On the evening of January 24th, I slept poorly. The eve prior to traveling I always wake up periodically to check if I remembered the toothbrush, the camera charger or write myself a reminder to move the car in case of a snow emergency. But at 6:09 am on January 25th, I looked at my phone to see a text message from my mother. Arlie was refusing to walk and they were taking him to the vet.
I contemplated cancelling my trip to LA. I dissected the possibility of calling in to work, driving to Rochester and returning to MSP in time for my flight. It was pretty infeasible, so I spent my work day pushing pixels on the last few pages needed for a website while keeping one eye on my cell phone. Around 5 o'clock, my parents informed me Arlie had arthritis and they were getting pain killers to help him deal with the initial stage. All he could do is rest until he got better, so I might as well go on my trip.
Sometime during the afternoon of January 30th, I felt the urge to call my mother. They were leaving the vet, again. Arlie had attempted to follow my mother down the stairs and had hurt his back further.
I had originally planned to take Arlie and Etta back to Minneapolis this weekend, but an unexpected work trip this week has prolonged their stay at my parents' place. I felt horrible and decided to travel back to Rochester to spend the weekend comforting them and accompanying Arlie to his follow-up vet visit.
Arlie's crooked walk, arched back and whimpers of pain brought me to tears. My mother tried to reassure me, telling me he had improved greatly over the last week, but he seemed so much worse than Etta had been over the summer with the same injury. The vet who had initially visited with Arlie agreed with my mother and suggested that he spend the next week resting in his crate. While I plan on keeping him under the same plan the University of Minnesota made for Etta (a month in the crate), Arlie is quite a different dog. Unlike Etta, he naturally likes sitting in his crate and will remain there even if the doors are left open.
While I was in Los Angeles, I wanted to find a fancy dog-spoiling treat to help make up for my absence during this difficult time. Instead of artificially-flavored, pink-frosted doggy doughnuts, I bought The Doggy Bone Cookbook, which is filled with natural recipes for hounds, though poorly designed and art directed:
Once you get past the fact that the book has been updated five times since the nineties and no one has bothered to redo the horrid illustrations, you find the book is filled with several simple recipes containing very few ingredients.
I was wary about apples, unsure if the dogs would like them, but Miss Etta sat under foot, happily picking them off the ground as I accidentally dropped pieces. The recipe also claimed that it would make approximately two dozen biscuits with the included bone-shaped cookie cutter. I counted sixty after they came out of the oven.
My brother inquired if people could eat them. I reviewed the six short ingredient list and proclaimed they were edible for people. He took a bite. His face soured and he exclaimed they were not sweet. Well, duh. I tried some of his biscuit and handed the remaining third to my mother. They're deliciously savory.
Apple and Thyme Dog Biscuits (Thyme for a Treat)
from The Doggy Bone Cookbook
Makes: 2 Dozen (Actually Makes: 60 Biscuits)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup finely chopped apple
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix together flour, thyme and apple. In a separate dish stir together olive oil, milk and egg. Add to flour mixture. Knead until smooth.
- Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter.
- Bake for 25 minutes.