This is my dog, Bandit. Isn’t he cute? He is an All-American, which in the world of 4H Dog Clubs means he is a mutt. I think that term is great. Bandit had a sad beginning. He was born in Arkansas and was admitted to a kill shelter by the time he was three months old. No one wanted him. He was scheduled to be euthanized but was rescued by a group that saves dogs in southern kill shelters and brings them to the northeast to try for adoption here. He spent many days in a cage in the back of a truck with lots of other dogs.
We found Bandit in a shelter here in Rhode Island. He was eight months old. He was the last of the group to be adopted. When we saw him he had an eye infection and was skinny, but he was very friendly and played ball with the kids. We couldn’t understand why no one had adopted him. I think he was waiting for us.
As a family, we had never owned a dog before and it was a very steep learning curve, for me in particular. I had been bitten a couple of times as a child and was terrified of dogs but I agreed to adopt a dog because the kids were desperate for one and we had relatives who ran a 4H Dog Club which the kids wanted to join. I knew we would get lots of support and boy, did we need it.
Bandit turned out to be not such a great choice for new dog owners. The trauma in his past makes him afraid of all dogs and anyone who is not me, my husband, or the kids. Within a month of bringing him home he had bonded with us and became a fierce protector of the family and the house. He guards against all enemies, especially cats, squirrels and UPS trucks. The dog who lives next door is public enemy number one and when he dares to leave his house, Bandit runs outside and shakes his ball in a display of doggie prowess. Not that the neighbor’s dog even notices.
|Which is the real dog and which is an Art Girl Art project?|
He is terrified in the car- shaking uncontrollably. We take him on the same walks every day because a change in routine is more than he can handle. He is allergic to dust, grass and tree pollen, pork products, barley, peanut butter, oats, peas, potatoes… the list goes on, which means he is on daily medication and a special diet. He just wants to be home, with us, eating. He likes to eat. In fact, he is obsessed with food. His favorite people food is pancakes and just the smell alone turns him into the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen.
He has destroyed my house, but he helped my son get over his fear of the dark. He has cost us a fortune in vet bills, but he would protect us and this house with his life. He can be a big hairy pain-in-the-butt but he greets us when we get home like we have been gone for a year and stays by our side when we are sick. He shows us every day in little ways how much he loves us and yes, we love him, too. He had been a member of our family for five years now and I couldn't imagine him not being here with us.
Bandit the protector, big ball of stupid at the hint of a belly rub and lover of all things meaty, these biscuits are for you.
Bandit’s Big, Beefy Biscuits
(adapted from a www.thepuppynetwork.com recipe)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
½ cup powdered milk
½ cup wheat germ
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. brown sugar
6 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, beaten
2 beef stock cubes
½ cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Add the stock cubes to the boiling water and let dissolve. Stir together the flours, powdered milk, wheat germ, salt and brown sugar. Add the shortening and rub together with your fingers until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the egg and mix in. Add the water mixture and mix in with your hand until a dough forms. It will be a dry dough and will take a while to knead into a workable ball.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to about a ¼ inch thick. Using a small cookie cutter, cut out the biscuits and place on a cookie sheet. This dough should make enough biscuits to fill two standard cookie sheets.
Bake for thirty minutes until brown and firm. Cool the biscuits before bagging and ignore the pathetic whimpering coming from your dog (tell him the biscuits are too hot, he'll have to wait). I usually freeze half of the biscuits and keep half bagged and ready to go.
These biscuits smell really good and you may be tempted to try one. Go ahead, you know what’s in them. Just don’t look at your dog as you eat it unless you want to feel guilty for the rest of the day.
You could substitute chicken stock cubes for the beef to mix it up.
Hope your dog enjoys these as much as Bandit does!