Margot’s Good Life: “It’s official - the dogs are now eating better than we are”
- Credit: Lucy Atkinson
Our columnist Margot’s canine companions are living the dogs life with their new menu of home-cooked food
There may be cause for alarm, dear Reader. I never thought I’d say it, but I may have reached peak ‘Barbara’. My latest pastime literally takes the biscuit. The dog’s biscuit no less. Never mind Barbara Good, I’m in danger of morphing into Barbara Woodhouse. If only Monty and Dora would actually listen to a word I say.
It all started with Monty’s near-death experience #4. The one with the butter. It stays in my mind as it was one of the more significant near-death experiences he’s had. Although it does play a close second in terms of eye-watering vet bills to the time he blinded himself temporarily for three days. On this particular occasion, he had decided that eating an entire pack of butter was the best way to make sure he received all the attention he was after. Turning his liver into the canine equivalent of foie gras was merely a flaw in this otherwise perfect plan. After a considerably lengthy doggy detox, charming all the nurses in the clinic and a lecture from the vet about keeping anything even remotely edible out of reach, Monty lived to wag his tail another day.
However, it turns out that he has somehow managed to render his entire digestive system incapable of eating anything. In other words, he’s allergic to dog food. Not food in general and certainly not food meant for his owners. Just dog food.
At first, I was convinced it was a ruse but after another expensive trip to the vet followed by multiple hypoallergenic food trials later, there was only one option to turn to. After all the stick I’ve had from friends about the yoghurt making and sourdough starters, vegetable growing and lavender harvesting. Just when I thought I had a little shred of London Margot left to cling on to. I can hardly bear to admit it, dear Reader. I have now taken to cooking for the dogs. How did this happen? It isn’t just a bit of chicken and rice either. That would be far too easy. Monty and Dora have their own weekly menu. Firstly, my life could not have become any more ridiculous and secondly, who knew that there were so many cookbooks out there dedicated to pooches both pampered and poorly?
A month or so into the new regime and I have never felt more like Monty has taken me for a complete fool. That’s saying something after years of Fenton-esque dashes across the countryside and embarrassing situations involving dogs of the fairer sex. Homemade smoothies and eggs for breakfast, roasted squash and sardine fish cakes, bedtime biscuits with camomile. Honestly, the canine catering is endless.
Keen to find a shortcut, I enlisted extra manpower in the form of Poppy and Primrose, before the recipe for kibbles nearly sent me over the edge. Rolling bits of smelly liverish doggy PlayDoh wasn’t a job I was prepared to tackle alone. The results? Even after a whole afternoon’s work on Primrose’s highly efficient biscuit making conveyor belt, we only managed enough to last the dogs a few days.
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Whilst I’m still not entirely convinced that Monty really is allergic to anything from a packet, he appears to be in rude health. I can’t help wondering if this was his masterplan all along. That’s where they have you, those spaniels. One soppy hang-dog expression and I’ve been lobotomised. With this week’s recipe of chicken, kale and quinoa stew, it’s official - the dogs are now eating better than we are. Talk about a dog’s life, dear Reader.