Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brrrrr....

Brrrr..... it's been cold lately for our part of the world.  The temps overnight have been around 27 degrees (F) which is warm compared to what I grew up with in the Midwest but it's downright cold for this area of the country. And I guess I have become spoiled by California weather to where it feels really cold to me! It's the dark time of winter but the days, I have noticed, are starting to get a little bit longer. This is enough to warm my heart even though the air may be very cold! We have been able to get out with the dogs a little bit after work in the past week or so. It might mean just a few minutes of time put in on each dog but hey, I will take anything at this point!

That said, Ryme is still somewhat lame. :-( Apparently he is making it a seasonal thing, as last winter he was lame as well only more severely than this year. It does not appear to be so bad this time but it is hanging on. I let him do too much last Saturday but he was having so much fun. My bad. Ugh. It's not fun being the Bad Cop where dogs are concerned. He's seen the doggie chiropractor of course, who gave me two exercises to do which he stood beautifully for, while she demonstrated them. Now me actually doing those exercises on him is quite a different story; how does a dog turn itself into a pretzel? I can show you, just let me try to do the exercises on Ryme for you to see.

As a result we have been informed by our esteemed Chinese medicine practitioner that Ryme needs, among other things, more warming foods in order to heal up and avoid this winter injury thing. So I have made soup for the dogs. They are getting a two-course meal at dinner time with a bowl of warm bone broth followed by their meal. And who, I ask, is making delicious soup for me? I might as well answer  with Campbells or Progresso.

I think everyone has realized that their paycheck got left too long in the dryer over the New Year and it has come back a shrunken version of its December self. I got the sticker shock myself. Before this shocking news was delivered though I had realized that extreme budget cuts were still in order. So with much reluctance I am putting the dogs back on a diet of half kibble, half raw. I hate to do this but I am cutting all kinds of things (including my own stuff) to try to trim what we spend each week. After bugging my friends to the point of mutiny about what they feed for kibble and why I did a ton of research about what I wanted in a dry food. First, it had to save me money. If I couldn't save $75-85 a month I was not going to do it. That left out the very popular Orijen. Next, it had to be actually manufactured by the company that had its name on the label, so that leaves out all the brands now manufactured by Diamond and Proctor & Gamble, etc. That criterion narrowed the field considerably and ruled out a lot of the really good foods that I used to use such as Wellness, Innova Puppy, and Natural Balance. I didn't mind if there was a little bit of grain in the food since I am still feeding half raw and it is winter (and the dogs are outside all day though they are inside at night). I wanted good ingredients from a company that stood behind its own product. That sort of thing is getting hard to find but I settled on Fromm's for now. I got their Fromm Puppy Gold food for the two working dogs and also bought some Wysong Synorgon to add in for Chiefie to make his diet a little bit lighter.  I ordered from Chewy.com. The service is good and there is no tax (yet) to California. Shipping was free over $50. The Fromm was a 33 lb bag for just over $50. Not bad. We'll see how it works out.

That's the story here. Trying to stay warm and adjust our budgets. That pretty much describes January 2013. Making a habit out of gratitude. Yeah!

Looking forward to a small sheepdog clinic get-together this weekend. Coal will get the nod since he is sound and he will be the one in the trials this spring.

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