Won’t somebody think of the puppies?

BY DEBBIE MATTHEWS, The Curious Cook
Posted 3/6/20

I think everybody can agree that dogs are too good for us broken, damaged humans. We’re just lucky they take pity on us, and share their lives with us.

I mentioned in my very first column for …

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Won’t somebody think of the puppies?

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Posted

I think everybody can agree that dogs are too good for us broken, damaged humans. We’re just lucky they take pity on us, and share their lives with us.

I mentioned in my very first column for you, Gentle Reader, that I love dogs.

Yeah, I didn’t want to scare you, but I really, really love dogs. Most of the time I like them way more than humans. War, natural disaster, and famine is tragic, but a puppy with a limp? I dissolve into a puddle of my own tears.

Petey and I are on the same page when it comes to our canine friends (although his love is a little more stoic, like a rigid New England farmer: “Aye pup, you’re a good boy”). Our entire marriage we’ve either had a dog, or been in that heart-breaking, hopeful intervals when you’ve lost one pooch and slowly become ready for a new pup.

Growing up was the same way. We almost always had dogs, which for a nomadic Coast Guard family is quite a bit more complicated.

Harry was our first dog as a married couple. We saw him in a pet store in a mall in Virginia. He’d been there at least a month and had outgrown the largest cage. He spent his days crouched in a too small crate and tortured by children visiting the mall.

We knew, even back in the 80s that the dogs sold in pet store very often came from puppy mills. So we’d never get a puppy from a mall pet store.

Except.

Except this dog was in an intolerable situation, and his future looked bleaker every day. Petey and I agreed, we couldn’t sleep at night if left this puppy in these dire circumstances and went home.

He rode home on my lap.

For the first three weeks, when not eating or outside, he hid under our bed. We’d go in every once in a while and gently talk to him, hopefully letting him know he was safe and home.

He was sweet, gentle, and affectionate with us. We adored him.

But he was a ghost. He was petrified of almost everything and everybody everywhere else. I had two photos of Harry. They’re both of his caboose — as he ran away.

But most of all, he was afraid of people. The most our friends saw our vanishing Chow Chow was his south end, as he was fleeing north.

They took to calling him, “Scary Harry.”

My recipe this week is the favorite of hundreds of dogs. I came up with the recipe for our dogs. Our vet now gives it to dog owners looking to make their own dog food.

So, to all the dogs I’ve loved before, I give you:

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Dry ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1 cup oats

Pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

1/3 cup peanut butter (approx)

1/3 cup canned pumpkin (approx)

Put dry ingredients into bowl of mixer. Add wet on top. Mix until it forms dough ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Knead on kitchen counter a few times until it is a nice neat ball. Cut in half.

Roll out first, lay on parchment lined cookie sheet and score into 1 inch squares (I use a pizza wheel). Repeat with other half on second cookie sheet.

Cook 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spin pans 180 degrees and switch racks. Bake 10 more minutes. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.

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