It all started when my daughter, Hannah, showed me a Facebook post about a 5 month old golden retriever that needed a home. My cousin, Teri, posted it. She runs a dog rescue in Los Angeles called Henry’s Hope.
That weekend, on August 16th, we drove to Los Angeles to bring home that timid little 5 month old puppy. On the way, we talked about what we wanted to call her. It didn’t take long for us all to agree on the name “Summer.”
When we arrived at Teri’s house in L.A., we met her. She was so scared of everything. She tinkled on my cousin’s floor when we cautiously approached her. “Do you know her name?” I asked my cousin. “Yes,” she replied. “Her name is Summer.”
Some things are just meant to be.
Over the last seven months, Summer has grown and changed. Gone is the timid little puppy that was afraid of everything. She has been replaced by a curious, friendly, carefree little girl who loves everyone and everything.
She has destroyed our yard and has eaten drywall, chewed up toys, slipper, dog beds, underwear, and so much more. We can’t leave any food on the kitchen counters or it will be a snack for Summer.
She loves the rain. There is nothing more exciting to her than to run around the yard and get as much mud on her body as possible and then run around the house leaving mud everywhere.
When we go for walks, she walks like a drunk. She can’t walk in a straight line down the sidewalk. There are just too many interesting things to see to the right and to the left.
Yet, despite all of this, she is our joy. She makes us smile and laugh every single day. She loves everyone she meets. She loves her big brother, Dusty, above all. She wants to play with all people, all dogs, cats, bunnies, birds – all living things. She loves to watch animals on TV, including cookie monster.
Today, we celebrate her 1st birthday. We don’t really know if her birthday is on March 16th. We only know that she became a member of the family on August 16th and that she was 5 months old when we brought her home. So from now on, Summer’s birthday will be celebrated on March 16th.
For her first birthday, Summer got cake and ice cream. Here are the recipes:
Summer’s First Birthday Cake (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Peanut Butter Carrot Doggy Cake)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour your pan. I used a Pantastic Dog Bone Cake Pan that I purchased here. Whisk together the flour and the baking soda in a mixing bowl Add the other ingredients and mix until combined. The mixture will be pretty thick. Spoon the batter into the pan making sure it is level. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
You can cool the cake and serve it un-iced if you’d like, or you can add some icing. I decide to add icing since this was a special occasion.
Cottage Cheese Doggie Icing
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- whole wheat flour
Separate the whites from the yolks of two eggs. Add 1 cup of cottage cheese to the two egg whites and blend at high speed (or you can use a food processor like I did). Sprinkle the mixture with flour a tablespoon at a time until the icing reaches the consistency you like. I used about 2-3 tablespoons but I also drained as much liquid from the cottage cheese as I could before adding it to the egg whites.
Doggie Ice Cream
- 1 ripe banana
- 32 ounces of plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of honey