Thursday, June 26, 2014

Single Dog Mom Diaries

Last night, I was up until midnight chopping and pureeing produce for my French Bulldog Bleu so that he could have home-cooked food for the week. I tried to make the labor-intensive kitchen extravaganza more enjoyable by throwing on a Netflix movie while doing it, but I kept worrying about chopping off a finger every time I took my eyes away from the carrots and looked at my TV screen. Bleu, however, parked his butt right next to my feet and looked up at me with expecting eyes. “When will it be ready?” his repeated glances demanded. The thick mucousy drool hanging from the left corner of his mouth was also making me edgy as I diced his yellow organic squash. As minutes turned into hours, an entire puddle of dog drool formed on my kitchen tile. But Bleu didn’t care. All he wanted was a second dinner.

Now that I cook for my dog, he’s turned into a food fanatic and snob. Every time I open the refrigerator, or a kitchen cabinet, turn on a burner or open up a container, Bleu thinks it’s for him. It’s as if no one else in the household, or the world, for that matter, should consume human food before he’s satiated. And when I have the audacity to cook myself a nice dinner, and sit down to my Japanese-style dining set, Bleu is lurking close by. After a long, hard day at my advertising agency job, I want to sit Indian-style on my over-priced Crate and Barrel floor pillows and eat off my World Market coffee table in peace, but Bleu also wants to help consume my cuisine. Since I’m vegan, almost everything I eat he can also eat (except, there are certain vegan foods, like avocados and macadamian nuts that are harmful to dogs). He slurps fresh spinach from my plate, and instead of scolding him, I let him have it because 1) I think it’s cute that he’s stealing an antioxidant-rich leafy green veggie off of my plate, 2) it’s good for him, and I like to share.

Finally, finished with chopping, pureeing and dumping his mixture of freshly cooked broccoli, parsnips, sweet potatoes into the crockpot, I set my alarm for 6 a.m so I can finish the ordeal and still have time for a run before work. In the morning, I transfer his veggies to a heavy-duty cavernous pan, and sautee the meat: ground turkey and bison. Then, I add that mixture to the pot with calcium citrate and a pound of fresh spinach or other leafy greens, whatever I think Bleu is in the mood for. I transfer the mushy mess into mason jars and freeze Bleu’s food, taking out each jar, thawing it out in the fridge, as needed for the day. With home-cooked food, dogs have to eat more of it, which means you will have to feed and cook a lot. I feed Bleu, who is 27 pounds, lean and probably has almost no body, 4 cups of food a day.

I know if I didn’t have a French Bulldog with severe food allergies and health problems I would have a lot of free time and money on my hands, but I remind myself that this is what pet parents do, make sacrifices for the ones we love: our little fur kids.

I’ve canceled dates with handsome men because I have to cook for my dog.

I’ve turned down yacht parties because Bleu has a San Diego French Bulldog yappy hour to attend.

I could have owned a home by now, but instead, I own a husky Frenchie.

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