Another doggy friendly invention which makes a hu-woman's life easier: The Kong. Rumor has it that it was invented by a poor Labrador retriever owner who was looking to find a solution to his dog's rampant and destructive need of chewing anything and everything in sight. One day he caught his canine friend trying to take a car tire apart and failing. Thus the Kong was born. The man shaped the car's tire rubber into something else and called it a "indestructible dog toy" and made a fortune. More power to him and heartfelt thanks from my canine gang who is addicted to these rubber tubes now. As you probably all read, Miss Bicalina had to have lots of teeth extracted and therefore isn't so good in chewing bones anymore.Those were the days!Everybody gets their designated towel spot and off they go. I usually stuff the kongs with either raw meat or canned meat mixed with freeze dried beef/oyster chunks, cooked liver and joghurt. In other words: They basically get half of the dinner ration stuffed in there and to avoid bigger messes, I put them in the freezer. The satisfaction of working a kong is written all over their faces ! They really enjoy it and it gives them something to do.
Our friend Barbara donated two of Beau's Kongs to the little fur-people. We purchased a third one, and an addiction was born. Since dogs love to chew and gnaw on things, this invention came in handy and the dogs have to earn half of their dinner now by extracting it out of the kong. You can see how they enjoy this pastime and they get more excited about their kongs than they get when you serve "just dinner" in the bowl.
It is also interesting to watch the pack interaction of all this. Every dog respects the other one's space. Bica is an exception of course, because her social skills are next to none. Due to her bad upbringing, solitary confinement probably most of her young life and lack of socialization issues, she knows no boundaries and waltzes all over the other two. What amazes me: Tessa and Rodney accept her as she is and she gets away with murder. They won't allow her to steal their kong, but they also do not act overly aggressive towards her. Our last pack was equally as harmonious together and I am really lucky that way. They all get along and they all really like each other. Kudos to Tessa again, who could kill one of her dachsie pals by simply sitting on them, but she is very sweet and considerate in dealing with those two. Something I can't say about her little slave driving counterparts. :)BTW: Doggy breakfast and dinner looks something like you see above. In that case it is a mix of "Honest Kitchen" (grain free) and beef heart. I try to feed as species appropriate as I can and since I do, the vet doesn't see us too often anymore. The dogs are healthy, the coats shiny, the digestion great and the energy up. Dry food is a thing of the past in this household ! They also get muscle meat, bones, organs, fish and bonemeal. To ward off ticks, worms and fleas, I mix a spoonful of virgin coconut oil in with the food and so far I've seen one tick crawling around on Tessa. That was it. Before we hit the woods, I take a small amount of coconut oil, rub it into my hands and go over the fur of the dogs. So far: No pesky insects have been seen ! Even the gnats hate it. :)
One of these days we'll go more detailed into dog nutrition, but I can give you one advice: If your dog has allergies, switch over to a B.A.R.F. diet and he will never scratch again ! (Sure beats "feeding" steroids, doesn't it ? )