Thursday, September 29, 2016

Natalie & Max and Rambo

Who is pictured in these photos?

Hey all, I am Natalie, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach, real-food blogger and photographer, a Type 1 diabetic (which brought me to the health and wellness field) and an American Sign Language Interpreter. Max (fawn coloring) is a 5 year-old Puggle but a very old soul; Rambo (black) is also a 5 year-old Puggle, but will forever be a puppy! They are not litter mates, but were born exactly 4 months apart.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

During the week I stick to homemade tea lattes, so it is basically just Caffeine with my Canines. My tea lattes are similar to my coffee beverages, except I swap out my favorite brewed tea for coffee. The weekends are meant for tasty coffee and relaxing in my front yard with the pups after our 6 AM walk.

What's brewing?

This is a Chai latte of my own creation; 1 cup coffee (Third Coast Coffee Roasters-Austin TX), 1/4 cup coconut milk, a splash of vanilla extract, 2 tbsp. Collagen Peptides, 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup, a pinch of sea salt and then a mixture of ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, all-spice and cloves. I throw all that in a blender which creates a lovely froth, then sprinkle on some additional cinnamon which helps to balance blood sugar levels.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

No matter the day, these dogs always get a little coconut cream. They love it!

How were you and your dogs united?

My husband and I were trying to agree on a breed. I love big dogs and he wanted small ones. We saw a puggle on TV and started our research. Two months later we got Max, and 4 months after that we added Rambo to the family.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Max's full name is Maximus Meridius, Russell Crowe's character in Gladiator. He also responds to Maxie. Rambo is named after Sylvester Stallone's character John Rambo. He looks pretty tough when he wears his red bandana.

Do your dogs have a role at A Nourished Appetite headquarters?

These dogs end up in most of my blog posts because there is usually some kind of kitchen shenanigans in which they are involved. They make great recipe testers as well, but do not provide much feedback! I also test recipes specifically for them, like baked sweet potato treats. They have both been on a grain-free diet since we got them due to Rambo's sensitive skin. Max recently started having idiopathic general seizures, which basically means the vets do not know why they started and what causes them. A holistic vet I took him to recommended I make their food and start treating his seizures with CBD oil and lepsilyte. Lepsilyte is a botanical medication formulated from extracts of skullcap and valerian. It significantly reduces the frequency and severity of seizures. CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant and has been shown to greatly reduce seizures in animals and humans. We have had great success with this approach and I am happy to say his seizures are almost none existent. For their food, I throw a bunch of ground meats, organ meats, frozen blueberries, sweet potato, spinach, green beans, peas and carrots in the crock pot with bone broth. Sometimes their meals look more appetizing than mine!

Where is the dogs' favorite outdoor destination?

Luckily here in San Diego we have so many outdoor options. They love the Coronado Dog Beach! I try to take them there as often as I can but the trip always requires two humans because they both handle the beach in their own way. Rambo chases all the big dogs around, barking annoyingly when they won't play with him. Meanwhile, Max is busy raiding people's bags for snacks.

What is each dog's best quality?

Max is one of the smartest dogs I have ever owned. Unfortunately, he uses those smarts to manipulate treats from me! He will purposefully bring in rocks, sticks, clumps of dirt knowing he will get the "drop it" command and then walk directly to the treat cabinet to receive a reward. Now that I am on to him and his schemes, he only gets belly rubs, which he also enjoys. Max would let you pet him all day long if you had the time. Rambo is a little Mama's boy and follows me wherever I go. He cannot be in a room without me. I should have named him Shadow. Unlike Max, he only wants attention on his own terms. He tenses up when people try to pet him, especially small humans. When he decides he need attention, he will make it known by crawling on your lap and throwing his tongue in your mouth!

Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy...?

They lose their minds for anything that squeaks, balls especially. Rambo will play fetch till his lungs collapse. Max will chase the ball once, then lay down and try to destroy it. The dog has the craziest teeth and has eaten through softballs, tennis balls, golf balls, couches, name it, he will destroy it. I do not keep toys laying around because they will be chewed up in minutes. Toys come out on special occasions and Max has to be monitored. Rambo is not a destroyer. He will play with a ball or toy by himself, batting it back and forth like a cat or laying on his back and playing with it like an otter.

Postman, cat, rabbit...?

Any noise outside of our fence warrants excessive barking. We see stray cats, lizards, coyotes and rabbits on our neighborhood walks . They lose their minds and try to chase them down, which is why these two pups are always leashed!

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

I am sure they would prefer I were a stay at home dog mom, unfortunately that is not the case. They do get walks in the early morning and wrestle, fetch, pet sessions in the evenings, which they love.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

Why can't you brush your own teeth? It's a lot of work for me!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, who should voice them?

Max-Tommy Chong; Rambo-Steve Buscemi.

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Please do not get a dog if you cannot walk them daily and give them all the love they deserve. Dogs are meant to be a part of the family, not something you tend to if time permits.

Visit the A Nourished Appetite blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

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