If you have ever spent more than 5 minutes with me in person or follow me on Instagram, you will know that I am obsessed with my dog, Seri. She is a very, very special girl and I just love her to pieces. I feel so lucky that we found each other.
Seri came into our lives nearly two years ago at a time that I never thought I would be getting a new dog. It was much sooner than either one of us imagined that we would be doing the puppy thing again! Sadly, our dog Derby had passed away a few months prior, very, very suddenly and unexpectedly at just 6 years old. We were obviously devastated, heartbroken and just plain sick over it. Considering neither of us had the opportunity to even think about another dog, what we wanted to do and when, etc and neither of us had been without a dog in over 15 years, we were totally lost. We didn’t know what to do. Should we rush back into being dog parents again or wait until we had time to really deal with our loss. When would the right time be? How would we know?
After just 3 weeks of being without a dog and hating the strange quiet of a dog-free household, we knew we were ready to start thinking about the next special furry baby. We spoke with a wonderful woman named Vanessa who breeds beautiful miniature bull terriers with more care than I could have ever imagined possible. Chatting with Vanessa about possibly making one of her dogs a part of your family is far more rigorous than I would have guessed it to be and it made me realize that she takes what she does very seriously and she loves all of her babies, so much. I have such an appreciation for what Vanessa does, she knows that breeding a dog is a privilege not to be taken advantage of and she takes great care to make sure that she upholds the breed’s standards and is doing right by all of the dogs that are a part of her life. We ended up speaking back and forth with her about our loss at great length, we shared with her the emptiness we were feeling and wanting to bring another puppy into our home to love and spoil. We even sent photos and videos of Derby.
Ironically, Vanessa found out that one of her dogs was pregnant on the very day that Derby passed away. It felt like fate. We patiently waited for the litter to be born to find out if we would be getting a pup and we soon found out that we were in fact getting a sweet little white baby with the tiniest little spot on her bum! We thought long and hard about a name and ultimately decided on Seri (inspired by the word Serigraphy – another word for screen printing). We picked Seri up the day before my birthday and she was so tiny and sweet. We of course fell in love with her instantly. Even still, having lost a dog just 4 months prior it was a scary thing to already have another. I honestly was afraid that I would never bond with her the way I did with Derby. How could I ever love her as much and I definitely didn’t want her to take Derby’s place. I will be honest when I tell you this, as much as I loved her at first sight, I also slightly resented her. I felt like as much as I wanted her and needed her, I also just wish I still had my Derby. Such a weird thing to feel and now it makes me laugh to think about it. I honestly thought we would never love her the same way. I realized that I was right, I don’t love her the same way, I love her in a totally unique and special way, because she is so special and different and the amazing relationship and bond that I have formed with her, is nothing like the one I had with Derby.
Seri is a very independent dog and for all of the amazing cuddle sessions that we have, she also loves to be on her own, either in one of her crates or wrapped up in a pile of blankets in our bed. She is a very smart dog that learns routines and actions quick. It doesn’t take long for her to pick up on a pattern. Oh and Seri has a serious, serious love for playing ball. If that dog sees a ball she goes nuts. No matter how tired she is or where we are, if we pull out one of her balls, she is ready for it. Seri has this ability to make everyone around her smile and she walks with this bounce in her step that makes me happy every time I see it.
If you can believe the irony in this, Seri is also on a gluten-free diet. Just a month or two into having her, even with the most expensive organic dry food money could buy, Seri just seemed to have issues with grains. She would be a bit itchy. Vanessa feeds all of her dogs a raw meat diet and takes their food and eating very serious. After speaking with her and a holistic veterinarian we decided to make the switch to a grain-free all raw meat diet. Seri’s skin, coat and all around health immediately responded to the diet and we have never gone back since. When we do give Seri treats she gets dehydrated raw meat or something of the like. Sometimes we will buy treats with coconut oil, peanut butter, fruits and veggies, etc. That dog loves pretty much anything. I decided to combine some of her favorite things and create this treat recipe for her 2nd birthday today.
I pulled the recipe together as I went along and I was mostly happy with it. The dough was a tad crumbly so the finished treats don’t look perfect, but one of the best things about a dog is their unconditional love and their lack of judgment. Seri is OK with how this look and even more OK with how they taste. Pretty much the best dinner guest, if you ask me. If I had eggs in the house, I probably would have added 1 to this recipe, to help bind the dough, but I realized just as I was making these, that I actually didn’t have any eggs, so I just went without and made it work. Feel free to add whatever your dogs favorites are to the recipe. Seri loves carrots so I just grated up 1 carrot to add in, she also loves kale and cucumbers. A lot of the time if I am making fresh juice, as long as she can have everything in there, I will scrape some of the pulp into her bowl, she loves it.
Happy Birthday to my sweet and lovely furry baby, Seri!!
She makes me so so happy every single day and I cannot imagine my life without her!
[print_this]Grain-Free Dog Treats – Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free
Makes about 2 dozen or so, depending on the size
- 1 cup potato starch, plus a little more for rolling
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium beef stock (you can also use veggie stock or water)
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
Preheat the oven to 350º F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the potato starch almond flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, peanut butter, stock and carrots. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well to combine. Feel the dough, if it feels like it is too crumbly and needs more moisture, add more broth, if it feels to wet, add more potato starch. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so, to chill it.
Sprinkled your surface and rolling pin with potato starch, and roll out the dough. I did mine in two or three batches. Using whatever cookie cutter you would like cut out the cookies and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned and slightly crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool.
I made a bunch of different sized treats for Seri, and I also made one big one to make her a “cake” with, I just iced it with a thin layer of chunky peanut butter and layered it. She loved it. She also loved the taste of the uncooked dough, too, so she may have eaten some of that while I was rolling out cookies 🙂 [/print_this]