Human food is great. Dog food is also fun! Especially since I’ve taken my dog overseas to locales where standard dry kibbles are unavailable or, at best, are expired and of questionable quality.
I’ve been cooking for Z for years, taking fundamental nutritional advice from my previous boss in the States who had long prepared food for her pups, and adding in the fruits of my own research, tempered by local availability of ingredients. It’s a labor of love, one shared by old roommates (Hi, Anne and Peter!), and one that requires at every meal either proper planning or clever improvisation.
Occasionally, the improvisation borders on the absurd, as when all I have to offer Z are extras of what I’m eating, minus the spices or sauces or canine-indigestibles. So sometimes the dog gets a scoop of goat meat ‘n slop from the bucket in the fridge, and sometimes she dines on sauteed filet of fresh fish with a side of chopped Swiss chard. Go figure.
A while back, when my time was really limited, and big batches of dog food required far too much forethought, I started an Instagram account to document the odd one-off dog dishes I’d prepare next to my own. For example, I’d have scrambled eggs with cinnamon-date oat bars, and Z would enjoy oatmeal with chopped dates, a dollop of peanut butter, and an egg or two on the side. The account has been untouched for a while (I’ve gotten back in the preparatory groove), but perhaps will pick up again sometime.
So to the query of “What does your dog eat, then?” — the answer goes something like this:
- Fluffy omelettes sprinkled with green peppers, served atop a bed of milky oatmeal studded with diced potatoes. King fish skin garnish, as one does.
- Following a veterinary visit punctuated by a thousand small bites of roasted bribery chicken, Z awoke to hazy memories of a thousand small punctures. Craving the warmth of trusted friends (read: no hidden syringes), Z invited a few of her closest for brunch, relating her traumatic tale to all who would listen. Roasted veggies with herbs de Provence, a hearty scramble, and a brown butter date square. Because if ever there was a moment deserved of browned butter, it was this.
- A sweet breakfast of oatmeal with a swirl of peanut butter beneath a crescent moon of velvety scrambled eggs, garnished with Medjool dates.
- After a wild night with friends, including a heated altercation with a neighborhood feline, Z’s was in need of some proper morning-after grub: pulled chicken potato hash sprinkled with fresh green bell pepper and a banana on the side.
It’s a hard-knock canine life. May you find culinary inspiration from (wo)man and (wo)man’s best friend alike.