Maisy Pancakes is a seven-year-old boxer/lab (?) mix who lives in Minneapolis with her female human, me. We met at our local Humane Society when she was about 10 months old (who knows), when I dropped in “just to see.” You know how that goes. She’s mostly rusty brown with a white star on the chest and little milk dips on just a couple of her hind toes. Her tail is thick and strong, kind of like a turkey neck. It hurts when it swings around and hits the eyes.
MP is overall hilarious. She is also just such a good sport. Even if she thinks something sucks, she really will try her best. Aside from those awesome qualities, she is exactly how I would be if I were to remove every inhibition from my being. MP communicates better with humans than with other dogs, and I think I’m pretty much better with dogs than with humans, in general. I’m basically the boring, not such a good sport version of my dog.
Me: I’m the human who makes MP’s food every day. Pretty much every day. We both like to eat. All the time. Cutting to the chase, I’m one of those co-op shopping, small local farms researching, buying club joining, CSA subscribing, whole grassfed cow buying, chest freezer loving, “organic isn’t enough” ranting, reusable utensils carrying, social services and goodwill believing, ACLU supporting, holistic kind of girl. Being from Tokyo, I actually used to stomp around (in high school!!) complaining how my Pradas are giving me blisters*…that kind of awfulness. But after four years at a small “do good in the world” liberal arts college bubble in Minnesota, it’s just too hard to dial down the righteousness. Social responsibility, y’all!†
When I’m not fixing MP’s meals, I run a little design house with my partner, Anthony (aka Piz), called BNDH. We help small cool businesses develop their brand, and do lots of stuff in both ink and pixels, driven by a whole lot of thinkin’ power. I’m also a painter/illustrator—most of my stuff is funny animals (they are usually pooping) and pet portraits. Since I’m Japanese and all, I do quite a bit of language and cross-cultural work, too.
**Possibly Boring Alert! Below is how I got into dog food.** I got really into making MP’s meals when I just felt weird feeding her store-bought, packaged food every day…even though I researched the foods extensively and was buying high quality stuff. Since I’m really into food and holistic health myself, I didn’t like kibble and cans, all the time. So, I booked time with the animal nutrition doctor at the University and asked a bunch of questions. The jist was that it’s best to feed whole foods, especially organic, but vitamins is vitamins and it doesn’t matter if you get it from a pill + sawdust or from wheatgrass. That’s not really how I roll, so I began looking elsewhere.
I joined the most awesome group of dog nerds who, collectively, are perhaps the most knowledgeable and kind group of people regarding anything dog-related—be it nutrition or behavior or some weird tick borne illness or the best harness for deep-chested dogs. With lots of help, I filled my spreadsheets and stocked the dog library and started making MP’s food. My philosophy for making MP’s food is to balance the diet according to what we know that a dog needs (e.g., NRC 2006, yo); it’s not ideal to just throw a whole bunch of leftovers and whatevers together and call it a day. I do have a neurotic thing that kicks in once in a while, so I’ve amassed a dizzying array of recipes and custom food items plugged in at nutritiondata.com along with the color coded spreadsheets. The kitchen scale I use everyday is so precise that it is a totally suitable device for drug dealers those in the saffron business! However, I’m also kind of a hack, so I do what I can with what’s in my head, too. In this blog, I thought some of the information might help others home-prepare their dog meals, at the same time giving me the satisfaction of bragging that I do all this stuff at all, to the world.
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* Ferragamos will not!†I lived in The South for a little while.