F is for Feeding My Furry Friend

FMy furry friend, Furry, was six months old when we found him in a shelter and gave him a forever home.

He was terrified to eat that first night, but when he finally gave in to the hunger, he didn’t stop. He chewed and ate everything…Milk Bones were his favorite, but he was never picky. He’d eat anything…rawhide bones, furniture, blankets, school projects, hot dogs left unattended, a dish of jelly beans, a bowl of green beans right off the Thanksgiving table, a bag of protein bars, a cupcake wrapper, a plate of Christmas cookies.

Furry eventually developed a weight problem.

He is a Manchester Terrier whose ideal weight is 20-25 pounds. When he weighed in at 47 pounds, the vet suggested we try low cal dog food. Coincidentally, that’s when he started stealing food off the table. Dieting is “ruff”.

Then Furry got sick with an autoimmune disease. His weight plummeted and ballooned depending on which medication he was taking. But last year, it started to drop again…and drop…and drop.

Today, he is 15 years old and weighs 17 pounds. I can see his ribs, and I lie awake at night worrying about him.

After one particularly long sleepless night, I scheduled an appointment with the vet. I was terrified of two things: 1) She would have me arrested on the spot based on his appearance alone. 2) She would tell me it was time to schedule euthanasia.

She did neither of those things. She just patted him on the back like she couldn’t feel his spine and told him he was handsome. I swear he stood up taller. He definitely wagged his tail.

She took him off to run some tests and brought him back a few minutes later, still going on about how good-looking he was. “Without doing any invasive testing,” she said, “I think he is fine. His teeth could be better, and he has cataracts, but overall, his biggest problem is he’s old.”

Old. My puppy–who loved long walks and who would run to the door so fast at the ring of the doorbell that he would skid across the hardwood floor–was old.

“At this point, Momma,” the vet said, “it’s all about quality of life. Let him do what he wants to do, and let him eat what he wants to eat. I wouldn’t recommend feeding him “people food”, but you could still cook for him if you want. Just keep it bland.”

Cook for Furry? Hmmm…

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“Mmm. Gimme a pumpkin peanut butter cookie.”

We started with scrambled eggs, which he ate in 10 seconds flat and looked for more. Encouraged, I browned some ground beef. He stood at my feet the entire time, watching through his cloudy eyes, then pranced (yes, pranced) to his bowl when his dinner was ready.

While he chowed down, I entered “dog food recipes” into the Pinterest search field and got lost in its magic for the next hour. I learned I could make my own dog food in a slow cooker, and that dogs can eat bananas, blueberries, pumpkin, rice and oatmeal. Turkey, chicken and beef are good. Pork is bad.

Since then, I’ve made Furry beef stew, chicken casserole, muttloaf (aka meatloaf), peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies and pupsicles.

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A comfy pup is a happy pup.

He’s loved every one of my new recipes…at least for a while. He enjoys each one for a few days, then eventually he sniffs it and refuses to eat again. My heart breaks a little bit, and I try a new recipe.

I know he probably doesn’t have much time left with us, but I’m doing everything I can to make sure he enjoys every last bit of it. These days his favorite activity is napping on the Young One’s beanbag wrapped in a blanket Santa brought him for Christmas. I carry him up and down the stairs, so he can be with us when we watch the latest “Walking Dead” episode, and I make sure he gets the sunny spot on the couch during the day.

I cook for Furry not because the vet said I should, but because he is one of my children and because I love him.

The Fluffy One Speaks

Around this point in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) many bloggers hit a wall. The ideas dry up and the words stop flowing. The concept of posting a blog each day for 30 days sounds simple enough, but by day 18, the pressure to string together original musings each day is daunting.

I actually planned for this to happen, and on Oct. 30, I plotted out a very detailed calendar of what I would post each day. I was very impressed with my organization, until the whole thing blew up earlier this week. I had planned to re-post a blog I had written a few years ago (yes, that is acceptable during NaBloPoMo). It was the perfect time to pull it out again, but when I went to do the whole copy/paste thing, I realized I had already done that last year!

I moved the post intended for today to Monday, leaving me with a big hole in my editorial calendar. Since I am out of creative ways to fill the gap, I’m reaching into the Bag ‘O Blogger Tricks and am enlisting a guest blogger to fill the hole and give you a fresh idea. She is a beautiful girl I have known for about three years, and I know you will enjoy her perspective as much as I do.

So, in her blogging debut, I give you…the Fluffy One!

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My name used to be Audrey, and I was a scruffy thing when I met Momma.

I mean my hair was a complete mess, and I was in no condition to accept visitors, especially someone as important as her. My tail was one big tangle, and my ears..! I don’t think they had ever had a proper trim, not like the expensive cuts I get now anyway. My color was all off too. My hair had a yellow tint to it, but it’s supposed to be snow white.

You have no idea how nervous I was when Momma walked into my room at that hotel.  She was so glamorous in those spikey shoes. How could someone like that want to have anything to do with someone so disheveled?

But I think she saw my potential.  She sat with me on a rocking chair and brushed the hair out of my eyes. I took the opportunity to show her how big and brown they were.  I opened them really wide and looked up at an angle like I’d seen some of the other dogs do when they got visitors. 

I didn’t know a whole lot about people back then, not nice ones anyway. So, I was afraid to make any noise. I just sat and listened to her heartbeat while she talked to the lady in charge–the one who took me from that last hotel. 

“Audrey just came to us last week,” she said. “She was wandering by herself in eastern KY. She was probably turned out by a breeder because she is so small. We said we’d take her because we’re a no-kill shelter.”

No-Kill Shelter…I always thought that was an odd name for a hotel.

Anyway, I rocked with Momma, and I listened, and I tried not to think about the scary time on my own in the woods and the time before that when I was with someone who didn’t love me enough to care what happened when four pounds of fluff is left to fend for herself.

“She’s been a little quiet, but we think she’s going to be a diva,” the lady said. “That’s why we named her Audrey, after Audrey Hepburn.”

“Really,” Momma laughed, and turned me around, so she could look into my eyes. “Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols, and if you’re a diva, you’ll fit right in!”

fluffyWe rocked some more, and then Momma gave me back to the lady. I got scared again, but she said she’d be back in a few days. For obvious reasons, I wasn’t very big on promises. But she did come back, and she brought a big guy and a little girl too. 

When they left, they gave me a fancy necklace and said I could go with them! They were going to a place called “home”. I had never been there before, and since I’ve always wanted to travel abroad, I agreed to go.  

Everything’s changed since the scary time. I have my own bed now and a pink leash and a box of toys that squeak! I even have a brother, Furry, who showed me the ropes and taught me how to be a best friend.

Life with FAMILY is pretty special, and I’m happy to be a diva with my Momma.

The Feast

This quite possibly is my favorite part about seeing Big Hero 6 with the Young One this afternoon.

Disney’s 3D short film Feast, the opening act before the main feature, tells the story of little Winston, a homeless pup who is rescued while dumpster diving. He and his new human bond over junk food, and in true puppy love fashion Winston eventually rescues his human right back.

I won’t give away to perfect ending to this little flick, but I I highly recommend splurging on the 3D version of Big Hero 6…even if you only hang around to enjoy the Feast.

 

Do They Notice?

I wonder if they notice when I’m not there.

NoticeAfter I leave the house for the day, do they miss me? Do they walk the rooms looking for me? Do they stare in confusion at my empty chair? Do they wonder why the television is silent and why the dings coming from the iPad on the counter go unanswered? Do they ponder the lack of clicking keystrokes from the computer?

Sometimes as I make the return commute, I wonder if they will notice I am home.

Will they lift their heads at the sound of the garage door opening? Will they come to see who has walked through the door? Will they greet me with enthusiasm or apathy?

I turn the door knob and face the unknown.

Greeting

Now, that’s a happy pup who notices his momma is home!

Suddenly I am attacked from the front! Paws pound against my thighs and a frantic swishing of tails stirs the air around me. I go down on my knees, and my face takes the next onslaught as pink tongues dash out in welcome. The silence breaks with the joyous yips of reunion.

Yes! They missed me! My puppies missed me while I was gone for the day. They noticed my absence, and they are happy to have me home!

**Today’s post is brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “Notice”. Check out other musings on the prompt or post one of your own at Kate Motaung’s site.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Three

Although the weather has been conspiring against them, the Young One’s classmates finally celebrated the 100th day of school. To commemorated the occasion, each kindergartener was asked to design a poster using 100 items.

Once given the assignment, the Young One and I brainstormed what 100 things would be best to display. Stickers? No, everyone will do that. Buttons? No, too boring. Shoes? No, too expensive.

While touring through Target in search of the perfect thing, we spied the Valentine’s candy aisle and settled on Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses. We glued them to some flashing cardboard, added some marker detail and placed it on the dining room table to dry, quite pleased with ourselves for finishing the project three days early.

Flash forward 24 hours…a quiet house, no doggy supervision to be seen and the smell of chocolate wafting through the house.

We came home to find a trail of shiny red and pink foil wrappers from the living room to the kitchen to the dining room. First came shrieks of horror followed by shocked silence. The pretty shining poster was now a scene of carnage with only 40 neatly arranged candies where once had stood 100!

The dog, the Furry One, had eaten the Young One’s homework!

Epilogue: Furry suffered no ill effects from his chocolate binge. The Young One relayed the story to her teacher who laughed and asked her to write a story about it. She read it to the class who also laughed. We fixed the poster, added new candies and set it atop the highest surface in the house until we could safely deliver it to the 100 Day celebration.

* This post was inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Three.

See Anything New?

Take a look around. See anything new…anything different…anything interesting?

I bet you saw it as soon as you clicked the link to this post because my brand new header image is right there at the top in all it’s fabulous footwear glory!

You probably see some other new things too–like a whole new theme and a new sub-title. If you click around, you’ll see some other new things too. Like the “Meet Stiletto Momma” section to the right on the home page and the brand new “About” page at the top.

The newness I like best is that header image. I took the picture myself. I spent all afternoon selecting the right shoes, the right location, the right focus. But this picture almost wasn’t because somebody stole a little pink sneaker!

I started my photo session outside on the front porch in an attempt to get the best light.

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The scene of the first photo shoot. See the two little pink shoes in the background?

My second location was a room inside just off the foyer–a mere four steps from that front porch. I gathered up as many shoes as I could and began staging them inside. On my second trip back, I noticed something missing.

A missing shoe!

A missing shoe!

In the 20 seconds it took me to walk back to the porch for the second load of shoes and return, one of my shoes (actually one of the Young One’s shoes) had vanished. I glanced around the room, but I couldn’t see it anywhere.

I retraced my steps to the porch…no pink shoe out there either.

I know I had two pink shoes. I have photographic evidence from location shoot one (see above)!

“Where’s my shoe?” I asked the quiet house.

In the hallway…”Where’s my shoe?”

In the dining room…”Where’s my shoe?”

In the kitchen…”Where’s my shoe?”

In the great room…”There’s my shoe!”

Pink Shoe

Found it!

And next to the missing shoe, I could finally see the culprit–the Fluffy One, all four pounds of her had swooped in while my back was turned and made off with the one prop I needed for the perfect shot.

Caught

Caught red-pawed!

I finally persuaded her to give it back, but not without a chase around the living room. (For a fluff ball, she sure is fast!)

As you can see, I love my new header, and I love it even more now for the doggy story that goes with it.

What do you think of the changes at Stiletto Momma? I’d love to hear what you think.

Five Minute Fridayzero-to-hero-badge***This post is brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “See”.  The changes are brought to you by several of this week’s WordPress Zero to Hero challenge assignments.