Daily Archives: December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from your friends at NEPG

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Fruitcake for Dogs

WE love this recipe….

You can easily customize this gourmet dog treat recipe by using different dried fruits, nuts, and flours. See the tips and techniques for ideas.

Ingredients:
3 cups dried fruit (see tips below)
3 cups slivered almonds
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp water
Instructions:

Soak the dried fruit in enough water to cover for 30 minutes.
Drain the fruit and roughly chop.
Preheat oven to 350° F
Pour the chopped fruit into a medium bowl.
Stir in the almonds, coconut, and whole wheat flour and set aside.
In a small bowl lightly beat the two eggs.
Then add the molasses, canola oil and water. Stir until combined.
Add the liquid mixture to the fruit and nut mixture.
Stir until thoroughly combined. The dough will be loose.
Press the dough mixture into a 2 inch cookie cutter (see tips for choosing cutters).
Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Release the fruit cake from the cookie cutter mold, place on the greased cookie sheet, and bake for 25 minutes.
Storing – This homemade dog treat will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and in the freezer for 4 months. Read our other tips on how to store homemade dog treats.

Yield – Using a 2 inch cookie cutter that is approximately 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch thick will give you at least 12 fruit dog cakes.

Tips & Techniques

A Cake? – This dog treat recipe is not quite a cake. Since it is pressed into a mold or cookie cutter, it’s more a cake in looks than it is in technique. But that won’t change the way your dog looks at her new treat.

Dried Fruit – You can use several different types of dried fruit, but no raisins. Mix and match dried bananas, apples, cranberries, apricots, papaya, blueberries, and cherries. If possible, choose the unsweetened variety of these dried fruits.

Nuts – You can also use hazelnuts or pecans. But remember that nuts are very high in fat and should be given sparingly.

Flour – If your dog is sensitive to wheat, substitute it for a wheat or gluten free flour like brown rice flour.

Cookie Cutters – If you choose a cookie cutter that is smaller or larger than 2 inches, you will need to adjust the cooking time. This dog treat recipe lends itself to a dog cookie cutter that does not have a lot of detail. The chunks of fruit and nuts fit better into a basic shape. This dog bone cookie cutter set is a good example of a cookie cutter to use.

Using the Cookie Cutters – You will use your cookie cutter like a ring mold. Firmly press the dough into the cutter and then gently squeeze it out. Be careful to not squeeze the cookie cutter while filling it because the tin is usually very flexible and the final shape can be different.

Rescued Piglet and Rescued Boxer Are Soulmates

Tabitha, the piglet, and Susie, the dog, at play

A 2-day-old piglet was found shivering and near death on the side of a country lane near Norwich in eastern England last month and brought to an animal sanctuary. There, she met up with a 5-year-old Boxer who had been rescued from life as a breeder at a horrendous puppy mill farm two years earlier.

The dog, Susie, must have had many puppies in her years as a breeder. Her maternal instinct kicked right in. She immediately took charge of the pig, Tabitha. And the pig revered her new friend.

“They just took an instant shine to each other, and whilst Susie wanted to mother Tabitha at first as she’s grown older they seem to be the very best of friends,” Wendy Valentine, the founder of Hillside Animal Sanctuary , told The Telegraph.

“They are constantly with each other and don’t like being separated … They go to sleep with each other and eat next to each other. It’s lovely to see them playing with each other. Susie is very gentle with her and seems to know she’s only young.”

This YouTube video is really worth watching for a little holiday cheer. The pig, now 5 months old, seems to think she’s a dog. I’ve never seen a pig play like that. I love how, toward the end, she grabs Susie’s collar as if to pull her up to get her to play. They do often play a little rougher. “They go racing around the room, rolling on their backs playing — it’s very funny,” Valentine said.

What happens in a few weeks when Tabitha far outweighs Susie? Let’s hope their sensitivity to each other continues. I’m sure Susie will let Tabitha know what works for her and what doesn’t. And apparently they can remain playmates. The article in the Telegraph said Tabitha will be staying on at the sanctuary for the rest of her life. And it seems her canine best friend is also there to stay.