[Louie and me, post lick, photo by Brian.]
I love dogs — always have, always will. I love cats, too, but there is just something about a happy, tail-wagging dog smiling at me that will make me melt every time. Dogs are so there with you at every moment, so truly real and beautiful and innocent and lovely that they simultaneously break your heart and make it whole again.
I begged, and begged, and begged for a dog when I was growing up. I finally got one — a 3-month-old wriggling black-and-white bundle of absolute joy — when I graduated eighth grade. I spent the summer with him, waking up early to teach him that chewing on shoes, or library books, was not … desirable, going on endless walks, and introducing him to the wonders of the beach. When he got older, he was my perfect running companion, and it took me years to get used to running alone after he was gone. He has been roaming around doggie heaven for five years now, and I still miss him fiercely. I’m not sure when — or if — I will have another dog (the downside to living in an apartment), but I am lucky enough to have friends-with-dogs who very generously share their pups with me when I am around.
The other night our very new and exciting HBO went out, and Michael called Comcast. He finally got through to a very nice man, and after establishing there was something wrong with our connection, and I then heard the words “dog biscuits” and “recipe.” Apparently the guy on the other end of the phone was watching news about the dog food recall, and was thinking about making his own dog biscuits. How fortuitous! I (of course) happened to have one on hand. I make these especially for my favorite dogs Louie (see above), Jasmine and Lily, and Trumansburg Knut (he is allergic to gluten, so I substitute soy flour for wheat in his treats). When we gave him the recipe, I could hear his shout of glee through the phone as he studiously took down all the ingredients.
I love to think of this man who I will never meet using my recipe for his own cherished dog. I love that there are many other people like me who love dogs so much they’ll take an hour to make a special treat just for them. I may not have a pup of my own right now, but today I’m reminded of my doggie friends all over the country — and I think I’ll send them something in the mail very soon.
Dogs-Will-Love-Them Biscuits (adapted, and made vegetarian, from an online recipe)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 cube vegetable bouillon, crumbled
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ice water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, milk, garlic powder, yeast and bouillon granules. Stir in the olive oil and egg. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is wet enough to stick together. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place biscuits 1 inch apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until firm.