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What are the basic rules of storing raw meat, preparation and clean up? I'm going to assume I'd have to at least rinse the meat and drain whatever blood may be left? Do you let your meat thaw if it's been frozen for some time? Basically, is there anything dangerous I can do with raw feeding? For both me and puppy?

I'd like to include bones, however are there certain types or sizes of bones I may have to watch out for choking? I'm going to guess serving larger bones would help avoid the dog swallowing questionable pieces whole?

I'll be getting puppy as early as 8 weeks. Types of meat I want to start with are: Chicken feet, Chicken necks, Chicken or Turkey leg, Whole Chickens, whole fish and liver. I still have yet to learn more types of meat to serve and what benefits each give ( specifically types I can afford on a budget). At some point, I hope to afford some nice stuff like lamb leg! :D

Would I ever have to worry about my puppy choking on some of the bones? Specifically fish and chicken bones?

Another concern I have is hygeine and clean-up. Do you guys ever clean your dog after each meal? I'm slightly concerned about cuddling, allowing licks and petting my dog after they have meat all over them. Specifically for the dogs who are excellent in the art of ninja-licking-you-in-the-mouth. What precautions do I have to take?


Raw feeders, share with me your wisdom!
 

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Hi there,
we feed 7 dogs raw and have weaned two litters onto raw. No one gets cleaned up they take care of that themselves. They eat outside or in their crates or the kitchen. No big deal - if things get a little gunky I mop with vinegar and water. I have two kids who cuddle with our dogs all the time and in a year and a half no one has gotten sick. I feed 2% of their body weight for the most part and start with 1.5% until they get used to it. My shelties get Cornish games hen, thighs, chickens backs, chicken necks, and drumsticks to start. If I find a good deal I cut down whole chickens into appropriate weight pieces. No one has even chocked and the only bones my dogs are not give are weight bearing bones of large animals like elk and cow. They don't get beef knuckles or leg bones. All other bones are fine. We start withe chicken, then turkey, rabbit, pork, beef, game met and duck. My little guys adore duck necks. I hope that helps a little.
 

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I dont take any extreme precautions when handling raw meat, just common sense. Disinfect the counters with antibacterial spray after cutting up the meat, wash all utensils. Uno has a large towel that he eats on that I wash once a week. I thaw out the meat in plastic bins outside, once I divide it into separate meals, I rinse the bins.

I'm not overly paranoid about germs, my dog isnt really a licking type, so I'm not overly concerned.
 

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What are the basic rules of storing raw meat, preparation and clean up? I'm going to assume I'd have to at least rinse the meat and drain whatever blood may be left? No not at all....no need to rinse, and I let the pup pups have any blood/juice that comes from the meat!:wink: Do you let your meat thaw if it's been frozen for some time? You can feed frozen, part frozen/thawed or totally thawed!:thumb: Basically, is there anything dangerous I can do with raw feeding? For both me and puppy? No....just use normal clean up(same as you do for your own food) and you will be good!:thumb:I use white vinegar in a spay bottle for any/all clean up and wash my hands...thats about all!!:wink:

I'd like to include bones, however are there certain types or sizes of bones I may have to watch out for choking? I'm going to guess serving larger bones would help avoid the dog swallowing question able pieces whole?

I'll be getting puppy as early as 8 weeks. Types of meat I want to start with are: Chicken feet, Chicken necks, Chicken or Turkey leg, Whole Chickens, whole fish and liver. I still have yet to learn more types of meat to serve and what benefits each give ( specifically types I can afford on a budget). At some point, I hope to afford some nice stuff like lamb leg! :D

Go to Dedicated to proper carnivore nutrition - Prey Model Raw Feeding for Dogs & Cats and go to the "getting started guide", you will want to start with either chicken backs and/or chicken leg quarters, read the rest of the guide from there. Remember dogs are MADE to eat bone, so they will crunch once or twice and swallow if they feel like it, and be TOTALLY fine!:wink:


Would I ever have to worry about my puppy choking on some of the bones? Specifically fish and chicken bones?

Normally no "fear" of choking....you will have a decent sized dog...so no need for LITTLE cuts, like chicken necks, etc(turkey and duck necks are normally larger and more fitting for a GSD sized dog) but in general choking isnt something that happens very often!
Dont EVER feed the weight bearing bones from large animals, so NO leg, knuckle, marrow, "dog" bones from cows, buffalo, elk, etc...and you will be good!!:thumb:


Another concern I have is hygeine and clean-up. Do you guys ever clean your dog after each meal? I'm slightly concerned about cuddling, allowing licks and petting my dog after they have meat all over them. Specifically for the dogs who are excellent in the art of ninja-licking-you-in-the-mouth. What precautions do I have to take?


Raw feeders, share with me your wisdom!
If I feel like it I will spray some of my white vinegar into a wash rag and wipe the dogs down with it...but other wise...well I dont bother!
Remember, any thing that you might be worried about(or that you might hear from others as being something to be afraid of with raw) are ALL also things that you would need to be aware of when feeding kibble!:wink:
Other wise, keep clean just like you do when prepping your own food.....if I remember Ill wipe down the counters and wash my hands....other wise....well they get done the next time!!:wink: (The rest of my answers are up there in bold!)
 

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Yeah,nothing special. When we cook for ourselves we wash cutting surfaces and utensils. Same with the dogs. I don't worry much about germs. Really, they've probably got worse cooties than raw chicken. Think about it .. lol. And yea, kibble has germs too, often found to contain e coli.
 

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What are the basic rules of storing raw meat, preparation and clean up? I'm going to assume I'd have to at least rinse the meat and drain whatever blood may be left? Do you let your meat thaw if it's been frozen for some time? Basically, is there anything dangerous I can do with raw feeding? For both me and puppy?
Depends on how much of a "clean freak" you are. Some people go to the extremes of being ultra clean and others (like us) don't worry about it much. We feed outside nearly all the time so clean up is minimal. When we feed inside, the dogs usually lick the floor until its spotless, then we will wipe it all down with vinegar and warm water. No one in this household has gotten sick from it.

We defrost our food out at room temp for at least 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours depending on what it is. Once its thawed we feed it. If there's anything left over it goes in a cooler outside (since its consistently cold outside). In the summer it would go in a container in the fridge. But its rare we have anything left over. If there is "meat juice" left over from thawing our meat it becomes extra fluids for the girls to drink up. Sometimes I will pour their salmon oil in it and mix it up. They all happily lap it up.

Health hazard wise? Jon and I are pretty lax with cleaning and sanitation and like I said, neither of us has gotten sick...nor has anyone who's come to stay with us. Does that mean that its 100% safe? Nope...but mostly people with immune compromised states are at risk for infection. So if you're healthy, and your puppy is healthy...germs really shouldn't be of high concern to you.


I'd like to include bones, however are there certain types or sizes of bones I may have to watch out for choking? I'm going to guess serving larger bones would help avoid the dog swallowing questionable pieces whole?
Bones aren't something you'd "like to include" they are ABSOLUTELY necessary to the diet. You cannot feed a well rounded raw diet without bone. Typically the rule for choosing raw meaty bones in the appropriate sizes are by the size of your dog's mouth and head. Dogs don't chew like we do, so a raw meaty bone should be chomped a few times before swallowing. I would say most dogs chomp their food several times before swallowing and the rest are careful, deliberate chewers who take their time. The only way to find out if you have a gulper on your hands is to feed your dog a RMB (raw meaty bone). If your dog is a gulper then you need to be more conscious of the size of RMBs you give, but if your dog is a careful eater it doesn't matter quite as much seeing as they will chew everything before swallowing well.

I'll be getting puppy as early as 8 weeks. Types of meat I want to start with are: Chicken feet, Chicken necks, Chicken or Turkey leg, Whole Chickens, whole fish and liver. I still have yet to learn more types of meat to serve and what benefits each give ( specifically types I can afford on a budget). At some point, I hope to afford some nice stuff like lamb leg! :D
Sounds like a decent array of things to start with except the turkey leg. Turkey leg bones are extremely dense and hard...even full grown adult dogs have trouble getting through them initially. I would suggest feeding turkey necks instead as the bones in those are much more spongy and easily digestible.

Read through the link in my signature to learn more on the exact science of switching over to raw in a gradual manner. I highly suggest you follow it closely.

Would I ever have to worry about my puppy choking on some of the bones? Specifically fish and chicken bones?
Like I said above, it depends on what kind of chewer your puppy is. Choking is always a hazard, even with kibble...dogs have died choking on kibble as well as bones. So, monitor feeding times very closely for anything unusual. What kind of puppy are you getting?

ANY bone can cause choking, not just chicken and fish, not to mention boneless meat can cause choking. Its more the SIZE of the item you give. Give RMBs and chunks of meat that NEED to be chewed first (ie...pieces that are larger than their mouth).

Another concern I have is hygeine and clean-up. Do you guys ever clean your dog after each meal? I'm slightly concerned about cuddling, allowing licks and petting my dog after they have meat all over them. Specifically for the dogs who are excellent in the art of ninja-licking-you-in-the-mouth. What precautions do I have to take?
Again, as above just use the same principles you use with handling raw meat prep for yourself. Some people are more concerned about it than others. My aunt feeds her two dogs raw and has for years now and they have 4 kids in the house. Kids participate in feedings and she's not reported any problems from feeding raw. I know that she's not the cleanest person either. Basic cleaning yes, but not OCD clean.

As far as licking us...we call it "yuck mouth" and we prohibit (to the best of our abilities) the girls from giving kisses right after meals.

Hope this helps!
 

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Basically what all the above people have said. I basically just use common sense and the same hygiene standards that I would use when preparing human raw meat, wash chopping board and utensils in hot soapy water. The only difference is that I have a separate chopping board that I tend to only use for green tripe and I wear gloves as it is really really stinky and gross!
Good luck, easy peasy lemon squeezy once you get started and away.
 

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I handle the dogs raw meat just like I would our own. No difference. Just washing hands and surfaces after. As far as bones, I don't give weight bearing bones of large animals like cows. I do give deer leg bones for rec chews though.
 

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Just wanted to chime in that I also just follow common sense when it comes to cleaning. When Louis drips bloody water on the floor, I usually just wipe it up with a damp cloth. I clean the knives, scissors, and cutting board with dish soap and hot water, and wash my hands afterwards. That's pretty much it! Germs are everywhere, and last I checked I don't eat off of my floor so it's no biggie :smile: I used to do the vinegar and water solution, but over time I just got lazy!

And as for lamb leg, I know I can't find it in my area for less than $15 a pound or so...lamb shoulder, ribs, and hearts etc. could be something down the road!
 

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I echo everyone else too. I just chuck everything in the dishwasher, no worries. And, definitely give the blood to your pup, the more liquid they drink, the better. I found that Windy the cat loves blood too, so I pour it in a saucer and might add a touch of water if there isn't enough, I just find it a great way to get a cat to drink more.
I just feed Mol in the kitchen, if the meat is extra bloody I just throw down an old towel, I'm too lazy to be bothered with anything else.
 

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Having been voted by friends (and rightly so :tongue: ) as being the worst housekeep ever, I have to say that it's probably pretty difficult to get "sick" if you got decent health. My pups eat pretty much whereever they want, I put their food down in the kitchen but it usually doesn't stay there. So my living room, den, gameroom, and even the bedrooms (ever get into bed with a meaty bone under your pillow? it's quite a "shocking" experience) have been used. Most of the rooms are carpeted too. I've also "flung" chicken pieces (little "cubes" I'd cut up) across my kitchen floor. Except for any "bloody" leavings, most of the time, the most I do is give a quick soap and rinse of the boys' cutting board and knife. Nobody's gotten any "food sickness" yet (knock on wood)
As for choking, my 2 aren't the brightest, so I have had to deal with a couple of choking episode :frown: Luckily, I was able to just grabbed a piece that was still visible and pull it out. Both times was caused by chicken skin, so now I just trim the skin off and feed it seperate from the "bone" piece (mine a little dogs so they eat chicken wings and necks). I just make sure to keep an eye on them, especially when they're eating bones.
 

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just like everyone else here, I do the same to my dog's meat that I do my own.
the cutting board and the knife are ONLY used for the meat and never used again until they've been washed by the dishwasher.
Scorch likes to rub his newly-mussed face on the carpets after he's done eating, so there's no helping prevent it getting on some floors.
I do feed him on his own rug but keep an eye out because he really likes to "save" meat for later (in our dirty clothes most often o_O)

as for worrying about him transferring germs to you, take it from someone who has taken Microbiology and grown these things in lab:
you have E.coli inside of your body at all times. and yet, you don't have food poisoning? it's because it takes a specific strand to do so.
and actually, the pH of your stomach is so low that most bacteria cannot survive unless they are masked by food (for example, in the middle of your cantaloupe bite).
also, hand sanitizer is virtually useless. in my lab, we actually grew salmonella (and some Staphylococcus) in hand sanitizer to prove that it did not kill off as much bacteria as people thought.
the people that those particular bacteria affect most severely are usually those who are immuno-compromised - such as children, elderly, those with HIV, etc.

there are far more dangerous bacteria out there that come from us trying to prevent infection (MRSA, for instance) than there are from us not doing so.

I would just do basic cleaning and thawing (either in fridge or cold water!) as you think necessary :)
 

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just like everyone else here, I do the same to my dog's meat that I do my own.
the cutting board and the knife are ONLY used for the meat and never used again until they've been washed by the dishwasher.
Scorch likes to rub his newly-mussed face on the carpets after he's done eating, so there's no helping prevent it getting on some floors.
I do feed him on his own rug but keep an eye out because he really likes to "save" meat for later (in our dirty clothes most often o_O)

as for worrying about him transferring germs to you, take it from someone who has taken Microbiology and grown these things in lab:
you have E.coli inside of your body at all times. and yet, you don't have food poisoning? it's because it takes a specific strand to do so.
and actually, the pH of your stomach is so low that most bacteria cannot survive unless they are masked by food (for example, in the middle of your cantaloupe bite).
also, hand sanitizer is virtually useless. in my lab, we actually grew salmonella (and some Staphylococcus) in hand sanitizer to prove that it did not kill off as much bacteria as people thought.
the people that those particular bacteria affect most severely are usually those who are immuno-compromised - such as children, elderly, those with HIV, etc.

there are far more dangerous bacteria out there that come from us trying to prevent infection (MRSA, for instance) than there are from us not doing so.

I would just do basic cleaning and thawing (either in fridge or cold water!) as you think necessary :)
I could not agree with you more! I took micro in college too, and it's amazing how people are so brainwashed about germs and hand sanitizer...including my own mother. I swear every few weeks she sends me some article in the news about a new contagious bacteria and tells me to make sure I have hand sanitizer stocked in my car, purse, desk...etc!
 
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As for choking, seriously, I wouldn't worry until you get your pup and get a feel for how that particular dog eats. They are all different. For example, both Mollie and Windy chew their food. Mol will sit down with a turkey neck and methodically crunch her way through each and every vertebra, whilst the little pug, Lola who lives up the road will try to swallow her turkey neck whole.
Same with Windy the cat, she will chew each little piece thoroughly, if there is any fat or bone she can't chew, she'll spit it out.
I guess dogs are like people, they are all different, so it all comes back to that same old thing we all spout off around here, know thy dog.
No worries mate, you'll be fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As for choking, seriously, I wouldn't worry until you get your pup and get a feel for how that particular dog eats. They are all different. For example, both Mollie and Windy chew their food. Mol will sit down with a turkey neck and methodically crunch her way through each and every vertebra, whilst the little pug, Lola who lives up the road will try to swallow her turkey neck whole.
Same with Windy the cat, she will chew each little piece thoroughly, if there is any fat or bone she can't chew, she'll spit it out.
I guess dogs are like people, they are all different, so it all comes back to that same old thing we all spout off around here, know thy dog.
No worries mate, you'll be fine!
I'm totally loving all the FANTASTIC advice I've been getting! As for every dog being different, I will certainly keep that in mind! Thank you! I have a habit of over-thinking but I like to ask questions for confirmation. So thank you for the support! Hey Molly, going off topic for a bit; out of curiosity, did you get Mollie before Windy? How did you introduce them to each other? I'm getting a German Shepherd that will most likely look just like Mollie!
 

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just like everyone else here, I do the same to my dog's meat that I do my own.
the cutting board and the knife are ONLY used for the meat and never used again until they've been washed by the dishwasher.
Scorch likes to rub his newly-mussed face on the carpets after he's done eating, so there's no helping prevent it getting on some floors.
I do feed him on his own rug but keep an eye out because he really likes to "save" meat for later (in our dirty clothes most often o_O)

as for worrying about him transferring germs to you, take it from someone who has taken Microbiology and grown these things in lab:
you have E.coli inside of your body at all times. and yet, you don't have food poisoning? it's because it takes a specific strand to do so.
and actually, the pH of your stomach is so low that most bacteria cannot survive unless they are masked by food (for example, in the middle of your cantaloupe bite).
also, hand sanitizer is virtually useless. in my lab, we actually grew salmonella (and some Staphylococcus) in hand sanitizer to prove that it did not kill off as much bacteria as people thought.
the people that those particular bacteria affect most severely are usually those who are immuno-compromised - such as children, elderly, those with HIV, etc.

there are far more dangerous bacteria out there that come from us trying to prevent infection (MRSA, for instance) than there are from us not doing so.

I would just do basic cleaning and thawing (either in fridge or cold water!) as you think necessary :)
Thank you for the education! That's something I've always wondered if it was as serious as people make it seem. I had a feeling hand sanitizer wasn't as immaculate as my parents would insist upon lol. I'm glad I'm learning so much in this thread! Thanks for the insight! :)

P.S - OMG I love your corgi!
 

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Mama, thank you for such wonderful guidance! I've actually saved this thread to make sure I always have some quick reminder notes. I've actually bumped into that site a couple times but couldn't find it again so thank you for bringing it up! I'll keep the turkey legs caution in mind, that's something I actually have not thought about. I will continue to carefully study about raw feeding.

I'll be getting a German Sheperd puppy :)

Depends on how much of a "clean freak" you are. Some people go to the extremes of being ultra clean and others (like us) don't worry about it much. We feed outside nearly all the time so clean up is minimal. When we feed inside, the dogs usually lick the floor until its spotless, then we will wipe it all down with vinegar and warm water. No one in this household has gotten sick from it.

We defrost our food out at room temp for at least 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours depending on what it is. Once its thawed we feed it. If there's anything left over it goes in a cooler outside (since its consistently cold outside). In the summer it would go in a container in the fridge. But its rare we have anything left over. If there is "meat juice" left over from thawing our meat it becomes extra fluids for the girls to drink up. Sometimes I will pour their salmon oil in it and mix it up. They all happily lap it up.

Health hazard wise? Jon and I are pretty lax with cleaning and sanitation and like I said, neither of us has gotten sick...nor has anyone who's come to stay with us. Does that mean that its 100% safe? Nope...but mostly people with immune compromised states are at risk for infection. So if you're healthy, and your puppy is healthy...germs really shouldn't be of high concern to you.




Bones aren't something you'd "like to include" they are ABSOLUTELY necessary to the diet. You cannot feed a well rounded raw diet without bone. Typically the rule for choosing raw meaty bones in the appropriate sizes are by the size of your dog's mouth and head. Dogs don't chew like we do, so a raw meaty bone should be chomped a few times before swallowing. I would say most dogs chomp their food several times before swallowing and the rest are careful, deliberate chewers who take their time. The only way to find out if you have a gulper on your hands is to feed your dog a RMB (raw meaty bone). If your dog is a gulper then you need to be more conscious of the size of RMBs you give, but if your dog is a careful eater it doesn't matter quite as much seeing as they will chew everything before swallowing well.



Sounds like a decent array of things to start with except the turkey leg. Turkey leg bones are extremely dense and hard...even full grown adult dogs have trouble getting through them initially. I would suggest feeding turkey necks instead as the bones in those are much more spongy and easily digestible.

Read through the link in my signature to learn more on the exact science of switching over to raw in a gradual manner. I highly suggest you follow it closely.



Like I said above, it depends on what kind of chewer your puppy is. Choking is always a hazard, even with kibble...dogs have died choking on kibble as well as bones. So, monitor feeding times very closely for anything unusual. What kind of puppy are you getting?

ANY bone can cause choking, not just chicken and fish, not to mention boneless meat can cause choking. Its more the SIZE of the item you give. Give RMBs and chunks of meat that NEED to be chewed first (ie...pieces that are larger than their mouth).



Again, as above just use the same principles you use with handling raw meat prep for yourself. Some people are more concerned about it than others. My aunt feeds her two dogs raw and has for years now and they have 4 kids in the house. Kids participate in feedings and she's not reported any problems from feeding raw. I know that she's not the cleanest person either. Basic cleaning yes, but not OCD clean.

As far as licking us...we call it "yuck mouth" and we prohibit (to the best of our abilities) the girls from giving kisses right after meals.

Hope this helps!
 

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i arrived to this party later, so i'll just add in that i am immunocompromised and i take no more precautions than i would for the food i eat.

granted, the dogs have their own cutting board, knife and bowls if needed....but they eat on a towel in the kitchen that i wash once a week or when it's grody, whichever comes first.

i wash their bowls, cutting board and knives with soapy water and i wipe the counters down and that's that.

towel gets folded and put on a chair for another meal.

if i've learned nothing else, i've learned less is more. when i started my kids, i fed the 2% of their ideal body weight --- i didn't realise that what looked normal to me was not normal for a raw fed dog, so when it got rough, or they lost weight, i of course, fed more. worst thing i did. i merely created a lot of angina for the dogs and me.

so when you start, no matter how pitiful they look at you or just plain look, i'd suggest feeding about 1.5% of their ideal body weight....
start with bony bony chicken, like carcasses and backs, cleaned of organs....and then build up....

think agonisingly slow when you are introducing raw, since raw is the purest most concentrated form of food these dogs have ever had. too much in the beginning does not allow for adaptation over time...

don't worry about nutrition. it's balance over time and in my case, it took almost a year before we got it right...my twelve year old and my four year old are doing great....in spite of me.

big gigantic bones are something i never feed, like cow legs or elk legs. i have smaller dogs....and they are thought of as 'wreck-reational' chews, and maybe some are lucky, but the last thing i need is a fractured tooth....

good luck to you......before you know it, it becomes a magnificent obsession.....your dogs will love you for it and pay you back with kisses and gratitude.

btw, no one in the history of mankind, has ever stopped a pug from kissing.....mine and my corgi mix kiss me even after eat....and i'm still here, moderately broken :) it's the pound of dirt you want to eat to be healthy. too clean and you get sick. old medicine. old school. but true.
 

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Hey Molly, going off topic for a bit; out of curiosity, did you get Mollie before Windy? How did you introduce them to each other? I'm getting a German Shepherd that will most likely look just like Mollie!
Oh God, I'm the last person to ask! Mol was 3-1/2 when we got Wind (who was about 2, they said). I'd never had a cat before and Mollie had never met one either, so in all my feline innocence, all I did was take Windy out of her cage, Mol and she just looked at each other without a reaction and Windy came home with us. Actually, even if there was a reaction, Windy would still have come home, I would have just had a bit more work to do. But, it was going to make it work, no matter what.

Mollie knew what 'leave' meant (I love that command), and when we got home, she dragged her leash around as she did try to chase Windy a couple of times, but just told her to 'leave' and grabbed the leash or body blocked her if she did try. No drama's, no yelling, everything nice and calm, made everything for Windy super positive so she knew she was protected and safe. She had her own safe place to eat and drink and lie down in peace.
So, in other words, I simply got lucky, I fell in love with a laid back ballsy little cat, and I have a sweet, sensitive little dog. :D
 
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