• A New Family Favorite – Teriyaki Chukar

    Teriyaki Chukar

    It’s a month past the end of chukar season and I’m already deep in withdrawal. This evening Julie made a chukar dish that was so good, I had to write about it. Legs, wings and wing-butts are typically some of the last of to be eaten, but with this recipe they were gobbled right up. It was delicious with chukar, but I’m sure it would be good with pheasant, forest grouse, or sage-grouse. It will certainly become a new family favorite.

    Teriyaki Chukar
    3 quartered chukars
    1 cup sugar
    ½ cup plus 2 tbsp white vinegar
    ½ tsp salt
    6 tbsp soy sauce
    4 tbsp water
    3 tsp ground ginger
    ¼ cup honey
    2 eggs
    ½ cup flour
    Beat eggs with 3 tbsp water. Dip chukar pieces in egg mixture and coat with flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry in skillet with oil until meat is just browned on both sides, then, place in casserole dish. In a sauce pan, mix sugar, vinegar, salt, soy sauce, water, ground ginger and honey. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then pour over meat and bake uncovered at 350F for 50 minutes, or until meat is cooked.

    Serves ~4.

  • The Pleasure of an Older Dog

    New Cell Phone & Golden Retriever

    Puppies are fun, but they are a handful. Older dogs are a pure pleasure to have around. If you have an older dog (probably curled up at your feet as you’re reading this). Take a second to give an extra good scratch. They won’t be around forever. Photos are from our friends Steve & Ellie at Fordesign.net.

    Birding with Shannon - Golden Retriever

  • Dog Training – Small Steps Build Success

    Allie in the snow - Yellow Lab

    Here are three keys to dog training: keep training sessions short, focus on one thing at a time, and focus on small steps where you know your dog can be successful.

    Keep training sessions short; the key here is to keep them short enough that you have your dogs full attention. Just like you or I, they learn best when you have their full attention. If you have gone 5 minutes and see that they are still with you and excited to learn, keep going, if not, stop.

    One way you can stretch out your training sessions is to take a fun break part way through. In an energetic, but deliberate tone, tap your dog on the shoulder and give the “break” command to let them know that you are done with the training and they can have fun for a minute, then do something fun and energetic for one to three minutes. Do something the dog enjoys, not related to the training, but where you know what the dog’s response will be (The idea is that the dog will have fun and let off steam, but will be contained and you won’t have to chase it down or scold it for anything. Stay upbeat.) I will throw some retrieving dummies or tennis balls, run around the house, or some other upbeat activity. This activity seems to clear their head, keep them excited and help them continue with the training.

    When you are training, focus on one thing at a time. It is important that you clearly understand what it is that you are trying to train. Decide on what the final product is that you want, break down the steps to get there and focus on one aspect at a time. For example, if you want your dog to come, circle you on the right side and sit at heel when you command “come”, you have to break it down into steps, focusing on one aspect at a time, then chaining them together to get the desired result. If you are working on having him circle and sit, don’t worry that the dog may not be sitting exactly parallel to you. Polish that after you have some of the other steps down.

    Finally, you want to build success upon success in your training. Success promotes learning, while failure promotes more failure. All dogs want to please; I believe it is in their pack nature. If your dog fails at task, back up and shorten the task to ensure that the dog can succeed. Always end your training on a positive note.

  • Pet Microchips – Well Worth the Investment

    Running Rat - German Shorthair Pointer

    I strongly recommend that all my clients microchip their pets. For what it is worth, it is so inexpensive, yet it works so well. It costs roughly $30 – $40 at most vet clinics and comes with a registration for the lifetime of the pet. It is quick and relatively painless, about like getting a shot.

    How it works: A microchip transponder is placed in a needle and injected just under the pets skin on the back between the shoulder blades. The device, just about the size of a grain of rice sits dormant until it is pinged with the scanner device. The scanner reads a number from the transponder. This number can then be called into a toll-free national database (staffed 24/7). The service then immediatley connects the lost dog with the owner.

    The chip does a number of things; first, it helps quickly return a lost pet to the owner. Many police officers and sheriffs carry the scanners in their cars, and all shelters and vet centers have them. Further, it is policy in most all animal shelters to scan pets when they first come in, and again before any disposition (placement or euthanasia) of the animal. What’s more, in some shelters, if a dog is microchipped, they will often waive any fines or fees associated with picking up your pet, if they are microchipped. Finally, the microchip can help prove the ownership of the dog if ownership is in question.

    All this is well worth $40 over the lifetime of your dog.