Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sugar (PB's Honey Fritz), b. 2/12/01 d.12/3/13

Sugar's "glamor" shot!
Well, as many of you know from my Facebook posts, I knew the end was near for Sugar as she was declining rapidly by the day.  I had originally made an appointment with Sweet Dreams for Monday but changed it to Thursday and this morning called them again to change it to today. 

She had a very restless evening, tossing and turning, and squealing with pain as she tried to get comfortable, all to no avail.  So I knew it was time.  Her trips to the backyard had become less frequent because it hurt too damn much.  She spent much of her day sleeping.  The cancer had taken its toll and I don't think she could bear anymore.  She also had that look in her eyes - that look of "can't you do something?"  The pain meds were all but useless by this point.  I knew I couldn't bear to watch her in pain any longer.

Sami loves her Sugar!
It seems the others were quite aware something was amiss with Sugar.  One night Lucy slept on the same dog bed with her - all night long.  She has never done that . . . EVER!  It was really sweet and is a memory which I'll cherish.  Then there was last night when I was sitting here at my desk on the computer and I looked around and Sami was cuddling with Sugar, with her arm draped over her as if to hold her in place.  Again, Sami had never done that  . . . EVER!

I do have very sweet pups - always have and they never cease to amaze me!

Back to Sugar - she came to me as a foster first being picked up by the Henry County Humane Society as a stray.  They found her on the side of I-75 rummaging through a garbage can in someone's garage.  They fostered her for a few days, then calling a local Greyhound adoption group for assistance.  That group, who I volunteered for at the time, asked if I would foster her.  I happened to be laid off at the time (funny, I'm laid off now as well) and said I would.  So I met the HCHS volunteer to pick her up. 

We went home and she met my other Greyhound, Remi. They immediately hit it off.  As Forrest Gump would say, they were like "peas and carrots"!  Well, I was in no position to adopt another right then as I was not working as I mentioned.  So, she was adopted to a family south of Atlanta who had a farm. They had all sorts of farm animals including Emus.  But before the Emu story (yes, there is an Emu story), Sugar (she was named Shuggie by HCHS but I renamed her to Sugar) appeared to not like their kids so much.  I think they liked to chase her and she much preferred to do the chasing herself.  So, the family had decided after about a month that having Sugar was not for them.  The day they were to meet me, Sugar escaped the yard and went for the Emus.  I was only told there was an Emu massacre.  From that, I can only surmise that Sugar won and perhaps an Emu or two did not. 

In any event, she appeared unscathed when I did get her back. And once again, we had "peas and carrots".  It was only a day or two later that I called the Greyhound adoption group to let them know I wanted to adopt her.  Whoo hoo - she was then Sugar Peterson!!  That was in September of 2004.  And what a wonderful 9 years we have had.

Sugar coursing in Kentucky - look at that smile!
The Spring of 2005 I began lure coursing with Sugar.  She was an excellent, very fluid runner, who could run 900 yards and come back barely out of breath.  I chalk that up to her being bred and raised in Colorado in the mountains. Living in a high altitude like that definitely made her lungs much stronger - I'm convinced.  She was amazing to watch and it always took my breath away.

It was that June that we went to ASFA's International Invitational.  Sugar ran in the Open class both days.  She didn't place on Saturday but came in first place on Sunday.  I decided to go for the gusto, running her for Best of Breed (where she ran against the winning Field Champion Greyhound and the winning Veteran Greyhound).  And she won!!  Total points earned for that day - a whopping 40!!  To say the least, I was the proudest Greyhound Mom around!  It was that year (2005) that she was the #4 Greyhound in ASFA.  Yes, did I say I was proud?  You betcha I was! 

She was well on her way to achieving her Field Champion title with ASFA!  I can't recall when that happened but it did shortly thereafter, and then the competition was even more intense it seemed but oh so exciting for her and for me! 

Sugar in blue - Sweeney in pink.  This was ASFA's first
Greyhound Specialty in March of 2006.
Her favorite running partner was Sweeney who has preceded her in death.  Oh, to watch the two of them on the field!  It was quite a sight to behold!  She had many running partners, many trials through the years, eventually earning her Field Champion title with ASFA.  We were more than halfway through the points and requirements to achieve the Lure Course of Merit title when I decided to retire her from lure coursing.

She had been running in the backyard one day when she hit a tree.  Although nothing wrong medically could ever be found, she limped on her back left leg from then on.  She was okay with retirement.  She enjoyed it as much as anyone would. 

She was great at Meet and Greets, and was one of my therapy dogs in the beginning although I never had her certified. We visited many nursing homes through the years and even some children hospitals.

In September of 2008, Sugar began to get jaundice (yes, she was yellow).  After a thousand and one tests (and about that much money), it was determined she was in liver failure.  She was on several meds including Zeniqauin, Metronidazole, and Denamarin.  Over time, she did recover.  It was in November that she was pink again although her liver values were not within normal range, they had improved dramatically.  We were on our way to a full recovery.  I couldn't have been more estatic!  The biggest battle during that time was getting her to take her pills and eating!! She did recover though, and we never experienced any liver issues thereafter.

After she came home from the hospital.
However, in October of 2009 I made the stupid mistake of letting the pups outside without muzzles.  I religiously muzzled everyone but this one time, just let them out "for a minute".  Well, a fight commenced and Lucy (one of my other Greyhound girls) and Lena (a Greyhound foster) were ripping Sugar from one side to another.  I broke the fight up, put Sugar in the back of the SUV, crated those remaining, and sped off to the vet.  They were closing in 15 minutes so they wrapped her up good so I could get her to the ER vet.  We arrived there around 7 p.m.  They quickly took her back and evaluated her.  She would require lots of surgery, lots of love, and lots of recovery time.  They began her surgery around midnight, finishing around 4:30 a.m.  She was in ICU for several days after that, finally coming home with tons of stitches and 6 drainage tubes.  She recouped from that experience, still loving all her Greyhound sisters, including Lucy which I thought was quite odd.  She was just like that though, she loved everyone all the time, well everyone except children who chased her and Emus!

The last few years have been uneventful until recently.  This summer I was picking her up at Manyhounds Inn and she couldn't jump into the back of the SUV.  I initially chalked that up to her being elderly.  Then in September she began limping on her right front leg.  I feared what the root cause would be as osteosarcoma is pretty prevalent in Greyhounds.  I didn't take her to the vet until the middle of October.  The x-ray confirmed my fear - my dear Sugar had osteosarcoma. 

We began her on a protocol of Gabapentin, Deramaxx, and Tramadol.  In the beginning, all was well.  the cocktail of drugs were doing what they were suppose to do - keep my Sugar pain free.  But the last week and a half to two weeks, that hasn't been the case.  It seemed the meds were not even touching the pain.  And then, this week, she started holding up that leg, not bearing weight on it at all.  She would hobble to the backyard to do her thing and would immediately hobble back in, plopping herself on the nearest dog bed.  A day in the life of Sugar Peterson was, at best, difficult and I'm certain not something she was enjoying.

Sugar sleeping in a hotel at the Moreland field trials.
She always loved to have a pillow for her head!
As I mentioned earlier, I had originally made an appointment with Sweet Dreams for Monday but changed it to Thursday and then this morning called them again to change it to today.  It was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do but I know it was what I could do for Sugar, to let her go so she could be pain free.  Within minutes, I knew in my heart that Remi had met her at the bridge and they were frolicking and running, pain free, enjoying the afterlife - they are like "peas and carrots" again!  And, yes, I truly believe there is an afterlife for dogs, too!

Short of her aversion to having her nails trimmed, she has been the best Greyhound anyone could ever have wanted and I loved her dearly.  I'm so glad that the "farm family" didn't work out for her because I couldn't imagine how the last 9 years of my life would have transpired without her in it.  I've learned so much from her through the years - we've been through so much together and have pulled through it all but this osteo kicked both our butts.  Neither one of us would beat this one! Pin It

The Most Perfect Biscuit!

Well, this morning I was thinking about what to make for breakfast.  I have become bored with my usual eggs, wheat toast and bacon.  So, I had some buttermilk in the fridge left over from something I made for Thanksgiving so I thought, why not make some buttermilk biscuits?  What else do you use buttermilk for anyway I ask?  So, I decided that is what I would do.  But alas, I didn't have any stick butter.  But I did have some lard in the cupboard from the tortillas I had made a few weeks back.  And well, didn't they always use lard to make biscuits "back in the day"?  What harm could it do I asked?  Lard can't be that much worse for you than butter, right? 

It does have more calories and more fat but considerably less saturated fat which I thought was always the worst for you.  Here are some stats that will interest you:

For the full nutritional breakdown, please visit this link.

So, back to the biscuits.  I did make my usual buttermilk biscuits substituting lard for the butter.  But, oh my, what a delicious beautiful biscuit!  Now I see why lard is used and I can guarantee that the fast food places serving biscuits are using lard as well because butter is much more expensive. And, oh, how delicious these are!

Yields: 18 Servings    posted as 190391
4 cups all-purpose flour (White Lily or cake flour)
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (or lard)
2 cups buttermilk 

Heat oven to 500°. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk, and gently mix until just combined. With your hands, gently form the mixture into balls. Place in a round 8-by-2-inch cake pan.

Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool to the touch, and serve immediately.

Isn't that just beautiful?

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Ranch Flavored Dip

I continue to find and love to make recipes from scratch.  This one is very good and beware - very addictive!  The beauty of the spice mixture is that you can use it for a dip or dressing!  Can't beat that!

 Ranch Flavored Dip    

Yields: 16 Servings

2 tablespoon Parlsey dried
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill dried
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Pepper


Mix together the first six ingredients down to the pepper. Store in an airtight container.

When you are ready to make the dip stir 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture together with ½ cup sour cream. Serve with fresh sliced veggies or whole-wheat pretzels.

Save the remaining dry spice mixture in spice cabinet or pantry for another day.

If you prefer to use the spice mixture to make Ranch dressing, simply whisk together 1/3 cup mayonaisse with 1/4 cup milk (more or less depending on the consistency you want) with 1 Tbsp of the homemade ranch dressing seasoning mix. Season with salt, to taste. Use immediately. You can refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Read more: http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-ranch-dressing-mix/#ixzz2mMFwfarP 
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