They put their paws up, they’re barking some song
The cats all run away
Nodding their heads like Yeah!
Wagging their tails like Yeah!
Got their paws up, still barking some song
Acting like it’s their birthday!
Yeah, Puppy Party in the U.S.A.!
Yeah, Puppy Party in the U.S.A.!
You can thank Miley Cyrus for today’s title inspiration.
My sweet little boys, Joe and Marty, recently celebrated their first birthdays! Joe turned one around the 15th of May, and Marty on the 30th. That’s a fantastic milestone especially when compared to the rest of the village dog population across Afghanistan. Only the very strongest survive over there. So of course we had to celebrate with a puppy party!
We kicked off the Memorial Day weekend, a special weekend for our family, on Friday night with a birthday party for Joe and Mart. We invited their daycare mommy, Michelle, from Just Like Home Pet Sitting in Leavenworth, KS to join us. The family we live with provided dinner for the people, while the boys were spoiled with venison, fruits, and vegetables.
Of course, if you are having company over, you need to look your best… and that means taking a bath. Or a shower al fresco in the kiddie pool, since the weather was warm. Bathing has never been a favorite activity for Joe and Marty; they do little more than tolerate it. It’s generally a good idea to use restraints as a backup measure for when
they feel the first spray of water their tolerance runs out. Both boys did pretty well, even if they weren’t thrilled with the prospect initially. They both love how much extra attention they get when their fur is clean and soft.
When Michelle arrived, the boys about fell over themselves and each other trying to greet her. She takes such great care of the boys when I am at work or out of town. They can hardly contain themselves when I drop them off, and they are just as happy to come home with me when I pick them up. As a new mommy, I could not be happier with the arrangement.
For dinner we served venison (yeah, I know, spoil the puppies much?); red, orange, and yellow bell peppers; cucumbers; baby carrots (the boys LOVE baby carrots); strawberries; and apples. It was all fresh and uncooked. Yes, even the venison.
I interrupt this blog to bring you a word or two about feeding raw meat to dogs… there are many opinions on this topic. Don’t believe me? Ask Google. Some people believe it is a healthier, more natural way to feed dogs; after all, if they were in the wild, it is highly unlikely they would take the time to cook their own food (they are not entirely unlike me in this regard). It is viewed as a healthy alternative to dog food that is packed full of fillers and preservatives. Others argue that domesticated dogs have been bred to thrive on dog food which is nutritionally balanced with the right nutrients for optimal health. Some claim dogs are less susceptible to food-borne illness from raw meat (e. coli, salmonella) than humans… still others struggle to find the scientific basis for such a claim. And since this is my blog; this is how I feel about the issue:
My boys are not domesticated breeds. They are semi-domesticated through the natural selection process to live among human populations. Humans had very little to do with this process, apart from providing the communities for these dogs to inhabit. If we had not rescued them, they would be living off anything they could find. They also probably would not have survived that first year of life or would be incredibly malnourished. They have been known to track down
fresh raw deer legs in the woods near our home (don’t ask) and clean the bones with no noticeable adverse side effects. However, I do not have the knowledge or the time to balance their diet and provide fresh, raw food to them on a daily basis. Who am I kidding? I haven’t seen the inside of a grocery store for myself in weeks, and haven’t menu planned in years. I survived the better part of the last two on some rather questionable chow hall fare, and for now we are boarding in a home where meals are included.
So what does all this mean? It means my boys eat
regular premium dog food (Taste of the Wild – Grain Free for the extremely curious) on a routine basis. But, on special days, like birthdays, my boys get spoiled with some fresh meat. Incidentally, my boys do not digest pork particularly well. I know, what’s a dog’s life without bacon? But think about it: where in their genetic line would they have encountered pork in Afghanistan in the last 1000 or so years?
I don’t necessarily advocate one way or the other (not enough knowledge, remember?), but I would caution you, if you are going to feed fresh, uncooked meat to any animal, handle it properly. If you have a dog that is a grazer, it probably isn’t a good idea to feed it raw meat unless you have some way of regulating the temperature throughout the day to avoid bacterial reproduction. Humans aren’t really supposed to consume raw meat, either, but I find it has a lot more to do with the handling of the meat than in the preparation. Sushi, sashimi, or steak tartar anyone? I don’t eat it on a regular basis, but every now and again, it’s nice for a treat.
And now back to our story.
After the boys finished dinner – which, in a generous estimation, lasted the better part of three entire minutes – they received birthday presents from Jerry and Amy (our host family). They each received a pork femur (I know! Pork! Eek!). Jerry & Amy can do things like that, I guess, since they don’t have to pick up runny poop on the morning walk. (NOTE: The boys suffered no ill side effects from any of their diet that evening).
When the boys had gnawed the bones down to a respectable size (you would not believe how fast my boys can lay waste to anything they get in their jaws… with the exception of moose antlers), it was time for dessert!
Cake and ice cream (peanut butter and cheese flavor!) for the pups, and angel food cake with whipped cream and mulberries for the peeps!
At the end of the party, we took the boys for a long walk, said goodnight to Michelle, and went upstairs to bed. Both boys fell asleep within moments. It was an exciting day.