With Valentine’s Day coming this Friday let’s talk about my first love. While I’m sure with all the love yourself talk on here you would expect me to say myself, but really I didn’t figure that out until my 30’s. Parents would make sense but that’s different too. I’m talking about the first love that caused to me not think about myself first. And no it wasn’t a boy. It was my dog.
Now I had dogs growing up, but I never had to take care of them…they didn’t depend on me, that’s what my mom was for. I volunteered for rescue when I was a teacher so I could get my dog fix. Knowing that I didn’t really have the space (1 bedroom apartment) or the time (teacher with two other jobs since teaching pays crap) to commit to owning a dog.
The rescue people always bugged me to adopt a dog….for 7 years. Finally I said to them find me a female buff cocker spaniel (my dog growing up looked like that) under the age of 1 that doesn’t come from a traumatic experience and I will take her. I felt pretty safe in saying that. In the 7 years I volunteered there we had never had a cocker pass through. Two weeks after that, I walked in to a group of grinning smug faces, all pointing to a buff cocker spaniel in the kennel. She met all the criteria I gave them. Crap I’m going home with a dog today I thought. I was excited but scared. But I loved her from the start. The best $34 I ever spent.
I got her in September. She threw up on my brand new chair that I spent 15 months saving up to buy. It was beige. I had not planned on owning an animal so I didn’t think that through. And when I say throw up, I mean throw up. Where she had spent the night at a Fosters house she must have eaten a ton of grass. As there it was all on my new beige chair…green puke that stained the crap out of the chair (I was young and stupid and didn’t know what scotch guard was at the time). No amount of cleaning worked (even professional) that chair forever had a blanket on it (well still does).
I kept from having a dog because I felt I was too selfish. A point I thought I was being unselfish for being aware that I was too selfish (hehe). And yet it all became routine. Pick up poop. Clean up vomit (she had a sensitive stomach). Change my whole routing. Fork over all extra cash to vets, groomers, new toys, etc. All without thinking or caring (well okay I cared but you know what I mean). She once took off at my parents’ house and went bounding down the hill towards the highway. I remember having a fear so bad that it all consumed me and I ran down the hill without thinking after her. Stupid as it was a steep hill and I fell hard. She came back at my dad’s booming voice yelling for her. I remember being so mad…not that she took off but for her being so important to me and me loving something so much that I feared to think what my life without her would be. I told my mom that day, if a dog can make me feel this way…I am so not having kids. She just smiled.
So when she developed all these allergies I thought nothing of making her own treats when I couldn’t really find that many in the market place…and none that were cost effective. I couldn’t find much online either so that’s why they are on this blog. I want to help those who love their dogs as much as I do and can’t seem to find dairy and grain free treats for their pups. Bob’s Red Mill was nice enough to send me a sampling of all their grain free flours so that worked out great.
As she gets older I silently worry. Fourteen years is a long time to have someone always there in your life. Taking up all of the bed space. Laying on my lap when I am sick. Making me laugh at her silliness. Cheering me up when I was sad. My faithful companion (well unless someone else has food, then all bets are off ). When she leaves this Earth I know I will be devastated and yet comforted. Comforted that she taught me how to love unconditionally.
- 1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
- 2/3 cup coconut flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- ¼ cup almond meal (flour)
- ½ cup buckwheat flour (with more to roll out)
- 1 cup (maybe less, maybe more) chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the almond butter and coconut flour together until fully combined.
- Add the almond meal and beat until combined.
- Add about ½ cup chicken broth to help it come together.
- Add the buckwheat flour.
- Now this is where you may need more or less. Add as much chicken stock as needed for it to form pliable dough that stays together.
- Place dough on buckwheat flour dusted surface and roll the dough with a rolling pin. You want the dough to be about 1/4inch thick so the treats can bake evenly.
- Use a cookie cutter for shapes, or I just used a pizza cutter to make rectangles (made it super easy).
- Roll out leftover scraps and cut out as many as possible.
- Place the treats on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool completely.