09 June 2020

Promenade du matin


Sunday morning dawned clear and sunny. The sun was still low in the sky when I went out for a walk in the vineyard with Tasha the Sheltie just after 7:00 a.m. I grabbed a camera I hadn't used in a while, just to see how it would do in less than ideal conditions. The light was too bright, and the contrasts were too extreme.


Maybe you've read on Walt's blog that Tasha has a small weight problem. The vet weighed her in at 16 kilograms when she went in for her annual checkup and shots a few days ago. We've had to put her on a diet. On Sunday, given the dry sunny weather, we went out for a longer walk than I've been taking with her for the past few months. I figured it would do us both good. I could stand to lose a few pounds, just like the dog.

Notice how the clary sage (Fr. sauge sclarée) planted around the well in our back yard is blooming right now.




I pointed the camera directly at the rising sun to take this photo. I was blinded by the light, and I didn't realize that Tasha had been in the frame until I uploaded the morning's photos onto the laptop and looked through them. That tall tree on the left is the one in our back yard.



We walked all the way out to the end of the gravel road that runs from near our back gate for three-quarters of a mile out to the point where it connects with another paved lane. I was the only person out there; I didn't see anybody else, and I saw no animals except a few birds. There were, however, badger droppings full of cherry pits all along the way, so they are active at night right now.


We've checked all the calorie and nutrition information on the packages of Purina and Pedigree food that we feed Tasha. According to the guidelines, we've been feeding her a lot less than the recommended amounts of kibble and wet food, so her weight problem is a mystery. We're reducing the amount of food we give her even further. The Pedigree label says we should be giving her three pouches of wet food per day, along with 75 grams of kibble. We only give her one pouch, and we'll continue giving her that amount. I've reduced her morning kibble from 75 to about 60 grams. She gets two fairly long walks every day, and I'll take her on another long walk this morning. The day is supposed to be dry, but not too hot with temperatures between 18 and 20 ºC (high 60s in ºF).

11 comments:

  1. The photos are nice. Hmm, recommended food intake for Tasha indicated on the label of company in the business of selling as much as their product as possible.

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    1. Yes, we talked about that. But it was the vet who said we should check out the dog food company's recommendation and follow them. The dog would blow up like a balloon if we gave her two more pouches of wet food every day.

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  2. Nice, summery photos :) Even though it's not actually summer yet -- it's really a mystery about this weight issue for Tasha.

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  3. Those pictures look nice and peaceful. I have a small weight problem too after three months quarantine. Re Tasha's food, the wet is less calorie laden than the dry usually. Our vet wanted us to get our elderly kitty off dry food as Many have corn, cornstarch as binders. You may have success just cooking simple thing for her.
    Wondering what those lovely tall flowers are in the second photo?

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    1. Thanks, thats interesting about the fat content of dry dog food (croquettes). When our first dog, Collette, got older, I cooked most of her food for her. Rice cooked in chicken or turkey broth, with some of the boiled meat, was something she liked and it seemed to agree with her. She died in 2006 at age 14. I might have to start cooking for Tasha. Meanwhile, Bertie the cat eats all the time and stays amazingly slender. He hunts rodents and lizards to supplement the food we give him.

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    2. Hi David,
      The flower is a Salvia sclarea (Clary sage). The original plant was given to Ken by my friend Marthe whose garden I sent you many photos. Her husband, an eighty-year-long friend, died last year.

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  4. As for the suggestions on the pet food bags: my vet said if my diabetic cat was hungry to just give him more than the 1/2 cup / day of his specialty high-protein low carbohydrate dried food. I hate to do that, but he does seem to be extremely hungry now. My own will power is often difficult when I have sweets in the house and any of us who have tried to lose know how easy it is to put on the pounds. The longer walks should benefit both of you.

    Mary in Oregon

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  5. Is raw meat an idea maybe? Our dog thrives on it (better poo and fur) and her weight is fine and within limits. I don't know if it's readily available as dog food in France though.

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    1. There is raw meat for dogs (viande pour animaux) available in the supermarkets. I guess we might try feeding Tasha that.

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  6. I was taught that you judge a dog's weight by feel. Put your hand on the ribs -- if you can feel them clearly, with just a thin coating of flesh, that's good. If there's enough there that you can pinch up a chunk of it, that's too much dog.
    And I asked a friend who's done Sheltie rescue for years about the wet food, because my recollection is that it's not good. His reply was one rude word, says it's full of chemicals, corn, and HFCS. I think the pet food manufacturers, like cigarette companies, include addictive chemicals in their formulas so that the animal will eat more and gain weight. Home-cooked or raw would likely drop her weight to an appropriate level.

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