Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "Dogs Don't Care About Presentation" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

Dogs Don't Care About Presentation

By Micki Voisard

Yesterday, a woman came in to our Dog Chefs Kitchen with her little mutt, Seeby. It was Seeby's birthday - she was a mere 105 in dog years, somewhere around 15 in human years. Seeby's human pal was picking up a birthday cake for her. I don't do treat cakes. My cakes are all real food. Liver, chicken, or beef are the choices and always veggies that are in season, and some eggs and olive oil to hold the oats together. The icing is either plain yogurt or cream cheese.

Seeby and her human came in to pick up the cake. I couldn't have scripted it better. When "Mrs." Seeby saw the cake, she remarked how flat it was! Seeby was cradled in her human¹s arms just over the cake. While the human lady and I talked about why the cake was flat, Seeby made a few successful attempts at getting pieces of the cake in her back paws, scooping up her body and licking off the remnants. By the time Mrs. Seeby caught on, her dog had eaten a big chunk of the cake and had most of her hindquarters covered in it. "Oh, my," said Mrs. Seeby, "she likes it!"

Some of us haven't caught on yet to present day marketing strategies. Whether it's dog food, dog treats, dog toys, beds, dog coats - it's all produced with our eyes in mind. Not only our eyes but our taste buds, our stomach, our memories. You can sell a lot of product that way. We all must be familiar, by now, with the old popcorn smell trick in movie theaters.

In the world of dogs, more than half of the dog toys we purchase just sit in the corner, sniffed once, then ignored. We might remember the day we bought said toy. We might have had images of our dog overly excited when he saw the toy, or us tossing it to him in the backyard. Or maybe we just liked the color, it was OUR favorite. If we think about it, most of the time we are in our thoughts when buying something for our dog.

No one has yet to dispute the theory that dogs are color blind. Shades of gray and light is pretty much what we think they see. More importantly, they depend on forms. They can tell your form from a distance, even if you are standing with other people. So your favorite color might be wasted on them.

Because they are hanging with you doesn't mean they have bad taste (or good?) but if you take a look at your tongue in a mirror, you can see that your tongue is filled with tiny taste buds. Try to convince your dog to stick out his tongue. It's usually long and quite flat. Very few taste buds.

Humans have somewhere between 8,500 to 12,000 taste buds on their tongue. Dogs have about 500 to 1000! Hey, it could be worse! Chickens only have 24! So taste is not a dog¹s specialty, it¹s smell. We know that right? How often have you been accosted by your friends dog? He may not remember your form, so he has to get more intimate. To some of us, it makes our day, others don't enjoy that kind of intimacy.

When someone comes in to my Dog Chef Kitchen and tells me that their dog "loves the taste" of this or that, I make them check out their tongue in the mirror. Dogs have addictions, like us. They can be addicted to sugar, which is in most dog treats or even propylene glycol (from anti freeze) that is showing up recently in pet treats. Why are these things in there?

This brings us back to my "flat" cakes. They are flat because I don't use baking soda, baking powder, sugar or even cooked honey. Our dogs don't need that stuff. They, like us, need only REAL FOOD.

When I talk to people at the Kitchen about doing a dog chef cooking class, they groan and say, "I'm not about to deal with recipes and shopping for food for my dog when I don't even do it for myself."

My reply, "dogs don't care about presentation!"

Just like Seeby, dogs don't talk about it, they eat it! In my classes I bring out the garlic. More groans. "I hate having to take the paper off of the garlic and cutting it into small pieces," some people say. Here's a revelation: cut the clove once and throw the paper in the recipe too. Dogs don't care!

When preparing food for your dog you don't have to measure this or that - your dog doesn't care! He's not about to take you aside and say, "Ya know that meal last night had one too many eggs in it!"

In fact, if you have had people in your life who have been critical of your cooking you will be in for a treat cooking for your dog. When it comes to eating real food, your dog is your best diplomat. He'll scarf it up and paw you for more. There's no excuse because, dogs don't care about presentation!

Bone Apetit!
Master Dog Chef Micki & Sous Chef Carlos (excerpted from the new book "DOGS DON'T CARE ABOUT PRESENTATION" by Micki Voisard)

(use also ground chicken, turkey or beef)
Beef or calves liver or beef hearts
Old Fashioned Oatmeal
2-3 Eggs
1-3 T Olive Oil
1-2 Cloves Garlic
Grated Veggies - yellow squash, zucchini, carrots or parsley

Grind up the slices of liver in a food processor with enough water to make a thick pate.
Pour this into a large bowl, put enough oats in to hold the mixture together. Crack in 2 -3 eggs.
Put in of olive oil and garlic.
Grate veggies into mixture and mix until everything is folded in, adding more oats if needed. Spoon onto a cookie sheet or put into small muffin pans. Cook about 350 degrees at 20 minutes or whatever!

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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