Friday night, about 11:15, my phone rings. My daughter. In our houses, we are texting maniacs but phone calls from any one of us are never ignored, because if one of us is phoning, something is up – emergency, wicked sale at Bath & Body Works – something. I answer the phone to “Mom, can you drive me to the vet? There’s something wrong with Stella!” in a teary voice.
Stella is a dog we fell in love with 6 years ago. She’s a pet store dog and, while we love her, she is our little lemon. We didn’t buy her, but we did adopt her when her original family couldn’t keep her. She’s the poster dog for why backyard breeders should be stopped. She has Cushings, she has skin conditions, she has allergies, she has issues with her one hip, she has some issues with muscle loss (due to Cushings), she had rotten teeth (they’ve been pulled), and now she has heart issues.
She’s an adorable Cockapoo and those brown eyes are why we fell for her initially – she gazed at us with such love & trust – now she can slant them at us to let us know that she has no intention of doing what we want her to, or to show us her disdain at the lack of treats in her life.
Anyway, off to the emergency vet we go. After what felt like many hours, she was referred to a vet care centre to be watched overnight and to have an ultrasound on her heart the next day.
Off to the care centre we go, to spend, what felt like, many, many, many hours. We all got back to our respective homes about 3:30 am. So tired.
My internal clock betrayed me and tried to wake me up at 8 am….I am a 7 hours of sleep, minimum, girl – always have been. I can function on less, but it ain’t pretty. So, I went back to sleep – up at 9. Damn!
I puttered around, slowly, had a shower, got dressed, checked the meal plan for the day. Woohoo, beef dip!
My beef dip recipe is ridiculously easy and done in the slow cooker, so no brains required! Just what was needed.
1 Beef Roast – mine was about 3 pounds
1 – 2 cups of water
2 TB of olive oil
2 small onions, quartered (or one medium)
Garlic Cloves – I have pre-chopped garlic from Costco & I used 2 generously heaped teaspoons. I find fresh garlic more garlicky so perhaps 4 or 5 fresh cloves, chopped or crushed, or if you’re feeling lazy, chopped in half
generous grind of black pepper
Put it all in the slow cooker, crank it to high and forget about it for 4 to 5 hours. When ready to eat, pull out the roast and shred it. Pour the jus into a saucepan, heat up and add a cornstarch slurry to give it a little body (you don’t have to, but I felt like doing so). (Cornstarch slurry – 2TB cornstarch, enough COLD water to dissolve it). You could also add the slurry into the slow cooker and skip the saucepan step – I should have done this, but clearly wasn’t thinking.
I made light brioche buns, which turned out well, however, the recipe only called for 2/3 of a cup of liquid (along with the eggs) and I ended up adding about another 1/2 cup of liquid to get the dough to bind together. Calgary has a very dry climate (just ask my skin), but usually a tablespoon or two of extra liquid is enough – half a cup is unusual.
Stella was sprung from the Care Centre at 5pm on Saturday evening, during a wicked Calgary spring blizzard and has been referred to a cardiologist for follow up. Turns out her heart murmur has turned into an issue.
We love her beyond measure, but she is not an inexpensive dog. Her vet bills are rarely less than $500 and Friday night was no exception – the ultrasound alone was $600. She does have insurance, but it doesn’t cover her Cushings as insurance was purchased after diagnosis. Hopefully, this heart business will be covered – hard to say.
All this to say, plan your meals, don’t support backyard breeding and get pet insurance!