Birthday Treat

Today was Chase's seventh birthday. He spent the day in the back yard doing his favorite thing: bird stalking. I baked him a cake which he shared with his dog friends and all dogs were equally thrilled with their special treat. My dog is very particular about treats. At his graduation from dog training, he refused to partake in the very expensive dog cake from the local specialty doggie bakery. To make sure that he would enjoy his cake, I included his favorite ingredients. It was very easy and quick to make and there is even some left for him to enjoy for breakfast tomorrow.

Chase’s Birthday Cake
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons beef granules
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 carrots shredded
¼ cup peanut butter
1 small snack sized container applesauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients mixing well. Bake in a greased round cake pan for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool for fifteen minutes in the pan before turning out onto a plate.

½ pkg cream cheese, softened
1 pouch salmon

Whip together the cream cheese and salmon. Spread on top of cake.


The Dog Days of Summer

Ever since I adopted Chase in 2003, I have wanted to introduce him to my family’s lake front cottage in Maine. I had many happy childhood memories and I was positive that my dog would enjoy paddling around the lake and chasing the chipmunks. The problem was it takes 18 hours to drive there and I couldn’t bring myself to put him on a plane. Over the summer, my dream was made a reality and I packed up my car, buckled in my dog and drove to Virginia to meet my friend Tracy and her family who planned on caravanning with us. Chase was happy to see his dog friend, Riley, for the first time in several months. Our first stopping point was in Pennsylvania. Tracy’s mother was out of town and graciously allowed all of us, including the two dogs, to take over her home for the night. The next day we drove on to the cottage, arriving in the late afternoon. My sister started a journal several years ago for visitors to the summer home to document their stay, recommend restaurants or other places to shop. At the end of the week-long stay, Chase dutifully dictated his thoughts to be put in the journal and I have decided to share my dog’s viewpoint of his vacation in Maine…

July 9, 2009
Today is my last day in Sanford. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it very much here at first. On night #1, Jeanne told me that Aunt Kathy told her I was to stay off all furniture. Aunt Kathy wasn’t even brave enough to stick around to tell me herself. At least I could have growled at her. So for the first night I slept on the floor on my blanket…really “ruffing” it. The next morning I was awoken by men knocking on the roof. I wasn’t sure what they wanted but me and my pack (Dolly and Riley) tried to let them know that we had a door and they should knock there. For some reason we all got yelled at and told to be quiet. These men kept knocking on the roof all day long! They didn’t seem to be very bright. The next day, one of my favorite people in the whole wide world came to visit me…Liz! I hadn’t smelled her in months! After a brief reunion, Sarah and her friend took me away to see the VET. I didn’t like the VET. He stuck a thermometer up my butt. How rude! I mean, its one thing to sniff a butt however this guy had to take it the extra mile! Then it was off to Midas for an oil change. On the car…not me! I got to hang out in the clover watching cars go by for about 30 minutes. It was a beautiful day. Dolly took advantage of my absence by stealing ALL of my toys. The men knocking on the roof apparently discovered the main door and took away the stairs. Me and my dog posse still managed. It wasn’t too bad of a jump but boy was it hard to get back up! Then time for bed and I mean BED. Yes Aunt Kathy! I was now allowed back in the bed. Tracy, Steve and Sarah watched a movie in one. Liz cuddled with me for a bit until Sarah decided I was being a traitor. I had sweet dog dreams until about 6:45 AM. These people in Maine are INSANE! The men were back knocking on the roof putting lots of holes in it and it was RAINING. It was bad enough that I couldn’t sleep but then Steve decided to take away my primary fresh water drinking source and put it outside. He also kept the lid down so it couldn’t even fill up with rain water. So…no stairs, no toilet and no sleep. Me, Steve, Sarah and Ruth took a car ride to Shane’s for breakfast. Ruth and I stayed in the car. Later we met up with Liz and Tracy for shopping at Marshalls. Ruth and I stayed in the car. Ruth shared her blanket with me and we got some sleep before heading back to the demolition house. Everyone was making a big deal about no toilet. Everyone kept driving to Wendy’s a lot. Me and my dog posse didn’t understand why all our people walk us around outside to do our business yet they felt the need to drive somewhere else for indoor facilities? Ok…well…I think Sarah went outside. I was sworn to secrecy but I haven’t forgiven her for the VET. The new drinking source was finally installed in the house with the secondary one outside. I was really beginning to like this place until….6 AM…men knocking on the roof! What is wrong with this town? This time I managed to let out one weak bark before Sarah grabbed me and smothered me under the covers. Abuse! Abuse! I gave up barking. The drinking fountain outside vanished but we now have stairs. Sarah, Steve and Tracy did a lot of talking through the floor boards but all seemed to be okay with the bathroom and kitchen today. No rain, no more holes in the roof (dogs CAN look up by the way). I got to nap a lot today…even cuddled up with Steve on Aunt Kathy’s bed (yes Aunt Kathy, you read that right) for a long snooze while Commander Vic took Sarah to the hospital for a tetanus shot (payback for thermometer up my butt perhaps?) Tracy made a fabulous smelling macaroni and cheese for supper but alas, no dogs allowed. So sad. I am now waiting to see if Justin and Ruth will share S’mores with me later. Speaking of Ruth, she was so nice to me today making sure I was all tucked in under a blanket in the recliner. Justin even rocked me to sleep a bit, too. I love vacations. These are the dog days of summer.

~ Chase

P.S. I Love you Aunt Kathy!

Note: The cottage underwent renovations during our stay to include a new roof and new skylights, new porch and stairs at the front door and a new toilet. Aunt Kathy is the caretaker of the cottage while my family is not there because she lives 17 hours closer than us.


Beds are for the Birds

Pet stores are smart. You can bring your well-behaved on-a-leash pet inside the store. This is why I tend to stop at Pet Smart when I travel as opposed to using a rest stop. I can’t bring Chase into the rest area bathroom and during the warmer months I can’t leave him in the car. But there is no problem if I bring him into the pet store.

This afternoon, I stopped into Pet Smart to buy a new bed for Chase. I had basic requirements: the bed must be large enough for him to stretch out on, it should fit in with the d├ęcor and he should not be easily able to hump it. I brought him into the store with me in order to test the first requirement. I would have been mortified if he disproved the third requirement in the middle of the store.

The beds are kept toward the back of the store. Customers and dogs that are inclined to shop must pass by displays of plush dog toys. 75% off dog toys attracted the bargain lover in me and I stopped to shop for next year’s Christmas toys. My non-bird dog owning friend grabbed Chase’s leash while I loaded my arms with snowmen and candy canes. I assumed I would find Chase by the beds. Instead I discovered him in front of an aviary. Twitching. Trembling. Completely focused. I thought I spied a bit of drool on the floor in front of him. Society finches, zebra finches, brightly colored parakeets, and other downy song birds were happily flitting around the aviary oblivious to the dangers on the other side of the glass just inches away. Tugging Chase out of his trance-like state and admonishing my friend for giving my dog a taste of “Reality TV”, I attempted to select a bed matching all criteria. With the first two requirements checked off my list, I proceeded to the checkout counter. My sneaky dog had snagged one of the Christmas toys off the counter unbeknownst to me. Alerted by a squeak, I snatched the toy back and apologized for the drool as I handed it to the less than enthusiastic cashier.

Back at home, I clipped the tags from the dog bed and pushed Chase into the center of it. I held him prisoner for a few moments, then proceeded into the kitchen to make dog biscuits. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted him dragging the new bed around in his mouth, trying to find a corner…of course he was foiled because the bed was round. I intervened and the jury is still out on whether this bed will meet requirement number three. It is also yet to be determined if Chase will actually sleep on this bed at all. George, who is half the size of Chase, has been blissfully sleeping away in the center of the bed all evening. And Chase? Well he is hanging out in the kitchen dreaming of dog biscuits.