. Three feet behind her at all times was her pole with her bags of fluids and her very own relentless beeping machine. Her mother carried with her a bucket for the child to spit up in whenever she needed - which was often.

The child was lovely but subdued. Deep behind her eyes lied a person who in her youth was forced
to understand all that had been brought upon her and all that was going on around her. There was a physical pain and it was visible to anyone looking at her. It was like interacting with a person who hid deep within a cave.

And yet she walked. With me. She insisted upon it.

We attached my extra leash and she grabbed it tight and short. We pushed slowly on making a lap around the room, her mother keeping the pole and bags in tow. She grew tired quickly and her blue eyes darkened even more. The girl climbed back into a chair and leaned over her bucket. I leapt into the seat next to her and remained there as she rubbed the lucky mohawk and stroked my ears. I bent my body in such an impossible manor that allowed me to expose my belly, then I sat and pressed my side hard against the arm of the chair so she could reach me easily as she stroked me with the back of her hand.

She was tired.

A type of tired that most of us will never understand - and be grateful for that. It went beyond a physical exhaustion and the only way to describe the depths of the condition is to say that it had infringed upon her soul. She was just so tired. And so was her mother.

There is something that so many of the mothers we see with their children in the hospital have in common. They are thin, frail, bluish behind the skin. Eyes sunken, broken, lips dry. They cheer and speak happily and make pleasant conversation with the volunteers. They see their children perk up if only for few moments when the dogs come to play but none of this seems to override the sound of the machines beeping beeping forever beeping.

A nurse turns the machine towards her, writes down some numbers and leaves the room.

There was sadness in this visit. Sadness that should never be allowed into a room with a child. Sadness that invades everyone in its presence and sticks for days. Mom and I could understand it fully even though we knew nothing about the patients' conditions - we are not allowed to ask. It sits so heavily upon your shoulders and it makes you just so tired.

We will go back in two weeks. We will go back and pray that we see some of the same faces and feel as though a weight has been lifted. I will go back and spin all the spins to be spun and offer the mohawk to outstretched palms. You go back because that's what you do after a rough day and you maintain the belief that there is good in the world and just maybe you can contribute to just a little bit of it.


My dearest blogging folks~
I apologize for the general gloominess of this post. I will leave you with the lesson learned from my super brief time as a therapy dog:

Life is about perspective. Take stock in what you have and what you hold dear. As the economy sits precariously on the edge of ruin, the job market shrinks its waistline and you worry about shrinking yours, or that co-worker who always says the wrong thing is rounding the corner - these are truly not problems in the grand scheme of things. Save your head the worry. Just spend some time with the people you love this weekend. Find yourself in the presence of what truly matters.

And pet your pup where the mohawk would be.

-Big Pupi

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 353- I Climbed Weeble Mountain

It was a toasty roasty 16 degrees out today so mom and dad took us to the bark park. We were completely wired and SO HAPPY to be there.Stanislaw: It was so cold that my tears kept freezing to my eyelashes. I didn't give a pooble though. I was in hardcore party mode, and when you party hard, sometimes eyelashes freeze and sometimes poo gets eaten. I happens, dudes.

Stanislaw: My bro and I inspected the new mountain range that grew in my park and had a deep discussion about plate tectonics.
Big Pupi: It's gonna take me DAYS to melt this sucker. Dang. I need to hydrate.
Stanislaw: We named this one Weeble Mountain. Mom thought it was totally gross, but it kept the rest of the snow clean. Only the bravest dogs climb Weeble Mountain. I heard that you get a bumper sticker if you make it to the top.
Stanislaw: That short-legged nerd actually thinks he can catch me.
Big Pupi: My dear brother Stanislaw, your bum looks like it could use a good biting.
Big Pupi: Get that bum back here!
Big Pupi: Woo mama! Check out the gams on that lady dog!
Stanislaw: Squirrels are tasty.
Big Pupi: Slow that bum down!
Big Pupi: That stink-bomb bro of mine looks like he could use another thrashing, courtesy of yours truly.
Stanislaw: Heeere rabbit feast! Come here sweet juicy tender rabbit feast!
Stanislaw: Did you know that the "S" on Superman's chest stands for "Stanislaw?" Someone get me to a phone booth!
Stanislaw: So much pee-mail. So little time. Good thing the tanks are never empty.
Stanislaw: What's up with this snow? Did I get shorter?
Big Pupi: I am on a mission. I have no idea what that mission is, but dangit! I will get it done!
Stanislaw: This is my best praying mantis/velocaraptor impression.
Stanislaw: I think my tongue froze to that ball.
Big Pupi: AreYouGonnaThrowThat? Now? Eh? Toss? Please? ThrowTheBall?

Look at this over here!
No! Over here!
Wait! Check this out!
Dude! Good smells!
Stanislaw: Dad... can we LIVE here?

The end.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 351- My Toes are Froze

I am suffering from a severe case of the Stir Crazies. I haven't been able to leave this wee apartment for a good romp in AGES - all I get to do is hop outside and do my Good Boy, then it's right back indoors and back to my cell... er... apartment. We do not live in a big place, so it really doesn't give me much room to roam and play like a loony bum. I NEED to roam and play like a loony bum! All this energy is cooped up inside and it's driving me nuts. And speaking of nuts - if I see another peanut butter puzzle treat I think I'm going to scream. I want to RUN!! Treats just don't cut it anymore!

I've been looking for things to keep myself busy, and have been fairly successful. So far I've:

-eaten portions of dad's baseball glove
-chewed the thumb off 2 sets of winter gloves
-buried a virtual treasure trove of bits from garbage raids in my crate blankies for my enjoyment during the night
-broken the kitchen garbage can (locks are no match for Stanislaw) so I could get bits to hide in my crate blankies
-weebled on my sweatshirt
-poobled in the hallway outside our apartment
-poobled in the hallway outside our apartment
-poobled in the hallway outside our apartment
-no that was not a type-o
-chewed mom's sweatshirt

Today is young. There's so much more damage I can do! But for now, it's nappies time. It makes the days go by faster as I wait for Spring to arrive and bring my early morning Fast Hunts back. I miss RUNNING like a BEAST!

Why are we in lock-down, you ask? Well, it's a little chilly outside. So chilly, in fact, that Big Pupi and I are forced to take our nappies snugged together for warmth. How did I get the butt end of this deal?
I mean, it's REALLY chilly outside. The kind of chilly that freezes your schozzle solid and leaves you unable to sniff. My ears go numb. My dewclaws scream for warmth. Today, the temperatures look a bit like this:
And because of those evil numbers mom doesn't let us outside to play. No fair! Oh my... I'm taken over by boredom! I'm so bored I think I'll... nap. So the Naughties can wait for later. Right now I'm trying to get all the body heat I can find, and if I happen to find it snugged up tight to my dorkus brother's butt, then so be it.
But man... when I wake up I'm going to be BORED!!

Did I mention that I'm bored?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 348- A Few Flakes

We got a little bit of snow.
The End.

The little red booties on our feet are Pawz dog boots. They are the best booties ever! They're kind of like thick rubber balloons that pop on over your feet and they're so soft that we don't notice them one bit. Our Pawz boots allow us to feel the ground and they bend and flex with our feet so our toes can still grip and keep us stable. They are Stanislaw tested and approved - they stay on despite his best leash-pulling efforts and nose dives into snow drifts which suck other boots right off. Big Pupi also uses them when he visits hospitals because they give him traction on the slippery tile floors. The only downside is that they don't last forever (they are disposable and come in packs of 12) and they don't breath, so we personally don't recommend that you keep them on for any length of time. But... they're perfect for a good romp in the snow!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Raw Food Diet, Day 347- Salty Snacks and Zippy Doos

Big Pupi and I did some Naughty Boys! on Friday night. We somehow managed to get our nosey schnozzles and grabby paws up onto the kitchen island (Duh, humans. I'm a tall boy.) and help ourselves to a fully-open, partially-eaten bag of Tostitos chips. By the time our humans came home from some Place of Feasting that the canines were not invited to, they found this:And two boys whose tummies were sad like this:
If you've been reading this blog for a while now, a little alarm should be going off in your heads... it sure as poobles was going off in our stomachs. Those chips are made of corn. Corn is the numero uno no-no in this place, and it only took moments before Big Pupi and I found out why.

Enter the Volcano Duo. Erupting from all ends through all hours of the night.

Dudes. If you're going to vomit, projectile is the only way to go. No joke. And if you're feeling queasy, I highly recommend seeking refuge on the human crate, sofa or upholstered arm chair. Your little bum should feel cushioned as you're blasting the stolen goods across the room from your mouth. I set new records and even I was surprised at my shooting skillz. I sent liquid across the sofa blankie, onto the sofa slip cover, soaking into the actual sofa fabric and into the cusion, then onto the wood floor and into the bed room across the hall. That room is carpeted.

Count: 6 surfaces.

Are you impressed? Mom was. The look of horror on her face said it all when she realized that I had cleared 12 feet to get the goods on the bedroom floor. I'm telling you. It was incredible.

I am incredible.

Big Pupi doesn't have talents equal to yours truly, so he just left piles on the sofa and the floor. That dorkus was polite enough to make a pooble mess out of the freshly fallen snow outside - a stain on the pristine powder so horrible that it sent passerby clamoring over plowed snow banks to get to the sidewalk on the other side. There weren't enough pooble baggies in the world to fix this.

I, The Great Poobler Extraordinaire Stanislaw, saved my bum explosion for the hallway outside our apartment. I walked as I went, often circling back to check on the progress and quality of my work. Excellent. As always. After painting the tile floor in a Pollock-esque masterpiece complete with paw prints (yes, I stepped in it), my people descended and destroyed my work with piles of paper towels and all manners of bleaches and disinfectants. Then I was similarly disinfected and brought back inside. Load after load of laundry was hauled away, and the apartment finally put back together.

At this point I was hungry.
And Big Pupi's tummy grumbled.
And in the cruelest twist of all, we were placed in our crates with nary a feast in sight. Empty bellies and hunger pangs. You'd think I would learn my lesson after my evening snack attack, and I assure you that I did.
Next time I'll go for the dip, too.

Learning valuable lessons,

Big Pupi was happy for breakfast:

Aw man. I was hungersome this morning! I got some boiled meat to soothe an angry tummy. I suppose corn chips should be taken off the menu... but they were so tasty and crunchy! I'm not sure if Stan and I learned any long-standing lessons from this little adventure.

As I'm sure your folks know, any time there is an extended period of vomiting and/or diarrhea there is an increased chance of the patient suffering from dehydration. Dehydration can be a very dangerous thing, and if it gets bad enough it can kill. There are ways to check for hydration levels and to help the body rehydrate, and we'll discuss some of those here.

The skin test: This is the least accurate way of measuring hydration but it's the easiest. Your person should lift the skin between your shoulder blades and let go, watching how quickly it drops back into place. If it snaps right back then you're good to go. If it sinks down slowly then you're in need of some fluids. The slower it moves the worse off you are, and if your skin remains aloft then it's doctor time, pronto.

The gum test: The more accurate option, the gum test is done by lifting your lip and having your human touch your gums. They should be nice and wet, but if you're dehydrated they will be tacky or sticky. A test for capillary refill should also be done, and it's easy - your person should press gently on your gum line, then remove their finger and count the seconds until the pink color comes back to your gums. Two seconds is ideal. Any longer and it's a sign of dehydration.

If you are suffering from tummy problems, your person suspects mild dehydration or if they are not able to get you to the vet right away, there are ways to help your body gain and retain fluids. If they suspect moderate or severe dehydration or if you are suffering from extremely frequent vomiting or diarrhea, then you need to see a doctor ASAP for intravenous fluids and medication to ease your symptoms.

Mixing up an electrolyte beverage is easy to do and can aid in re-hydrating a sick pup. But before we get into recipes we're going to explore why and how these electrolyte things work.

Electrolytes are ions, meaning that they are teeny tiny subatomic particles that carry a charge and are able to to conduct electricity. Regular table salt is an electrolyte. When it dissolves in water, its components split, becoming charged particles.

Sodium Chloride (table salt) = NaCl
When dissolved in water, the molecule separates to become ions:
Na+ (Sodium) and Cl- (Chloride)
The Sodium ion has a positive electric charge and the Chloride ion has a negative charge.

In the body, the 2 most prevalent electrolytes are Sodium (Na+) and Potassium (K+), and that is why these are most commonly included in hydrating drinks for humans. By consuming electrolytes when in need of hydration, we are replacing the fluids necessary to keep our body's cells in working order. The functions in our bodies (nerve impulses, muscle contractions, heart beats) all rely on a steady stream of electric impulses, and it's electrolytes that allow the impulses to pass from one cell to another - they are doing their job conducting electricity. You can see why it is so important to remain hydrated!

Normally the kidneys are responsible for maintaining electrolyte levels in your bloodstream, but diarrhea and vomiting can create havoc with this delicate balance. An irritated bowel not only pulls and eliminates necessary fluids and electrolytes, but it also makes absorption of the water and salts extremely difficult. There are different kinds of transporters in the intestines that are responsible for absorbing salts and fluids. There are other transporters that bring in salts and sugars. This is why there is often glucose included in re-hydration drinks for humans, as it increases the efficiency of electrolyte and water absorption by appealing to the sugar/salt transporters. (Please note that sugar can exacerbate diarrhea, and it is not always necessary to include.)

Okay, so let's come up with a hypothetical situation here... Let's say that you're feeling pretty icky after having snarfeled down a bag of corn chips and the feast is ferociously making its way out of your bum. Your folks want to prevent any dehydration while your body rids itself of the offending food. They know that this is a temporary illness and you do not show any signs of moderate or severe dehydration. It's time to give your body a helping hand (or drink).

Our favorite recipe is super easy-

From the human grocery store, our people buy one can (about 2 cups) of beef broth, the kind with a moderate amount of salt and preferably not too many ingredients beyond "beef" and "water." Once at home, your folks can pour this can into a bowl or pitcher, then fill the can once more with filtered water and dump that in. The solution can be served in very small servings 1-2 times per hour - too much too quickly can really upset the tummy. If you're not in the mood to drink, the solution can be warmed slightly to increase the smell of the meaty tastiness. This solution does not include sugar, so if your tum is especially sensitive this may be the way to go.

If a trip to the store isn't possible, then a solution can be made using stuff your person probably has at home.

1 quart purified water
1 teaspoon salt
2-4 teaspoons sugar or honey

Boil the water and add the salt and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool and give to drink in small portions frequently throughout the day (1-2 times per hour) as needed. This solution is also good for use on humans with sad tummies!

A 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) may be added to act as an antacid, and a slice or two of banana may be fed separately to get some Potassium (K+) in the mix.

If dehydration has become moderate to severe, you must see a vet as soon as possible. ONLY your vet can properly and efficiently treat severe dehydration. These recipes are for ORAL re-hydration only.

Whenever Stan and I are suffering from a mild case of the Sad Tummies, we enjoy a bit of the broth/water mixture added to our breakfast and dinner feasts. We suck it right up! And it's an easy way to get those fluids into us when we aren't drinking quite as much as we should. But, for a healthy dog some fresh, plain water will do just fine, so make sure you have plenty of that around for the slurping.

That's all the learnin' for now, folks!
Big Pupi