- Lesson from Sugi: dogs use staring to communicate
- Sugi says, “If I sit and stare at Julie I get what I want, well, most of the time…”
“I want my snack”
In my previous post I talked about Mochi Fun Food for dogs. This post is a special ++Mochi Alert++. I now know that the Mochi should be left for a few hours after baking before giving it to your dog.
Last night I made a new batch of Mochi, Sugi’s favorite treat. When you first take it out of the oven it is lovely and chewy like fresh bread. When I gave Sugi a piece he chewed and chewed and then started clawing at this inside of his mouth! He desperately was trying to free the Mochi from the back of his throat! I fished around in his mouth with my finger but couldn’t find it. It must have been lodged further down. Sugi was freaking out and Tom was barking…Greg picked up Sugi and gave him a Heimlich maneuver. It must have worked because Sugi stopped pawing and gasping immediately and seemed very relieved.
How to give the Heimlich maneuver to your dog (from Canadian Living)
1. Stand (if he’s a tall dog) or kneel (if he’s a small or medium dog) behind the dog, with the dog facing away from you.
2. Put your arms around the dog’s waist. Make a fist with one hand and place your fist, thumb side up, on the dog’s abdomen just below his ribs. Wrap your other hand around that fist.
3. Give a hard, fast jerk or squeeze upward, toward the dog’s backbone. Apply enough force to move the dog’s whole body. (If he’s a very small dog, place two knuckles of one hand on the abdomen just below the ribs and the other hand flat on the dog’s back to help steady him, then give a quick, hard poke upward with your knuckles.)
4. If the object does not come out of the dog’s mouth on the first try, give another hard jerk. If after three or four jerks the object still has not come out or the dog still can’t breathe, rush him to the nearest veterinary clinic, where a vet can do a tracheotomy (cut a hole in the dog’s windpipe below the obstruction) to get air into the lungs and then remove the object surgically. YIKES!
When Sugi was being picky about his food a few months ago, I searched for alternative treats that would be nutritious for him. I came across this product called Mochi by a vegetarian restaurant in Victoria called Green Cuisine. It is based on the Japanese food used for mochi deserts. The Green Cuisine mochi is made from organic brown rice only. It comes as a hard slab, and you can buy it from Capers or Whole Foods. You can freeze it if you need to. You prepare the mochi treats this way:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Cut the slab into 1″ cubes and spread them out on a cookie tray (I use a pizza stone). Cook the pieces for about 10 min or until they puff up and brown a bit. Let cool before giving to your dog.
I eat them dipped in salted olive oil! They are puffy and crispy with a delicious softness on the inside. A nice gluten-free alternative to bread.
In a previous Rug Works post, I commented on Tom’s creative practice. Here are additions to his body of Rug Works.
I modified the last pancake recipe to increase the protein content and to substitute sweet potato for the banana. I think Sugi likes the savory flavor of this one in comparison to the more sweet flavor of the oat/banana recipe. You can buy the lentil flour from Anita’s Mill or from Fairy Cakes. I learned from vegan chef Preet Marwaha, who spoke at the Vegan Congress Tasting on Jan 22, 2014, that you should soak your hemp or flax seeds for a few minutes before using them in the recipe in order to allow them to create a nice jelly like texture. Preet also said the omegas in hemp seeds are especially easy to digest. I added safflower oil because according to my vet it has the same omegas as flax oil which should not be heated.
Put the seeds in about 1/4 cup of your coconut milk and let them sit. In the meantime, put the flour and baking powder in a bowl and use a whisk to mix up thoroughly. Put the sweet potato into the bowl that has the seeds/coconut milk and mash together until smooth. Add the mashed ingredients to the dry ingredients. Then add the coconut milk, whisking until smooth, and until you get the thickness you want. Add more coconut milk if you want. Use a spoon to put a dollop (about 1/8-1/4 cup) of batter onto an oiled pan. Cook until dry on the up side. Flip and cook the other side, just like you would regular pancakes! You may have to add a bit of coconut milk as the batter sets while you’re cooking.
You will see in the picture that I’ve cooked them as small (about 3″) grittle cakes on a special grill that spans two burners. Once done, I let them cool on a rack. Sugi (20 lbs.) eats about 6 of these per day (in addition to other lovely treats…). Unlike Tom, Sugi knows when he’s had enough… Delicious!