This is Deputy Digby Pancake. It has been a very busy week here at camp. Not only did I have to find that Dog Star we wrote about Monday and Tuesday and lasso it down, but I have had to lasso down the persons’ attitude. A Deputy’s job is never done, is it? The Sheriff gets all the credit, and I just get the pancakes. Wait. I guess that isn’t so bad.
It goes without saying, but I will still say it, that life for persons may be a little stressful. No, not because that is the way life should be. Because, it should not be. It should not. I’ll say it again. It just should not. But, when a lot of persons are doing something, and they do it everyday, those somethings start to become normal. Expected. How is the chaos of what persons call daily life normal? As a dog, I will say something else. You have it all wrong.
When you’re too tense it’s common sense to relax-ay-voo
As we went on a hike in the early morning yesterday, we took our time. We looked at the trees, we peed on some trees. Well, just me and Brickle. When persons do that, it is frowned upon. We took in the breeze, and we even looked out over the water.
Girl Person told us that she was going to have to go to the store later and the post office. She told us that we could relax a little while after our hike with Boy Person. I am not sure I like it when Girl Person leaves. She never seems to be in a better frame of mind when she comes back. And well, I guess I don’t understand why the persons put themselves through that. She says that they have to get groceries, and mail stuff. But they have to sit in traffic for a long time listening to news on the radio that’s bad. Everyone always seems to be in a hurry to go yell at someone. And most of the time, even when they go to a store, they complain they couldn’t find what they needed. I am not sure why all the persons run around in circles when they could simply just sit. On the beach.
The more you earn the less you learn to relax-ay-voo
I conveyed my thoughts to Sheriff Brickle on this who always seems to have an answer for everything. He said that we could not have fancy, schmancy dinners if the persons didn’t go get the groceries. But they had to work to get the groceries and the cars that drove them to get the groceries.
I don’t have to try to relax-ay-voo Chum I’m much to numb to relax-ay-voo
And all of this? Well, I guess the persons have gotten used to trying to work harder to get more stuff and fight to get the stuff.
Your doctor bills they hold for pills to relax-ay-voo
But for us, now that we have parked ourselves in one place for a little while, we see things differently. It is hard when you have been on the road for so long and have been to so many places to be the same as before you started. The things that were important to our persons before the trip sure don’t seem as important now. In fact, daily life seems pretty overrated. Fighting to be in a routine of fighting seems useless. And after yesterday, just running errands, the persons said they just couldn’t do it anymore. They weren’t going to play into the fight of life, because to them, life was worth more than that. Way more than that.
Obviously, we have not found a house yet here. One of the reasons the persons say is that they aren’t willing to pay so much for something that it causes them to work harder and then they have to get more jobs and leave the Sheriff and I. Another reason is that no place has felt like home more than the Big Blue Treat Wagon.
Trying to make puzzle pieces fit together that just don’t match up is what we feel we are trying to do. If real life is stressful, who needs it? If being successful means a fancy car and a house that isn’t on wheels, but that we have to fight to get it, who needs that either? The real life should feel like a beach, all of the time. We should all have time to relax.
Work should be enjoyable, the ride to work should be enjoyable. We have to work to break the mold of what is expected of us and what is expected that we pay for. What really matters is peace. Peace of mind, quality in life and not quantity. Until persons realize that, they will keep chasing their tails I am afraid. And just like a dog, you probably will never catch it.
Our drum is apt to snap and go boom boom And when you go they’ll take your dough Cause it’s tax-ay-voo relax-ay-voo
Is it time that you took a break? A breather to see what and who is important to you? Even though you may do the same things day in and day out, if it stresses you out, think about how you can change it. You only have so many days. Seconds add up to minutes. Minutes add up to hours. Hours add up to days. Spend it wisely.
Take a tub to relax-ay-voo Bub, I sit and scrub to relax-ay-voo The girls pursue those fellows who can relax-ay-voo Relax, relax, relax, relax-ay-voo
This is Deputy Digby Pancake. You know, I am paying attention sometimes when the persons think that I am sleeping. Or eating. Or rolling in something. I may be doing all of the above, but I can multi-task. And yesterday, I read the dog blog that Sheriff Brickle wrote about the Dog Star. I did. I read it.
The blog was on my mind most of the morning. You may not know this, but Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle has been a bit down in the dumps the past week. He has his Depression Monster like Girl Person has her’s that she has to deal with. It can give him a run for his money. Or cookies.
So when I read that the Dog Star was trying to take away some of his handsome, I thought about what I could do to help the situation. Maybe this was why he was feeling a little sad. You see, some persons say, “If momma is happy, everyone is happy.” I say “If the Sheriff is happy, everyone is happy.” And it goes without saying we needed some of the happy that the Dog Star was trying to take away. He needed all that he could get. This thing meant business with all of his shining handsomeness in the sky.
I didn’t think that there was much I could do about it. You see, our plans were to go to a new dog park yesterday morning. And I wondered how I was going to concentrate on solving this issue. I don’t really love dog parks. If I can’t escape somewhere to not listen to persons calling me back, or if I am not allowed to hump every dog I see, I generally see no point in the activity. But. When we got to this new dog park, I saw that it was different. As Girl Person let us inside, she made sure to ask other persons there if there was any way that I could escape, or any holes in the fence for me to get out. They told her that it was escape proof, and as she let me off, I did not know where to go first. I saw no fences as far as the eyes could see. I saw acres of trees to pee on, and I saw the woods!
And I was allowed to run around in here without a leash on! And then I wondered. Well, since I had no use for this leash, I could use it to solve this Dog Star problem. I was going to figure out a way to lasso this thing out of the sky! Just call me Cowboy Deputy Digby.
What did this Dog Star think that it was doing? Stealing my Sheriff’s handsome? This was not acceptable. As Deputy, I took an oath to serve and pawtect. And this was my opportunity to get in good with the Sheriff. I could do this.
As Girl Person was busy following me around like I was the Pied Piper, I searched and searched for my best spot to lasso the star down.
You may think to yourself that since it was daytime, I would not be able to see the Dog Star. But alas, all I had to do was listen. “Bark, bark, bark” was heard in the sky. I highly doubt any of the other stars like the Sun was barking. Why would it do that? No, there was only one star that barked. I knew it was there.
The Dog Star kept barking, and although it was speaking a bark language I could not quite understand because I do not live in the sky, it seemed to be telling me that it was handsome. It was saying that it was bright. It was saying that it was the most beautiful Dog Star of all. And I got really irritated at that. And it takes a lot for Digby to get irritated. Had he never met Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle from planet Earth? There was no way that he had. He needed to be brought down to Earth to talk to the Sheriff about this. But the Sheriff was so busy just standing in the middle of the dog park doing Sheriff stuff to pay attention to my diligent efforts in bringing the Dog Star to justice.
I took the leash in my mouth which had to be pried from Girl Person’s hands, and I trotted off. This was happening. Happening right now. But as a puppy tried to chase me with my lasso, I howled my loudest hound dog howl that I could muster and let him know that I was on official police business. He backed away with a sort of admiration I saw in his eyes, and this was it. This was my chance to give Sheriff Brickle back his mojo. His handsome.
I figured that this Dog Star would not even suspect that I would be lassoing him. He had had too much off leash play for all of these years. It was time to show him some obedience school manners. I ran as fast as I could which is a trot a little faster than a gallop, and I threw up my leash. Right about time, I felt it. The rain. But no. It was not rain. This Dog Star had decided to pee on my head! NOW this was crossing the line! this was crossing the Milky Way! Only I, only me, only I again, could pee on the Sheriff’s head. Now I was mad. Madder.
Girl Person told us that a little shower never hurt anyone, but tell that to Sheriff Bricle when his fur gets messed up. I didn’t let that stop me, and as my leash lasso came tumbling back down to earth, it had it! It had the Dog Star! So why did Girl Person tell me that I had dragged my leash thru dog poop? Oh, this was no ordinary dog poop. Touche’ Dog Star. Touche’
You may have thought that I would have given up. But instead…I looked up.
With all of the stars up there, I had in fact made my point. You see, Dog Star, there is no room on earth for both you and the Sheriff’s handsome. In your Dog Star world of stars, I actually hope that you are the doggiest of them all. I hope that you sleep on other star’s couches. I hope that there are endless supplies of doggy pancakes for you. I hope that the other stars pick up after you with giant dog poop bags. And I hope that there are no other dog stars that need to be rescued. I indeed think that you are the only one. And that to me is great.
But let this be a lesson to you. Don’t mess with the Sheriff unless you want his Deputy to try and lasso you again. I may not be the brightest star ever…but I don’t need to be. You can take care of that. And Sheriff will take care of the handsome here.
I got in the car with a nodding approval from the Sheriff.
This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It occurred to me this weekend as I was lounging on the beach, that I indeed had the life. You know, a home with persons that love me, and a brother that gets in trouble all of the time and entertains me with his talent for finding dead fish in the sand, and eating them in one gulp.
When you wish upon a star Your dreams will take you very far
It also occurred to me when I was contemplating how great life was, that I had a tear in my eye. The beach kind of does that to me. It makes me emotional, y’all. Yes, even I can take a break from arresting and have some appreciation. But I quickly wiped away that tear. And there was only one. Kind of like…well…me. And then. I thought again because I was on a roll. I. Was. A. Star. I was one of a kind. Wow, I was so awesome. I could see my reflection in the ocean, and I was a bit barkless.
Shining star come in to view Shine its watchful light on you Give you strength to carry on Make your body big and strong
Right about this time, I heard it. A person running up to us on the beach and saying that we looked like the 2 Traveling Dogs. Girl Person told her that it was because we were the 2 Traveling Dogs. She was happy, we took a few pictures, and she was on her way. And I thought again. I really was a star. I really was.
You’re a shining star No matter who you are Shining bright to see What you could truly be
As usual, Girl Person can read my thoughts like I can read hers. And she said that after breakfast, we were going to sit down for awhile and talk about real stars. And why I couldn’t let my head get too big. My head get too big? I didn’t want a big head, that was already being fashioned by Digby. I could use a longer tail. But that’s a different story.
Girl Person said that we are never too important in this world to not recognize the things that are indeed miracles. The things that are indeed as bright as the brightest star in the sky. The Dog Star. She was going to tell me about it whether I wanted to hear it or not.
It always amazes me that Girl Person can come up with this stuff. But she said her dad, our Gandpa told her about it. That explains it. Usually, she is busy cooking my meals or something.
She said that Gandpa said the brightest star visible from any part of Earth is Sirius in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. Ugh. I am already wondering how long this explanation is going to take away my mirror time. She continued. Fabulous. She said that Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star. Most people in the Northern Hemisphere notice Sirius from winter to mid-spring. February evenings are a perfect time to see it. Well, I am best seen year round, Dog Star. What have you got to say about that?
This star is often called the Rainbow Star too because of its many colors. Kind of like my brindle.
I was actually starting to enjoy learning about the Dog Star the more Girl Person explained it to me. You see, for every night of my life, that Dog Star was up there, shining, and I didn’t even know about it. But because I didn’t know about it, that didn’t take away the fact that it was still there. It was still a star. And Girl Person said that no matter if people are famous, or not so famous, that doesn’t mean that they are any less special. She said that we all are shining stars. All of us.
But she said that real stars don’t need to sign pawtographs. Because their real beauty and importance is what they contribute to this world, how they take care of it, and how they treat others. And so for me, I suppose, for this one time, I will continue to build my appreciation for what wonderful things are around me, and what we have yet to learn about. There are so many things waiting to be discovered. No, not discovered for Hollywood, but discovered to add to our life.
So Dog Star? Tonight, I will look up and admire you. Yes, it will be from afar, but like me, you are meant to be admired from a distance. Thank you for being there.
Who is the real star in the show of your life? Give your attention to the important things. And I will add something else, because that is what I do and that is who I am. Remember your importance too. There are others watching you. Be an example. Shine like the Dog Star while letting others shine bright too.
You’re a shining star No matter who you are Shining bright to see What you could truly be
This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Oh, what a week! I say that every week…don’t I? Well, that is a good thing . Because a tired dog is a happy dog. And happy was running around our campsite this week a lot. We got to hike at many new places. We hope that you enjoyed seeing them.
I’m just a man, an average man Doing everything the best I can But if I could, I’d give the world to you
Yes, our friend may be irritating, but you can’t help but get a little attached to his annoying ways. And you can’t help but stop and take notice of him despite how busy we are. Despite everything going on in our lives, looking for a house, and this Depression Monster. This little guy chases that all away.
Girl Person said that important people, animals and things in our lives are often the ones that make us stop and sit awhile. Their magic is so overwhelming that real life, hurried life, takes a second seat. And she said that this reminded her of her Pappy. Yes, I remember Pappy too.
You see, every day, when we would visit Pappy and Granny Person and Cuddles, Pappy would be sitting on the front porch with his glass of merlot and diet coke and peanuts. Every day he would say to Girl Person, “Why don’t you just sit for awhile?”.
I’m just a man, an average man Doing everything the best I can But if I could, I’d give the world to you
Many times, Girl Person would need to make dinner, make an important phone call, fold the laundry, or go get groceries. And many times, she would answer him, “I wish I could Pappy, I have stuff to do”. I was there. I remember too.
How is it that a little red bird made us remember to sit for awhile this week? Girl Person told Boy Person that she would give anything to have just one more afternoon with Pappy. And to sit there for awhile.
But then Boy Person told her that sitting again, just for an afternoon would mean saying goodbye again. Instead, he said that she should remember the times they did sit for awhile. The times they planted the orange trees. The times they had together feeding the cows, or just sharing a piece of warm, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum that had melted in his pocket from the Florida heat. He said that she had learned a lot in the past few years. That time spent with our dogs was important, that it was worth not having a successful job or a big house.
I’d like to someday be the owner of The first house on the moon There would be no neighbors And no population boom You might say that all I do Is dream my life away I guess it’s true ‘Cause I’m stone in love with you
That we could never get this time back. And that later on, they would have no regrets. The Guilt Monster is the worst. And this little red bird, the Scarlet Pimpernel reminded us that just sitting, just being is nothing to feel guilty about. Life is the little moments.
When you are stone in love, like the Scarlet Pimpernel is with himself, your love is solid, its not fleeting. It is there to stay. Don’t let the time with those that you have the chance to love now slip away. Don’t miss the little moments in life that make it worth living. Like the time it takes for you to gaze at my handsome. That is worth sitting here for hours.
Let the ones that you are stone in love with know… as loud as the little red bird chirps at himself in the mirror.
If you have to make changes, make them. Learn from the past, but live life now. You may have noticed we haven’t found a house yet.
If I could I’d like to be, a great big movie star Overnight sensation, drive a big expensive car I would buy you everything your little heart desires These things I do, ’cause I’m stone in love with you
But instead of running around trying to make something happen that doesn’t feel right, we will just be. We will just sit for awhile if that is what it takes. And that is right for now.
This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Oh, sometimes, you are just so fortunate that you don’t know what in the world to do with yourself. You think to yourself..self…if I believed in luck, I would be the luckiest dude ever. I have my sunshiney, my beach, my hiking trails, my pancakes, my house on wheels. What could be better?
But if you were here with me I’d feel so happy, I could cry
I was thinking all of this yesterday with a full belly and tired feet from hiking and seeing a bunch of new birds on the trails.
I was thinking how peaceful this day was. Oh, the peace of it. Just peacey peachy keen.
When we got home, I was there, enjoying my nap and thinking that maybe one day I would get up, or at least think about getting up. But I still had a few more hours until dinner. And so there was no rush. Until. Peck. Peck. Peck. Peck. It was him. The elusive Scarlet Pimpernel. He. Was. Back. Some guys just have all the luck.
Now. You may be thinking. Is this a real picture of the Scarlet Pimpernel? I mean, I can understand why you would ask that. But you have to remember. We are law enforcement. Sometimes, when a criminal eludes your arrest, well, you only have a composite sketch to go on. And this time, upon his return, the Scarlet Pimpernel decided that he did not want photos. Every time he flew into the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV, he did it with a vengeance, and flew away just as fast. He pecked the mirrors with more force than when I throw myself down on a pile of manure. Why did I say manure and not poop? With a criminal like the Scarlet Pimpernel, I have to be a little fancier. I am on this. All we could get for evidence was one…little…video.
You may also wonder. Is this the same bird? What a question for a Deputy. I was born with an unending appetite and a talent for harassing the Sheriff. I also know the Scarlet Pimpernel when I see the Scarlet Pimpernel. He is annoying. He is red. He doesn’t seem to care for bird seed. He doesn’t seem to care for Big Blue Treat Wagon RV’s. And he likes to look at himself. A lot. So for us to be graced with his presence, yet again, we are just so luuuucky.
But, truth be told, and I always tell the truth unless you ask me if I just had dinner…we missed the little red bird. I actually missed him making my job easier. I don’t have to irritate the Sheriff as much, because the Scarlet Pimpernel is so good at it.
And if I complain today, well, I might as well be complaining for the next two weeks…because that is how long we are going to be in his campsite.
Some guys have all the luck Some guys have all the pain Some guys get all the breaks Some guys do nothing but complain
But I also have to wonder as law enforcement…is the Scarlet Pimpernel spying on us? Is he gathering secret information? I believe that in fact…this may be the case.
So stay tuned. The Scarlet Pimpernel may just have something up his feather, but my pancake butt can come up with something too. We knew that this wouldn’t be the last of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Some may call it coincidence. Some may call it luck. But I just call it…the return of the Scarlet Pimpernel. It has only begun.
This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I think that I have pretty much saw just about everything at this point in my seven plus years…eight in April. I have been across the country more times than I have paws. I’ve met Bobs. And Lucilles. I’ve met Lauras and Rosies. I’ve met Annes and Chucks. I’ve met them all. Randys and Mandys.
Morning, just another day Happy people pass my way Looking in their eyes I see a memory I never realized How happy you made me, oh Mandy
Most of the persons I have met on my journeys and most specifically, my walks, have been pleasant. Most admire my brindle beauty. Often, I get a “what kind of dog is that?” or even a run from the law. Because I am Sheriff, I expect that. I welcome that. I have to be feared to a point. I walk on my terms. I write the verses of my life, and exude what I wish. Take me or leave me. But just don’t try to walk me, apparently,
I write the songs that make the whole world sing I write the songs of love and special things I write the songs that make the young girls cry I write the songs, I write the songs
Yesterday, as Girl Person was walking Deputy Digby and I around the campground, she realized that she looked cuckoo. She was trying to keep Digby from walking into cars. She was trying to keep me from knocking kids off bicycles. Did I say that out loud? No, but I typed it out loud. She was trying to pull old chicken wings and hamburger buns out of Digby’s mouth. Then, when we got to the beach, she was pulling me away from jellyfish. I was only trying to save them from drowning. She was trying to keep us from drinking salt water. And all the while, she was trying to keep herself from drinking wine before she walked us every night.
She sits there so refined, and drinks herself half-blind She lost her youth and she lost her Tony Now she’s lost her mind
By the time we started making our way back to the Big Blue Treat Wagon, she was done. Done with our walk.
But we weren’t done with our walk. I still had a little energy to chase some more kids and Deputy Digby was still hungry. He is always hungry. But then, here came some more persons trying to get far away from our antics on the other side of the road. At this point, Girl Person has just learned to not speak when she is tired for fear of being more cuckoo. But the other person just said to her, “looks like you have your hands full”. Oh. We have never heard that before. But seriously. What is Girl Person’s hands full of? I just. Don’t. Get. It.
As I said earlier, I have seen alot. Saw a lot. Even met a few grammar police who are out there and who are policing this sentence because I seriously have no idea what is correct. But what I have never seen or saw is what people see Girl Person carrying all the time when they are walking us. What are her hands full of? For real.
If there is something that I cannot see, I implore you to tell me about it. If it is cookies her hands are full of, that explains why she can’t keep control of Deputy Digby and I. If it is pancakes she is carrying, that makes more sense because her hands would be sticky from the maple syrup which explains why she is always holding the leashes so tightly.
All I know is that she is always very tired from having her hands so full by the time she is done with our walk every night. In my opinion, I seriously think that she needs to not carry all of whatever it is in her hands that are making them so full. Perhaps she should kind of concentrate on walking us? Seriously.
Girl Person says that sometimes, our walks make her long for a break. Oh, to some tropical island where she could relax. But then she thinks. What in the world would she do with her hands? What would happen if they weren’t so full? Her life wouldn’t be so full.
And now you know I can’t smile without you I can’t smile without you
Girl Person says we can make a choice. We can choose to carry with us bad things, bad memories. Or we can keep our hands full of thoughts that are happy and positive. For her and her Depression Monster that tries to keep her hands full of self doubt and worry, she needs me and Deputy Digby to fill it with something else. We try our best. And if we have to work hard at keeping her hands full even more…we will do it.
Life is meant to be interesting. To be lived. Let’s do it and live it to the full!
-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle
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This is Deputy Digby Pancake. I learn something new about myself pretty much every day. I learn that there are new foods..everyday, to be discovered. New foods to learn from. New foods to find. New foods to roll in that persons may not consider foods. And yesterday, I learned about yet another culinary delight. Pretzels. Oh, pretzels.
You see, camp was so crowded this weekend that no one even noticed my howling. No one even cared, because there were so many persons running around person howling and the such. I howled as loud as I could, but no one even looked towards this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV. Sheriff Brickle was super irritated at all of the commotion and his lack of leniency, for arresting little persons, was out of control. Guess no one taught these little persons the best way to talk to a dog, or pet a dog. And I guess they really did not realize the Sheriff’s attitude. It wasn’t a good combination like pepperoni, peanut butter and pancake pizza is.
Girl Person decided that the best plan of action for all of us after the millionth little person ran thru our campsite, was to keep the Sheriff indoors for a little while.
Now, I am a little different than the Sheriff. I find it quite interesting to talk to little persons. Why? Because there is always…always a chance that they are going to have food in their pockets, food in their mouths, food on themselves. And if they have it, I will find it.
So when two little girls on pretty pink bicycles rode up to me, I was ready. Ready with my appetite and ready with my begging eyes.
E-yah twist Baby, baby twist Oh yeah, just like this Come on little miss and do the twist
They asked Girl Person if they could pet me because I was really cute. Now, Sheriff Brickle was looking at me from inside, all mad about it and ready to arrest me. To say he was trying to arrest all of us was an understatement.
My daddy is sleepin’ And mama ain’t around Yeah, daddy just sleepin’ And mama ain’t around We’re gonna twisty twisty twisty Till we tear the house down
Girl Person told them that yes, they could pet me gently. I was enjoying the moment, as I always do enjoy every moment. But.
Then I smelled it. Oh yes, a smell of twisty goodness called a pretzel.
Now, I am not sure who came up with this pretzel idea. But I say it is pretty genius. Crunchy and a little sweet. I am also not sure why these little girls on pretty pink bicycles were not willing to share with me as they so sneakily tried to hide their crinkly bag from me and salty fingers. I knew that in order to get these pretzels, I was going to have to be sneakily cute and sly and twist around to distract them.
They seemed to think that a dog named Digby Pancake should not share their pretzels. And then, one of the little persons told Girl Person that instead of my name being Digby Pancake…well…it should be Digby Pretzel. And that my friends gave me an idea. I could change my name for any occasion. As a Deputy, I should also be called a Detective, because I figured out a new plan.
Anytime I met someone new, and they had food like these little persons, I would change my last name to whatever the food was. Yes, yes, this was just genius! Almost as genius as whoever came up with the pretzel. You have pizza? Whatdayaknow? My last name is Pizza! You have pancakes? Duh. That’s my last name too. You have cookies? Digby Cookies is my name. Not Cookie. I need more than one. You have a salad with extra pickles? Sorry, that used to be my last name, Digby Salad With Extra Pickles, but I changed it last week to Pancake Pizza, so try and go buy some of that.
I can twist it up just like my pretzel loving little person friends. As they walked away, I looked at Girl Person who was feeling sorry for Sheriff Brickle inside. She decided that instead of sitting around, she would take us to the beach where we could get a little peace.
You see, I had plenty of energy after twisting the little persons around with my pretzel stealing antics. And since I am craving barbecue for dinner, well, they won’t be able to find me. Because now, my name is Digby Barbecue and not Pretzel. Even Sheriff Brickle’s arrest report is now invalid.
They don’t call me smart for nothin. Actually, no one calls me smart, but that’s ok. Because smart doesn’t pay the bills. Actually, who pays the bills? I don’t know the answer to everything, but I know I am hungry. And now, I will be signing off. Question is. How do I sign it? Do you have a menu, by chance?
Yeah That’s all now Yeah, twist all night Twist (‘Round and ’round and ’round)
-Deputy Digby Pretzel Pancake Pizza Not Salad Barbecue
This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I know that you probably can’t tell this. But the beach…well…its my happy place. I pretty much get so happy on the sand, and near the water that I nearly fall asleep instantly. Especially every evening when I find the sandcastle that I built.
When we first got here to this Jacksonville, Florida place, I found it. A perfect place for Girl Person to sit down on a piece of driftwood, in front of a sand dune for Digby to pee on, and for me, I decided to build a little pillow and sandcastle to sit on every night. And even with all the storms we have had, the rain, the wind and the tides, my little sandcastle remains.
You may wonder how I could be so attached to a castle that isn’t even mine, really. You may think that I don’t own this beach or the sand on it. And I thought about that a little too at first. I mean, should I get so attached to a place that we didn’t own and that we were only camping at? I mean, this wasn’t truly our home. We didn’t pay for it. But one night, Girl Person told me that it was ok. She is always trying to build me up like that sandcastle…higher and higher.
She said that on this earth, none of us really and truly own anything. She said even persons with all the money in the world, with big houses and mansions don’t own where they live. Truly. She said that they don’t own where they live any more than I own my sandcastle. She said that the earth is owned by no one. She said that it is here for us to enjoy and take care of. But saying that we own some of it is simply not true.
You see, when we think that we own something just because we shuffled around paper money and signed more papers to shuffle around with our signature that says it is ours, sometimes we may think that we can do anything we want with it. It seems less valuable. For now, the beach, the ocean and my sandcastle is enjoyable whether a piece of paper says we own it or not. And that was a hard lesson to learn. You see, life is made of experiences. Not pieces of signed papers.
Our experiences can either build us up like a sandcastle, or bring us down. Fighting to be in a cycle to keep up with everyone else can rob us of joy and seeing what is really out there to enjoy. Living within our means is difficult sometimes. Because even I will admit that I would like more peanut butter cookies some days. But the days I do have them make them more special. And although we haven’t found somewhere that we can afford and that feels like home yet, we are learning that constantly being in a search for something else makes us forget what is right in front of us.
So for now sandcastle, you sure feel like home to me. In my heart, this is where I want to be. For today. No one can tell me my heart doesn’t own this beach. No one can tell me my heart doesn’t own my ocean. And no one can tell me that heart doesn’t live here. Where does your heart own? Go there today. Own it.
As we walked out to the beach this weekend, we had one more reminder about life from a dog named Jack that we never met. And if Jack could be here now, I would tell him that I am enjoying the beach and the sand and the balls that he did. And that his love for this place will live on in us until we pass it on as well. He loved this place. And I bet he had his own sandcastle too.
Remember that life is more than papers. There are so many beautiful, wonderful things meant to build us up. If you can today..throw a ball in remembrance of Jack. Live your life as much as Jack loved his tennis balls. Build yourself up and build others up as high as you can. Your life is yours. You don’t need to sign your life away to live it. Make the best sandcastle you have ever seen. But not my sandcastle. This one is taken.
-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle
Part of taking care of our dogs means taking care of their dental health. That’s why we love Plaque Buster For Dogs! Check them out at www.plaquebuster4dogs.com
It was all over the news this week. Yet another set of dog food recalls.
In 2009, we adopted Peanut Butter Brickle. The day after he arrived to our home, I was on a mission to make him the happiest dog ever. But Brickle’s constant battle with digestive issues had me perplexed. He also had ear infections, dry skin, and lack of appetite. But I took this as just being a normal dog. He wasn’t sick all of the time, and I took him to the vet, but I was still perplexed. What was I doing wrong?
Fast forward to 2012, and Brickle’s stomach issues were getting worse. Vet appointments were made more often for little things like skin infections, colds and lethargy. But then his increasing bouts of digestive issues were enough to make me panic because they were showing up more and more often. How sick was he? After ruling out major health concerns and illnesses, it became apparent that what I was feeding him was the culprit. Why hadn’t I thought of this? On the advice of many different vets and professionals, I was on a quest to find the perfect dog food. What would be the cure all to his stomach problems? What would be the cost?
I was a banking professional and not home for many hours during the day. At this time, we had also adopted a second dog named Digby Pancake, and his ear infections were also a battle. My husband and I took turns calling in sick to stay home with them when they had a flare up. And one night, as I poured another cup of dog food in their bowls, I had one of those moments. What was I doing? Obviously, this was not working. This dog food thing.
I have always been a creative person, thinking outside of the box. But dog food was something I hadn’t given much thought to. I mean, it was dog food. Didn’t my dogs have to have dog food to LIVE? And then I took it a step further. People were telling me that these little pellets had all of the nutrition that it took for my dog to function, to be healthy. Oh, so healthy. The bags promised me healthy skin, and coats and teeth. But this was not happening. And then I just kept thinking, because you know, I was on a roll. What was the supposed, required nutrition it would take to keep me a healthy human? Why wasn’t there like, a person food or something? How was I to know what I needed to survive? How was it possible that I could think for myself and eat real food? Uh, because this was nonsense. And even if there was a magic person food, would I even want to eat it every day? What in the world was I doing to my dogs? And what did dogs eat before dog food? Now that I was thinking, I couldn’t go back. I did a quick search online for soup. Soup for dogs. Because they weren’t feeling good, and when I wasn’t feeling good, I wanted soup. They were going to have soup for dinner.
And that was it. At this point, our Facebook page was growing, and I reached out to our fans. Would they want the recipe for this soup? How about it? It went over great! It was around this time that I lost my corporate job. For the third time. I was done, and I had an idea. I could do this for a living. I could change how people thought about dog food and the way that they were feeding their dogs. I started my own company called Your Dog’s Diner and I made it my mission to change the world..or at least get people to throw away their dog food by offering them mixes like Mutt Meatballs, Mutt Soup, Kibble Mixes and even Mutt Pancakes.
I spent thousands of dollars I didn’t have attending trade shows, appearing in subscription boxes, and pretty much went crazy. I worked the hardest I ever have. There were sleepless nights that turned into days and more days. But I kept going. Because I knew that if people knew about my new concept of cooking for their dogs, and feeding them real food, that they would change their dogs’ lives and help them live longer.
They say that when you start a new business, it takes years to take off. I refused to give up on my values, and even though price was an issue in using organic ingredients, I truly could not compromise on what I knew was right. As you can imagine, Brickle and Digby’s health had improved. And the more research I did on feeding our dogs, the more I came to realize that there was no magic formula. My mixes simply offered people a more convenient alternative to their busy lifestyle, but still allowed them to feed their dogs real food. And then, after yet another meeting with a big company interested in our line, another turn down, and after yet another trade show, speaking with representatives that didn’t even have dogs in their lives, I had another moment. This was business. These weren’t people interested in me or you. No matter how I was trying to spin it in my mind, it came down to a few things on why my mixes weren’t taking off the way I wanted them to.
First off, some people simply didn’t care what they were feeding their dogs. Their dogs were second or third priority. And dog food for these consumers was always going to be there and they were always going to buy it. Then, there were dog parents who truly could not afford my mixes. Dog food was cheaper. Enough said. And I understood that. But third, and most frustrating for me was the fact that no one was thinking for themselves! Why were they listening to dog food companies trying to sell them their product? Did they not realize that vets received compensation for selling specific brands? How in the world could I alter this industry? I was one person with one supportive husband and two rescue dogs. The sales weren’t enough to keep fighting. I had to change directions. And then. I had another idea.
If I worked at SHOWING people how they could feed their dogs real food by being an example, and give them the information that they needed in order to start, this was my best way to begin a change. So I made a decision. If I wanted to truly improve our dogs’ lives and change the industry, this was how to start. Not by selling it. But by living it. And I will continue to do this until there is a place for our products again. And I won’t stop until that time.
So many times, I am asked for a one fail proof dog food recipe. I don’t have it. Why? If I had that, it would again be telling you that you can’t think for yourself, that all dogs are the same. Depending on my dogs’ moods and health day by day, I use some raw ingredients, some cooked ingredients, and some supplements. That isn’t very specific though, is it? That, I believe is the beauty in a lightbulb moment. I had to use common sense, I found out. And after throwing away that dog food bag, they are thriving after 6 years. Not just living. Thriving.
BUT if you want to start on the real food path I have some suggestions because everyone needs somewhere to start. And since I was in the industry, here is my disclaimer, y’all. I am not a veterinarian. I am not a nutritionist. But Dr. Karen Becker really is my “go to”. I feel that she, as a holistic vet, has a different approach to how we feed our dogs. Do I follow every recipe and article she has? No, but I found her information to be a great reference and starting point for my own journey. And here is a recipe that I think will start you on your way.
So many of you have asked what my basic, go to recipe is for Brickle and Digby. I will give that to you as well. We are all busy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook up a great dinner for your dog. We use this recipe for our boys and make a couple batches a week. This makes a whole pot of deliciousness. Check with your veterinarian for specific caloric needs and diet advice.
3 pounds ground turkey or other lean meat of your choice
2 cups kale
2 cups organic brown rice
1 chopped organic red pepper
1/2 cup chopped organic broccoli
3 ground whole eggshells for calcium
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
5 cups water or unsalted broth
Mix all ingredients together and bring to low boil. Cook until water is absorbed and meat is fully cooked. Let cool completely. Never serve your dog hot food.
Will last for 3 days in the refrigerator or frozen for up to two months.
We also feed them a raw diet as well on alternate days, substituting the cooked meat for 4 whole, raw, organic chicken wings. Yes. With the bones. What supplements do we add? Milk thistle, turmeric and hemp oil. Then, once a week, we substitute the meat with sardines. And yep. Some days we forget what day it is and that works too.
I didn’t write this article to start a debate on why you think your dog food is the best, or the pros and cons of raw or cooked food. Truth is, we all have to make our own decisions. And if you are reading this, you care about your dog. And you will make the best decisions for your family. Also, I recognize that dog food is cheap, and not everyone is in a position to buy organic ingredients. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t care for your dog. Providing a home, love, and the basic necessities for our animals and family is hard. Maybe one day, if your economic situation improves, you will consider throwing away that dog food bag. And until then, even adding some fresh food to your dog food when you can has been proven to reduce canine cancer drastically.
Do I feel I lost my battle with changing the way people feed their dogs when I put our dog food business and manufacturing on hold? Yes, I was tired of the excuses from people about not having enough time to make their dogs’ food. I was tired of staying up for 48 hours straight to make food that I wasn’t even sure people would buy. Yes, I was tired of talking to pet food companies that only cared about their profits. But I don’t feel that I lost my battle. I just think that it is going to be a long one. And even though right now I am not fighting it with producing dog food, I fight it by being YOUR example. I fight it by keeping a positive attitude that one day YOU will be part of the change in the industry. We have to demand it. We have to think for ourselves. And we have to work at it. Work at it? Yep. You will have to do research, find recipes, go shopping. But if you truly want to be with your dog as long as possible, you will do it. We all make changes if they are important to us. Don’t wait until your dog gets sick again or when they get cancer. Don’t wait for the next recall. The time is now, the time is today.
And maybe one day, you will see Your Dog’s Diner on your store shelves, or our recipes in your bookstore. Yes, even the recipes for the mixes we sold are available for free on our website. Find ALL of our recipes at www.yourdogsdiner.com and our Daytime NBC appearances on our YouTube channel.
-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person and Owner of 2 Traveling Dogs