In 2010, I started my own gourmet dog treat business, Dogs Are Perfect Organic Gourmet Bakery, to rave reviews from my own and neighborhood dogs. I built a website and launched the venture at the national border collie championships at a sheep farm nearby. Hundreds of people and mostly black-and-white dogs passed by my booth, each pup getting a sample of my mouth-watering gourmet goodies. It was a heady experience, I thought that finally I had found something I really loved to do as a nice little sideline.
In the course of developing the business and its recipes, I bought oodles of books and studied canine nutrition in depth. After much trial and error, I came up with a bevy of delectable cookies that looked as good as they tasted. Every recipe was taste-tested by humans and dogs. I used only human grade organic ingredients, kelp, cod liver oil, homemade natural peanut and sunflower butters, vitamin E, apple cider vinegar, pumpkin, gluten-free flours and other all-natural, healthy ingredients.
One day as I sat on a bar stool at my kitchen counter enjoying a glass of Chardonnay and happily decorating another batch of cookies, I realized my back was killing me. I jumped off the stool to get the next batch from the oven, and knew immediately that my dream was dying. I have arthritis in my back, legs and feet for years now and as ridiculous as it was for me to even consider a business like commercial baking, I went ahead anyway. The appeal of making dog treats overrode the gnawing realization that my body was just not cut out for the physical work involved with running a busy bakery. I’m not noticeably challenged when I’m doing regular activities, but baking commercially is quite different than everyday baking and cooking, which I love to do.
My legs and back became increasingly more painful and I closed down after only three months. It was fast, furious and exciting, my products were well-received, but I guess you could say I knew when to throw in the towel before I sunk any more money into it. I’m normally a model of persistence in everything I undertake; I never give up, even when the odds are stacked against me, even when it seems senseless and stupid to keep going, I do. In the case of Dogs Are Perfect, my heart was more than willing, but my old body let me down. It was worth a shot, but I realize on reflection that I loved the ‘idea’ of being a gourmet dog cookie baker more than anything else. Oh well, at least my dogs are happy I learned a few new tricks in the kitchen.
I now share my own recipes regularly through my freelance articles that appear on several popular venues, including The Daily Puppy.
Here’s one of my dog’s favorites, rare treats but especially nice at Christmas – “Festive Homemade Cakes for Dogs” featuring the decadent yet healthy, “Sweet Potato & Peanut Butter Cakes With Blueberries in Apple Cinnamon Cookie Crust” and the irresistibly scrumptious “Carob, Banana and Honey Cake with Cream Cheese & Peanut Butter Frosting”:
“Did someone say cake? Ever notice how your dog’s ears perk up and his mouth waters at the mere mention of this heavenly delight? You can feel good letting him have his cake and eat it too with these recipes that are both tasty and nutritious, the best of both worlds.”Continue Reading…