We all need love. Mostly, we look for love in the form of another human being. What we forget about on Valentine’s Day is the unconditional love from our pets — whether it is from our beloved dogs, cats, fish or ferret.
Our pets love us unconditionally no matter our mood. Our pets are our constant companion. We generally go to our pets when we just need a little more attention. Even if they are the ones being petted, groomed or walked.
Our dog, D’Artanyian, was fortunate to join our family when he was 2 years of age. We adopted this beautiful yellow lab. He has given us more than 15 years of joy and love. This dog’s love keeps giving.
D’Artanyian was diagnosed with cancer over three years ago. We decided not to give him chemo or radiation. I took him off all conventional medicines for dogs that are as ill as he. He is still with us. His love for life and his joy for living keep us all astounded. He still loves to go outside for walks, he tries his best to play fetch, he loves back scratches and snuggles. He can no longer climb stairs, run and jump. He can still smile and wag his tail.
D’Artanyian has several canine friends who come over to visit whenever he is at the dog sitter’s. He even has a few doggy friends that sneak out of their own yards and travel the six blocks or so just for a visit and a sniff. I try to reward these dogs with treats when I see them, with their owner’s permission.
This year for Valentine’s Day, instead of making human treats for the canine owners, I am going to do the reversal and make a batch of doggie delights. Their human owners will just have to wait. It really is about the dogs or whatever pet we have that gives us unconditional love.
In the book “K-9 Nation Biscuit Book,” author Dan McGleno offers the following tips for the perfect biscuit for your pet: Start with a “bait ingredient: something that smells good to a dog, like garlic. Keep the biscuits firm. You can judge when they are done by touching them. Don’t simply look at the color. They need to be dry thoroughly before you store them in an airtight container. Freezing also works well, since dogs love a cold treat in hot weather.
Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits
2½ cups organic rolled oats
1½ cups potato or corn starch
½ cup white or brown rice flour
3 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg, beaten
½ cup olive oil
1½ cups almond milk
1 sweet potato, scrubbed, not peeled
Put 2 cups of the oats in the food processor and grind to a fine powder. Combine the remaining ½ cup oats, potato starch, rice flour, flaxseed meal and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the egg and olive oil.
Grate the sweet potato using the medium holes of a box grater. Stir into the mixture. The dough should be firm, smooth and workable. If not, add more rice flour. Cover the bowl with a towel and let set for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour a work surface with rice flour and roll the dough out to ¼- to 1/2-inch thickness, depending on the size of your dog.
Cut into shapes and then transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake until firm.