About 3 months ago our Husky, Skye, was diagnosed with cancer. He’s undergone radiation and chemotherapy and seems to be doing well. This particular kind of cancer, hemangiosarcoma (cancer of the blood vessels), is usually a kicker and the average life expectancy of a dog, once diagnosed, is about 4-5 months. The seemingly good news is that Skye, after almost 3 months, seems healthier than ever.
Skye is smart. Too smart. When I describe each of my dogs in one word; Tempo the Lab is “grateful” and Skye the Husky is “entitled”. Since Skye has started cancer treatments, his appetite has fluctuated. Snapping to the doc’s marching orders (he does not want the dog to lose weight), I’ve made sure that Skye likes his food enough to eat it. I usually cook few cups of organic rice and mix some of that with canned wild salmon, chicken, flank steak and/or “Cardiff Crack”–a.k.a. marinated Tri Tip from Seaside Market. I’ve also pulled the smoothie card on Skye (as I figure that breaking down the food in a blender will be less stressful on his digestive system and he will be able to assimilate the nutrients more efficiently) and have pureed combos such as chicken, rice, green powder and broth into a palatable-for-dogs-only mush (he seems to like it). Nutritional Yeast and Bragg’s Amino Acids seem to be some of his favorite condiments–although he totally dug the coconut-sambal sauce I made the other day…..go figure. High-end kibble made from organic sweet potatoes and salmon?????….. not a snowball’s chance in hell that Skye will eat that now that he has me cooking for him. Each meal goes something like this: I put a perfunctory scoop of kibble in Skye’s bowl. He sniffs it, gazes balefully at me; looks back at the bowl; looks at me; saunters into the kitchen; stands next to the frig and waits for some sort of real food concoction from me. Skye’s message is loud and clear: EAT. REAL. FOOD. I gotcha, Skye.
Since I keep a fair amount of cooked rice on hand these days, my go-to meal just before a long bike ride, run or swim has been a cup to a cup-and-an-half of white rice with tamari, hemp seeds and a squeeze of lemon. I’ve also gotten into making layered sticky rice square a la Feed Zone Portables. My latest experiment was a take on In-and-Out burger flavors–sticky rice with ketchup, yellow mustard, pickles, chopped vegan burgers and sesame seeds (y’know, for the “all on a sesame-seed bun” effect). I’m planning on using some sort of savory rice balls during Oceanside 70.3. After my nutritional boff during Kona last season, I’ve given my eating and drink plan a fair amount of thought and am confident that these will be a key piece to the puzzle.
Cross your fingers for Skye–I’m heading into the kitchen to make another “Chicken and Rice” smoothie.