Turkey Day Prep
For our U.S. readers, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Many of you probably have the day off from work today and are busy making preparations for what is arguably the year's most elaborate meal. Perhaps you're reading today's dogster blog from your smart phone as you stand in line at the grocery store for six hours.
Jim and I have a busy day planned for tomorrow. First, we'll head over to my mom's house. There will be six kids there, ranging in age from six months to eleven years old. Probably six adults as well, as well as my brother's Basset Hound, Gracie, Mom's English Springer Spaniel, Bella, and Grandma's senior toy poodle, Micky. When we finish up at my mom's house, we'll head over to Jim's parents' house for wine and dessert with them and Jim's Aunt Louie who is coming in from Brooklyn today.
We've been asked to bring Mokie and Cuba to both events. This could be disastrous, or it could be a great training opportunity.
Today, in addition to preparing my famous sweet potato casserole, I'll be making a lot of preparations to set Mokie and Cuba up for success tomorrow. Here are the things I have to make time for today to make sure that I enjoy Thanksgiving with my dogs tomorrow:
Bully sticks and marrow bones - with kids running around, playing, and screaming, food lying around on all counters and tables, and me, mom, my sister and grandma running around the kitchen like chickens with our heads cut off, there will undoubtedly be times when the dogs just need to relax out of the way and focus on constructive projects of their own. I'll need to be prepared with lots of acceptable chew toys for these events.
In the Lomonaco family, both two and four-legged family members feast on Thanksgiving. 362 days of the year, I am one of the most anal pet parents you'll meet about what my dogs eat. They are fed a varied, high quality raw diet daily with a meal of super premium kibble about once a week. I don't let my dogs have MilkBones or other pre-packaged grocery store dog treats or kibbles.
I bend the rules a bit on Thanksgiving, the dogs get to be thankful for extra special goodies on this day.
Tomorrow, all my dog's meals will come from Kongs. As I prepare my sweet potatoes, I'll set a little aside for the dogs and later, will mix it with some chicken breasts I've prepared and some canned dog food. All of this gets mixed together and frozen into Kongs which will travel with me tomorrow.
As a vegetarian, my share of the family turkey always magically turns into really high value training treats, so at least I won't need to be cutting food roll tonight!
TIRE THEM OUT!
I'm going to need to tire these dogs out as well. That means getting them out for exercise today, probably a walk plus some tug with Mokie and play time at class for Cuba tonight. It's important that I tire out their brains as well as their bodies, so a few training sessions are on tap for this afternoon, maybe I can teach them a cute new trick to debut for all their adoring fans tomorrow!
PACKING THE SLOBBER MOBILE
Finally, I have to pack the van. I'll bring along some puzzle toys for the dogs, my iPod (well-stocked with Through a Dog's Ear music to promote relaxation), beds for each of them to settle on, and a crate for Cuba.
Without these preparations, I would not doubt that a brief moment of supervision lapse tomorrow could easily result in a Saint Bernard puppy standing on the table, happily munching on the family's turkey. If I want the dogs to behave tomorrow in such a chaotic environment, I owe it to them to make it fun for them.
Speaking of preparations, what am I doing blogging still? I forgot, bathe the puppy is on my list of things to do and something I should get out of the way immediately.
What are your plans with your family and dogs for Thanksgiving? What preparations will you be making to ensure that your dog's good behavior is one thing you'll be thankful for this year?