Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Busy, Busy...

Busy, busy! That's what I've been for the past couple weeks. Seems like things in the yard all come alive at once and it's a mad rush to get everything pruned, mowed, moved, planted, purchased, and mulched before the neighbors start complaining to the HOA. I'm happy to say, however, that I am DONE with yard work. Now I just have to maintain (and water), but I enjoy being outside, so it all works out.

Somewhere between my last post and this one, Lilly had a visit from her trimmer. She got praise for how great her tootsies are looking, how her weight is holding steady, and how much better she's moving these days. Gone are the bull-nosed, squared off hind toes from her past, which definitely lets us know she's using her body properly. We still have a seedy toe hole, but there's no active infection in there, so it's more of a maintenance thing at this point. I'm going to let off the creams and ointments and move on to the apple cider vinegar instead. I'll probably continue to shove cotton up into the little pocket, just because it keeps the crud out, but for now we just have to wait for it to grow out.

Waiting for the trimmer lady.
I spoke with my trimmer some more about the new EasyCare shoes and nearly passed out when she told me it would cost about $250 for a set of front shoes. The shoes themselves run about $40, and while I know there are other material costs like glue, holy cow! She said it's very time consuming and that's where the bulk of the expense is. She compared them to the cost of a set of therapeutic shoes, since they're "kind of like therapeutic shoes", but now I'm not so sure I can justify using them on Lilly. She said we can discuss my options when I get to the point where Lilly needs some kind of hoof protection.

In other news, I've been keeping track of Rylee's raw food diet expenses. I've been writing down everything I buy, how much of it I have, and what I paid for it. May's statistics are in, and I'm quite impressed! I spent just over $90 for approximately 50 pounds of meat, which made enough food for 33 days. When all the different equations have been worked out (thanks to Excel!), the results look like this:

Cost Per Bag = $1.18
Cost Per Day = $2.35
Total Cost for May = $72.54

Less than $75 to feed a 75 pound dog, fresh quality food that I prepare right there in my kitchen. I'm so glad I ventured into this whole raw food thing, that my dog is playing along, and that she isn't sending me to the poor house in the process.

She does get 1 Vitamin E capsule, 1 fish oil capsule, 4 antihistamines, and 1/4 teaspoon of probiotics each day, so there are some other costs included in there as well. Not to mention the recreational bones and fancy schmancy single ingredient treats I buy her, but she'd probably get those things anyway.

I've never had so much meat in my house at one time!
She mostly gets chicken and turkey parts (backs, thighs, necks, gizzards, liver, ground turkey), but I've been able to find some good deals on beef here and there too. I've done quite a few roasts, some ribs (although I just use the meat and she gets the bones for recreational chewing), and I bought her some higher quality ground beef, which she seems to be doing okay with. I'm still looking to branch out into some other areas, like fish, beef hearts, and venison, but I haven't been able to get my hands on any of that stuff yet.

I've got my baggie packing system down to a science and rather than being something I dread, I find it quite satisfying to chop up fresh meat, pack it away, and put it in the freezer.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fun With Water

We've been having some gorgeous weather lately! The last couple days have been in the 90's, which sounds hot, but it's been really breezy too, so it's perfect as far as I'm concerned. Lilly got her first official bath of the season yesterday and she seemed to really enjoy it.

Her mane was disgusting... she has never had a long mane, but since I'm not really showing, I haven't gotten around to chopping it off this spring. Once I washed it, conditioned it, and sprayed in some Vetrolin, it looked quite pretty. I still prefer a short mane, but she can keep this one for a little while longer.

I also clipped her legs, which is something I always do in the spring. I had already done her front legs, but her back legs needed it desperately. It's partially because of the hair, but mostly because she's susceptible to icky fungus-y stuff that loves to grow on the front and back of her cannon bones. So I shave her down pretty close to the skin, scrub her good with anti-fungus soap, and then spritz her with apple cider vinegar. Having the hair shorter usually keeps the fungus from growing.

After her bath, I took her outside to get some condition photos for May. I think her weight is looking good, and I am still hoping she won't have to wear a muzzle...

She was really excited about the photo shoot.
So cute!
Rylee has also been enjoying the nice weather. She loves playing in water, and somehow she's decided that any time I get out the hose, it's time to play. I make her wait until I'm done watering the plants, but then it's game on. I have to switch the nozzle to "jet" and then spray it all over the yard. She chases it, bites at it, jumps at it, and gets herself soaking wet until I can't take it anymore.
"I will bite you!"
There's a small creek that runs behind my property, and I've avoided taking her there because I'm afraid she'll enjoy it a little too much and try to sneak down there whenever possible. I decided to take her down there on Thursday to see how she'd like it, and she loved it. She had a grand time chasing frogs, getting filthy, and playing in the water.

Cooling off in the creek.
I'm having so much fun with her. She's growing up fast, and not much of a puppy anymore (although she's only 10 months old). She's listening really well and still doing great on her raw diet. I have reintroduced beef, but I bought a chuck roast instead of using the ground up stuff. So far, so good. She's been on probiotics, which ran out two days ago, so we'll see if those were helping things at all now that she's not getting them. They'd be really easy to add back in if they help her, so I'm keeping a close eye on things.

Happy dog is happy. :)