Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Cure For A Salad Sandwich Craving ...

Good evening, Gnawers!  Happy hump day to you!  Two more days until the weekend - woot woot!

After work, I was supposed to go to a painting party with my bestie tonight.  It was like a painting class with wine and hors d'oeuvres that sounded really fun. We have been looking forward to it for a month.  I was very disappointed when I had to bail on her tonight.  I haven't been sleeping well this week and I am exhausted.  Being slammed at work is not helping with that, and I just need a good night's sleep.

On top of that, I am incredibly worried about my dog, and I did not want to leave her alone tonight.  My sweet girl is almost 17 years old.  No, that was not a typo.  I said SEVENTEEN.  Crazy, right?  She is a mix between a black lab and a collie or chow (we think).  She pretty much looks like a wolf when her hair is short and a bear when it is grown out. She has been with me since high school and been through everything with me since then (and there has been a lot!).  She used to go to work with me every day when I was a nanny after college, and the kids loved her.  She's independent, loving, sweet, and an all around awesome dog.  I've taken her with me from state to state over the past several years as I completed my doctorate, internship, and post-doc.  It has always been the two of us taking on the world together.  She has shown signs of getting older over the last 4 years or so such as arthritis, graying hair, cataracts, and urinary problems, but she has always kept on kickin'.  At her last vet appointment in July, the doctor told me she had the "blood work of a two year old" and was doing well.  My girl is a trooper.

C when she was younger ...
But, after galavanting all over the country to finish my doctorate, we were finally able to move home this past July.  Since then, I have watched her decline accelerate rapidly.  She still eats an drinks, and functions well in many aspects, but she is not the same.  She now struggles to get up out of her bed and walks very timidly.  Sometimes she falls and cannot get herself up.  She seems more skittish and agitated.  She can no longer climb the stairs.  She mostly sleeps and eats.  Or, she barks at my new dog (an 8 month old who desperately wants to play with her) that she vehemently despises.  

C last week ...
Last night, I noticed from across the room that the right side of her lip was hanging down.  When I got her to come to me so I could get a good look, I saw that she had a ping pong ball sized lump in the upper part of the right side of her mouth.  It looks painful, and I can't stand the idea of her being in pain.  She seemed more uncomfortable last night and didn't seem able to get comfortable in her bed.  Every now and then she would let out a whimper out of no where too.  It broke my heart.

I have know that this time was coming, but I don't think it ever seemed real until last night.  She has been such a big part of my life, and it is hard to wrap my head around the idea of not having her with me.  I have said all along that I would not consider putting her to sleep unless I knew there was something wrong with her and she was suffering.  I am afraid that time may be coming sooner than I realized.  I have never lost a pet before, so this is all very new to me.  It is scary and heart wrenching, but there is also a hope of peace for her that I know she has not had recently.  It is almost like she waited for us to move home before she decided she was ready to go ... like she waited to see me settled and grounded ... like she knows she doesn't need to take care of me anymore.

So, that is where I am tonight, and that is why I decided to stay home rather than go with my friend to paint.  I am not sure why I shared all of that here, but it seemed like the thing to do.  Thank you for giving me space to share my life, both the good and the not so good, with you.  I am so grateful to be able to do so here.  I will keep you posted about what happens.  Please keep my sweet girl in your thoughts and prayers.

Needless to say, I wanted to make something quick and easy tonight.  Quick and easy is a necessity for all of us sometimes!  I opted for a recipe I found for a Vegan Corn Salad Sandwich on The Vegan Stoner website.  I made several changes to the original recipe to make it to my liking.  After playing around with it a little bit, I was very happy with the results.  Before I started my healthy lifestyle change, I used to love egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad ... pretty much all sandwich type salads.  Since I am not eating those things anymore, this recipe is the perfect addition to my arsenal when I have cravings for a good salad sandwich!  Plus, it makes enough for 4-6 sandwiches, so I will be able to slap together some easy lunches to take to work for the rest of the week.  Perfect!

Corn Salad Sandwich


  • 1 block soft tofu
  • 1 can organic canned corn
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Vegenaise 
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • sprouted grain bread (or your favorite!)

Preparation Instructions:

1.  Put tofu in a large bowl and mash.  Add corn, spinach, onion, and Vegenaise. Mix well.

2.  Add nutritional yeast, garlic powder sea salt, and black pepper.  Mix well.

3.  Spoon salad onto a slice of bread and top with another piece.  Cut in half.

4.  Serve and enjoy!!!

Well, that is all from me for the night, friends.  I am going to try and get to bed early as planned and have my fingers crossed for some good sleep tonight!  I hope that you each have a wonderful day tomorrow and keep on rocking on your own journey!  Until next time, dear Gnawers ... take very good care of you.

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  1. This looks super yummy! Will be keeping you and C in my thoughts. I know it's tough to lose a pet you are so close to. But you'll know when it's time. And hopefully you can find peace in an end to her suffering <3

    1. Thanks you, Heather. I really appreciate it.

  2. wow i really wish that i could give you a hug right now. i could not imagine loosing my baby rusty. i have had him for 6 years and without i would mostly likely not be alive. i had something to live for. thank you for sharing you beautiful baby with us. just know that if you have to do what i dont like to talk about, that she wont be suffering and will be the first to meet you on the other side <3 i will keep both of you in my thoughts.

    oh ya and i totally decided that i am buying one of those tofu things. you make the stuff look so dang yummy!

    1. Our pets our so healing and amazing, aren't they? I am so glad that you have Rusty. Thank you for your kind words about my baby girl. So sweet of you!

      Glad you are getting a tofu xpress too. You will love it!

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your pup. I went through a similar situation a few years ago with my pup "Spunky" that I had since I was little. He was 17 as well and just started slowing down and struggling. It was the hardest thing I've EVER been through (and that includes a nasty divorce of my parents). I'm even tearing up writing this. It sucks but enjoy the time you have left and know that it will never be easy. To this day, when I see a little white dog like Spunky, it brings a smile (and sometimes a tear) to my face. I feel like he is everywhere and so is his smile. I have yet to get a new pup since Spunky so I am jealous of your new pup. Hopefully having him will help comfort you going forward. We had Spunky creamated and whenever I go home to my mom's house, I always say "hi" to his small urn and tell him I love him and thank him for all the joy he brought me and my family. I will be thinking of you and sneding big hugs your way. Sorry for being so long winded...I didnt intend to write this much but just wanted to share my story and tell you I'm thinking of you. :) Kendall

    1. Thank you so much, Kendall. I am so sorry to hear about Spunky. Our pets are such a part of our lives ,,, so comforting, loving, unconditionally loyal. I am glad that you still feel like you get to see him everywhere and feel his love. I think it will be the same way with my baby girl. Thank you for sharing, Kendall. You are in my thoughts too!

  4. Ohhh the story of your dog is making me cry! It reminds me of my dog Sasha - I only had her for 10 years though. It's been 7 years since I had to put her down and I still miss her - but it's only because I have all the awesome memories with her that make me still think of her and miss her. She was the best - just like your dog! How fortunate to have such a loyal companion for all these years! What a blessing. My thoughts are with you - even though we have never met!! Only dog lovers (and vegans) can understand each other and bond like that, right?! Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me a moment to remember my special puppy!!

    1. You are so right, Jacqui. We are so blessed to have these amazing souls in our lives for so long, and I am so grateful for the joy they bring. I am sorry to hear about Sasha, but I am so glad that you had her in your life. That bond is indeed only something we can understand! Thank you for taking the time to share with me and for your kind words!

  5. So sorry to hear about your long time friend. The sandwich looks yummy. Can't wait to try it.


    1. Thanks, Gabby! I hope you love the sandwich! :)


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