This was a post which almost didn’t get written. You see, I’ve started to get a bit self conscious about over sharing. Not in that creepy “I feel the need to let everyone know what sort of bathroom rituals I have or funky positions we just tried” kind of over sharing. I’ll leave those to the uninhibited TMI peeps.
I’m talking about not wanting to be one of those who are so overly obsessed that they have to tell, and show, and tweet, and facebook every single detail of their new cat/kid/grandkid/puppy. Now if you are talking about a puppy, feel free to inundate us with your lore, I can nearly guarantee we’ll be rapturous listeners. However I don’t want to make that assumption towards everyone else. You know what they say about assumptions.
So count this as a fair warning given, this is about to become a puppy-centric post and I may be slightly fanatical about our two. Those who follow my Instagram will know, being that my IG MO is basically puppy pics and travel moments (the former dominating lately.)
With that cleared out of the air, if you are still reading you are either: A: Cool with the dog sharing. B: A glutton for punishment. or C: Skimming over the text to look for pretty pictures and a recipe. Any of those makes you fair game for my puppy swooning.
A few of Todd’s IG iphone Shots
In a mere couple months she’s gone from this tiny little thing we could pick up in one hand to the size of calf which needs to be bear-hugged in order to pick her up (which I still do – but Diane can’t. Freaks Lexi out ’cause she thinks momma is gonna drop her.) Seriously. She is almost as tall and long as Sierra, although she is only about half the width.
Lexi is at that goofball puppy teenager stage. Her body is becoming athletic and strong with occasional moments of pure clumsiness. Like yesterday when she came racing into the house, couldn’t make the turn and slid 10 feet right into the water bowls.
Distinctive Ridgeback and hound traits are emerging, warmingly reminding us of Dante, our previous Ridgeback. First time we took her into the vet, in a rising curious voice, he asks “So why a Ridgeback?” thinking we may not be knowing what we were in for. But with a twinkle we reminded him that our first pup was a ridgie. We know their potential for trouble and love it.
“What are some of these traits?” you may so curiously ask.
For one, Ridgebacks tend to be quite clean, even though they usually hate water. She is a very clean puppy, making potty training fairly quick and painless. She has already learned how to ring the bell to let us know she wants to go outside if the door is closed. But if the lawn is wet, you can guarantee she’ll walk the long way around on the pathways.
Instagrammed Shot – Puppies! Attention!
There is also a distinctive knack for independent stubbornness. Point your finger at her and command “No” and she’ll just look at you with a glimmer, then nibble on your finger. Our shoes and socks are regularly found strewn about the house and garden. But 9 out of 10 times it is only the right shoe. Don’t ask us why or how she knows. It is just her preference.
And then there is the super obsessiveness over food. She loves food. I mean really, really loves food. Every meal when when kibble bowls are being walked outside, she will race ahead doing one victory lap. Then after she reaches the front of the food bearer, she will sproing (a ridgeback thing of jumping straight up in the air, all paws staying more or less level with one another), rotating herself in mid-air until she is front and center of the food. And since she knows the rule of no eating till everyone is sitting, when she lands it will be directly into a sit, ready for food service.
After meals there will be at least another 30 minutes of roaming the garden, looking for other goodies to snack on. Right now it is the persimmons.
So with such a independent minded, smart, food focused dog, it is time to build up on the training treats. Much cheaper than the store bought ones, and the pups seem to love them more, I will bake up big batches at a time. And with all the pie pumpkins in the stores, pumpkin flax dog biscuits seemed like the perfect fall training treat.
Here’s our favorite cutter sets. Obviously they have many uses beyond puppy treats, but ours tend to see a lot of action in that department. We love how all of these sets store, ’cause nothing drives us nuts more than messy kitchen drawers:
Pumpkin Flaxseed Dog Biscuits
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 cups (@ 1 pound or 455g) Pumpkin Puree *see Notes
- 1/4 cup (55g) packed Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1/3 cup (80ml) Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Water
- 1/2 cup (85g) Flax Seeds
- 3 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose Flour
- 3 1/2 cups (420g) Whole Wheat Flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Mix together pumpkin puree and sugar. Add in eggs. Mix in oil and water until incorporated.
- Stir flax seeds into batter, then mix in flours. Dough should be fairly stiff.
- Roll out dough to about 3/8" thick. Cut into desired shapes (for a quick stick shape, cut strips using a fluted pasta cutter). Place treats on lined sheet pans.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until light golden and fairly hard (they will harden a bit more when cooled). Set aside to cool and liberally pass out to deserving puppies.
To make pumpkin puree, roast a pie pumpkin on a sheet pan at 375°F for about 1 hour or until soft when sides are pressed. Allow to cool, then split, scoop out seeds and remove flesh from skin. Puree flesh and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.