Sunday, March 16, 2014

A New Journey

Truhte, four months old - Photo by J.Stahl

Today, we are bringing home our very own Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Her name is Truhte and she is four months old. She comes from a town just a stone's throw away (or "Katzensprung") from where we live, and her mama and daddy are equally as gorgeous as she is. They are absolutely wonderful and sweet. I am very happy to have met them.

A little about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels:

I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with my diet-specific blog. Well, due to my dietary concerns and dermatitis herpetiformis, I require any pets we own to be gluten free. I've been doing a lot of research and trying to find the best toy breed for our family needs, to keep me company and also get me out the door daily to get my dose of sunshine. I found my baby!

Truhte will be joining us for some combination feeding - some cooked, some raw and some store-bought dog food that is gluten free.

Starting this month, I will be working with her on potty learning (the way we do it is more at Elimination Communication), basic commands and teaching her how to go on walks. (At this age, walking = mostly carrying and getting used to apartment life until she understands leashes and such.) She is still so very little that she is just now being old enough to learn some of these things. This may mean pulling back somewhat from my social media. However, it may bring some new great things to this blog.

Here are some photos from our "getting ready for baby"/"coming home day" preparations:

First things first - be absolutely sure that your preferred dog food is labeled properly.
Grain and gluten free! Check.
Pat yourself on the back for finding such great deals at
Kik Textilien, REWE and Fressnapf

Get an idea what you're working with and clean the kitchen before final set-up.

Remember: children will be tempted to feed between meals.
Find a place high up in the bathroom to put the food and extra bowl.
Receive a package with new gluten and grain free treats.
Place them high up as well.

Look at bed that came in the same package.
Place in kitchen, where you are 4 times a day.
Receive another package. Proceed to put the popup tent/carrier together.
Congratulate yourself for your taste in carriers and
that this fits perfectly in the room so your pet is included,
but allowed to retreat from involvement if she wants.

Take it all in. Enjoy the idea of this cool carrier.
Remember Kik Textilien has a sale on pet items.
You wanted a bag dispenser for potty trips. Go buy it!

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with what we have ordered and how pretty it all is. I hope that Truhte enjoys it all and that she feels at home with us.

One of my main questions and biggest apprehensions about our new baby is what kind of diet she had. I was so anxious. I know how careful we have to be adjusting to new foods and such as the environment changes for her. When I found out that her diet is almost exactly the same what it will be at our house!! I'm really excited. All we are changing is the kibble will be gluten free, and anything we cook will be as well. Otherwise, same diet, same foods.  This is a massive load off of my shoulders.

Part of my research has included finding out what gluten free dog food brands are out there, and also what kind of care items are out there now, as the last time I had a dog was almost a decade ago. I've found this to be a very positive and encouraging excursion to a couple of stores and also viewing online for those that are further away.  Another really cool option for a lot of owners is that many of your pet stores in Germany now have a freezer section with fresh meat so you can cook your own food for your pet if they have any dietary need for such.

Example Freezer Section at pet store - Photo by J. Stahl
In this freezer section, there is everything from Turkey and Chicken to Beef and there is even Ostrich, Fish and Kangaroo!  I was very impressed by the reasonable prices for the bulk and smaller packages of meat.

I have been researching how to safely transport our new puppy in the car, and for those who did not know, there are specific road rules here in Germany about that. Here is a helpful PDF that I found on the subject. I followed the links provided to check out various carriers for car use and camping from there, and then checked out a couple of pet stores online and in person, as well as cross-checking prices between them on

The most reliable and price effective websites I have found for our area are:

I had been helping my sister who is training Charlie to be a service dog, and as such we've been collecting some cool recipes and training ideas. You can find some of this on my various dog-related Pinterest boards.

If you are in Germany and interested in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, I would recommend you check out these two links.

I would like to welcome you to follow along on our journey, and this year will be a fun year of experimentation, trying out some treat recipes to keep our costs down, and come October, a birthday party for Truhte!

Hopefully we can do some Google Plus cooking hangouts on air. Maybe she'll be like my favorite cooking celebrity, Francis, from Cooking with Dog one day. One can hope, right?

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