Saturday, September 29, 2012

Manhattan Fun-Weasley Visits Mile End and First Run

Over our staycation in August we decided to take Weasley to First Run, AKA The Tompkins Square Park Dog Run, this was the first dog run established in the city and last time Weasley visited (link here) he was too young to go in.  Since we all love food before we decided to visit a sandwich shop, Mile End, that has gotten some good reviews (they have out posts in Brooklyn and Manhattan).  

Weasley did a great job waiting patiently with mom while his dad got our foodables.  We tried Poutine, a Montreal specialty apparently, that consists of fries, cheese curds, and gravy and at Mile End some really amazing smoked meat.  OMP (oh my pug) was it ever good.   We at it at the park and shared a bit with Weasley.

He would have liked more but we felt it was a bit rich for a pug (or as Weasley suspects we just didn't want to share).

After our lunch we took Weasley into the small dog run which sadly was pretty empty and most of the dogs were not interested in playing with a young whippersnapper.  Then, horrors, we saw a rat in the dog run.  Eeeeek!!!!  So we left pronto.   We did get this picture of Weasley getting a hug from his Dad.

After the dog run rat debacle we decided to go for a walk.  We passed this cool coffee shop with a canine friendly sign and decided to get some iced coffees there.

We decided Weasley deserved a treat too and luckily we passed a pet store with a dog friendly treat dispenser outside.

For 25 cents we got Weasley two liver biscotti.  He so wants one of these in the living room, then he says we can make some real use of our change jar.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Joy

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and well wishes, we are so relieved our big old boy is OK!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Miracle-The Best News Ever

I almost cant believe it as it seems to good to be true but we took Norbert to the Manhattan Vetrinary Specialists in Manhattan this evening because my vet called and said they could not do an ultrasound tomorrow as there was a problem with the machine.  So we brought Norbert in who by then was feeling better from a pain shot and the vets there did an ultrasound.  We waited an hour and a half and then got the best news ever!  The mass in Norbert's stomach was not there, apparently what my vet saw (and there vets too) on the x-ray was gas/air.  Norbert had bloat and torsion last year and he may have had a mini bloat today that looked like a large mass on the spleen stomach and liver.    The vets really found nothing wrong with him except some mild thickening of the liver and a slight enlargement of his stomach, he does have arthritis.  As for why he was so sick when I came home today: shaking, panting, and arched, the vets think it was a combo of the mini bloat episode and an arthritic flair up.  He needs no surgery thank god and just needs a re-check of his hips in 5-7 days as an arthritis evaluation.  We have dodged some big time health bullets in the last few weeks with Tubby and Ping's lumps that turned out to be benign and now this.  We have big vet bills but who cares when the news is this good~

POP for Norbert

We have received terrible news about Norbert.  He was limping this afternoon and had an arched back and x-ray found a large mass in his spleen my vet thinks it is a hemangiosarcoma.  He is having an ultrasound tommorow and then based on results removal of his spleen, if it has spread to his liver I dont know what will happen.   I am in shock, his ten but was running and playing this weekend.    I have read online that dogs with this type of tumor live on average of 3 months


Monday Mischief Managed-Weasley and The Plastic Bag Vs. Mom

The mischief maker: Weasley, who always knows when his Mom and Dad have treats on hand.

The mischief: Plastic Bag thievery 

The weapons:  Power Patties Tripe Treats treats and sealed containers to stash them in.

The Plan:  Stash the treat containers stashed around the house

give Weasley the drop it command and reward him with a tripe treat taken from one of the secret (to Weasley) locations and do this about twenty times a day.

The Results: A pug who will drop a plastic bag on command!

Mischief Managed!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Historical Hounds-The Story of Old Drum

A Man's Best Friend is His Dog

Every dog lover knows the saying but not everyone knows about the legal battle that surrounds it.  September 23rd marks the 142 anniversary of  the Old Drum Court Case.  Old Drum was a beloved foxhound owned by Charles Burden who was shot to death by a neighboring sheep farmer, Leonidas Hornsby, who was also Burden's brother in law.   Burden was furious over his dog's death and immediately sued Burden.   The case dragged through the Missouri courts with the men on both sides appealing decisions until it finally reached the State Supreme Court.

In the Supreme Court Trial Burden was represented by George Graham Vest, a lawyer and politician who had served on the Confederate Senate during the civil war and supported the secession of Missouri from the Union.   Vest was a gifted orator and his closing arguments in the trial, known as "Eulogy on The Dog" won the case for Burden and have gone down as one of the most memorable speeches in US courtroom History:

Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
Gentlemen of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

A statue of Old Drum inscribed with Vest's speech was erected in 1958 and stands outside the court house in Warrensburg, Missouri 

Another monument was built in 1947 in Blue Springs, Missouri in the location that Drum's body was found after being shot.

Both monuments are frequently mentioned in guides to America's road side attractions.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fun-Weasley's Silly Buddy Collar

Remember when we first brought Weasley home and he looked like this:

A tiny baby.

Well he is a big boy now:

and ready for a big boy collar, courtesy of super cool Etsy shop Silly Buddy.

It arrived wrapped in a cool package and nicely labeled with Weasley's name:

We choose the vintage toys print:

Look how handsome!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tasty Tuesday-National Chicken Month

September is National Chicken Month.   The perfect time for us to snuggle up with a West Paw Spring Chicken From Olive Green Dog

and of course enjoy a tasty chicken dinner.   Mom often makes chicken pot pie for herself and Dad and she even shared the recipe on our blog last year.  Anyway this pot pie smells so delish and we never get any.   Thank dog this year mom decided to make us a chicken pot pie of our own.

Chicken Pot Pie for Pups
 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, I use Cascadian Farm's Gardener's Blend
1 tube Pillsbury Refrigerator Biscuits (you won't need the whole tube)

Preheat the oven to 350.   Place the chicken in a pot and cover with water by two inches.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes until cooked through.  Drain the chicken into a mixing bowl reserving the cooking liquid.  Shred the chicken into bite size pieces.   Add the condensed soup.   Fill the now empty soup can with some of the reserved chicken cooking liquid and add to the chicken and condensed soup mixture.  Mix well.  Add the bag of frozen vegetables and mix again.   Pour the mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish and top with 4-6 Pillsbury Biscuits.   Bake for 15-17 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown.

 Of course mom still made something for herself and Dad.  She says its the bacon that makes this recipe

Simple Roast Chicken from Jamie's Dinners

4-5 lbs roaster chicken, preferably free range organic
4 lbs small potatoes, or larger potatoes peeled and cut in chunks
1 lemon
1 whole head of garlic separated into cloves but not peeled
1 bunch of thyme
3 springs of rosemary, leaves picked of
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 slices bacon
The morning of the you want to make the chicken pat it dry and season it generously with salt and pepper leave it uncovered in the fridge so it so it dries a bit which will make the skin crispy.   
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and preheat the oven to 375.   Put the potatoes, garlic, and whole lemon in the boiling water and cook for 11 minutes.   Drain.  Reserve the lemon and the garlic.   Smash the potatoes up a bit but not completely with a masher or wooden spoon, this helps them crisp up a little.
Pat the chicken dry and rub it with with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper.   Poke the hot lemon about ten times with a knife and stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon and garlic and the bunch of thyme.  Place in the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.  
Place the chicken on a plate and put the potatoes and rosemary in the roasting pan and shake around to coat the potatoes with the chicken fat.  Place the chicken back on the potatoes and drape the breast of the chicken with 4 slices of bacon.   Roast for another 45 minutes or until the juices run clear.

When you are ready to serve the chicken crumble the bacon over the potatoes and squeeze the lemon over the chicken and potatoes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Mischief-Graduation!

Weasley here:  On Sunday I passed a big puppy mile stone.   I graduated from Basic Obedience at It's Your Dog in Sussex, NJ.

For the past three months every Sunday I  have been making the hour and half trip there and back first to attend puppy pre-school play group and then Basic Obedience and finally today was the big day!   I got my diploma (and they even gave me a big bone biscuit!).

I got lots of claps and cheers, mom and dad where both so proud of me.  After graduation they took me shopping at the doggie boutique next store Maxwell and Molly's Closet. 

I got a pair of yellow duck PJs and a squeaky bulldog toy.

Thanks to class I can  now lay down patiently while Mom takes my photo (provided she remembers my treat.)
This bulldog toy is awesome!

Dad got something too on the way home we stopped at a farm stand and bought a Peach and Blueberry Pie a reward for all those long drives he made and how patient he was waiting for me and mom to finish classes.

Mom hung my Diploma on the refrigerator:

It was a busy day and by early evening I was all ready for bed time in my new jammies.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Brunch-Baked Eggs for One

Sometimes on Sunday morning Norbert nearly has to be dragged out of bed.  Clearly he is hoping for a breakfast in bed delivery.

We have never tried breakfast in bed at Urban Hounds, but here is one recipe that might work if you were so inclined.  Its tasty and easy and serves one, but can easily be scaled up to serve many.

Baked Egg in Custard Cup

1 egg
1 tbsp heavy cream
Pinch of salt  (Nigella called for a 1/4 tsp per custard cup but that was WAY too salty for my taste and I LOVE salt).
1/4 tsp truffle oil
Minced Fresh Herbs, such as chives or parsley.
Soft butter for greasing custard cup

Preheat the oven to 375.   Put a kettle of water on to boil. Grease a little ramekin or custard cup with the soft butter.  Break in the egg and pour over the cream.  Next, sprinkle with the salt and drizzle with the oil.  Finish by sprinkling the herbs on top.  Place the custard cup in a baking pan and carefully pour the boiling water from the tea kettle into the baking pan so that it comes half way up the custard cup/ramekin.   Make sure not to get any water into the egg.   Bake for 12 minutes for a softly set egg and 15 minutes for a more firmly set egg.  This is good with toast.  (Of course if you want to make more eggs in cups just double or triple the ingredients and use more cups).

Next cuddle up with a friendly dog or cat and enjoy a lazy day.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day Rin Tin Tin

94 years ago today a US Air Force WWI pilot was searching through the rubble of a bombed out German Airfield in France when he discovered a litter of German Shepherd puppies.  The pilot, whose name was Lee Duncan, adopted two of the puppies, a male and a female.  Sadly the female, Nanette, died shortly thereafter, but the male, went onto become the most famous canine film star of all time---Rin Tin Tin. 

Happy Gotcha Day to Rin Tin Tin! 

If you want to read our other posts on Rinty, here are the links

Rin Tin Tin The Life and The Legend-Book Review

Historical Hounds-Rin Tin


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Be-Lated National Teddy Bear Day-Also Sunday Brunch: Johnny Cakes

 Sunday, September 9, was National Teddy Bear day-so we celebrated with a photo shoot, usually mom never lets us near her Teddy Bears as she is afraid we will rip them to shreds.   (Note-no Teddy Bear's were harmed during this photo shoot although some did a get bit chewed on).   If your pawrents want to make a pup, or kitty, appropriate teddy check out this post.

Since it was  Sunday we had to have a nice pancake breakfast too.   This is really a recipe for the peeps although mom says there is nothing in it to harm a hound, unless you are grain intolerant, so they should slip you are a nibble.  Mom says these are maybe the best pancakes out there, and she LOVES pancakes.  Our Dad loves these too and feels there is no reason to make another pancake recipe, ever.   The recipe is from Nigella Lawson's How To Be a Domestic Goddess  (clearly the first step is to make these pancakes):

 Johnny Cakes (Cornmeal Pancakes)

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp corn meal
1/2 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk 
2 tbsp melted butter 
More butter for the pan
Bacon and Maple Syrup to Serve

Whisk the dry ingredients together.  Then in another larger bowl whisk the milk and eggs together very well.  Whisk in the dry ingredients, but don't worry about a few lumps.  Finally whisk in the melted butter.   Heat  a skillet over medium high heat and melt about a table spoon of butter in the pan, making sure the pan is completely coated.   Drop the batter in by 1/4 cup fools (Nigella makes these very small, but I like them bigger and it is also easier) cook until vigorous bubbling appears on the surface and then cook for about one minute on the other side).   These pancakes keep well in a warm oven for a few minutes.

Mom here: Unless you are a vegetarian you really should have these with some bacon crosshatched over and a generous pour of Maple Syrup.  To paraphrase Agent Cooper from one of my favorite TV shows, Twin Peaks, "nothing beats the taste sensation when Maple Syrup collides with bacon."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Walkies (and good news)

 Now for the good news-according to the needle biopsy Tubby's lump was a lump of pudge (a fatty lipoma)!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hero Dogs

Check out this slide show of these beautiful dogs whose heroic efforts 11 years ago saved lives and comforted mourners.  In their advanced years there faces are so noble and calm:

Tasty Tuesday-Sunflower Treats in Honor of the X-Files

As we have mentioned many times before our mom is a huge nerd with many geeky sci-fi and fantasy obsessions.  One of her favorites is the X-Files.  In fact she is such a huge fan that when Mom and Dad got married (Dad loves the show too) they had Mulder and Scully figurines on their wedding cake, in lieu of the traditional bride and groom.   

 The thing is when mom and dad first met in college, before they were even dating, they used to watch the X-Files together.  So if it were not for the show, there might not be any marriage, we might not have been adopted, and thus no urban hounds.  Anyway you can see why the show is super important in our house.

Mom feels we should celebrate the premiere, on September 10th every year.  First, us pugs put on our X-Files shirts, courtesy of Cafe Press (whatever you love they can make a shirt to celebrate it).  

Then mom makes us some sort of sunflower seed treat, if you know the X-Files you know that agent Mulder loves sunflower seeds.
Agent Mulder eating sunflower seeds.
Now mom is no fan of sunflower seeds, but we seem to like them.  This year she used them to make us cookies.   Now we must tell you these cookies are not mom's recipe, they are from the amazing wonderful Kolchak Puggle are Tasty Tuesday host who hails from Vancouver birth place of the X-Files!  That is why they are just begging for the addition of some sunflower seeds.

Kolchak Puggle's Super Easy Canned Food Treats (With Sunflower Seeds)

1 13.2 ounce can smooth style canned dog food
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, or whatever flour you want to use
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 egg 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Tumeric

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet with oil.

Stir all the ingredients together until very well mixed.  Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to spoon out nice sized dollops of dough.  Press down with the tines of a fork to make criss crosses in the dough.

Bake for 17-20 minutes.

Weasley trying to get to the bowl of cookie dough.

While you eat your cookies snuggle up with your parents and enjoy an X-Files Marathon.  Mom wants your 'rents to know that if they join Hulu plus or Netflix they can watch every x-file on line for free (plus tons of other shows) and with a Roku box they can watch them on the TV.  Mom says the Roku is the best thing ever.

Anyway here is mom's expert 10 essential X-Files Episode Guide-(Expert because she has seen the show a million times).  They are in order of season, not favorites.   (Note: If you are not a giant nerd please stop reading because you will be bored silly).

Pilot-Obviously an important episode because this is where it all started.  Plus if you are a huge geek like mom you will enjoy the fact that the actor who plays the werewolf Oz on Buffy The Vampire Slayer is in the pilot.

The Host-Eeek!  This episode is kinda gross, mom always thinks of it when she is brushing her teeth, but its still one of the best ones and it takes place in Newark, NJ.  Not far from where we live now.  Hopefully, we don't run into any human sized Fluke worms.

Irresistible -This killer in this episode is so creepy!  Mom showed it to a friend of hers who kept her eyes squeezed shut for the entire episode.   When the killer wants to shampoo Scully's hair it gives us the shivers, Scully does have great hair though.

Humbug-This is probably Mom's  favorite episode.   The circus setting is pretty and neat and its probably the funniest episode.  Plus Mr. Knutt, the dwarf manager of the trailer motel Mulder and Scully stay in, is played by Michael J. Anderson's is played by the mysterious backwards talking dwarf form one of mom's other favorite shows, Twin Peaks.

Clyde Buckman's Final Repose- A psychic who can only see how people will die.  Another super funny episode, plus Scully gets a dog although sadly his tenure on the show is short lived.

Jose Chung's From Outer Space-In our house we like the funny episodes the best, and this one is very funny.

Home-A creepy family of in-bred hillbillies with a Texas Chainsaw Masacre style dream home.  

Elegy-A bowling alley manager has a vision of a murdered women, one of a group of young women who have been killed.  The prime suspect is an autistic man who works at the bowling alley and Mulder and Scully have to look for the real culprit.  Mom really like the performance of the actor who  plays the man with autism in the episode.  She works with a lot of people with autism, and says this is a spot on performance.

Bad Blood-Vampires that just want to live like normal people, except for the one who has seen to many Vampire movies, another funny episode.

 Signs and Wonders- The X-Files explores religion and snake handling!  Plus the minister is super creepy.

Note-In our opinion its best not to watch any X-Files after season 7, 8 and 9 ugh!