One of the things no one ever tells you is there is no such thing as a free dog. Oakley may have come with no cost up front, but trying to be a responsible pet owner was anything but. Her shots ranged anywhere from $35-65 not including the charge for the office visit. We could have bought pet insurance but $40/mo for an otherwise healthy dog seemed a little ridiculous. And a spay? $300+.
Disappointment was setting in. If Oakley had come from the local animal shelter, her vaccinations and spay would have been included in the $75 adoption fee. Sadly, she was a free puppy on the side of the road.
Then I happened to get an email from Texas Coalition for Animal Protection (TCAP). These were the same people that had altered Widge earlier this year. If I booked Oakley for June 24th and bought $25 worth of shots, her spay would cost me $45. Talk about a deal you can’t refuse. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
So 7 a.m. Monday morning, Kylie, Logan, the dog and I made our way to Denton for the appointment. I knew I was doing the right thing but trying to explain that to Kylie and Logan who consider this dog their sister, was impossible.
“Oakley could have 8 puppies per season and where would they go? Would you want them to live in the animal shelter with no real home?” “They could live with us.” Ky volunteered. “No, they couldn’t.” I told her. “This is the nice thing to do.” “What’s nice about cutting her belly open.” Logan asked clearly annoyed. Unfortunately, there was a point of being too honest with the children and I had crossed it. “She’ll be better in a couple of weeks. We can even make her some dog treats when we get home.”
The children found this acceptable. I pulled up to the clinic, filled out the paperwork and left Oakley to TCAP. Kylie was pretty upset to be leaving her “sister behind”. She begged me to stay until the procedure was done. “That’s several hours away, Sweetheart. She’ll be fine.” I assured her.
Several hours later, we received the call the Oakley was indeed just fine and ready to be picked up. When we arrived, the tech carried her from the back and placed her in my arms. She was the saddest looking lampshade I had ever seen and she whined. I gently sat her in the front seat but she could not get comfortable. She flopped and turned and whined some more. She was desperate to be with the kids but every time she got close to them, the pain set in.
Back at the house, I had the kids fluff her bedding. Our dog spent most of the evening, recovering quietly in her cage. The kids spent a good deal of theirs in sleeping bags so Oak would not be lonely.
The next morning, they were quick to remind me I had said we would make dog biscuits yesterday. I had a million other things to do but I was truly grateful to be raising such thoughtful kids.The floors could wait.
Kylie and Logan took turns dumping the ingredients in to the mixer. Pumpkin, peanut butter, whole wheat flour, eggs… Kylie was allowed to crack both eggs and Logan turned on the mixer. They giggled with delight to see the paddle whip the dough.
The recipe says to roll the dough and use cookie cutters to form the treats but we didn’t have anything small enough to use. Instead, I used my 1 tbsp cookie scoop and had the kids press the dough down like you would had you been making peanut butter cookies.
I cleaned up the edges of each cookie and baked them for 15 minutes. This made the biscuits firm but chewy, just like the ones we normally buy. When they had cooled, I allowed both kids give the dog a biscuit and she gobbled them right up. She stood up, wagged her tail and licked the kids fingers. The homemade dog biscuits had definitely made her day.
- 2 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine flour, pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs, cinnamon, and salt in mixer using the paddle attachment. Place dough on floured surface and roll to 1/2" thickness. Use small cookie cutters to form the treats. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.