Three years ago today, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Holly Berry gave birth to a precious, squirming litter of eight perfect puppies. They were teeny, and curly-haired, and pink-nosed and mischievous.
Our Jet was one of those eight.
We brought her home on a very rainy day in June. We put a tiny orange collar on her and she spent the majority of the trip home licking and pawing at my neck as I held her in my lap.
She romped around her new kitchen chasing a red rubber ball and a stuffed alligator, then promptly passed out, wedged up against a kitchen stool.
She knew, right away, that she was home.
Jet's first three years have been full of many amazing highs and a few terrible lows. But as with anything worth its salt, the lows make the highs that much better. We are lucky to share our lives with such an amazing, loving, trusting creature. We are grateful for the confluence of events that brought her to us. We are lucky to fall asleep every night with a snoring 95-pound Chessie shoving her paws in our faces as she stretches and rolls over. For there is nothing better than a dog.
Happy third birthday, girl! That's 21 in dog years. You are now old enough to drink; hold on while I crack open a nice cold doggie beer for you.
BANANA BIRTHDAY TREATS
Adapted from The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs, by Donna Twichell Roberts
These treats are so good, even people like them. My nephews both ate one tonight, at Jet's birthday party. When Younger Nephew accidentally dropped his on the floor, he asked for another one. The birthday dog, for her part, was happy to share.
5 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. Grape-Nuts cereal
2 c. mashed bananas (about 4 or 5 bananas)
3/4 c. water
4 T. ground nutmeg
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. honey
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine. I find it's easiest to get in there with your hands to bring the mixture together. Also, it works well to turn the dough out of the bowl and mix it together on the counter, to make sure all the flour is well-incorporated. If the dough is sticky, feel free to add a little more flour. If it's too dry, add another mashed banana or a little bit of water.
On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough until it's about 1/4-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into bone shapes (or other desired shape). Re-roll the dough scraps and continue to cut until all the dough has been used.
Place the treats on an ungreased baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then cool completely on the baking sheets.
Feed to your favorite doggies.
Makes about 5 dozen treats.