I adopted my service puppy in training, Finnegan, from the Marshall County Humane Society in Indiana at 10 weeks old. I have Spina Bifida, and I'm training him myself. He is a great help to me, and when he gets a bit older, he's going to help me do pet therapy at our local nursing home. Finn has learned to open and close doors, take my jackets off, pick up various items, pay at the stores and many other commands. Finnegan is so smart that he was sitting and laying down on command within 15 minutes after I met him. Finnegan is 15 months old now, and I don't know what I'd do without him.
The holiday season is in full swing, and whether you’re almost done with your holiday gift shopping or you’re just getting started, we have some ideas for making this season extra-special for your furry friends. In Part Two of our Holiday DIY Series, we’re sharing a quick, three-ingredient tuna treat recipe by Rachael Ray for your feline companions. This is a project your entire family can make together. Here’s the recipe:
1 can (3.5 oz.) tuna in water (do not drain) 2 eggs 1 ½ cups flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
In a food processor, combine the tuna with its liquid and the eggs; pulse to blend. Add the flour and pulse until crumbly.
Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake until set, about five minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then cut into three dozen squares. Once the treats cool completely, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Contest runner-up Margaret M.’s dog, Mango, pictured right.
Throughout the month of October, we asked readers to share stories about their family’s rescued pups in our Adopt a Shelter Dog Month Story Contest. We received hundreds of amazing submissions from readers across the country. With the help of our contest guest host, Mary Dell Harrington of the parenting blog Grown and Flown, we selected one grand prize winner and four runners-up. One of our runners-up, Margaret M., shared this story:
My husband is in the Navy and he deployed on September 10, 2001. He was on his way to Guam and his last words to us were, "Don't get a dog while I'm gone." After 9/11 happened, we needed something to love and to come home to every night, and two weeks later, we got Mango. We rescued her, and she rescued us. We are a military family, and she's lived in Gulfport, MS, Memphis, TN, Virginia Beach, VA, Jacksonville, FL, Washington, D.C. and now Norfolk, VA. She's about 15 years old—a Border Collie and Sheltie mix. She's my best friend. Currently, my husband is deployed once again. This time he's gone for a full year to Pakistan, and I'm all alone—except for Mango. I’m not sure what I would do without her.
We loved your story, Margaret! Stay tuned for one more winning rescue story to come next week.
The holiday season is in full swing, and whether you’re almost done with your holiday gift shopping or you’re just getting started, we have some ideas for you! In Part One of our Holiday DIY Series, we’re sharing an easy-to-make recipe for homemade pet treats that your dog or cat is sure to love. This is also a great family activity that will help strengthen the bond between your kids and your pet. Here’s the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Cookies (for Cats and Dogs!)
2 cups rice flour ½ cup oatmeal 1 cup canned pumpkin 1 cup grated carrots ½ cup unsweetened plain applesauce ¼ cup flour for rolling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, blend carrots, applesauce and pumpkin until smooth.
Mix rice flour and oatmeal in a bowl.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently until dough forms.
On a floured breadboard, place dough and roll out to about ¼inch in thickness.
Use cookie cutters (holidays shapes would be perfect!) to cut out little cookies.
Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for seven minutes.
Flip treats over and bake for five more minutes. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.
If your pet loves peanut butter, you can add a bit to these treats as “frosting”! We thinned our peanut butter with water to create a glaze.
*Special Note: Remember, these recipes are treats and should not replace your pet’s regular meals. Please check with your veterinarian if your pet has special dietary needs or food allergies.
Stay tuned to ASPCA Parents for additional DIY gift ideas all month long. Happy holidays!
He hung back when all the other dogs came charging, looking at me with those big brown eyes full of hope, worry and fear. His head was full of scars of troubles from an earlier time in his short life. That was the day a year ago when Petey stole my heart. Once a scared, abused puppy, Petey has left that terrible life behind forever. He now gives back to our community by working as a certified therapy dog—sitting with children at the local libraries while they read to him—between kisses, of course. He enjoys his work. After his day is done, there is a proud swagger to his step and he holds his head just a little higher. It hurts my heart to imagine the loss of happiness and joy to so many people of all ages if Petey hadn't stolen my heart that day at the local animal shelter.
Thanks, Jeannie! Stay tuned for additional winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.