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Feature Recipe: Dog Chews and Lucky our much loved dog

Late last year our family was blessed with a new family member. Lucky, a small, underweight Kelpie dog made her way quite unexpectedly into our home. She had been found on a highway covered in dust and clearly scared and hungry. A kind soul found her and kept her while she did all the checks to see if Lucky belonged to anyone. Lucky eventually found us.

It had always been a dream of mine to have a dog though Lucky arrived a little quicker than some of our family might have liked. Dogs with unknown histories can be a nightmare and in the beginning I wondered if we had done the right thing. She was clearly traumatised early on in her life as her behaviours indicated. She was young, maybe 6 months old, with a fear of men. Lucky acted timidly when men we're near and peed out of anxiety if they got close. Lucky had a desire to love people so much by jumping up and practically bowling them ( and unsuspecting strangers) over, a behaviour which remains today to a lesser extent. It seems that Lucky thinks if she shows you how much she wants to be your friend then you will not harm her. Lucky being a young pup continually dug holes and ruined anything she could get her teeth on including more than a few favourite toys, shoes and household items. It was exasperating at first and we questioned the decision to have her move in.

On the other hand I felt taking in a "rescue" dog who needed as much love as we could give was an important act. There will be many more animals in our future life. I understand the desire some people have have to pay for a bred dog of status however for me the ultimate act of love is to take a dog no-one wants or cares about. Lucky is likely a "full bred" Kelpie though someone did not care enough to keep her and I can only imagine how they treated her in her early life, based on her fear.

Kelpies are Australian "working dogs" bred to herd sheep and cattle. They are short haired in order to with stand harsh heat and have the ability to run all day non-stop. Whip smart and easy to train they make amazing pets if you have the time to take them out for physical exercise. They also need mental situmulus to keep them sharp. Lucky loves to run and swim, sniff everything and roll in questionable substances she finds on our walks. She does not like to chase a ball or sticks but will spend the day chewing on a stick or chasing flying bugs around and around. Her speed is incredible.

Lucky herds little g like she is cattle, nipping at her feet and keeping her in line. She loves to eat. She is not the type of dog to get overweight and she will eat anything and everything she can scrounge. Of course we discourage the searching of food though I suspect this behaviour remains from when she was younger as she clearly did not get fed. The other day I left 3 lemon muffins on a plate on the table only to return and find them gone. I questioned Big G as to the whereabouts of the muffins and then it dawned on me that Lucky had taken them! Lesson learned, do not leave food at Lucky level.

Lucky is little g's best mate. Our daughter tells Lucky this every day, constantly. It is almost like having two kids when they are frolicking and playing. Llucky nips at little g's heels like she is herding her into position and Lucky patiently sits while g combs her hair, covers her with blankets or hugs her tightly. The love and companionship I see between them makes taking Lucky in so worth it.

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FEATURE RECIPE: DOG CHEWS

One of the ways I have learned to keep Lucky mentally stimulated is by getting small "treats" and throwing them around the yard so she has to search for them. This helps with her natural predatory nature and keeps her sharp and alert. I find that the store bought "treats" are laden with all types of nasties. As one vet told me "you might as well give your dog McDonald's every day if you are giving them processed food". These have very few ingredients and are more like chews than biscuits. I have taste tested them on 7 other dogs and not one has refused to eat them.

This recipe makes many, many chews. Being quite moist they tend to keep for only a week out of the fridge. I freeze half and take them out when I am getting ready to serve them.

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Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 min

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups of oats
  2. 3 cups wholewheat flour
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/2 cup apple sauce or oil
  5. 3/4 cup water
  6. 1/4 cup flax meal
  7. 3 grated carrots

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a dough.
  2. Roll out to about an inch thick on a floured board.
  3. Cut into the shapes you desire.
  4. Bake at least 20 minutes until golden.

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