Monthly Raw Food Order – February 2015

This post is going up early, but it’s because I’ve got a recommendation on a new beef supplier, and he just put out a call for orders today, for a January 30 delivery.  If I like his product, he’ll take over as my primary beef supplier, although I’ll still pick up a case of Blue Ridge Beef Natural Mix from time to time, because the Natural Mix has green tripe.  The new guy has a beef mix that is ground beef, heart, and liver, making it very similar TQDF and BRB analogues, but without green tripe.  Additionally, Amy’s found a source for 60 pound cases of beef heart at a price that’s well under what I would be paying through our normal supplier.

From today to the March Top Quality Dog Food distribution is 52 days.  In that time, I will need 258 pounds of raw meaty bones, 148 pounds of muscle meat, 25 pounds of liver, 13 pounds of kidney, and 13 pounds of beef lung.  TQDF has a distribution on February 15, which is when I will pick up organs and some variety meats to last me through March.

This write up will only include the raw meaty bones I actually purchase in February for cost calculations — January’s raw meaty bones were covered in the January order post, and March will be covered, well, in March.

The inventory:

1 sheep rib cage (still haven’t decided if I will use it)
1 whole turkey (about 9 of ground raw meaty bones when processed)
6 pounds of chicken backs
30 pounds of Blue Ridge Beef
16 pounds of beef heart
8 pounds of turkey heart
10 pounds of pork heart
13 pounds of beef liver
6 pounds of pork kidney
8 pounds of beef lung

I will need to order 84 pounds of muscle meat, 12 pounds of liver, 7 pounds of kidney, and 5 pounds of lung to make it to the March 14 TQDF distribution, plus approximately 40 pounds of raw meaty bones every week until then (I go to Mayflower on Tuesdays).

Raw Food Math Feb 2015
Click the image to embiggen.

The food order:

30 pounds of duck necks (1 case from Mayflower Poultry)
160 pounds of chicken backs (4 cases from Mayflower Poultry)
6 pounds of TQDF beef lung
10 pounds of TQDF beef liver
10 pounds of TQDF beef kidney
10 pounds of TQDF pork hearts
10 pounds of TQDF turkey hearts
30 pounds of beef mix
60 pounds of beef heart


This gives me five protein sources:  duck, chicken, beef, pork, and turkey.  The 60 pound case of beef heart will be split between February and March.  The duck necks provide some RMB variety from chicken backs, and in March I’ll pick up a case of meaty pork neck bones to do the same.

The January CSA pickup didn’t have any organs available, so I’m hoping to pick some up at the February pickup; they usually have lamb organs available.  Last spring I got a huge box of lamb hearts, livers, and kidneys from them and if I can score it again this year, that will be fantastic.

The cost breakdown:

30 pounds of duck necks: $37.50
160 pounds of chicken backs: $88
6 pounds of beef lung: $10.50
10 pounds of beef liver: $16.50
10 pounds of beef kidney: $16
10 pounds of pork hearts: $19.95
10 pounds of turkey hearts: $18.50
30 pounds of beef mix: $37.50
60 pounds of beef heart: $70

Total: $315

Now that I have inventory on hand, the savings are starting to roll up: $315 for February vs $342 in January. It’s not a huge amount, but it will improve as the year goes on.  $315 spread over 52 days is about $6.05/day (compare to January’s $10.37/day).  It’s around $1.72/day each for Jackson, Pike, and Loki, and $0.86/day for Clover (January’s figures were $3/day for each Ridgeback and $1.50/day for Clover).  My cost per pound is still hovering just a smidge over a dollar per pound, at $1.03.

Almost four years ago, when I told Nathan I wanted to take Jackson to a full raw diet, he asked that I keep the cost per day to under $3.00.  I’m doing pretty darn good!

Print Friendly

The Modern-Day Fairy Tale: The Myth of Reach and Drive

The properly angulated dog will swing freely from the shoulder blade and the hip with long, low, easy strides and no wasted effort, while the vertical dog will stiffly “pop” from the elbow and the hip and lift the legs far too high off the ground on both ends, creating a gait that causes the dog a great deal of increased effort and gives it little to no endurance. The higher the legs go up in the air, the farther they have to come back down to contact the ground. And feet only work when they are on the ground; they have no use when they are up in the air.

via The Modern-Day Fairy Tale: The Myth of Reach and Drive.

Print Friendly

Dogs hired as ball boys for a pro tennis match. What could possibly go wrong?

No wait, hear us out! It’s been done before: at a recent exhibition match in Auckland, New Zealand between two former champions, Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Women’s Tennis Association chose to assign ball duties to three adorable assistants.

The three dogs – Oscar, a rescued Bull Mastiff, Ted, a Border Collie recently retired from obedience trials, and Super Teddy, a Jack Russell/Norfolk Terrier/Miniature Schnauzer cross and winner of New Zealand’s Clever Canine Competition 2014 – are huge fans of tennis balls, if not tennis.

via Dogs hired as ball boys for a pro tennis match. What could possibly go wrong? | Wamiz UK.

Print Friendly

The Current State of the Freezer

Freezer January 2015


Top shelf: Blue Ridge Beef in 5 pound chubs and chicken backs in tubs.

Middle shelf: Blue Ridge Beef in tubs, and a whole turkey.

Middle wire basket:  Pork kidneys.

Bottom shelf: Chicken backs in tubs.

Bottom wire basket: Split sheep rib cage.

Door:  Top left shelf is beef and sheep liver, sheep kidney, and a sheep “split.”  (I don’t actually know what the split is.)  Top right shelf is 3 Talenti containers with ground pork kidney and beef liver. Middle left shelf is another Talenti container with organs.  Bottom wire basket has a lone turkey wing joint.

Next weekend we will pick up our TQDF order.  Between now and then I want to thaw the last turkey (it got abandoned when I cut my finger in early December) and run it through the grinder.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to use the sheep rib cage or not because I’m leery of feeding whole bones like that since Jackson’s tooth extraction.  Poultry parts I’m still comfortable with (save turkey — that gets ground).

Print Friendly

A Dog Rolling Over During Play Is a Combat Tactic, Not Submission

Wondering about why dogs do what they do seems to be an international pastime. But assuming that a dog rolling onto his back during play is akin to saying, you “came on too strong” or, ”OK, you won this round!” seems like a mistranslation. In some contexts, rolling onto the back is certainly associated with fear, or defusing or preventing aggression, but this new study reminds that ‘rolling over,’ like many behaviors, does not have a single, universal meaning. Instead, rolling over during play is often just play.

via A Dog Rolling Over During Play Is a Combat Tactic, Not Submission | Dog Spies, Scientific American Blog Network.

Print Friendly

What Your Natural Health Magazine Doesn’t Want You To Know

Concerns about vaccinations, sarcomas, immune system function, and nutrition are all perfectly valid. This should be able to be part of a discussion with a good veterinarian without bloodshed or Yelp. You are all smart people. A nice, polite, rational approach to collaboration may not sell magazines, but it does create better outcomes. I will talk to you about anything, even coconut oil, delayed neutering, titers, and raw food.

I understand the difference between your pet and the community as a whole, and if you ask why we have the recommendations we do, I’d be happy to go into all the boring public health theory and discussion of cell mediated immunity and why titers don’t prove definitive immunity and all those other things a drug rep with a burrito did not teach me in a one week course. This is communication, and it’s what two people who don’t want to kill each other do.

via What Your Natural Health Magazine Doesn’t Want You To Know | Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V..

Print Friendly

Orlando Show Report, Part Two: Eukanuba

We drove from Perry to Orlando on Friday, with a stop in Homosassa, FL to visit Nathan’s mom and step-dad for lunch.  Yay, seafood!  I love visiting Florida.  It’s my kinda food!  At lunch we made sure MJ had all the info she needed to join us the next day at the convention center — she was coming to watch and cheer us on.  Go Team Loki!

I had reserved a two-queen room, but we convinced my dad to go to the show with us too, so we upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite at check-in.  Good move, because it gave us plenty of room to enjoy the hotel without being all on top of each other.

Dad Hotel Eukanuba

(Bedroom not pictured.)

We got all of Loki’s stuff hauled up into the room (seriously, I have got to get better at traveling light for these overnight shows. Dad had a single carry-on sized bag.  We had to make three trips to the car to get all our crap.) and then nipped down to the hotel bar for a nightcap.  My dad got really tickled at the number of dogs we saw just in and around the hotel, and we had a pretty good round of “What breed is that one?” going at the bar.


Saturday morning we were up early enough to watch the sunrise, and the view from our balcony was pretty incredible.  I spent a few minutes on the balcony gathering my thoughts and mentally getting my game on.  Then we had breakfast.  Love room service.  Love it.

Dad Eukanuba

The only word I can use to describe the convention center is “huge.”  In addition to the photo here, I took a panoramic video of the grooming area. What you see here in the photo of the grooming area is only about 20% of the building.  This is only half of the grooming area, plus there were spaces for Meet the Breeds, the conformation judging rings, the agility, obedience, and dock diving areas, the vendor areas … it just went on and on and on.

On our way into the building, we ran into fellow Canaan Dog person Christina Miller, and she had space in her set up for us to put Loki’s crate — happy coincidence, because we wanted to offer to help her out with Meet the Breeds and be an extra pair of hands for Canaan Dog judging on Sunday!  We got all our crap hauled in (Loki, crate, bag of ‘dog stuff’, folding chairs, etc …), collected MJ when she arrived, and had a few minutes to relax before it was off for judging.

I knew going in that there were only two other class dogs entered, so Loki had a pretty good chance of walking away with the purple ribbon and another point toward his championship.  It was never a done deal — that judge, that dog, that day — but I was hoping for the best, and Loki did not let me down.  Big man strutted his stuff into that ring, did everything I asked him to do damn near perfectly, and made Momma proud.

County Line’s Thor’s Echo was Winners Dog at the 2014 AKC Eukanuba National Championship!

Loki Eukanuba

Even if we had not won, I would have still been thrilled to get to go to Eukanuba — the entire trip I had mentally prepared myself to be happy no matter what, but getting to take home that purple rosette really made my day.  I was so thrilled with Loki.  He’s just an amazing dog.

After conformation judging, we took a spin around the Meet The Breeds area, and gave my dad an opportunity to love on some Australian Cattle Dogs and some Bluetick Coonhounds (two of his favorite breeds).

Dad Eukanuba Bluetick

Finally, we finished off with a little vendor shopping (Nate came home with a spiffy new rain jacket and a hat), then it was back to the hotel for dinner and relaxing.

Sunday we took one more trip into the convention center to meet up with Chris for Canaan Dog judging.  If you want to know how that went, let’s just say she needed extra hands to hold all her rosettes. ;)  After Canaan Dogs finished, I did a little shopping of my own (buying a FitPaws balance disk for helping condition the dogs this winter), and then we packed up the van and headed back to Perry.

I am so glad we went this year.  It was fantastic getting to see my family and Nathan’s family, plus the show was great.  I still want to hit Westminster one year, but I think Loki has a lot of growing up to do first.  It’s still on my list though!

Print Friendly

A Note on Puppies – Bobbie Lyons, Cert CF      503-329-1235

My preference is to teach the puppy body awareness and coordination on the flat first. Once the dog can obtain the correct position on the flat, then I add unstable FitPAWS equipment such as rocker boards, peanuts, Fitbones, and paw pods that improve proper weight distribution while keeping the body in alignment. I suggest putting the donut holder under the wobble board which allows it to jiggle but not to rock.  When the dog has well developed muscles and bones (at about age 12 months) then add sustained exercises on wobble boards and balance discs.

via A Note on Puppies – Bobbie Lyons, Cert CF

Print Friendly


Little liver-nose boy is growing up fast, very fast!  I looked at the calendar last night and realized he’s only 11 weeks old, not the 12 I’ve been counting in my head.

I’m in desperate catch-up mode because we lost two weeks of our socialization window while we were in FL.  Granted, it’s not like he was in a stasis box during that time.  He got socialized with a mini poodle, a Schipperke, several strange adult Ridgebacks, and so on.

But, since we’ve come home from Florida, Pike has had the following experiences:

  • All nails done by Dremel.  We started introducing the Dremel before we left, and did his nails when we came back.  He struggled a little at the beginning but settled down right away when he realized I was going to stuff him with treats every time the Dremel touched a nail.
  • Pet store visit.  He met probably 10 adults and 4 children, plus a Labrador/Weimaraner mix puppy, and an adult Boston Terrier.
  • Wearing clothes.  We bought him a Christmas sweater.
  • Walking on leash.  We started this before going to Florida, and he doesn’t have the whole thing figured out yet, but we’re getting there.
  • Introduction to clicker training. We’ve done two 20-rep sessions of nose target to palm of hand.
  • FitPaws Giant Balance Disk.  It’s not inflated yet, so we just clicked for putting paws on the giant blue circle.  He’s supremely unconcerned by this.
  • Two sessions on the grooming table learning to stack.  And by learning to stack, I mean “eating treats as fast as I can feed them so he learns to be comfortable on the table.”
  • Canaan Dogs:  we took a trip out to see Auntie Amy and he got to meet Camber, Atri, and Ian.  He immediately started playing with Ian, and took a growled “be polite to me, dumb puppy” correction from Camber with aplomb.

I think this will bring his socialization count up to around 50-60 adults (in all shapes, sizes, colors, hats, glasses, winter coats, canes, and so-forth), probably 5-10 kids, and a reasonable number of non-Ridgeback dogs.  I could wish for more dog/dog socialization, but we’ll be starting handling class and a puppy obedience class soon, which will get us caught up rapidly.

We bought him a royal blue puppy martingale, but the red Christmas sweater looks so good on him that I haven’t decided yet whether or not red or blue will be “his” color.  (Jackson has tan/gold/black, Clover is pink/black, and Loki is green/gold/black.)

Pike at pet store

Print Friendly

life is better when your paws are muddy