Pet me, pet me, pet me… says the doggy! (Oh, and give me some treats)

In November of 2007, a volunteer from the local golden retriever rescue club brought this handsome  guy to our house. The plan was to foster him for a week or two only… Well, it is fair to say that our lives have never been the same since then! Here we are, three years  later, we still have him, because we just didn’t have the heart to give him up to another person.

However, I have to admit that I have never been on such an intense emotional roller coaster in my life. I thought it was going to be an easy process, because dogs are supposed to know that people are their masters and obey… Tarchin, who got his name due to his reddish-cinnamonish color (tarchin means “cinnamon” in Turkish), was supposed to know how to heel, how to fetch, how to come running when he was called…

And he did all these… just in his own terms… only when he wanted to do, which was seldom. Because, I found out, he has the stubborn genes, attitude, personality, and intelligence to get his way!

He was 4 years old when we got him. He had lived with two kids in his previous home, and when the family went through divorce, he was among the ones who had to look for another home. So my heart just melted when I heard the story and saw his sad eyes… he can look sad, very sad with half-open eyes and dropped cheeks . That is how he got his paws around me. Then the killer strike came when he started letting his deep sighs out! So sad!!

I love him to death. I take him to daycare (Yes, Mom, I do take him to daycare  as if he’s a child, and no, I do not need to have a baby to keep me occupied!). I’m constantly buying him more doggy icecream and peanutbutter. I talk to him thinking he can understand every word I am saying, even though he is probably thinking “blah blah blah blah, where is my peanutbutter, woman?”. But, as loving  and sweet as he is, I still can not comprehend all the things he put me through…

Like.. all the times he would sit like a rock and not budge an inch when he didn’t want to go the way I was going… and the stronger and tronger I tug on his leash the stronger he holds his ground. At that point I usually give up.

Or the times he’d get loose and chase after the neighboor’s cats, as soon as he finds the door ever so slightly cracked open… everytime I called his name and ran after him, he would take one look at me and then run further and further through the neighborhood… pausing  every time he gets a firm lead to stop and grin that mischievous grin back at me.

Or every time he pulled me in random directions when he was supposed to be walking right beside me (not 20 feet in front of me). It’s a common occurrence for  people to yell from the other side of the street things like “Hey, are you walking that dog or is he walking you?”

Or, in the mornings, how he knows the difference between the days he is staying at home or going to daycare, and he waits patiently if I am taking him with me, or  becomes a handful if I am leaving him behind!

Or that he would get so determined to catch that squirrel or a cat, that I would fear for the lives of those poor fellas, but then he’ll take extreme abuse from a toddler without lifting a paw… just laying there getting his eyes poked or his ears and tail pulled…

Or, the times when a thunderstorm would frighten him so much that I would come home to find the entire contents of my freezer in the middle of my living room, or baking trays in the bedroom, or to find the bathroom flooded because he turned on the shower or chewed up a valve. From the way he panics during every storm, you’d think he doesn’t trust the roof that we put over his head.

Since we got him,  a lot of things have changed in my life.  It has definitely gotten more colorful… Oh the joy of not knowing what waits for you at home after a good ol’ thunderstorm… And I have done things that I am not proud of and I had never done before…

Like on the third day we had him, hiding behind a big bush and calling my husband crying, telling him to come and get me and the dog because he just got into “an argument” (let’s call it that way) with another male dog, and the other dog’s owner gave me a really nasty look, and I couldn’t  handle walking in front of other people any more!

And how I embarrassed myself in front of the whole neighborhood by not being able to hold him still when he got really excited and ran towards some dogs… he literally dragged me on my knees across the street because the leash was strapped around my hand (yeah, that will keep him still!!)…

And how I started working on my upper body at the gym after that incident, me the person who hates dumbbells…

When I dig my hands in my pockets, instead of coins, I find treat bits and trash bags…

I started spontaneous car rides because he loves it and whenever he finds any open car door he jumps in…

And I have been apologizing a lot to my friends lately when they come over, or random people around the neighborhood because he wants to be petted and be center of attention at all times! He loves to lean his butt against people, and does it with enough force to knock you over.

I have learned the guilt when I leave him behind for extended periods of time, because he gives me the “Do I know you?” attitude… ignoring me for three days or so after I pick him up from the boarding.

So we have our moments. He can be really stubborn sometimes to get what he wants, or he can play the nice, lovable doggy when he wants peanut butter… I did not know what I was getting into when we decided to adopt him, but I would do it all over again… having him around injects just the right amount of drama in my life… enough that I can handle, and I continue to ignore the people who mention Caesar Milan DVDs and books to me or “this great dog trainer that I just have met if you want his number”, in order to keep that drama in my life…

And now that we’ve had our introduction to all things Tarchin, I’ll get to the point of this post…

Because of myriad of feelings I have for my dog (guilt, love, and, especially the need to have something I can bribe him with), I bake for him every once in a while… like this recipe I found in the latest pastry book that I picked up.

For those of you that think this is odd, I’ll have you know that I am not alone in this baking for our dogs business, Apparently, Bo Friberg loved his dogs enough to create this recipe and put in his  1000-page Professional Pastry Chef; the DoggyDessertChef created recipes  for her dogs  and started sharing with the rest of us. She creates much better looking treats than anywhere I have seen.

So here is the recipe:

Bo Friberg’s Special Reward Dog Biscuits

  • 12 ounce whole wheat flour
  • 12 ounces bread flour
  • 2 ounces wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces powdered dry milk
  • 1 cup water

1. Dissolve the milk powder in 1 cup of water.

2. Combine everything and make a firm dough ( I had to add more flour to make it a firm dough. Do not expect a smooth, bread-like dough)

3. Set the dough aside for 20 min and then roll it out to 1/2-inch thickness.

4. Cut the treats to be approximately 3-inches by 1-1/2 inches.

5. Line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper, place the treats and bake them in preheated 375-degree oven for 40 min. Cool on a rack, then hold a treat in your hand and then ask your dog to sit…

Good dog!


  1. by Doggy Dessert Chef
    8:59 am
    Nov 6, 2010

    Thank you for the link! I’ve added this recipe to my facebook. :)

  2. by Kristin @ delishliving
    11:10 am
    Nov 9, 2010

    He is SO beautiful! That was so fun to read about :) I don’t have a puppy but I’m pretty sure if I did, I would bake for him too. I’ve been working on my husband for years to get a pet but he is not an animal lover. Sigh. I just got caught up on your last few blogs, and just a comment about the slow cooker – total lifesaver!!!

  3. by Ilke
    1:46 pm
    Nov 9, 2010

    Thanks Kristin, I never realized how hard it was to have a dog! Enjoy your clean house without dog hair, that is all I can say :)
    Yes, slow cooker is a total lifesaver! I am hoping to use it more. If you have a good BBQ pork slow cooker recipe, let me know! I would like to try.

  4. by Peggy
    4:15 am
    Nov 10, 2010

    As I was reading your post, I couldn’t help but think… “are you talking about MY dogs?!” because everything you’ve gone through, I’ve gone through twice with our crazy ones! And you’re right, I wouldn’t do it over again or trade it for the world!

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