This here is Stewart. Stewie. Stew-Doggy-Dogg. Our first “baby.” Our fearless defender of the backyard against bunnies and squirrels. We adopted Stewart 15 years ago from the Los Angeles West Valley Animal Shelter when he stuck his little paw through the kennel as we walked by and that was it.
And last year, after much begging, Stewart got the little brother he’s been asking for when Ody came to live with us. Ody’s hobbies include spying on the neighbors:
A photo posted by Laura Falin (@laurafalin) on
and doubling as a pillow for tiny humans:
And that’s the best part, really. Our kids love our dogs, our dogs love our kids. I think some of the earliest experiences with empathy and caring for others came as we taught the kids how to treat and care for our family pets.
The dogs are teaching them about responsibility, too. As they got older, the kids began taking turns feeding and brushing and exercising them as well.
Speaking of feeding them: this is what goes on in my kitchen at dinnertime. I’m making Rachael Ray’s Chicken Pot Pies With Mushrooms and Grainy Dijon Gravy for dinner in this picture, and those guys are circling my stove like sharks. Don’t pity them, though — they don’t know it yet, but they’re about to get their own special dog-food version.
But let’s start with the people food:
The family loved this. Flaky crust, warm chicken, veggies in delicious gravy. It was a simple meal that tasted like it took a lot longer than it did. And the kids gave it a big thumbs up (they even ate the veggies! ‘Nuff said!).
And the dogs got their own version — Chicken Paw Pie by Nutrish for Dogs.
Oh, look — there’s food everywhere. Just like at the people table.
I’ve just started being more aware of what our family is eating and trying to limit processed foods and the great thing about both the human and animal meals here is that they’re made with simple, natural ingredients — real meat. Good-for-you (and good-tasting) veggies. Great for all of us.
Now the fun part — you can participate in the Rachael Ray Nutrish sweepstakes and possibly win a trip to New York! Cook one of the Nutrish Chef Tails recipes, or one of your own, and share a Nutrish product with your pet (not just dogs! There are recipes to match your cat, too). Share a photo of you and your pet enjoying mealtime and hashtag it #ChefTails on Instagram or Twitter. And be entered for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to New York City to be in the studio audience of the Rachael Ray Show.
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