My baby had a birthday last week!
I guess you can call me one of those crazy dog ladies who celebrates their dogs’ birthdays. Only fellow pet parents will understand. But from the moment I got my baby it seemed the most natural thing in the world to celebrate the occasion.
Patches (the inspiration for the title of my random writings under A Patchwork Life, by the way) was given to me by my brother 6 years ago. I was already planning to get a dog and had started doing my research. I was very conscientious about taking all the tests to see if I was ready to take care of a dog and which breed would suit me best based on dog temperament, upkeep, and exercise requirements. All the research pointed to a Jack Russell terrier so when my brother offered Patches, who’s a Shih Tzu, I was just lukewarm about it. “But the internet said I should get a Jack Russell!” Thankfully, my sister convinced me to get Patches, and on New Year’s Day 2008 I met my baby for the first time!
He didn’t stop crying the first night he spent at our house. I thought I had to stay away from him so I could train him (and I still feel sad that he was so homesick!) but my brother-in-law spent the night with Patchy so he wasn’t alone after all. I remember I only got around 4 hours of sleep because I woke up first thing in the morning so I could play with him.
He’s the sweetest thing (of course all pet parents think that, right?), very quiet and hardly ever barks. He is crazy about treats and hates having his picture taken. When he sees me with my phone he immediately turns away so photo ops are hard work. Even though he doesn’t know any tricks (oops) he’s still very smart. Every night when I brush my teeth, he knows that it’s time to go to bed so he goes to our room and curls up on his bed. When I take a little longer he goes to the door and looks at me as if to say, “What is taking so long?” Only when I finish everything up will he go back to his bed and wait for his good night belly rub. Isn’t that sweet? He is a spoiled baby though, and everyone in the house dotes on him. In fact, I think he’s already confused if he’s a boy or a dog.
We always go all out for his birthdays (yes, with balloons and party hats!), but the special food was always for humans. It took me a while to realize that we should be preparing treats for him too. But this year we found a simple recipe for homemade treats which his ninang or godmother (aka my sister) prepared.
His cousin Chloe even prepared a Doctor Who-inspired birthday sign for him! This is probably the only chance I’ll ever have to set foot in the TARDIS.
Here’s the recipe we used, which we found on http://www.thecookierookie.com/pb-dog-treats/.
We asked our vet if peanut butter is safe for dogs, and though he said it was, it won’t hurt to ask your particular vet too for your baby.
- 2½ cups whole wheat flour (see note below for substitutions)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg
***NOTE: some dogs are allergic to flour/wheat. if you want to make these wheat free, you can use rice flour or coconut flour as a replacement.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and the egg. Add peanut butter, water, honey and stir until you have stiff dough. the dough becomes very firm and sticky. you may need to use your hands, or the paddle attachment on your mixer.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about ½ inch thick and use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes. the treats barely spread and rise, so get creative with your shapes.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
- Keep in an airtight container.
These particular treats turned out nice and chewy, which is perfect for Patchy’s teeny tiny teeth. The best part about home-made treats is you know exactly what goes into them, and there are no artificial preservatives. Also? They’re good for humans! I tried these myself and they actually tasted good, plus they’re quite healthy because they’re sugar-free.
I am so thankful everyday for this little ball of fur for making my life so much more joyful and fun-filled. I feel like my favorite stuffed toy came to life. It’s true, “Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog.”