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Green Smoothie and My Canine Friends.

As the title implies, I am going to talk about green smoothies that I have after my runs in the morning and the pals I go running with.

Green Smoothie

My Green Smoothie

My Green Smoothie

After many years of attempting to use my blender for simple tasks and finding that it failed miserably.  I made the decision to purchase a “real” blender.  I bought myself a Vita-Mix Blender. I am so happy I did. I know it is weird anyone can be “happy” over a blender.  But now, I can make hummus that is smooth and creamy. Smoothies, vegan shakes and vegan ice cream are a breeze to make.  I have to try making soup, I  have heard it is super fast and easy. The TG loves potato soup so I will have to give it a go.

Back to the smoothies.  Since my purchase of the blender, I have every morning so far made a smoothie for myself and the TDs.  It is usually a green smoothie, consisting of 2 bananas, 2 pieces of kale (minus the stem), 5 or 6 baby carrots, 2 Tbsp of flax seed, 2 Tbsp of hemp powder, 1 Tbsp of maca powder, 1 Tbsp of spirulina, tsp of vanilla and a splash of agave plus 3 cups of filtered water. I sometimes add blue berries, or a berry mix  (~1 cup).  Everything is added to the blender container, start the blender on low, increasing the variable dial to high then, switch to high and blend for 20-30 sec.  Pour into 4 glasses, and if the consistency is too thick or not to your liking, add non-dairy milk, like almond or rice and dilute to the consistency you like.  The milk adds a creaminess to the drink. You can a more or less agave nectar or dates for a touch of sweetness.

My Canine Pack

MAGGIE
MAGGIE

Maggie is the oldest and very special. Her mother was killed when she and her other litter mates were barely a week old. An angel, a local veterinarian took them in, found volunteers to feed and care for the pups, as well as  provided all the puppy starter and anything else that they needed.  This was no easy feat, as there were 11 pups that needed care. One of the families that volunteered for this duty was a good friend of mine A and her father Dr H. They took two pups, one black and the other was white, with only one spot of white on her tiny ear.  They hand fed the pups around the clock and took care of all their basic needs.  I fell in love with the chubby white puppy and helped feed her as often as I could.

Just to give you some background, at this point I was ready to adopt another dog, my previous dog had been gone for over a year. I love animals and having them in my life.  I had recently adopted a stray cat from A and Dr Hs that had wandered onto their place.  I will tell you more about him in another blog.  But, I still missed having a canine companion, I really loved my other dog and then Maggie waddled into my life. She grew fast, like all puppies do and before I knew it, she developed more black spots and her hair grew longer; she developed feathers and an undercoat. Her sister, Baxter on the other hand was jet black, had short hair, and looked like a black lab, but still very adorable.  Maggie is very unique,  the only one out of the litter like this. I frequently have people ask me what breed she is and comment on how beautiful/pretty she is.  She still loves Dr H and acts like a puppy when he comes to visit or we take her out to visit him.  She squeaks and whines, and wags her tail so fast she can barley walk.

Maggie is very sweet, she runs right at my side and ignores the squirrels, bunnies and any other animals we may see on our runs.  She just enjoys the time we spend together.

EMMA

EMMA

EMMA

Emma was the second addition to my canine family.  TG always felt that Maggie must be lonely and needed another friend to be with when we couldn’t  be with her.  Another good friend of mine, Ms B works in a setting that she sees all the dogs and cats (pups and kittens) from local shelters that need to be spayed or neutered. She knew we were thinking about adopting another dog/puppy. She knew Maggie, and she knew how active I was and that an active dog would be better for us than a sedentary dog.  So, as the story goes, she saw a puppy from a litter of 3 or 4 pups that looked very promising.  She called me and I visited with the little puppy, and knew that she was the one.  I then, went to the shelter as soon as she was available and adopted her.  For Maggie, it wasn’t love at first site, she was already 2 and well over the puppy stage.  She wasn’t thrilled at first, but once Emma got a little bigger and could play, then she saw how this other dog could be okay.

Emma, loves her runs in the morning. The order is not critical, but she must have her run, food, cookie after the run and a good drink of water.  If she doesn’t get her run in, she sits there and looks at you giving her little cock-eyed  toothy smile and grrrrr. Maggie, just looks at you places her head in your lap, squeaks, wags her tail hoping you will get the hint she wants to go for a run.

Maggie and Emma

Maggie and Emma

BETTY

BETTY

BETTY

Betty came into our lives by another friend.  KJB loves animals and dogs in particular.  She helps people when they are having behavioral problems with their dogs.  One client in particular had never had a pet of any kind before this and had adopted this beautiful pup.  She was about 6 months old and had already had two previous owners.  Both owners had found themselves in situations where they could no longer keep the pup. The third owner decided she wanted to do her best for her.  My friend worked with her showing how to use positive reinforcement to train the pup so she had good manners, loved to go in her crate when needed and was polite on walks.  KJB asked my TDs to puppy sit when the owner felt she was going to be out of the house too long. The TDs would walk, play and just have fun with the puppy. Then the owner decided she didn’t have time for a dog and needed to find a home for her and was going to return her to the shelter.  This upset the TDs and myself, as Betty was a very nice dog and did not deserve to be bounced around from home to home. So as a collective, we decided to adopt Betty and make her apart of our family.  I knew once she was with us she would have food, shelter and lots of love and never need another home.

Betty loves life and is always ready to do anything with you. Chase the ball, go outside, go for a run/walk, rake the leaves, or just hang out on the couch.  She always makes me smile.

If you are considering adopting a dog or cat please think of the “BLACK DOG CLUB”! Click here to learn more.

I have a two books that I feel anyone with companion animals should read.  Go to your library or borrow them from a friend.  The first is Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin.  This is a must read.  After many years of natural horsemanship with Pat Parelli, I have an appreciation for the psychology and behavioral motivation of my four-legged friends. Patience and understanding is what we all need.

The other book is Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life by Dr. Nancy Kay.  This book is an all inclusive guide to caring and providing for your companion animal(s). For example, what you want to look for in a health care provider for your pet. What you need to do when your dog is healthy and what to do when he/she is not.  What treatments are out there and tough subjects that we have to face, but try to avoid. These are the tough subjects that I feel more confident about after having read this book. i am better informed and feel I can make the necessary decisions when the time comes. I have an equine partner and anyone that has a horse faces many of these issues every other day it seems. The author was interviewed on NPR Fresh Air. If you would like to learn more click here.

Well to end on a cooking note.  I have used this cookbook Vegan Express by Nava Atlas a lot and highly recommend it to anyone looking for tasty, quick, healthy vegan meals. It has saved me many times when I can’t think of what to make and find quick inspiration here. I have also used to it to plan out meals for the week, so I have simple, wholesome meals ready in minutes. I recommend the chocolate cake she has in this book.  I have made it for several special occasions and always get rave reviews.

Enjoy cooking and the food you create!  Have some fun with your animals friends!

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