Lucy currently eats approximately 10 - 15 cups of food a day - oatmeal or rice, chicken or turkey breast or extra lean ground beef, eggs, a bit of pumpkin or sweet potato, yogurt, cottage cheese, banana, and a few other items as well. She is on a bland homemade diet which needs to be packed with nutrients, lots of protein, some calcium, some probiotics, some fibre, etc. - something which her digestive system can handle but provides enough nourishment for feeding ten growing puppies. She gets fed 2-3 cups at a time, about five times a day.
The bulk of each meal is oatmeal (or rice a couple of times a day) and meat. Keeping up with it is a challenge. Lucy is not shy about letting me know when she is hungry - even if that is five minutes after she has consumed two cups of oatmeal with one cup of chicken, some broth, and a dollop of yogurt. She marches herself back to the kitchen and waits...and waits....and waits.... until I present her with another cupful or two. Once she is full, she will go back to feeding the pups.
Keeping up with this can be a challenge, and I long for the day when I will have her back on kibble and canned. But for now, all I can say is "thank heavens for friends". I have friends who have shopped for me, and friends who have fed me, friends who have hauled away the extra garbage and cleaned out the whelping box, friends who have sewn whelping-box-sized bedding, friends who have loaned x-pens, and an animal nutritionist friend who has helped me work out an appropriate diet for our Lactating Lucy. Then there are friends who listen to me fret about Lucy's health, who help me through the rough patches, and friends who laugh with me at the funny things that puppies, mamas, and old dogs do. And, of course, blog friends whose comments I so very much appreciate. What would I do without friends?
Today, Chris stopped by with containers of homemade chicken broth, and more containers of cooked chicken, turkey or beef - all pre-packaged in small quantities ready to be dumped into Lucy's bowl. Tonight, having had a chance to rest and having filled my own stomach with some homemade soup Chris brought me, I spent the evening making 8 cups of rice and 28 (yes, 28) cups of Lucy's oatmeal formula. So now the fridge is full of Lucy Food, the freezer has some extra packages of broth and meat, and Lucy's meals are good for at least a couple of days.
And that means I can take tomorrow off from being chief cook and bottle washer for the Queen of the Castle, aka Lickerish Lucy. And I get to eat turkey dinner at my friend Else's house. Thanksgiving Dinner. And I sure know what I am thankful for.
Friends. Consider yourself hugged.