Monday, May 24, 2010

Falling Down and Getting Back Up

I have been falling lately. Luckily, I haven't fallen on my elbow that just was operated on! We went to see a Shakespere play, and during intermission we took Montana out for a short walk. I had just handed off his leash to Arnie, when we began climbing a set of cement stairs. I fell, with my right knee landing on the step. Needless to say, it hurt and I said a very bad word. Montana came back down the stairs without prompting to help me get back up.

Does this mean my balance is getting worse, even on the Tysabri? I sure hope not, because I was at my baseline for months--my baseline is low but I'm still walking with a forearm crutch on my right and with Montana on my left.

For the play, we got handicapped seats which turned out to be the best in the house. There was room on the side of my chair for Montana to spread out, plus the seats had arm rests and pillows. The rest of the seating was bench-style, plus there were short stools up on stage for some who wanted to be a lot closer to the action.

Wednesday, we're taking a trip up to northern Virginia to see a few sights. The following week, we'll go to Richmond to see the Holocaust Museum (we've been there before, and it is humbling to see). There are Holocaust survivors who volunteer there to answer questions.

We're trying to get in as many trips as possible before June 7, when Arnie goes back for more CT scans, and then two days later we see the oncologist to find out where we need to go from there. Please send my dear husband positive thoughts as we get nearer to this event in our lives. Thank you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Applesauce Cranberrry Cookies

We had Montana's thyroid tested, as he is gaining a lot of weight recently and is more lethargic than normal. We should have the results either today or Monday. I really hope that's what it is. The vet went ahead and did a CBC, and those results all came out normal.

Here's a new recipe I made yesterday. Montana approved wholeheartedly!

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

  • 3 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 cups dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup oat bran

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 2 Tbsp honey

  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. The ones I made were a little dry, so I would suggest more applesauce (1 cup vs. 1/2 cup). Mix thoroughly. Roll into small balls, about 1" in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Pam. Press each one down with your hand to flatten the cookies.

Bake 18-22 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool completely on a paper towel. Store at room temperature in a loosely covered container, or freeze. I stuck half in the freezer and half in the fridge.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cranberry Cinnamon Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix oil and water, slowly add flour and other ingredients. Roll dough out on a flat surface and cut with cookie cutter. Bake 35 minutes on a 350 degree oven. Allow to cool on a wire rack (I use paper towels).

Store in airtight container in fridge, or freeze.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

  • 2 Tbsp. molasses

  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 egg

Combine all ingredients together and mix until a dough forms. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutter or a knife to cut into shapes. Place on cookie sheet that has been pre-sprayed with Pam. They can be placed rather close together as they do not expand much during baking.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Transfer and let cool completely on wire racks (I use paper towels). Store cookies in an airtight container in fridge, or freeze.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Apple Cheddar Cookies

This is a recipe that is not only easy, but my dog loves it. While it's baking, he lays drooling in front of the oven.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 c old-fashioned oats

  • 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 Tbsp honey

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients together and mix until a dough forms. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutter to cut into shapes. Place on Pam-sprayed cookie sheet (they tend to stick to the pan). They can be placed rather close together as they don't grow much during cooking.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Transfer and let cool. Refrigerate.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Molasses Carrot Cookies

First, let me say that the picture was taken on our trip to South Carolina. Montana and I climbed up to the observation tower at a Wildlife Preserve, and we were very proud of ourselves. When climbing stairs I have to go up (and down) one step at a time, getting both feet on the same step before I can go up another one. Montana goes at the same pace, staying right beside me in case I stumble or lose my balance. He is one amazing dog, and I thank my lucky stars that he is mine.

I bought a box of fancy dog biscuits during our trip and got to reading the ingredients. Then, I made a batch of my own today using those ingredients plus my usual dog cookie ingredients. They got raves from Montana, and they sure smelled good to me!

Molasses Carrot Cookies

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

  • 2 grated carrots

  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 cup Old Fashioned oatmeal

  • 1/3 cup molasses

  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together. Shape into balls and squash as for cookies. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and serve. I break these into pieces and serve as I would regular dog food, along with things like sardines, boneless canned salmon, broccoli, chopped canned spinach, etc.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Re-certification and Blueberry Cookies

The picture is Kim, Monty's foster mother, Montana and Zipper, Kim's dog who was in training to be a service dog but had a problem with his leg, so Kim became his owner.

Tuesday, Montana and I took our re-certification test at the mall. The head trainer met us and watched as I took Montana out of the car, checking that I did it safely for him. We then went into the mall, and she had me do things like stop walking to make sure he stopped at the same time without being told. I put him in a sit position, told him to wait, and walked about 30 feet away. I then told him to come, which he did, straight to me. We then went into a small store (Hallmark) that had narrow isles so that Elizabeth could see that Montana stayed right by my side and didn't try to sniff anything on the shelves. There were more things involved, which I won't bore you with, but we passed (didn't have any doubts that we would).

Tuesday evening, we went to Partner's class. That was so much fun. They had set up a small agility course, and the partners and their dogs took turns trying it out. The dogs also had to pick up toys and put them in a basket. They also had a wicker basket full of toys that the dogs had to pick up and carry. It was a great class.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup Cream of Wheat (uncooked)

  • 1 cup oatmeal (uncooked)

  • 1 cup blueberries

Mix ingredients. Shape into balls and squash flat as for cookies. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.

I use these cookies as part of his meal, breaking them up into small pieces. I also add 1/2 cup of cooked veggies and sometimes a little applesauce or cottage cheese.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cooking for Montana

I have a very simple recipe that makes cookies to use as treats or as part of a meal.

Chicken Applesauce Veggie Cookies
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1/2 cup uncooked cream of wheat
  • 1/3 cup applesauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix incredients, shape into balls, squash as for cookies. Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

For breakfast today, Montana had: 1/2 cup Purina One, one crumbled up cookie, 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, and 1 Tbsp vanilla yogurt. He then had one parsley dog cookie and his PetTab vitamin.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cooking Up A Storm

I fixed these two recipes yesterday and today. My energy level is low, so I can't do too much at once but Montana needed more cookies for dessert, and I needed to make him more grains. I found buckwheat at the food co-op, plus bought two pounds of millett because that's the only place I can find it.

Buckwheat (or kasha to us Jews) is cooked like millett except for one added ingredient--egg white.

How to Cook Buckwheat

Add 1 cup of buckwheat groats to a heated skillet, and add to it a beaten egg white. The egg separates the kernels as they cook, which prevents the groats from sticking together. Stir the buckwheat/kasha and egg mixture until each grain is separate and dry. Then, add 2 cups of boiling liquid, either stock or water (I added water), and a dash of salt. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. I let this cool, then divided it into separate portions in zip-lock bags.

Crunchy Oatmeal Dog Treats

  • 3 cups oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (natural breath freshener)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients together. This mixture is a little sticky, so I floured my hands to work with it. You can make these big or small. Roll into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 14-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool on paper towels. Can be stored in fridge for up to 2 months.

I get a lot of my recipes from the website below, but I usually change one or two things. This recipe called for 1 Tbsp parsley, but I always triple the amount called for.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

We ate all the soup I had made and put in the freezer, so I've got to make a big pot this week. This week's soup is going to be split pea. It's hard to make, but well worth the effort. We have a big bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It's turned into one of our favorite meals. Last week, we ate the sweet and sour cabbage soup. That was really good, with a little bite from the red pepper flakes.

Today, I'm making compote. We had some this past weekend, and it put me in the mood to make some. Couldn't find dried pears so I bought dried apples instead, plus prunes, apricots, and golden raisins.

Montana had to eat just regular Purina the four days we were out of town. He didn't really mind, but he didn't go back twice to lick his bowl like he does with the home-cooked food. I've added lentils and sardines to his diet. This week I'm going to try to find buckwheat at the Co-Op, and pick up some more millett.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And I Thought Millet Was Just for the Birds

I have taught Montana how to crawl across the floor. It's wonderful to teach these extra-special dogs new things because they are very smart and learn fast, and because they already know so much that it's fun to come up with something new. I call it the Commando Crawl, although he could never be a Commando and sneak up on anyone because he makes a whole lot of noise getting his big body across the floor while on his belly! We have a lot of fun with it.

I have a recipe for Millet Muffins that my dear sister-in-law gave me, plus millet is on the "good things to feed your dog list" that I use in determining what to feed Montana. We live in a real small town with not a lot of grocery stores. I looked at all of them, and there was no millet on the shelves. Then, I got the bright idea of going to the next town over to the Natural Foods Co-Op, which happens to be a block away from our favorite Mediterranean restaurant. Sure enough there was millet in the area where they have the food in bins where you scoop it out and put it in a bag.

Well, I got it home and discovered that neither one of my two cookbooks told me how to cook the damn stuff. So, I went on-line. It's easy. First you saute it in oil, then cook it for half an hour in water. Has a nutty flavor, and it's crunchy.

Montana inhaled it, as he does all things, and the muffins came out really great so I made a second batch.

Millet Muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/3 cup millet

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup honey (I didn't have any honey, so I substituted 1/2 cup brown sugar)

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (that was too expensive, so I used a maple flavored syrup)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line mini-muffin tins with papers

  2. In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg, vegetable oil, and honey (or brown sugar). Stir buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until evenly moist. Transfer batter to prepared muffin tins.

  3. Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.

  4. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

We had about five inches of snow yesterday, which for Salem is a pretty heavy snowfall. Montana's favorite thing, other than food, is snow. He goes out and runs around in it like a maniac. It is so much fun to see him enjoying life like that!

I baked something two days ago that was very easy, in fact I baked another batch today.

Whole Wheat Parsley Cookies

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups water

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Mix oil and water, slowly add flour and other ingredients. Work in a little more flour, flour hands and knead dough. Pull off small pieces, roll into shapes or press flat in palms. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

The fresh flavor of parsley helps to freshen your dog's breath.

You can also add 2 Tbsp dried mint to the mix.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Saint Francis Demo

Montana and I did our first demo for Saint Francis Service Dogs. I talked to a Brownie troup, so it was a nice beginning to the demos I'll be doing in the future. The strange thing was, I didn't get nervous. There were about 25 Brownies, four leaders, and a few interested parents. I had asked Connie, Montana's trainer, to come with me as back-up. It was good that I did, because she was able to point me toward a few things I forgot to talk about, and she was also able to answer some questions that I stumbled over.

I had made notes on index cards but didn't use them. Instead, I just talked. Sometimes my talking was a little disjointed and not as smooth as I would have liked, but I figure as I continue to give demos it will get easier and I'll get my talk down to a more natural flow of information.

They gave me a box of Thin Mint GS cookies as a thank-you gift. That was sweet!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Montana and I are going to be on TV! St. Francis filmed four partners and their dogs for Public Service Announcements to be shown in Virginia. It was scary and it was exciting. Montana did good, helping me on and off the recumbent bike and the rowing machine at the YMCA, helping me keep my balance while I walked, and picking up and handing me his leash and my forearm crutch. We went to the library for the interview on how Montana has made my life different and how he is such an awesome dog. Then, we all went to lunch and had a wonderful time talking and laughing. They are all such wonderful people! I want to give back as much as I can to St. Francis, since they've given me so very much. So when I'm asked to volunteer some time, I always try to say yes.

I made a new recipe yesterday that was very easy to put together, and Montana went crazy over it when I gave him a few pieces this morning.

Oatmeal Crunchy Trail Mix

  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 2 cups (uncooked) oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine stock and milk in a bowl, and beat with a fork. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the oatmeal. Pour liquid ingredients into dry and mix well. Add peanut butter. Press the batter onto a greased baking sheet. Cut into shapes with a knife. Bake one hour. Turn off oven, but leave biscuits in the oven to harden overnight. Refrigerate afterwards.

Can add one well-shredded carrot to mix just before folding it out onto baking sheet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunbathing -- 15 Degrees

Montana always likes to lay outside on a sunny day. One day last week, it was 15 degrees and sunny. He loved it!

Apple Cinnamon and Oat Cookies

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour

  • 2/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup oats

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Flour your hands, and knead the dough in the bowl. Pinch off small amounts and roll into balls. Put cookies on baking sheet with a little space separating them. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes; cookies should be firm to touch. Turn off oven, and leave cookies in oven for 2 hours to harden. Makes about 80 cookies.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Salmon/Black Bean Doggy Dinner

This is a picture of Montana resting after he had fun shredding a map. He won't tear up paper or cardboard unless you hand it to him and tell him it's okay. Then, he knows it's his.

Yesterday, I drained firm Tofu and then cut it into cubes. I mixed together a can of garbanzo beans, a can of sliced carrots and a can of peas, and put this mixture into small zip-lock bags. I kept the Tofu separate from the veggies, plus held out a bowl of it for myself.

Today I made a salmon dinner for Montana, which was super easy.

Salmon/Black Bean Doggy Dinner

  • 2 cans boneless/skinless salmon

  • 2 eggs-beaten

  • 6 Tbsp Cream of Wheat

  • 1 1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans

Mix all ingredients together. Cook in skillet in a small amount of oil until slightly browned. Cool and put into small zip-lock bags.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Applesauce Mini-Muffins For Dogs

Yesterday, I made muffins for Montana. They stuck to the papers, but other than that they came out fine. I just took a recipe that I make for us and added applesauce and oats in place of the sugar.

Applesauce Mini-Muffins for Dogs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1-1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together oil, applesauce and baking soda. Add flour, oats and cinnamon, blending thoroughly. Line mini-muffin tin and spoon in batter. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Funny story: I bought a bathmat. My bathroom is tiny, so when Montana and I are in there together, there's not a lot of room left over. He loves the bathmat. I have to fight him for it. When I get into the shower, he lays on it and covers it completely. When I'm done showering I have to get him to stand up and move so I can step out onto my new bathmat, which he does very grudgingly. It's a riot!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Barley, Mini-Muffins, Grandson

This is a picture of our youngest grandson, Aaron. He's three, and he is a sweet and very happy child.

I cooked a box of Barley for us. I put half of it in zip bags for Montana, and saved the other half for us. We all had it for dinner yesterday. I put a little bit of soy sauce on mine and Arnie put Italian dressing on his. Montana, of course, had his plain.

Wednesday, I made Applesauce mini-muffins. Very easy and very, very tasty.

Applesauce Mini-Muffins

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • 3/4 cup sugar (or brown sugar)

  • 1 cup applesauce

  • 1 1/2 cups unsifted whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Cream oil and sugar together, mix in applesauce and baking soda. Add flour and cinnamon, blending thoroughly. Line mini-muffin tin with papers (or oil and flour). Pour batter into tins. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

These went awfully fast, so I'm going to bake another batch today. I was thinking about doubling the cinnamon. I'm also going to bake a batch for Montana, leaving out the sugar and increasing the cinnamon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah began Sunday evening. I light the candles every night and say the prayer because this holiday gives me comfort and makes me calm. We also called our youngest grandson, Aaron, and sang him the dreidel song. He is three, and goes to Jewish school out in sunny California. He is such a happy child, and he always makes us smile and laugh.

During Hanukkah, you give your children what's called gelt. It can be small presents, coins or chocolate, things like that. Since we have no children living with us, I bought Montana a package of Three-Dog Bakery "Chocolate" Sandwich Cookies. I'm giving him one each night of Hanukkah, since he is now our child. Needless to say, he's crazy about them!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Melange of Veggies

With this weeks' cooking, I've upped the homemade portion to one-half the total amount I'm feeding Montana. That's as high as I'll go, though. I don't want to have to worry about vitamins and supplements, so will continue feeding Purina One instead of eventually stopping it completely.

I cooked a big bag of organic carrots and held a bowl of them out for my supper. Carrots are my favorite vegetable. To the carrots, I added a can of corn, a can of garbanzo beans, and a can of spinach. Very nutritious, and the colors are beautiful.

I've got some canned pineapple, and I'm going to try freezing pieces of it to use as treats.

It's been raining here all week. Last night, Montana wouldn't go out for his last pee. Remember, I have a Lab who hates to get wet. Arnie was joking that I needed to take him out and hold an umbrella over him when it's raining. At least I think he was joking!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Loyal Service Dog

I had to go to my doctor's office Mon-Tue-Wed for IV steroids. When Arnie and Montana made sure I was settled in, they went out for a walk in the neighboorhood. When they returned, Montana hurried over to see how I was doing, Arnie got him a drink of water, then he plopped down on the floor as close to me as he could get and took a nap until I was finished for the day. He is such a great comfort to me, this great big-hearted dog.

I bought some garbanzo beans, canned spinach, and organic carrots for this weekend's meal prep. Think I'll put it all in a pot of cooked brown rice. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Steroid Infusions

I'm having the last one of my 3-day course of IV steroids today. I've had worsening MS symptoms with the latest one being optic neuritis. that has caused left eye pain, blurriness, double vision, and slow focusing. Anyway, Arnie takes me down to the infusion center, makes sure I'm settled in, then he takes Montana out for a walk. When they get back from their walk Jane, the infusion nurse, gets Montana a drink of water, then he plops down beside me and takes a nap until I'm finished and ready to get up.

The Infusion Room is such a nice place. They have leather recliners, blankets, cold drinks, candy, crackers, and a TV. Jane is so sweet, has worked there for years, and runs the program amazingly well. I'm there for about an hour and a half, which isn't too bad because some people have to stay there a lot longer than that. Everyone is nice and because of Montana, conversations usually center around people's pets.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I picked this recipe to try because although it has more ingredients than I care to use, I had everything on hand.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

4 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup natural applesauce, no sugar added
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough. Pinch off pieces to form 1 inch balls, flatten and place on cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. When done, the cookies should be firm to the touch. Turn off the oven, and leave the cookies in for 2 hours to harden. Makes about 80 two inch cookies.

I froze half, and put half in the fridge. They smell great while baking and hardening with the whole wheat flour and cinnamon. Taste-tested and loved by Montana.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicken Applesauce Cookies

Here is the simplest recipe I've made so far.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 6 Tbsp veg. oil
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or cream of wheat

Mix ingredients, shape into balls and flatten as for cookies. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St. Francis Graduation

Graduation was Sunday, Dec 7. It was an awesome affair except that it was 33 degrees outside, and probably just as cold inside the Training Center (huge, unheated horse barn) where the graduation was held. This is a picture of me and Montana--me wearing many, many layers and Montana impervious to the cold! He was in true service dog mode and acted perfectly. I was very nervous, sitting up on stage along with the four other graduates. I got to give my speech first, didn't cry too much (had to stop once and wipe my runny nose!), and then I was able to sit back and listen to everyone else give their speeches. Each graduate was presented with a scrapbook of his/her dog from puppyhood when they were first accepted into the St. Francis Service Dog program, up until the present time. The scrapbooks are full of wonderful things like pictures and journals that none of us had ever seen before. I will cherish mine forever.

After the graduation ceremony, there was the Puppy Parade. About 25 puppies and young dogs that are in training were led across the stage and introduced. The youngest two were 4-month-old Labs, cute as ever. Some of the young Golden Retrievers looked like furballs. After the puppy parade, there was a reception with hot coffee and hot spiced apple cider, cakes and cookies, and other goodies.

What was amazing is that about 100 people came to watch and take part in graduation, despite the chilling cold. I will post more pictures on my profile page.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

This is Montana resting at home after a four day Thanksgiving trip to Margate, NJ. The pop-up travel crate worked great. I put him in it while we ate, and at night at the hotel he slept in his crate. However, he was very happy to get back home to his bed and pillow. The pillow is new to him, but it used to be my travel pillow. He likes to rest his head on it, and he also likes to play "catch the pillow".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Green Cleaning Products

--Mix together one part while vinegar and one part water in spray bottle. This is a good all-around cleaner for countertops (test first on marble surfaces), sinks and appliances. Add lemon juice for a fresh smell or to remove soap scum.

--Use pure vinegar in your toilet bowl to disinfect.

--Mix together vinegar and salt for a good surface cleaner.

--Make a paste using salt, water, and a little vinegar. Use this as a general, all-purpose cleaner.

--Combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 Tbsp vinegar in a spray bottle. Use on glass and mirrors, and to shine chrome. The alcohol prevents streaking.

--Mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 gallon warm water. Use this to damp mop hardwood, linoleum and tile floors. No need to rinse.

--Spray mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water on oven. Scrub with a non-abrasive cleaning pad. This works great, even on baked on spills.

--Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in spray bottle. Add 10-20 drops tea tree oil, or lavender or citrus oil. Shake well. Use anywhere, as needed. Non-toxic and organic. Also good to clean door knobs, toilet handles, switch plate covers, etc. I like to use this to clean toilets and sinks.

Always use distilled white vinegar.

Doggy Salmon Patties

I made this yesterday, and it is delicious.

  1. 2 cans boneless salmon
  2. 2 eggs, beaten
  3. 6 Tbsp cream of wheat
  4. 1 small potato
  5. 2 carrots
  6. 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Scrub, chop up, and then cook potato and carrots. Mix together salmon, egg, and cream of wheat. Drain veggies and add to salmon mixture. Add 1/4 cup cottage cheese. Mix all together and shape into patties. Bake 25-30 min at 350 degrees. Cool, break apart before serving to your dog. Add a little salt and pepper, and enjoy one yourself. I did.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What a Mess

Yesterday, I made a great recipe called Beefy Grain-Free Treats. You use:
  1. 1/2 pound ground beef--uncooked
  2. 1/4 cup chicken broth
  3. 1/3 cup black beans--drained and mashed
  4. 1/3 cup cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 375. (I also added about 1/4 cup frozen peas.) Mix ground meat and chicken broth in a bowl. Add black beans, peas, and cottage cheese. Mix all of the ingredients together. I made them like hamburger patties. Bake 45 minutes. Let cool.

However, the instructions were to use a cookie sheet. Don't, because all the liquid stuff runs off the cookie sheet and onto the oven door, bottom of the oven, and even into the storage area underneath. When I discovered that was happening, I transferred the doggy burgers to a baking sheet.

I didn't taste them, but of course Montana loves them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lunch with a Friend

I went to lunch with a friend yesterday, who happens to be Montana's foster mom. He stayed with Kim and her family for over a year while he was training to be a service dog. We had such a good time, talking and laughing.

We bought a travel crate to take on trips and it's the coolest thing, got it at Walmart. It's nylon with large mesh windows on each side, and a mesh door that zips closed. Folded, it's about 12" in diameter and maybe 1" high. You throw it on the floor, and it pops open. We got the XXL for dogs up to 100 lbs, and Montana has plenty of room. It took two days to get him used to it, though. He is crate trained but this one is a little shaky when he moves around, so I had to work with him until he trusted it enough to lay down and stay in it without being scared. Poor baby.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Montana in the Snow

We got our first snow of the season this morning. I bundled up because it was 30 degrees and windy, and went out to play with Montana. He loves cold weather and snow. Doesn't like rain or getting his fet wet, but he absolutely loves the snow. I love to watch him run like a maniac, then stop to sniff every little interesting spot in the yard. It makes me laugh and feel good to see him having such a wonderful time.

Yesterday I boiled two potatoes, and then added them to some leftover baked chicken I had. That made a nice breakfast. I have a few more recipes to try this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Delicious Dog Food

I cooked this afternoon, doing too much but I'm glad I did it. I made the oatmeal/egg/cottage cheese cookies, but either the recipe was incorrect or I did something wrong because the mixture wouldn't form into balls. So, I picked up a palm-full and just glopped it onto the cookie sheet. I made seven mounds, baked them, and they came out great. Like a crunchy oatmeal cookie. Montana taste-tested them also, and he agreed that they were tasty.

For the next meal, I concocted my own recipe of cooked brown rice, cooked carrots, cottage cheese, and apple sauce. Montana, of course, approved of this dish quite happily. I thought it was delicious, and we both had some for dinner. It was nice and sweet, for once I made rice that didn't come out like a soggy globby mess, and I used organic carrots.

With these two dishes I have enough to feed Montana for a week, plus one more bowl left over of the rice mixture for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Love To Cook For My Dog

I've been making Montana's dog food and treats for the past couple of weeks. I'm having fun doing it, and he is thriving on food that's different from the kibble he's been on for 3 1/2 years. I started him on one cup of his kibble and 1/2 a cup of homemade dog food. I was told to wean him gradually, so I'm planning to have him on only homemade dog food in three months.

I made frozen yogurt/peanut butter treats, which are very easy and quite tasty. Tomorrow, I'm making him cottage cheese balls. I looked for the easiest recipes with, at most, a handful of ingredients.