Tough Times Are Here

By: Joel Allen

Hello, folks! First, let me say keep your heads up and realize this too will pass. A lot of people are panicking over this sickness and rumors are flying. I want to stress that when someone hears a rumor and repeats what they have heard without fact checking it by going to, they cause a lot of damage and panic. Remember fear is very contagious. Now, I am not saying not to take this coronavirus seriously, but don’t spread rumors or falsehoods without knowing the facts.

Now let’s talk about what we should be doing during this pandemic. I know it is easier said than done, but I strongly encourage everyone to stay calm. Be considerate of others — like trying not to hoard everyday items such as toilet paper and paper towels. When people run and grab things, it is a domino effect that causes others to be “sheople” and follow that example of madness. Ask yourself, “If everyone had remained calm when this all started, would we still have run short on toilet paper, paper towels, and other essential items?” You should have a small supply to get your family through a couple of months, but don’t be like many people and take the whole entire supply of everyday essentials. The other day I was at Walmart when they opened and got two 2-roll packs of paper towels. When I went to check out, the cashier informed me that I was allowed one package. I did not get angry because I understood the needs of the many. I also considered my fellow man by not buying all of one item that only had two left on the shelf. I left one. Folks, we are accountable for our actions; and though I am not a man of faith anymore, I still do believe. Watching this madness happen has only made me grit my teeth and dig in harder for the fight that may come. I won’t sugar coat what is happening, but it is my opinion that this will take more than weeks to fully recover; and those of us who have fur babies are going to have to take care of them and look after their wellbeing. Ok, let me get off my soapbox, and let’s speak plainly about what we should be doing for our dogs.

Food and shelter are always key to survival. I know everyone has shelter for their dogs, so let us talk about ideas for food. Like to fish? Nothing screams survival more to a hungry dog than fresh fish from a water source, and it can sustain everyone else too. Just remember to clean your fish and use different ideas for preparing the fish.

Like to hunt? We have dove, quail, rabbit, and dear to hunt here in Alabama. If someone doesn’t know how to clean wild game, I would recommend looking at, if the internet is accessible, to get lessons on how to clean your game. If no internet, I would find a neighbor who might know how to clean the game meat.

There are other ways to keep food for your dogs on hand. Until the mail delivery stops (Hopefully it never comes to that; so please don’t start screaming, “Oh, no! The sky is falling!”), there are always online stores. I prefer Chewy, and I use them quite often.
Another way to stay stocked up on food or cut your dog food bill is by using a staple of rice and oatmeal. The rice and oatmeal can be acquired online or at your local Sam’s or Costco. A warning for online shoppers: Watch out for price gougers! Thankfully, those that are price gouging are being caught and dealt with. Anyone who benefits from this pandemic at the misery of their fellow countrymen, I consider traitors; and I have no sympathy for that kind of scum. Ok, back to business. How do we incorporate the rice and oatmeal? I have for my dog food a pot set aside. I cook one to two cups of rice or oatmeal for two feeding times. I use approximately ten percent of the dog food kibble I would give my dogs and mix in with the already cooked rice or oatmeal. Note to all that mixing rice and oatmeal together is quite all right and can make the food tastier for your dogs. Now, there is something else I do for mine to keep the boredom down. If I cook any kind of meat or other tasty food, I will pour the juices into their pot of food and mix it in. Spaghetti leftovers are also wonderful, and they will get crazy excited for something like that. One more thing to remember is that this recipe calls for a little experimenting to perfect the mixture.

Gardening is another great way to feed your dogs and your family. There are many advantages to this, and if heirloom seeds are used, then ten percent of your crops can be harvested and the seed recycled from it to continue with another garden by the next year. Plus, the nutritional advantage for everyone has been shown to be quite beneficial for everyone’s health. As I have said in the previous paragraph, leftovers can be mixed in the rice and oatmeal but so can vegetables.

So folks, these trying times can be easy or hard depending on how one looks at it. Be strong and know that others may be counting on your strength to help get them through. Together we are going to make; it just have faith and love those “Babies.”

By: Joel Allen