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Walter the wonder dogWell, what an interesting title, you might be thinking. I wonder why she’s gone from making cookies for humans to making cookies for dogs. Well, in case you haven’t guessed by now, we have a new dog! Who, in part, is responsible for my long blog absence. But you can’t blame him for his extreme cuteness, now, can you? Evenings have been spent hanging out with Walter instead of blogging. We adopted him in early October from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA. I can’t say enough good things about this place. If you’re looking for a new cuddly friend to call your own and you’re in the Boston metro area, I suggest you check this place out.

I’ve spent the past 6+ months or so reading books on dogs. Looking at adoption pages and information. And discussing the pros and cons of a dog with Mike. I’ve even drafted several spreadsheets with different budget scenarios to see if we could realistically afford a new dog. For months I’d been referring to our imaginary dog “Fido” in conversation. If we went somewhere new, I’d comment on whether or not I thought Fido would like that activity. I finally convinced Mike of the merits of a dog and we started looking. I thought it would take a few months before finding our perfect new pal.

On a random Saturday in October we were out doing errands and happened to be not too far from The Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem. So we popped in for “just a look.” This place had more dogs available than any of the other places we’d been to so far. They also had an incredible variety – from puppies, to teen and adult dogs. The dogs were separated by size. After looking through all the rooms, we were interested in finding out more about three dogs. After meeting with an advisor, we got the skinny on the three candidates. The staff was incredibly forthcoming and honest. They shared the history of all the dogs we inquired about, where they came from and how they wound up at the shelter. They talked about aggression and energy levels of the dogs and we discussed which might be the best fit. It seemed clear there was only one we should seriously consider, so they brought the little guy out to see us. Although super shy, Walter was a happy dog. He sniffed around and seemed to be appropriately curious for an 8 month old puppy. When we took him outside, he wasn’t interested in playing with the toys, and waited by the door for the staff to come back.

We were still feeling a little hesitant and it was nearing their closing time. They said we could sleep on it and come back the next day if we wanted to get him. Either way, we should call before noon on Sunday so they’d know to either save him for us or put him back up for adoption. I couldn’t believe how accommodating they were. There were groups of people all waiting to look at pets, and they gave us as much time as we needed with the advisors and the dog. All the employees seemed to care so much for the animals and treat them with as much care and respect as possible.

As we left the shelter and started talking, we realized our minds were made up and we’d found our pup! The adoption process the next day was very smooth. The paperwork was pretty straightforward and seamless. Do remember to bring proof of home ownership or landlord approval  when you go to adopt your pet. By mid-day we were on our way home with Walter! Our very own 8-month old mutt (potentially a lab/shepherd/boxer mix).

Walter on StairsWe’re all adjusting to our life together and he’s been a bit of a challenge at times. We spent a few days just practicing going up and down the stairs to our apartment. It’s amazing to see how he’s learning and processing all of this new information.

Walter really enjoys all of the different kinds of treats we’ve picked up at the store for him, but it becomes a bit pricey to keep him flush with beef, chicken, and salmon treats. I thought I’d try my hand at making homemade dog treats. As such, I know exactly what goes into these cookies and can feed them to him without any worry of questionable ingredients. These were surprisingly easy to make and have a substantial yield. Good thing he likes them so much!

Homemade Dog Cookies

I knew they’d be a success when he kept walking over to the oven to look inside while these were baking. It’s the first time he’s ever whined at the stove! Make these easy homemade dog cookies for you pooch and he’ll certainly be your best friend, if he isn’t already.

Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats
Makes 4 dozen

1 banana, peeled
1 c. oat flour*
2/3 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. dried parsley
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. chicken bouillon + 4 Tbsp. hot water
or 4 Tbsp. chicken stock

* To make oat flour, add 1 1/4c. oats to food processor or high powered blender. Blend into a fine powder.
1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
2. Add banana to a large bowl and mush up with fork or spoon.
3. In a small bowl dissolve chicken bouillon in hot water. Set aside.
4. Add oat flour, oats, parsley and peanut butter to banana. Mix thoroughly.
5. Add egg and chicken/water mixture. Stir to combine everything.
6. Set aside for 5 minutes
7. Use parchment lined cookie sheet. Roll small quantity of dough between hands to form a ball. Press onto parchment and flatten into cookie sheet. The cookies can be quite close together as they will not rise or change shape.
8. Bake 50-55 min. until golden on the bottom.
9. Set aside to cool. Store in air tight container or in fridge. Break them up if you want small, training sized treats or serve whole for a larger cookie. Taste them yourself so you know what your pup will be enjoying.

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