Friday, September 25, 2015

Oh gawwwwdd..I think we're going to do it!

Sooooooo...people who know me in real life know that meat completely grosses me out. I am a strict vegetarian, and aside from the "gross out" factor of meat, I also have huge ethical issues with it that I will not bore you with right now. The reason that comes in to play with the feeding of Hazel, is that it puts me in a moral dilemma. I have cooked for Hazel since her adoption, and I always felt so guilty buying more meat than I ever had before for her meals. I actually stopped cooking for my last dog because I couldn't get over it.

I came to a point with Hazel that I wanted to do the best I could by her, even if it meant buying meat. I have been doing ok with it and she seems to be doing well, however she still occasionally itches and something is telling me I could do even better for her.

I've read about RAW diets before and dismissed them immediately. Sure, I heard of the benefits, but if I was honest with myself, I knew I couldn't handle it.

Now, months later, I am seeing more and more dogs thrive on that diet, sooooooooo, have been researching. I have found some great groups to join and am learning everything I can before taking the plunge. There is a lot of planning involved before changing over.

When I first started researching, my head was spinning and I quickly became overwhelmed. There are so many things to consider to make sure your dog has a balanced diet. It's not a simple as throwing some raw meat in a bowl and being done with it. Because so many vets are not on board with a non-traditional diet that is not kibble, I really wanted to make sure I covered all my bases so that I can defend my decision. (Her current vet is awesome, but I could tell she was concerned about her having homemade food).

I found a nice little calculator that tells me, based on her weight and activity, how much food she will need. Math is not my strong suit!
I started to get nervous again, worrying about all of the ratios and making sure there was enough variety that I chickened out.
There are different types of RAW diet, the PREY and BARF. I have chosen the latter.

Hazel has always had raw meaty bones, so that part will not be a new adjustment for her. Here she is enjoying a turkey back on her "eating gross things" blanket.

I ended up finding a local source that makes the diet for me. They have the bone, organ meat, muscle meat, etc already set, so it will take the guess work out until I become more comfortable. I am reading everything I can get my hands on to educate myself before taking the plunge to doing it on my own. I am trying to find sources for organs and muscle meat that will not break the bank.

Tomorrow we receive our first delivery...wish us luck!
I have no idea how this will go, but will always doing what is best for Hazel. I am open to making changes, and who knows, we might find that this is not for us. This is just the beginning of our journey and I'm excited to see how she does. I would love to hear about anyone's raw feed experience!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

We're back- and ready to ramble!

We've missed you!!

I have had some issues accessing Blogger through my phone which is how I start all my finally got cleared up- UGH! It still looks like the format is funky, so my apologies!!!

This post will be all over the place- I don't even know where to start!

Random factoid #1- the big sissy just started 2nd grade, and so far, so good. We like her teacher a LOT and our love for her quadrupled when we found out she was the mama of two pitties!! Little D was thrilled and they have compared pictures.
Whaddya mean we're outta treats?!!
We are counting the days until freaking summer is OVER. We are seriously in survival mode.
It's been so hot, even before 4am when we are out, that we haven't been running, only walks which sucks!

We try to keep ourselves entertained indoors. ;) Sissy and Hazel make up their own little games all the time. This is when I wish we had a second dog as least she could wrestle indoors with her own kind.
To break up the long, boring summer days, I thought I would try bringing Hazel to work. I had no idea how she would do. I get to work super early so that I can get off early, so initially for the first hour or so, we were all alone. She had the freedom to run down the hallways and burn off some silly energy before my co-workers came in. She had so much fun and was very happy to socialize!
I was very pleasantly surprised about how she was received as well. Everyone loved her and nobody was intimidated. My one concern I had was worrying about her jumping up on someone. It used to be an issue when we first got her, and she is *usually* good about not doing so, however she matches whatever energy someone else gives. So if we have a guest who is over the top enthusiastic, well, they can bet on receiving a jumping kiss. She gently jumped on one person, but was overall very good.

I am very proud at how far our girl has come. There was a time when D could not run, dance, jump, or geez, sometimes even walk across the room without Hazel pouncing on her. Hazel was not used to living with a kid and all of their antics. I am thrilled to say that there are nearly zero issues with that now.
Seeing the relationship between these two blossom over the past year has made me so, so very happy.
We are madly, deeply in love with our girl.

Now if we can just find the perfect puppy friend for her......;)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

1 year ago....

I can hardly believe that I am saying's been 1 year and 2 days since we first met Hazel:

She had us at hello

And one year exactly that she came to our home as a "foster". This photo was taken within the first 15 minutes of her arrival. We took her into the backyard and immediately started playing ball with her. We shrieked and giggled (well at least us girls), at how cute she looked when she pounced.
That happiness and joy was very short lived, as our girl got very sick the very next morning. Thankfully it was short lived, and she was back to herself in a couple of weeks.

To celebrate her "new leash on life", we took her to pick out some toys.
Things were not always smooth sailing at the beginning, but we worked very hard as a family to set rules and boundaries.
Hazel was a great student....well......sometimes... ;0
The first time she did a little digging

It didn't take long before my girls developed a very sweet bond. Hazel soon learned that little humans are pretty darn cool.
National dog day, enjoying doggy yogurt.
Our first family trip together was pretty special.
Our first family trip to a cabin

Hazel came to us after the devastating loss of the last of our girls. For the first time in 20 years, we had NO furry babes in the house. It was terrible. Hazel brought so much life in the house, (though you wouldn't know it from all of her couch potato pictures!), and soon our hearts started to heal.
Our first hike together :)

The day we made it official!!!

First Thanksgiving

First Christmas
You know, just hangin'
We've had so many adventures....
Queen of the mountain

Hangin' at the park

Exploring a new trail...

Peanut butters!!!


Being SO good with my sissy!

A common occurrence in our household
I have explored so many trails and mountains with this girl, trails that would have gone undiscovered had it not been for her. I have so much fun with her. When we are on the mountain, we are both in our happy place.
Then our girl got very sick again........there was a time I thought we might lose her.
This was the second time since we had her that I feared losing her. We were sick with worry.

Then, our girl "pulled a Hazel" and rallied again. Her recovery made any other "life stressors" that I might have been feeling disappear. We were so incredibly grateful that she was ok and were reminded of what was truly important. As long as well all had our health, life is good.
I cannot wait to see what our future brings. I pray she stays healthy and lives a long life. I look forward to hopefully finding another dog who is her soul pup..We have so much to look forward to!

Trying to describe how much she means to me is impossible. I will however do everything possible to show her.

Happy one year anniversary Hazel!!! We love you to the moon and back.

Friday, May 29, 2015

She's baaack!

Last weekend Hazel and I hit the mountains for the first time since her illness. I was still a little scared about her over doing it even though she was acting completely normal and nutty. ;) We didn't run, just took it easy and made time to appreciate the beauty around us.


I can't tell you what it means to me. Our family has gone from the lowest of lows, the fear of losing my girl paralyzed me, to the incredible high of her "pulling a Hazel" and completely bouncing back!
Now that the sun comes up so early, we have to hit the trails before dawn!

Hazel's illness pulled our family so close together. We are close already, but having someone that we all adore so sick made us more vulnerable than ever.

My husband is an amazing man, and this experience made me love him even more. When I had to work, he was home with her 24/7..he assured me that we would do whatever it took to figure this out. When I was starting to lose hope, he promised me Hazel would be ok..and I believed him.

Hazel is definitely "back" and she's better than ever. Her energy is amazing, but most of all, her connection to all of us is even stronger. I have seen such a change. She really seems to understand how much we love her. She's always been snuggly, but now even moreso! For awhile she didn't like to be left alone, even if it meant following us into the bathroom. She always had to be touching one of us.
Before she destroyed him
We have an all new appreciation for our girl. While I am very relieved that she is feeling better now, I can't help but worry a little that this will happen again.

I plan on having another complete blood panel done in a couple of weeks to compare any levels that were elevated and make sure everything looks "normal".

For now, I am just incredibly grateful and enjoying our girl to the fullest!