Holy Red Ball of Death!

At least, so sayeth The TWoo.

Although TWooie has made many strides since coming to live on the Food Lady’s Farm, grasping the concept of “fun” in the act of catching something thrown at you is NOT one of the things he has mastered.

You can tell by the blissfully ignorant look on his face as the Holy Roller floats gently toward him.

Well would you look at that odd-shaped bird!


(you can see by his inflamed belly that his rash is back.  It must be some kind of contact allergy, as it comes and goes depending on where we walk and play.  I have a cream for it, and I wash his belly off every day with cool water.  I don’t know if any of it helps, but it makes me feel like I am doing something anyway.)

The thing *I* can’t see as being fun is the hose game.

Where’s the fun in getting a high powered stream of water straight up your beak?

Piper agrees that it’s no fun at all.

Hate this game.  Hate it.  So much hate.  STOP IT!

But Megan and Dexter think Piper’s a lame duck, and please to stop spraying her, and spray them instead.

Hello!  We’re waiting!

Yes, Maggie is now Megan.  For some reason, “Maggie” just did not roll off my tongue naturally, and I spent all my time accidentally calling her “Maggins” which transitioned itself to Megan.  She seems more like a Megan.  It’s what her new owners intend to call her also, so may as well get her used to it!

She says she doesn’t care what you call her, as long as you’re pointing a hose at her when you do.


And thank doG for the hose, because boys and girls, it’s smokin’ hot out there!  Not even super duper shiny bright hot, but muggy, humid, hazy with threats of thundershowers hot.  Yesterday it was 29 (that’s 88 to you Americans) degrees which is pretty hot for us.

It can never be too hot for me.  For a pale and pasty white girl, I sure love the sun and heat!  I totally live in the wrong climate … except that I loathe the cold, and it doesn’t get that cold here in the winter.  Median temperature is the trade off, I guess.  But the dogs think it might be a little too hot to really do much, even though they are restless and bored.  So rather than big trips to the park or the beach, we aim for several shorter play sessions outside every day instead.  I don’t want Piper to overheat (and I am tired of Wootie digging holes in my driveway under my van to find somewhere cool to hang out!).

So today we went for an early morning walk (ie pre-heat) all along the back of the property, and this afternoon we played a little bit of Catch The Holy Roller.

Tweed lasted about 5 throws and then he was done.

For some reason, he STILL has most of his winter coat and just won’t shed it out.  The poor guy is boiling hot *all* the time.  I have groomed him like crazy, but that coat ain’t goin’ anywhere.  I am at the point where I am seriously considering shaving his belly so at least he can some relief.

Piper has more stamina for the game, since she is dressed appropriately for the season.

But the real die hard, the one with no sense or self control, is our friend Mr. D. Morgan, Esq.

Look at that enthusiasm.  Isn’t it precious?

If you only knew how HIGH he’s actually jumping.  This photo has some scale that might help:

He doesn’t *need* to jump that high … it’s not like I’m sending the toy winging into space, I am just tossing it gently.  But he seems to feel it’s better to grab it in the air than wait for it to come anywhere near back to earth, lest someone try to nab it before he can.

When he starts doing backflips, I end the game, because I just don’t think that’s healthy for him at his tender age.  He’s so freakin’ HUGE that sometimes I forget he is just a puppy still, but he is.  Plus he has exactly zero body fat so when he doesn’t stick the landing, I am convinced he’s going to break every bone in his body!!  And speaking of which, I have started adding carbs to his diet, so he gets a nice breakfast of meat and pasta every morning.  There is not enough raw meat in the world for him, and no matter how much I feed him, he continues to look like a skeleton with a sad little covering of ratty fur.  I really think his metabolism is so fast that he just uses up everything right away.  So I hope the carbs will help.  If you have any other suggestions (besides kibble, I don’t feed that) I am open to hearing them!

Anyhoo.  When I think Dex is getting too worked up about the ball, I put it away and we go back to the hose.

After giving Professor Winter a drink.

The hose involves very little leaping, but lots of snarling, snapping and lunging.

Although Megan is not adverse to getting a little teeny bit of air ;-)

I don’t know what to do with myself as there’s no agility for 2 weeks, as The Sadist and his wife are at Nationals in Calgary this weekend.  Good luck to them and to all my friends competing!!  Tweed and I wish we could be there.  Do BC proud – run fast, run clean, have fun!!


  1. If you ever figure out how to keep weight on a boy BC with the metabolism of DOOM, let me know. My boy will be 7 in October and he STILL can’t gain weight – he’s skin and bones, despite getting 9oz raw per meal, plus salmon oil, plus whatever scraps are around (last night was bean trimmings and a heel of bread). He’s right at 40lbs, and I would truly be happier if he were 45lbs, but the closest he’s ever gotten is 43lbs in the dead of winter.

  2. Wow, D. sure gets airborne!!

    I have a water hose monster as well! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HMkl2BjMgo shows her in action (with a bit of obedience work halfway into the video – mind, it was the first hose play of the year, so she was sooo not in the “stay” and “leave it” mood :)

  3. I have an 8 month old BC who is also skin-and-bone. And fed raw. I would add good fat to his diet. Beef fat from around the organs or marrow, NOT chicken fat. Digesting fat does not produce heat the way carbs do so good for hot weather. My pup’s breeder feeds extra fat to her hard working herding dogs.

  4. BC Insanity says:

    Ha ha ha, Dexter is a total hoot.

    Have you checked into coconut oil?

    Although both of my bcs (1 female, 1 male) have been skinny ethiopian-like dogs until they turned 3 or so. Then they finally started bulking up.
    It was hard to convince people that I was NOT starving them.

    BTW we love the water hose monster too, but it’s been in mid to upper 90’s here with elevated humidity, which sux given we live in a desert of Utah.

  5. i’ve heard potatoes can be good for adding carbs to add weight. not tried it myself as mine are all relatively easy keepers but you know, you hear things.

  6. I second the fat, be that from a type of vegetable oil or meat.

    Or rice, lots of good protein as well as the carbs.

  7. I am hardly an authority on raw diets. We feed exclusively raw now and I have a devil of a time keeping weight on Brynn too. The only thing that I found works is adding lard, and healthy fats (coconut oils etc) brown rice, occasional oatmeal, potato skins (off our dinner plates), peanut butter & double the eggs the other dogs get. If I keep that up along with the raw meat/meaty bones I can keep weight on her Without the rice/oatmeal, added eggs and fats she drops it like a lead balloon. Bonus on adding fats – with the heat she really needs the added fats – which help prevent the heat issues in our working dogs.

  8. Tweed might really enjoy a tunnel skirt. That’s where you take the “sanitary shave” up over the tummy and almost to the chest. We usually reserve that particular look for the extra-matted lot, when it would be cruel to try and comb it all out, but it does provide a nice increase in the tummy-to-floor ratio in this heat.

    What are you using to groom Tweed? I might suggest a metal Greyhound comb or a FurMinator/FurBuster of some kind. We find them superior to brushes at removing stubborn winter coats. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I used a brush on a BC coat…

    My Shepherd / Lab cross LIVED for the hose game. Hours and hours of crazy growly (hack!) fun. Nom nom ack nom.

  9. Holy air, Dexter!!! I love that he has to snatch it out of the stratosphere to keep the other dogs from getting near it.

    And I LOVE the first picture of Megan trying to catch the water in her mouth!

    I think I would just laugh all day long, if I lived there. I laugh at my own dogs, but yours are even funnier!

  10. Your dogs are completely insane (talk about catching air!) and your pictures are just off the hook! I love coming to see what’s new!

  11. I have never understood the hose up the nose thing. Why would you want to blow your brains out of your ears with a jet stream of water? Nope, I just don’t get it.

  12. Lamb and duck are both really fatty.

    What about satin balls? Their whole purpose is weight gain, I believe.

  13. One of my dogs carries an exceptionally huge coat… even for a male sheltie. In the summer I take his fur right down using a de-matting device, which works better for him than the fur-minator. It takes just the undercoat out, He has so much fur that in the winter I can’t even find his skin.
    Potato works best for us… wheat (pasta) and rice are big allergens for dogs and rice can cause constipation. He came to me with IBD so I have used potato as his carb since he’s been with me and it’s been great… sweet potato too.

  14. I was going to suggest Satin Balls, too. I’ve heard them used for rescue and neglected Great Danes to much satisfaction. A quick Google search comes back with a few good recipes, all of which are fairly easy to come by ingredients. :)

  15. The Food Lady says:

    Oh yes, I know about satin balls, but they are for quick weight gain, not a feeding regime. I don’t want to put quick weight on Dexter, I am simply looking to add something to his diet other than pure protein so he maintains a healthy body weight. I like my dogs thin, and I am used to skinny adolescents, but Dex is TOO thin, imo. I am going to think about adding sweet potatoes to his diet from now on as well. He already gets oils, cottage cheese, eggs etc – they all do. But it’s not doing the trick on its own.

    Coconut oil has been mentioned before, I will look into it!

    I do use a Furminator type brush on my dogs, as well as an undercoat rake, but even that won’t take out Tweed’s coat. He is bloody determined to roast under all that hair!

  16. nickelsmum says:

    I would vote for sweet potatoes over pasta, myself. I could not get weight on Nano with raw duck and sweet potatoes, however, and eventually switched him to hydrolyzed food to get a grip on the allergies. Between that and Prozac, suddenly his calorie needs went way down and he actually got to be a pound over what I was aiming for. No need for you to do that since Dexter is not allergic, but I would definitely go for sweet potatoes. And skip the pasta, since it’s a refined starch. By the way — lots and lots of sweet potato. When I was feeding raw, I actually made a pretty comprehensive veggie mush and it worked great. You can adjust the carb level up or down as needed. Also, I suspect dogs need some fiber in their diets unless they are getting some animal hair, and sweet potato has lots of fiber.

  17. nickelsmum says:

    P.S. Why not just rename her Maggins?

  18. That was brilliant. I wish we had a sunny day, but they’re rare. Dexter jumps so high! His legs must be springs!

  19. love the shots of TWoo :D
    probably a dumb question, but cooked pasta? Our BC Sky isn’t skin and bones but she is a bit too skinny for me and I think she needs to put on a couple of pounds, so going to try things that are suggested here. She eats, but doesn’t seem to be keeping the weight on, just getting taller. Don’t want people to think we starve her :/

  20. What meats are you feeding? When Kota was at his ridiculously skinny stage (which he still is, slightly) I got ox heart from the butcher and added a few good hunks of that to his meals every day. I don’t really know if it did much good but I felt better knowing he was getting the extra fat in him. What he did with it when it was there was his choice!

  21. MalaysianFan says:

    Long ago, I had a Chow who, as she aged, shed less and less of her winter coat. By the time she was Tweed’s age, she was hanging onto a tremendous amount of undercoat. Like you, I presumed she was sweltering in the summer heat.

    Now, years later, I wonder… I picture old ladies who pile on woolen shawls in the gentle summer evenings. Maybe as dogs age, they are also more sensitive to the cold? Just a thought…

  22. Ike the Lapphund sends his long-suffering condolences to Tweed on the matter of the coat. I thought I had seen COAT before in my Shelties, but holy bunwarmers, a Lapphund has coat that defeats my pathetic grooming skills! I have Ike professionally groomed four times a year, the first and only one of my dogs to be taken to a groomer. Even so, he retains enough coat that he loathes the warm, humid summer weather here in Chicago, and he lies in the a/c house, in front of a box fan, dreaming of the fijords. In January, he’s dragging me outside for 2-hour walks.

    Rowley my BC is probably 16 months old now and he’s super-skinny too. Again, used to Shelties, who can gain two pounds in a weekend; it’s taken Rowley 6 months to gain 2 pounds. He’s 37.5 pounds now but I don’t think he’s too thin. Yes, try sweet potatoes for Dex. I feed them several times a week with meals, or on their own as Kong stuffers. You can cram a lot of cooked s/p into a Kong. That and rice pudding (frozen) are R’s fave Kongs.

    And the water/hose craziness? Check. Rowley makes a screaming, wailing noise as he attacks the water stream, it comes out gargly because he’s got water in his mouth (and probably up his nose). It’s kind of unsettling if you don’t know what it is. On the infrequent occasions that I have to give him a bath, using the hose, it’s a non-stop ‘leave it! stop! stand! leave it!’ from me. OTOH, when he behaves well around the sheep pen, he’s rewarded by being taken to the pump and allowed to attack the hose stream. Weirdo dog.

  23. I’ve had success with oatmeal when I’ve needed to put weight on dogs. Put it in the fridge overnight in a bowl with water or milk or a combo of the two and in the morning it’s good to go. Much easier than cooking it.

    My 7.5 year old heavy coated BC is hard to get coat off of too. I’ve found that a comb works (something called a Miracle Comb is what I’m using now) better on him than a furminator and I do clip his belly from his backend to between his front legs in the summer which helps him a lot.

  24. I give my raw-fed dogs some salmon oil every day. I’m sure it has a lot of calories and it is good for their coats. I second that and the sweet potato. Pumpkin would be good but the pumpkin crop was so bad last year it was horrendously expensive.

  25. jennifer says:

    Hey Sheena – try adding quinoa to Dexter’s diet. It’s not a grain, it’s a seed. You cook it like rice. It’s very calorie dense, contains amino acids, plant proteins and carbs. My giant of a dog Teddy is allergic to all sorts of things but he can eat quinoa. Another additive is chickpeas – mash them though or he’ll poop them out mostly whole. Got those tips from a holistic dog nutritionist in Kits. Weird but they seem to work.

  26. Mutton (I buy a pet-food version that’s a whole ground-up carcass minus guts)! Cheap and super-fatty, it’s put a little muscle weight and padding on the hips on my whipper-thin, hyperactive, intact boy.

  27. You know, I have to vote for satin balls in moderation. It put weight on a boxer we were fostering when he was the same age as Dexter. And it was the ONLY thing that kept weight on him, kibble included.

    You might also try Salmon Oil. I used that for our Doberman last winter and spring. It worked well and is great for their joints too with all those Omega 3s.

  28. Emma had a bit of the opposite problem this winter. I managed to get her up to 17 pounds without realizing it. she is 14.5 ideally. Yikes!

    She was eating primarily venison shot in the fall, so nice and rich. And lots of rib bones and what not so lots of marrow too. So maybe venison as a richer meat.

    It’s been pretty sweltering down here too. 95 and 75% humidity. Ugh. Our a/c is usually only on for about 2 and a half weeks out of the summer. This year it’s been on for the better part of two months!

    Loved the entry, made me laugh. And by laugh I mean snort. :-)

  29. Another vote for adding sweet potato.

    And clip Tweed’s belly. I have a Terv with a truly freakish coat. She’s much happier in the summer if we shave her entire underside. She’s got enough on the rest of her that it hangs down and you can’t tell she’s been shaved, but it allows her to lie on the cool tile floor and be comfy. Dries a lot faster, too.

  30. DixiesDad says:

    Have you tried Benadryl Gel on TWooie’s belly?

  31. Hey Foolady when you want the pool????? I have it at home now waiting for you.. maybe tweed would like laying in it to cool off

  32. Try http://www.completeandbalanced.com. Hilary Watson is awesome – she’s a nutritionist who has a book out on feeding *balanced* home cooking (and she has raw recipes, too). I love the Woofs, and I know they do well on raw but raw ain’t balanced minerally, no way, no how. Sorry :) Just adding carbs may help with weight, but it can further throw off nutrient content, too. The calcium:phosphorus ratios in raw are WAY off, especially for a growing pup like Dexter. She can even formulate (through your vet) a diet to help him gain weight. Worth a try – she has raw recipes too! She’s not your typical kibble-is-the-only-way person – she’s just concerned more with making sure there’s appropriate amounts of vitamins/minerals (balanced!)

    Check out the article on calcium:phos in growing pups.


  33. Giselle (megan on Fb) says:

    add fattier cuts of meat – whole untrimmed pork shoulder, fresh hams and beef/pork heart with the fat cap still on.

    fat is wonderful nutrition for dogs and is great for energetic growing pups.

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