Archives for August 2012

Down-Stay

There’s this training challenge that I keep seeing pop up around the intarwebs that involves people putting their dogs in down-stays and then writing out their names in kibble. It’s a great test for a dog that’s food oriented, but it would just be a waste of perfectly good dog food for me since my shepherds seem to think if it touches the floor by my hand it is forever off limits. So instead, I give you this:

Uschi lying on the kitchen floor in a down-stay with a "pupcake" at her front paws

Uschi was very interested in the pupcake, but she didn’t move from her down-stay until I let her “take a break.” Actually getting her to look at me was something of a challenge since I was behind the cupcake and she was quite determined to not pay attention to it since it was on the floor. Rest assured once she was released she happily spent the next ten minutes savoring every last morsel!

Pupcakes

It seems everywhere I look lately there’s someone touting their cupcakes made for dogs! Bettie’s Cakes has their “puppie cuppies” that Uschi is quite a fan of. Sloppy Kisses has a wheat-and-corn free cupcakes that Yara can eat! Even Sprinkles has one! Given all the cupcakes I make it’s no wonder that one of the most frequent questions I get asked is about homemade dog treats even though it wasn’t until last year that I specifically made my own “pupcakes.”

Since Yara was first diagnosed with EPI I’ve had a few people call me out for being a “dog food snob.” I’m certainly not the last word on dog nutrition, but I have done more than my share of research and I’m certainly far more knowledgeable on the subject than I was before having a dog with digestive issues. Yet, while I’ve become quite the advocate for feeding raw, I couldn’t help but feel baking for a dog seemed like too much of a fad and I just couldn’t see the point. Granted my pet dogs all had more than their share of people food so making anything specifically for them would have been absurd. Dolly was always so distracted by food that such an effort would have been largely a waste since her allotment of treats was small and infrequent.

Anyway, since I first made them, I’ve had few things be requested more than those pupcakes. So, much to Uschi’s joy I made a huge batch:

"Pupcakes" in yellow liners topped with peanut butter sitting on a cooling rack

As you can imagine, Uschi was very pleased by this. Oh, and no, there was no specific reason they’re in yellow liners other than the fact that I seem to the most excess in that particular color.

Beauty is Pain

I thought I broke my finger yesterday. First, I had a bit of a fiasco with Uschi out in the field behind my house involving her long leash, which shaved off a good layer of skin on my index and middle fingers. Then I fell in such a way that I bent my index finger in a position it shouldn’t bend and it swelled up twice its normal size. And after that I discovered that the dog had managed to cover herself in burdox and in the struggle to remove it from her fur I all but flayed off the rest of my index finger. However, I’m happy to report that while it looks really nasty, my finger is very much intact. In fact even though my index finger has far larger and grievous wounds presently I’m having more trouble with the teeny wound on my middle finger. Let’s just say typing with the tip of your finger missing is a bit difficult.

Before I maimed myself, I took a bunch of photos of the shepherd. You’ll have to judge for yourself if it was all worth my pain, but I’m rather pleased with the end result. I think my personal favorite is the profile shot shown first, but I’m quite partial to the lot of these. I’m especially fond of the sunbeam that’s visible in the last two.

Blue Heron

Spent another afternoon with Alice walking through Crossings. Without a doubt it was the most pleasant walk we’ve had thus far. It was plenty hot, but we had a steady breeze and weren’t swarmed by bugs. We spotted a blue heron hanging out at the lake right as we arrived and later we saw an osprey souring around the lake. I tried to get a photo of the osprey, but he was so far off that he’s just a blurry dot, but I did get some nice shots of the heron:

I mentioned to Alice that very few people bother to point these kinds of things out to me and it’s quite a shame. I’m almost always armed with my camera, hoping for something fun to take a photo of. But moreover since I can’t really see outside it’s just nice to know what’s around. Plus there’s always the chance that I’ll get a good enough shot that I’ll see whatever it was when I load the photo on my computer, though, it’s just as likely that I’ll get an image like that of the osprey. Honestly, some of my most favorite photographs have been of things that I was quite literally shooting blindly.

For the Record

Because my mother says I never make “simple” cupcakes, let the record show:

Vanilla cupcake in a foil liner topped with chocolate frosting and edged with almond slices

I have nothing against plain or simple cupcakes. I enjoy baking, of course, but since I don’t really eat cupcakes my main enjoyment comes from creating something special. Thing is a cupcake like this one can take just as long if not longer than the more decorated ones I generally show off because piping frosting is a lot faster than spreading it. Actually the strawberry shortcake cupcakes I made yesterday took less than half the time than these did.