Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Dane Rescue

It is obvious that my Husband and I are devoted to the love and care of our three furry friends. We are firm believers that animals are the key to happiness and sometimes survival in a world that isn't always good. Our dogs are our companions, best friends, and the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. Their lives complete ours. They love us when we are sad, they cuddle us when we are lonely, they support us when we are sick, and most importantly they make us laugh. Our boys make us laugh all of the time.

Wagner, Bandit, Toby, and our dearly departed Lucia all came from rescues or the pound. We have considered once to purchase a dog from a back yard breeder, and it was shortly after we had to have Lucia put to sleep when we were craving the affection of a particular red doberman princess, and it didn't take us long to realize that we just aren't the type of people to do such a thing and that no matter what we did, we were not going to find another red doberman with the personality of Lucia.

Now I am not saying that it isn't right for others, but for Daniel and I, giving a dog who would otherwise be put down a home is more up our alley. Our dogs aren't meant to be fashion accessories nor do we ever intend to breed them. They are our friends and we don't care where they come from or whether or not they have the right papers so rescuing them is just something we do and will always do.

Wagner and Toby are our "special" children. They were both adopted from a Great Dane rescue out of Bethel Ohio while the others were picked up from the pound. Now that doesn't make Bandit nor Lucia any less special than the other two monkeys. But because we adopted Wagner and Toby from the rescue we have more of an attachment to the place and the people who volunteer there on a daily basis. In fact, we started volunteering there ourselves shortly after the adoption of Wagner back in 2005. We go to quite a few rescue events and once a month we go back to the pound where we picked up Bandit and set up a table with all of the rescues information. It also gives the public an opportunity to see just how big these Danes get and that their personalities and temperments are that of a small child. Sweet, cuddly, and always affectionate. Of course they have a rebelous side as well, but thats another post on its own. Anyway, with it being around the holidays I feel that it is important to stress the need to check out your local rescues and pounds. I can guarantee that many dogs will be purchased for that special holiday gift. Unfortunately many of those same dogs will wind up in rescues. Whether it is because the dog didn't get along with other pets, the person receiving it didn't really want that sort of dog, or because the dog didn't act a certain way. This season is even worse because of the poor econonmy. So many of these rescues are packed full with dogs that were owner surrenders because they just cannot afford the upkeep of the animal anymore. For others it's because they are losing their homes and cannot take the family pet with them to their new home. If you are anyone you know are looking to adopt a furry friend this holiday season, please visit your local rescue or pound. Please give a home to animal that may otherwise never get one and if adopting one at this time is not a viable option, please consider making monetary donations. The Great Dane rescue that we are associated with is in need of money quite badly. The facility is need of repairs and for the first time ever they are having to buy their dog food. Of course our rescue always takes in Danes no matter what their health is like and because of this they have racked up a nice medical bill with the vets and could definately use help lowering it. All donations are tax deductible!

Below are links to some of our favorites, the first being for the Great Dane Rescue. Be sure to tell them that Wagner and Toby sent you!! (Second Chance Rescue)
I don't know about everyone else but I just adore the Holidays. There are many reasons for this; family, friends, presents, and just the thought of Christmas in general. I love the music, I am gitty with excitement over the decorations, and there is just something magical about sitting in your living room with the only source of light radiating from the lights decorating your Christmas tree. Of course there is that one other source of excitement in my house and I am sure many of you would agree...FOOD! I love to cook almost as much as I enjoy to eat. Food is the common denominator when it comes to spending time with family and it is a routine that my family has stuck to every Saturday evening for as long as I can remember. Now we are by no means fancy people. We do not turn our noses up at a nice juicy hamburger nor do we deny ourselves the rights to a nice casserole straight from the oven. We do however have those special food items that seem to only make their appearances on special occassions. With the holidays practically knocking on my front door as we speak I thought I would share with you a few of my families favorites. These items are good for Christmas dinners just as they are good for the neighborhood block party. Hopefully I will be able to start posting pictures of the dishes I am speaking about. If you are anything like me, I require pictures. If a cook book does not include pictures of the dishes it is not purchased. I like knowing what my dish should look like and I usually eat with my eyes first so it helps knowing what it looks like. Anyway, here is the recipe for my Step-Mom's famous cauliflower salad. It is a little time consuming and it is best left to "marinate" over night, but trust me when I is worth every minute spent!!!

Cast of Characters:

1 Lg. Head of Ice-Burg Lettuce, chopped and rinsed

1 Sm.-Md. Size Head of Cauliflower, chopped into small florets.

1 bunch of green onions, chopped and rinsed

1 Box of frozen peas

2 Cups of Hellman's Mayo

1 package of Good Seasons Garlic and Herb Dressing Mix

Parmesan Cheese

1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

All of these measurements are estimates. The magic of this salad is that you can use just about as much or as little of something should you choose. My Uncle doesn't like peas...your Uncle may not either. If this is the case, don't use the hole box, use half. It is entirely up to you! The only requirements is that you must use real mayonnaise. For the love of all things magical this Christmas season, do not use Miracle Whip in place of the real stuff. The taste Miracle Whip gives this salad is horrid!!!!! Don't ask me how I know's a bad memory and I prefer to keep it locked away.

Anyway, back to the salad. The key to the salad is layers, and you are going to layer your salad based on the order in which the ingredients are listed above. When it comes to the Hellmans, I tend to use a little more than the two cups. But that's my preference because I like my salad to be a little more "wet". I probably use close to three cups...gulp. And by the way, that is cups as in dry measuring cups, not wet. Good grief, if you used three cups using your liquid measuring cups, the lettuce would definately be "wet", it would probably need a life jacket. After you spread a nice layer of the mayo over your salad, you will then sprinkle your Garlic and Herb seasonings topped off with another layer of parmesan cheese. I have never really measured how much I use, but I am generous with it. You want a nice layer of the stuff, but it is totally up to you on how much you use. Last layer is the bacon. Now the recipe calls for a pound, but family has a fascination with bacon. Who am I kidding, we have a fascination with food in general. My Step-Mom always suggested using more than a pound, so if you have no probably clogging an artery or two then throw in an extra pound. Normally because of my need to use more mayo each time, I try to behave myself by only using the one pound. After you are done layering your salad, cover it up and throw it in the fridge. If you are good like some people, you will forget about it until the next day. If your bad like me then that means you made it the morning of the event you need it for and it won't get to marry overnight. No big deal, but does need a few hours so plan ahead. Oh can toss the salad right before serving. No later!

Now I know this all seems a jumbled mess, but bear with me people. This is my first food post so I am a work in progress. Just remember, the key is in the layering, and if you follow the layers based on how the ingredients were listed above then you are golden.