You’ve probably been asked this question one time or another, usually on first dates or at the beginning stage of a friendship, and, without fail, I cry out “DOG‘ every time. Don’t get me wrong, I love all animals, but dogs, well, they hold a special place in my heart.
I grew up with dogs in our house. When I was just a baby, my parents adopted, Molly, a Golden Retriever with whom I grew up playing with day-in-day-out. You’re never alone if you have a dog, I say. My parents have pictures of three-year-old me sitting on molly, like a horse, galloping around the house. But let’s be honest, it probably seemed like galloping in my young eyes, but for anyone else in the room, especially Molly, it was a painfully slow (and probably confused) walk on Molly’s part.
When I turned fourteen, we welcomed Baylee into our home. She was a Yellow Labrador and was just as loving as Molly. Baylee is best remembered for her ravenous appetite. She was always ready to eat. She would finish her meal within the same commercial ad on T.V! What is that, like, 30 seconds? Yup, that was B for ya. She lived with my parents until she was 13. They, unfortunately, had to say goodbye to her this past fall, which proved to be a difficult goodbye for my father in particular.
Then two and a half years ago, I adopted a German Shepherd, Jax, with my ex in Oman and we went through the motions with him, let me tell you. Right out of the gates, Jax contracted Parvo, a highly contagious infection that has a high mortality rate in puppies. We don’t see it often in the West because we vaccinate for it, but Jax, unfortunately, caught it. We spent Christmas through New Years up until mid-January caring for him; bringing him to the vet twice a day for antibiotics and fluids, etc. It was so hard to watch. If that wasn’t enough, Jax was separated from his litter too early and had a slew of behavioural issues as a result. We took him for training at Jebel K9 , a train & board program in Oman that a Canadian woman from Vancouver started up. On top of his puppy training, we brought him there to socialize with other dogs. If nothing else, Jax was a very smart and loving pup to us. He graduated first in his puppy class, which sounds pretentious as anything, but true nevertheless. I have to give him credit for that. Jax took a lot out of us physically, financially and emotionally, but you knew the love was there when you saw him. He has a special spot in my heart.
So, it’s safe to say I’m a dog person! The kind that stops and asks to pet your dog on the street. The kind you’ll find at dinner parties playing with the dog in the other room. The kind that cries at movies, like Airbud, when the main (dog) character is forced to leave his human family and live alone. The kind that has been dreaming of the day I could adopt one since stepping foot back in Canada two years ago. And I’m so happy that dat finally arrived!
After completing my program in Toronto, I knew I wanted to continue learning; continue striving. So I applied to a series of schools around the country and outside of Canada. Instead of wasting money on Toronto’s (insane) housing market, my folks suggested I come back to Montreal and save up a bit while waiting to hear back from the schools. And I’m so happy I did. It’s been such a joy to spend so much quality time with friends and family. Soon after arriving, it dawned on me that this would be the perfect opportunity to adopt a puppy. That way, I’d have the summer to train him and prepare him for our next adventure, wherever that may be. And so I did.
He’s a 12-week GoldenDoodle with an old soul. This little guy is everything you’d hope for in a pup. He’s gentle, curious, adventurous and, lately, fearless. After falling in the pool twice (due to this curiosity), it’s safe to say he’s a quick learner, too. 😉
It took Coops only a week or so to sleep through the night without having to get up to pee. He now sleeps out of his cage, along the side of my bed, and through the whole night. He’ll come shnuggle up early morning when he’s ready to go outside. Every day, I am reminded of the tips and tricks I learned with Jax, which has helped so much with Cooper. It’s amazing how much I had forgotten in such a short time.
For those of you who have or are considering welcoming a puppy to your home, I highly suggest the Clix Training Clicker! It’s honestly a life saver. In short, it’s a handheld clicker that you ‘click’ followed by rewarding your puppy with a treat. So your puppy positively associates the click with a treat. Let’s say you’re teaching him to sit, you’d say, ‘sit’, then click and reward when he preforms the action correctly. In just two days, Cooper has learned ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘kennel’ and we’ve been working on ‘stay’ this week. Today was our ‘rest day’. He got his vaccines yesterday and was zonked after receiving them. I gave him his heart worm pill this morning along with his monthly protection for ticks, which was also a chewable.
It’s true, having a dog is without a doubt a financial and time commitment, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The amount of love and happiness this little guy has brought me in such a short time is crazy. I can sit and stare at him for hours and my phone has blown up with photos of him. I’m lucky to post the odd food photo on my Instagram now; the rest are of Cooper and his cuteness. And, yeah, I’m probably biased because he’s my puppy, but to all those dog owners out there, you know how I’m feeling, right?! I’m trying to savour each day and really appreciate every moment of his puppy
years months. I know they pass quickly and he’s already doubled in size in the past 4 weeks. I can’t imagine not being able to carry him around or having him fall asleep on my lap.
We went on our first walk this week, which was interesting. Getting used to having a harness and lead on takes some time but he’s getting the hang of it. I was curious about how much exercise was too much for puppies and read that they should receive 5 minutes for every month they’re alive and up to twice a day. Coops is 3 months old, so, 15 minutes twice a day. But, I’m sure this must vary from pup to pup because this little guy is filled with energy!! I spend a good part of the morning playing fetch with him outside or passing the ball around inside until he passes out for an hour or two. This is when I can get some work done. Once he wakes up, we usually go for a mini walk followed by a frozen Kong treat that usually takes him 40 minutes to lick through, followed by another nap. Ahh, a dogs life. If only we were all so fortunate… 🙂
That’s what inspired these Chewy Pecan Oat Cookies. They only took 20 minutes to make and 15 of those were spent in the oven! Yeah, I wasn’t kidding when I said they were the easiest, fastest cookies. When I first made them, I was just tossing ingredients into a bowl, hoping for the best. It was a true ‘meh, screw it! Let’s see how this turns out!’ moment and, fortunately, a total success! Note: I labelled it at an ‘8 ingredient recipe’ instead of 11 or 12 because ingredients like salt, cinnamon, water/almond milk, etc are typical kitchen staples. You can enjoy these guys for breakfast, as a pre-gym snack or post-dinner dessert! They’re high in fibre, made without any refined sugar and are loaded with healthy fats. There’s no guilt with these cookies! They’re healthy, tasty, versatile and SO quick to make. You can swap out pecans for any nut of choice. So, whether your a mom looking for a healthy cookie recipe for your kids, somoneone who’s on-the-go and needs something quick and easy, or, like me, a dog-mom that only has a few minutes before her pup discovers the contents of a Kleenex box, these 20-minute cookies are right for you. 🙂
Speaking of which, the little guy just woke up… Off to the park we go! Fetch ya guys later! 😉
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp water / almond milk
- 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1.5 c gluten-free whole rolled oats
- 3 85% squares dark chocolate (I used Lindt)
- 1/4 pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- Heat oven to 350C
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine banana, egg, almond butter & milk and syrup and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon out 12 cookie balls. Lightly flatten cookies using a fork
- Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack
- Serve and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container on the counter or fridge for up to one week.