While my husband and I were on vacation our dog, Bella, turned 6. We always do something special to celebrate her birthday. One year we took her to our friend’s restaurant, Bella Italia, in Ann Arbor and she dined outside on meatballs and scrambled eggs. If you’re not a pet owner you probably don’t understand, but if you’re a pet owner keep reading as I’m sure you can relate.
Bella entered our lives 4 years ago when we adopted her. We wanted a dog that was house trained and a few years old as we knew we didn’t have the time required for a puppy. That’s how we found Bella on Petfinder.com, at a no-kill shelter. She was 2 years old at the time and the lady at the shelter ensured us she was very calm and would be a great house dog. Exactly what we were looking for! Bella came with a story, like many of the animals who end up at shelters. Her previous owners dropped her off in the country and just left her. They left a note attached to her collar that read…Hi, my name is Leah. I’m a very good dog. I have all my shots and I know basic commands like sit. Unfortunately my owner can no longer care for me. I’m hoping to find a country home. If they were smart, they would have surrendered her to a shelter so that she could find a good home and be cared for in the interim. Luckily she managed to survive on her own for a few months before the shelter picked her up.
We went to meet Bella at a dog fair that featured many local shelters and their adoptable animals. When we saw Bella for the first time she was quite skinny and her coat was dull and sprinkled with dandruff. Her eyes were droopy and a little bloodshot too. The pictures of her that we saw on petfinder.com were taken at a distance of her playing, etc. At the fair we were surrounded by many beautiful dogs and Bella was definitely what you could consider ‘a diamond in the rough’. In all honestly it’s probably good her pictures were taken at a distance because Bella is a very large dog (very tall and long). At the time we both had apartments and were looking for more of a medium sized dog. If we had known how large Bella was we might have ruled her out right away. But luckily everything happens for a reason.
We ended up adopting ‘Leah’ the same day we met her. We were able to look past her beauty flaws and heavily relied on the shelters recommendation that she would be a great house dog (house trained, no chewing, etc). On our way home we decided the name ‘Leah’ definitely didn’t fit her. Somehow we both agreed upon the name Bella. After some proper care and love, Bella gained some weight, developed a shiny coat, and became stunning. Whenever anyone meets Bella, one of the first things they say is how beautiful she is. Little did we know we picked the perfect name for her as ‘Bella’ means beautiful in Italian. Beyond her looks she truly is an amazing dog and I’m so glad we found her.
Now that you know a little about Bella, since we were couldn’t be there for her 6th birthday she celebrated with grandma and grandpa. She was in good care at their house and on a little ‘vacation’ of her own you could say. They celebrated her special day and even bought her some fun dog doughnuts from the pet store.
After we came back from vacation I still wanted to do something for her. In the past I’ve made homemade dog bones and she LOVED them. What better time to make these then now! And as you can see these biscuits are made with pumpkin. Bella loves pumpkin! She even likes to eat pumpkin guts as we carve Halloween pumpkins. And did you know that pumpkin has many health benefits for cats and dogs? Vets recommend it for upset stomachs and to promote a healthy digestive system. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, if you have any canned pumpkin left over, give your dog a treat. I add a few dollops of canned pumpkin on top of Bella’s food and she goes crazy.
This recipe is super simple to follow as there aren’t many ingredients. The dough will be crumbly after all the ingredients are mixed together and you’ll need to put in some elbow grease by using your hands to form a large dough ball. After that, it’s simply rolling out the dough and using some dog bone or holiday cookie cutters to make the biscuits. One batch will make about 35-40 small/medium sized bones. If you don’t want to have that many in your house, share them with your friends that have dogs! I like making small batches and putting them in clear cellophane bags with a label and a festive tie/ribbon.
|The dough will be crumbly|
Trust me your dog will love these. Bella lays directly across from the oven while these bake and she’s very antsy while they’re cooling. They will be hot when they come out of the oven so make sure to let them cool completely before giving them to your dog. If you decide to make these bones remember that they have fresh ingredients and no added preservatives like the kind you would buy at the store. Don’t worry though, they can last for up to 2 months if stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Adapted from Recipe #28099 by Kim D. food.com
Makes 35-40 small/medium bones
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Total Time: 45 mins.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dry milk
- 2 1/2 cups wheat flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Blend eggs and canned pumpkin together. Add salt and dry milk.
3.Slowly add flour (about a cup at a time), stirring with electric mixer.
4.The dough will be dry, stiff, and crumbly. This is normal.
5.After using the mixer, combine the dough crumbs with your hands, working into a large ball of dough.
6.Roll dough to a 1/2-inch thick.
7.Use cookie cutters and cut into desired shapes.
8.Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.