Oscar and Phoebe

Oscar and Phoebe

I just lost a dear friend on Friday. I had known this friend for more than 13 years. In fact, this friend had been living with me for all that time. Don’t get excited. The friend was my sweet little dog, Phoebe. Phoebe was a dapple miniature dachshund that I got from a breeder in 2006.

I had already purchased (I like to think adopted) her half-brother, Oscar about six months earlier. Oscar was a white and black piebald dachshund They had different mothers, but the same father, Keebler.

I was working at the time and thought Oscar needed a companion to be with him while I was at work From the very beginning, my two pups were treated like my children. They spent every night in bed with me.

I’ve been a “dog person” all my life I grew up with dogs, and have just about always had dogs or cats. Growing up with dogs establishes a love and bond to your animals that just can’t be explained. It’s a bond that’s every bit as strong as a bond to a human, maybe even stronger.

If you’re fortunate enough to be entrusted with the care of a child and or an animal, you shouldn’t take that honor for granted. Children and animals are totally dependent on their human “parents” for everything they need. So many people were never cut out to care for a child or a pet. I’ve never understood how people can harm, abuse or neglect their children or pets. If they can’t handle the responsibility, they need to give them to someone who would love to take care of them. All a dog wants is food, water and love

Unless you’re a pet owner, you may not understand the grief of losing a pet. It’s equal to, if not greater than that of losing a human friend or family member. The hard part is so many people just shrug it off and say, “It’s only a pet.”

Well, I got news for you, the grief I’m feeling right now is real. Phoebe was far more than a pet. She had been my only companion since I had Oscar put down a few years ago. She was almost like my little shadow. She pretty much took every step that I took. My brother has been here in the past when I would leave. He said she cried the whole time I was gone.

Another thing that has been studied is the fact that dogs sense their owners moods. I totally believe that. I wasn’t well, and my dogs totally sensed that They would look at me with sad eyes and could almost be saying, “Mom, what’s wrong?” There’s an old saying that says, “May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am.” Dogs look to humans in awe because we provide them with everything.

Each time I’ve lost one of my dogs, I’ve had a very difficult time talking about it with anyone (except my brother) for a long time.

Phoebe was such a sweet and gentle little dog. I only saw her snap at someone once, and that was at my grandson Garrison when he almost fell on her. She was very quiet and almost never barked. Her brother Oscar was the total opposite. He was very aggressive, and snapped at plenty of people including me. He was also very vocal, and did a lot of barking. It was difficult to believe they were related. Regardless, I loved him just as he was.

Every time I started to leave Phoebe, I would explain to her where I was going. I would tell her that she was in charge. I also always left the TV on for her. I know many of you are now thinking that I need to committed, and maybe I do. lol But if I had to do it again, it would all be the same. My only regret is that I didn’t do more for my dogs,

Although this grief is indescribable, I’m sure that eventually I’ll have another dog. Also, it needs to be a dachshund. That’s my breed of choice. This time, maybe an adult dog. I miss that little four legged person greeting me at the front door, and getting dog kisses first thing in the morning Yes, my little Phoebe was a friend till the end. Rest in peace my little friend.

Many thanks to my neighbors Rick Burton, Bonnie Burton and Joey Hensley for coming over and helping to bury her. I also had Oscar’s ashes that I had been holding on to. They are now together. Thanks neighbors!!

In honor of all the doggie companions out there, here are some recipes for “doggie treats”.

As always, enjoy!

Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cups hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.

3. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add water and peanut butter.

4. Gently combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.

5. Knead with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Sometimes I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for faster results.

6. Take a rolling pin and flatten out the dough. Use a cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes. If you’re feeling lazy, just leave the dough as is and bake it like one whole cookie. You can always break it up after it’s cooked.

7. Make sure you’re using a non-stick baking sheet or spray it with oil.

8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. If you want the dog treats to be softer, take them out 10 minutes earlier.

Kiss Me Doggie Cookies

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (or 2 tbs. fresh chopped parsley)

2 large eggs

½ cup water (+2 more tablespoons if dough is too dry)

½ cup non-fat dry milk

1 cup peanut butter

Same directions as above, except bake at 300 degrees.

Pink Delight Paw Print Doggie Cookies

Remember those thumbprint cookies you always loved? Dogs love them too!

Although I believe dogs are colorblind, I’m sure you dog’s nose will be sniffing rainbows when he sees this delightful treat. This recipe includes a sugar-free strawberry jam that adds a special flavor and smell. Make sure your jam does not contain xylitol, as it is a harmful artificial sweetener and, if you make your own jam at home and want to use it for this recipe, avoid using white grape juice as grapes are one of the of foods poisonous to dogs. Instead, substitute apple juice. You can also substitute water for the chicken both if your dog is on a low-sodium diet.

This recipe is a lot of fun for your kids to help out with since they can press their thumb into the cookie dough to create an imprint.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

½ cup rolled oats

2 tsp cinnamon

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup low sodium chicken broth

½ cup water

½ cup strawberry jam, sugar free

1. Whisk together the flour, oats, and cinnamon.

2. Place the chicken broth, peanut butter, and water in a bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds.

3. Stir the peanut butter in with the warm liquids until well mixed.

4. Pour the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms.

5. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Using a tablespoon, scoop out rounded balls onto the prepared baking sheet. Create an indentation to flatten each cookie.

6. Bake at 325 degrees. After 15 minutes, turn off the oven but leave the cookies inside to cool.

7. Once the dog treats are completely cooled, place the jam in a microwave safe container. Microwave for 10 seconds, then stir. You want a smooth liquid consistency. If needed, microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again.

8. Using a teaspoon, gently spoon the jam into each cookie’s indentation. Let the jam cool completely before moving the dog treats. Refrigerate after cooling.