January 6, 2009, our little furry cockapoo was born…he came into our lives March 8, 2009 in a comical way and has forever changed our lives.

The story goes that March 10, 2009, a day forever imprinted in my memory, as the day of my Master’s defence. In light of such an occasion it was important to boost my confidence by  reviewing notes and analyses, preparing my presentation, practicing it, anticipating questions and the answers, and maintaining a state of calm during the stress.

On the Friday before, my thoughtful BF (who had endured more than his share of my trepidation and frustration during my graduate school experience) said,

I know whenever I have some kind of important and nerve-wrecking day I always feel better having a shower the morning of, putting on a new outfit, and feeling put together. It makes me feel more confident!

And so, off we went on Saturday morning to get myself a new shirt and get my mind off my preparations for a couple of hours.

Well, needless to say, I didn’t get a new shirt, but we did get our new friend and one of the biggest comforts and provider of laughs of my life!!

Riley's first visit to the cottage, March 2009

Riley, aka MR (Monster Riley), entered our lives and on the 6th, aka Wednesday, he celebrated his birthday as any puppy should – spoiled by his loving parents!!

I baked him some Banana Carrot Oatmeal pupcakes (cupcakes for the puppy) and a puploaf (since I didn’t have enough muffin trays) with Banana Carob and Cinnamon icing. I believe in good wholesome treats for the little guy, and even it means taking time to bake for him I think it’s worth the time and the financial savings. Plus, I know exactly what goes into the treats, and I know he’ll love them! He gobbled up two pupcakes without hesitation and gave us Oliver puppy eyes as if to say “Please Sir/Madam, may I have some more?

Banana Carrot Oat Pupcakes

Banana Carrot Oat Puploaf

Banana Carrot Oatmeal Pupcakes and Puploaf Recipe

(adapted from all-natural-dog-treat.com)

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups rolled oats

2 carrots, grated

2 3/4 c water

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp honey

1 banana, mashed

1 Tbsp baking powder *(I used baking soda and 1/2 the amount)

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp nutmeg

I shredded the carrots by hand and mixed them the mashed banana and the rest of the wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, I combined all the dry ingredients and added the wet to the dry until thoroughly combined.

I only had one 12-muffin tray and so I used a loaf pan to bake a puploaf with the remaining batter. They took about 40 minutes to bake at 350 degrees, and while they baked I made the icing.

Banana and Carob and Cinnamon Icing Recipe

(adapted from dogtreatkitchen.com)

2 bananas, mashed

1 Tbsp butter

6 Tbsp powdered carob

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

I mixed all together and spread on pupcakes and puploaf once they had cooled completely.


MR eating his first birthday pupcake...one more was gobbled up soon after!

While MR adored these, next time I’m going to switch the egg for flax in order to make it a little healthier – only the best for the little guy.

We also bought him a couple of toys – which, in true MR fashion he destroyed in 5 minutes flat! A special card accompanied his present. I owe it to a good friend who spotted this on a girl’s day outing!

Crunch (rawhide) card for dogs

Crunchkins is the only patented line of edible greeting cards for pets – yes, there are cards for cats too. While the dog cards are 100% rawhide with non-toxic ink, the kitty cards are paper cards with a hand-sewn catnip toy attached with non-toxic glue to the card. I know that there are some debates about whether or not rawhide is good for dogs, but our vet told us that as long as the rawhide is in a shape which cannot split (i.e., is flat) it is OK for an occasional treat.

MR gnawed o his crunch card throughout the night and even brought it with him to bed! He was one happy (and spoiled) birthday pup!