Do NOT buy a Japanese Chin dog. How I, a Great Dane and giant breed lover, ended up with an eight pound not to mention brachycephalic dog I'll never know. Anna wanted a cat. Dh balked - we already had two felines, albeit both moved in without our permission - but he might agree to a very small dog that was noted for it's catlike personality. Enter Whitney, who came with her four month old baby. Now who in their right might could resist a little four month old purebred puppy handed to you? $400 in surgery later, I realized I should have been that person. Whitney was fine, but Paris came with a hernia, an inverted chest, a very warped skeletal structure, problems with her eyes and ears, and on and on. Now I know that this breed is prone to a host of problems.
Whitney, the mom, appeared to be healthier until she entered her eighth year. She stopped eating, appeared in pain, and would not come out of her crate. Diagnosed with a sluggish gall bladder, the vet recommended a high fiber diet, of course the commercial one that costs more than hormone free, organic beef steaks. A little research turned up a miracle story on a homemade high fiber diet that cured one dog with a similar problem. Worth a try, right?
Within a week, Whitney was practically doing back flips and was so animated that visitors echoed the quote from "When Harry Met Sally": "I'll have what she's having". She was not cured, for there is no cure short of removing the gall bladder which is rarely done in dogs, but at least the disease was managed. Though I've changed the recipe (because I can't ever follow a recipe exactly, you know, unless it is my own), it makes a stew that is quite edible to humans: turkey, lentils, rice and vegetables. I flavor it with garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. It smells quite nice. So, when dh saw that dinner wasn't made and I was nowhere in sight, he ate it. Luckily, I had not yet laced it with bone meal, lethicin, etc. He said he knew what he was doing, and that the dog food was very good.
The girls absolutely now will not eat lentils. Lentils = dog food now.
As a side note, I made a batch in the crock pot just before leaving to care for my dad for a week. I was out of vegetables and used some barley as the thickener instead of rice. By the end of the week, Whitney was in sad, sad shape and clearly bloated and in pain. On my return, I made the original batch and she's recovering. She looked greatly improved this morning and even went outside.
And as for the Whitney/Anna relationship, it for some reason, as sometimes happens in relationships, it never gelled. And we eventually got her the cat.