Monday, July 15, 2013

Salmon Cookies with Susie

As a witty and sharp trick-loving dog, it can be hard sometimes to find the perfect treat to keep my brain engaged. I'll do my tricks for the glory, but sometimes when we're working on something really tricky, like walking past other dogs on walks without informing them (rudely, Erin says) that I require atleast 20 ft of personal space, or sitting politely and quietly in my basket when strangers are in the house, or learning new things. In these situations, only the stinkiest, meatiest treat will do.

We have a few go-to favorite store-bought treats, but they can be a little pricey and we tend to go through them pretty quickly, so we when we stumbled across this recipe, we quickly sent Erin off to the store to pick up a few supplies. Well, one supply: a can of salmon. We already had the rest of the ingredients for this easy recipe laying around the kitchen.

Since Erin is by no means culinarily inclined, I'd decided I'd better give her a paw and supervise the proceedings. First, I assembled the supplies:

Only three ingredients: Eggs, Canned Salmon, and Flour

Erin made sure to pick up a quality flour, King Arthur's, which is certified organic, unbleached whole wheat, with exactly one ingredient: Certified 100% Organic Hard Spring Wheat. She also tried to find a can of salmon that was low in sodium, since canned meats tend to contain lots of it, with minimal success, so that's something else to keep in mind when feeding this treat.

After I gathered all the supplies together, it was time to mix it up! I was more than happy to help of course.

Adding the flour to the salmon and egg mixture

All mixed together

I hope I get to lick the bowl!!!

Then it was time to spread the dough out on the pan. I let Erin do that, BOL, since she said I couldn't spread it on with my tongue. Ah, well. Who needs thumbs?

Then I stuck it in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees. After that, we had 25 minutes to wait and wait... By this time Fetch had shown up to see what the fishy smell was about:


Finally, after an awfully long wait, it was time to take my fishy treat out. I even got to use my special bone-shaped cookie cutter for the first time!

Excuse the excess dust on top. Erin was a little generous with the flour. Like I said, she's never really baked before. In fact, this was her first attempt at making something from scratch.

Yummy. Erin was impressed with my impulse control, especially considering how stinky it was.
The finished product. Not bad! (Note: the yield was far greater than what is pictured here, we just broke the rest up to use as training treats)
Oh dog! They look so good, I can't wait to try one!

Impulse control. What a cruel, cruel lady. Just let me have a cookie!!!

After that I finally got to try one (or two, BOL). Were they ever delicious! These treats were super smelly (the whole kitchen/living room smelled like salmon) and tasty. Fetch and I went crazy for them. They definitely get the doxie woof of approval! They ended up slighly soft and chewy, but the perfect texture for breaking them down in smaller-sized training treats. After my first freebie cookie, I had to work for more, but I didn't mind showing off.

Well, I'm off to take a nap! All that baking sure was hard work. Check back tomorrow for new pictures from my hike on the first (almost) rain free day in 43 days!!

Sleepy and full of yummies,

Susie the Chef

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Keeping Cool During the Dog Days of Summer

If there's one thing I hate more than rainy days, it's blisteringly hot, humid days, which can make it dangerous for me to enjoy a nice hike! Luckily, TheUncommonDog shared this handy infographic with us to help remind us  how to keep cool and safe during the punishing summer months!

TheUncommonDog offers a wide selection of cooling aids on their website, from climate controlled doghouses to high tech cooling pads, so definitely check it out if you're looking for ways to help keep your dog cool this summer!

Being a low-to-the-ground, solid black dog in the Deep South, I've had to come up with a few ways to keep cool myself, so check out these tips/warnings to keep cool:

  • Be careful walking on hot pavement. Dogs release a lot of heat through their paws, and walking on hot pavement can quickly overheat a dog. I generally test the pavement by getting my human to walk barefoot on it first. If it's not too hot for her sensitive human feet, it's generally safe for me!
  •  Following in line with the wet bandana tip, you can also soak your dog's harness in water and stick it in the freezer before a walk to help keep your dog cool
  • Make these quick and delicious ice pops. I especially love them in my red kong!
  •  Even with these tips, it can be hard to stay cool during the day, so we usually are active in the early mornings and evenings when it's less hot out side.
  • Remember, NEVER leave your dog in a car during the summer, even if you crack the windows, even if you're "just running in." Check out this informative video by a vet who decided to test just how dangerous it can be.
Stay safe and cool everyone,

Susie Q

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rainy Days and New Goodies

With all the storms and rain making it difficult to get out and hike, I've been comforting myself with a little retail therapy! I sent the human off to TJ Maxx with a wish list and let me tell you, their pet section is incredible! I much prefer the selection to the likes of Petsmart or Petco.

 On this trip, I got:
A pretty new ceramic bowl
A bag of Pure Buffalo meat strips, from free-range, grass fed buffalo with no additives or preservatives! A cute new collar and

A pig ear from Petsmart.

My spoils and I

Hmmm, what have we here?

Hand it over, please

 And my new harness, The Ruffwear Webmaster Harness in Twilight, finally came in!!

The human's been making up a list of all the things I need for our backpacking trip to the Smokey Mountains (only two weeks away!), and it was high time I got a new harness anyway. Even though it was a little pricey, the material is very tough and durable, and fits me like a glove. The human's glad it has a little handle to help me over obstacles and at water crossings, but we all know I don't need any help! Plus she says it makes me look "rugged," whatever that means.

I can't wait to spend a few days in the Cherokee National Forest, especially if it means I get a lot of new stuff!! Anyway, as soon as the package arrived on my porch, I suited up and headed out for nice walk between the storms. I'm glad I had Erin take my measurements instead of ordering my usual size, small, which would have been far too big. The chart called for an XSmall, and after adjusting it (which was kind of a pain) it fit snuggly, but I had to adjust it to the smallest configuration.

Cmon, Cmon, buckle me up so we can get this show on the road!

New Collar and Harness

First stop: Brick Pond Park!
A storm was lingering ominousy on the horizon, so we decided to forgo a "real" hike and took a leisurely stroll around a local park, which has a few small trails looping around swampy ponds.

Posing in a fleeting patch of sunlight (I tightened the front straps after this picture, as they were causing the harness to wiggle slightly.)
Investigating after I saw a mischievous turtle playing in the swamp.

It's been raining here for the past 42 days straight (and supposed to rain again for the next week), and we've had 600% of the average rainfall for this season. The ponds were crazy full, and the river has flooded the local River Walk path and all the boat ramps have been closed off. You can see in this picture from a few days ago the flooding at the pond, and the water levels are still rising:

The red arrow shows where the waterline usually is
The river, now a muddy brown.

Yesterday, they released about 25000 cfs of water for 4 hours from the Clarks Hill Dam (up the river from where we live) as the water levels were rising quickly and overfilling several lakes.

As a result, the water levels at the river are continuing to rise. And they're calling for more rain on the way! I'm happy that there's plenty of puddles to play in but now the current and the excess of water has made it unsafe for me to play in the river anytime soon. I guess it's good though, since we've been in a drought for several years.

I just hope it's not raining the whole time on our camping trip!! Well, I'm off to try to squeeze in a nice walk before it starts raining again!

One Soggy Dachshund,

Susie Q

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Black and White Sunday: Out for a Hike

Blogging Awards!

Hello Everyone!

So we're new to this whole blogging thing, and have been pretty slack about passing on the awards we've been nominated for. This post goes out to WordsWithWeiners and  Life as a Champ and for our nominations!

WordsWithWeiners nominated us for the Super Sweet Blogger Award on May 20th and we've been embarassingly tardy with both thanking Pam and passing the award along, so please forgive us! We're very grateful to Pam for not only giving us one of our first comments, but also our first blogging award.

Us doxies are all about sweetness of course:                              
Snuggling super sweetly

Now onto the award

They're five short and sweet "rules" for recieving this award:

#1 Thank the Super Sweet Blogger who nominated you.  Done!

#2 Answer five super sweet questions.  and Check!

#3 Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post.  See Above

#4 Nominate a baker’s dozen bloggers to receive the Super Sweet Blogging Award  It took a while, but we discovered a lot of, erm, sweet blogs in the process! 

#5 Notify your nominees on their blogs. Starting this now

Onto to the questions! We'll let Erin take over for the rest of the post:

  1. Cookies or cakes?  Cakes, especially caramel or red velvet!!
  2. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla. Yes, I know, boring..
  3. Favorite sweet treat?  I've always been a sucker for brownies, particularly of the brownie mix box variety
  4. When do you crave sweet things most?  At night. I'm a fiend for a midnight snack. The doxies, however, have informed me that it's never the wrong time for a sweet treat!
  5. Sweet nickname? Hahaha. Hahahahahaha. Haha. I have none, but the doxies and cat are subjected to a whole gambit of nicknames, from tibbles (Tyger) to Kazoo (Susie) and everything in between. Of course, they often bear no relation to their actually names... 

Liebster Award 
Life as a Champ nominated us for the Liebster Award on June 23rd. I absolutely adore all the recipes on your blog, although it's definitely raising the doxies' standards! I was also really impressed with all the books on your "bookshelf;" I spotted a few of my favorite and now have some to add to my list!

This award is for newbies like us, so the nominees must have 200 or fewer followers. Along with this requirement, you must:

#1 List the nominator’s blog on your blogroll with a link.  Done

#2 Answer 11 questions asked by your nominator:

1. What are your favorite non-food smells? Sweaty horse, coastal hay, sea breeze, Newsprint, pine, baked goods, puppy/kitten breath 
2. More importantly, do you like the smell of dog paws? I've come to terms with it
3. What are more repelling, spiders or snakes? Snakes, oh man, they really freak me out. I know, I know, they're more afraid of me than I am of them, etc, etc, but we've got a lot of cottonmouths and rattlesnakes around here, and I'm really paranoid as it is. 
4. How many kinds of pets do you have? Two dogs, one cat
5. Do you have middle names for your pets? ...yes. Susie's is techincally "Q," but we sometimes call her Susan B Anthony in jest, or Susie "B" Q. I gave Fetch the middle name "Sniffer" when I was about 5 

6. What is the best prank you've ever pulled? Well, this sounds really awful, and I do feel kind of bad about it now. I share a bathroom with my brother and have for a few years, and he used to be really bad about peeing on the toilet seat, which, understandabley, made me really mad. Well, the parents weren't much help in getting him to change his ways, so I decided to take matters into my own hands... So, I used his handtowels (used for face washing, which, incidentily, were on the bathroom floor anyway..) to mop up the toilet seat after he struck, and as soon as I informed him of my tactics (after a few days... ) he immediately quit. So, I do feel kind of repentant, but at the same time, it worked.. Yes, I train my brother far more harshly than my dogs. I'm strictly Positve Reinforcement, Negative Punishment with them ;)
7. What was the name of your first dog? Brandon, my dad and his sister got a brother and sister from a litter and named them Brandon and Brandy.
8. Have you been to the Pacific NW? No, but I've been to the Pacific W!
9. Have you ever ridden a horse? Indeed
10. Do you prefer buttered popcorn or kettle corn? Kettle corn, everytime
11. If you could be any living person in the world for a day, who would it be? Me :)

Provide 11 random facts about yourself:

#1 I'll be starting college in the fall at the University of South Carolina, pursuing an English major (which means I'll be an hour away from the pups, since I have to live on campus the first year. I've already been working on getting the dogs ready for "city" life for the next year, when I'll bring them up with me)
#2 I spend too much time at the used bookstore
#3 I'm a DogForum addict and a longtime lurker
#4 I'm a vegetarian and have been for 3 years, although I would never try to push that onto my pets. Unlike me, they need meat to be healthy.
#5 I love horses and horseback riding, although I'm currently horseless after having to rehome my thoroughbred in the wake of going to college this fall, which wasn't the original plan and which makes my foresight seem pretty poor, but life tends to happen and I hope to get back into riding soon, even if I won't be owning again for many, many years to come.
#6 At 18, I'm still afraid of the dark
#7 I'm a trekkie and Captain John Luc Picard is one of my greatest idols 
#8  I'm a literary nerd/snob with a taste for classics. I can't recall the last book I read from the 21st century.
#9 My favorite food is baked ziti
#10 I love hiking/camping/backpacking, and will be taking a camping trip to the mountains soon, and hopefully bringing Susie along if we can find some dog-friendly hiking (if only most national parks allowed dogs!)
I was hoping to bring her along on my senior trip, but we ended up backpacking on Cumberland Island, an undeveloped island off the coast of Georgia with only a few buildings and inhabitants, which is owned largely by the national park service, so, sadly, no dogs allowed on the ferry or in the campgrounds, which basicaly means no dogs allowed.
#11 Iron & Wine is my favorite band and I hope to see him live this fall when he comes to Atlanta!

Moving on! Nominate 11 qualified blogs (less than 200 followers) for the Liebster Award and let them know through a post on their blog page Doing this now

Provide a set of 11 questions for the nominated blogs to answer:
#1 What's the first book you ever read? If you can't remember, what's your favorite?
#2 What's your favorite summer time activities?
#3 Rainy days or sunny days?
#4 What's the farthest you've ever traveled from home?
#5 Any weird quirks?
#6 What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
#7 What's a dog breed you'd like to own someday?
#8 What's your dog's/cat's "color" (for collars/leashes/etc)
#9 How did you get your current pet(s)?
#10 What's your favorite time of day?
#11 Favorite way to spend your time?

And: Display the award on your blog! done!

Now for the nominees!

For both the Super Sweet Blogger Award and the Liebster Award:

4. My Dog Diaries
3. Abby the Labradork-
5.  Cinnamon: Our Spicy Cocker Spaniel
6. A Novice in all Things
7. Snoweiners
8. Parker Chronicles
9.  Paws to Talk
10. Your Dog Can Sing
11. The Online Canine

And for the Super Sweet Blogger Award:

1. Time for Poodles
2. Cat on My Head

Wow! That took a long time, but I've found so many cool blogs in the process! Thanks again to WordsWithWeiners and Life as a Champ for the nominations!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tyger Tuesday

Tyger here.

I have some unsettling news.

We have been infested with a pest, far worse than fleas or ticks, much more sinister and cunning. Don't be fooled by its seemingly innocent wide, blue eyes, or its plaintive cries for attention. It's already managed to cast the humans under its spell, but don't let it manipulate you too:

Be careful to avoid direct eye contact least you fall victim to his wiles.

The blonde boy brought it over one day, saying his brother found the little scrap huddled on a street corner down town in the pouring rain. A likely story.

Well. As you can imagine I was less than pleased to smell this little intruder in his seemingly innoculous
crate, though the humans took pains to introduce us slowly, and it helped that he wasn't here ALL the time (he lives with the blonde one) so I can take breaks from his kitten antics.

Being the tough kitty that I am, it took me a while to be able to admit that Sage (the kitten) is kind of cute, if you sort of narrow your eyes at him and tilt your head. Erin says I have to teach him important cat skills since he should still be with his mama and litter mates (the vet said he was between 4-5 weeks when we got him, and it's been a few weeks now), and it's clear the little guy looks up to me:

Teaching  him the finer points of streching after (or during) a nap

Generously sharing my cat tower

Susie and Sage snuggling

Kinda cute

Us in the new cat tower (It was on sale for 38$ on with free shipping (usually retails for atleast $100) so I couldn't resist. Now he has two cat towers, as if he wasn't spoiled enough already ;) )
And since Susie hasn't gotten the chance to post in a while, here's some pictures from a few of her walks:

Deer! Susie loves running through the woods with her nose to the ground trying to track them down. There's so many in these woods because the land around them is being extensively developed :( and they're all being driven here.


Seconds after two deer ran past

Susie Q. (I hate the way this harness sags to one side (which may be in part due to the heavy clip, though it's never been a problem on other harnesses) so we're in the market for a new one. Any suggestions? ?
That's it for this Tyger Tuesday. See you later!