Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Bennett!

Happy first "birthday" (adoption day) to my pup, Mr. Bennett Basile Fitzwilliam!

I'd been going back and forth about getting a dog (for like, 5 years) and finally decided that I could be a responsible dog mom.  As much as I love puppies, I didn't think I could last through the chewing and potty training phases, so I began searching for an adult rescue dog.  After months of searching, I found my little nugget from the Cavalier Rescue in Memphis.  It was love at first sight ;)

Bennett was found running around the wilds of Arkansas in pretty bad condition.  He weighed almost half of what he does now, had infections, no muscle tone and could barely use his back legs.  A local shelter turned him over to Greg at Cavalier Rescue.  They called him "Lucky,"and he definitely was--I'm so thankful for all they did to nurse him back to health!  I wish I knew more about his story, but I sure am glad he's now part of mine.

All smiles!

Since B is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, an originally British breed, I decided he needed a very British name (and yes, I had a list longer than most people have to name their baby).  With tongue planted firmly in cheek, I chose Bennett and Fitzwilliam, both nods to Pride and Prejudice.  Incidentally, Fitzwilliam is just plain hilarious to say.  Basile (in addition to being my favorite herb) means "King" in Old English, which is appropriate, though, technically, he's more of a "princess prissy pants."

This past year hasn't been without a couple rough spots (a major mystery illness resulting in the first doggie ER trip, moving, and Bennett learning how to open the back door and embark on a solo adventure to name a few) but I'm pretty sure I hit the jackpot with this loud-snoring, frog-hunting, outdoor-adventuring, "tap-dancing," cat-friending, snuggle-loving, "ferocious"-barking, belly rub-getting, late-sleeping, enthusiastic-walking, treat-scarfing, baby-playing, non-fetching, good natured Mamma's boy!

Here are some of my fave pics from this past year

Bennett and his Cavalier Rescue posse

Silly puppy, don't you know that you can't absorb knowledge by sleeping on your books?

Young at heart

Biker dude

Lil naughty elf ate all of Santa's cookies

#1 snuggle buddy

"Look Simba Bennett.  Everything the light touches is our kingdom"

So. Pitiful.

"Ain't nothin' but a hound cav dog."
He's a good sport about playing dress up, which is pretty much mandatory in my house. 

Of course, all birthday celebrations should have a sweet treat, so I made some homemade doggie treats using items I had on hand.

Puppy Treats
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cup flour plus 1/2 cup for dusting
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup bulger
1/3 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 egg
1 cup broth

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the first five "dry" ingredients.  Then add the remaining four "wet" ingredients and mix until dough forms.  Roll out onto a piece of floured waxed paper and knead dough until smooth--add additional flour as needed to eliminate stickiness.  Roll out dough to desired thickness, then place in freezer for 15 minutes.  Remove from freezer and cut into desired shapes. Place onto lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.

Gather ingredients

Mix dry ingredients together first

Add wet ingredients, then mix

Flour dough, then roll out

Cut into shapes and bake 25 minutes 
Stocked up treat jar
"Bone" Appetit!
 (Yep, I said it)
I dipped a few of the bones into some candy melts and dusted with sprinkles to add some fall flair

This recipe made LOTS o' treats.  I will most likely give some away to B's "friends" and maybe even freeze some, since they are made with perishable ingredients and no preservatives.   Also, I used ingredients I had on hand, but I'm sure you could swap out ingredients as long as the wet/dry ingredient ratio remains the same.

Confession: I may have sampled these treats  (Ok, I did...and then ate a second).  Oh yeah, pretty sure B liked 'em too.

Bennett's "birthday" was also the impetus I finally needed to sew some new doggie bedding.  I just covered his existing kennel pad with an envelope/sham style case and then made a tiny pillow for his head since he's constantly resting his head on the most random objects around the house (refer to head-on-book pic above).

I think he likes it, don't you?

To wrap up our "birthday" celebration, I took Bennett to Overton Bark, a local dog park.  He loves sniffing everything and saying "hi" to every single dog and human at the park.  Can't you tell by his face that's he's having a blast?

Happy first year, B!

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