Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hunger Strike

I can only remember a couple of times where my parents wouldn't let me leave the dinner table until I cleaned my plate. I'm pretty sure both of those times, the meal included lima beans or peas of some sort. My dad didn't like his vegetables either, and I'm pretty sure my mom was forbidden to make them ever again. Especially after his daughter, who is was too smart for her own good, pointed out that dad didn't clean his plate so he should have to sit at the table until he was done as well. Yeah, that didn't happen, but a spanking did.

Over the last three weeks, Roxy's eating habits have become really poor. It started with refusing the nightly marshmallow that I give each of them at bed time. Okay, so she doesn't want sweets, not a big deal. Then she started leaving everything in her Kong totally untouched, except the cream cheese or peanut butter. I figured Seka bullied her into giving her Kong up, which happens even in their crates sometimes. The next reject on the menu was a raw chicken back. Then came the turkey neck's turn. Three days ago, she totally gave up chicken gizzards and hamburger all together. I think she ate grass and a couple of slices of American Cheese for the last two days because nothing else would do. Maybe she's making a vegetarian statement of some sort.

There's really only one culprit: her choppers. Poor Roxy just has the bad teeth gene and despite regular brushing and a raw diet, she continues to lose teeth a pair at a time. She most recently had two pulled in August. Now, it looks like she's going to lose at least two more on the other side. We were waiting to complete an antibiotic cycle before having them pulled, but with her eating habits becoming so poor, I guess we may have to do this sooner, rather than later.

My dilemma, what do we put on Roxy's menu after she has lost most of the back teeth in her mouth? Do we move to kibble for her? It can't be easy to eat dry pebbles without back teeth. Will she be able to chew raw bones again? Are we headed down a path of canned dog food for good (ugh, please no)?

I really want to keep her on a grain-free diet, especially when she's allergic to peas (I wish I had that excuse) and eggs. Both are used in a lot of commercial kibble. We live in the country, so we lack convenient access to uppity dog food and I'm a poor planner when it comes ordering ahead of time. I guess we'll just see if she can gum the raw dishes once we get her appetite back.

Seka, on the other hand, is psyched that her sister isn't eating her daily ration. Before I really got a handle on the severity of the situation I'm 99% sure Seka ate Roxy's food too. Something Fatty McPatty didn't need. But the joke was on her tonight as Roxy wolfed down a can of Newman's Own canned dog food as she stood by drooling on the sidelines.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There's an App For That

I'm an Apple-aholic. To me, there's no more perfect computer, electronic instrument, or insta-cool gadget than those produced by Steve Jobs and his think tank. I've always been an Apple-maniac ever since my college roommate had an old-school, green screen, Apple desktop that we shared for four years. It never crashed. It never burped. And it never failed - even as we stayed up all night chatting with boys from the Air Force Academy.

So certainly I have an iPhone and an iPad. I also have a lot of apps for both. I thought I'd share with you my top picks for dog folks who prefer the superior technology found on a Mac product.

1. Instagram: I'm seriously addicted to this photography app. It lets you take really cool, old-school photos and share them with your friends via Facebook, Twitter and/or on the Instagram feed. The photos you see on this post are made using this app. I don't use any other photography app these days. While it can't turn you into Patrick Demarchelier, but it can sure make you feel like a Vogue genius.

2. The GreytLife: This greyhound-friendly app, among other things, includes resources for greyhound events nationwide. This is a pretty all-inclusive list for those of us who like to get together with like-minded greyhound folks across the country. This feature alone has helped me to plan my vacation this year.

3. Simply Postcards: I've started sending postcards to our nieces and nephews (this includes all of our close friends who have kids) when Kevin and I are doing something fun or just want to say hi. This app allows you to create a postcard from any photo on your iPhone, write the text for the back and they will print and mail it to the recipient for you for a couple of bucks. Seriously, no more crappy location postcards and looking for stamps in the middle of vacation.

4. Goodreads: I was a serious bookworm as a kid. Then I went through a phase (of about 10 years) where I didn't read for pleasure. Now my addiction has resurfaced and I'm constantly looking for new books to read (on my iPad of course). Goodreads allows me browse thousands of book lists created by Goodreads users and create a "must read" list so when I finish a book at 2 a.m. and I'm ready to read something else, what to start next is a no brainer. This service also includes reviews on dog training books!

5. SiriusXM: If you know me, you know that I have a crude sense of humor. I love Howard Stern. I think he is a genius. I love his wife, who is the spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League. When I'm on the road, I must have my Stern. This app lets me listen to Stern and my other favorite SiriusXM channels no matter where I might be (ok, the NYC subway is a bit sketchy, but anywhere above ground, it works great). One warning, it is a suck on your data usage, so if you don't have an unlimited data plan, you may want to only use this in emergencies. Babba Booey.

These are just a fraction of the apps you can find on my iPhone (which is attached to my body at all times) and the collection on my iPad (which is carried with me frequently) is growing steadily. Apps make your life a better place, no doubt. Now, if they can come up with an app that will pick up dog poop...

"Once you go Mac, you never go back."