Penelope Eats a Muffin

Well, here we are coming up on week two of Penelope’s “I ain’t eatin’ that” hunger strike.

We had a “woo hoo” moment where she agreed to eat a leftover can of Prescription Diet A/D that I had sitting around from when Barb sent Bunny to live with us (she had her own “not eating that” phase during her pregnancy. Too bad it didn’t extend to electronics). Unfortunately, A/D isn’t ideal as a food for pregnant girls, and even if it was, Nell had decided by the next morning that she no longer liked that stinky food in can, and could she just have a glass of mineral water with lemon (no ice), puh-leeze?

Sigh, redux.

She ate some raw, de boned chicken here and there over the weekend, but not enough to make me confident she was getting enough nutrition, and raw boneless chicken on its own isn’t enough to sustain healthy growth in puppies.

Cait suggested a sort of dog food muffin that reminds me of the baked results you get from Essex Cottage Farms dog food mix. Since there are no suppliers of either or ECF food nearby (read: within a two hour drive), I decided to look for home made dog food muffin recipes.

The most common one I found was a fairly simple recipe in which you simply added a pound of ground chicken to a commercial corn meal muffin mix. Well, that sounded fairly promising – after all, Penelope was willing to eat those zuchinni banana muffins last week. I don’t like the idea of using a mix, however — I won’t bake for myself from a mix, so I certainly won’t do it for my dog, either. Too much sugar, too much hydrogenated oil, and too little control over the ingredients.

Instead, I used the following recipe of my own, which I feel is a healthier alternative, and which I’m calling —

Fussy Frenchie Meaty Muffins


* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 2 large eggs
* 2/3 cup natural yogurt
* 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
* 1  1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

* 1 cored, pureed red apple, seeds removed
* 1/2 of a medium sized zucchini, grated
* 2 cups ground chicken (we ground necks, bone included, and boneless thigh meat)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray two medium sized cupcake or muffin trays
2. Stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat together wet ingredients except for apple, zucchini and chicken in separate bowl. Fold wet into dry using a wooden spoon. Don’t over mix. Add chicken, apple and zucchini.
3. Drop two tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Don’t over fill. Bake 20  minutes, or until golden brown. Makes roughly 24 – 36 muffins.

So far, so good — Penelope loved hers, Tula reacted to them like they were little golden chunks of doggie crack, and the rest of the dogs looked so sad that they each got a 1/4 muffin with their dinner.

These would probably make nice little bait treats, by the way — and they smell quite tasty.

Beat This, Lassie – Argentine Dog Saves Baby

Forget saving Timmy from a well — this little Argentine street dog saves a newborn baby. Beat that, Lassie.

From the BBC News

An eight-year-old dog has touched the hearts of Argentines by saving the life of an abandoned baby, placing him safely alongside her own new puppies.

The country’s media are calling him “the miracle baby”.

He was born prematurely to a 14-year-old girl in a shanty town outside the capital, Buenos Aires.

She is said to have panicked and abandoned the boy in a field, surrounded by wooden boxes and rubbish.

Then along came La China, reports say, the dog which somehow picked up the baby and carried her 50m to place him alongside her own puppies.

The dog’s owner reported hearing the child crying and finding him covered with a rag.

The baby, weighing 4kg (8lb 13oz), had some slight injuries, but no bite marks.

The downside is that the sudden fame and attention has made the dog understandably nervous. Her owner says she’s not eating, and he’s worried she won’t be able to care for her puppies.

Here’s a video clip of the story.

Breaking News — Tessa really MIGHT rule the universe!

Wow, who knew one little, cranky, red and white dog could start this much ground swell?

Tessa says “Being leader of the free world is nothing compared to raising 21 cranky little Frenchie children. I’d take Putin over Sailor any day.”

Raw Dog Food Simplified. Sort of.

A few people have written to me asking for my ‘recipe’ for raw dog food, so I decided this deserved a post of its own.

To be honest, there really isn’t a ‘recipe’ per se. What there is is a ratio break down, which as I’ve mentioned before is:

50% or so turkey necks and fish with bones (salmon, sardines and mackerel, primarily)
5% liver, kidney, giblets (organ meats)
5% heart
25% muscle meat (beef, sometimes mutton or pork)
10% ground vegetables, fruit and greens
the rest is a mix of eggs, dairy, nutritional yeast, molasses, yogurt and cider vinegar

Bear in mind, this is MY ratio, based on what I have access to most often, and at the most reasonable prices. You, on the other hand, can muck about with this to suit your own preferences, and your own locally available ingredients.

Some people might have an easier time getting chicken necks and backs than turkey necks. Others might have a line on venison or elk in season, which they can substitute for beef. The same applies to veggies and fruits — if I’ve gotten a good deal on bananas or carrots, there’s going to be a lot of bananas and carrots in their food. Right now, my dandelion ‘garden’ is a reliable source for greens, so we’re using that (and getting some weeding done at the same time).

I don’t weigh out anything, either — I estimate by volume, using my trusty pots and pans and bowls.

I grind and chop all my veggies, and I pre bake sweet potatoes and squash. Technically speaking both of these orange vegetables are carb sources, so I keep them to a 20% ratio in my veggie mix. You can adjust as you like. For people who want a grain or carb source, try adding quick cooking oats or quinoa (although technically speaking, you don’t really need a carb source other than the veggies).

If you are confident that your dog can get through necks and backs, then by all means, skip grinding them. I, on the other hand, am confident that I’d spend a good deal of time pulling stringy bits of turkey out of the throats of my choking dogs, so I do grind. To each their own, and don’t let the hard line party advocates on either side of the issue bully you out of doing what’s best for you dogs.

Since I grind, I give my dogs recreational beef bones to chew on once a week or so.

Remember, this is all about finding what works for you. Preparing your own raw food is messy, time consuming and back breaking. Honestly, if I was only feeding one or two dogs, I’d have no hesitation about feeding them a pre made raw diet (we like the Nature’s Variety patties).

Don’t get caught in the “Unless you do it ‘this way’, you’re a dog killing heathen” trap. Too many raw feeding advocates get a sort of scary, cult like thing going on when they start preaching about their way of feeding. Personally, I don’t think any diet is perfect, unless you can make it work for you.

Penelope Drives Me Nuts & Spice and Fanny Are Available

Penelope is pickyWell, we’re on day three of Penelope’s hunger strike. Since the day before yesterday, she has eaten, in total:

– three banana zucchini muffins
– two and a 1/4 hamburger patties (small ones, at that)

We’ve tried raw, Honest Kitchen (used to like it, but not any more), canned Merrick puppy, canned Evo puppy, Iams biscuits, Mother Hubbard biscuits, poached chicken breast (she spits it on the floor), diced sirloin and sausage.

She ate none of it.

She simply has no interest in food. It seems to be something about the smell – and, since the muffins have a very bland smell, she doesn’t mind those. I’m going to try some cottage cheese this afternoon, with fingers crossed. With two weeks to go until she’s due, it’s a bad time for her to refuse to eat.

Gah. Dog breeding — so much fun!

Fun as in ‘hey, watch me hit myself in the head with this hammer!’.

FannyOur friend Stephanie over at Stephlyn French Bulldogs has two cute Frenchies looking for new homes.

First up is Fanny, who I happen to have a particular soft spot for. Fanny lived here with us for six months, and is possibly the happiest French Bulldog I’ve ever met. That’s her in the “Tessa Earns a Nap” video, bouncing around and generally being a total goofball.

She’s just under two years, cream and as cute as can be. She’s great with cats, other dogs who won’t be mean to her, and kids (although so far, she’s only met older kids).

She has a problem with really steep stairs, so she’d be best in a home with few or none. She’s in Maryland, but if you arrange it fairly soon, she could be picked up in the Toronto area.

SpiceContact Stephanie for more details  —

Second up is Spice, and adorable little brindle puppy. She’s got lots of attitude, and is very sweet.

As with Fanny, she’s in Maryland, but could be picked up in Toronto if arrangements are made in time.

Both Spice and Fanny are available to pet homes on mandatory spay contracts.

Again, contact Stephanie directly for more details, at

Here’s a video of Fanny playing with Tessa and the other dogs. Seriously, how cute is this girl?