Angela Bocage

“My life is an open comic book…”

Sometimes I feel like such an asshole.  For very good reasons.

For no good reason, in the early 21st Century I dated two psychiatrists in a row.  I bonded with them over common interests unrelated to their profession, and of course their lustful carnal attraction to my tempting self. Both of them, as you’d naturally expect, were crazy. But from one of them I learned about ADD. He had it, and got me to see that I did, too. (You will have observed from the gendered pronoun why there was no good reason for us to date, my being gay as a picnic basket.)

I light up the charts like Las Vegas for the ADD diagnostic criteria, as a really good psychiatrist, whom I did not date, confirmed.

However, it was clear to me from my acquaintance with Shrinkdate One that most of the attributes of adult ADD, which I have, and which he had, were identical to the attributes of adult assholes. We’re really messy, forgetful, disorganized, sometimes irresponsible. My son, however, tells me that according to a book he’s reading, The War of Art (“It’s about resistance, Mom”) ADD wasn’t defined by doctors, but by Big Pharma in search of a syndrome to medicalize the faults of the most people and sell them the drugs to “treat” it. Yeah, let’s give all the irresponsible assholes speed! Make that the irresponsible-assholes-insecure-enough-to-go-along-with-being-medicalized.

Turns out ADHDers’ brains really ARE different.

I didn’t write the wonderful summing-up I used as the title of this post; Peter Kuper did, as the epigraph of his graphic memoir Stripped, which I recommend if you’d like to learn more than you imagined possible about liberal middle-class boys coming of age in the ’70s-’80s. It’s funny and sour/sweet and the very epitome of overshare. So when I feel like oversharing,  I remember about how much I used to do that in my comics, oy gevalt, did I ever, and I remember Peter’s epigraph.


The vet

Amanda is my younger sister, of whom I’m inordinately proud to say “my sister the vet,” and was extremely kind recently to a pup she’s never even met, my beloved Berry. Our vet found that the little guy has a heart murmur, which I feared at first had happened because of my homemade food. Amanda has showered me with sound scientific information on canine heart issues, and I was reassured to learn that dogs with such issues may have many active years left (and that my doggie recipes had nothing to do with it, Chin and other small dogs often develop heart murmurs).

More on dog feeding

Forgot to mention one of the key ways my doggalicious recipe tempts a pup to eat. I warm it in the microwave (the amount of time would depend on how much you’re warming; for my little bitty guy it’s 20-25 seconds) and add enough yummy organic chicken broth to make sure it’s not too hot, and a teaspoon or two of olive oil for skin, coat and general good health. Warming is terrific because the molecules excited by the heat are more olfactorily stimulating; the good smell interests the dog, whose super-good sense of smell is much better than his or her sense of taste.

Poor dogs…when I think of how many are abused, left to die, live horrific lives in puppy mill cages or laboratories, and the fact that something like 75% of dogs bought as puppies are in shelters or euthanized before they’re two years old, it’s like the ones with loving caretakers in proportion to the number of dogs is like the number of American kids in proportion to the number who make it in the NBA or win the lottery. A companion dog’s won the human lottery if you love him or her and meet his or her needs with kindness and I hope every day that I do that for my clever, silly, loving, independent, wonderful little friend…

Feeding the dogs

Here’s the dog food even my Chin enjoys. If human, Berekiah would be a 1940s Oxonian scholar from the land of the Chrysanthemum Throne, with a little of the 15th century rabbi protagonist of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon thrown in (his namesake), in any event a gentle aesthete who’s never eaten like a lumberjack. He’s thriving and healthy on this diet.

Starting with about a pound of ground turkey, choosing the package with the highest fat content, I cook it thoroughly in a skillet on medium to high heat with about two cups of raw organic oats, mixing and turning as it cooks. This gives that part of the recipe a chance to cool before all the parts are added together. With a large square Tupperware container nearby, I then start cutting up the rest of the ingredients and turning them into mulch in our (bottom-of-the-line!) food processor: between one and two loose cups of the leafy parts (i.e., cut off most or all the stems) of parsley, either curly or flat leaf; a small-to-medium size raw sweet potato or about a third of a good-sized yam;  four to six smallish tender carrots–all the vegetables and fruit I’m mentioning are best if organic of course; a good-size crookneck yellow squash; a large apple, any apple with a deeply pigmented peel, having removed the stem and core. Sometimes all of this takes a while to mulch, especially the raw sweet potato/yam, but this is probably just a foible of our food processor. If by now the meat and grain portion is cooled, start adding it to the well-mulched mulch. If at any time the vegetable/fruit portion is failing to mulch, add a tablespoon of olive oil. If the meat and grains haven’t cooled, this is a good time to take a bunch of doggie vitamins appropriate to the size of one’s pup and pulverize them in a coffeebean grinder dedicated solely to this purpose and available cheaply at any number of discount stores. I put in about ten because it takes my small doglet about two weeks to eat this whole megillah, and a similar number of Wellness joint care, pulverize ’em like coffee beans to espresso-fineness, and check and see if the meat/grain mixture’s cool. If so, I start adding it to the mulch in the food processor and mulching it all together; it becomes kind of a pate, or similar to crunchy peanut butter. The overflow, and any already-well-mulched portions, start getting spooned into the Tupperware, because all of this won’t fit in the bowl on our FP, it might in yours. At this point about a quarter to half a cup of fish oil gets added in, as well as a similar amount of brewer’s yeast. I like Red Star, the flaky yellow stuff, but haven’t found it out east so have been using whatever kind’s at Whole Foods. Et voila. Now, if you don’t believe me…and have an iron stomach…dare to research what the average commercial dog food is actually made of. And don’t forget to check if it’s been recalled for toxicity.

Everyone can be a blessing

Some by arriving, others by departing.

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