It’s hard to believe that the ball of fluff sleeping 5 feet from me is almost 10 weeks old already. Tucker the German Sheperd pup is fully acclimated to the kitchen, family room,and back yard after coming home from Denver with me on May 6th. It was quite a journey flying with the little guy who just barely fit under the seat in front of me in his crate.
I had never flown with a dog, or cat in the cabin of a commercial aircraft before and had visions of a crying pup bothering the passengers around us, but the little guy hardly let out a peep. It was only when we were climbing up to cruise altitude he got a bit noisy for 2 minutes and that was it. Five whole hours in a soft sided crate that would not hold him now, and he did great. Not that I’m in a hurry to do it again, but I can tell you it was a breeze looking back on the adventure. This three weeks with Tucker has been a blur of 11pm, 1 am and 4 am walks outside in the yard to do what puppies do often, pee and poo. Last night he broke his record and went from 10:30 to 6am without any problems. It won’t be long until he can go 8 hours or more overnight, and sleep outside of his crate. That will be great! However there is nothing like raising a large breed puppy. Especially when you get them as young as I got Tucker. Not that 7 weeks old is too young. My first German Sheperd went home with me at just over 5 weeks, but my room mates took his sister so that made it quite doable. I had forgotten what it’s like to be around a 7 week old pup. They bite and mouth just about anything they can get iahold of. When he’s in the kitchen with me it’s fun to see what scraps of vegies he likes that I toss on the floor. So far I think carrots and parsley are his favorite.
All in all he is a joy, and I am so grateful to have him. Even if my blogging has suffered a bit it’s worth it in the end. With any luck we will get 12 or more awesome years out of the little guy, and plenty of stories. He’s got big paws to fill though. My first GS was legendary for his favorite toy, a 16 pound bowling ball. My next GS was know for big sticks and being exceptionally trained. The last one was remembered for her ability to work with kids that were scared of dogs, and befriend the boys I mentored at a residential rehab facility in Timonium, Maryland. At some point they might all blend together into one dog when I’m sitting in the rocking chair at the old folks home, but for now they are all remembered clearly.
One of Tucker’s best days so far was yesterday while I filmed 5 recipes for my Youtube channel. The little guy hung out in the same area we were filming from and hardly let out a peep until the filming was done. I took him out back for 2 minutes to pee, and came back in to finish up the Youtube portion of the session, and that was that. I expect he will be the best trained dog I have ever had as with each one I become a better dog owner and trainer. They have all been great, but this is the first one to be on a youtube video at the end of my recipe shoot. Who knows? Maybe he will show up in other sessions with a chef hat and T-Bone in his mouth. As long as he doesn’t steal the show it’s ok with me for him to have a few seconds on youtube.
With yesterday’s shoot fresh in my mind here’s a good vegie recipe that can be used with spinach or Kale. Kale seems to be all the rage and I think it’s worthy of the attention. It’s healthy, tasty, and versatile. I bake it into Kale chips in the oven, stir fry it, put it into green salads, and I’m quite sure it would be good in vegie lasagne too. So give this one a try with some fresh Kale or spinach soon.
Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach
2 cup fresh baby spinach
6 ounces, 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon garlic infused olive oil, or plain olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Saute mushrooms in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add Green onions and cook for for two minutes stirring. Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and serve.
If using plain olive oil you can add a minced garlic clove with the green onions.
Lawrey’s Seasoning salt is a good seasoning for this dish.
Kale can be substituted for spinach.