Dog Biscuits and Glutton for Punishment or Glutton For Love?

Hi everyone. Well, we bit the bullet. We got a dog. I know, I know, I have told many of you for years how crazy you all are to get a dog while you have kids and other responsibilities so call me a hypocrite if you must. Sometimes , life is just not rational. One day, I looked at my dear husband out of the blue and told him it was time to get a dog. It was just like the time I told him it was time to have a fourth child. It was just like when we decided to buy a house in the suburbs. It was just like the time I bought the most expensive electric pencil sharpener that money can buy so that homework would not be dragged out by lousy , broken pencil points from our last, bargain sharpener.

Life is like that.

How can I deprive my children who beg every day for a dog? I have a yard, my kids are in school most of the day, I have a friend who runs a dog boarding house in times of need (Rachael’s Dog House-mydoghouse@mac.com), I have a neighbor willing to walk the dog if I need to be in the City for hours, I have 4 kids vying for my attention and who need a little extra lovin’ and I have a husband who’s been up for it for years.

Most of all, I have the memories of dearly departed Smudge, (may she rest in peace) who made me the happiest 4th grader on the planet. How can I know that feeling of love and not have my kids experience it?

For the above reasons, we got beautiful Shiloh Kevin from the Animal Haven Shelter in NYC, http://www.animalhavenshelter.org/ assisted by our friend Michelle who works there as a volunteer. I am not that crazy and avoided the wild puppy months. Shiloh is 2 years old, even tempered, is a Beagle which is an awesome family dog, and he even looks a bit like sweet Smudge.

The first thing my daughter wanted to do last night upon his arrival was to make, not buy, Dog biscuits for him. Somehow she remembered that over 5 years ago, we had made dog biscuits from my favorite cookbook author, Ann Hodgman’s book, Beat That! http://www.amazon.com/Beat-This-Cookbook-Ann-Hodgman/dp/0395971772 for our neighbors.

Once again, cooking and baking are ingrained in our memories as something special, something nurturing, something primal that we do when we feel the love. We hope Shiloh will enjoy them. Thanks, Ann Hodgman!

Dog Biscuits:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
2 cups cracked wheat or wheatena cereal, uncooked, straight from the box
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups beef stock or consomme
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, the cracked wheat or Wheatena, the salt and the yeast; stir in the beef stock or consomme, the milk and the eggs. (The dough will be very stiff and heavy.) Knead with your hands until well mixed, then roll out to a thickness of 1/4 inch on a lightly floured board. With scissors or a sharp knife, cut into 1 inch squares on a lightly greased cookie sheet. (They don’t spread, so you can put them close together. Usually she makes 3 cookie sheets’ worth and freezes on the sheets to bake the next day.)

Bake for 45 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven overnight for 8 hours. Store the biscuits airtight. Makes 20 dozen.

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