Last Wednesday we woke up in the middle of the night to find the other hungry dog unable to stand or walk, shaking, panting, dizzy, sick. We rushed her to the emergency room, where we found out she had vestibular disease, similar to extreme vertigo. It goes away, but it can take days or weeks, and in the meantime, all the patient can do is endure the misery.
Poor pup stayed in the ICU for three nights. We brought her home on Saturday and since then she has made good progress. She can stand up on her own now, and walk more steadily every day. She's not yet able to take the stairs, which means the husband carries her gently each and every time. Lifting a 70-lb dog up a flight of stairs is no small thing, in physical effort, and in the love it conveys.
Once we got her home, we holed up and shut out the world, doing our very best to keep her calm and safe. To soothe our own nerves, we fussed around the house. I decided Sunday was a good day to make some comfort food.
First up was chicken stock. I do not have any special secret, but I make good stock, flavored with celery, onion, bay, and peppercorns. I love the smell of it simmering on the stove.
Once the stock was going I felt the urge to make something sweet, but not too sweet. A quick inventory of the fridge and freezer found that we had applesauce to use up as well as loads of frozen cranberries. Voila: cranberry applesauce bread.
It's not an exciting recipe, but it's a good one that I'll add to my repertoire. I baked it in my bundt pan to make it a bit more fun than a loaf; fluted edges always make something a little special, even a plain old quick bread.
Italian wedding soup, full of delicate, savory little meatballs and vibrant green spinach. Though we had little appetite, we both found comfort in a good bowl of soup, brimming with vegetables and tiny star pasta.
A few days have passed. The other hungry dog continues to improve. She's even begun to regain her appetite. The funny thing is, the only thing she'll eat is roast chicken. Not boiled chicken, which is what I originally cooked for her, based on the doctor's recommendation. Roasted.
She might be pulling something over on us, but I'm willing to go along with it. As anyone who loves someone deeply knows--whether it is a partner, child, friend, or animal-- seeing the object of your affection suffer is about the worst thing on the planet. Any improvement, small or slight, is heralded as a milestone and the path to recovery. And if the recovery calls for roast chicken, I'm more than willing to oblige.