Friday, June 19, 2009

Feeding The Queen

I get asked a lot about what I feed Jazz and why. I have friends who think I’m crazy for trying to find different brands of food for the queen and rotating them. After all, I fed my Siberian Husky "Kibbles 'n' Bit 'n' Bits" for 13 years and he was “okay”. I wonder now how much better he would have been or how much longer he would have lived if I had known then what I know now. Most “major” dog foods use ingredients that are not great for your dog. The consumption grade is far below human grade and some of the items shouldn’t be given to dogs at all. Jazz has a grain allergy, so we feed grain free foods. Some day, I’d like to go to a RAW model, but for now, this will have to work.

I am fortunate that I live close enough to Atlanta that I can pick and choose the brands to feed. Most of the brands I use can be found within a 15 minute drive – the rest I have to drive further. I will continue to search for better brands. The cost difference is negligible from one of the “major” brands to these better brands when you figure in the fact that Jazz eats less on the higher quality food.

Jazz’s standard rotation of food looks like this:

Evo’s Small Red Bites - – I usually buy the 6.6 lb because of the rotation. Jazz gets ¾ cup of Evo.

Merrick’s Before Grain – - Jazz likes the Buffalo and up next is to try the Salmon. Jazz gets ¾ cup of the Buffalo and would get the same amount in the Salmon).

Solid Gold’s Bark at The Moon - – Jazz gets ¾ cup of Bark at the Moon. We usually buy the 4lb bag.

Next to Try:
Acana Pacifica Dog - – Jazz will get ¾ cup on this as well.

Evanger’s – I really wanted Jazz to try this, but I’m waiting on things to clear concerning the recalls.

Ones we’ve tried:
Natural Balance – Jazz likes, but it is not one of her faves – she eats this very slowly. We’ve tried a couple of different varieties. If I have gotten really low on food, I’ll pick this up because it is one of the few I can find in major pet supply stores. Then, the next time I’m in Atlanta I pick up the better food.
Orijen Fish – Jazz loved, but her gas was unbearable
Eukanuba Sensitive Skin – this is what Jazz came to me on – I will not feed her this ever again. Better quality, grain free food has made a massive improvement in her coat.

Seameal Powder w/Flaxseed Meal - – Jazz gets this 3 times a week.

Fish Oil – we buy this from our local discount store in the vitamin section. We give Jazz one, whole capsule.

Best References:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This week...

What a week! My church just finished up Vacation Bible Camp and it was an absolute blast. Every day after work, I’d head over to my church to volunteer at VBC. You may be wondering what this has to do with the queen. Well, she was just not very happy at the idea of me getting home so late each night. Most nights when I come home, I chase her around a bit and then have a 10-15 minute snuggle time where she catches up on the love she missed during the day. When I came home this week, she went nuts whenever I walked in the door. I got spins and jumps and licks and snuggles! Well, I did every night except for Sunday night. That night, she simply ignored me because I left her at home after being together most of the day.

This weekend we have a Shiba meetup – my only concern is that it’s supposed to be in the mid 90’s – HOT! HOT! HOT! We look forward to seeing our buddies – it’s been a while since we’ve gotten together with everyone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What would I do without Jazz?

I truly don't know. Here's some background:

My Siberian Husky died in 2003 - I'd had him since 1989. My mom died in 2005. My dad in 2007. Mentally, I was freaking out. I needed something to help take care of - it's part of what makes me, well, me. I'd begun looking for a dog prior to Mom's illness, but I couldn't find the breed I wanted. I wanted a dog like my husky, but not nearly as big. I saw a shiba inu while in Piedmont Park and I fell in love.

I did a little bit of research about the breed and thought "When the time comes, this is the breed". With everything that happened from 2003-2007, I am amazed that I didn't get a dog sooner. They can provide so much healing for the soul. Halfway through 2007, I began looking in earnest for a shiba. I eventually found one through a breeder - she allowed Jazz to go as a rescue as long as I had her spayed. Originally, Jazz was a show dog, but was retired when it was realized that she had an allergy and couldn't be bred.

I drove 6 or so hours up to Winston-Salem to pick her up. In my excitement of talking with the breeder, I had neglected to ask her what the dog's name was. When she told me, I was very excited because I love Jazz music. Jazz rode home that day sleeping on my hand. Every day when I come home, I get an enthusiastic greeting. Jazz isn't super active - she sleeps a lot...even for a shiba, but the greeting I get from her everyday just thrills me.

When I laydown for just a moment, she snuggles up close to me - she knows that I need that recharge. I'm sure others feel the same about their dogs, but I know that every day of my life is better because she is in it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Off Leash Problems

A friend of mine recently had an altercation with an off-leash dog. He & his wife had the bigger dog (who was the victim of the off-leash dog attack), but had something worse happened than what did, I feel sure his dog would have been blamed. I have a reactive dog when it comes to any other dog. There are a few dogs that Jazz tolerates reasonably (for her) well. There are other dogs that she can’t stand the sight of. It’s not based on breed, gender, size or anything else that I can figure out, she’s just not big on other dogs. We’ve encountered off-leash dogs where I live which means that Jazz must be picked up – she really doesn’t like dogs just running up to her. She’s pretty formal and would like for the dogs to stand some distance away until she notices them and then slowly come to her. It may sound like I’m joking, but I’m not. I can’t count the number of times we’ve been approached by someone saying that their dog is friendly – they get my response of “But, my dog isn’t”.

After thinking about the off-leash problem, I began to ponder what the solution is. Do we ticket owners whose dogs are loose? Aren’t there already leash laws – doesn’t look like that’s working too well. Is it the dog’s fault that their owners just don’t care enough to train them and to walk with them on the leash? Should people have to pass a test to own a dog – prove that they aren’t stupid?

I’m not for more government – less is better….usually. In this case, I don’t know the solution. Just as there are problems with people breeding “designer dogs” [if you own a labradoodle, cocker-poo, etc. – please be advised, it’s a mutt, not a breed of dog], puppy mills, backyard breeders (ones who don’t do any tests on their dogs or show them, but try desperately to find owners for yet another oops! litter), people who don’t care enough about their pet to leash them need to be punished. Instead, you’ll hear the story of a pit bull in his yard that attacked a poor innocent lab – you won’t hear that the pit bull was fenced and chained & the lab was running loose, but just that a violent breed of dog injured America’s favorite breed.

I know that I obsess over my dog. I know that I spoil her. I know that I love her and she loves me. Because of this, it is my responsibility to take care of this dog to the best of my ability. This means – when I see an off-leash dog in an area where they must be leashed, I’m calling animal control. It means that I get to be the “bad guy” who won’t let your dog have the freedom “it deserves”. It means that I care more about your dog than you do.

Friday, June 5, 2009


To Blog or not to Blog, that appears to be the question these days. I don't know how often I'll actually do this, but I'll at least attempt it. I've got friends that blog about some really great things - turns out they are great writers - I am merely sarcastic and a bit caustic at times, so not so sure if anyone will read these abstract musings.

I'm most likely to blog about Jazz. She's a beautiful red shiba inu who'll be 6 in July. She came into my life on September 28, 2007. She's a queen bee (to steal a nickname from KF) and she's feels that she is above most canines and some humans. She prefers to be held, fed well, and given jerky whenever she asks for it.

The photo I've attached was taken May 23 by Jenny & Jon at a recent meetup in Pennsylvania. I feel this is one of the best photos I've ever seen of Jazz and I've seen a lot! Jazz and I left late on Thursday night to stay with friends in Scranton, PA on Friday night. On Saturday, we joined several other Japanese dog enthusiasts for a picnic. It was a great day - Jazz even socialized with some of the dogs...until she's had enough. After that, she was carried about and enjoyed the attention she received from all. On Sunday, we headed home - Jazz spent most of her time sleeping. After all, it's the job of the chauffeur to safely deliver the queen.