Happy New Year Everyone!

(A picture postcard sent in from one of our friends in New England… Happy 2009 Coaty and Family!)


A favorite prayer:

May the poor find wealth, Those weak with sorrow find joy. May the forlorn find new hope, Constant happiness and prosperity. May the frightened cease to be afraid, And those bound be free. May the weak find power, And may their hearts join in friendship.

Treats on the Internets

For your reading pleasure…

Sports Illustrated has a cover story on the Vick dogs and they get it right.

KC Dog Blog has a foster dog from the OK abuse case and is looking for a name for the little cutie pie.

BAD RAP posts about the dogs they helped rescue in OK.

The LA Times writes about “Terrorism in the Name of Animal Rights

Philosophizing about mutts, Obama, and everything at Columbia University Press.

A stray dog, victim of the terrorist attack in Mumbai, receives care – story at Red Star Cafe.

SmartDogs continues to follow the seizure of 300 dogs in Montana.

Faux Outrage du Jour: Rachael Ray

If you’ve blogsurfed recently, you may have run across folks getting their undies all bunched up over a “deadly dog food recipe” which appears on Rachael Ray’s website and in Modern Dog magazine.  The recipe, which looks to make a few pounds of food, includes 1/2 of a medium onion, cooked.  Onions are on the list of toxic foods for pets.  

Rachael Ray’s “pet friendly” recipes are described as food you can share with your pets and contain an advisory about checking with your Vet regarding which foods are safe for your pet.  Her personal pet is a Pitbull.

If we are to consider that I am not a moron (please, indulge me), we can possibly make the following assumptions:

1.  I know Rachael Ray is a cook, not a Vet, and that’s prolly why she has that disclaimer on her recipes.

2.  I know Rachael’s dog is a Pitbull which is a medium sized dog.  My dog, who I might prepare the recipe for, may be bigger or smaller than her dog and thus, I may have more or less concern about the ingredients.  Meaning, I understand a teaspoon of something toxic is a bigger worry when fed to a tiny dog than when consumed by a large dog. 

3.  I know I’m not going to make this recipe as the sole food for my dog’s lifetime.  (The pet food corporations have failed to train me.)  I might prepare it on a special occasion but it’s too complicated for regular feeding.

4.  I know my Vet is many good things but not a nutrition expert and so if I want to learn about foods appropriate for dogs, one of my resources is going to be The Google.  

Here’s what my crystal-Google-ball reveals:

1.  2001 posting from a Vet:  

Dogs develop hemolytic anemia if they eat enough onions. I don’t think that it matters too much whether the onions are cooked or not. The quantity of onions required is high enough that dogs can generally tolerate small doses of onions without any problem and moderate amounts of onion without clinically apparent disease, even though there may be measurable changes on lab test results. Cats are probably a little more sensitive to onion toxicity than dogs are. I can’t find an exact quantity of onions required to cause toxicity problems in dogs, but there are several case reports of onion toxicity and they involve whole onions or sizable portions of chopped onions (like a cup or more).

2. Article from a pet supply vendor:

Onions in any form may cause anemia in dogs. Whether raw or cooked, fresh or dehydrated, onion seasoning or onion powder, a large enough quantity in comparison to the dog’s size may create anemia.
A small quantity of onions may not create any serious illness in most dogs but, since there is no real need to feed onions to dogs, it is best to keep them away from your dogs.

3.  A bit from Dr. Patty Khuly:

Dogs and cats lack the enzyme necessary to properly digest onions and this could result in gas, diarrhea, or severe gastrointestinal distress. If large amounts of onion are ingested or onions are a daily part of your dog’s diet, the red blood cells may become fragile and break apart. Severe anemias and even death can occur if the dog ingests lots of onions and receives no treatment.

I admit I had to cherry pick these findings from among the many Never-Feed-Onions-OH-NOES! warnings out there. I tend to discount hysteria when I come across it, but that’s just me.

For an additional resource, I look at Juliette de Bairacli Levy’s book The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat and I note that she fed her Afghans a small amount of raw onion on occasion.  

Now for the moment of truth:  what do I do with this recipe for Poison Stew?  I consider the size of my dog relative to the amount of onion in the portion of the recipe the dog will eat.  I consider how often I will be feeding this recipe.  And I make an informed decision based on my options.  I may choose to simply omit the onion from the recipe or I might feed the meal as-is to my big dogs and feed the little dogs something else.  That’s what I did over the weekend when I made some potato pancakes (with onion) that didn’t turn out as scrumpdillyishus as I’d hoped.  I fed the leftovers to the big dogs and gave the little dogs leftovers from Billy’s breakfast (eggs and potatoes, no onions).

Now if you really want to get all frothed at the mouth over Rachael Ray, why not focus on the crappy dog food line she’s hawking?  Cos her pet friendly recipes sound pretty good to me. 

Dinner at Chez Dog Tonight

I snagged a package of about-to-go-off-so-on-markdown chicken thighs at the grocery store yesterday and this afternoon cooked them up. After the chicken got cooking, I tossed in some other foods I had on hand – carrots, sweet potatoes, new potatoes and spinach. Remove chicken bones post cooking, toss meat back in pot, let cool and voila – dog dinner!

Pet Food, Seaweed Production and the World Economy

I thought this article on the price of seaweed in the Philippines was interesting (thing-I’ve-never-said-before alert!):

The price increased from from $3 per kilo to $12 per kilo for pet food carrageenan, $5 per kilo to $15 per kilo for food grade carrageenan and $8 per kilo to $24 per kilo for refined carrageenan.


Dakay projected a decline in the demand for processed seaweed or carrageenan due to the slowdown in the economy of major markets such as the US, Europe and Russia. 

He said the biggest drop was in the pet food market, which use an average of 50,000 tons of raw seaweed each year. 

The local processors have not received any orders for pet food carrageenan since October, Dakay disclosed. He noted that the pet owners have stopped buying wet pet food, which uses carrageenan, and have shifted to dry pet food. 

Dakay said this trend would spell bad news for the industry since, in the past, the pet food market alone required 50,000 metric tons of raw materials.

Apparently pet owners around the world have put the brakes on canned food and gone for kibble instead.  This is bad news for cats, since they really should not be fed dry food.

Good quality canned dog food is generally superior to kibble (it contains less grain for one thing) and I know many dogs will choose canned over dry if given a choice.  On the other hand, if feeding a pet kibble during tough economic times makes the difference between keeping the pet or having to surrender him to a shelter, I’m all for it.  And if you want to save even more money while offering better nutrition to your dog, you can add in some healthy table scraps too.  Seaweed optional.

S & R Dog Saves Ontario Woman

A rescue dog turned Rescue Dog (as in Search & Rescue) found a woman (Donna Molnar, 55) who’d been buried 3 days in the snow in Ontario this week:

Alongside his search-and-rescue dog Ace, Ray Lau on Monday tramped through the thick, ice-covered brush of a farmer’s field, not far from where Molnar’s van had been found a day earlier.

He kept thinking: Negative-20 winds? This is a search for a body.

“Then, oh, all of a sudden, Ace bolted off,” said Lau. “He stooped and looked down at the snow and just barked, barked, barked.”

Lau rushed to his Dutch shepherd’s side.

The fact that Mrs. Molnar was alive and conscious stunned everyone. In a good way:

David Molnar is calling his wife’s survival his “Christmas miracle.”
As for Ace, he’s still awaiting his reward: a T-bone steak.

Ace says, “Shucks, I was just doin’ mah job. And don’t be stingy with the trimmings!”

What was Under Your Tree Today?

Apparently I was very good this year (who knew, right?) and Santa brought me some great pressies from my wishlist:

1. Redemption by Nathan Winograd

2. The Pit Bull Placebo by Karen Delise

Note: If you are wanting to pick up either/both of these books with some of that Xmas cash you got in your stocking, you can go to Caveat’s site and find them on the left hand side. If you click thru to Amazon via Caveat, a portion of the sales go to the Banned Aid Coalition which is like getting a gift for yourself and giving a gift to a good cause at the same time.

3. A 14 oz. tub of dried liver treats which I’m going to pulverize in the food processor for use in dog treat recipes.

4. Two cookie sheets to make all those treats on (you don’t want to know all the makeshift things I’ve been using to bake treats on – cookie sheets, your time has come!)

5. Pedipaws. (Nail grinder thingy you’ve prolly seen the commercials for on TV.) Now see, this is how much Billy hates nail clipping cos actually, he doesn’t even do the clipping, I do. He helps hold a few of the dogs who require assistance (Emily requires “assistance” from a secure muzzle in addition to a steadier so she doesn’t devour my face in Chihuahua sized bites while getting her nails trimmed). Anyway, he got us the Pedipaws so we’ll be acclimating the dogs to it in the coming weeks (soon as we get the required batteries – doh!) and see how it goes. If I get any startling results, I’ll post about it again. Congratulations Pedipaws on successfully marketing to Billy!

Please share your Xmas loot in the comments if you like.

Friends of the Blog – Holiday Edition

Echo, Izzy, Toby & Meadow
Magic, Seeker & Zorro


Happy 12th birthday, Cedar!!

Cedar, age 12

It's all a bad dream.....it's all a bad dream

Cali (ha, ha!)

~Happy Holidays!~

If you’d like to submit a photo for the blog, you can e-mail, visit our group on Flickr or visit our new group on Facebook. All animal photos welcome. Even snakes. (No promises on using the snake pics.)

Some of the OK Pitbulls Saved

Of the 106 Pitbulls seized in OK, BADRAP says:

For now, we can tell you that many pit bulls were saved from this horrible situation and the rest that couldn’t be saved were treated with compassion and kindness before they left.

I look forward to learning more details as they become available on this case.

Plays Well with Others

kitty petting parrot