Archive for January 28, 2014

Me

As you can tell, I have been lacking in my posts. I am trying to go too many directions at one time and something has to suffer, in this case it is the blog. For that, I am sorry. I really enjoy putting my thoughts or tidbits about my life in writing. Right now, tho, I have to balance what I can and this is where the teeter totter hits the ground on occasion.

I am constantly learning between school and my mentor. It seems like my brain will explode with all the new knowledge. The small breakthroughs with dogs who are are afraid of everything or the wild child dogs that are learning impulse control and starting to have a little family harmony, these let me know I am on the right path.

This is Napoleon, who, unlike his namesake, does not want to take over the world and is working hard on his impulse control.

This is Peanut, who would give a scaredy cat a run for it’s title. Little by little he’s coming out of his shell, tho.

I try to get into the kitchen but I don’t have the time for creativity in there that I would like. The closest I’ve come is this Sausage Minestrone soup.

Sausage Minestrone
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 pound Italian sausage
2 large carrots, chopped
salt and pepper (go easy on the salt…more can be added at the end)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) white navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups ditalini or other small pasta
Shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a 5 quart pan saute onion and carrots over medium heat until the onion is almost translucent; Add the garlic, red bell pepper, sausage, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Break up the sausage as it cooks.

Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, tomato paste and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. (Can be cooled and frozen at this point.) Bring to a boil. Stir in ditalini; return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with cheese. Yield: 13 servings (3-1/4 quarts).

Photo Play

So here I am, bringing more random shots from our lives. Hope you enjoy :)

Making it all Worthwhile

For the last few Tuesday’s I have been accompanying my mentor, Neil, to the local no-kill shelter. He has been evaluating dogs and doing Shelter Specific Training. This training mostly consists of teaching the dogs settle down a bit when folks come to see them. We’ve also been working on Pippi, an enthusiastic dog that is working on her leash manners.

Then there are the three amigos, three pitt mix dogs that are scared to death of strangers. They hide in their dog houses when new folks come around, where they hide until the coast is clear. We have been treating and clicking but for the most part they stay hidden until we are no longer near their cages. This past Tuesday Neil had an appointment elsewhere so I went alone. My plan was mainly to click and treat. As I was tossing treats into the Amigo on the end, Mika, the Amigo in the center, Peanut, started showing more curiosity about the treats left in his cage, not waiting for me to disappear first. Taking this as a good sign I opened the gate but stayed outside the enclosure with the gate tucked behind me. I faced sideways, tossing treats, and chatting in a neutral voice about nothing in particular.

It took awhile, but he came closer and closer until yes, he was taking treats from my hand. He even allowed me a few chin scratches. This was a huge deal for me. These dogs, the ones that need extra help, are the ones I want to eventually work with. So this breakthrough, small as it is, was a nice signal that yes, I am on the right path. It’s all about the dogs, the second chance dogs.

So please meet Peanut. And applaud his bravery. <3 [gallery itemtag="div" icontag="span" captiontag="p" ids="687,689,690,691,692,693,694,695,696,697,698,699,700"]