Tag Archives: homebaked dog treats

13th Birthday & our Farewell to Lochrima

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And so we catch our breath.

In the last two months, life here has changed. When I started composing this post, the date was April 10th, and it was the day before our beloved greyhound, Lochrima’s, 13th birthday. But before I could finish, she starting limping and on April 13th was diagnosed with cancer. While we knew she was old for a big dog, nothing really prepares you for those words. The vet said it could be days or weeks, that she had a tumor in her chest so advanced, it was pressing on her heart, lungs, intestines and stomach. It felt like Doc kicked me in the gut. The tumor caused her limp because it was restricting blood flow to and from her legs. This was the only symptom of a cancer that was at least months old, if not a year.

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Our sweet greyhound, age 12, on what became her final road trip, October 2014. This was at a farm stand on the way home from Rehoboth Beach DE.

Basically, the DH & I dropped everything and spent time with Lochrima. Work and clients waited. Chores were set aside for another day. We found out how amazing our friends were, as many of them showed up with food for us and treats for Lochrima. There were visits from dog pals, with whom our girl enjoyed a sniff in the yard and her birthday cake. There were visitors from far and near. Turns out that other folks loved Lochrima, too, and wanted to say goodbye.

That awful day came on May 1. That morning the tumor opened up and started to drain into her lungs. We had the choice to basically let Lochrima drown in her own tumor-fluids and blood, or to put her down quickly and spare her the painful dying process. And we chose euthanasia. May 1 was one of the most difficult days either of us have lived through. On the drive to Doc’s office we looked down at her crying – and she was looking up at us with tears rolling down her face. We didn’t even know that dogs cried tears, or that any moment could be so painful. That day, we also learned how much we could cry.

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Lochrima loved the beach. Here. at Dewey Beach DE, above right, and Jekyll Island, GA, right. She also loved a nap, and was expert at finding comfy spots like this papasan.

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Flashback to when we drove a convertible – Lochrima loved to ride in the backseat, with Doggles of course. At right, she’s wading in the waters near Taughhannock Falls, NY.

Many people say companion animals are very special friends. That’s got to be the understatement of a lifetime, really. Companion animals fill the spaces that humanity cannot. They know a depth of love that brings true acceptance, forgiveness and compassion – one that people rarely offer to each other. As I type this, sitting beside the empty sofa with no hound on the fuzzy red dog blanket, the vacancy serves to remind me of how much joy, spirit and devotion Lochrima selflessly gave to us. I frequently wish I was more like her.

DH & I  have taken time recovering, getting back to work and daily life. We are both still broken-hearted and are no where near ready for a new dog in our lives. Yes, we know how many dogs and cats and rabbits and more need loving homes. We know our house is empty and that there is an unoccupied dog bed next to the desk. But we’re not there. Sometimes, you need space to exhale.

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Sometimes, she reminded us how good the simple things in life really are – like an afternoon walk or just sitting in the garden to enjoy the spring breeze. Lochrima loved being in the garden and would sit outside for hours while we pulled weeds and did other chores.

As a tribute, we plan to create a collection of the homemade dog treat recipes we have made for her. Some are already on this blog; others are still in our notebooks. If you have never baked treats for a dog (yours or a friend’s) you should get on that immediately. Nothing compares to the appreciation of a dog who has waited patiently by the oven, sniffing homemade cookies – and then eating them! Stay tuned for that later this year and if you’re local, we can use some canine taste-testers.

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Snow hound! For a skinny dog with very little body fat, Lochrima LOVED the snow. She was originally from Massachusetts, after all (she raced there in her pre-rescue days). Yes, she had several coats and sweaters. The pink was her favorite.

Until then, here is the birthday cake I baked for our sweet hound for many years every April 11th. She adored it with vanilla coconut-milk ice cream. Or as-is.

As a final gift for Lochrima, I ask you, beg you – please celebrate every damn day you have with those you love – dogs, cats, horses, birds, people. We all get too wrapped up in nonsense sometimes to focus on what is really important – loving the way our animal friends dounconditionally.

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This one was of her final days. Dog pal Rummy came all the way from Philadelphia to share birthday cake and say farewells. They both enjoyed the cake. 🙂

Carob Chip-Peanut Birthday Cake for Dogs

2 Tbl. flax seed meal mixed in 4 Tbl. warm water

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 Tbl. non-aluminum baking powder

1 Tbl. carob powder

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup brown rice syrup or molasses

3/4 cup carob chips

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together flax seed meal and warm water to gel into a binder, set aside.

Stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder and carob powder. Add peanut butter, applesauce, brown rice syrup or molasses and flax seed meal mixture. Stir by hand until well combined, about 60 strokes. If the batter seems too dry, add a little water (this can vary based on your peanut butter brand!).

Spray a cake pan, springform pan or muffin tins with non-stick spray. Pour in batter, distributing evenly.

Bake cake for about 20-30 minutes or “pupcakes” about 10-15 minutes until batter is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and serve to birthday dog – or any dog you love and want to celebrate for just being your pal!

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These pawprints will never be gone from our hearts…

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A sweet sunset with Lochrima. We miss you!

Dog Days Treats

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Summer is winding down.  But August can still be hot as Hades, and in Baltimore this week, it’s supposed to get all the way up to 92! That’s the hotness. You know your dog-companion feels it, too. That sweltering heat effects our four-legged friends too, thus why they call the hottest parts of summer “dog days” (Sirius, the “dog star” is out during the hottest part of summer, for those of you as nerdy as me…)

Help your best pal cool off by treating him or her to some chilly yumminess, like these frozen Carob Banana Pup-Pops. They’re simple to make and a fun project to include kids on. Your dog will love them too – our ex-racing greyhound, Lochrima, goes gag for them! First she licks the carob and peanut shell off, then munches on the chilly banana center.

You should be be able to pick up a bag of carob chips pretty easily, we find them in the natural foods area of our local grocers. If not, a store like Whole Foods will certainly have them, and there’s always Amazon.com. It is **CRUCIAL** you use carob and NOT chocolate for this recipe! Chocolate is toxic to dogs! Want a list of other foods to watch out for? Try this page from the ASPCA. If you are allergic to peanuts, try using almond butter and almonds or sunflower seed butter and sunflowers for this recipe. Just don’t substitute macadamia nuts – those are also toxic to dogs!

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 Carob Banana Pup-Pops

5 bananas, peeled and cut in half

2 cups carob chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup chopped peanuts

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place banana halves on sheet and freeze for several hours or overnight. To assemble, melt carob chips and peanut butter together in a double boiler over low heat on the stove. Stir often until smooth and silky. Place chopped peanuts in a low bowl, like a pie plate. Dip the frozen bananas into melted carob/peanut butter, then quickly roll in chopped nuts. Place back onto lined cookie sheet. Repeat with other banana halves. Place back into freezer until carob is set, about one hour. Serve cold on a hot day!

 

Want more love for your dogs? We want to send you more love for your dogs!  If you like baking, we’ve got SIX more recipes for you and your canine companion. It’s true that baking isn’t as fun in the heat. We don’t have central air, so these fans really don’t cut it when the oven is on in summer. The answer? Bake in the early morning or after dark in the evening. Or, go to a friends’ house who has central air!

There’s a certain joy to baking for dogs. Unlike people, they don’t “eat first with their eyes” – instead, they eat first with their noses. So each recipe includes something fragrant that is attractive to hounds. They also aren’t picky about shapes of the cookies, which means that cookie cutters are nice, but they’re really eye-appeal for you, not the pooch. Unless you adore rolling and cutting cookie shapes (and have copious free time), just make little rounds in the right size for your dog’s mouth. After all, the right size cookie for a Great Dane is not the right size cookie for a Teacup Maltese. 🙂

We use a lot of non-wheat flours in these cookies. Many experts feel they are easier on dogs’ tummies. To find these flours, check your grocery store’s natural foods or gluten-free sections. Again, Whole Foods and Amazon.com will have them. Occasionally, we get lucky and find bags of them super-cheap at places like Ross, Marshall’s and Big Lots. No joke! A bag of chickpea flour that’s $10 at Whole Foods cost us $2 at Big Lots. Big difference and worth checking for!

 

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 Sunshine Snaps

 

2 Tbl. ground flax meal mixed in 4 Tbl. water

1 cup chickpea flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 Tbl. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. turmeric

2 Tbl. olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 cup water, as needed

Preheat oven to 375. Mix ground flax meal in water and set aside to congeal. In a food processor or blender (or by hand in a mixing bowl), combine flours, nutritional yeast, turmeric and olive oil. Add in flax mixture. If dough is too dry, add water until well combined and smooth. By hand, form into desired size cookies. Use cool water on your fingers to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 until browned on edges and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Yield will vary based on cookies size.

 

Carob & Spice Cookies

1 cup pumpkin (canned or cooked/fresh)

1 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 Tbl. carob powder

1/4 cup molasses

1 Tbl. olive oil

1/4 cup water, as needed

Preheat oven to 375. In a food processor or blender (or by hand in a mixing bowl), combine pumpkin, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, carob powder, molasses and olive oil. If dough is too dry, add water until smooth. By hand, form into desired size cookies. Use cool water on your fingers to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 until browned on edges and firm, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Yield will vary based on cookies size.

 

 Oatmeal Chippers

3 Tbl. ground flax meal mixed in 6 Tbl. water

3 cups Old-Fashioned oats

1 1/2 cup peanut butter

pinch ginger (optional)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup carob chips

Preheat oven to 375. Mix ground flax meal in water and set aside to congeal. In a large bowl, combine oats, peanut butter, ginger, almond milk and water. Add in flax mixture. When well-mixed and moistened, fold in carob chips. By hand, form into desired size cookies. Use cool water on your fingers to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 until browned on edges and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Yield will vary based on cookies size.

 

No-Bake Rice Bars

3 Tbl. ground flax meal in 8 Tbl. water

8 cups plain rice cereal

2 cups peanut butter

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1 Tbl. vanilla (optional)

1 cup dried cranberries, unsulfured

Mix ground flax meal in water and set aside to congeal. In a large saucepan, combine peanut butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla. Stirring regularly, warm over low/medium heat until the mixture becomes liquid – about 2 to 4 minutes. Don’t overcook, or it will start to scorch. In a large bowl, pour melted peanut butter liquid over the rice cereal and cranberries. Add flax meal mixture. Stir everything together by hand. This will take some muscle. Spray a 9×13 casserole pan with non-stick spray. Press rice cereal/peanut butter mixture into pan firmly with your hands or a spatula. Chill at least one hour before cutting in serving-size portions. This is also a yummy people-snack, too!

 

 Pizza Rounds

1 Tbl. ground flax meal mixed in 2 Tbl. water

1 cup brown rice flour

6 oz. can tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 Tbl. olive oil (optional)

1/4 cup water, as needed

Preheat oven to 375. Mix ground flax meal in water and set aside to congeal. In a food processor or blender (or by hand in a bowl), mix brown rice flour, tomato paste, chopped parsley, basil, oregano and olive oil. Add in flax meal mixture. If dough is too dry, add 1/4 cup of water until well combined and smooth. By hand, form into desired size cookies. Use cool water on your fingers to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 until browned on edges and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Yield will vary based on cookies size.

 

 Garden Gobblers

2 Tbl. ground flax meal mixed in 4 Tbl. water

2 whole carrots

1/2 cup fresh kale

1 tsp. spirulina powder

2 cups buckwheat flour

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 375. Mix ground flax meal in water and set aside to congeal. In a food processor or blender chop carrots and kale to fine pieces. Add spirulina, buckwheat flour and water to processor; mix well. Add in flax mixture. If dough is too dry, add water until smooth. By hand, form into desired size cookies. Use cool water on your fingers to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 until browned on edges and firm, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Yield will vary based on cookies size.