Category Archives: Sam Sez

A dog’s view of the world plus treats and recipes Sam gives his “paw of approval”

Happy Birthday to Me

Taj Mutt Hal Treats

Woo-hoo, it’s finally here…my birthday! I feel like I have been waiting for it for an eternity. Sam here. Mom says I’m finally a ‘tween’ now. And boy, am I gonna paw-tah! We plan to have loads of treats and enjoy the whole weekend before the snow flies on Monday. Even the Ninja is helping herself to treats. Mom baked up some “Best In Show” treats that are tasty and heathy. Full of yummy ingredients including peanut butter and parsley. And don’t forget to try the freeze-dried salmon. Man, that stuff is super addictive!

Our local pet boutique, ‘Taj Mutt Hal’ even called to say they had some special pupcakes for me and the Ninja. I think my pawty is gonna be a lot like one of our Thanksgiving’s where everyone gets stuffed to the gills. But since it’s my day, I get to decide how many naps I can take after I’m stuffed, how many walks to take to burn off all the extra calories I plan to eat and how much of mom’s attention will be all mine. [ahhh, daydreaming about all the fun stuff that’s going down today]

Elsa: Moooommmm, Sam doesn’t get to control everything, does he?

Mom: Well Ninja…it is his special day and you got to call the shots on your Gotcha Day a couple of weeks ago. Only seems fair.

Elsa:  Hrumph. Well, I don’t know why he’s so special today. He’s just a big brother.

Mom: Well today is his birthday and that makes it special. Birthday fur-kids get to spend the day the way they want, whether they want to partake of extra napping or tra-la-la-ing around the ‘hood, but I promise you’ll still get loads of ear scratches.  Ok?

Elsa: Oh, all right. Pencil me in. Nom, nom, nom. Burp. Oops, sorry ’bout that. Heh, heh…maybe I had just a tad too much salmon?

Sam: Even though I turn 12 years old today, I’m still pretty young at heart. My vertical leap may only be 2 feet now instead of 3 feet but mom says I’m still a goofy pogo stick. Not sure if that’s meant as a compliment but just like James Brown used to sing:

🎶”W-o-w…I feel good Da, da, da, da, da,
I knew that I would, now Da, da, da, da, da,
I feel good Da, da, da, da, da,
I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you

Wow, I feel nice Da, da, da, da, da,
Like sugar and spice Da, da, da, da, da,
I feel nice Da, da, da, da, da,
So nice, so nice, I got you

Bom, bom, bom, bom, bom…W-O-W-W-W!” 🎶

Have a pawsome weekend.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Magic Grooming Dust

Sooo, remember how we said we’re doing visits this week at the hospital. Sam here. And you know what that means? NURSES!!! Woo-hoo. Er…I mean seeing patients. Yeah, I love everyone I get to visit with but I especially love my nurse friends. They make the preparations tolerable.

H.E.L.P. me

First of course there’s that water torture thing. I just don’t get why we have to do this every time we go to the hospital. I mean, the nurses would love me even if I didn’t smell like a million bucks and was hospital clean. *Dog sigh* Mom keeps telling me it’s a regulation and we have to do it but that she’ll sprinkle some feel good magic dust on before she starts the second part of the torture getting ready. The haircut. Not a fan.

Well I don’t know what happened but she sprinkled the stuff all over me and nothing. I mean NOTHING. I think her bottle is expired and well past it’s “Best by Date” frankly. How in the world do you not have magic dust that works when you’re constantly going to woo the nurses visit patients. Sheesh woman! I got a reputation to live up to, don’t ya know?

Well…so there I was, a near drowned rat, expired magic dust and a smirking mom. Oh brother. The shame and humility of it all. With my sister making fun of me, to boot from the other room. Hey…how’s about I take a big dump down one of the empty hospital corridors where administrative offices are located to embarrass you? Oh wait, yeah, I did do that once. Not sure what caused that. I suspect foul play or another batch of bad/expired magic dust. Anyway, that’s a story for another time, woman.

We went to West Pines yesterday and thank goodness everyone there seemed to know I needed extra attention and ear scratches for enduring all the horrible torture. We visited with a guy named Bob who wouldn’t talk to anyone but he talked and smiled broadly with me. Another guy named Chris came by and told me stories about his Pomeranian/Pekingese mix dog. It sounded like she was a sweetie but not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Whaddu mean mom, saying he could have been referring to me? Not funny! Didn’t I perform my one and only trick of licking my chops for a treat, on command. With tongue on both sides even and one more time just to impress everyone? All on command? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Man, are all your pawrents as demanding as my mom? And as forgetful about how utterly adorable you are accommodating them? Jeez.

We did visit with loads of patients and let them hug me, rub my ears and I made them smile. Even the staff was thrilled to see me. Seems I’m a hit with nurses AND mental health care providers. Good thing too, since my mom can’t seem to deliver on the magic dust to take away the dog grooming blues.

We’re going back today to see more patients at the Senior Behavioral Health floor and also visit with people over at hospice. Wish me luck with the nurses patients! My mom has been working on the annual calendar to fund our pet therapy program that will go on sale next week. She found all the famous author monthly quotes for it (there’s even one in there who we all know and love, M.K. Clinton from Barking from the Bayou) and added all the howlidays for 2018. She will review the proofs this weekend. Word has it I’m a centerfold in one of the Spring months and was also captured showing off my dogtor skills in the lobby with my mom and a patient. We’ll keep you posted. Friday is our fur-iend Speedy the Cheeky House Bunny’s annual pirate party. Hope to see you there, mateys!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Pawty Recipes

First, let me bark out loud thanks for all the kind Gotcha Day greetings to my sister. You made her day very special and mom and I appreciate Blogville’s kindness. Hey, it’s Sam here. Mom promised to share her treat recipes with everyone and we can’t believe how many of you want to try them out.

The good news is they are super easy to make. A while back mom posted the “Unleash the Quiche” recipe from Rachel Ray. You can read about it here. Mom modifies the recipe since she’s a vegetarian and never has meat in the house, other than dog food. I know…we’re so deprived.

Vegetable Quiche Muffins

Whisk together 4 eggs with a splash of milk (we don’t do a lot of milk either so you can either just do a splash or 1/4 cup like Rachel’s recipe calls for. Mom then added a couple of tablespoons each of (a) chopped carrot bits (b) chopped frozen green beans and (c) cheese. Mix together and pour into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups. We made 6 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  That’s it. Didn’t I say it was easy? It took mom longer to clean up then it did to throw these guys together.  And the good news is you can substitute any dog appropriate veggie for the carrots or green beans or even add some meat. {Drool}

Coconut Oil Dog Treats

These were even easier to whip up with only 3 ingredients. Take 1 cup of peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol-that stuff is deadly for us fur-kids) and 1 cup of pure, unprocessed coconut oil. The recipe mom used also called for 1 tsp. of cinnamon but mom used to make dog treats for sale and some dogs aren’t all that keen on a heavy taste of cinnamon. She only added around 1/4 tsp. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add the peanut butter and cinnamon and stir until mixture is nice and smooth. It should be somewhat thick but pourable. Pour mixture into silicone ice trays and freeze until solid. We are keeping them in an air-tight container in the freezer. If you’re stingy like my mom, just give one treat with meals. The brown part is the cinnamon which tends to settle at the bottom of the mold.

Mom snagged those adorable silicon paw print and small bone molds from Amazon but you can use plain silicon ice-cube trays as well.  Aren’t they as cute as a certain poodle you know? Let us know if you make these and what you and your pup thought. They really couldn’t be easier to make and the rewards for your pups of these healthy treats / meal-toppers are what it’s all about, right? These guys earn my 4-paw seal of approval so now all that left to do is eat.🐾🐾

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

Give a Poor Dog a Bone

Hey there sports fans, Sam here with a new treat mom found and whipped up for me and Elsa last week. Boy, are they ever tasty. And so easy to make, once you’ve chilled the dough.

Peanut Butter~Pumpkins Treats

O-kay mom, I promise to share with the Ninja, but not before I share the recipe with our readers.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (unless your pooch is sensitive in which case substitute to one he can enjoy)
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (make sure it’s Xylitol free)
  • 1/3 cup of pumpkin (the real stuff, not pie filing)
  • 1 cup water

In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Press dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerator for a few hours or overnight like we had to do. I almost lost my mind waiting. Sheesh mom!

When your dough is well chilled, lightly flour your work surface (using the same flour you used in the dough), roll out until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out with cookie cutters or the mouth of a small glass. Arrange on cookie sheet. You can put a jillion of them on a sheet since they don’t expand. Mom always uses parchment because she’s lazy about cleaning off the sheets to avoid sticking. Optional: Apply an egg wash to top of treats. We skipped the eggs, I was already too excited to wait any longer. I already had to wait overnight. Bake at 250ºF for 25-30 mins. And for the legal beagles to keep us from getting sued, remember to allow your treats to cool before serving. Make sure to refrigerator to keep. Mom likes the idea of freezing to keep them safe and the treats crunchy for us. Gimme a treat, gimme a treat! 

See, what’d I say, quick and easy, right? Hope you bake some up for your favorite pup and let us know what you thought of them.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

2017 Annual Potluck Awards

Hiya, Sam here. We recently attended our hospital’s annual recognition get-together and I was surprised that mom and I have logged 135 visits over the past 4 years. This year’s ‘trophy’ was a plaque. You can see previous trophies from 2015 and 2016 here and here. The peeps make a big deal out of it but it’s really no big deal and I wasn’t all that excited. Mom forgot to get a photo of me receiving my plague but then took one after we got home when I was trying to catch up on a few 💤. I’m all about getting ear scratches at those events, well that and maybe a cheese cube…or ten from the lunch. Despite a lower turnout (our numbers are down this year with the passing of several dogs), it was still fun to see all our fur-iends. I’m so proud of the work everyone does. One of the dogs had 704 visits over a period of 11 years. I think he must live at the hospital!

Seriously mom, stop taking pictures of me with the plaque. Just put it with the others that you need to dust every week. But give me a treat for being a good boy, okay?

 

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ August 21, 2017

Happy Monday, sports fans. Sam here. The family is all back home {sniff, sniff} and we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming. Today is also the day of the much ballyhooed Solar Eclipse. What are your plans for it?  Hope you had a good weekend.

 

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Mission Impawsible

The call came in on Tuesday. Sam here. Our elite covert operations IMF unit needed to carry out a highly sensitive, feel good mission at West Pines, ASAP. The assignment was critical to carry out since one of the regular pet therapy dogs that visit West Pines recently passed away and with it being summertime and many of our volunteers on vacation, the therapy coordinator was desperate for someone to cover West Pines this month. We were just there 12 days ago but I jumped at the chance to visit my friends again. “Mom…they need us. Let’s do it!” Luckily for us our out-of-town company arrives after our mission is over. Whew! While our missions aren’t the typical ‘secret anonymous covert missions’ like the TV series or the ramped up Hollywood blockbusters, we don’t need to unmask criminals or rescue hostages but we knew it was vital to step in and help the whole team out. So the team leader asked if we could do Wednesday’s visits and we agreed.  One thing is vital on one of these last-minute Impawsible Missions: the mission must be carried out and the only high-tech equipment we can use involve treats in mom’s magic pocket. So we agreed to do Wednesday’s shift. That’s what teammates do, right?

But first…I fur-got about the dreaded bath preparation before I could go to West Pines. Eek…what was I thinking when I signed up for this gig?

Ever see anything so pitiful?

The only good thing (if ANYTHING good can be said about baths) to come from this water torture is it’s been so warm, mom didn’t have to use the gawd awful wind machine hair dryer on me. Man, I hate that thing! The clippers are bad enough. And for some reason this time, mom drove me cray-cray struggled with trimming up my feet. I don’t like ANYONE touching my feet anyway so it took her a whole lot longer. I was keeping my paws crossed she’d give up and let me go on the mission, Muppet style. Note to self: moms never give up. *Ugh*

We arrived early so I hung out in the main reception area waiting to spring into action. I can spread my therapy skills over peeps wherever I’m at and luckily the waiting visitors and staff cruising through periodically, obliged while we waited.  have been making loads of friends with the staff and they always offer me treats. Did I mention how much I love the staff? Nom, nom.One fellow who was waiting to check in had owned a couple of Standards years ago spent a lot of time with me. He teared up at the thought his beloved dogs were gone, but was very grateful for my visit.

When Donna, the facilitator was able to fetch us, off we went. It started out a little on the slow side. Not too many of the staff were able to run their fingers through my luxuriously soft furs. Dang…you mean I endured a…a….%#*@ bloody bath and no one was around now to escort me to the patient areas? What the heck is up with that? Eventually we were able to visit the various areas where there were plenty of patients gathered and boy, did I make up for lost time. Men, women. They all came rushing over to me. The first guy was a huge hulking man and I was a bit nervous he might squash me, but he gently sat down beside me and stroked my head and ears. He was super eager to spend as much time as possible and kept telling me how much he loved dogs. Another lady who knew about us poodles decided to get her therapy fix next. When she stopped petting me, I plopped down right next her and was prepared to stay all morning since I liked her energy.

Unfortunately we needed to move on to see the rest of the patients who have a regimented schedule and she bid me a sad farewell. Many others came by too to say hi and tell me stories about their own pets. Visiting with the mental health patients has become quite an adventure. Mom is struck by the number of people who need my therapy skills and how raw their emotions can sometimes be. It’s easy for me to calm them and sooth their tears. I sit patiently and look deeply into their eyes, studying their faces where I see the pain they carry. I hope I can erase some of that discomfort, even if just for a few minutes.

Our next stop was at a group session where they were practicing yoga. They all perked up when they saw me and I showed them I can bust a downward facing dog move with the best of ’em. One girl in particular especially seemed to need my attention so I laid on her yoga mat and we exchanged zen energy. I kept wagging my tail back at her when we had to leave and she smiled broadly from ear to ear. I hope I made her day…she sure made mine.

Although we’re usually only there for an hour or so, the whole experience wears me out. Being on a IMF mission, while I don’t self-destruct like TV’s Mission Impossible, does tend to wear me out so I’ll be spending the rest of the day like this till tomorrow when this IMF team goes back to hospice and the Senior Behavioral unit. Pfft, Mr. Phelp’s got nothing over me. 💤

Live, love, bark! ❤︎