In April, I adopted my dog Henry, a six pound chihuahua that a friend of mine had been fostering for a local rescue organization. Henry is the sweetest little dog who loves to cuddle, but when he isn’t in a lap, he’s curled up under blankets or on throw pillows (even though he has two perfectly good dog beds).
Henry loves his stuffed ducks, even though he has a dozen other toys. He loves people and other dogs and goes up to everyone we see on our walks to say hi.
He sleeps as late as I do on the weekends and sometimes I actually have to wake him in the morning to go for our walk and to eat his breakfast, which needs to be chicken flavored because he doesn’t like the salmon flavored dog food.
There is a lot to love about Henry, which is why I can’t picture him living in a shelter, scared, cold and alone in a cage.
(P)UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM/CONTEST HAS CLOSED. READ ON FOR THE RECIPE BELOW!
Henry is one of the lucky dogs — he only spent a couple of weeks at the Animal Welfare League before he was picked up by Alive Rescue and placed in a foster home with my good friend Anita and his foster sister Stella before making his way to his forever home.
Most dogs aren’t as lucky as Henry though, and many wind up in high-kill shelters and never make it to rescues or foster homes.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, more than half of which are dogs. Though some dogs, sadly, are euthanized due to lack of homes, thousands are saved every day by the amazing work done by animal shelters and rescue groups all across the country.
That’s why today, in time for National Dog Day (on Wednesday, August 26), marks the launch of www.MyRescue.dog – a website significant both in purpose and in name; it’s a “dot-dog,” not a “dot-com.” The site will benefit homeless dogs via Petfinder Foundation (in partnership with Donuts Inc., which happens to be my amazing employer). The domain extension “dot-dog” is only one of hundreds of new options available for websites as alternatives to “dot-com.” A few fun ones incude “dot-coffee,” “dot-kitchen,” “dot-media” and now, “dot-dog.”
www.MyRescue.dog is a site where adopters can post pictures and short stories about their beloved rescues, and consumers can vote for their favorites through September 26. Each posted picture generates a $10 donation to Petfinder Foundation, and each vote generates a $1 donation, all up to $100,000.
The shelter or rescue group from which the most popular dog was adopted will receive $25,000, and the next 15 shelters will each receive $5,000. Winners will be announced upon conclusion of the voting period and all the donations will be administered through Petfinder Foundation.
To participate, you can visit www.MyRescue.dog today and submit a picture of your adopted dog, naming your favorite shelter or rescue organization as the beneficiary of your entry.
Then, share the promotion through social media channels using the hashtag #MyRescueDog and #NotCom and the URL www.MyRescue.dog to rally friends and social media communities to vote for your pet.
Encourage your friends, family and coworkers to post, vote and share and you’ll help save even more lives.
When I brought Henry home, he immediately became the most spoiled tiny dog in all the land.
My friends and family bought him toys and treats and one of my cousins sent him a box of tiny doggy clothes, including a shirt that says, “I’m not wearing any pants.”
If there is one thing Henry really loves though, it’s a tasty treat.
I very rarely feed him human food, because he’s a bit of a beggar as it is, but occasionally give him a taste of pumpkin or peanut butter, mainly for my own amusement because peanut butter’s sticky consistency kind of blows his mind.
Every time we come in from a walk, he runs behind the desk where the door staff sits, because he knows they keep treats there and usually, he can finagle one for looking so stinking cute.
So in honor of National Dog Day, though in my house that is pretty much every day, I baked Henry some from-scratch dog treats.
They’re simple and wholesome: pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs and whole wheat flour. The dough is super easy to work with and if you don’t have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle.
I wish I knew the original author of this recipe; I’ve seen it on a million different blogs and each one was tweaked from another. What I can definitively tell you is that Henry loves the treats…and I suspect that we’ll never go back to Milk Bones again.
You can follow Henry’s adventures on Instagram, where he’s @señorhenrysangria.
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2½ cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional ¼ cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.*
- Let cool completely.